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

Topics

Lobbyists
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Well, Mr. Speaker, excuse us if we are not overly impressed with the ethics counsellor's rulings on these things.

Another lobbyist by the name of Cyrus Reporter joined the Prime Minister's transition team to help him hire staff for the offices of cabinet ministers. Once Mr. Reporter had hired all the folks for the backrooms, once the Rolodex was bulging with new phone numbers and the computers were full of insider information, he went back to work for the lobbying firms as well. He is going to be helping to lobby the very government that he helped to set up.

This would be unacceptable for public servants. It is unacceptable for public office holders. But why is it okay for transition members from the Prime Minister's own team to lobby the government that they helped to set up?

Lobbyists
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Why, Mr. Speaker? Because these people that come from the private sector are following the legislation. If the member does not know, we have in legislation a rule of law in this country and these people are to follow the restrictions under the legislation.

According to the Lobbying Disclosure Act, they could go back to their private practice after having offered their help to the government. This is normal. So, if that party wants to make a change to the legislation, it should come forward with some proposals.

Speech from the Throne
Oral Question Period

February 4th, 2004 / 2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, on Monday in the Speech from the Throne the Prime Minister told other countries that what they need is to hear more about Canada. Yet, the ambassadors of those nations who live right here in Ottawa, for the first time in recent memory, were not even invited to the Speech from the Throne. Instead, they got a fax telling them to log on to the Internet.

I would like to ask the Prime Minister, is this part of his strategy to renew Canada's place in the world, or is this just another administrative oversight on the long list by this new replacement Prime Minister?

Speech from the Throne
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, there is a diplomatic gallery in this House. There is a diplomatic way in which diplomats can come to this House and are always received well here.

The hon. member has obviously decided to make an issue of something which none of the diplomats in question have chosen to raise with me. I can only assume that he is raising it for his political purposes, not because it is a problem with the diplomatic corps.

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, world leaders from Australia, Asia, United States, Great Britain and many countries in Europe today have dispatched their most senior ministers and officials to the Executive Level Strategic Conference on Police Response to Terrorist Incidents in Bali.

Our Prime Minister did not even send a parliamentary secretary. Attach that to the announcement that our 2,000 courageous troops in Afghanistan will soon be brought home from the war on terrorism.

I ask the Prime Minister, what message do these two actions send to terrorist regimes around the world?

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the actions of our troops in Afghanistan speak for themselves and speak for the Canadian people, and speak of the pride of this country and what we are doing about terrorism.

I do not have to take lessons from that party about what we have been doing at every international conference. Since this Prime Minister has been present, he has already raised this with President Bush. He has established his record as being firmly against terrorism. We are active on all international levels against terrorism, both militarily and diplomatically.

International Trade
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of International Trade.

Given the statement by the President of the Canadian Wheat Board, according to whom Monsanto's Roundup Ready wheat will have a devastating economic impact on grain producers in western Canada, particularly in terms of “lost access to premium markets”, and given the importance of the European market for non-genetically modified Canadian wheat, can the Minister of International Trade indicate what he intends to do to prevent any potential loss of access to European markets?

International Trade
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, first, I want to thank the hon. member for asking the first intelligent question of the day.

I am very aware of the concerns of farmers. This matter is before Health Canada and our approvals are based on science.

Last week in Europe I stressed that EU treatment of Canadian products must be based on science, not on politics. Since then, Commissioner Lamy has returned to me and said that the commission has approved GM sweet maize BT.

Post-Secondary Education
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, today, thousands of students are marching across Canada and they are not hailing the throne speech. They are hopping mad that the guy who helped tuition rise five times the rate of inflation when he was finance minister wants them now to carry even more debt load and graduate into poverty.

I would like to ask the Prime Minister, does he really expect students to believe that increasing their loan limits will help them when it is abundantly clear that debt is a problem because of exorbitant tuition fees caused by the government and the loss of $4 billion in transfer payments?

Post-Secondary Education
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by addressing the allegation and accusation by the member opposite. Of course, tuition fees have increased. I do not want to suggest that it is somebody else's responsibility. I am sure she is well aware of the jurisdictional divide. We have transferred additional billions of dollars in order to address that.

Most importantly, in the Speech from the Throne, we have given an indication of the comprehensive fashion in which we will address accessibility by all Canadians to institutions of higher learning and we have done it in a variety of fashions.

Post-Secondary Education
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I can tell the House that students do not think much of those promises. If only students counted as much as the Prime Minister's corporate friends. It is yes to corporate tax cuts, but no to tuition cuts.

I would like to ask the Prime Minister, does he have the guts to stand up and answer for his values? Will he please tell the students of this country why his corporate friends received a tax cut while students get more debt? Why is that?

Post-Secondary Education
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure we should disparage students this easily and in such a facile fashion. The fact of the matter is that over 75% of all students have an easy time of repaying their debts. For those that do not, we have put in an interest relief package that totals some $77 million and accommodates some 128,000 students across the country.

We have extended the repayment period for up to 15 years beyond graduation so that they have an ability to pay. What we have done is included as well--

Post-Secondary Education
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Cumberland—Colchester.

Public Service
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, when the Minister of National Defence needs to hire soldiers, he does not hesitate to go to Atlantic Canada and hire soldiers and send them to Afghanistan to risk their lives and safety everyday.

However, when they are going to hire someone for a safe job in Ottawa like this one on the Internet today, only applications from certain postal codes in eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including the minister's own riding, will get considered. No applications from Atlantic Canada will be considered.

Why does the minister think it is all right to send Atlantic Canadians to Afghanistan to risk their lives but they are not good enough to work in Ottawa?

Public Service
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Winnipeg South
Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I assume the member is referring to the regional hiring policies in the public service, which have been discussed at some length.

They are applied to lower levels in the public service because of the huge number of applications we get. It is enormously expensive to process this and it was an attempt to bring some balance to the process. It is a reasonable accommodation.