House of Commons Hansard #4 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was speech.

Topics

Bank Of Canada
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Roy Cullen Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance. Yesterday marked Gordon Thiessen's last day at the Bank of Canada after more than 30 years of service, including the last 7 as governor.

It was said, appropriately so, that Mr. Thiessen fulfilled his mandate with distinction and achieved extraordinary success. During the seven years he was in charge of Canada's monetary policy, our economy experienced one of its greatest periods of growth.

Mr. Thiessen's determination to make Canada a low inflation country was known worldwide and it largely contributed to the solid growth that we have been enjoying recently.

Mr. Thiessen is replaced today by another very distinguished Canadian, David Dodge, who has committed to continue to build upon the success of his predecessor.

I ask all members and all Canadians to join me in thanking Governor Thiessen for his years of service and in congratulating David Dodge on his new duties.

The Economy
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister and the finance minister stated that our economy is doing just fine and that action is not required now and will only be taken if necessary.

However, this morning's StatsCan figures for November show zero growth and we are hearing of thousands of layoffs at Nortel and DaimlerChrysler, among others. Americans have adjusted their interest rates to try to counter the slowing of the U.S. economy.

We have now lost the glorious Montreal Canadiens because taxes are too high and the Canadian dollar is too weak.

Yesterday we lost a national symbol of pride, the Montreal Canadiens, to American interests, due largely to high taxes and the weak dollar policies of this government.

Canadians understand the need for a budget. Members of the opposition understand the need for a budget. Liberal backbenchers understand the need for a budget. The time for action is now. We need a budget.

The Environment
Statements By Members

February 1st, 2001 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, Antarctica contains 90% of the world's freshwater resources. It controls global climate and is the last wilderness on earth. It is a platform for sustainable research.

Antarctica is governed by a treaty that protects it and sets a framework for research. Twenty-eight nations have signed that treaty. Canada is not one of them.

What an extraordinary thing. We are a leading polar nation but we do not take a full share in the proper management of the world's largest piece of polar real estate.

I believe we have a moral responsibility to sign the Antarctic treaty. Antarctica should benefit from Canada's cold environment expertise and northern Canadians should benefit from science and technology being developed in Antarctica.

Agriculture
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadian farmers are among the hardest working citizens in the country. Rarely do they get a holiday from the daily chores associated with providing the people of the nation with some of the safest and finest quality food in the world.

For them to take time away from the hectic pace of farm life, for them to leave their farms to trek to Ottawa not once but twice in just over a year, means that they have an important message: the Canadian family farm cannot survive, given the current conditions, without long term financial assistance.

Unfortunately that message was lost on the Liberal government the first time the farmers delivered it. Hopefully this time the government will finally get the message and deliver the much needed support that our farmers have been promised.

International Aid
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Saturday, a terrible earthquake hit northern India. The pictures that we see are unbearable and the information that we get gives only a vague idea of the extent of the tragedy.

According to the Red Cross, 50,000 people are dead, while the Indian defence minister puts the number of victims at 100,000. There are countless people who have been injured, left homeless and lost friends and relatives. The heat, the lack of sanitary infrastructures, the shortage of water and the presence of all these bodies pose a real threat of epidemics.

Material damage is estimated at $3 billion, a huge sum for India, which is already plagued by endemic poverty.

The federal government has a responsibility to help this huge developing country. This is not charity—Indians are a proud people and they would not want charity—this is mutual aid and it is our duty to act. The $3 million announced so far to help India should only be the first instalment of a much more substantial amount for reconstruction.

My friends, let us be generous.

Speech From The Throne
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, among the many problems we have with the government, and in particular with its latest Speech from the Throne, are its lack of consistency and its approach of all talk and no action.

Nowhere is it more apparent than today with the news that tobacco marketers are being included in the official team Canada trade mission to China, a country where 800,000 people die each year from tobacco related illnesses.

How is this possible from a government and a health minister that have talked so much about the serious ills of smoking? What kind of message does it send to young people, the very group the government says it wants to reach in terms of the harm of smoking? Is the government's health policy completely in the hands of the Minister of Industry? Do trade and industry run the whole show?

We call on the government to show consistency and remind it that young people will learn from the actions of the government and act accordingly.

Speech From The Throne
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I asked the Prime Minister if he knew the cost of the promises made in the throne speech. He had no idea, but I hope and I am certain that his advisers have told him the amount.

I therefore ask him again: How much are his promises going to cost taxpayers?

Speech From The Throne
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. Leader of the Opposition should know that the estimates are always tabled before the end of March for the fiscal year in question. Furthermore, if we were to give the exact cost now, it would show a lack of respect for the House of Commons, because the House can amend bills at the various stages.

In any event, I was particularly pleased yesterday to note that the Leader of the Opposition agreed with all the government's proposed expenditures on research and development, the infrastructure program, the program for children and so forth.

Speech From The Throne
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I can put him at ease. We will not be affronted at all or insulted if he gives us information, information that should be provided in a budget which he is not tabling.

The International Monetary Fund released a report today based on data from last year's budget and from the October teeny budget which made some suggestions. Since then the former chief economist at the Royal Bank of Canada, now a Liberal MP, seemed to agree that the Liberal's spending increases could run us into a deficit.

Since the IMF analysis, the growth has been projected at 0.1% in Canada and 0% in the United States. Where is the plan from the government? Where is the budget? Is it trying to hide this information?

Speech From The Throne
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted that the leader of the Alliance has taken note of the IMF report, which is based on work finalized in the third week of January or about 10 days ago. It reads:

The IMF staff commends the (Canadian) authorities for the comprehensive income tax reforms and reductions introduced in the 2000 budget and in the October 2000 economic statement and fiscal update and strongly endorses the fiscal policy framework that has been put in place.

Speech From The Throne
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we will read back and forth because it says based on budget 2000 and on the October update. That is what it is based on.

Since then the reports have come out showing 0.1% growth in November. Forty-three per cent of manufacturers in Canada, not in the International Monetary Fund, now say that they will be reducing for this next quarter.

The Prime Minister does not care. He does not know. I will ask the Minister of Industry, one of his possible successors, if he is concerned about this possible direction.

Speech From The Throne
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Industry and the whole government, allow me to quote again from the IMF report, which as I mentioned was only finalized some 10 days ago. It reads:

The strong policy framework in place has positioned the real and financial economy (in Canada) to cope with any new major economic shock, including a slowdown in U.S. growth. The Canadian authorities are to be highly commended for their policy accomplishments.

Speech From The Throne
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Speech From The Throne
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I know that both the questions and answers are generating a lot of enthusiasm, but I caution hon. members that we have a limit on question period time and I think we should move more quickly.

Speech From The Throne
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deborah Grey Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, it looks like gentlemen start your engines, the race is on. It is really not that complicated. Things did look better in the fall when the government brought forward its plan. It brought forward a financial plan based on certain assumptions.

Those assumptions have now changed. The government should be tabling a new budget now, not down the road when things get worse. It is a question of prudence. I am sure the government understands that. What part of prudence is the Prime Minister objecting to?