House of Commons Hansard #112 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was banks.

Topics

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

June 5th, 2003 / 2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister for International Trade was unable to name a single province that supports his softwood lumber proposal. The government claims it has consulted with the provincial and industry authorities, but the facts suggest otherwise. They suggest the government ignored the interests of entire regions, regions like Atlantic Canada.

If the Minister for International Trade cannot name a single province that supports this proposal, why will he not withdraw it from the table?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Dufferin—Peel—Wellington—Grey
Ontario

Liberal

Murray Calder Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, not only do we believe that Atlantic Canada, but all Canadians, should be exempt from the punitive measures applied by the United States.

In this case Atlantic Canada was not successful in achieving exemption from anti-dumping measures. In their meeting with the ministers two weeks ago representatives told him that they preferred a negotiated settlement with the ongoing litigation provided that their interests were met and that the anti-dumping petition would be withdrawn.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, on May 21 the government assured the Maritime Lumber Bureau that Atlantic Canada's duty exemption on softwood lumber would stand. On May 22 the Minister for International Trade removed Atlantic Canada's exemption and proposed a quota regime. Yesterday the Maritime Lumber Bureau resolved to take legal action against the government. Today the minister is meeting with the Maritime Lumber Bureau.

Will he reverse his decision to betray the softwood lumber industry in Atlantic Canada?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Dufferin—Peel—Wellington—Grey
Ontario

Liberal

Murray Calder Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I will just take and reinforce what I have already said to the member. We believe that not only Atlantic Canada, but all of Canada should be exempt from the punitive measures being applied by the U.S.

Urban Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the finance minister.

The environment minister says he wants funding for public transit; so do cities, the environmentalists and indeed the NDP. We have been very clear on that. The finance minister clearly knows this because his office called for a copy of Jack Layton's speech to a municipal conference last week, presumably so he could bone up before his own speech.

Why is the finance minster, who boasts of his surplus, the only one who refuses dedicated transit funds to help our cities and the environment?

Urban Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, there have been funds made available for public transit in a significant way, not only through the infrastructure program, but that vehicle is also available through the climate change funds that were proposed in the last budget.

The point here is to create more availability of public transit. That is what the challenge has been in many of our cities and that is where the federal government is directly implicated.

Urban Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, clearly the minister has done nothing to dedicate more funds for public transit and, in fact, in a newspaper today he is quoted as saying he opposes a tax deductible transit pass because it would discriminate against people who do not work. The funny thing is that most of his beloved tax cuts discriminate against people who do not work.

Just where does this minister stand on public transit? Why does he support tax deductible business lunches, but he will not support tax deductible transit passes for people who really need them?

Urban Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I support public transit being available for people who can use it. The problem we have in many of our cities is the lack of availability of service. That is why our emphasis has been on constructing the infrastructure making it available so that people can then use it, not coming up with a very expensive scheme to reward people who already use it.

Transportation
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jim Gouk Kootenay—Boundary—Okanagan, BC

Mr. Speaker, committees are charged with the responsibilities of reviewing the estimates of government departments and agencies. Recently, the transport committee reduced the funding request of VIA Rail by $9 million after VIA failed to explain why it needed even more money than last year. The minister has indicated he will move to overturn the committee's decision and put the money back.

Can the minister explain how he justifies circumventing the decision of an all-party committee so he can give even more money to his personal pet project VIA Rail?

Transportation
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member obviously does not understand the rules of the House. No one individual can overturn a committee decision, but all members assembled can and that is what I hope will happen next Thursday night when the estimates come forward.

I believe, with great respect, the members of the committee erred in their decision and they did not ask the right questions of VIA Rail. I have offered to go and I have been asked to go on Monday to explain VIA's estimates to the committee. Hopefully, that will make the hon. member more warm to passenger rail in Canada.

Transportation
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jim Gouk Kootenay—Boundary—Okanagan, BC

Mr. Speaker, in an attempt to defend the runaway firearms registry cost the Liberal government suggested that if MPs had done their job in reviewing estimates the huge cost overruns might not have occurred. The transport committee did provide that scrutiny with VIA Rail and it acted responsibly.

How does the minister justify overriding the work of the committee which is doing the very job that the government criticized another committee for not doing?

Transportation
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the transport committee was fully within its rights to examine the estimates and come to whatever conclusion it wanted. However the entire House of Commons has the right to pronounce upon that and they will do so next Thursday night.

Violence on Television
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Montreal school board has implemented a plan to fight violence on television. From 1994 to 2001, acts of violence increased by 432% on the private television network in Quebec and more than 80% of these acts of violence were broadcast before 10 p.m.

Does the Minister of Canadian Heritage intend to support the demands of the Montreal school board, which is asking that violent shows and films be broadcast after 10 p.m.?

Violence on Television
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I am certainly interested in receiving such recommendations. It is well known that a report on the diversity of broadcasting channels will be released by the Canadian heritage committee a few days from now.

If it is possible to review this matter, why not?

Violence on Television
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, meeting the expectations of the coalition formed by the Montreal school board will require changing the CRTC's mission.

How does the Minister of Canadian Heritage intend to handle this matter?