House of Commons Hansard #66 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was general.

Topics

The Budget
Oral Question Period

February 24th, 2003 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to the budget, the federal government will invest $45 million over five years to increase participation in sports so that children and youth can engage in physical exercise at school.

Can the Minister of Health tell us how she intends to reach youth in schools, when she has no constitutional authority to go into the schools?

The Budget
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Simcoe North
Ontario

Liberal

Paul Devillers Secretary of State (Amateur Sport) and Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, this week, I met with my provincial and territorial counterparts, and we discussed Canada's sports policy.

In fact, an essential part of one of the action plans is better cooperation with the provinces and territories to increase involvement in physical education in schools.

We are ready to work with our sports system partners.

The Budget
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, does the minister know that the Quebec government has just recently created the “Ça bouge après l'école” program, the precise purpose of which is to keep youth physically active. Consequently, what is the minister waiting for to transfer the Quebec government its share of the funding?

The Budget
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Simcoe North
Ontario

Liberal

Paul Devillers Secretary of State (Amateur Sport) and Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, we are presently working with the provinces and territories on bilateral agreements for such programs. We are still awaiting the provinces' requests. We are ready to work with our sports system partners.

Infrastructure
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians paid $7 billion in federal gas taxes last year: $4.8 billion in excise taxes and $2.2 billion in GST on the fuel and its excise taxes. That is $7 billion in gas taxes, $222 per Canadian. The Liberals will spend $9 per Canadian on infrastructure this year.

Canadians pay $222 each in gas taxes annually. Do they not deserve more than $9 each in infrastructure payments?

Infrastructure
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vaughan—King—Aurora
Ontario

Liberal

Maurizio Bevilacqua Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows that our three infrastructure programs are approximately $8 billion.

In reference to the issue of tax cuts, the hon. member must remember the fact that we were the party that introduced $100 billion in tax cuts. The average family is saving approximately 27%. That to me is responsible governing.

Infrastructure
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, we are still waiting for that GST tax cut though.

On average, Canada's provinces invest 91% of their gas tax revenue in roads. The federal Liberal government invests 4% in roads. Let me say that again. The average of Canadian provinces is 91% of gas tax revenue invested in roads. The federal government invests only 4% in roads.

Given this track record of provinces building roads while Ottawa pads its general revenue slush fund, why will the government not cut gas taxes and leave the financing of roads to the level of government that actually builds them and does it in a fiscally responsible way?

Infrastructure
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Vaughan—King—Aurora
Ontario

Liberal

Maurizio Bevilacqua Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, I do not understand what the hon. member is saying about tax cuts. After all, when we travelled the country and listened to Canadians, what they wanted us to do was in fact to cut the taxes and we have. We have done it with income tax brackets. We have done it with capital taxes. We have raised the small business deduction from $200,000 to $300,000 so that small business can prosper.

Regarding the commitment we have had to infrastructure and roads, anybody can check the record. Indeed it is a very good one.

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Solicitor General of Canada and pertains to the integrated proceeds of crime initiative.

My riding of Kitchener Centre has been plagued by the prevalence of marijuana home grow operations which are linked to organized crime.

Budget 2003 provides $46.6 million over the next two years to continue the integrated proceeds of crime initiative. Could the Solicitor General tell the House how this funding will help combat organized crime and how this funding will assist Waterloo Regional Police and the RCMP in fighting organized crime in Kitchener?

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Malpeque
P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Kitchener Centre for her question and her concern on this particular issue.

The funding that was announced in the February 18 budget means that IPOC will continue to pursue assets and money gained illegally. To date the program has contributed to seizures of criminal assets of more than $215 million and forfeitures of more than $86 million. It has referred cases worth $89 million to other jurisdictions in Canada and abroad.

The government will continue to work hard on this issue. What we are trying to do is to take the profits out of crime.

Infrastructure
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

The Toronto Star says that his budget trashed cities. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities called it doomsday. No wonder Toronto Liberals are worried. Well, my city is worried too. The mayor of Winnipeg called the budget a joke.

Could the Prime Minister explain why Winnipeg's share of the budget meets only 0.05% of what it requires just to fix roads and bridges?

Infrastructure
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Vaughan—King—Aurora
Ontario

Liberal

Maurizio Bevilacqua Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, it is typical of the NDP to have a very narrow view of what it takes to build a city, very narrow indeed.

Of course infrastructure is important. That is why we invested over $8 billion. When we ask the small business people who want to generate greater wealth for the city, they say they are benefiting from the higher deduction. When we ask people if cities are in fact benefiting from the fact that disposable income in this country is going up, cities benefit from that. If we ask whether they benefit from greater health investments, cities benefit from that.

We understand what it takes to build a city. We understand what it takes to build a country.

Infrastructure
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, when Mike Harris was cutting taxes and not building clean water, the Liberals said that those choices caused Walkerton.

Two years ago the Liberals cut taxes by $100 billion, twice the amount of today's infrastructure needs. But instead of building clean water, they are still cutting taxes, such as the abolition of the capital tax, costing $700 million.

Could the Prime Minister explain why corporations need a capital tax elimination more than communities need clean water?

Infrastructure
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Vaughan—King—Aurora
Ontario

Liberal

Maurizio Bevilacqua Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, that is typical of people who cannot take a two-pronged approach.

We have to generate wealth in a country before we can redistribute it. That means we have to set up the economic conditions so that people and companies can profit, create jobs and improve investments in Canada.

Let us be frank with one another. We are leading the G-7 in economic growth. We are leading the G-7 in job creation. Disposable income in this country is going up. Productivity is going up. This plan works and it works well for the people of Canada.

Firearms Registry
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, the justice minister is about to wash his hands of all accountability for the firearms registry. In five weeks the whole mess will be handed over to the Solicitor General, the next in a long line of ministers who cannot answer for their predecessors. This is a major move and must have been the subject of indepth studies before the decision was made.

Will the Minister of Justice tell exactly how much the transfer will cost while the Minister of Justice is still able to speak on this matter?