House of Commons Hansard #8 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was liberal.

Topics

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of the Environment. Last December, the Ontario Minister of the Environment announced that heavy-duty diesel standards will be tightened on April 1 of this year, making Ontario's emissions standards the strictest in North America.

Since the movement of vehicles crosses provincial borders, could the Minister of the Environment indicate when similar standards will be set for the rest of the country?

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, certainly we congratulate the Province of Ontario on this forward step. We will be working with the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment to extend that across Canada, and also with the Commission on Environmental Cooperation to extend it north-south through the United States and Mexico.

I should add that for new heavy-duty trucks, we brought in new regulations on January 1 of this year. This will require new emissions control technologies, which will reduce nitrous oxide and particulate matter by respectively 90% and 95% for the new heavy-duty vehicles.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is a sad day when the Prime Minister defends a government currently under investigation by the RCMP, a Liberal government the Auditor General has tarred as one of the most corrupt in the history of our nation.

The sponsorship program was a money laundering scheme, taking money from taxpayers and giving it to Liberal friends, and then having the Liberal Party of Canada reap the rewards.

Canadians deserve an answer. Why did the Prime Minister allow this to happen under his watch as finance minister?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, what happened--I said this yesterday--was unacceptable. It was intolerable. There is absolutely no excuse. There is no excuse for what happened. Those people who took that money should be punished.

Let us understand that the end never justifies the means. National unity in this country is going to be protected by thousands of Canadians who stand up for their country. It will not be protected by people who violate the laws of this land. This government will find out what happened and it will be made public to the Canadian people.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, what is truly deplorable is that this Prime Minister still says he knew nothing about it all during the time he was the finance minister and the lead minister in Quebec.

BDC, VIA Rail, Canada Post and the Port of Montreal: all these crown corporations are run by the Prime Minister's Liberal cronies. Crown corporations are not subject to access to information. Will they be subject under this inquiry?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I announced that a complete review of the governance of crown corporations will be undertaken by the President of the Treasury Board. I have also asked him to, on an accelerated basis, meet with the crown corporations in question, to talk to their boards, to talk to their executives, to determine exactly what the facts are. I have then asked him to recommend to me, on an accelerated basis, the course of action the government should follow.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

February 11th, 2004 / 3 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Rimouski-Neigette-Et-La Mitis, QC

Mr. Speaker, once again the Auditor General deplored the way the employment insurance program was managed. She denounced the fact that, year after year, the government takes in more money than it needs to properly run the program, and suggested that the $44 billion surplus is a real tax grab, a hidden tax.

Given that the unemployed have been treated very unfairly over the past few years, does the government intend to repair the harm it has caused by correcting the shortcomings of the system, since there is money available to do so?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, as I have already mentioned in the House, the purpose of the employment insurance program is obviously to provide benefits to the unemployed, those who are out of work, and to help them find employment in temporary tough times.

All the funds from employment insurance went—

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Churchill River.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Rick Laliberte Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, farmers and the agricultural industry remain hopeful that we will regain our foreign markets soon, but a recent newspaper article stated that the borders could be closed for years and not months to Canadian beef.

Could the Minister of Agriculture tell the House what information this was based on and is this indeed correct?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk—Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Bob Speller Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, first and foremost I want all hon. members to know that this document was a document speculating not on the opening of the U.S. border, but on Canada's support at the OIE to get it to recognize specifically our North American situation. It was obviously over pessimistic.

In fact since that time, borders have opened. For instance, the United States has opened its border to Canadian beef under the age of 30 months. We have heard today that Macao, another island country, will be opening up its borders shortly to Canadian beef.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, back in 1995, when the finance minister set a program review allegedly to root out government waste, at the very same time he was finding funds to set up the sponsorship program. At a time when we were all supposed to tighten our belts, he turned a blind eye to what amounted to criminal activity in that department.

How can he justify his negligence while he was on the job? Whatever happened to ministerial responsibility?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra
B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, ministerial responsibility was demonstrated in terms of post-ministerial conduct when the Ambassador to Denmark was recalled yesterday. He was showing having to take responsibility for activities disclosed by the Auditor General in her report where he, in his ministerial role, in his ministerial office, was involved in overseeing the sponsorship program. That is responsibility, following it wherever it may lead.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, the motion we passed last night gave the government the right to reinstate legislation in the same form in which it was originally presented. I know you will be very vigilant about this, but can you assure us that the legislation that comes back to the House will be in the exact form, not tampered with, as it was presented here originally?

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

That is certainly the intention of the Chair. We will be going through introduction of bills shortly. The ministers will indicate if they are submitting the bill on the basis that it is in the same form, and are therefore asking that it be reinstated on the Order Paper.

Before I give that assurance, I will have ascertained that my staff has reviewed the provisions of the bill to compare the new one with the previous bill that was dealt with by the House to ensure that it is in the same form, and I will so indicate. First reading will then proceed.

If members have difficulties later on their review of the bill, I am sure they will raise the matter in a point of order, but we will be doing everything in our power to ensure that those are in exactly the same form they were when dealt with by the House previously.