House of Commons Hansard #107 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was finance.

Topics

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, he is doing it again. I hear him equating refugees and criminals. Nothing could be further from the truth.

There are over 23 million people around the world in a refugee situation, fleeing persecution. Canadians are proud of their humanitarian and compassionate response. We are not going to allow the official opposition, nor are we going to allow terrorists, to deter us from our humanitarian obligations to welcome those in genuine need of our protection.

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Secretary of State for International Financial Institutions.

Canada will soon be hosting the G-20 meeting. Would the secretary of state please tell the House what is expected as a result of this meeting and specifically why financial global governance is important to Canadians today?

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, as members know, the G-20 consists of 20 countries comprising 87% of the world's GDP, 65% of the world's population and 60% of the world's poor. Chaired by the hon. Minister of Finance, the best finance minister in the world, this forum will be looking at the issues--

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Regina--Qu'Appelle.

The Economy
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Lorne Nystrom Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the same minister with the new hairstyle.

The Canadian dollar has now hit an all time low, trading a few minutes ago at less than 64¢ compared to the U.S. dollar. Over the 10 years the Canadian dollar has lost 30% of its value compared to the U.S. dollar.

I want to ask a specific question of the minister. How low does the Canadian dollar have to go before the minister will instruct the Governor of the Bank of Canada to intervene in the financial markets to halt the erosion of the Canadian dollar? How low does it have to go before he will do that?

The Economy
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, let us look at what Canada has already done. We have brought in the largest tax cut in the history of our nation. Our interest rates are the lowest that they have been in 40 years. We have paid down more than $35 billion of debt and at the same time have made major new investments in health care, education, research and innovation.

Our obligation as a government is to get our economic fundamentals right. That is what we have done and that is what we will continue to do.

Canada Post
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, I will try another minister. My question is for the minister responsible for Canada Post.

United Parcel Service is suing Canada under chapter 11 of NAFTA to try to put Canada Post out of the courier business. Both CUPW and the Council of Canadians have just been denied standing at this tribunal, with the Canadian government lining up with UPS to block them.

Why is the Liberal government siding with UPS to keep Canadian workers and the Canadian public out of the secret NAFTA tribunal hearing on the future of public postal services in Canada?

Canada Post
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel
Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, we are, as a government with Canada Post, fighting this decision before the Canadian international trade tribunal and we will continue to fight it. We are working with all the partners. When it comes to the trial, Canada Post and the Government of Canada will definitely be there.

National Security
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, it appears that the only economic policy consistently followed by the government is its dubious plan to drive the Canadian dollar to record lows in the hopes of promoting Canadian exports, yet Canadian exporters are saying that problems at the borders are putting the industry at risk. They warn that the government still has no concrete plans in place to address the problem.

Will the government commit today to the creation of a new ministry to co-ordinate public protection and improve border management for our exporters and for Canadian people?

National Security
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway
B.C.

Liberal

Sophia Leung Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the member is not well informed. We have just passed Bill S-23. We already are implementing modernizations to our customs system. In the meantime, the member should know that we are implementing some of the new technologies that will tighten up the borders without any problems.

The Economy
Oral Question Period

November 1st, 2001 / 2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, when questioned about the record low Canadian dollar, the finance minister consistently responds that it is not his fault, that all currencies are doing badly compared to the U.S., yet in the last three years the Canadian dollar has fallen 5%. Over the same period of time the Mexican peso has gained 10%. Since September 11 the peso has gained 2.5% while the Canadian dollar has lost a point and a half.

If Canadian fundamentals are as strong as the minister likes to say, why is the Mexican peso doing so much better than the Canadian dollar?

The Economy
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member does not have to accept just my word that the government has been getting its economic fundamentals right. I refer him to the world economic forum which just a couple of weeks ago published its most recent report. Canada has moved from seventh to third in terms of global competitiveness.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the defence minister said that we had thousands of sailors for future rotations and that we had no problems.

The facts are that even before this latest commitment he closed down ships due to lack of personnel. He mothballed one of our four destroyers due to lack of sailors. He put 7 of our 12 frigates on a lower state of readiness due to lack of sailors. Where are we going to get the people trained, ready and rested to meet future rotations?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, what he said yesterday was nonsense and it is nonsense today. Or, as his leader says, tomato or tomato, it is the same thing.

We have over 2,000 troops involved in the campaign against terrorism, many of whom are navy. We do have people back here who will both serve to protect our country and who will also relieve the people we sent overseas from their service after a period of time.

We will continue to honour our commitment. We are going up in terms of recruitment at this point in time. We are getting additional people into all three armed services.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, either the minister does not understand the problem or he just does not care about our men and women in the forces.

In May of this year, before we had committed the 2,000 people to this latest cause, the war on terrorism, Admiral Maddison, head of the navy, said “At the moment, I'm about 400 people short. Almost all of those are technicians, highly skilled”.

The CISS and the CDA report that the navy is already robbing technical staff from the army and the army is short as well.

How can the minister be so out of touch with the military when it is his area of responsibility?