House of Commons Hansard #29 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Federal Economic Development
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Thunder Bay—Superior North
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Comuzzi Minister of State (Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario)

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for that question because it concerns women entrepreneurs and their ability to enter our economy in greater force than they have been able to do up to this point in time.

The Minister of Finance stated in his budget that he was looking for innovative and different ways to enhance this program. We intend to do it. We intend to offer women in our country more opportunity for business guidance, and more important, access to the capital that is necessary for every entrepreneur.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

March 25th, 2004 / 2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister has spoken of an operating reserve used by the Mulroney government in fiscal 1992-93. He will know that reserve was used to establish the new cabinet committee on constitutional affairs, the new public service secretariat, the six national citizens consultative conferences, the joint parliamentary committee and other initiatives related to the Charlottetown accord.

Is he honestly pretending that those very public initiatives are comparable to the scandals revealed in the sponsorship program?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is a common practice in governments, federal and provincial, to have reserves for contingencies, unexpected or otherwise. The fact is that the reserve in this particular case was used for exactly the reasons that the hon. member has just said or equally laudable objectives, such as the Terry Fox Centre.

The fact is that these are public moneys spent publicly. They are fully registered in the estimates in the books of account.

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, with the sale of its Petro-Canada shares, the federal government will be losing its inside view of the oil and gas industry. This makes it all the more appropriate to act on the recommendation of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology to create a petroleum monitoring agency.

Does the Minister of Industry not see this as one more reason to act on the committee's recommendation and to create this watchdog agency, which would finally make it possible to regulate the oil and gas industry? Are we going to find out the government's position on this before an election is called?

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

R. John Efford Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I answered that question in the House yesterday. The hon. member knows quite well our position on the question he is asking. We have stated very clearly before that free enterprise takes care of itself, that the provinces themselves, in two cases in eastern Canada, try to regulate the gasoline industry. We are considering it and we will announce our decision at the right time in the future.

Canadian Forces
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, some of our greatest Canadians are those who serve in our armed forces and in overseas theatres to help bring peace and democracy to other countries of the world. However, with the recent budget, there is great confusion about which armed services personnel will receive a benefit.

When we send these brave men and women overseas, along with their civilian counterparts, will the Minister of Finance now stand in the House and say that all members of our armed forces personnel and their civilian counterparts, when involved in theatres of conflict, be it Bosnia, Haiti, the Arabian Gulf or Afghanistan, will receive the same benefit that was announced in the budget?

Canadian Forces
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Liberal

David Pratt Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the hon. member for the question because I think it is the first question that has come from the NDP since Parliament resumed on February 2, dealing with the men and women of the Canadian Forces.

I should also mention that this is a very positive measure from a very positive budget and from a very popular finance minister as well. This will have a positive impact on the men and women of the forces. I am looking very favourably at having the measure apply to those serving in Haiti, Bosnia and those--

Canadian Forces
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister promised Canadians that his government would be transparent and open in getting to the bottom of the sponsorship scandal.

Now repeatedly today in question period the President of the Privy Council has been asked questions about his relationship with Pierre Tremblay.

Will the Prime Minister require his ministers to stand and answer questions or will he be part and parcel of this kind of stonewalling?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, on numerous occasions the minister has stood in the House and has responded to the questions asked of him.

At the same time, the Minister of Public Works has stood in the House and has responded.

The fact is that this government, in an open and transparent way, has put in place the commission of inquiry and has asked to have the parliamentary committee accelerated. We have said that ministers are quite prepared to appear and respond to questions in front of the committee.

The fact is that we will get to the bottom of it. I just wish they would quit stalling in committee.

Presence in Gallery
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

I draw the attention of hon. members to the presence in the gallery of the Honourable Pat Binns, Premier of Prince Edward Island.

Presence in Gallery
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Business of the House
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the usual Thursday question of the government House leader. I would like to ask him what the business is for the rest of this week and next week.

I would also like to ask him to assure the House that we will not have to cancel anymore committee meetings next week, because Liberal members are not showing up, and get down to doing the business of the House.

Business of the House
Oral Question Period

3 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 am glad to answer the Thursday question.

This afternoon, we will continue the budget debate. Tomorrow, we will begin consideration at the report and subsequent stages of Bill C-3, the Canada Elections Act, followed by a motion for referral of Bill C-25, the whistleblower bill, to a committee before second reading.

Monday and Tuesday we will continue with the budget debate. Wednesday, we will have votes on ways and means motions. We will then resume consideration of any bill that did not get finished on Friday, Bill C-11 in particular, plus of course, if possible, Bill C-9 on drugs. Next Thursday, I hope we will be able to start second reading of the budget bill.

As for the committees, all I can say is that I am pleased the Standing Committee on Public Accounts will be able to make some progress during the week we are not sitting here in the House.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra
B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, in answer to a question earlier in question period today about the meeting between the president of the Privy Council and a Mr. Tremblay, I was referring in my answer to the evidence given today at the public accounts committee from Ms. Tremblay about a possible meeting between him and Mr. Guité. I wanted to make that point of clarification.