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

Transport
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's Minister of Transport announced new money for VIA Rail the other day and it has now come to our attention that the new Liberal leader's family has an interest in bus stations. For that matter, the Voyageur bus company has a long history of opposing VIA Rail and subsidies for passenger rail in the country.

Is the Prime Minister not concerned that this announcement, which we commended him for, is in danger? What will he do to ensure that money is actually spent on passenger rail and not sabotaged by the incoming Liberal leader?

Transport
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, another government will be another government.

We received requests from VIA Rail to have its capital budget approved for years to come, as is normally done. In fact the money that has been allocated is much less than the request we received.

This was processed by Treasury Board and the cabinet committee. We think it is important to invest in rails in Canada. That was the consensus of cabinet and it was approved.

If somebody changes it in the future, there is nothing I can do. I will probably not be a member of Parliament then.

Trade
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am sure the Prime Minister could find ways to lock this in if he wanted to.

My question is for the Minister for International Trade who knows about the upcoming summit in Miami with respect to the free trade area of the Americas.

Given that at one time a couple of years ago in committee he admitted to me that chapter 11, the investor-state dispute settlement mechanism, was inadequate and probably should be done away with, why does he persist in agreeing to a text which includes an investor-state dispute settlement mechanism? Why does he not just abandon this bad idea and show some leadership in getting rid of it?

Trade
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I believe that chapter 11 has served the interests of Canada's investors very well. What I said in the past was that we had learned some lessons from working with chapter 11 and that we would take into account what we had learned from it in the drafting of any other investment rules that we would negotiate. That is exactly what we are doing now.

Transport
Oral Question Period

October 30th, 2003 / 2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rex Barnes Gander—Grand Falls, NL

Mr. Speaker, VIA Rail's controversial purchase of 139 second-hand British railway cars in 2000 has suffered yet another setback. The Canadian Transportation Agency has ordered VIA to make major changes to the coaches to make them more disabled-friendly.

What will the cost be to taxpayers for this makeover to do what is right for the disabled community?

Transport
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the new funding will not only provide for faster, more frequent and more reliable passenger rail service across Canada. The minister is committed to making rail transport available to all Canadians. These new cars will be fitted for the necessity of rail travel.

Transport
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rex Barnes Gander—Grand Falls, NL

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Transport recently announced $700 million in new funding for VIA Rail. The decision was immediately put in doubt by the member for LaSalle—Émard whose staff insisted that VIA had better not spend those funds.

Could the Minister of Transport guarantee that the funds needed to make these cars accessible for disabled people will be there or will these funds have to be reviewed by the member for LaSalle—Émard as well?

Transport
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the department and the minister received a copy of the final decision of the Canadian Transportation Agency. The agency's decision is being carefully reviewed by Transport Canada officials.

Again, I remind the House that the minister has committed that rail would be available to all passengers. He will ensure that it is.

Quebec
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

Yesterday in the House, Mr. Speaker, all Quebec Liberal members and ministers voted against recognizing that the Quebec people is a nation. This is truly shameful.

Can the government tell us why it recognizes National Acadian Day, acknowledges that the Nisg'a are a nation, and yet refuses to recognize that Quebeckers too form a nation?

Quebec
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the member has had his answer already, but I will reflect the question back to him. Can he say he is a proud Quebecker, a proud French Canadian, and a proud Canadian? Can he accept all the identities within him without rejecting any of them? If this is so, we are in agreement, and can vote together.

Quebec
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, for the minister's information, I am not a Canadian. A number of the Liberal members sitting here have previously been members of the Quebec National Assembly—

Quebec
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Quebec
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

An hon. member

What a disgrace.

Quebec
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please.

The hon. member for Trois-Rivières has not yet asked his question.

Quebec
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, I can tell you that I take great pride in being a Quebecker.

A number of the Liberal members here have previously been members of the Quebec National Assembly.

I would like to ask the President of the Treasury Board, who was once one herself, why she voted against recognizing Quebec as a nation? If it is called a National Assembly, that must mean there is a nation. How then can she justify her vote?