House of Commons Hansard #104 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was aid.

Topics

International Aid
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphan Tremblay Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance is currently preparing a budget. During the G-20's last meeting, the minister also talked about international equalization.

In order to adequately meet existing needs, the UN recommends that countries allocate 0.7% of their GDP to international aid. In the year 2000, Canada only allocated 0.25% of its GDP to international aid.

Given the current extraordinary circumstances, we know that military spending will increase. Will the minister show consistency and increase international assistance in his next budget?

International Aid
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, if we look at the situation, and given the importance of trade and globalization, it is crystal clear that, in order for this to work, underdeveloped countries must be helped.

These countries need infrastructure programs. They need help for health and education. In fact, this was the object of the consensus achieved in Montreal one year ago by the G-20. We will definitely discuss this issue and continue to promote it.

International Aid
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphan Tremblay Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canada agreed to write off part of Pakistan's debt to help it deal with refugees, but this measure will not be enough to counter the effects of war on Afghan people.

In this context, does the Minister of Finance intend to substantially increase the moneys earmarked for international assistance to Afghanistan, over and above the $16 million already allocated?

International Aid
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine
Québec

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, this is a very interesting question.

If the hon. member had done his homework, he would know that the Government of Canada has granted $16 million in international aid to Afghanistan since September 11. This is in addition to the money that Canada is giving to Afghanistan for international aid. For this year alone, it is around $28 million.

Canada has been there for Afghanistan. For the past 10 years, we have given in excess of $150 million. We are there today and we will be there tomorrow.

Trade
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, just a few moments ago we heard the industry minister say that his billion dollar Internet hookup scheme was, and I quote, “an essential service”.

Does the Minister of Finance agree with his cabinet colleague that his billion dollar Internet hookup scheme is as essential as health care, national security and maintaining a surplus?

Trade
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, first, the member is now making up quotes to suit his question, which is not unusual because he has developed a pattern for doing that in the House. He did not hear me just say what he quoted a minute ago.

Second, yes I happen to believe that getting people who live in rural and northern Canada online and able to access the Internet in a meaningful way is important in building a modern economy.

The Alliance may believe that only those who live in urban centres should get access to technology, I do not.

Trade
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, we believe there is such a thing as budgetary priorities. Now economists are saying that we may be heading toward a deficit next year.

The provinces are demanding more money for health care. We have an urgent need for new spending in national security and defence. What is the government's response? It is to spend billions, $6 billion more, on pork and corporate welfare as part of the industry minister's wish list.

Why does the finance minister not get his priorities straight and just say no to new discretionary spending while we are fighting a recession and a war on terrorism?

Trade
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the government has made it very clear that it will protect our transfers to the provinces for health care and education. It has made it very clear that the involvement with our universities in research and development will continue. The government has made it very clear that the personal tax cuts, the corporate tax cuts and the increase in the child tax benefit will continue.

The fact is the government has made it very clear that it will operate within its constraints. We will do that because we are indeed building for the future of our country.

Finance
Oral Question Period

October 29th, 2001 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-De- Beaupré—Île-D'Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, with his next budget coming up, the Minister of Finance is singing the usual tune: he does not anticipate a very large surplus.

But figures from his own department show a surplus of $11.1 billion for the first five months of the fiscal year. Even in the worst case scenario, it will stand at $13 billion by year's end.

Will the minister admit that playing down the size of the annual surplus will create a worse problem than usual this year, since he must support the economy, and he has the means, provided he is telling the truth?

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it is true that we had a surplus of $11 billion in July. This is a huge cushion.

But the member must know that there was a slowdown in the third quarter. He must also know that the world changed dramatically and profoundly on September 11.

Is the member unaware of the terrible impact of September 11 on the global economy, including on Canada?

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-De- Beaupré—Île-D'Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are all aware of the events the minister has just mentioned. What we want are targeted investments to support the economy.

Will the minister drop his strategy of deliberately underestimating his surplus, give us the real figures, and adopt a balanced approach, which includes targeted investments to support the economy?

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, a balanced approach is the very approach the government is taking. Now, if the member has any suggestions to make, perhaps he could speak to his colleague, the finance critic, or attend the meetings of the Standing Committee on Finance. I am looking forward with great enthusiasm to the report of the Standing Committee on Finance. Perhaps the member should attend the odd meeting.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, this weekend the immigration minister revealed that fully 40% of refugee claimants are from the United States.

Signing a safe third country agreement with the United States would allow immigration officials to focus on the other 60% who are not from the United States. When asked if an agreement of this nature was a top priority, the minister said on the weekend that she did not think so.

Why will the minister not take this important step and make the security of Canadians a top priority?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the security of Canadians is a top priority for the government. That is why we are working very closely with out neighbour, the United States, to ensure that we do everything we can to speed legitimate traffic at the borders and stop those who have no legitimate reason to enter either Canada or the United States.

I want to assure the member opposite that there are a number of things we are discussing to achieve that goal.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, why will this minister not really work with the United States and sign a safe third country agreement with it? It is needed. This would prevent people who should claim in the United States from having to claim in Canada instead where the system is much more lax. Still, this weekend the immigration minister said it was not a priority with her government.

Why will the minister not make this a priority to ensure the security of Canadians and their jobs?