House of Commons Hansard #109 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was public.

Topics

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I have had a number of discussions with the U.S. secretary of agriculture. Like us, the Americans are waiting for the results of the final tests. Hopefully they will continue to be negative. We have no reason to believe that they will not.

I can assure the hon. member that we have already talked about the types of steps and how quickly we can open the border. However, first of all, we need to have the science so that we can demonstrate that not only to the United States but to everyone else in the world. We look forward to getting that very soon.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Howard Hilstrom Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is heartening that at least this minister remembers conversations he had with the U.S. unlike the Prime Minister.

If an immediate full opening of the border does not occur by the first of next week, this BSE issue will become a full blown national economic crisis. One option available could be a partial reopening of the border to Canadian boxed beef from animals less than two years of age.

Is the minister negotiating a partial reopening of the U.S. border to this beef?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, based on the comments I made in the previous answer to the hon. member, yes, we are.

We are having discussions about the possibility of opening the border for such things as veal, which is young beef, and for young animals both carcass and live. However we need the science before we can do that. Again, we hope that the science continues to show what appears to be the case so far which is that this was one isolated animal that did not get into the food chain.

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-De- Beaupré—Île-D'Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, in 1995, the hon. member for LaSalle—Émard, then Minister of Finance, implemented an additional tax of 1.5¢ per litre of gasoline to fight the deficit. However, this tax has not been needed for several years now, but it is still being maintained by the federal government.

How can the taxpayers not feel wronged by a government that acts in such a way and keeps a tax that is no longer needed?

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, this question has been discussed many times. Taxes have been reduced by $100 billion since last year. We have cut personal and corporate income taxes, as well as payroll taxes. So, the hon. member should recognize that, with this $100 billion amount, all taxes have been cut.

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-De- Beaupré—Île-D'Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, rather than looking for ways to spend surplus funds, should the government not give this money back to drivers who, thanks to its actions, have paid nearly $1 billion over the past five years?

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I believe that drivers also receive employment income and they paid lower taxes on that income. They are also employed by corporations that paid less income tax. Cuts of $100 billion are quite substantial.

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, the former Liberal finance minister and leadership frontrunner is again trying to steal Canadian Alliance policy. Recently he said that he would dedicate a portion of gas taxes into roads to assist in road building and to help municipalities. However, if the former finance minister really believed in dedicating gas taxes to roads he would have done this in any one of his nine budgets. He did not. He failed to do it and he cannot be trusted on this issue.

Why will the current finance minister not walk his predecessor's talk and stop this gas tax rip-off?

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I read very carefully what my predecessor said, and I agree with him. More recently, he has made some suggestion that he might want to vacate a tax field. There were quite a few qualifications around what he said. As I followed very carefully his script over nine years, I think he had it right. I do not think dedicated taxes work all that well in most areas.

Airline Industry
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, we all know the former Liberal finance minister has a penchant for flip-flops, and I thank the minister for pointing that out.

Eight air carriers have died on this Liberal government's watch and Air Canada just barely avoided filing for bankruptcy this past weekend. Air Canada employees took it on the chin.

What I want to know is whether the Liberal government understands the problems of the air industry and will receive the wake-up call that it has now received? Will the Liberal government admit that its air policies have failed? Will it lower and eliminate taxes on flying to get more people flying and to give Air Canada and the airline industry a hope for the future? Will it do it?

Airline Industry
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member were fair he would recognize that there are challenges in the air industry in many countries, and that they are not strictly a matter of this tax or that tax. We certainly are continuing to look very carefully at the challenges. I have met personally as Minister of Finance with representatives of the sector to try to understand the nature of the challenges they are facing.

We will of course observe very closely the work out under CCAA of Air Canada to determine the impact of that process on the provision of air services within the country, and take the decisions accordingly.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

David Pratt Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, over the course of the weekend, Nobel Prize laureate and world renowned democracy activist, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, was re-arrested by the military regime in Burma. Just as troubling are reports that over 70 pro-democracy activists were killed by supporters of the military regime. As well, some 19 of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's colleagues in the National League for Democracy have been detained and the party headquarters closed down across the country.

My question is for the Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific. What is Canada's response to this shameful and regrettable situation?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton Southeast
Alberta

Liberal

David Kilgour Secretary of State (Asia-Pacific)

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are appalled. Aung San Suu Kyi is a world hero. Burma's ruling generals have now taken that country's painfully slow democratization process ten steps backwards.

Canada calls on the Burmese officials to release Aung San Suu Kyi, her colleagues from the NLD and all political prisoners in Burma immediately.

Canada maintains strict measures against Burma. In light of these actions we will now redouble our efforts to restore democracy to Burma.

Lumber Industry
Oral Question Period

June 2nd, 2003 / 2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister for International Trade.

Atlantic Canada should not pay duty on softwood lumber, yet the government's most recent proposal to the Americans surrenders that exemption.

Why and how could the government sell Atlantic Canadians down the river?

Lumber Industry
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, maybe I can inform the member that Atlantic Canada is paying 8.43% dumping duty at this moment. It has been exempted from countervailing duties at 19%. As far as that is concerned, it is an exemption that this government has fought for. We received it from the United States. We intend to remain loyal to it.

Any proposal that went down to the United States last week does not put that exemption in jeopardy. We want to resolve the anti-dumping case of Atlantic Canada as we will resolve the rest of the cases for the rest of the country.