House of Commons Hansard #44 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was federal.

Topics

Natural Resources
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it is the Prime Minister's intention to deliver on exactly what he promised.

Natural Resources
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, that might be his intention but he is clearly incapable of making a decision. He knows how to make a promise. He just does not know how to keep a promise.

It has been six months since he went down to Atlantic Canada, got on bended knee and made this promise. Ever since they have been good, for goodness' sake.

Will the Prime Minister now assure Atlantic Canadians that he will keep this promise and they will finally get what he promised them last June?

Natural Resources
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's commitment to Atlantic Canada is in fact to increase the level of federal support, unlike the commitment by the Leader of the Opposition that would have benefited one province and harmed three others.

Air Transportation Security
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Casson Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, the lack of diligence by the government has, in the words of the Auditor General, created a serious threat to security at our airports.

Let us look at the facts. As early as last March the Auditor General warned that airport employees could have ties to organized crime. Then airport shields and badges went missing. Now 73 cases of suspicious clearances given to airport workers are deemed serious enough to be forwarded to the RCMP.

Why has the minister allowed this dangerous combination of security breaches to occur?

Air Transportation Security
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I think the hon. member ought to see this in a positive light, since the Auditor General was speaking of some 4,000 or 5,000 potential cases.

Now that 123,000 files have been rechecked, however, the reality is that there are 73 cases. These are not people with criminal records but people with possible ties.

The RCMP is looking into this information and they will advise us if there is any problem. The passes of these people will then be immediately withdrawn. There is not, therefore, any security problem at this time.

Air Transportation Security
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Casson Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister's officials themselves indicated the focus of their investigation would be centred on the possibility of airport workers having ties to organized crime.

With the RCMP now investigating 73 cases, could the minister tell us what parameters the department used when it decided to call in the RCMP? Could he also tell us in what positions the workers involved in these security breaches were working, where they were employed and are they now off the job site?

Air Transportation Security
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, concerning these 73 cases out of 120,000, yes we are talking of possible ties. Not one tie has yet been demonstrated however, Not one of these people has a criminal record that would imperil this country. The RCMP is therefore looking into these 73 cases at this time.

If anything comes up that casts doubt on national security, the RCMP will advise us accordingly, and we will immediately recall the pass of the employee concerned.

Housing
Oral Question Period

December 13th, 2004 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has been in his position for a year now and has precious little to show for it. While the media unanimously criticize his inaction and hesitation, the Prime Minister has the nerve to talk about momentum, when he has done nothing but avoid the issues.

In terms of social housing, for example, how can the Prime Minister have the nerve to talk about momentum when, despite his campaign promises, he refuses to commit to investing more in the next budget?

Housing
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

London North Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Fontana Minister of Labour and Housing

Mr. Speaker, I would like to tell the leader of the Bloc that the Prime Minister and I have met with numerous organizations in Quebec, including FRAPRU. The government is committed to social and affordable housing. That is why we have initiated $1 billion worth of initiatives for affordable housing.

I am happy to say that Quebec and British Columbia are doing some remarkable things. We will continue to work with the Government of Quebec to deliver more social and affordable housing to the people of Quebec.

Housing
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, I know they have met with organizations including FRAPRU. In fact, FRAPRU had a lot to say against them on the weekend. That was quite the answer from the minister.

In 1990, 1.3 million families were living in inadequate housing. In the words of the current Prime Minister, we need to “find room”. Those are his very words. Today, according the CMHC, 1.7 million families need adequate housing. Nonetheless, the Prime Minister does not see the need or urgency to act.

Since the numbers speak for themselves and cannot be denied, could we not obtain a commitment right now that the next budget will actually reflect the promises made during the campaign?

Housing
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

London North Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Fontana Minister of Labour and Housing

Mr. Speaker, I can appreciate the question. As he will realize, housing is a provincial jurisdiction, and we want to work with our partners. In the election platform, the Prime Minister committed an additional $1.5 billion. We agree that 1.7 million Canadians are looking for housing solutions. It is this government that is committed to ensuring that we can find some.

Is there still a need in Quebec? Yes. We will be working on it.

Housing
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the harsh report on the housing situation in 1990, the Prime Minister and the current Minister of Housing criticized the Mulroney government, and I quote:

Since taking office, the Mulroney government has drastically cut housing budgets and programs, transferred its responsibilities to the provinces without the requisite financial resources, and ignored the crying needs of hundreds of thousands of Canadian households.

After such harsh criticism, how does he explain that all he ever did for housing up to 2001 was to withdraw even more than the Mulroney government ever did?

Housing
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

London North Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Fontana Minister of Labour and Housing

Mr. Speaker, since 1999, the government has committed $1.15 billion with regard to finding solutions for the homeless and most vulnerable in our society. We continue to invest $2 billion each and every year for social housing to look after 636,000 households. We are investing $1 billion on affordable housing, and we will continue to do more. The Prime Minister has committed $1.5 billion more for social housing.

Housing
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, we know that the government refuses to act effectively for social housing. If it wants to stop the number of families with serious housing problems from growing further, it has to boost its funding considerably.

Does the government realize that a significant decrease in the number of families with housing problems requires a commitment of 1% of its spending to social and affordable housing, or nearly $2 billion a year, and nothing less?

Housing
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

London North Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Fontana Minister of Labour and Housing

Mr. Speaker, I hope I can count on the member's support as well as the support of all members of the House as we move forward with new creative ideas. Over and above the $1.5 billion, we are looking at new creative ideas of how to engage communities, not for profit organizations and co-ops to help us build on the One Percent Solution. We believe, if everyone comes together, big labour, big business, three levels of government and the not for profit sector, that we can build the houses that the country needs.