House of Commons Hansard #127 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was driving.

Topics

Interest Rates
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, first of all, there are credit cards with much lower rates. The rates really depend on the options these credit cards offer.

As I said, however, there needs to be a much closer relation between the decreases in interest rates and the rates charged on cards.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

December 7th, 2001 / 11:50 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Lunney Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, thousands of mill workers have been idle for months because of the softwood lumber dispute, with more than 1,000 in Port Alberni alone. The negative economic impact is spinning out of control. For example, E & N Railroad serves a 181 kilometre route on Vancouver Island. It is our only rail service. Now reduced rail freight will force E & N to close its freight division in January. This means more job losses.

While the trade minister sits on his hands, families face a bleak Christmas and a bleaker future. When will the minister stand up for our jobs and for our industry?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

London—Fanshawe
Ontario

Liberal

Pat O'Brien Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, it takes quite a nerve to criticize the Minister for International Trade when that criticism comes from a party that did not bother to have a trade critic for weeks last spring. It is incredible for me to hear that.

We are proceeding on a two track policy of litigation. On Wednesday a panel was struck at our request at the WTO. At the same time, we continue with discussions with our American partner. The minister will be raising these issues today with Governor Racicot in Washington.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Lunney Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, that is great. The parliamentary secretary is complaining about the defence critic. He does not seem to get it. Our communities are in a stranglehold. When a person is choking it is a life and death matter. Sending help in a year and a half is a moot point. The funeral will be long past.

Dispute resolution is meaningless once our mills are gone. Closure of the E & N freight division now threatens the future of the passenger service, the tourism industry and what is left of our fragile economy.

Since the trade minister seems to be sleepwalking, will the transport minister step in to help save rail service on Vancouver Island?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

London—Fanshawe
Ontario

Liberal

Pat O'Brien Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, let me try again. What I pointed out to my colleague was that he represents a party which last spring did not even bother for weeks to appoint a trade critic. Now all of a sudden when this issue is heating up, that party has some interest in finally raising some questions.

I have already indicated to the House that the Minister for International Trade is continuing to work very aggressively on this file, as is the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister has raised the issue repeatedly with President Bush, and it has also been raised by the minister at every opportunity.

Infrastructure Program
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Nancy Karetak-Lindell Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, the need for municipal infrastructure improvements in the new territory is great. On behalf of my constituents, I would like to ask the Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board if he would give us an update on the negotiations between the federal government and the territorial government of Nunavut on the Canada infrastructure program?

Infrastructure Program
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Durham
Ontario

Liberal

Alex Shepherd Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Nunavut who has been such a tireless worker for her constituents of Canada's north.

I am pleased to announce that the President of the Treasury Board, along with her colleague, the hon. Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, as well as the premier of Nunavut, the hon. Paul Okalik, signed the Canada-Nunavut infrastructure partnership agreement yesterday.

The agreement will leverage over $4 million for green municipal infrastructure over the next two years. I am especially proud that this partnership agreement will help strengthen the economy of Nunavut, as well as enhance the health of its people.

Health Care
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, the upcoming budget must be about priorities. If it is going to reflect the real priorities of Canadians, then there must be some real increase in health care transfer money. The budget leak suggests that the government will not announce one penny more for health care.

Will the Prime Minister reverse his government's dismal record on health care cuts and get his priorities straight?

Health Care
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, surely the hon. member remembers the historic agreement the Prime Minister signed a little over a year ago which gave a $23 billion transfer to the provinces for health care and early childhood development. That money continues to flow. In fact, in many provinces, such as Ontario, it is only the federal money that allows the province to increase its funding because of its tax cuts.

Health Care
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure whether passing the buck to the provinces is a good idea because the government has not put back the money that it took in 1994 to the level that it was then. The Liberals' answer to health care cuts is to pull the money out of the system and then study it to death.

Do members know how much the Liberals have spent on studies since 1994? They have spent $242 million.

When will the government stop the studying and resolve the health care crisis that it created?

Health Care
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member ought to take a look at the facts. Right now health care transfers to the provinces are at an all time high. Equalization payments to the provinces, which goes to health care and other services, are at an all time high. That does not take into account the massive amounts of money that have gone into better practices, the health transition fund and health care research right across the country.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to the recent joint declaration of co-operation between Canada and the United States, the concept of safe third country implies that a refugee whose application is rejected by the United States can no longer apply in Canada.

Can the Minister of Immigration confirm that, had this agreement been in effect in 1973, none of the Chileans fleeing the Pinochet regime would have found asylum in Canada had they initially been denied asylum by the United States?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for her question.

It is true that the Geneva convention permits the negotiation of a safe third agreement. It is also a fact that the United States and Canada have agreed to negotiate a safe third agreement. It is also a fact that the Government of Quebec has been supportive and has given unequivocal support to the development and the concept of a safe third agreement.

It is also true that this is the year 2001 and there are some people who would be stuck in the 1960s and 1970s. In fact Canada and the U.S. have--

Immigration
Oral Question Period

Noon

The Speaker

The hon. member for Ottawa Centre.

Canada-United States Border
Oral Question Period

Noon

Liberal

Mac Harb Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, following the tragic events of September 11, what measures have been taken by the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency to improve the flow of goods across the border?