House of Commons Hansard #131 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was nuclear.

Topics

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member appears to be saying that the working people of Canada do not benefit from our health system, our system of transfer payments to the provinces, our contributions for R and D, or our infrastructure programs.

I have a great deal of trouble following her reasoning.

The Budget
Oral Question Period

December 13th, 2001 / 2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, only the Minister of Finance thinks there is no waste in the budget.

The auditor general said clearly that the amount of waste had to be cut. The Standing Committee on Finance said the same thing.

If the Minister of Finance did not know where to cut, why did he not listen to the auditor general or to his own members on the Standing Committee on Finance?

The Budget
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, clearly we have to guard against waste and eliminate it, and this is what we have done. The President of the Treasury Board has a program in place under which she meets individual departments to look at their spending and to eliminate waste, and we have done so.

This is one reason our spending since we took office has not increased by one cent.

The Budget
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, we have asked the finance minister over and over again to identify one single cent of waste that he cut out of the budget. He has not done that.

I am going to give him the opportunity again right now. I want him to identify, and not to talk about what we might do, one single penny that he cut out of the budget that was wasteful.

The Budget
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, based on the kinds of questions we are getting today, probably the biggest amount of waste that we could eliminate is the Alliance's research budget.

Infrastructure Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are still waiting to hear why the Minister of Finance put billions of dollars into a foundation when there are infrastructure projects waiting to go ahead that would cost twice the amount of money available.

Does the Minister of Finance believe it was wise to set up a foundation that will be fully operational by 2003 at the earliest when there are hundreds of infrastructure projects in Quebec that are ready to go ahead and that are only waiting on funding?

Infrastructure Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I do not know where the member came up with 2003. If she were to help us pass the bill before the end of March, it would be in force by the second quarter of 2002.

Infrastructure Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, the fact remains that several municipalities in Quebec will have infrastructure projects rejected because of a lack of money.

If, as the Minister of Finance claims, his intention was to breathe new life into the infrastructure program, how does he explain that there are valid projects that will have to wait because the minister refuses to fund them adequately, while we will be wasting a lot of time setting up a new foundation that is not even needed?

Infrastructure Program
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday when I quoted the Union des municipalités du Québec, not only does it support the new infrastructure program, but it also supports the infrastructure foundation.

If the member wants projects in Quebec to go ahead, she should tell her friends in the PQ to stop delaying them.

Infrastructure Program
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Infrastructure Program
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The Chair would appreciate a little co-operation. There is one question period going on in this House not four. There appear to be four at the moment.

I would appreciate having the co-operation of all members. It is almost impossible to hear the questions.

Research and Development
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Preston Manning Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have a straightforward question. It has been almost a decade since a royal commission said that Canada needed a legislative framework to deal with assisted human reproduction and related research.

Yesterday the health committee tabled a report which stated that it was urgent that we proceed with that legislation and that we get on with the job.

When can we expect a revised bill for the regulation of assisted human reproduction and related research to be presented to the House?

Research and Development
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I know I speak on behalf of all members, certainly on this side of the House, in observing that this will perhaps be the last week for the hon. member here in this Chamber, in telling him that we appreciate his contribution to public life in the House of Commons.

In response to the member's question, I want to thank the member and all members of the health committee who, in a very non-partisan way, rigorously examined some of the most complex issues we face in public policy in this country and delivered an excellent report. It is a matter of priority for this government to act on it. I expect to be tabling legislation early in the new year.

Research and Development
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Preston Manning Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, I will be around until the end of January so perhaps I will see the bill from the minister.

The subject of stem cell research raises hope for the treatment of degenerative diseases but it also raises major ethical concern. Embryonic stem cells have flexibility but their production involves the planned destruction of the human embryo. Adult stem cell research shows great progress and does not raise the same ethical concerns.

Will the minister tell the House what the government's priorities are when it comes to supporting and regulating embryonic stem cell research versus adult stem cell research?

Research and Development
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as the member well knows, the committee heard large amounts of testimony from very capable witnesses talking about the potential for breakthroughs in scientific treatments and medical cures resulting from this kind of research.

The committee, in its majority report, was obviously reluctant to see Canada alone behind the United States, England and other developed countries without access to this important research capability.

We will be looking carefully at the report. However, as the member knows, our original proposal was that embryonic stem cell research be permitted under very strict conditions in this country.