House of Commons Hansard #73 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was transportation.

Topics

Persons with Disabilities
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Vaughan—King—Aurora
Ontario

Liberal

Maurizio Bevilacqua Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, the government has an attitude of gratitude for those individuals who contribute to the public policy process of the government. The budget more than doubles, from $600 million in 1996 to $1.3 billion, annually the tax relief for persons with disabilities.

We have a new child disability benefit of $1,600, which will help over 40,000 families with children who are disabled. As well, we have established a technical advisory committee to review tax measures for persons with disabilities. It is clear to me that the government not only listens but also acts.

Border Security
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the situation at American-Canadian border crossings is getting worse with the tightened security measures from the United States. We are seeing traffic tie-ups and delays threatening businesses and putting municipalities in very tenuous situations. We know right now that the Deputy Prime Minister said we are entering a period of some uncertainty. The municipalities are already reacting by putting emergency measure plans in place. What we do know for certain is that they will be incurring more costs.

The government does not have a good record with municipalities, but will it show leadership right now and will the Prime Minister support financially those municipalities that will have to face the cost coverages for these emergency measure plans?

Border Security
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I have some information that I would like to share with the member regarding the situation at the border.

Ambassador Bridge is one of our busiest and very important commercial border crossings. He might want to know, and the members of the House might want to know, that at the Ambassador Bridge there were 15-minute delays yesterday and there was a consistent 120-minute delay all day today. At the Windsor-Detroit tunnel there was a 5-minute delay yesterday evening, 45-minute delays at 8 a.m., and 30-minute delays since then.

We have been working very closely with the Americans to ensure that commerce keeps moving as best it can during this stressful and difficult time.

Border Security
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister did not reply at all to the member's question.

Not only are border communities facing enormous difficulties, but individual Canadians are facing harassment, racial profiling registration, and now the new visa requirements by the U.S. Even Canadian citizens who cross the border daily to go to work in the U.S. are facing interrogation when they return by Canadian officials no less.

I want to ask the Prime Minister: Why is the Canadian government not standing up for the rights of these Canadians and making it clear that we will not tolerate state sanctioned racial profiling and harassment of Canadian citizens and residents?

Border Security
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as the Minister of National Revenue pointed out, these are stressful times. The point is that we work in stressful times together with our American colleagues to solve these problems. At every level of government, whether it is the Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary Ridge, Secretary Powell and myself, or any other of our counterparts, every minister in the government works with his or her counterpart in the American administration.

We are reducing delays and friction at the border. We have the best relationship with the American government than any other country in the world. We will continue to work on that and we will assure it for the benefit of Canadians.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

March 19th, 2003 / 2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Saint John, NB

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

Last February, David Lutz, a Hampton, New Brunswick, lawyer told all his staff to become members of the Liberal Party to protect his firm's lucrative contract with the federal Department of Justice. In a memo to staff, of which I have a copy, Mr. Lutz wrote:

...our number one client here is the Federal Department of Justice. We keep this business as long as John and I maintain high profiles in party activities.

I ask the Prime Minister: Is it his policy for the government to award contracts based on party involvement and not on who can or has the ability to do the job?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as we all know, Justice Canada has outside counsel, not only in that part of the country but across the country. We have an established policy. We look at the quality of the services, the expertise of the law firm, and the lawyers involved in the case. We then proceed to give out those mandates.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, yesterday and today in the House, the Prime Minister made it very clear that changing regimes in different countries is not a policy that is desirable at any time. However, at the same time, media reports state that the Canadian government is spearheading a plan for a regime change of President Aristide in Haiti and even set the deadline of January 1, 2004.

If the government supports regime change in Haiti, how can the Prime Minister say the government does not support regime change?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, there was a newspaper report concerning a meeting that took place. Our embassy in Haiti issued a clarification and made it very clear we are not engaged in any way in trying to change the regime in Haiti.

However, we are engaged in what we always have been in Haiti: working for democracy, working for human rights, working for the betterment of the Haitian citizens, and working for a way in which we can restore a semblance of order in the Caribbean for the benefit of Caribbeans and Canadians. We will continue those efforts.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gerry Ritz Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, Assistant Auditor General Hugh McRoberts has taken the extraordinary step of urging DND to base its long delayed maritime helicopter replacement on best value. Apparently he is concerned that political interests will again trump proper procedures here.

Will the Minister of National Defence confirm today that his department will use best value, not just buy the cheapest thing that comes along?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, since I have already answered that question a thousand and one times, perhaps I might clarify to the leader of the NDP that he misquoted me. What I in fact said was that when we are defending the ships of our allies in the region there might not be time to ask the commanders of the ships what their destination was when those ships were under attack and we were coming to their defence.

The answer to the question is that the government has been engaged in speeding up the delivery of the helicopter by moving from a two contract system to a one contract system. Indeed we are doing everything we can to make that delivery as--

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Battlefords—Lloydminster.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gerry Ritz Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

You are absolutely right, Mr. Speaker. What the heck was that? He is always one step behind, now he confirmed it. The only thing the minister has confirmed here today is that when a Sea King dumps onto the deck of the Iroquois it is called hailing.

After 10 years of claiming it is a Liberal priority, the only movement we have seen on that file is downgrading of the requirements to the point that the 40 year old Sea Kings we have would qualify as a winning tender. Imagine that, Mr. Speaker.

Would the public works minister guarantee that the contract he signs off on will be one based on best value, not on these cheap political requirements?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the government is working particularly hard to move this matter forward. The Minister of National Defence took some very important steps at the end of last year with respect to the bundling issue. We are waiting for further steps to be taken this week and next week. We are anxious to move this forward rapidly and to achieve the very best possible result for Canadians.

Dairy Industry
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Sébastien Gagnon Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week, more than 400 producers from Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay met in Alma to demand concrete action by the federal government, which has abandoned them. Dairy substance imports, the discontinuation of subsidies and the low increase in milk prices have resulted in dropping incomes for them.

Last summer, at the federal Liberal caucus in Saguenay, the Minister of Agriculture promised to set up a task force on supply management. Seven months later, can the minister share with the House the task force's findings?