House of Commons Hansard #67 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Winnipeg North—St. Paul
Manitoba

Liberal

Rey D. Pagtakhan Minister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Science

Mr. Speaker, recently I wrote to the mayor of Cagnicourt informing him that Canada will be represented at the event by the director of Canada Remembers' European operations, Mr. Al Puxley.

Indeed, the liberation of Cagnicourt is an important event in Canadian military history. Seven Victoria Crosses were awarded, including one to Cyrus Peck, a former member of Parliament. Indeed Canada is committed to keeping alive the memory of Canada's veterans.

Infrastructure
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Bev Desjarlais Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, the transport minister must have been snoozing last week when the finance minister delivered his budget. Somehow the transport minister did not notice the lack of funding in the budget for strategic transportation investments that his blueprint says are a high priority. The total infrastructure funding in the budget is not enough to repave the Trans-Canada Highway from Winnipeg to Portage la Prairie, yet it is supposed to cover roads, rail, public transit and clean water systems for the entire nation.

If the transport minister says this is a high priority, why was it such a low priority in the budget?

Infrastructure
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we went through this last week and the answer remains the same. Or the infrastructure funding that had been previously allocated in the past two budgets, much of it remains still to be committed. This was a top-up of $2 billion of strategic infrastructure, $1 billion for community based infrastructure, and committed the government to maintaining that funding with those down payments over a period of the next 10 years.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Dick Proctor Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, more than 80% of Canadian customers abroad say they will not purchase any genetically modified variety of wheat, but this has not stopped Monsanto from seeking regulatory approval to introduce GM wheat in Canada. Because there is no effective way to segregate wheat from genetically modified wheat, and knowing that the introduction of this product will result in hundreds of millions of dollars in lost sales annually, would the agriculture minister not agree that a market impact test should be completed before genetically modified wheat is foisted upon Canadian producers?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows that there is a submission up for review. That submission will take a considerable period of time, in fact, many months before it is completed. There are a number of factors that need to be taken into consideration, including the one that the hon. member just mentioned, before complete registration or the marketing of that product would take place.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister told the House that he had checked the file and then he stated categorically that the loophole in the blind trust had been used by apparently two ministers of the previous government.

Does he stand by that accusation against two unnamed ministers of the former government or does he wish to correct the record?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I do not know the names of the people. I was informed that it was used by high officials of the previous administration. I do not know if they were ministers or not. I do not have their names.

If the leader of that party wants to give the names of the people, fine. That is why I was prudent and used the word “apparent”. I was informed that this system was developed by the previous administration and it is the system we have used.

So, give us the names of those who have used it and we would know if they were--

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The right hon. member for Calgary Centre.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, more than most businesses, the shipping industry is driven by tax policy. Companies are registered in countries where taxes are lower. Flags of convenience fly from tax havens. Tax avoidance is a normal business practice for shipping companies.

Yet, the Prime Minister permitted his former finance minister to be involved in a tax sensitive business while he was minister responsible for the tax system.

To protect the integrity of his government, did the Prime Minister ensure personally that his then minister of finance stepped aside from every tax issue that might have been of interest to Canada Steamship Lines?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, when there was a file related to shipping it was the secretary of state in charge of financial institutions who carried the file in cabinet all the time.

As usual, I think the hon. member is just throwing dirt. He is so good at throwing dirt, but when he throws dirt he loses ground all the time.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

February 25th, 2003 / 2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the immigration minister told the House that the Federal Court ruling finding that his department misled Parliament was a “draft decision”. The minister knows full well the judgment was not draft at all. It was signed off on by the judge on Friday, distributed to all parties, and has even been posted on the court's website. The court's verdict was final.

Why did the minister try to mislead Parliament again?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bourassa
Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I am so disappointed when lawyers do not follow laws and do not read the laws, so I will read it for her and for the rest of the people. Under section 74(d) of IRPA it states:

...in rendering judgment, the judge certifies that a serious question of general importance is involved and states the question.

That means that the process is not over. I will be able to comment after we have a certified question. But we never misled this Parliament.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister knows full well that the question the court ruled on was final. One would think that a minister of the crown that was caught red-handed by the Federal Court of Canada would hang his head in shame.

The judge's final findings stated that the minister misled Parliament, he tabled significantly incorrect numbers, and he took immigrants' money and failed to process their applications. Now he is trying to deny the court's verdict.

Why is this minister still holding high office?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bourassa
Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, credibility in politics is extremely important. Since they are in favour of bilingualism on the other side, I will read it in French.

Paragraph 74(d) of the act states that:

In rendering judgment, the judge certifies that a serious question of general importance is involved and states the question.

That means that the court has not made a final decision given that Judge Kelen requested that the parties ask other questions to see if this case could be appealed.

I do not know how she got her degree, but she should do her homework once and for all.

Port Facilities
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, port divestiture is in full swing, and the Minister of Transport has already transferred 80% of all port facilities throughout Canada.

Oddly enough, although Quebec showed an interest in acquiring 10 ports, Ottawa let negotiations drag on, and today the Minister of Transport has announced that the program will end on March 31.

How can the minister explain that he had all the funds needed for the other Canadian provinces, and that he is terminating the program when Quebec is the one involved?