House of Commons Hansard #126 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was animal.

Topics

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, if the government had the guts or the intellect to challenge the economic reactionaries, we would not be heading for--

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. member for Halifax knows that expression is not one that is commonly used in the House and indeed has been frowned on by previous Speakers as I frown on it now.

I invite her to rephrase her question and perhaps use a little more delicate language.

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, I will try to find delicate language for a disgusting practice. If the government would just challenge the economic reactionaries we would not be headed for a recession in this country. By committing just 1% of the gross domestic product to fiscal stimulus, to health care, to the environment and to housing we could prevent a Liberal recession.

Will the government acknowledge that its conservative finance minister has been deceiving Canadians? Will it deliver a budget that tackles the real needs and priorities of Canadians?

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have already taken steps to offset the effects of a possible recession. We have a $100 billion tax plan. We have $21 billion in additional spending for health care. We have our infrastructure program. We have our low income housing program. We have a program under way, but we are part of the world.

Only the NDP could be in such a dream world not to recognize that the economies of the world are slowing down. We do our utmost but we may not be able to escape the impact of that entirely.

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the recent auditor general's report is perhaps the most critical analysis of the government's wasteful spending practices ever written. Page after page describes government abuse and negligence in handling our tax dollars. While the government did not like the last auditor general, it must like this auditor general even less.

Yesterday ministers were bailing out of committees and today they are making themselves scarce as hens teeth in an effort to avoid answering questions. Since they apparently cannot fix this management mess, are the Liberals simply hoping that next week's budget will camouflage or somehow detract from the auditor general's obviously damning indictment of the government's spending habits?

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member's question is amazingly empty of substance. They must really be in trouble.

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, here is the substance of the auditor general's report: “Treasury Board continues to reject our recommendations”.

On national defence it states:

Little progress has been made in carrying out the recommendations addressed.

On agriculture it states:

The organizations have made limited progress...since our audit.

On government grants and contributions, a cesspool of abuse, the auditor general says:

—these programs...have chronic problems and run an ongoing risk of using public funds ineffectively and inefficiently.

Is the reason the Liberals will not fix these chronic problems because they do not know how, they do not have the will, or they simply do not care about the government's wasteful spending?

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is amazing, the nerve of the Conservative Party and its allies. After they built up a $42 billion deficit, after they added astronomical amounts to the national debt and the steps they took which we are correcting, they now get up to try to attack us on financial management overall. I am surprised they even raise this as a question. I repeat, the auditor general said:

“the federal government has taken steps to strengthen financial management in its departments and agencies.

I think the report has many positive observations about what the government is doing as well as criticisms, and on balance he should recognize that.

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

December 6th, 2001 / 2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Pallister Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Alliance is very concerned that the Liberal position in the Middle East is not a balanced one.

Yesterday I asked the Prime Minister about his government's position on the anti-Israeli Geneva declaration and he told the House that the resolution was completely unacceptable. Yet, as he spoke those words, his representative had already supported the declaration.

When the Prime Minister attempted to create the impression that his government had said no, did he or did he not know that his representative had already said yes?

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is totally mistaken in his allegations. There were no votes at that meeting and the statement of Canada criticizing the declaration shows clearly that the Government of Canada found that statement to be unacceptable. To say that Canada said yes, is absolutely something to which we have to say no.

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Pallister Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, I totally reject the premise of the member's answer.

The government's position will be used by terrorists, sadly, to legitimize their actions against Israeli civilians. A respected government member agrees with our position that this is one-sided. This declaration is not helpful to the peace process. The Canadian delegate to the conference said that it was more detrimental than ever to the diplomatic process. The Prime Minister himself called it totally unacceptable and the government supported it.

Was the government's position a mistake or does it agree with the anti-Israeli resolution? Which is it?

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there was no vote. To say that the Government of Canada supported the declaration is wrong. In our statement of reservation and criticism of that declaration, the government also stated:

--the Palestinian Authority should also ensure respect for the universal principles of International Humanitarian Law, including for the protection of Israeli civilians, regardless of their legal status.

Why does the hon. member not recognize the reality that Canada did not accept the declaration at that conference?

Cinar
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, in order to avoid answering our questions on the CINAR affair, the Minister of National Revenue hid behind confidentiality.

In order to avoid providing the necessary information for the RCMP investigation, he once again cited confidentiality.

Does the minister not realize that confidentiality is there to protect citizens who obey the law, not those who break it?

Cinar
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Minister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the principle of confidentiality is included in the legislation. The member opposite should know this. It is in the legislation, and it applies to everyone.

If the member does not believe that the confidentiality of income tax returns is important, perhaps he should turn around and speak with some of his colleagues, sitting not far from him here in the House, who have had experience with this.

Cinar
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, the principle of confidentiality is there in the legislation, as I was saying, to protect citizens who obey the law, not those who break it.

How does he explain the Minister of National Revenue's complacency as regards CINAR directors? Why did he allow them to avoid a full investigation by Revenue Canada? Why, in fact, is he protecting them like this?