House of Commons Hansard #110 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was aboriginal.

Topics

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, the question was: Why did it take so long?

All these delays are enormously costly. Meat packers, cattle feeder operations, everybody is suffering deep losses right now. The minister has said that he has approached cabinet for a compensation package. Producers and feeders have to know whether compensation is coming and, if it is, in what form.

When will the minister release the details of his mad cow compensation package? When will we hear it?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, as has already been stated by the Minister of Transport, cabinet and the government are discussing it. We are also discussing it with the industry and with provincial governments.

I will repeat that the best compensation is an open border. We are concentrating on that, but we are not ignoring the other aspects of the seriousness of this to the industry.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, while softwood lumber companies are announcing layoffs and a slowdown of their activities, the secretary of state for regional development is selling his program for economic diversification. Workers in the softwood lumber sector do not want to change sectors, as the minister is proposing. They want to get their jobs back, that is all.

Four hundred and fifty forestry workers from the Coopérative forestière de Laterrière in my riding lost their jobs and want to get them back.

Does the minister not understand that what the cooperative needs, more than anything else, is a loan guarantee to allow it to resume its activities and rehire its workers?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Liberal

Claude Drouin Secretary of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, there was a statement, a bit earlier, that we wanted to let the industry die. That is just about the most ridiculous thing that I have ever heard here in the House. The role of the government is to defend people and to support them, and that is what we are doing, but we do not wish to harm the industry. We want people to stay in their chosen field.

However, the Americans are maintaining the status quo on this and feel that we are subsidizing the industry, which is not the case. Meanwhile, we are trying to come up with measures to diversify the economy in the regions. That is what we are doing.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, the secretary of state's measures to promote economic diversification do nothing to help the 450 workers at Laterrière right now. Retraining them for another sector is fine and dandy, but what they need if they want to get their old jobs back is a loan guarantee for the cooperative.

Why is this government, which is so out of touch with reality, stubbornly refusing a solution that costs so little, yet is so right and obvious?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby
B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, this was one of the options that was looked at in phase one, which we announced at the time. It is on the table. We never removed it from the table. However we have to make sure we look at all the factors that are out there.

It is something the government has reviewed but no final decision has been made on it. It is still on the table. As part of phase two, if we do not get an agreement there is no doubt we will have to look at options, such as the hon. member has put forward.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, once again the government is sending Canadian Forces into danger without proper equipment.

The Canadian Forces is scrambling to buy basic equipment like proper assault rifles, like laser sights, like night vision goggles. The military has sped up the orders for the equipment by six months but it still will not receive them in time for its mission in Afghanistan.

Why does the government not learn from its past mistakes and ensure our troops are fully equipped before it sends them into danger?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, it is nice to see the hon. member back in the House after a bit of an absence and to be subjected once again to his unique style of questioning.

On the issue, I have made it abundantly clear to the military some months ago that given the danger and security of this mission, no effort was to be spared and no money was to be spared to ensure that our troops were equipped with equipment to maximize their safety, including the use of unmanned aerial vehicles on time in the field. It is on target to do so.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, what the minister is saying in fact is quite different from what the outgoing head of the army says. He says that our military personnel are overstretched and that they cannot continue at the current level of commitment. The new head of the army says that our forces are desperately short of soldiers.

Yet the minister says he will not increase the number of military personnel, even as his government asks for troops in the Congo and in the Israeli-Palestinian region.

Why will the government not listen to the most senior military officers and take on more troops and fewer missions?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has conveniently changed the subject. Overstretched is not the same as under equipped.

Yes, as I have said many times in the House, the military is overstretched and we are addressing that issue. However the topic of his first question was whether it was appropriately equipped.

Given that Afghanistan is a dangerous and volatile place, it is our top priority to ensure that our troops have all the equipment on time that is needed to maximize their safety in the field. We are absolutely on course to that end.

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

June 3rd, 2003 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Finance confirmed that he had maintained the tax of 1.5¢ per litre of gasoline to fight the deficit, but that he had implemented other income tax cuts.

Can the minister see that his budget decisions are very unfair from a fiscal point of view, since taxi drivers and truckers are paying more than their fair share of the anti-deficit tax he has chosen to maintain, even though their incomes are too low for them to benefit from income tax cuts?

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vaughan—King—Aurora
Ontario

Liberal

Maurizio Bevilacqua Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, there is actually nothing unfair about a tax that goes into general revenues which helps us with health care and with infrastructure. It also helps us to create the type of environment that has resulted in the creation of over 660,000 jobs from January 1, 2002. It is a leading G7 performance.

I am sure that is good news for the country of Canada. It might not be good news for him.

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, that does not make this tax any more just.

How can the minister explain his decision to maintain the anti-deficit tax of 1.5¢ per litre of gasoline, even though this penalizes the regions and the consumers very heavily, because it adds to the cost of transportation and thereby increases the price of all goods in a region?

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Vaughan—King—Aurora
Ontario

Liberal

Maurizio Bevilacqua Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, what is unfair is the hon. member's question, trying to say that somehow the tax itself is unfair.

Really there is nothing wrong. Actually the type of economic plan we have created for Canadians has been one that has created a stellar performance across the world. People are talking about how Canada has been able to reduce taxes, liberate its market, create the type of innovative economy that speaks to being number one.

We will try to do better than number one.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deborah Grey Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, we have just passed the 40th anniversary of the first delivery of the Sea King helicopters. That same year President Kennedy was shot, the Beatles released their first album, our present Prime Minister was elected to Parliament for his first time and I turned 11.

We have all aged since then, some less gracefully than others, that is for sure. After 10 years of promised replacements that never show, our troops are still flying those same Sea King helicopters from 1963.

How much longer does this Prime Minister intend to keep the procurement of new choppers up in the air?