House of Commons Hansard #19 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was opposition.

Topics

Budget Surplus
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, in his economic statement yesterday, the Minister of Finance used the same strategy as his predecessor, which was to considerably underestimate the coming budget surplus in order to keep tens of billions of dollars out of the public debate on how it should be used.

Will the Minister of Finance admit that he has deliberately concealed the true figures on the surplus in order to continue to deny the existence of a serious fiscal imbalance between Ottawa and the provinces?

Budget Surplus
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I hope indeed that government revenues will be higher than forecast. I believe this would be a good thing. At any rate, we know the debt level of the provinces is half that of the federal government. When we make payments, like the nearly $9 billion we paid last year, this will reduce the Government of Canada's interest rates by $400 million for this year, next year, and the year after that. The interests of Canadians are well served by this.

Budget Surplus
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, taxes to Ottawa and to Quebec are paid by one and the same individual.

Does the minister not understand that the present fiscal imbalance is the result of individuals paying too much tax to Ottawa compared to the services they get from the federal government, and that a portion of these taxes would be put to far better use if it went to the level of government responsible for health care in particular?

Budget Surplus
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the provincial governments have reduced the taxation level in the provinces, presumably because they decided that the taxpayers were paying too much to their provincial governments.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

More and more otherwise proud citizens are worrying about the value of their Canadians passports these days and with good reason. Canadians citizens are being fingerprinted, photographed, arrested and detained at the U.S. border. Why has the government not filed a formal written complaint to the United States demanding an end to this practice? What is it waiting for?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I told the member in committee this morning we have filed complaints with the United States. As I said to the member and as I have said in the House, a Canadian is a Canadian for all purposes. We maintain that. We maintain it with our American authorities. I have also said that the American authorities will work this out with us in a spirit of neighbourliness.

I wish to report to the House today that I spoke to Mr. Cellucci just before I came here. He informed me that, in the future, Canadians carrying Canadian passports will not be treated any differently depending on where they were born or for any reason whatsoever.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, after weeks of a faint whisper about this trampling of Canadian rights it sounds like we are finally getting somewhere. I want to applaud the minister if in fact he has gained an absolute guarantee that the rights of Canadian citizens will be protected and that our Canadian passport will indeed mean the same thing for all Canadians.

I want to ask the minister if he would report to the House when this practice will be initiated and what guarantee there is to an end to this obscene practice?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, in the first place, the important thing is to say that, as usual, we are working out these matters. It is our common security between Canada and the United States, and we work out these matters together as friends and neighbours.

The American ambassador made it clear that he has spoken with both Mr. Ashcroft and Mr. Powell. They have given firm assurances that this matter will be dealt with by the American administrative authorities in a way that will ensure that the place of birth in a Canadian passport will not in any way affect individuals crossing the border and that all Canadians will be treated as Canadians when travelling on Canadian passports.

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, the House is pleased that our passports will be respected but there are still basic concerns about our security arrangements.

In April CSIS confirmed that it had been monitoring Hezbollah terrorist activity in Canada since at least 1999. That same year in Montreal CSIS questioned Mohamedou Ould Slahi, who recruited two of the terrorist pilots. The week following the September 11 attacks, in response to my question, the Prime Minister said in the House:

--there is no link to any group in Canada with what happened in New York and Washington last week.

Is that still the government's position?

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Malpeque
P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as the member should be aware we have now listed seven entities and are taking the necessary steps to ensure that our efforts are justified and effective. CSIS is doing its job in protecting international security and safety of Canadians, and doing the necessary investigations to see if other listings should come forward. It is working on that matter.

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, in his unauthorized speech to the Toronto Board of Trade the Minister of National Defence said:

I don't know the probability of a terrorist attack in Canada but I do know that it is significantly greater than zero.

My question is to the Prime Minister. Have ministers been briefed on the possibility of a terrorist attack on Canada? If so, why was the Minister of National Defence not among the ministers briefed?

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, like other ministers I have received many briefings about terrorism and the likelihood of attacks. However, it is true that there is not one person on this whole planet who can give us a scientifically accurate probability that such a terrible thing may occur.

Correctional Service Canada
Oral Question Period

October 31st, 2002 / 2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, today the Supreme Court moved from the law courts to the theatre of the absurd. It gave a motorcycle gang member and a prisoner convicted of first degree murder the right to vote in federal elections. In so doing it debased the value of our democratic system and the franchise of every Canadian citizen.

Will the Minister of Justice stand up for Canada and condemn this disgraceful decision?

Correctional Service Canada
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Minister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, first let me totally disassociate myself from the remarks of the hon. member that Supreme Court decisions are disgraceful. This is not the view of people on my side of the House and hopefully not of anyone else.

The decision taken today by the Supreme Court was a split decision, five to four. The government will review this decision and determine to what extent it can legislate in the future. The Supreme Court, as far as I know, did not say that there was no room to legislate, and that is not the same thing that the hon. member is alleging.

Correctional Service Canada
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, I stand by my words that it was a disgraceful decision. Prisoners in penitentiaries choose to commit horrible crimes against their fellow citizens. Providing convicted murderers with the right to vote undermines the legitimacy of government and the rule of law.

Will the Minister of Justice immediately table a constitutional amendment to overturn the effect of this perverse ruling?