House of Commons Hansard #61 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was political.

Topics

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, in the last three years the Liberals have been off in their projection of the surplus by $32.2 billion. Since taking office they have missed the mark by $80 billion.

It is a giant shell game that hides the real choices facing Canadians. Now the TD Bank is projecting a surplus of some $34.9 billion over the next three years.

My question is for the acting Prime Minister. Will the government come clean with Canadians tomorrow and stop hiding billions of dollars in surplus?

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Oak Ridges
Ontario

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I totally reject the comment about coming clean. The government in fact is the envy of the industrialized world in terms of how people are back to work now. We have had five consecutive budget surpluses or better. We are the only G-7 paying down the national debt. We are in very good financial shape.

To suggest that somehow we are playing shell games, I do not know where she is coming from but I know we are dealing with reality over here.

Health
Oral Question Period

February 17th, 2003 / 2:40 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, my supplementary is for the Minister of Health.

On Thursday morning the Prime Minister will meet with territorial premiers on the issue of the northern health care crisis. I want to ask the Minister of Health whether the Prime Minister will finally listen to northerners, to Roy Romanow and to every provincial premier and agree to a territorial health care fund of one-half percent per territory of total new health care funding in the accord in addition to per capita funding.

If the government can come up with over $60 million to give a tax write-off to the Ottawa Senators, surely it can do nothing less for the desperate health care needs of northern Canadians. Will it come up with--

Health
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Health.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I have no doubt that the Prime Minister will listen intently to the views of the three territorial leaders who are, in fact, with us this afternoon.

In fact, as has often been referenced in the House, we on the government side are all aware of the unique health challenges that are faced by those who live in the north. I look forward to the meeting that the Prime Minister will have with the three territorial leaders because I know working together--

Health
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for South Shore.

National Security
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, Transport Canada posted some 5,000 confidential documents on a non-encrypted database open to hackers. These files included secret documents on airport security, national security as well as cabinet discussions.

How can the minister stand in the House and ensure the safety and security of Canadian travellers and travel?

National Security
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I think I just answered the question. Once the breach was found through an internal audit on the internal system we dealt with it. Officials have assured me that there has been no breach of security.

National Security
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, last week Transport Canada ran an ad for intelligence officers. The ad read, “to coordinate intelligence among various agencies at different levels of government”.

This week the same Transport Canada accidentally released 5,000 secret documents.

Canadians do not have a clue who is in charge of Canada's security. They have not been given instructions on what to do in an emergency or even been given one update on Canada's security system.

Who is in charge of coordinating Canadian security: Transport Canada, CSIS or Parks Canada?

National Security
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Malpeque
P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the member can be absolutely assured that the Government of Canada is in charge of security in this country. I am responsible for national security within this country. We have been making great progress in terms of our relations with the United States.

Canadians should be able to feel absolutely confident that Canada, through CSIS, the RCMP and through its co-operation with other agencies, is among the best in the world in dealing with security threats to this country and around the world.

Government Loans
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, Export Development Canada has a massive outstanding loan portfolio to two companies, Nortel and Bombardier. The total amount outstanding to these two companies is $10 billion.

Over the weekend it was revealed that the Liberal government added to that total with a $1 billion loan guarantee to Nortel.

With taxpayers already on the hook for $10 billion in guarantees, why did the government commit to another $1 billion of corporate welfare?

Government Loans
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I understand that EDC has agreed to provide Nortel cover for bonds secured against assets in support of future transactions. It is well within EDC's commercial mandate to provide trade finance services for Canadian exporters and investors. EDC is a financially self-sustaining crown corporation that has made money every year since 1944 with the exception of one year.

Government Loans
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, that is absolute nonsense. Over 50% of EDC's loans were for the purchase of two companies. No private sector institution would ever do that.

Corporate welfare takes away from our health care, our military and our basic services of government. When the lion's share of taxpayer dollars go to two large corporations, it harms our competitive market. EDC puts billions of taxpayer dollars at risk. This must be changed.

Will the minister today make EDC more accountable to Canadians and publish a list of loans and loan guarantees, including the amount repaid to taxpayers?

Government Loans
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, EDC has been doing a fantastic job supporting Canadian exporters. Ninety per cent of its clients are small and medium sized enterprises.

The government will not take advice from an Alliance Party that prefers to support Embraer against Bombardier before the WTO by giving it information and supporting it. This is a government that stands by all Canadian exporters, small, medium and large sized enterprises.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Odina Desrochers Lotbinière—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government is using the strategic plan on agriculture to establish national standards for the agricultural support program from coast to coast.

The Prime Minister recently wrote to the President of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, and I quote:

The current approach is irreconcilable with the principle by which all Canadians are equal, regardless of where they live in the country.

How can the government justify to Quebec's farmers the fact that it is destroying all of the agricultural programs that have worked for 30 years because the Prime Minister wants to standardize support programs from coast to coast? Everyone is treated the same, is that the price they have to pay to be Canadian?