House of Commons Hansard #41 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was research.

Topics

Slobodan Milosevic
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, last weekend, Serbian police arrested Slobodan Milosevic.

Milosevic has been indicted by the international criminal tribunal for war crimes and crimes against humanity and has been charged by the Yugoslav government with corruption and abuse of power.

This move by the Yugoslav government signals the beginning of a commitment to the principles of democracy and the rule of law.

For its part, the Canadian government is urging Yugoslavia's leaders to facilitate the work of the international criminal tribunal.

Our Prime Minister said that “The authorities in Belgrade have an obligation to cooperate fully with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, including the handing over of Milosevic. In the interest of justice, and as a decisive step in the improvement of Yugoslavia's international standing, we hope that this takes place soon”.

Housing
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister responsible for housing said it loud and clear. “We are not going back to social housing”, he was reported as saying in the Toronto Star of April 1.

Could we imagine a country as wealthy as Canada, where a million Canadians are experiencing severe housing insecurity and homelessness, and the minister comes out with this outrageous position?

Many dedicated groups have campaigned for the 1% commitment for housing, for the right to shelter and decent housing, but the government says no, a shameful response if ever there was one.

To add insult to injury the only new initiative the government will undertake is a subsidy program for market housing. Why on earth would we be lining the pockets of developers?

The government's proposal is based on the theory that if we help people at the top, eventually that will trickle down to those at the bottom of the economic ladder. This kind of market driven ideology will only increase the gap between the rich and the poor.

We reject the government's private subsidy approach. Community based social housing makes good economic sense. It creates good jobs and it helps the people who need it. We need social housing.

Free Trade Area Of The Americas
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Quebecois has great confidence in the ability of our artists to make their mark in Quebec and internationally. We believe that the signing of the FTAA agreement will result in even greater cultural exchanges between Quebec and Latin American countries.

However, sight must not be lost of the fact that Quebec's culture did not spring up unassisted. The Government of Quebec has used its authority to step in and assist cultural growth. This has been done by all the governments of Quebec, regardless of political affiliation.

It is for this reason that the Bloc Quebecois is insisting that any continental trade agreement should preserve the Government of Quebec's present and future authority to take such action.

Culture is our soul and our roots. It is how we speak and do things. It is therefore important that Quebec be able to speak on its own behalf and to protect its interests.

Agricultural Production
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Gérard Binet Frontenac—Mégantic, QC

Mr. Speaker, I wish to stress the openness and the flexibility displayed by the federal government toward farm producers.

A few days ago, the government announced it would be doubling the amount of interest-free loans under the Spring Credit Advance Program. The maximum amount will go up from $20,000 to $50,000 for spring 2001.

This is a timely measure, since producers are adversely affected by the increase in the costs of fuel and fertilizer.

In the past, that program has proved very useful to farmers. It has allowed them to get funds in time for spring planting.

A number of income support measures are being put in place by our government. I urge it to continue to work with the agricultural industry to ensure long term stability in that sector.

Softwood Lumber
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, the United States has formally filed a countervailing duties application to seek tariffs of up to 40% on Canadian softwood lumber. This would cost Canadian producers $4 billion per year.

Having had years to prepare, the Liberal government has again been caught flatfooted with 45 days to go, only now realizing that a common, uniform trade policy for softwood lumber is not possible as regional circumstances are too different.

Most Atlantic Canadian woodlots are privately owned. The owners have enjoyed free trade in softwood lumber for well over a century, with exports totalling almost $1 billion last year. Export taxes and countervailing or anti-dumping duties would prove disastrous for the Atlantic industry. I call on the international trade minister to ensure that free trade in softwood lumber continues in our region.

I object to Liberal statements that the government will force Atlantic sawmills to comply with Canada's export monitoring system, possibly resulting in an export tax on maritime lumber. Coupled with a harsh winter, this would devastate the region. It is absolutely unacceptable to Atlantic Canada.

When will the Liberal government get its act together on this and other important trade issues?

The Environment
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the House and Canadians of major environmental initiatives in the Yukon.

First, the federal government and the Yukon Development Corporation have announced that they will each invest close to $525,000 over a three year period, in an energy solution centre based in Whitehorse.

Second, a new heating system reducing emissions by 1,600 tons has been installed in several buildings in the town of Watson Lake. The federal government invested $75,000 in that project, through the technological component of the Climate Change Action Fund.

