House of Commons Hansard #133 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was human.

Topics

Infrastructure
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gerry Ritz Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, when the smell of fresh asphalt is in the air, it must be election time in Canada.

For 10 years the phantom Prime Minister imposed tax after tax on gasoline. Then he had the audacity to add GST on top of that. Of the $5 billion he hoarded every year, less than 2.5% leaked into road construction between elections.

Is the present finance minister prepared to reverse this rip-off today, or is he just the new front man in these pre-election games?

Infrastructure
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, it seems that the Alliance is obsessed with Liberal leadership, and with good reason because we will be changing leaders, and we will go to victory in next year's election.

However, I want to talk about more current leadership and that is the leadership that Dalton McGuinty gave last night in ending eight years of darkness for the people of Ontario. That is what he should know about.

Infrastructure
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gerry Ritz Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, I am sure that within the year Mr. McGuinty will have his own feuds with the finance minister over there too.

The Liberal concerns for infrastructure peak in the months preceding an election and then conveniently fade away. It proves the point made by H.L. Mencken, who the finance minister loves to quote, when he said, “and every election is sort of an advance auction sale of stolen goods”. Nothing could be truer. Roads and bridges take years to build and need regular upkeep.

Why does the Liberal government always ignore these facts between elections?

Infrastructure
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, official opposition members want to give us lectures on infrastructure, and its members are clapping that. They are in no position to give any lectures on any subject. They cannot even get their amalgamation with the Tories straight. They cannot even get their own leadership straight.

As a member from Ontario I hope they get together and that Mike Harris becomes their leader so the people of Canada can do to Mike Harris what Dalton McGuinty did to Ernie Eves last night.

Official Languages
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, this week, the President of the Treasury Board demonstrated how badly she has been overtaken by events in the Radwanski affair. The same incompetence is evident when it comes to official languages.

In point of fact, how was the President of the Treasury Board able to ignore the alarming signs of non-respect for the Official Languages Act in the recent annual reports of the Department of National Defence?

Official Languages
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I am extremely aware of the importance of official languages. As an anglophone Montrealer myself, I know the importance of speaking both languages and being able to teach in both languages, for instance at the l'Université du Québec à Montréal.

You can be absolutely assured that I am completely and formally committed to substantially improving the linguistic performance of members of the Canadian Forces.

Official Languages
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will preface my question to the President of the Treasury Board with this quote, “National Defence, like the 182 other institutions subject to the Official Languages Act, must report to the Treasury Board Secretariat each year.” I was not the one who wrote that; it was Diane Allard, Special Assistant to the President of the Treasury Board for official languages.

In the latest report, it is clear: at National Defence, they do not respect the law. How does the President of the Treasury Board intend to go about doing her job and enforcing the law? I address my question to her.

Official Languages
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I have just said that I am extremely serious about the importance of official languages, particularly in my own department.

Specifically, I have made a commitment to do certain things, including incorporating language skills into performance evaluations for senior military staff, increasing the number of bilingual positions staffed with qualified incumbents by 15% over the next three years, and much more, but I am out of time.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Roy H. Bailey Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, veterans' widows and indeed the general public are aware that the government is now giving some consideration to making changes in the veterans independence program.

If these changes are made and if they are presented to Parliament, the government can rest assured that this House and the Canadian Alliance will give swift approval.

Can the acting Prime Minister advise the House when we can expect to be made aware of these changes that will treat all war widows equally?

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Oshawa
Ontario

Liberal

Ivan Grose Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as we have said in this House before, we did what we could within our budget. This department stays within its budget.

Is the member opposite suggesting that possibly because we could not look after all the widows we should look after none?

If, as, and when this question comes before the House, we will address it at that time.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Roy H. Bailey Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, a ray of hope has been given to these veterans' widows and the public in general through the media.

Can the government confirm today that the necessary changes are forthcoming in an expedient manner, allowing war widows to have their share of their deserving benefits prior to November 11 of this year?

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Oshawa
Ontario

Liberal

Ivan Grose Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, let me assure the member opposite that it is a priority item with this department. It was a priority item. That is why we addressed it as well as we could. It will continue to be a priority item with this department.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Peterborough, ON

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

I have heard that Mexico has reopened its border to Canadian beef products.

Will the minister bring us up to date on this? When will shipments start and are there similar opportunities in other countries?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for Peterborough for his involvement and engagement on this and other issues for his agriculture constituency.

Yes, we are very pleased that the country of Mexico has opened its borders to boneless beef. This will now allow certificates to be granted and shipments started to Mexico. It is our second largest trading country. That will add to what we have already shipped to the United States, this month's certificates, 35 million pounds. We are looking forward in the near future to making similar announcements for countries such as the Philippines, Russia and others.

Pharmaceutical Industry
Oral Question Period

October 3rd, 2003 / 11:40 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

André Bachand Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, in connection with the current review, all the members agree that developing countries must have access to cheaper versions of patented drugs to fight AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. However, standard procedures must be followed, with indepth consideration of this proposal by the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology.

Given the Minister of Industry's history with generic drug companies, what type of legislative agenda will he propose to the House? Will he use this opportunity to help his friends at generic drug companies or will he implement real measures to help the poor and the sick?