House of Commons Hansard #43 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was public.

Topics

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I just said it in English and she did not understand, so I will repeat it in French.

Mr. Miller will not be involved in this issue at all, this is not his responsibility. He has nothing to do with that and will have nothing to do with it in the future.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

April 4th, 2001 / 2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Art Hanger Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, access to information documents show that the Prime Minister knew three days in advance of the funeral that King Hussein was dying. In fact on the morning of February 5, foreign affairs warned that King Hussein was clinically dead.

With that knowledge, later that morning the Prime Minister decided to go skiing instead. Worse, he blamed his absence from the funeral on the Canadian forces.

Why did the Prime Minister not have the courage to take the responsibility for his own bad judgment instead of blaming the Canadian forces?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I said at that time that I was in British Columbia when I was informed of the death of the king and that the funeral was in less than 24 hours. I could not make it. The Minister of Foreign Affairs was there.

He arrived from Ottawa only a few minutes before the funeral. The president of the United States, with the big system he has, almost missed the funeral. I could not make it.

I met the current king when he came here. He understood very well. We have great relations with Jordan. I visited Jordan and I could not have received a better reception than offered by—

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Calgary Northeast.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Art Hanger Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, three days in advance of that funeral the Prime Minister knew about the situation, yet he chose to go skiing instead. When he got a bunch of flak for that particular decision in the House, he blamed the Canadian forces.

Will the Prime Minister apologize for denigrating the good reputation of the Canadian forces?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, let us first make one thing perfectly clear. My predecessor attended the funeral of King Hussein. Canada was well and adequately represented at the funeral.

Let us ask a second question. Why is the Alliance Party not allowing the member for Calgary—Nose Hill to stand today to apologize for her outrageous comparison yesterday?

Tax Agreements
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, despite the OECD's condemnation of tax havens, finance ministers of the Americas will not be discussing this issue at their meeting in Toronto.

Since 10 of the 34 FTAA countries are tax havens, does the Prime Minister not realize that a free trade area for capital will facilitate the annual exodus from Canada of several billions of dollars, leaving the full tax burden to be shouldered by citizens like us?

Tax Agreements
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke North
Ontario

Liberal

Roy Cullen Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, nothing could be further from the truth in what the member said here today.

The finance minister and the federal government have been on the leading edge of an OECD initiative that is trying to eliminate harmful tax competition. We also introduced some of the toughest money laundering legislation in parliament last year.

The finance minister is absolutely convinced that we need to have a transparent and fair process, but we also want to eliminate harmful tax competition, make it more transparent, cut down on secrecy and attack those countries that are harbouring tax evaders.

Tax Agreements
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, since it is tax return time, and since the Summit of the Americas is just around the corner, should the Prime Minister not take a position which is clear and reassuring for the people we represent by promising to fight harmful tax practices in the three Americas, contrary to the position announced by the Minister of Finance?

Tax Agreements
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Etobicoke North
Ontario

Liberal

Roy Cullen Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, our position is very clear, as are the positions of the Minister of Finance.

We are on the leading edge. We are involved with the OECD and many countries to eliminate harmful tax competition. We have tough money laundering legislation that passed the House and the Senate. We are on the leading edge of these discussions.

We want to make sure, though, that the process is transparent and fair before we list countries that are not involved in harmful tax competition. The Minister of Finance is leading this charge and we will get to the root of the problem to try to resolve it.

Canada Post
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Joe Peschisolido Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, in March the Minister of National Revenue admitted that customs officials were opening mail coming into Canada. A government bill has just been introduced in the Senate allowing customs officials to open mail leaving Canada.

Why does the Minister of National Revenue want to invade the privacy of Canadians?

Canada Post
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway
B.C.

Liberal

Sophia Leung Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the CCRA is responsible for bringing forth controls on imports and exports. We know there are people taking advantage of our deficiencies in law to control these imports and exports.

We have to exercise more control so that we will not get into trouble with smuggling or illegal products entering Canada.

Canada Post
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Joe Peschisolido Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, controls, entry and exit. As it stands right now, customs officials can read mail coming into Canada. If the government has its way, customs officials will read mail leaving Canada.

The question is very simple. Why does the Minister of National Revenue want to turn the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency into big brother and spy on Canadians' mail?

Canada Post
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway
B.C.

Liberal

Sophia Leung Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, we have the most concern for the safety and security of Canadians. Because we know people are taking advantage of our deficiencies in law and are trying to smuggle in illegal products, such as meat products and others, we need laws. Any products over 30 grams will be examined.

Tourism
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Bonwick Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a question that is actually relevant to Canadians right now. My question is for the Minister of Industry.

In rural ridings like mine of Simcoe—Grey the tourism industry is offering enormous potential for economic prosperity and for opportunities for future generations. The challenge for smaller municipalities is their inability to develop the necessary infrastructure to accelerate growth in this critical industry.

Would the minister tell the House what our government is doing to assist rural communities like mine in developing their tourism base?