House of Commons Hansard #135 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-17.

Topics

Elk Industry
Statements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gerry Ritz Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, Bob Nelson of Lloydminster, Saskatchewan asks why the Liberals continue to ignore the elk industry while it struggles alone to restore markets unfairly restricted by a couple of cases of chronic wasting disease. Sounds familiar, does it not? A viable industry is being hammered by foreign politics while these Liberals sit on their hands. Bob writes “The industry has lost over $32 million in sales to Korea, as well as around $10 million per year in live animal sales to the United States”.

Both Korea and the U.S. have chronic wasting disease in their own herds, so protection from Canadian animals is not an issue here. Back in March of this year I wrote to the Minister for International Trade to demand an explanation of what his department has done to resolve this issue. So far, there has been no response and no resolution.

The Canadian market for elk and their nutrient rich antler velvet involves 79,000 animals and an annual value in excess of $50 million. Why do the Liberals always let other countries walk all over our producers?

Member for LaSalle--Émard
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the new Liberal leader is apparently governing in his own private parallel universe. He travels the country announcing parallel disaster relief programs. He convenes parallel meetings with the first ministers. He is planning a parallel federal budget. Now, apparently for no more of a reason than he wants to stick the current Prime Minister in the eye, he is planning parallel caucus meetings.

Is the Prime Minister prepared to rein him in, or is the government planning a parallel question period so that at least we can hold him accountable for his actions here in the House of Commons?

Member for LaSalle--Émard
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, that question comes from a member who tried to form his own party and failed. When the question comes from a party that has had four different leaders and three different names, I think after 10 years of good government that we have given to the country, that type of question shows that the Alliance is not ready to form a government in the next 10 years.

Member for LaSalle--Émard
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, we all know why he is a lame duck Prime Minister.

This is why it is important. The new Liberal leader has assumed the role of defence minister by promising funding for disaster relief. He acts like the intergovernmental affairs minister by setting up his own federal-provincial conferences. He is a de facto finance minister, announcing billions of dollars in new initiatives. Now he is calling his own caucus meetings because the regular ones are not democratic.

Why with so many ministerial roles apparently available to the new member is there so little accountability for his actions here in the House of Commons?

Member for LaSalle--Émard
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, someone was telling me a minute ago that they look like the Keystone Cops from the old days on the other side. They are all bumping into each other and so on. I do not know why they have a problem.

I was a candidate to be the leader of my party in 1984. I had many meetings with my supporters who came to discuss things with me. I was a candidate in 1990 and members of Parliament met with me to discuss what would happen at the convention. I think it is absolutely normal. It would be very undemocratic if there were to be no meetings at all.

Member for LaSalle--Émard
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, speaking of bumping, the member for LaSalle—Émard bumped that guy right out of office.

Generally, members of Parliament who are concerned about the democratic deficit do not just talk about it over beer and pizza in a closed door meeting. They take part in debates here in the House. They participate in committee work. They speak out when the government invokes closure and they actually show up when there is a vote.

Would the House leader appoint the former finance minister to a committee, any committee, finance, procedure and House affairs, something, to give him some meaningful work so that he can participate in the democratic process in an open way instead of behind closed doors?

Member for LaSalle--Émard
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

I have grave doubts that the question is in order, since it is hardly the administrative responsibility of the government to appoint members to committee. That is the role of the striking committee in the House. Everyone knows the government has very little to say on that, except possibly for the chief government whip.

I think we will move on to the next question.

Member for LaSalle--Émard
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, a lame duck with lame answers.

Right now the House of Commons finance committee is going through prebudget meetings. Witnesses have been invited to the committee to present their budget ideas.

My question is for the vice-chair of the finance committee. Why should witnesses bother presenting ideas for the next budget when the new Liberal leader is already running around the country announcing the next budget?

Member for LaSalle--Émard
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I know there is very little that the member for Medicine Hat has to offer to the next budget process. That would be similar to what was offered last year by the Alliance Party.

In the meantime, the witnesses that are appearing today, and in the last few weeks and in the weeks to come before the finance committee are providing an important source of input for the government to consider in preparation of the next budget. The member for Medicine Hat dismisses their hard work, their earnest presentations and their serious ideas but I can assure him that the government does not.

Member for LaSalle--Émard
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, I think that is a hilarious answer coming from a minister who says he has been neutered by the new Liberal leader's parallel government, neutered in his ability to bring forward a new budget. I am sure that is very painful.

My question again for the vice-chair of the finance committee is, would he not agree that one way of closing the democratic deficit would be to have the new Liberal leader appear before the finance committee to answer questions about all of his recent budget announcements? Would he not agree with that?

Member for LaSalle--Émard
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it was only recently that the hon. member was talking about feeling very amorous and now he is into neutering. I am not quite sure what happened when they met in that orchard, but these marriages can be arranged sometimes with a shotgun.

We are prepared to hear what people have to say in preparation for the next budget. The government is perfectly capable of taking that onboard and taking it into consideration as the preparation--

Member for LaSalle--Émard
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Laurier--Sainte-Marie.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

October 7th, 2003 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec minister Benoît Pelletier has reminded Ottawa that there is a real fiscal imbalance. He said that, with all its money, the federal government can afford to look after its own jurisdictions properly, start paying off the debt and invest in areas of provincial responsibility, while the provinces can barely keep their heads above water. That is what the Quebec Liberal minister said.

If Ottawa is serious about wanting to cooperate, what is the Minister of Finance waiting for to recognize the fiscal imbalance and give Quebec the financial means to look after all of its jurisdictions?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 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, while there is no fiscal imbalance, there is an obligation to support one another. The Government of Canada is doing its best to help the provinces live through difficult times in the western world. As the leader of the Bloc Quebecois may or may not know, the United States is currently faced with an enormous deficit. For the State of California alone, it is upwards of $30 billion. In Europe, it is increasingly difficult for countries to keep their deficits below the 3% of GDP target. In Canada, we are still able to generate a surplus, and we want to use it to strengthen the Canadian economy, including that of the provinces.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, as the minister may or may not know, there is a surplus in Ottawa, but there are deficits in nine provinces, and $45 billion has been stolen from the unemployed. He should also know that.

A change in leadership, whether in Quebec City or in Ottawa, will do no good, since the future prime minister also denies the existence of a fiscal imbalance.

Will the Minister of Finance recognize that, regardless of the party in power in Quebec City, be it the PQ or the QLP, the federal government will never admit that Ottawa has the money, while Quebec City has to meet urgent needs in health, among other things?