House of Commons Hansard #28 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was first.

Topics

The Environment
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, my relations with Quebec's environment minister are excellent, and they will remain excellent in spite of the Bloc's attempts to drive a wedge between us.

I can assure the House that the negotiations with the Province of Quebec, as with all the other provinces, are progressing well. The negotiations with the major industries for an agreement on greenhouse gas reductions by industrial sector are also progressing very well.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec's environment minister has agreed to change the federal government's position from a sectoral approach to a territorial one and rejects Quebec's being compared with Saskatchewan or Alberta, where greenhouse gas emissions have increased considerably since 1990.

If the Minister of the Environment is serious when he says that Quebec will be rewarded for its efforts, could he give us the assurance that 1990 will be used as the reference year for the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and not 2010, as the federal government is now proposing?

The Environment
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, as I said, the negotiations to ensure that we have a system in place which is both environmentally and economically efficient for the major industrial emitters are being masterfully conducted by the Minister of Natural Resources, and I want to congratulate him on that.

I can assure the House that Quebec's industries will be front line partners.

Cultural Diversity
Oral Question Period

November 19th, 2004 / 11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Maka Kotto Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, even though today is mid-November, according to the odd calendar of the Minister of Canadian Heritage, we still do not know the government's position on the draft convention on cultural diversity that is currently being negotiated at UNESCO.

Will the minister present this position today, in the House? If not, will she tell us how many more days mid-November will last before she does?

Cultural Diversity
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Parkdale—High Park
Ontario

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I would be delighted to answer the question.

As hon. members know, it is this government that has actually taken a lead at the UNESCO convention. In fact, at the UNESCO meeting in Paris in September, Canada was appointed as a rapporteur by 132 countries I believe.

November 15 is the first deadline for putting in proposals for the UNESCO convention and the drafting party will be meeting on December 15, of which Canada is also a member, and the intergovernmental meeting will happen in February.

If the hon. member would like to see the document, may I suggest that he bring that forward at the standing committee.

Cultural Diversity
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Maka Kotto Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, as regards the two main issues of this convention, could the minister confirm, first, that the government will ensure that the UNESCO convention is not subordinated to the WTO agreements and, second, that it includes a dispute settlement mechanism to avoid having trade tribunals determine what is an acceptable cultural policy?

Cultural Diversity
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Parkdale—High Park
Ontario

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I think the issue the hon. member raises is very important but that is not the only issue. Many other issues need to be discussed.

As I am very interested in this file, may I suggest that at the next meeting of the standing committee we put this forward as the next future business and we look at the document before the House recesses for Christmas.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Jeremy Harrison Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal immigration minister recently allowed an exotic dancer who worked on her election campaign to jump the queue for temporary residence in Canada.

The immigration minister has claimed that she has the ethics commissioner looking into this matter but we have learned today that she has not given him the necessary information to investigate.

Why has the immigration minister been allowed to remain in cabinet while misleading the House and bending the rules for Liberal friends?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek
Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I think the hon. minister has answered this question already. She indicated that she provided the file to the ethics commissioner. She indicated that she spoke to the ethics commissioner. That is the information that she has provided to the House.

I do not understand why the hon. member does not expect the minister to state exactly what she has done for the benefit of the hon. member who is asking the question.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Jeremy Harrison Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, this is a very serious issue and we are not getting the answers to our questions.

Yesterday the Prime Minister booted the member for Mississauga—Erindale out of caucus for criticizing his leadership.

While the Prime Minister is peeling back his caucus one member at a time, why will he not bounce his immigration minister to the head of the line for demotion?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is very pleased with the work of the Minister of Immigration. She is extremely dedicated and sensitive to the needs of her clientele. She does not need to take any lessons from these members.

The minister fully answered all the questions put to her and she even submitted her case to the ethics commissioner. She said so herself and we must take her word. The word of the minister means something in this House and we believe her.

Office of the Auditor General
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Bradley Trost Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

Mr. Speaker, contrary to what the Treasury Board minister implied just a few minutes ago, yesterday the Auditor General said that she will not be able to do her job because the government is cutting her budget by 15%.

Why is the Prime Minister undercutting the Auditor General? Is it to punish her for uncovering Liberal waste and corruption?

Office of the Auditor General
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Winnipeg South
Manitoba

Liberal

Reg Alcock President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, let me simply refer the member to the article, in which this is reported, in which Ms. Fraser says:

Ms. Fraser rejects suggestions that her budget is being squeezed because of her controversial reports.

What she is doing is working with us on the establishment of a new mechanism. Frankly, if members on the other side had taken the recommendations of the committee seriously, we would have solved this matter. I have not had a single member on the other side pay attention to these reports.

Office of the Auditor General
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Brian Fitzpatrick Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, instead of reading newspaper accounts, the minister should be reading the records from the committee yesterday.

During the last election the Conservative Party proposed increasing the Auditor General's budget by $50 million. What is the member's solution to the problem, the Liberal position? It is to reduce the budget by 15%. That is appalling.

What is the Liberal government afraid of? Is it afraid the Auditor General will find more Liberal corruption? Is it afraid that we will find more billion dollar boondoggles, more gun registry scandals and more sponsorship scandals?

Office of the Auditor General
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Winnipeg South
Manitoba

Liberal

Reg Alcock President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, I realize it is an ongoing tactic of the other side to put lies in the mouths of important public figures.

The fact is that I met with the Auditor General this morning. I have met with the Auditor General frequently on this issue. I am one of the Auditor General's champions on this particular issue.

In fact, the government has increased the Auditor General's budget by 35%. In fact, there has not been a nickel cut. In fact, what is needed is an appropriate funding mechanism and if members would get their heads around that, we would fix it.