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

International Cooperation
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is going on trip after trip abroad to improve his international aid image in the press. But since the Liberals took office, Canada has been doing very poorly in that respect.

If the Prime Minister wants to be credible, why does he not turn his words into actions and substantially increase international aid, raising this level to 0.7%, as requested by the United Nations?

International Cooperation
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Burlington
Ontario

Liberal

Paddy Torsney Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada has increased its ODA budget and is committed to doing that in each of the next years. Beyond that, we have also better coordinated the aid, received better ownership on a local basis, and made sure that Canada's aid is the most effective possible.

There is a great need in the world. Canada and Canadians play a role from coast to coast to coast in helping others in less fortunate positions. We will continue to be a leader in helping to coordinate that aid dollar.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Colin Carrie Oshawa, ON

Mr. Speaker, a headline in Saturday's Ottawa Citizen stated, “Canadian firms fall further in productivity” despite being busier than ever. The Ottawa based Centre for the Study of Living Standards estimates that Canadian businesses were only 73% as productive compared to their U.S. peers over this past year.

Why is the government refusing to provide broad based tax relief to correct the productivity gap between Canada and the U.S.?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the government has cut taxes in every budget since 1996. Tax reductions so far amount to more than $100 billion. We are interested in finding further and better ways to reduce the tax burden on Canadians. We are also interested in delivering on our platform for child care, cities, the environment, aboriginals as well as health care and equalization.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Dave Batters Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, reports in the National Post today on the tragic Snowbirds accident indicate that it took an air force rescue team 47 minutes to reach the crash site by truck. Three military helicopters used to be on standby for emergency rescue duties at CFB Moose Jaw, but were discontinued as cost saving measures by the Liberal government in the mid-1990s. In the words of Lieutenant Colonel Laurie Hawn, “That decision was pure dollars. They had to save a few bucks and it should not have happened”.

Why is the Liberal government placing the lives of Canadian airmen at risk just to save a few bucks?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Toronto Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, first, I think the members of the House would join me in expressing condolences to Mrs. Selby and to the family of Captain Selby on his tragic death while serving his country, which he did with the Snowbirds. He was very proud of serving in that role.

We wish Captain Mallett a speedy recovery from his injuries.

I reject the allegation that is suggested in the question that the helicopters were not in the area because of financial reasons. We have helicopters on bases where they are necessary, for example, Bagotville, Cold Lake and others.

We do not have them there because there is a road matrix that the air force deems is correct and available to get us--

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Brampton—Springdale.

Human Rights
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Ruby Dhalla Brampton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, through his recent travels our current Prime Minister has reaffirmed Canada's commitment to the global human rights agenda.

December 10, 2004 marked the 56th anniversary of the United Nations adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, one of the most important documents ever written.

My question is for the Minister of Justice. Can you please tell us what this House is doing--

Human Rights
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member of course will want to address her question to the Chair, even though it is to the minister.

Human Rights
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Ruby Dhalla Brampton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, will the minister please tell this House what the government is doing to reaffirm its principles for this very important document?

Human Rights
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Mount Royal
Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has been the source of inspiration for the international bill of human rights and also for our own human rights agenda, which includes: first, the promotion and protection of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms; second, the protection of security and human rights, no contradiction between the protection of security and human rights; third, the protection of the most vulnerable among us, women, children, aboriginals, minorities; fourth, the combating of hate speech and hate crimes; and, finally, the building of an international justice system for the 21st century.

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Darrel Stinson North Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, it has been over a year since the devastating fires in British Columbia and still many landowners are caught in a log salvage, higher income, no tax deferment situation.

Will the Minister of Finance help B.C. landowners by allowing income tax on this emergency profit to be deferred and paid over 10 years, yes or no?

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the issue of how best to deal with a whole range of issues flowing from the natural disasters in British Columbia last year, particularly the forest fires, are under examination.

Obviously the Government of Canada wants to treat all of those as generously as it can within its jurisdiction.

Sable Island
Oral Question Period

December 13th, 2004 / 2:55 p.m.

Conservative

John Duncan Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, the only human presence on Sable Island is at the research station and they carry out important studies.

A federal working group has recommended that the federal government maintain the station but last week the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans was non-committal.

The trust that is running the station cannot function much longer without a positive decision from the minister. The people working at the station deserve an answer before Christmas. When can we expect an answer and an announcement from the minister?

Sable Island
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Charlottetown
P.E.I.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, this is a very important issue for our minister, our government and our Prime Minister. He is presently working with our Minister of the Environment and with the Province of Nova Scotia, and a decision will be made shortly.