House of Commons Hansard #149 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-46.

Topics

The Economy
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it is not our strategy to underestimate the surplus. Even if it were, it is at least an improvement over the PQ strategy of underestimating the deficit.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, the government still cannot offer a firm commitment for health care but it seems to have plenty of money for its pet projects: last week, $700 million for VIA Rail; the gun registry that continues to be a sinkhole of federal money; and today, it is reported more federal cash for Bombardier to sell planes to Air Canada.

When it comes to health care, why does the government not simply commit an additional $2 billion today?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about our commitment to health care. Let us talk about $35 billion in increased health care funding that was provided in the last budget.

Let us talk about the increased health care funding that was included in the 2000 health accord.

Let us talk about the performance of the government year after year to increase the amount available through the CHST to the provinces for health care, for post-secondary education and for social services.

The contrast to 10 years ago is a contrast of night and day.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about health care. Health care has never been a priority of the government.

The incoming leader of the Liberal Party slashed billions from health care when he was the finance minister. What did we get? We have long waiting lists and shortage of doctors and nurses from which we will never recover. That is the legacy of those cuts.

Will the provinces get the $2 billion in January, yes or no?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, apparently the member has not had an opportunity to review the update. The commitment clearly was that if there were a surplus in excess of $2 billion determinable in January there would be a payment of additional money to the provinces for health care.

It is clear now that we will be unable to make that determination in January. Therefore we have assured the provinces that as long as we do not go into deficit the first $2 billion will go to the provinces for health care in the current year.

The Economy
Oral Question Period

November 3rd, 2003 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister likes to act superior to the other G-7 countries, saying he has no deficit. What he forgets to say, however, is that Canada is the only country that gets other people to pay off its deficit.

Will the Minister of Finance admit that he has eliminated his deficit by choking the provinces and stealing from the unemployed?

The Economy
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, in my opinion, the greatest risk for Canada's social programs is the burden of the debt and the interest payments on that debt. When we were elected, the debt was eating up 37 cents of each dollar of tax revenue. We have been able to reduce this to 21% of revenue and we have reduced the debt and the burden of the debt, because that is the best way to save social programs in Canada.

The Economy
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, what does the Minister of Finance say in response to the report from ENAP's Observatoire de l'administration publique, which states that from 1994 to 1998 the provinces and unemployment insurance bore the brunt of the federal government's budget cuts?

The Economy
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, that is untrue. In fact, we had a program review. I was Minister of Industry; I know the facts very well. We reduced the department's expenditures by 50%.

The federal government we has reduced expenditures more than the provincial governments did during program reviews. We have also reduced interest rates, meaning that Canada has now earned the world's respect for its fiscal position. That was very beneficial, not only for us, but for each of Canada's provinces.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rick Casson Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, the much touted fiscal update delivered today leaves some alarming questions for Canada's agricultural producers.

In his comments, the minister used the BSE crisis as a crutch and an excuse for missing the mark on his budget projections. The only response to the BSE issue from the government was a flawed program that left producers wondering who got the money because they sure did not.

What guarantee can the minister give that the money from the newly proposed program will go directly to producers?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I do not know how the hon. member can stand there with a straight face and say that the $312 million in the BSE recovery program did not go to the producers, because the cheques went directly to producers who marketed animals through that program.

As we look at other programs in the future, I can assure members that if other programs are put in place that money will go directly to the producers, as well, as it has in the past.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rick Casson Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, if the minister were to talk to producers he would find out that their margins are gone, their equity is gone and their money is gone. They do not have that money.

The agriculture minister has been trying to sell his agriculture policy framework as the answer to everything for the past two years. He knows full well that there are components of the APF that producers find absolutely less than useless. Provinces have not signed on and the program is in now in limbo.

Has the minister consulted the soon to be Liberal leader to see if he supports the APF or will this be one of the programs that he scraps?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I think the gentleman the hon. member is talking about was finance minister when the APF was put in place. I think that says something right there.

Not only did all the BSE recovery money, the $312 million from the federal government, go directly to the producers, so did provincial money at that time. The $600 million in transition money is also going directly to producers across Canada in cheques to their mailboxes.

International Cooperation
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, this morning CIDA launched the 2004 Butterfly 208, creative art and essay contest. This is an important initiative of the agency to increase youth involvement in international development.

Could the Minister for International Cooperation inform the House how her department encourages young people to learn about global and international development issues and find ways to make a difference in the world?

International Cooperation
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Essex
Ontario

Liberal

Susan Whelan Minister for International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, the Butterfly 208 contest is about young Canadians who are looking for ways to make a personal contribution and to make a real difference in the world. It is an opportunity for us to get youth involved for an essential piece of the puzzle for development.

All hon. members in the House will be receiving a Butterfly 208 kit that talks about all the youth initiatives. I would encourage them to do as the hon. member for Peterborough has already done, to get involved in their communities, to educate their youth and to have them help and learn about what is happening in the developing world.

It is an opportunity, as I said, for Canadians to extend themselves to help face and make differences with the challenge of poverty.