House of Commons Hansard #26 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was new.

Topics

Health
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, the current problem in the health care system is the result of the terrible budget cuts that the current Prime Minister forced on Quebec and the provinces over the past ten years, when he was finance minister.

Does he not understand that he needs to start investing funds now, and make them recurring, to repair the damage he inflicted on the health care system throughout Canada?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, $34.8 billion will be invested in the health budgets over the next five years. In the coming years, we have committed to an 8% annual increase.

With regard to health, everyone agrees that the long-term sustainability of the system depends, naturally, on stable funding.

We will work with our colleagues in the provinces on ways to find this funding and also ensure adequate reform. That is what Canadians expect, and we will work with Canadians, the provinces and all of our colleagues.

Public Housing
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Quebec is still waiting for its share of the $320 million for affordable housing announced in the 2003 budget. Again this year, many Quebec families are going to suffer through a housing crisis while the money sits in Ottawa.

What is the federal government waiting for to free up the $320 million earmarked for affordable housing in last year's budget?

Public Housing
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott Minister of State (Infrastructure)

Mr. Speaker, that is a good question because to this date we have spent over $300 million. We have established 14,000 units, many of them in Quebec. In fact, 3,200 of those units are in Quebec with 900 in Montreal and 400 in Quebec City. We are currently negotiating for even more.

Public Housing
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, how can the federal government justify denying Quebec money earmarked for affordable housing by citing the dubious reason that the other provinces have not fully expended their housing budgets?

Public Housing
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott Minister of State (Infrastructure)

Mr. Speaker, it is quite the contrary. In fact, we have been most successful in Quebec and those negotiations continue to be even more successful and offer more affordable housing in Quebec.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

March 22nd, 2004 / 2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gerry Ritz Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, if I were a cynic I would think there must be an election coming. The Liberals over there are finally recognizing there is an urgency in the agricultural sector in Canada. More announcements today that they never plan to deliver.

The real issue is reopening the border. Does the Prime Minister not think that his time would be better spent lobbying in Washington than photo ops in Lethbridge?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I saw the reaction this morning of the president of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association. I saw the reaction this morning of the president of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture. I saw the reaction of the president of the Canadian Beef Export Federation.

They did not consider it a photo op. They appreciate the $1 billion. They are also working with the government on the other front, which is to get the border open.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gerry Ritz Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, nobody is denying that it was a Liberal love-in in Lethbridge this morning.

Agriculture Canada officials admitted to the committee last week that of the BSE moneys allocated in last year's budget, less than one-third actually were delivered.

The announcement this morning was just more of the same. We are still missing all the criteria: the dates and the application forms, all the things that let producers trigger the money.

Is the minister going to wait until after the next election to give producers the details of this newly recycled money?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, no, indeed, this is not recycled. This is incremental and we fully expect the cash to begin to flow in April.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rick Casson Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, today the Prime Minister used the pain and despair our farm families are going through as a backdrop for what turned out to be nothing more than a Liberal campaign stop.

The Prime Minister was surrounded by more Liberal candidates than producers when he made that announcement.

The government has known for months that it has had money in reserve. Why did it put farm families through hell before the money was delivered?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Agriculture, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Prime Minister and myself spent a number of weeks consulting intensively with the Canadian Cattlemen's Association, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture and other farm organizations to ensure, first, that we got the amount right, and second, that we got the program designed right because we wanted this program to be of direct benefit to Canadian farmers and to put the cash in their hands at the earliest possible moment. This government will not apologize for helping the farmers of Canada.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rick Casson Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, we have been into this crisis for 300 days and this morning the Prime Minister said that we have to recognize the urgency of the moment.

We have been fighting since May 20, 2003, to make the government wake up and deliver something to these producers. It took 300 days for the government to finally realize the urgency of the moment.

When will producers get one thin dime from the Liberal government?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the government has previously budgeted in the order of $500 million for this process.

In relation to the announcement made this morning, if the hon. gentlemen--

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.