House of Commons Hansard #75 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was flag.

Topics

Semaine Nationale De La Francophonie
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I clearly explained to the leader of the third party—

Semaine Nationale De La Francophonie
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Saint-Maurice, QC

Soon to be the sixth.

Semaine Nationale De La Francophonie
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Sheila Copps Hamilton East, ON

—that the contract amounts were exactly the same as last year and the year before.

As for recognition of francophones in Canada, I am proud that my colleague, the member for Moncton, is working with all francophone and francophile colleagues in the House to ensure that the visibility of francophones, here in the House and across Canada, is greater than in the past.

Semaine Nationale De La Francophonie
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, to say to someone “I will give it to you only if you do this against your will” is blackmail and that is what the minister did with respect to the Association canadienne d'éducation de langue française.

Semaine Nationale De La Francophonie
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

I would ask the hon. member not to use the piece of paper as a prop. I give the floor back to the hon. member.

Semaine Nationale De La Francophonie
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, I can say it out loud because it pains us to see the Minister of Canadian Heritage resorting to blackmail.

How can she justify “I will give you a grant if you do this against your will”? It is revolting. What does she have to say?

Semaine Nationale De La Francophonie
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, the remarks of the member opposite are completely false. If ever anyone did a flip-flop, I would like to recall what the Hon. Sylvain Simard wrote, and I quote “As for the Jeux de la Francophonie, the uncertainty that hung over the Madagascar games, and that, in some respects, still hangs over them, calls into question the very model of the games”.

He was against the Jeux de la Francophonie, but now he is indulging in petty politics, and that is scandalous.

Multilateral Agreement On Investment
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, to date, Canadians have heard not a peep, pas un mot, from the Prime Minister about the MAI. Not a peep.

Last week European parliamentarians representing 15 different nations voted overwhelmingly, 437 to 8, to reject the current MAI proposal because of the undemocratic nature of the negotiations.

Will the Prime Minister today show the same respect for democracy, commit to full public debate and cross-Canada hearings and allow Canadians to decide the fate of the MAI and the future of our country?

Multilateral Agreement On Investment
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Halton
Ontario

Liberal

Julian Reed Parliamentary Secretary to Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I am disappointed that the council of Barlow cancelled a meeting with ministry officials and me last week. I am disappointed that the council of Barlow has chosen not to take advice, not to look for advice from the chief negotiator of the MAI.

I point out to the leader of the NDP that a full debate was held in this House on February 23 on this very subject. I would suggest to her that she advise the council of Barlow that all of the information and all the—

Multilateral Agreement On Investment
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. leader of the New Democratic Party.

Multilateral Agreement On Investment
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, once again absolute silence from the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister sits in his seat, dumb as an oyster.

How can any self-respecting Prime Minister consider signing an agreement with such massive implications to Canadians without first consulting them? This deal could rob Canadians of our ability to make our own decisions about our health care, our environment, our resources, and our very culture. Our sovereignty is at stake.

Instead of his stony silence, will the Prime Minister withdraw Canada from the MAI negotiations, until and unless he has the—

Multilateral Agreement On Investment
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The right hon. Prime Minister.

Multilateral Agreement On Investment
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I agree entirely with the very able parliamentary secretary who gave a very good answer.

We are negotiating there and we are consulting here in Canada. We have debated the issue in the House of Commons and we will be consulting. The deal is not tomorrow. We will not sign a bad deal. We will always be sure that Canadians are present in the world. If we follow the policies of isolation of the NDP, Canada will go nowhere.

Pensions
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister had an opportunity during his budget speech to tell Canadians that he has heard their concerns regarding the proposed seniors benefit plan, but he blew it, for he was silent.

Why does the finance minister continue to push ahead with his idea of clawing back Canadians' retirement savings by 70%?

Pensions
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we have made it very clear that over the last two years we have consulted with Canadians. There will be changes brought down based on the principles that have been set forth.

The hon. member asks why we want to proceed. We want to proceed in order to assure Canadians of whatever age that they will have a secure and safe retirement.