House of Commons Hansard #60 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was mechanics.

Topics

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Mississauga South
Ontario

Liberal

Paul Szabo Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, let me repeat. First, Groupaction is a qualified advertising firm. Sixteen agencies competed or were granted qualification after a competition. The particular contract involved was amended from evaluation and identification to simply identification of sponsorship opportunities. That is exactly what Groupaction did on behalf of the Government of Canada in accordance with the contract as amended.

Monetary Union
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Finance wondered why Quebec's referendum legislation of 1995 suggested that, following a vote in favour of Quebec's sovereignty, the Canadian dollar would remain the currency used in that province.

There were two reasons for this: first, the dollar belongs to Quebecers as much as it belongs to Canadians and, second, this legislation provided that the Canadian dollar would be the currency having legal tender in Quebec following a yes vote.

Since then, the world situation has evolved. There was the Euro currency and now the FTAA issue. The only one in Canada who has not evolved is the Minister of Finance.

I would like him to tell me why he is so stubborn and narrow-minded that he will not even consider having a single currency for the three Americas?

Monetary Union
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Etobicoke North
Ontario

Liberal

Roy Cullen Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it is the hon. member for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot who, at the meeting with the Governor of the Bank of Canada, said “Mr. Governor, it is not the floating system I object to, far from it. I think it is the right way to go”.

Also, Mr. Dodge said that in the context of a common currency, Canada would have absolutely no influence on North America's monetary policy.

Why does the sovereignist party want to transfer our monetary sovereignty to Washington?

Monetary Union
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is because the Governor of the Bank of Canada has no power to determine the value of the Canadian dollar, or interest rates. He is already doing what Washington does.

Therefore, why does the government persist in keeping a minor currency, which is the victim of speculators, which in turn creates instability in business planning, while everywhere else in the three Americas, they are talking about a possible single currency?

Even the Governor of the Bank of Canada agrees. Yesterday, Thomas Courchene described those who are not thinking about this issue now as dinosaurs.

Monetary Union
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Etobicoke North
Ontario

Liberal

Roy Cullen Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we really do know the motivation of the Bloc to attack the dollar. The dollar is a pillar of Canada and a signal of Canadian unity.

For the member to insult our dollar in the way that he has is an insult to Canadians. Our dollar has in fact been strong against every other currency and has done better against the U.S. dollar than many other currencies.

I would remind the member that the government has said that it is committed to a sovereign Canadian dollar and we will stick to that.

The Economy
Oral Question Period

May 11th, 2001 / 11:40 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ken Epp Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, in giving testimony to the finance committee yesterday, several of Canada's leading economists suggested that the current surplus position of the government gives it a perfect opportunity to make fundamental, needed changes to the tax system. This would promote investment, employment and economic growth.

Will the government use this opportunity to strengthen our productivity, economy and investment and thereby improve the status of our lowly Canadian dollar?

The Economy
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Etobicoke North
Ontario

Liberal

Roy Cullen Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I would like to clarify some of the numbers that have been thrown around in the House.

In regard to the year in question, where some have questioned whether we would go into deficit, I should point out that this government and this finance minister have been very strong in building in prudence. In fact in that year there is $6.5 billion of fiscal cushion.

If we look at the red book commitments, over four years they are $5.9 billion. We do not have a problem with any deficits. In fact many economists were cited here in the House earlier. Tax reform is maybe something down the road, but we do not have any problem with deficits moving forward.

The Economy
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ken Epp Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, I guess that shows the flaw of reading the answer to the question he thought I would ask.

Integrating earned income with dividend income for tax purposes is a very necessary measure. This is an ideal time to do this since it can be done with tax cuts rather than with tax increases. Will the minister do this?

The Economy
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Etobicoke North
Ontario

Liberal

Roy Cullen Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, again we have the other side of the House wanting their cake and eating it too. They want us to deal with any looming, alleged deficits and yet want us to cut taxes as well.

Canadian productivity has actually been picking up in the last couple of years. We have set the fiscal climate: We are cutting taxes, we are paying down the debt and the business community is responding. In fact investment in machines and equipment and investment in some of the high technology equipment is happening at a very strong pace and our productivity will keep that upward track.

I think those members should have more confidence in the Canadian economy than they have in their leader.

Health
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Jeannot Castonguay Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, as we can see on Parliament Hill, the tourist season has begun. Many Canadians will also be travelling overseas and Canadians can expect overseas visitors.

With this in mind, would the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food tell the House what the government is doing to enhance public awareness of the need to prevent foot and mouth disease from entering the country?

Health
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Hastings—Frontenac—Lennox And Addington
Ontario

Liberal

Larry McCormick Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I certainly agree with the hon. member that it is extremely important for our federal government to remain vigilant in our efforts to keep Canada free of foot and mouth disease. We have all seen on television how this disease has ravaged the livestock industry in the European Union and around the world.

Our government has launched a public awareness campaign to engage the support and the co-operation of all Canadians, particularly the travelling public, in this very important effort. Our campaign includes an announcement that will air on television, a video to be shown on international airlines and a brochure to educate people. We ask for the co-operation of all Canadians on this very important issue.

Government Of Canada
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am sure we all remember the last great Liberal task force on western alienation. That really nipped the problem in the bud, did it not? Now we have one on urban affairs. Meanwhile, the infrastructure in our cities is crumbling as municipalities try to cope with essential services such as public transit, clean water, sewage treatment and housing.

Why will the Minister of the Environment not commit to a real plan of action to help our municipalities with sustainable development instead of hiding behind yet another useless Liberal task force.

Government Of Canada
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I am disappointed that the hon. member appears unaware of a $2 billion federal contribution to the third infrastructure program, which will of course by matched by a provincial contribution of $2 billion and a municipal contribution of $2 billion.

Certainly there are many things that need to be done but we believe in allowing municipalities to choose their own priorities, unlike her leader who thinks they all should be top down. We think we should be bottom up from municipalities.

If there is a further need, the government, if indeed revenues are available, will undoubtedly consider how the program continues in the future.

Government Of Canada
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the much touted infrastructure program has everything in it but the kitchen sink. With no funds to match, I might add, municipalities are forced into the impossible situation of having to choose between housing, public transit or clean water.

I will ask again. If the government is committed to the sustainability of our cities and infrastructure, why is there not a real plan instead of just another task force? Where is the plan to do that over a long period of time?

Government Of Canada
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member served on a municipal council for some years before her election. This patronizing approach that we know best here in Ottawa about everything across the country and in every municipality is wrong. It is wrong headed. We do not agree with that.

We think we should provide a national program which assists municipalities in every part of the country to choose their own priorities. She does not believe they are capable of choosing priorities but we do. We think they understand local problems.