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

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Prince George—Peace River.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, what I am suggesting is the government should have given our troops and our commanders over there more lightly armoured vehicles so they did not have to use these damned jeeps.

The minister has said he receives daily briefings on the events in Afghanistan. Has the investigation into yesterday's tragic deaths of two of our soldiers yet revealed if the explosion was caused by a pressure activated mine or a remotely detonated bomb? Regardless of which it was, can he guarantee that our troops on the ground in Afghanistan have all the appropriate protection that they need?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I have said many times that the government will spare neither money nor effort to ensure that the army has what the army deems necessary. The army and the deputy chief of the defence staff have informed me on several occasions that, yes indeed, they are well equipped.

The commander stated at the time that this was a relatively low risk area because the road had been cleared 24 hours earlier. Indeed, vehicles had passed safely on this road two hours before the explosion. Therefore the fact is the commanders deemed this to be a relatively low risk area. Sadly and tragically, it turned out not to be the case.

Canadian Grand Prix
Oral Question Period

October 3rd, 2003 / 11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, La Presse reports that the Montreal Grand Prix is some $5 to $7 million US short of the $30 million needed to survive.

Normand Legault, all those involved in Formula 1, RDS, and the Government of Quebec are all prepared to make a financial contribution to enable the race to go on without any tobacco sponsorship—everyone, that is, except the federal government.

Since the target figure is so close to being reached, and the private sector is prepared to foot most of the bill, will the federal government listen to us at last and invest the few million still needed to save the Montreal Grand Prix and the $80 million annually in economic spinoffs that go with it?

Canadian Grand Prix
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

I should begin, Mr. Speaker, by pointing out that the Canadian government made its position very clear concerning the Tobacco Act, and has reinforced its message that it was vital that the legislation apply here, and that it was a matter of public health.

That said, the matter of having a brand-free race has been the issue right from the start of the discussions. As we speak, we are well aware that Mr. Legault has held discussions with the Formula 1 people and Mr. Ecclestone about a funding structure. Let us allow them to finalize that structure, and then we will determine our position.

Canadian Grand Prix
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, so much for any leadership from the Minister of Justice.

According to the La Presse article, the Minister of Justice has indicated to Bernie Ecclestone that the federal government has the money the Grand Prix needs to survive and to protect the $80 million in spinoffs. Clearly, what is lacking on the other side of the floor is not money but political will.

While Normand Legault is busy consolidating the funding, why is the Minister of Justice, who has the money, still refusing to send a message to the private sector by committing the few million needed to save the Montreal Grand Prix?

Canadian Grand Prix
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, regardless of the $80 million in economic spinoffs, the fundamental character of the event remains unchanged.

The Formula 1 Montreal Grand Prix is vital to Montreal, Quebec and the rest of Canada as well.

That said, Mr. Legault is working at this time with the Formula 1 people, and in fact met with Mr. Ecclestone this very day. They are working on the financial arrangements. Having a brand-free race is one that has been suggested right from the start. We need to let them finish their work; then we will see what request they make to the Canadian government.

Canadian Grand Prix
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, on September 29, the Secretary of State responsible for Canada Economic Development said that there was no question at this time of the government investing in the Montreal Grand Prix unless the private sector did the same.

Given that the private sector is prepared to get on board, and solutions are coming from all sides, except from the federal government, can we at least get a commitment today that the government will do its part to make up for the shortfall?

Canadian Grand Prix
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, to repeat the latter part of my answer earlier, a few years ago, when we talked about changing the legislation, it was the people on this side of the House who managed to get the change. It was the people from our Liberal caucus who got the change. Why? Because we believe in the fundamental impact of the Canadian Grand Prix.

The first phase is over, in other words, the principle of the bill, or the application of the bill. Now we are discussing the possibility of having a race without trademarks. Let us look at the financing package, and then the Canadian government will reconsider its position.

Canadian Grand Prix
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, while Mr. Legault is in London to save the Montreal Grand Prix, why does the government not provide him with one more trump card in negotiating with the private sector by promising to do its part to save the Montreal Grand Prix?

Canadian Grand Prix
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, there are currently no players who have taken a firm position with respect to figures. We have basically heard from Mr. Ecclestone, who talked about millions of dollars. We also know that he may be able to invest some money in the Canadian Grand Prix.

Mr. Legault is currently in the process of meeting his counterparts. He has also spoken to Mr. Ecclestone. They are preparing a financing package. Before doing anything, we will have to see what Mr. Legault has to say after meeting with his counterparts, to see what the financing package would be and then determine what the Canadian government's position could be.

Our position seems entirely reasonable, and it has always been a position of leadership.

Government Assistance
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of National Defence said that “now is not the time to be dealing with money”, in relation to disaster assistance for Nova Scotia.

Meanwhile, in Halifax, the member for LaSalle—Émard, the Prime Minister-in-waiting, said Ottawa must respond quickly with disaster funding.

With unpaid claims, outstanding for four previous disasters in Nova Scotia, dating back to hurricane Hortense in 1999, will the minister tell the House when exactly is a good time to be dealing with the money?

Government Assistance
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, it sounds like the hon. member prepared his question in advance and did not take account of the answer I gave to the earlier question.

As I just said, I have asked my department to give me very quickly the answer concerning my question as to whether we can make advance payments to the provinces. I do understand the urgency of the situation and I would very much like to be in a position to make such advance payments.

Government Assistance
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, that is cold comfort for Nova Scotians and the Nova Scotia government that has been waiting since 1999 for the federal government to pay the unpaid bills.

There is a double standard at play. Internal government problems with HRDC or the privacy commissioner go unchecked, while the provinces which have suffered disasters are subjected to shamelessly lengthy audits.

Will the government commit to the immediate payment of the four outstanding claims from Nova Scotia and make an advance payment for this week's disaster, the fifth to hit the province in five years?

Government Assistance
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the reason why I am moving in the direction of advance payments is that I understand that it takes some time to do the auditing.

We also have to wait for the province to develop its programs and then for the federal government to get involved. It is a bilateral affair involving provincial and federal initiatives. It does take time.

I want to speed up the process as a whole. But in the meantime, I am looking at making advance payments.