House of Commons Hansard #27 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tariffs.

Topics

Border Crossings
Oral Question Period

March 23rd, 2004 / 2:40 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Bi-National Planning Group studying a new border crossing at the Windsor-Essex county area announced that it will drag its feet for another three years at the expense of our economy and the health of our citizens.

The incompetence, political interference and mismanagement of the border file by the Liberals has earned it the unflattering comparisons to the gun registry by local citizens.

The citizens of Windsor do not need more band-aid proposals. They need strong leadership.

Will the Prime Minister shorten the timelines or is it his intention to dole out hundreds of millions of dollars for band-aid projects with Liberal connections? Will he support the community's request for a bypass?

Border Crossings
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, let me reassure the hon. member that we are working very constructively and very closely with other levels of government. We are working with the City of Windsor, the surrounding municipalities and the provincial government.

In fact, I am pleased to inform the member, in case he has forgotten, that just two weeks ago we had a very positive announcement around some short term measures that will improve both the safety and flow of traffic between Windsor and Detroit.

Instead of perhaps criticizing the hard work being done by members on this side of the House and other orders of government, the hon. member might like to work with us.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister gave one position in terms of Israel's position on the death of the terrorist leader of Hamas. Then his foreign affairs minister stood up and gave a contradictory position. Clearly these are his own words. He said that this was contrary to international legal obligations on behalf of the State of Israel.

Is the Prime Minister deliberately playing a cynical game of good cop, bad cop with the foreign affairs minister for political reasons, or is he simply incapable of responding clearly to a serious issue?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that the Minister of Foreign Affairs and myself said exactly the same thing, and that is that Israel has the right and the responsibility to defend itself.

At the same time, in terms of this particular act, we do not believe that this is the road to peace. Under those circumstances, clearly the act should be judged exactly as the Minister of Foreign Affairs did yesterday.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

So it is the Minister of Foreign Affairs who sets the policy in contradiction to the Prime Minister, Mr. Speaker.

On all of these issues the Liberals are all over the global map. In 1994 the Liberals turned a deaf ear to the people of Rwanda and did not send in troops. In 1999, without Security Council approval, we approved of the bombing in Kosovo. Then with Security Council approval, we sent brave troops into Afghanistan. Then without Security Council approval, we put military secretly in Iraq.

The government is incapable of responding to these serious issues. When will the Prime Minister get a grip on serious security issues related to putting Canadians in harm's way?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, at the time of the invasion of Iraq the government was not in favour of that invasion and the opposition was.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, beef producers sit here with the border closed. The government ad hoc programs will not solve the problem. They need the border opened.

The Prime Minister has said that the ambassador to the U.S. is the most important position but has yet to fill it, even though the current ambassador's position expired last October.

Rather than hold the spot in Washington open for some Liberal Party crony or relative, why does the Prime Minister not appoint a professional diplomat to Washington now to get to work on opening the border?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I hope the hon. member, by her question, did not mean to tarnish the reputation of an exceedingly effective diplomat who is presently serving this country in Washington. We have an exemplary public service. We have an exemplary diplomatic corps. We have a first class representative in Washington.

We have an opportunity to change diplomats when the proper rotation comes up. The Prime Minister, who is in constant consultation, has ensured that we have the highest quality of representation everywhere in the world, but particularly in Washington.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, leaving the most important diplomatic post in limbo jeopardizes the livelihoods of tens of thousands of Canadians.

The Prime Minister is afraid to be photographed with the U.S. president because of Liberal Party election optics. When will he at least name a diplomat who is not afraid to be seen representing Canadian trade interests in Washington?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, first, the member casts aspersions on one of the leading members of our diplomatic corps. He is in the post because he is that competent. He is a professional diplomat.

What I will take exception to is the reference to President Bush. I had a very good meeting with President Bush when I was in Monterrey and I look forward to meeting with the president again. We are going to work on files that are important to Canadians: BSE, softwood lumber and how we can keep the border open to the free flow of commerce. We are going to deal with the problems within this continent and outside of this continent. The hon. member ought to get her act together.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government has just announced an aid package to offset the devastating effects of the mad cow crisis. However, the softwood lumber crisis has been going on for two years and workers, as well as companies, are still waiting for a real aid package to support them in this continuing trade war.

What is the government waiting for to implement a real aid package for the softwood lumber industry and its workers, who have also been going through a very severe crisis for the past two years?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member opposite knows full well that there are programs in my sector that the hon. members and others can use.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

An hon. member

Oh, oh.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

If the member stops yapping she will understand that my department works well and closely with all those employers who shut down their enterprises and give all neighbours an opportunity to access the program to which they have a right. We work together with employers and with employees to ensure that all-

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Verchères--Les-Patriotes.