Canadians living in the north have to pay for energy costs and they will suffer the effects of climatic changes. The federal government's actions show that it cares about this reality.

Hepatitis C
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Myron Thompson Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, Tuesday, March 27, marked the third anniversary of the Liberal failure to compensate all hepatitis C victims. The settlement is no closer to reaching victims than it was three years ago. With each day, month and year that go by, more hepatitis C victims die and others lose their quality of life.

One of these individuals, Steve Harrison, wrote to me:

I haven't worked since 1996 and my wife is near exhaustion trying to keep us from bankruptcy. Every month we seem to accumulate more debt, while trying to keep life decent for my two boys. Meanwhile, the government is using money owed to me to build up their compensation fund. I reckon at a modest 5% rate, they have made 30,000 dollars with my money.

Even if they paid me my compensation tomorrow my problems aren't over. If I sound frustrated it is because I am. Everyone I talk to thinks this issue is over and I'm living happily ever after.

The Liberals think this issue is over but to the Harrison family it is all too real.

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

April 2nd, 2001 / 2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, on March 26, the Prime Minister wrote that there are no financial connections between the golf club and the adjacent Auberge Grand-Mère.

This weekend, the daily Le Soleil wrote that Yvon Duhaime confirmed, under oath, that “agreements, downpayments and contracts were made between the Auberge and the clients of the golf club”. He added that “this accounts for the major part of the Auberge's revenues”.

My question is simple. Who is telling the truth? The Prime Minister or his friend the innkeeper?

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there is no contradiction. According to my information on Mr. Duhaime's testimony, he did not say that there were financial connections or property connections between the auberge and the golf club during the period of time at issue. So there is no contradiction. The Leader of the Opposition misquoted Mr. Duhaime.

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, it seems that there are more ties and close promotions between the golf club and the auberge than there are between the Prime Minister and his Minister of Industry.

We see in Yvon Duhaime's testimony under oath that he is saying there are contracts between the golf club and the hotel for golf tournaments booked more than a year in advance.

How could the Prime Minister pretend that by sending money to the hotel he was not also advancing the interest of his golf course?

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I think the hon. member has not accurately quoted the testimony of Mr. Duhaime. I will translate freely from the French.

It says there are contracts between the auberge and its “clients”. Obviously there are clients, golfers, who go to the auberge from all the golf courses in the area.

The fact of the matter is that the Prime Minister did not have any financial interest in the golf course during the time he made inquiries about a loan by the Business Development Bank to the auberge, so the hon. member ought to withdraw his unwarranted allegations. He is just embarrassing himself by continuing them.

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Deputy Prime Minister should have finished the quote because Mr. Duhaime said under oath that actually these represented the majority of the business. He should finish his sentences.

It seems that every week, every day, there are new revelations that contradict what the Prime Minister has said. Now we have Justice William Parker, who conducted the Sinclair Stevens inquiry, and many other experts in government ethics calling upon the government to call an independent inquiry.

Along with the majority of Canadians, will the Prime Minister acknowledge what the majority of Canadians want and call this independent inquiry?

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, will the Leader of the Opposition acknowledge that 82% of Canadians say that the opposition is wrong in pursuing these questions and that it should get on with other things?

Why does he not listen to Canadians who say that they want real questions on real issues of concern to real Canadians. Where are the questions about softwood lumber? Where are the questions about agriculture? Where are the questions about the economy?

Nothing is there on those real questions. The official opposition is derelict in its duty to Canadians and it ought to apologize to them.

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Val Meredith South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is a good thing that the Deputy Prime Minister is not our finance minister.

Not even a week ago the Prime Minister claimed that there was no financial or legal relationship between the golf course and the auberge but the owner of the auberge swore on the Bible that:

—agreements, accounts and contracts were made between the auberge and the (golf course's) clients. You can understand that this represents a major part of the (Auberge's) receipts.

Once again an assertion by the Prime Minister has been shown to be inaccurate. How is it possible that we can believe anything the Prime Minister has to say on this file?

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, my understanding of the testimony of Mr. Duhaime is that he did not make reference to golf course clients with respect to the golf course at Grand-Mère. He spoke of clients generally.

If the hon. member wants to keep the respect of the House, which with her questions she lost a long time ago, she ought to quote accurately because the facts are that the golf course and the hotel had no legal, financial or ownership links between them from a period six months before the Prime Minister assumed his responsibilities and the procedure at the relevant time—