House of Commons Hansard #141 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was heritage.

Topics

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Lanctôt Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, in his defence, the Prime Minister said these were personal funds. This is so damning and incredible that I would like the Prime Minister to tell me whether he recognizes that he has not only a duty but also a moral obligation to substantiate his claim.

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, has this country become a place where people are presumed guilty? I think not.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, according to an Alliance Order Paper question, the government claims that its new leader's companies only received $137,000 in public money since 1993. The minister has had 24 hours to explain the discrepancy.

What is today's excuse for this $20 million difference between the government's answer and the actual truth?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I believe that question was asked a little earlier today. What we have here is a question by the hon. member for Edmonton Southwest.

This was a broad based question involving a number of crown corporations, all of them, I believe, agencies and departments. This morning, I asked officials from the Privy Council Office for a re-examination of the entire question as I indicated about half an hour ago to those who were listening. If there are new facts to be added, I will gladly report them to the House as soon as they are made available to me.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, these are amazing coincidences.

First, the former finance minister, the new Liberal leader, signed a false declaration of assets. Somehow the ethics counsellor missed that, did not realize it was no longer on there, and the government did not catch it, no one caught it except the official opposition.

Next, we get a false answer from the government on an issue dealing with his assets and how they are intertwined with the government. It is looking more and more like this is a cover-up.

My question is, why the coincidence? Why does this keep happening when it comes down to a sensitive political issue like the new Liberal leader's ties to the government?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the procedural issues related to answering the Order Paper question will be responded to through the process that the House leader has described.

In the meantime, it is important to note that my department, pursuing ongoing transparency, has an agency called Contracts Canada which routinely posts information about government contracts.

In fact, the information that the hon. gentleman was complaining about was contained on that public website.

Housing
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Julian Reed Halton, ON

Mr. Speaker, now for a change of pace.

With the impact of climate change, we know that reducing our greenhouse gas emissions is important, but what is more important for Canadians is how they can save money in the process.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources tell the House how Canadians can access the EnerGuide for Houses retrofit incentive?

Housing
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Nunavut
Nunavut

Liberal

Nancy Karetak-Lindell Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I wish to thank the hon. member for his question.

We are encouraging Canadians to use the EnerGuide for Houses evaluation to help plan those renovations that make good economic sense. Canadians will save every year on heating costs and also reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

To obtain a grant, homeowners should request a free EnerGuide for Houses retrofit evaluation from a licensed service provider. The list is on our website at energuideforhouses.gc.ca, or by calling 1-800-387-2000.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Pallister Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, over the last decade the Liberal government has overcharged working Canadians by $45 billion on their EI premiums, and it has used it as a slush fund.

The finance minister and his predecessor's phony surpluses have come at the expense of the picked pockets of working families. One-third of this year's so called surplus is really EI overcharges.

Will the finance minister admit that he and his predecessor have overcharged working Canadians by tens of billions of dollars on their EI premiums?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to admit today that, for the year ending March 31, 2003, we had a surplus of $7 billion. We are the only G-7 country to still be in a surplus.

That surplus has gone to pay down the debt. Since we moved into surplus, the government has paid down over $52 billion of our accumulated debt. That is good news for all households in Canada and all Canadians deserve to be congratulated for their effort in making this happen.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Pallister Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, the minister tries to take credit for overtaxing working and low income Canadians by $45 billion.

Halloween is not until next week and he is already dressed up. He is dressed up in the disguise of a good manager, but under that disguise there is a pirate there, just like the previous finance minister, trying to take credit for stealing money from working Canadians.

Does Long John Silver--

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I am sure the hon. member for Portage--Lisgar would not want to suggest that anybody is stealing money, even pirates. The hon. member for Portage--Lisgar has the floor. We will stick with the pirates and avoid the stealing.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Pallister Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, let me use a euphemism and say dutifully misappropriating $45 billion from working Canadians.

Does Long John Silver over there believe that a $45 billion EI overcharge belongs to Canadians or does he think it is his personal buried treasure?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, not only are we the only G-7 country with a surplus, but we have reversed decades of overspending. In fact, members of the opposition just appropriated a political party and drove the accumulated debt from $140 billion to almost $500 billion. That is part of their legacy.

I think good management is a good thing. As we move forward Canadians will recognize the benefit of the $100 billion in tax reductions that we gave them. They will see that we have repaid the debt, brought down our debt to GDP ratio, and they will thank us with a big majority.