House of Commons Hansard #70 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was yukon.

Topics

Taxation
Oral Question Period

February 28th, 2003 / 11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, in his budget the Minister of Finance announced his intention to retroactively change the provisions of the Excise Tax Act with regard to school transportation.

Even worse, the minister could establish a new rate for school boards despite all the court decisions handed down since December 21, 2001.

Does the minister agree that his proposed change will completely set aside judgments in the school boards' favour on the issue of GST rebates for school transportation?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Vaughan—King—Aurora
Ontario

Liberal

Maurizio Bevilacqua Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member would know that on December 21, 2001, in response to a Federal Court of Appeal decision the government announced a proposed GST amendment to clarify that the provision of student transportation services would continue to be an exempt activity for which school boards would be entitled to a 68% rebate of tax and not a 100% input tax credit.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, is the minister aware that this retroactive measure is an extremely serious infringement of the rule of law and the authority of a judgment, which probably constitutes a precedent in the Canadian parliamentary system?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Vaughan—King—Aurora
Ontario

Liberal

Maurizio Bevilacqua Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should know that if the school boards were only entitled to a 68% tax rebate, they would obviously not be entitled to 100%. This is in keeping with the announcement that reaffirms the long standing policy that the GST has applied since the inception of the tax. The government's policy intent has not changed in this particular instance.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Scott Reid Lanark—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, in recent years Canadian farmers have been plagued by floods, drought, grasshoppers, the U.S. congress, and a Liberal government that just does not care.

Now the minister, with his new APF program, is expecting farmers to provide an initial deposit of $3 billion to ensure adequate coverage.

My question is simple this, where does the minister expect that cash strapped Canadian farmers will get this money?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby
B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food announced a program worth $5.3 billion to help farmers across this country.

This is the amount of money we have provided to support farmers. The Alliance Party members said that farmers should not be provided with support and that they should not be subsidized. They should stand up and congratulate the good work that the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food has been doing for many years.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food is trying to apply a one size fits all approach when he designed the APF for the entire agricultural industry. This will not address the different problems faced by the various regions in Canada. The gradual removal of federal money from the companion programs will leave farmers with ineffective coverage.

Does the minister think it is fair to withdraw money from programs that are already working for farmers?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby
B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, we are not withdrawing programs. In fact, we have a new framework to improve the programs. We are having a transition period to move from the current programs to the better, more improved programs to provide better protection. The transition period will be over the next three years. The hon. member should take that into consideration when she asks her question.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

John Harvard Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Veterans Affairs.

In 1917 Canada defined itself as a nation at the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Today, the Canadian national Vimy memorial is in bad need of repair.

Can the minister please tell the House today what the government is doing to address this issue?

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Oshawa
Ontario

Liberal

Ivan Grose Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Vimy Ridge is one of Canada's most important historic sites, honouring the Canadians who lost their lives at this important battle during the first world war.

I am pleased to inform the House that the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of Public Works and Government Services recently announced the awarding of a contract for $1.8 million for architectural and engineering services for the restoration of the Vimy memorial. This is part of the battlefield memorial restoration project which also includes the restoration and rehabilitation of 12 other first world war battlefield memorials and sites.

If I might add something I heard at the Canadian Defence Association yesterday, our soldiers went up that hill--

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Windsor--St. Clair.

Border Security
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin Windsor—St. Clair, ON

Mr. Speaker, we continue to hear of numerous incidents of racial profiling at our borders and airports.

Last year the Minister of Foreign Affairs told Canadians that he had assurances from Colin Powell and the U.S. attorney general that the practice of systemic racial profiling would end. Well, it has not. There was a recent incident at the Toronto airport where both a customs officer and his supervisor told a Canadian citizen that dual citizens of specific countries had to be registered, that it was the law, and that he had to comply.

I ask the government, will it impose and order a travel advisory--

Border Security
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Border Security
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I certainly would hesitate to order a travel advisory based on a single very unfortunate incident. These are matters which we have constantly brought to the attention of the American authorities.

I have been assured by the ambassador and by Secretary Powell himself that profiling of the nature that is described in the hon. member's question is not being practised by the United States authorities, but that there are other circumstances which they may choose to consider when making a decision whether to admit someone into the United States. This matter can be raised with them, but we will obviously work with the United States to remove this type of--

Border Security
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Palliser.