House of Commons Hansard #143 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was veterans.

Topics

Transport
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jim Gouk Kootenay—Boundary—Okanagan, BC

Mr. Speaker, the $692.5 million announced by the Minister of Transport is nothing more than a thinly disguised down payment on a multi-billion dollar high-speed rail boondoggle. We know the minister went through cabinet, but that cabinet will not be in place in 2004.

Has the minister consulted with the incoming Liberal leader about the future spending commitment?

Transport
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the announcement today follows on the policy of the government for the last five years to revitalize passenger rail. There was general support for this on all sides of the House over the past number of years.

The deliberations on this announcement have gone on for about 18 months. We felt it was only right that a future government make a commitment to such a large expenditure as VIA Fast, but the work that will be done under this program will certainly facilitate VIA Fast at a later date.

I would like to thank my colleagues in my party and in cabinet for all the support they have given on this venture.

Transport
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jim Gouk Kootenay—Boundary—Okanagan, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian taxpayers have shelled out $3 billion for VIA Rail since the Liberals took office, exclusive of this new funding announcement. That works out to $10 million per riding. That is money that those ridings should have had go to things like hospitals, highways and their civic infrastructure instead of taking that money out of those ridings.

How much longer can the Canadian taxpayers be expected to subsidize the transport minister's personal rail fetish?

Transport
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the announcement today and the announcement of a few years ago of $401.2 million flowed from a unanimous report of the transport committee in the House of Commons that called for the revitalization of passenger rail.

I cannot understand why we are being accused of not following Parliament's will. I think Canadians want good passenger rail.

Part of today's announcement will refurbish the western transcontinental fleet that will serve the hon. member's province.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the close ties the industry minister and his cabinet colleagues have maintained with the Irving family make them more tolerant toward oil companies.

Are we to understand that the reluctance of the Minister of Industry to launch an inquiry into dubious practices involving oil companies, such as the preferential treatment the cabinet is preparing to give major polluters under the Kyoto protocol, can be explained by ministerial ties to the Irving oil companies?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell Secretary of State (Rural Development) (Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario)

Mr. Speaker, quite frankly, that is absolute nonsense. The Competition Bureau will do investigations as people bring up issues surrounding the price of gas. That has always happened in the past and it will continue to happen in the future.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, first there was the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Defence, then the Minister of Industry, then the Minister of Labour, and now we find that the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans was also a guest of the Irving family.

Are they trying to tell us there was a Liberal cabinet meeting on the banks of the Restigouche River?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it has already been agreed that the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans has the right to visit people in his riding. Does the hon. member believe that it is unacceptable for a minister, who is also a member of Parliament, to visit anyone who is a shareholder in his riding? Some constituents are also important employees.

Airline Industry
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, the International Air Transport Association notes that landing fees at Toronto's Pearson airport have increased 300% since 1997. Toronto's landing fees are now 50% higher than those in Hong Kong, which airport was built on a man-made island, and four times that of London Heathrow.

On April 11 the transport committee across all parties unanimously demanded that the government suspend airport rents across this country to help the air industry survive.

If the government can find $700 million for corporate welfare for a train boondoggle, why can it not find $200 million to help the air industry by relieving airport rents?

Airline Industry
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

I should explain, Mr. Speaker, that all these airport authorities entered into negotiations in good faith with the federal government and knew full well that airport rents had to be paid. That is the first point.

The second point is that we have been reviewing the regime because we have been concerned as to whether it has been fair in the long run, and that is now before cabinet. I have some particular concerns with aspects of the rental policy of the national airports policy and I would hope that my colleagues will make some changes.

The significant amount of money involved really would be a budgetary item and would have to be considered by the Minister of Finance in a subsequent budget.

Airline Industry
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, the transport minister announced $700 million in VIA Rail funding despite the fact that there is no money in this year's budget in order to finance his fetish for trains.

The minister's refusal to bring a concrete proposal on high speed rail and the money required for it will find him no friends in the transport committee and will probably not find him as a cabinet minister of the next Liberal leader. Like the Prime Minister, he will not be a major player in the next government. If he wants to be remembered favourably, he should put his toy trains away and focus on the real transport issues of this country.

Why is he persistently and constantly putting the rail industry ahead of all--

Airline Industry
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Transport.

Airline Industry
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I am not going to get into the silly rhetoric of the hon. member, but I would like to point out that in the last couple of years the government has made significant investments, in particular, in the air industry, not just passenger rail.

On the war risk liability, we have saved the industry $100 million. There was a $100 million payment after 9/11. There was $35 million for the cockpit doors to be refitted. It was a $72 million saving to the airlines for air screening at airports. We have done a lot for the air industry and other transportation industries, as well we should, but we do not apologize for helping the rail industry.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

October 24th, 2003 / 11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Roy Cullen Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

In my riding of Etobicoke North, in an attractive residential area known as Thistletown, many very old and majestic trees are being threatened by a pest known as the Asian longhorned beetle. Affected trees will have to be cut down, but healthy trees could be saved by safely injecting them with the insecticide Imidacloprid. This product was successfully used as part of an overall eradication strategy in the city of Chicago.

Could the minister advise the House if a similar strategy will be used in Thistletown and when will Imidacloprid be available for use on trees in Canada?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, we are all very disappointed that the Asian longhorned beetle has infested parts of the metro Toronto area.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is preparing an application to the Pest Management Regulatory Agency in the Ministry of Health for registration for the use of this chemical in this situation. If it is registered, it will be part of an integrated approach to the eradication of the Asian longhorned beetle in the Toronto area and in Canada.