House of Commons Hansard #97 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was airports.

Topics

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deborah Grey Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, our defence minister knew months ago that Afghanistan would be a tough and dangerous mission. He has had plenty of time to prepare for it yet today he tosses it off again as a “non-issue”. Now he tells our advance troops that they cannot be armed because the “diplomatic paperwork has not yet been signed”. That excuse is paper thin.

If the defence minister will not commit today to stand behind our troops, is he willing to stand in front of them?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, unlike the Alliance members who stand behind our troops when it is politically expedient for them to do so, I have done so day after day after day since becoming defence minister. I have said from the beginning that Afghanistan is a difficult and risky mission, at the same time that the Canadian Alliance members denigrated this as a second tier mission. They have never retracted that insulting suggestion vis-à-vis our troops.

We are proud of our mission. We are getting ready for it and Canadians will be proud of it.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deborah Grey Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, I suspect the military and the Canadian Alliance are embarrassed by the minister who is willing to send our Canadian soldiers into a deadly combat zone without any weapons to protect themselves.

Today the wife of one of our soldiers said that she expects her husband to defend himself by saying “Stop. I'm a Canadian, don't shoot me”. You can bet she is worried, Mr. Speaker.

Let us answer this question, Mr. Minister. How does he expect our troops to defend themselves--

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

No, no, she meant Mr. Speaker, I think, but she said Mr. Minister. The hon. member knows she must address the Chair.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deborah Grey Edmonton North, AB

Thanks, Mr. Speaker. Maybe I would get a better answer from the Chair.

How does he expect our troops to defend themselves when the bullets fly, by waving the Canadian flag at the enemy?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, it has become a tradition on this side of the House to preface an answer by saying that I will speak very slowly.

This is a reconnaissance mission, a small group of soldiers who are not armed because the agreement has not been signed, who are extremely well protected by the Germans who are currently deployed there. A small group of NATO soldiers is in precisely the same situation. NATO is not incompetent. The Canadian Forces are not incompetent. Perhaps the Alliance could understand this.

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

May 7th, 2003 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in committee the Minister of Industry admitted that the act gives him the power to demand a thorough investigation into oil company profits. That is fortunate, because that is what we are asking for: a thorough investigation. We do not want the minister to tell us about provincial jurisdictions nor about retail prices—that is not what we are talking about here.

What is the minister waiting for in order to use the power vested in him by law to demand an investigation into the huge profits that all the oil companies, without exception, have pocketed at the same time, at the refining stage?

We are talking about refining here, not retail prices.

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the Competition Bureau is studying the oil company situation very closely. As the commissioner testified before the committee on Monday, they have said that there is not enough information to conclude that there has been anti-competitive behaviour.

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, what the minister has failed to mention is that the commissioner of competition recognizes that his powers are very limited. The minister must have heard his evidence in committee on Monday.

Therefore, what is stopping the minister from giving the commissioner of competition the tools he requires in order to shed light on this question once and for all?

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, since there has been no anti-competitive behaviour, the federal authorities have no role to play. The next step is to look at retail prices. Retail price regulation is an exclusively provincial jurisdiction. And I do not accept the Bloc Quebecois position that the federal government should step into exclusively provincial territory. That is completely unacceptable.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the fisheries minister yesterday invited me to go to the east coast to meet with the ministers of the five provinces involved in the crab fishery to find a solution.

I would like to tell him that is supposed to be his job. Last month the Ontario minister of health went to Geneva as the federal minister sat here and watched and today we have the New Brunswick premier going to Shippagan as the fisheries minister sits here.

When will federal ministers start taking responsibility for their blunders?

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

West Nova
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Robert Thibault Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, it is interesting that during the Standing Order 31 statements we heard a nursery rhyme about why we should vote Alliance. Now we have the fable of going to the Atlantic, meeting with the fisheries ministers and coming out with a plan that all will support. We might as well wave a wand, turn the water into wine and we will all enjoy wine-pickled herring.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the carnations in the House are for multiple sclerosis. That response was more like atherosclerosis.

The fisheries minister talks of consultation yet he acts through confrontation. His actions have prompted Newfoundland's fisheries minister to announce that Newfoundland is considering taking Ottawa to court over the cod moratorium and to make more policies at home.

I will again ask the fisheries minister, will he start devolving more responsibility for fisheries to the provinces where they can handle it properly?

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

West Nova
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Robert Thibault Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the member will recognize that managing the fishery is a federal responsibility. It is our responsibility to manage it in a manner to protect the fishery for the future and to protect those stocks. We take those decisions very seriously. They are not easy decisions. They are very difficult to make. We do not take them lightly. When we take away the livelihood of people for a period of time, it is because it is in the long term interests of the stocks and, by extension, the communities that depend on them.

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Industry has all the authority required to demand a more thorough investigation of the gas and oil companies by the Competition Bureau. On the one hand, we have the companies and their tripled profits for refining, and on the other we have the consumers, who feel they are being taken advantage of and whom the minister refuses to protect.

I am asking the Minister of Industry why he is so lacking in courage that he cannot make use of the powers conferred upon him by the legislation to call for a more thorough investigation. The legislation allows him to do so, but he lacks the courage to use it.