House of Commons Hansard #147 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was provinces.

Topics

Quebec
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I think the member for Trois-Rivières ought to leave this House, since he has said he is not a Canadian, not a citizen of Canada. Yet he is one when it comes to getting paid.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Anders Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am not a Liberal, but a British defence study on operations in Iraq states that the low level of U.K. casualties is a reflection of the outstanding protection afforded by its Challenger tanks.

In June 2003 the chief of the Australian army stated, “The risk of casualties...would be unacceptable” without tanks”.

A French army spokesperson said that the invasion of Iraq “confirmed the absolutely key role played by a land army with heavy armour...in winning a war.”

Why is Canada going in the opposite direction of our allies?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I am receiving conflicting advice. In one corner I have General Hillier, the head of the army and the next commander of ISAF, the first Canadian lieutenant-general to lead an international mission since the Suez crisis, who described tanks as a millstone around his neck.

In the other corner I have the hon. member, the only member of the House to oppose Nelson Mandela as an honourary citizen of Canada, who says the opposite.

I ask you, Mr. Speaker, which of these two sources would you believe?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Anders Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, he should quit listening to Liberals.

Canada is joining with Iceland and Luxembourg as the only NATO countries without tanks. The scheme of the Minister of National Defence to scrap our tanks runs contrary to the plans of our allies. Terrorists, armed with rocket propelled grenades and landmines, will be able to threaten the lives of Canadian soldiers.

Will the minister admit that the Strykers are more vulnerable to attacks from rocket propelled grenades and landmines than are tanks?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member continues to speak nonsense. This is not my plan for the army, I am accelerating the plan. It is the army's plan. As General Hillier also said yesterday, the best tanks in the world, sitting in Edmonton and Val Cartier, are useless to our soldiers in Kabul.

The army itself told me it did not want tanks in Afghanistan. The army itself said that it would be fantastic if it could have the Stryker. It is clear from the army that we are definitely on the right track.

The Economy
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister, who is surprised that his laissez-faire attitude toward the behaviour of his ministers while vacationing at a fishing lodge is a cause for concern, was told by the World Economic Forum that Canada's ranking for competitiveness has dropped from 9th to 16th place in the world because of patronage in government decision making, which undermines investor confidence.

Will the Prime Minister review his position and take appropriate steps to discipline his ministers and earn his salary?

The Economy
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the separatists are a little touchy right now. It is true that they are in trouble in Quebec. But coming back to the question, this gives me the opportunity, in connection with the article in the papers this morning about productivity, to seek the consent of the House to table a letter from the chief executive officer of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, Thomas d'Aquino.

He wrote Klaus Schwab protesting very strongly about this absolutely unacceptable statement made based on very little fundamental information.

The Economy
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, it does not sit well with the Prime Minister that the international economic community is criticizing Canada because of his lax attitude as Prime Minister.

Should he not realize that his attitude is affecting the perception of Canada's economic health? Has the time not come for him to discipline those ministers who do not abide by the ethics rules?

The Economy
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I just said that very reputable international organizations have called Canada the best place to invest, that Canada ranks third in the world for competitiveness and that Canadian business people have dismissed as not serious the survey released today.

It was not a politician who said so, but Thomas d'Aquino in a statement made on behalf of business people.

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Fitzpatrick Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, the industry minister's conflict of interest problems continue. One of the supposed purposes of the Atlantic innovation fund was to assist small and medium sized businesses with research and development.

In July 2002 the government announced its very first commercial recipient: a $700,000 contribution to J.D. Irving Ltd.

Does the Minister of Industry consider this company to be a small business or is it just a payback for a fishing trip?

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

Mr. Speaker, had the member done a little more research, he would have discovered that an independent advisory body, which provided me with recommendations, reviewed all applications. Over 154 applications were received. Funding was provided based on merit, based on the ability of the commercial entity to develop and commercialize technology that was of benefit to all businesses.

That is how the process was done, and that included this company.

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Fitzpatrick Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals wax eloquently when they talk about helping small businesses. The reality is that the Liberals take care of their rich friends first.

Why is the Atlantic innovation fund making contributions to a very large and wealthy corporation when the money was intended for small and medium sized businesses?

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

Mr. Speaker, perhaps he did not understand the answer to the first question.

This is an entity that provides benefits throughout the entire region. The forestry sector is extremely important to all Atlantic Canadians. The fact of the matter is that this was a joint research and development and commercialization initiative that went beyond the boundaries of just J.D. Irving and sons. It went to other entities, other research institutions. The benefits are very, very real for all Atlantic Canadians.

Environment
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, now that the recommendations for the cleanup of the Sydney tar ponds have been received by governments from the joint action group, will the Minister of the Environment please tell the House what the next steps will be leading to the final cleanup of this hazardous site which is right in the middle of my riding?

Environment
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we are reviewing with the province of Nova Scotia, the government which has the lead on the cleanup plan, what has to be done. We are looking at environmental considerations, health considerations, risks and benefits, the length of time it will take to deal with the problem to clean up. Also the issues of future site use are being taken into account. We are looking at the issues of acceptability to the public and of course costs.