House of Commons Hansard #64 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was children.

Topics

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

February 20th, 2003 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, by allocating a mere $2 billion over five years to implementing the Kyoto protocol, the government is not showing any real determination, because the outcome of the $1.7 billion it has invested over the past five years has been, not a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions, but a 6% increase.

How can the Minister of the Environment explain his belief that the government's effort in this budget is a significant one, and by what miracle would investing a virtually identical amount over the next five years have any more positive effect than in the last five?

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, it is true that we have so far invested $3.7 billion toward the necessary goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It is quite likely that in another two, three, maybe seven years the Minister of Finance might increase that amount. The announcement by the Minister of Finance two days ago of another $2 billion is still not bad, yet the hon. member is already complaining. When most of that amount has been spent, then perhaps it will be the right time to ask for more.

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, as its record on reducing greenhouse gas emissions shows, Quebec is in the best position to attain the Kyoto objective.

Would the Minister of the Environment not be better off if he sat down with the Government of Quebec to negotiate a bilateral agreement and to hand the money over pronto?

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, as I have said often in this House and elsewhere, we hope to have a bilateral agreement between the Province of Quebec and the federal government. I have spoken with Minister Boisclair on numerous occasions on this. We expect a positive outcome. I do not know why the hon. member is not aware of the cooperation between the two levels of government.

National Child Care
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, the reason the Minister of Human Resources Development has not got a deal with the provinces on a national child care initiative is because she wants to channel the entire $1 billion into institutional day care.

However the provinces know that parents want choice in child care. Parents want the money to go directly into their own pockets in the form of a universal deduction for all children. That would start to address at least some of the discrimination in the tax code against stay at home parents and those with other child care arrangements.

Why is the minister so opposed to choice in child care?

National Child Care
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary. As the hon. member becomes more experienced with the complex issues that we have to deal with in family and child policies, he will realize that it requires a number of measures. It requires tax incentives, tax issues and tax measures of which we have a number. It requires income support.

I am so glad that through the national child benefit we have significantly increased that support, but it also requires child care. In our system we have allowed for the flexibility in the provinces. It does not necessarily mean regulated care only in centres. It could be regulated care in homes.

National Child Care
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am disappointed that the minister does not recognize the importance of people who make the choice to look after their children themselves at home.

The minister's department is legendary for its ability to waste, squander and lose track of hundreds of millions of dollars. Even the finance minister is calling on all departments to start cutting waste.

Instead of using new money for these HR initiatives that were announced in the budget, will she cut some of the mountain of waste in her department to fund these new initiatives? By the way, she just dropped some money on the floor. She might want to pick it up before she--

National Child Care
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Human Resources Development.

National Child Care
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, from his question, it sounds to me that the hon. member is suggesting it is a waste for the government to invest $935 million in working with the provinces and territories to create quality, reliable, regulated child care spaces. If that is the way he thinks, let us be clear.

However on this side of the House we are in unanimous agreement that the right thing for us to do is to work with the provinces and territories to ensure that Canadian parents can rely on a strong system of quality child care for their children.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Rose-Marie Ur Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, Tuesday's budget contained an extra $100 million over two years for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Can the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food tell this House in what areas he intends to allocate these dollars?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I am certainly pleased that in the budget the government recognized the important role of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and the safety and the quality of Canadian food by further providing another $100 million over two years.

It will allow the agency to continue to enhance food safety in Canada. The regulatory system, along with the border control, will ensure the safety of food exported from our country to other countries and imported from other countries. It will ensure the health of Canadians as well as the health of animals and plants in Canada.

Infrastructure
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, how in the world could Liberals in Toronto be bragging today about how great the budget is for Toronto? If all of the infrastructure money--

Infrastructure
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Infrastructure
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, only the Liberals would clap for a kilometre of subway in their city if all of the infrastructure money were to be spent there. If Toronto were to get an equal share with every other community, it would get 25 centimetres of subway.

My question is for the finance minister, who interestingly has also ignored his own home town, except for the Ottawa Senators. Does he really think that it is good enough to help the city of Ottawa build 14.5 centimetres of light rail?

Infrastructure
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure how she felt interrupted, but I can assure her I listened closely to her question.

I was waiting for her to mention the money we put into homelessness; the money we put into affordable housing; the $5 billion we put into infrastructure in the last two budgets, much of which is still not spent; the money we put into health care that helps people who live in the cities; the money we put into a clean environment to make clean air better for people living in cities; and the money we have given to poor children, many of whom live in cities.

I would not have interrupted her if she had put all those things in her question.