House of Commons Hansard #3 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was iraq.

Topics

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

John Herron Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the environment minister told the House that Canada would meet the targets set out by Kyoto. Yet in La Presse yesterday the minister said Canada will likely ratify yet at the end of the day not meet the target. Enron had Andersen Accounting and look where that got it.

Is the Prime Minister prepared to ask the House to vote on a target that his own minister admits the government does not intend to honour?

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the targets are well known and we have 10 years to meet the targets. In the past we moved on things like acid rain. It was supposed to be an awful problem and we dealt with it at a lower cost than predicted, and everybody was happy.

It was the same thing some years ago concerning the lead in gasoline. Everybody said if we were to force the industry to take out the lead the industry would collapse. Now there is no more lead in gasoline and the oil companies are not on welfare yet.

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Charlie Penson Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister made a lot of spending promises in Monday's throne speech. However he made no similar promises about holding the line on taxes. Yesterday he even hinted he may raise taxes to pay for health care. Instead of considering increasing taxes like the GST or some other dedicated tax for health care, the government needs to get control of its spending addiction.

Will the Minister of Finance assure Canadians that he will not be raising taxes to pay for all these promises, and will he bring down a fall budget to lay out his plans?

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it has been the record of the government to lower taxes.

In fact, the announcement we made in October 2000 on tax reduction was a $100 billion package over five years, the largest tax reduction package in this country's history; of that, $20 billion of tax reductions in this year alone. I do not know what the hon. member is worrying about.

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Charlie Penson Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadian travellers and air traffic would certainly know what I am referring to. There is a tax that has been put on that.

Canadian taxpayers deserve to know how the government intends to carry out financing all these programs. The government does not have a revenue problem. It has not had a revenue problem for a long time, but it has a spending problem, a spending addiction. That is the Prime Minister's real legacy, a spending problem.

Why does the finance minister think it is appropriate to keep Canadians in the dark for four or five months before he brings down a budget to tell us how he will pay for these programs?

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, this spending problem is so grave that our spending as a percentage of GDP is at the level it was in the early 1950s. Our spending problem is so grave that we are the only G-7 country that is running a surplus this year and next year.

Our spending problem is such an addiction that we are the only G-7 country to be posting a 3.5% growth rate this year and probably next year. If the member is in the dark I do not know what I can do about it.

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, if there is to be fair and effective implementation of the Kyoto protocol, there must be unity of thought and of action. Yet the Minister of Health has come out against it and the Minister of Industry gives it only lip service support.

Does the Prime Minister feel that his cabinet is putting forth the unity that is necessary for ratification and implementation of the Kyoto protocol?

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Yes, Mr. Speaker.

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Yet, Mr. Speaker, the ministers of health and natural resources oppose it, the industry minister is ambivalent, and the presumed successor to the Prime Minister is keeping mum.

Does the Prime Minister realize that his leadership problem is putting a damper on his intention to ratify Kyoto? In other words, does the Prime Minister agree that, in actual fact, it is the member for LaSalle—Émard who is pulling the strings, and his position on this is not known?

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, my party caucus is very much in favour of Kyoto. I have received petitions from MPs, and they have spoken to me about this for some years. I have listened to the caucus. They have been raising this for years, and we are now moving on it.

Government Expenditures
Oral Question Period

October 2nd, 2002 / 2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gerry Ritz Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Public Works said that the purchases of Challenger jets and maritime helicopters are “quite different transactions”. I guess they are, because one is done and the other one is not.

However today we have learned his officials briefed the minister weeks in advance of the Challengers being ordered, that in fact the two purchases were definitely linked; linked in such a way that could result in more legal action against the questionable purchasing methods of his government.

Will the minister now admit that he has no idea about proper procurement practices or was he simply misleading the House yesterday?

Government Expenditures
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the opposition has certainly tried to draw a linkage between the two transactions, but in fact they are quite different.

In one case it is a purchase of two aircraft; in the other case it is a purchase of 28 aircraft that would increase the fleet by a full two-thirds. In one case the contract value is $100 million or perhaps less; in the other case it is well over some billions of dollars.

In one case it is for a fairly simple task in terms of executive travel; in the other case it is a very complex task associated with the defence of the country. They are entirely different.

Government Expenditures
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gerry Ritz Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, to the minister it is a numbers game but to taxpayers it is about priorities; which one do we actually need? Let me quote from Deputy Minister Cochrane's memo:

If the federal government cannot afford more for funding health care, how can it afford new planes while the old ones are still operational?

How could the minister possibly justify the extravagant purchase of new jets to the growing number of Canadians on waiting lists for health care?

Government Expenditures
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, any government at any moment in time has a whole range of priorities that have to be addressed.

In the case of health care, in the year 2000 the Prime Minister reached an historic accord with all of the premiers. The Government of Canada invested $23 billion in the short term. The Romanow commission was appointed to look at the long term. Romanow will report in November. The Prime Minister will hold a first ministers conference at the beginning of next year and the appropriate funding provisions will be provided in the next budget.

Supply Management
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Louis Plamondon Bas-Richelieu—Nicolet—Bécancour, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister for International Trade. Yesterday, the minister said that he was firmly committed to supporting the supply management system.

However, a memo, which involves three departments and which was submitted to cabinet by very senior officials, proposed, as a strategy, that the supply management system be used as a bargaining chip in future WTO negotiations.

Can the Minister for International Trade assure us that this strategy has been totally ruled out and that making any kind of compromise in this area is out of the question?