House of Commons Hansard #29 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tourism.

Topics

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

René Laurin Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, this week, General Baril said that the effects of repeated budget cuts and the high operational level to which its forces have been subjected in recent years are being felt.

How does the minister intend to provide financial support to the army's operational level while also supporting Canada's foreign policy on human security?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle
Québec

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as the minister has said many times, the Canadian military is facing major funding challenges.

The Speech from the Throne stated that the government will continue to ensure that the Canadian forces have the capacity to support Canada's role in building a more secure world and will further develop the capacity of Canadians to help ensure peace and security in foreign lands.

We are looking at creative and innovative ways to ensure the way ahead. Hard decisions and choices are being made to ensure that we can reinvest in the future in key areas, in our people and in the equipment they need to do their jobs.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

René Laurin Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, before pumping more money into improving the quality of life of Canadian troops, should the minister not clearly redefine the role and priorities of his department?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, again, we must emphasize the support of the Bloc Quebecois to a united Canada with well provided for armed forces. It is interesting to see this change of policy. The Bloc is giving up its separatist policy to support Canadian federalism and Canada. My thanks to the Bloc Quebecois for this new and improved position.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Reform

Eric C. Lowther Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, many people do not realize that over half of the price of gasoline is taxes. For example, Calgarians send $300 million to Ottawa every year in gasoline taxes, but none of it comes back to pay for roads. The Liberal government simply takes the money and offloads the costs for transportation to others.

Why is the government across the way so willing to scoop the tax at the gasoline pumps but give nothing back in return?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I can understand how members of the Reform Party believe that those matters on which the Government of Canada spends money is nothing because that is their perspective on the social fabric of the country. But Canadians do not think that health care is nothing. Canadians do not think that education is nothing. Canadians do not think that protecting the environment is nothing. They do not think that protecting our coastline is nothing.

Canadians understand what the Reform Party does not, that tax dollars go to provide services for Canadians. That is what government is all about.

Trade
Oral Question Period

November 26th, 1999 / 11:35 a.m.

Reform

Deepak Obhrai Calgary East, AB

You are off the hook, Paul—

Trade
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Trade
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I am sure the hon. member meant to say Mr. Speaker instead of Paul, and I know he would want to do that in future.

Trade
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Reform

Deepak Obhrai Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, in the 1993 version of the red book the Liberal government promised to renegotiate the NAFTA agreement to specifically exempt bulk water exports. Unfortunately, this is one of the promises the government has failed to keep. Exempting water from our international trade agreement is the best way for Canada to protect its waters.

Why has the government abandoned seeking exemptions for our water in international agreements?

Trade
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I am interested to see that the Reform Party has adopted the position of the NDP Government of British Columbia and Glen Clark's policies.

The way to protect water exports is to make sure that there are not inter-water basin transfers of water. If we try simply to protect water exports at the border, we wind up with the problem of this becoming an item of trade and, therefore, the decision on it will be made by an international panel of trade experts, not by Canadians.

I believe, and the government believes, that decisions on Canadian water should be made by Canadians and not by foreigners.

Poverty
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

René Canuel Matapédia—Matane, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister recently said, at the time the government's expected surpluses were announced, and I quote “Give me time to enjoy them”.

If you are one of 1.4 million poor children in this country, or you are unemployed and are no longer entitled to poverty insurance, this sort of statement hurts.

When will this government act to free these children from misery for good?

Poverty
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of my colleague, the Minister of Human Resources Development, may I point out to the hon. member and to all members of the House that the fundamental way to get children out of poverty is, of course, to get families out of poverty.

The way to do that is to make sure this economy works effectively, which this government year after year has been doing under the leadership of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance.

It is by correcting the economy's fundamentals so that they work that we reduce poverty and, therefore, do not have to adopt band-aid solutions to the problem, which has been recommended so often by New Democrats and the Bloc.

Social Housing
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Fournier Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, for a budget to be balanced, spending must be lower than income.

An individual should not spend more than 30% of his income on housing. In my riding, in Minganie, 90 households are having to spend half of their income on rent.

My question is for the minister responsible for social housing. Can he tell us whether, after ten years in which no money has been invested in social housing in Minganie, he will finally act to help families who are having a very had time making ends meet? When will he invest?

Social Housing
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel
Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, first I would like to say, as I have said on many occasions, that the Government of Canada invests nearly $2 billion annually in social housing.

We invested an additional $300 million under the RRAP program. Also, since forming the government, we have created 13,000 affordable new housing units.

I am pleased, however, because this is the second time that the Bloc member has asked me the same question. Does that mean that they have changed their policy? I thought they wanted social housing to be transferred to the provinces, including Quebec.

I am currently negotiating. Do they not agree—