House of Commons Hansard #151 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was driving.

Topics

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Howard Hilstrom Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, the provinces have not even signed on to the program yet, so there is still time to change it.

This minister should understand that farmers, like any other business people, have to build or manage their cash in a manner that reduces their yearly expenses. By having to deposit large sums of cash just to access the APF safety net program, the minister is ensuring that any losses on the farm will be even larger.

Why will the minister not remove the requirement for a cash deposit that is nothing but a hardship for Canadian farmers?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:55 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 and say that this program is a hardship. This is a program that provides Canadian farmers the surety that the support of the federal government and the provincial governments will be able to provide to them when serious situations take place.

Yes, the farmers are asked to participate in that themselves, as they have in the past. When we look at the work that has been done by the third party review, it has said very clearly that this program is better than the combinations of programs we have had in the past for farmers, and I think being better is what we are looking for.

BioChem Pharma
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, besides Shire's investments in the manufacturing of vaccines, the Bloc Quebecois has learned that, on the issue of revitalizing the BioChem Pharma research laboratory, there is a comprehensive proposal on the table, which has been accepted by both Shire and the Quebec investors financing the revitalization.

However, the Minister of Industry has yet to give his approval. Will the minister reassure us that his approval is forthcoming, because time is of the essence to prevent the exodus of the researchers, who will be forced to leave if the minister does not act quickly?

BioChem Pharma
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, my primary concern is to ensure that the commitments made by Shire are honoured.

BioChem Pharma
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, Shire's commitment is very important, but will the minister assure us that he will do everything in his power to ensure that the draft agreement between Shire and the Quebec backers will be approved and finalized?

BioChem Pharma
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we are working together with the Government of Quebec and all stakeholders to ensure that the best interests of Canada are served.

The Economy
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Pallister Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Auditor General accused the government of cooking the books, again, and she is right, again. Without the EI overcharge, the government is actually in the red this year. This year's pseudo-surplus comes at the expense of working Canadians, again.

Will the minister admit that without the EI overcharge the government is actually running a deficit?

The Economy
Oral Question Period

November 5th, 2003 / 2:55 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we run a surplus or a deficit based on revenues minus expenditures. We are the only country in the G-7 that can say we are running a surplus and, this year, for the seventh year in a row.

I know that the hon. member likes to make light of this, but it is a very important achievement. It is an achievement of all Canadians. Canadians should be proud of what they have accomplished.

The Economy
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Pallister Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, I do not know who the minister thinks he is fooling. The Auditor General is on to him. We are on to him. The Canadian people are on to him.

According to the minister's own budget numbers, he predicts a surplus this year which is less than the amount he is overcharging working Canadians on their EI premiums. By all definitions, that is a deficit.

Will the minister admit to every working Canadian that his imaginary surplus is the result of a very real overcharge on their EI premiums?

The Economy
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, when we were elected we found that the then UI fund was in deficit. It was left that way by the Progressive Conservative Party. We also found the general accounts of the country in a $38 billion deficit, left that way by the Progressive Conservative Party.

Just a couple of weeks ago, a new Liberal government was elected in the province of Ontario, succeeding a Conservative government that claimed a balanced budget, and the new government found a $5.6 billion deficit.

I do not need to take lessons from those people about what a surplus is and what a deficit is.

Natural Resources
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dave Chatters Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Natural Resources now has had 24 hours to review the invitation to proponents for the ethanol expansion program.

Could the minister confirm to the House that constituents can consult with their member of Parliament without fear that their application will be disqualified from the ethanol expansion program?

Natural Resources
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Nunavut
Nunavut

Liberal

Nancy Karetak-Lindell Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the ethanol expansion program does not in any way restrict the right of ethanol proponents to discuss their ethanol projects with their members of Parliament, nor from discussing current or future government funding for ethanol with members of Parliament.

Natural Resources
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dave Chatters Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, despite any legal definition, Canadians believe that members of Parliament are government officials. As of noon today, the application form on the government website had not been changed. When will the application form be amended to ensure that there is no confusion in this regard?

Natural Resources
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I think what the hon. member may be misunderstanding is the fact that this is a formal request for proposal process. It does have some legal requirements around it. The language that is used is the typical language that is used when we are soliciting proposals from the public which will then have to be adjudicated upon in a competitive fashion.

There is certainly no intention and no requirement to restrict people from talking with their members of Parliament.

The Economy
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Rimouski-Neigette-Et-La Mitis, QC

Mr. Speaker, in last Monday's economic statement, we learned that 87% of the $2.3 billion surplus for 2003-04 will have been taken from the employment insurance fund. That is real highway robbery.

How can the government accept the fact that the surplus funds it pockets year after year are taken not only from the pockets of the workers who contribute to the EI fund, but also from the unemployed, who have been brutally denied access to EI benefits?