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

St. Catharines Canadian Polish Society
Statements By Members

October 8th, 2003 / 2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Walt Lastewka St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to offer my congratulations to the St. Catharines Canadian Polish Society on the 75th anniversary of its founding.

The St. Catharines Polish Society's first meeting took place in May 1928. Its charter was granted on November 17, 1928. Mr. S. Konopka, Mr. L. Skoczylas, Mr. A. Shynel, Mr. A. Dutka and Mr. A. Glowacki were named charter members. Members decided that the club needed its own hall or home. An empty lot off Facer Street was bought in March 1929 for $200. Everyone's hard work paid off and on October 11, 1942 Dom Polski was officially opened.

In September 1979 Polonia Park became the official name of the farm property that had been acquired for use by the club. In January 1988 then president Leo Skorski introduced a new undertaking that would see the club construct the I. Paderewski Society Home for seniors, which opened in March 1991.

The club continues to focus on socio-cultural and recreational activities. Congratulations to all those who have played a part in the success of the St. Catharines Canadian Polish Society.

Violence Against Women
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, missing women and unsolved women's murders, especially those working in the high risk sex trade, seem to be a low priority across Canada. In Vancouver a horrific 61 unsolved murder cases built up before it became an issue. In Edmonton there have been 22 cases. Now in Winnipeg the tragic death of Valicia Solomon has focused attention on 13 unsolved murders on the books there and has raised the spectre of either a serial killer or 13 murderers being on the loose.

Is there a systemic problem in law enforcement with a blind spot to missing and murdered women? Is the federal government paying attention to these disturbing numbers?

Women victims seem to be a low priority until we reach a critical mass of dead bodies. Women in Winnipeg and across Canada want to know, what is the critical mass necessary before this government takes action to better protect women's lives?

Gasoline Taxes
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, last night the House finally passed an Alliance motion to give a share of federal gas taxes to the municipalities. The motion was passed with a majority of the House, with the vast majority of Liberal members supporting it, with the vast majority of the cabinet supporting it, despite the longstanding opposition of the heritage minister, finance minister and Prime Minister.

My question is very simple. Could the Prime Minister now clarify for us, is it now the policy of the federal government to give gas taxes to municipalities or is it not?

Gasoline Taxes
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member would read the motion, we said we were to discuss it with the provinces. I read the motion. It was his party's motion and if he does not read his party's own motion, what can I do?

The motion says that we should engage in a discussion with the provincial governments about it. Of course I do not mind discussing it with the provinces. Some provinces might not be in agreement. If all the provinces were to be in agreement, it might be easier. What would be the reaction in Quebec where there is a law that prevents the municipalities from accepting money from the federal government?

Gasoline Taxes
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I am glad to see the Prime Minister read the motion, even if he did not vote on it.

I will point out that it does say to initiate discussions with the provinces and territories to provide the municipalities with a share of federal tax. My question is very simple. Has the Prime Minister contacted the provinces? When will he do so? When will he initiate these discussions?

Gasoline Taxes
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, even before, I met last week with Premier Charest and we discussed that. I met with Premier Doer in Winnipeg and we mentioned that. It is possible when I met a few days ago with Premier Campbell we might have discussed that.

I have very good relations with the premiers. Federal-provincial relations are very difficult and it is very rare that they want to return money to the federal government.

Gasoline Taxes
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I do not know what to make of that answer other than maybe the Prime Minister should be golfing full time rather than being Prime Minister if that is his attitude.

There is a serious fiscal disequilibrium in the country between the federal government that has these massive tax revenues and provinces and municipalities that need gas taxes to do the essential jobs that are given to them. We have proposed, and many others have proposed, roughly 3¢ or more a litre of federal gas tax to go to the provinces.

I ask the Prime Minister again, what share does he have in mind and when is he going to actually contact the provinces, take his job seriously and have a serious discussion on a motion--

Gasoline Taxes
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The right hon. Prime Minister.

Gasoline Taxes
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am always smiling when the hon. Leader of the Opposition talks about the problem of leadership. I think he will be the sixth leader of the opposition before I leave. The wedding is being reorganized again and they will have a new name.

This is a problem that is serious. We said we would discuss it with the provinces. I know the provinces are not unanimous on it. We will discuss it. The Minister of Finance is meeting on Friday with the ministers of finance from the provinces. Probably some of the ministers of finance will talk to him about it. It is a process of consultation. A decision will come in due course and probably he will not be--

Gasoline Taxes
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Edmonton Southwest.

Technology Partnerships Canada
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, corporate welfare is alive and well in the Liberal government. Fred Bennett, former director at Industry Canada, has publicly stated that officials in the department deliberately set up loan programs in such a way that money would likely never be repaid.

Why are programs such as Technology Partnerships Canada designed in such a way to ensure that taxpayers' money is never repaid?

Technology Partnerships Canada
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I can tell the member that last fiscal year total receipts from companies in which investments had been made through TPC were almost $19 million. That is double the amount from the last fiscal year and repayments continue to accelerate. We negotiate terms which involve repayment of TPC investments.

TPC is one of the ways in which we invest in innovation. That is obviously something with which the hon. member does not agree. We believe in innovation on this side of this House.

Technology Partnerships Canada
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, let us review these repayments. First of all, an $8 million loan to Western Star Trucks; repayment, zero. An $84 million loan to Pratt and Whitney; repayment, zero. An $85 million loan to Bombardier; repayment, zero.

The fact is, and the minister knows this, less than 2% of TPC loans have been repaid since 1996. Why is the government giving away taxpayer dollars with no intention whatsoever of recouping them?

Technology Partnerships Canada
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the member should know that these investments are often made in pre-competitive research and development for emerging sectors of the economy. It takes a while to get these products to market and for the companies to be in a position to repay.

Let me quote from Mr. Bennett's book, which he published a couple of years ago on this subject, called A Call to Account . He said:

My belief is that the deals are now structured in such a way under the new TPC program...the repayment terms are clear.

TPC is now working very well.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, by voting in favour of the Canadian Alliance's motion, the government is supporting the next Liberal leader's wish to provide a portion of the federal gasoline tax directly to the municipalities, without going through Quebec.

By voting in favour of interference, does the Prime Minister realize that his government, encouraged by his successor, has just given the green light to even greater encroachment in Quebec's jurisdiction?