House of Commons Hansard #152 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was first.

Topics

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, many have said that the current investigation will not uncover the truth, hence the need to turn to the Americans.

Will the Prime Minister admit that the reason everyone is able to shirk their responsibilities in this case, as they did with Bill Sampson, is because the government is refusing to hold a public inquiry for fear of finding out the whole truth?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Malpeque
P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, first and foremost, we operate on the presumption of innocence in this country and I think that should be stated.

Second, the commission has a lot of authority at its discretion in terms of doing its investigation, given to it by Parliament for this specific purpose. We want to get to the bottom of this issue and the CPC is looking into those allegations so we can see where the problem was.

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the new Liberal leader has a program that talks about $62.5 billion of debt reduction. There are two ways he can do that. He can lower services even more and he can raise taxes even higher.

My question for the finance minister, has the new Liberal leader talked with him about the way he is going to come up with this $62.5 billion?

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I cannot take any of his estimates of the cost of anything seriously.

We had remarkable success this year in spite of the fact that we had a series of difficult situations to deal with, natural disasters as well as human tragedies.

Notwithstanding all of that, we were able to forecast again this year a seventh consecutive surplus. That provides the government with true options.

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, maybe the minister could take the figures of the Auditor General seriously, $100 million for fat cat cabinet jets and $1 million for the long gun registry. Maybe he could pay attention to those figures.

The new Liberal leader has also talked about $34 billion of increased spending. So I ask the same question, has he confirmed with the finance minister where that money will come from? There is only one taxpayer in Canada.

Finance
Oral Question Period

November 6th, 2003 / 2:35 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, again, I do not take his estimate of any costs seriously.

When he makes these exaggerated claims about the cost of programs, he undermines any credibility he might have had otherwise.

In the meantime, the record of our government has been that we have paid down sufficient debt that we have actually freed up $3 billion in funds that were otherwise going to be spent paying interest costs to be used in other programs. That is a good record.

BioChem Pharma
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, on the issue of BioChem Pharma, the Minister of Industry has all the tools he needs to negotiate with Shire and revitalize this distinguished research laboratory.

With every passing day, the project's survival is threatened. Does the Minister of Industry intend to take advantage of today's meeting with Shire to ensure that BioChem Pharma's revitalization project can start up quickly?

BioChem Pharma
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, this matter is extremely important to me. My sole concern is ensuring that Canada's interests are protected, that jobs and investments in Canada and Quebec are protected and that Shire's commitments are honoured.

BioChem Pharma
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Industry must realize that Quebec stands to lose a great deal of expertise and that time is of the essence in such matters.

We agree that Shire must honour its commitments, but can the Minister of Industry guarantee that he intends to act with due diligence to prevent Quebec from losing these researchers, who are its pride and joy?

BioChem Pharma
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we are currently working to ensure that research jobs, in particular, are protected here in Canada and Quebec, and I will do everything possible to see that they are.

International Aid
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Alliance supports Bill C-56 which attempts to facilitate the delivery of drugs to help developing countries deal with public health emergencies, such as the HIV-AIDS crisis in Africa.

We would have liked to have this legislation in September when it was first announced by the Minister of Industry rather than on the day before the House closes.

Why has the Minister of Industry waited so long to introduce this legislation?

International Aid
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I was very proud today to table in the House, in the name of the Prime Minister, legislation which will lead the developed world in dealing with the urgent health needs of least developed countries.

What Canada has done today is global leadership for the health interests of the developing world.

We too are anxious to see this bill become law and to see the regulations enacted so that those drugs can be provided where they are most needed.

We should do everything we possibly can, respecting all the interests involved, to get this done and get it done right.

International Aid
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, this is a good initiative, but the Canadian Alliance publicly expressed our support over a month ago to the government in writing. This is a crisis situation that requires action on our part.

Will the government commit to passing this legislation immediately, so that Canada can take the lead in helping developing nations deal with their public health emergencies?

International Aid
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Minister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his support for the bill. His House leader contacted me earlier today. We are presently negotiating time with everyone concerned with the possibility of doing just that.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

John O'Reilly Haliburton—Victoria—Brock, ON

Mr. Speaker, as we approach Remembrance Day, there is one item that stands out. The treatment of the widows of veterans must be equal for all.

Can the Minister of Veterans Affairs tell us today that this situation has been addressed?