House of Commons Hansard #51 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was children.

Topics

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, our position has never been ambiguous. We have, right from the start, supported the Security Council's authority, as the Prime Minister made clear to President Bush in their very first conversation on the subject.

Our behaviour in this respect has always been the same. The Prime Minister has been honest with the House. He has said that legally there is a situation, but Canada has always backed the authority of the Security Council and its responsibility for taking the necessary steps.

We shall see how things develop over the coming weeks, but we do support resolution 1441. It is our way out of this impasse. We are confident that the Security Council will provide us with the opportunity to avoid war if possible, while at the same time disarming Iraq.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, there are very few countries that share that opinion. We read in the weekend newspapers that the Pentagon was contemplating dropping some 3,000 bombs on Iraq over 48 hours, clearly indicating its intention of waging out and out war, which has very little connection with disarming Iraq.

Are we to understand that the Prime Minister of Canada, by refusing to come out clearly in favour of calling for a second UN resolution, is providing unacceptable support to the warlike attitude of the United States?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we have been very clear. We have never adopted a position with any option in favour of war. We are fiercely opposed to war, and made that clear here in this House the other evening during our debate. This is the position of the Prime Minister, but it must also be acknowledged that the Security Council has imposed certain obligations on Iraq. Those obligations must be respected. We are counting on the Security Council to commit to ensuring that Iraq meets those obligations. We are opposed to war, except as an absolutely last resort.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, we are on the eve of the first ministers' conference, which we all agree is a turning point when we can begin to construct a new blueprint for public health care. I want to ask the Prime Minister his intentions for adhering to one of the most fundamental recommendations of the Roy Romanow report, which called upon the government to establish reliable, predictable long term funding, and an increase in the federal share of the financing of health care to at least 25%.

To lay the cornerstone of the future of health care, will the Prime Minister today tell Canadians that he will present the 25% funding commitment to the premiers this week?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am not in the business of using the usual battle with numbers. The reality is that too often the provinces have refused to recognize that the federal government is giving them tax points and so much so that provinces that are receiving equalization payments receive more equalization payments because their tax points are not sufficient to meet the revenues of the big provinces.

The federal government is paying 42% of the public financing of health care at this time. There is some need for more money. There will be more money, but I do not intend to play politics with that. I want to have an agreement that will give us a new health care system with real changes.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, let me remind the Prime Minister what he said in the 1993 red book:

It is essential to provide financial certainty and predictability for our health care planning.

Let me remind the Prime Minister that under his watch health care funding has dropped to dangerously low levels to the point where medicare is at risk. Today we have a chance for a new beginning. It requires federal leadership and a commitment to that basic 25% share of funding of health care.

I want to ask the Prime Minister, will he set a new tone for this important meeting starting with a straightforward timetable for the basic 25% federal funding formula?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, to go down to 25% would be very disappointing if we are at 42%. That is why the hon. member is playing the numbers game.

She should recognize that in September 2000 we signed an agreement where we gave the provinces $23 billion for the next five years. They want more and we will do more.

However, the hon. member always makes the same speech that is based on rhetoric rather than reality. The federal government has always taken its share of the responsibilities. We will keep doing that and improve on it this week.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

February 3rd, 2003 / 2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, Secretary of State Powell will brief the Security Council on Wednesday respecting new intelligence reports on Iraq. My question for the Prime Minister is precise and I am not asking him to reveal the contents or the details of intelligence briefings.

My question is, has Canada been given intelligence information that establishes a clear link between the regime in Iraq and the al-Qaeda attacks of September 11, 2001?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I do not comment on international communications that we receive from different governments. However, Mr. Powell will be making a presentation to the Security Council. That will be public and we will see what kind of evidence the American government can make public to that effect.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom gets invited to Camp David and he reports regularly to his Parliament. This Prime Minister does neither.

Will the Prime Minister explain to the House why he will not treat, on the conclusions of intelligence matters, the Parliament and public of Canada with the same respect that the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom treats the Parliament and the public of the United Kingdom?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister of Great Britain appears in the British House of Commons once a week.

I appear three or four times a week and take questions for half of question period every day. Sometimes a lot of them are repetitive coming from that corner, but I reply graciously.

Trade
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, the U.S. government will soon require that all commercial trade with the United States be subject to 24 hours of advance notice before crossing the border.

Canadian exporters say that this will hit both economies hard and is an impossibility for just in time operations, such as the big three auto makers that ship $100 million in components across the border each day.

Can the Prime Minister tell the House when he will be meeting with the President of the United States or discussing this matter directly with the President of the United States?

Trade
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite may have heard of the smart border accord and the 30 point plan which is being implemented at the present time.

There are always discussions about new ideas and proposals to come forward, but I would say to the member that the 30 point plan is being implemented extremely well. We are working cooperatively with the Americans. We believe that cooperation programs, such as free and secure trade, which is facilitating commerce between our two countries in the interests of both countries, will succeed.

Trade
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, in the fall of 2001 the Canadian Alliance and Canadian industry told the government to take a leadership role in addressing American security concerns.

The government's failure to do so endangers Canadian trade, Canadian industries and Canadian jobs. Because the government has failed to adequately address the security concerns of our neighbours, we are now faced with this 24 hour notification. The 30 point plan has failed to address the concerns of our American colleagues.

Is the government's relationship with the United States so bad that we cannot get an exemption from the 24 hour notification?

Trade
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I would suggest that the member opposite not engage in fearmongering nor should he assume that issues that are under discussion have been finalized. They have not.

We are working cooperatively with the Americans to ensure that our border is smarter, and that “secure-er”, but also ensuring that trade moves between our two countries because that is in the interests of both Canadians and Americans.