House of Commons Hansard #136 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was federal.

Topics

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the real problem is that the federal government has the same tax fields as the provinces, but not the same responsibilities.

Not only has this government never stopped encroaching, but can it deny that things will be worse with the future prime minister, who is already talking about negotiating not between two levels, but three?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:40 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, it is always the same thing with the Bloc Quebecois. Recently, their great guru, Jacques Parizeau, said that the Canadian federation was the most decentralized in the world, but they are still going on about centralization. They have no evidence that it exists, but they continue to scare Quebeckers with the risks that centralization would entail. They are unable to provide any evidence to that effect.

Canada remains one of the most decentralized federations, owing to the fact that Quebeckers and other Canadians have created a great federation with, among other things, an equalization program that provides the Government of Quebec with $5 billion a year.

Technology Partnerships Canada
Oral Question Period

October 8th, 2003 / 2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, Lansdowne Technologies is a subsidiary of Canadian Shipbuilding & Engineering which in turn is a subsidiary of the new Liberal leader's shipping empire.

According to its website, one of Lansdowne's specialities is government procurement, fancy that. In fact, Public Works Canada has transacted over $12 million in business with Lansdowne. Is that not nice?

Can the Prime Minister explain why a CSL subsidiary receiving over $12 million in government business was not included in the new Liberal leader's blind trust declaration? Why the omission?

Technology Partnerships Canada
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have always said and I repeat that when the former finance minister, the member for LaSalle--Émard, became minister, he met with the then registrar general who became the ethics counsellor and put his assets in a blind trust like all of us had to do.

This arrangement was made between himself and this government official. Every time there was a problem the ethics counsellor was consulted. I have not been informed of any conflict of interest except for the opposition's habit of throwing dirt all the time.

Technology Partnerships Canada
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am saying that the Prime Minister should be aware of this fact. This is a $12 million omission from the blind trust declaration. Will the Prime Minister take this issue seriously?

Lansdowne is engaged in government procurement. It is engaged in arranging contracts with government.

My question again to the Prime Minister is: why is Lansdowne not included in the blind trust declaration of the former finance minister? Why that $12 million omission?

Technology Partnerships Canada
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, every time the opposition had problems like that it communicated with the ethics counsellor. Why does it not do that?

It just wants to raise it in the House of Commons in order to throw dirt as it likes to do. However, the people of Canada do not buy it.

Business Development Bank of Canada
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, today the Business Development Bank of Canada is making the news again, as we learn that the management of the bank has spent close to $1 million on two galas and one day of training. We will recall that the current head of this institution, Michel Vennat, is the same person that the Prime Minister appointed to cover up the Grand-Mère scandal.

Will the Minister of Industry intervene with the bank and take drastic measures to put an end to this squandering of public funds?

Business Development Bank of Canada
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the BDC is a Crown corporation operating at arm's length from the government. It is operating in a business environment, and managers report to the board of directors. I expect that BDC officials will report to the board on the issue raised by the hon. member.

Business Development Bank of Canada
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, could the minister tell us why the bank suddenly becomes an independent organization when it comes to preventing the squandering of public funds, but the Prime Minister felt free to press and intervene directly with the bank's president at the time to squelch the Auberge Grand-Mère issue?

Is that not a double standard?

Business Development Bank of Canada
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Industry

Yes, Mr. Speaker, this is clearly an independent agency of the government, a Crown corporation. It has its own powers, and managers report to the board of directors. The member will have to ask the president and the board of directors for details.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday Dr. Naylor said that the handling of SARS was a national embarrassment. That was what we said last spring.

In his report it states:

--Health Canada personnel...largely invisible [that is on page 31]...deficiencies in data acquisition and sharing [that is on page 201]...significant gaps and inconsistencies with respect to information on SARS [that is on page 202].

Will the minister finally apologize for her government's inadequacy in dealing with SARS?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I am very amused, if not impressed, by the selective reading by the hon. member for Yellowhead of Dr. Naylor's report.

Let me focus on what Dr. Naylor said. He said that all levels of government need to work together to renew our public health infrastructure. I have made a commitment to Canadians on behalf of the government that that is exactly what we will do.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, 44 deaths is not light reading. I would like to quote from page 205 that says:

In 2002, Health Canada informed airport authorities that it would be transferring airport quarantine responsibilitiesto Canada Customs.

These Customs staff were never trained for the job. This comes right out of his report. Why were those Customs staff never trained to do the job?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we had quarantine officers on the ground in airports such as Vancouver and Toronto. There is no question that we are working closely with the CCRA to ensure that people receive the training that is required. We have already indicated that we will increase the number of quarantine officers we have, not only at airports but at ports.

Again, I think Dr. Naylor and his committee have made very sensible and responsible recommendations on which we as a government will be acting.

Trade
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Walt Lastewka St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, January 1, 2004, represents an important milestone in the trade and economic relationship between Canada, the United States and Mexico. This date marks the 10th anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement, making North America the largest free trade area, with about one-third of the world's GDP.

Could the Minister for International Trade advise the House of what is being done to ensure that the North American region remains the most dynamic in the world?