House of Commons Hansard #2 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was speech.

Topics

Maher Arar Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, again that was a very vague answer and no commitment.

We know that the results of this public inquiry touch on areas fundamental to public access to information, the rights of citizens and public security, so they have to be broad enough to answer these allegations of a police state.

I am asking the newly minted Prime Minister if he will ensure that the secrecy provisions of the new Canada Evidence Act will not be used to prevent a full public inquiry into the reasons behind the home invasion of reporter Juliet O'Neil nor the criminal charges that are apparently still under investigation.

Maher Arar Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, we have made it absolutely plain that the terms of reference for this inquiry are being discussed between Mr. Justice O'Connor and government officials at this time.

We have also made it absolutely plain, and of course Mr. Justice O'Connor would expect, that he would have access to all information that bears upon the mandate of this inquiry, which is to look into the actions of Canadian officials around the deportation and detention of Maher Arar.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, while people consider health to be the number one priority and the $2 billion from Jean Chrétien is already all spent, the Prime Minister could find nothing better to do in his throne speech than to create indicators to measure the damage that he himself has caused by his shameless cuts to the health transfer payments to the provinces and Quebec.

Will the Prime Minister admit that what is needed to provide people with health care is not statistics, but rather new funding, and new funding right now, to help Quebec and the provinces provide people with good care?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt that, given the aging population and the new technologies, more funding will be needed for health care.

The leader of the opposition ought not to downplay the importance of indicators. All experts in the country have made it clear that, taking the matter of waiting lists as an example, we need the ability to gauge the situation with indicators. These are very important; all the experts agree.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, here we have a government that, basically, administers not a single hospital anywhere in Canada yet plans to tell the provinces and Quebec what to do. Here we are again with the same old “Ottawa knows best” attitude.

The Prime Minister puts his money in areas he considers true priorities. Can he explain to us why he puts money into the armed forces but no new money into health care? Let him explain that to me.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, not only did the previous government invest $35 billion into health services, but we have just confirmed another $2 billion. We did that last week. The amount of $37 billion, to me, is real money.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, the number one priority for Quebec and the rest of Canada is health care, an area that has been underfunded ever since this Prime Minister reduced the federal share of funding from 22% in 1994 to 16% today.

Why has the Prime Minister not taken concrete action, as he did for the municipalities, and reimbursed the hospitals for the GST they are paying? This would have been a worthwhile and significant action, instead of mere words.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, last Friday the Prime Minister took some very concrete action by confirming the $2 billion promised, provided, of course, there is a surplus. Since mid-December, this government has made sure that there will indeed a surplus, in order to be able to provide that $2 billion.

I can assure you that we will continue to work with my colleague, the Minister of Finance. That was the agreement between the Prime Minister and his colleagues, that there would be a meeting of finance and health ministers in order to solve the problems in health care. We are all aware of one thing: money alone is not the solution.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, the same thing has been repeated three times.

In the Speech from the Throne, the Prime Minister said that the municipalities need stable and recurrent funding to meet their priorities. Does he not see that the same is true for health, that the system also needs stable and recurrent funding, as the provincial premiers told him, and that a full GST rebate would be the first solid step toward reaching this objective?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I am astounded. The $34.8 billion over the coming years is a major investment for the next five years. We have increased this five-year $34.8 billion investment by another $2 billion. If that is not a significant amount of funding then I do not understand what more the Bloc Quebecois wants.

We intend to address the number one priority of Canadians as it should be addressed. In other words, we will continue to work on funding and reforming our system.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister found $100 billion to reduce taxes when he was the finance minister, but now he is dropping his progressive ideas from ten years ago, such as home care and pharmacare. There was not a word on the topic in the Speech from the Throne.

Why can the Prime Minister always do the right thing by the corporations, but he does not even appear to have given a thought as to how Canadians can deal with the rising price of drugs?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, at the meeting with the provincial prime ministers and the territorial leaders there was extensive discussion of health care. We agreed that we would meet again this summer on essentially the whole question of sustainability, financing and reform.

At the same time, there will be a meeting of finance ministers within the months to come, and many of the health ministers.

We made it very clear that the entire health accord, as agreed to between the provinces and the federal government, is an incredible priority for us. Home care and the other issues are a very important part of that.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am sure Canadians would have felt more comfortable if the Prime Minister would have at least flagged these issues in his Speech from the Throne. He is good at flagging other things. He could have at least flagged this.

The other thing he never flagged was the Romanow report, not one mention of the Romanow report.

We had a little exchange on this earlier. The Prime Minister did not commit to meeting the Romanow gap, to meeting the Romanow recommendations with respect to the kind of money the provinces need, not a one shot $2 billion payment, but meeting the 25% goal, for instance, that Romanow recommended, and also other things having to do with privatization. What is the Prime Minister's position on that?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's position is very similar to that which Commissioner Romanow himself set out, which is we cannot cherry-pick. We have to look at the entire Romanow Report.

When we talk about the Romanow gap, which is after all a financial target, then we have to look at the wide range of recommendations made by Mr. Romanow. That is why the health accord between the provinces and the federal government is so important.

Canada Steamship Lines
Oral Question Period

February 3rd, 2004 / 2:25 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, moments ago in response to our leader, the Prime Minister said that the $161 million was the best answer the government was capable of giving. We have already uncovered an error with the government's $161 million response with respect to another of the Prime Minister's companies, Canarctic Shipping.

I would like to ask this of not the Prime Minister, who obviously does not know, but of the House leader who sent this document over. How many more errors are in this document and when will Canadians finally know the truth about how much government money was given to the Prime Minister's companies?