House of Commons Hansard #4 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was municipalities.

Topics

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, last night on CBC television there were no “ifs, ands and coulds”, it was that the Prime Minister was committing us to doing that.

The Prime Minister's word is not even any good for one day. Yesterday in the House of Commons the Prime Minister committed to increased debate in Parliament and more power to individual MPs, yet last night, just like Jean Chrétien, he could not resist making a major announcement on the television instead of here in Parliament.

Why has the Prime Minister put the desire for a positive photo op ahead of the needs of our troops?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Compton—Stanstead
Québec

Liberal

David Price Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I think the answer is there. The Prime Minister has been very clear in his answer.

We are very proud of the work that our troops have been doing. They are doing an excellent job. They will continue to do that, and we must not forget that we are in command of that NATO operation until the end of the year.

Social Programs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the former minister of intergovernmental affairs finally recognized that, as regards the issue of parental leave, the federal government was on slippery ground because of the Constitution.

Is the government prepared to announce that it will not appeal the ruling on parental leave and that it will recognize Quebec's jurisdiction in this area?

Social Programs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we were very clear on this issue. We are reviewing the court ruling, its impact and the steps that we will take. We have not ruled out anything.

Social Programs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the minister who addresses Quebeckers in French is saying that the federal government is prepared to negotiate. However, in order to negotiate in good faith, one must respect the ruling made, which clearly states that the federal government is interfering in Quebec's jurisdiction. This is the basis of any negotiation.

Consequently, will the Prime Minister confirm that he will not appeal the decision on parental leave and that he will begin negotiating in good faith with Quebec at the earliest opportunity?

Social Programs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce to the House and to members from all parties that we have already begun the process with our Quebec counterparts. We have already set a date to begin our discussions. Let us wait to see the outcome of these initial discussions.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, Veterans Affairs has extended the VIP coverage to those widows whose veteran husbands died after September 1, 1990. I cannot believe that anyone sitting in the House does not want to treat those veterans' widows. While this change increased the number of widows who receive coverage, it did not extend the VIP benefits to all our veterans' widows.

We now have two classes of widows, some covered and many not, simply on the basis of when--

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Veterans Affairs.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, my predecessor in this position laboured long and hard and successfully to improve upon the legislation enacted by the then Tory government of Brian Mulroney in 1990. That legislation extended benefits to widows of veterans but cut them off after one year.

This government, thanks to the work of my predecessor and with the full support of veterans' associations, improved upon that such that all these veterans' widows were covered for life, resulting in 10,000 more being covered at an additional cost of $200 million.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Veterans Affairs should just think about this. The wives of all those veterans who died before September 1, 1990 are home. I hear from them every day. They say, “Please, please I can't stay in my home unless I get that VIP”.

When will the government, when will the minister, get up in the House and say that all veterans' widows are equal? Will it be today or will it be tomorrow?

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I just said, the government was faced with a situation of veterans' widows being cut off within one year of the death of their husbands. After much labour and with the full support of the veterans' groups and with the support of the House, we succeeded in extending this care for life. There are, as a consequence, more than 10,000 additional beneficiaries at a cost to the government of $238 million over five years.

There is no doubt that this move represented a very substantial improvement over the legislation introduced by the member's party back in 1990.

Statistics Canada
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Janko Peric Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the minister responsible for Statistics Canada. Currently information from Statistics Canada on Cambridge is lumped under the confusing heading of Kitchener Census Metropolitan Area.

Could the Minister of Industry tell us what changes can be made to better reflect the presence of Cambridge?

Statistics Canada
Oral Question Period

2:50 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

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague from for Cambridge for that question. I do understand his frustration when the City of Cambridge is not mentioned in the census metropolitan area when the information is released.

I have to say that the convention is based on the fact that the name is based on the largest municipality or the central municipality. Nevertheless, I will ask Statistics Canada to make some effort when it releases information to include references to all municipalities included in the CMA.

Firearms Registry
Oral Question Period

February 5th, 2004 / 2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Garry Breitkreuz Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has already broken his promise that he made on national television only last night.

He said one of the most important democratic reforms is to give MPs more power to represent their constituents, but now he announces there will not be a free vote on the gun registry. The Prime Minister's words and his actions just do not line up.

An Ipsos-Reid poll this week tells us that only 43% of Canadians support the gun registry. Will the Prime Minister allow a free vote on the firearms fiasco or will he not?

Firearms Registry
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Brossard—La Prairie
Québec

Liberal

Jacques Saada Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, I thought that the plan of action was very clear. Votes concerning the throne speech, basic policy and budget matters are traditionally confidence votes. Therefore, it will be a whipped vote, as usual.