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

Electoral System
Oral Question Period

October 3rd, 2003 / 11:25 a.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is funny that so many Liberals are up on their feet today congratulating Mr. McGuinty when it was Mr. Eves--

Electoral System
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Electoral System
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Order, please. Maybe we could just rewind the clock and start over.

The hon. member for Winnipeg—Transcona

Electoral System
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, it was Mr. Eves who linked his agenda to that of the new Liberal leader, not once, but six times. Mr. McGuinty has promised to do in Ontario what the NDP tried to accomplish three days ago in this House, with respect to proportional representation.

Now that Mr. McGuinty is the Premier of Ontario, has the Liberal government changed its mind about a referendum on proportional representation? Or does it think that Mr. McGuinty is wrong-headed on this issue?

Electoral System
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I, too, want to associate my words of congratulations to the new Premier of Ontario with those of the interim leader of the NDP. We are very pleased with Mr. McGuinty's victory. The Government of Canada will work very closely with him for the betterment of Ontarians.

As to his other request, we voted on it a couple of days back.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, the fact is the Liberals voted against what Mr. McGuinty is proposing to do in Ontario.

But I have a question for the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

He will know that the U.S. International Trade Commission came out with its decision today. Unfortunately, it seems that the harassment of Canadian farmers will continue. A good decision on durum but a bad decision on spring wheat.

What does the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food intend to do now to protect Canadian farmers from this continuing unjustified harassment of Canadian exports to the United States?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, we have said prior to this that we would take every step that we possibly could, including launching panels in both NAFTA and WTO if that is seen necessary.

We have very successfully demonstrated in the past that the Canadian Wheat Board works and acts within WTO compliance. We have proven that in the past and I am confident we can prove it in the future.

Infrastructure
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, highway tolls are rising, roads on the Prairies are falling apart, the link to the Vancouver airport is struggling to be financed, there is still a toll on the Trans-Canada Highway in Nova Scotia, and traffic in the City of Calgary has doubled in the past four years.

We have all kinds of transportation problems but they cannot be solved because of the $4.7 billion that the government collects in gas taxes. It is only reinvesting 2.4% back into roads.

My question for the government is, with all the problems that we have in infrastructure and roads, do Canadian taxpayers not deserve a little bit better than 2.4% being put into roads?

Infrastructure
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we would have thought that the hon. member would have acknowledged the nearly $8 billion that the government has put into infrastructure in the last 10 years. It is infrastructure that has been improved: it is roads, it is sewage capacity, and it is water systems.

It is everything that is of concern to Canadians. I hope that the hon. member will acknowledge what we have done and congratulate us for the investments we have made.

Infrastructure
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, I will acknowledge what the government calls infrastructure, which includes a canoe museum in the Prime Minister's riding. That is not exactly the infrastructure Canadians are looking for.

In 2002 B.C. motorists gave Ottawa $1.1 billion in gas taxes. In return it gave British Columbia $37 million. That is 3%.

Mayors Joe Trasolini, Ralph Drew, John Kingsbury and other mayors from across British Columbia need more money for the transportation infrastructure in Canada's fastest growing procine. The former Liberal finance minister had 10 years, 9 budgets and a majority government to deliver. He failed.

Why does British Columbia have to constantly wait for the government to ante up and give our province the money it needs to grow for the future?

Infrastructure
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member from B.C has forgotten the investments we have made on the Trans-Canada Highway in his province.

He has forgotten the investments we have made with the expansion of the cruise facilities and convention centre in Vancouver. He has forgotten about the commitment we have made to a rapid transit line to Vancouver airport. These are all infrastructure projects in his own province.

If he does not know what is going on in his own province, how can he come here and lecture the government?

Former Privacy Commissioner
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General is categorical: George Radwanski's contract was negotiated and approved by the Privy Council Office. The position of head of the Privy Council is an honorary position. A handbook signed by the Prime Minister confirms that appointments are made by his office. And finally, Eddie Goldenberg said he never got involved.

If that is so, we would like to know who in the Prime Minister's Office negotiated the appointment and hiring conditions of George Radwanski.

Former Privacy Commissioner
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated yesterday, Mr. Radwanski's appointment was put to a vote in this House. Of course, the appointment was proposed by the government, as we know. This was done through an order in council. Then we had a debate followed by a vote in this House, both of which are duly recorded in the House of Commons Debates .

Former Privacy Commissioner
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, it would appear that neither the Treasury Board, nor the Privy Council, or the Prime Minister's Office or the Prime Minister's adviser, Eddie Goldenberg, authorized the extension of benefits granted to George Radwanski.

Are we to understand that the decision ultimately came from the Prime Minister himself?

Former Privacy Commissioner
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I do not know what extension the hon. member is referring to. If she is talking about the housing allowance, there is an optional housing allowance available to senior officials in the public service who are from out of town and who temporarily relocate to Ottawa. This is not the first time it was granted. Other officers of Parliament have enjoyed similar benefits in the past.