House of Commons Hansard #30 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was parties.

Topics

The Budget
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Scarborough East
Ontario

Liberal

John McKay Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the government has set as a target that in the next 10 years the debt to GDP ratio will be 25%. That has gone from somewhere in the order of 68% to what is now 42%.

By the payment of absolute moneys off in the order of $52 billion, we actually save somewhere in the order of $3 billion, which in this particular year was extremely important. It enabled us to fund the $2 billion to health care and the further $1 billion to mad cow.

The fiscal prudence in this particular instance worked very well indeed.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

March 26th, 2004 / 11:40 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, on Wednesday a majority of the House of Commons voted in favour of my motion that called on the government to take immediate action to extend custodial management over the nose and tail of the Grand Banks and the Flemish Cap.

What instructions has the Prime Minister given to officials in the Departments of Fisheries and Oceans, Foreign Affairs, and International Trade as a result of this action taken by the House?

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Hillsborough
P.E.I.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, first of all I want to congratulate the hon. member for having his motion passed in the House on Wednesday.

Since the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans was appointed on December 12, there were a lot of things done on this issue. This is a top priority with him.

This country has ratified the United Nations Law of the Sea. The European Union has ratified the convention on straddling fish stocks. The minister has put $51 million more into air surveillance. He has put $17 million more into sea surveillance. Most recently, there has been a meeting between the Prime Minister and the president of the European Union where this was a top item on the agenda.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, after all of that there has not been one fish saved or one boat reprimanded.

Is the Prime Minister still of the view that the House of Commons is where the public will must be heard, articulated and exercised as he stated in his Osgoode Hall speech on democratic reform last October?

If so, in view of Wednesday's vote, when will the government introduce legislation to implement the will of the House of Commons?

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Hillsborough
P.E.I.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I am not exactly sure if the hon. member has been following the things that have been done on this issue over the last three months. I will repeat them.

There has been $51 million more allocated to additional air surveillance. There has been $17 million more allocated to additional sea surveillance. There has recently been a high level meeting between our Prime Minister and the president of the European Union where this was a top item on the agenda. There were good discussions and these discussions will be followed up.

Transportation
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ted White North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian boating community is just beginning to find out that the government has created a huge problem for them as they prepare their boats for the new season.

Thanks to an exclusive contract awarded to Nautical Data International by the Liberals, users of Navionics and C-Map navigation equipment no longer have access to digital maps. This is a critical safety issue.

Why did the government grant a monopoly to NDI, and what will the minister do about it to get rid of this nasty sweetheart deal and make digital maps available to users of that equipment?

Transportation
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Hillsborough
P.E.I.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my hon. colleague for the question. This arrangement has been in place since 1993.

Generally, it has worked well, but recently, and the hon. member is quite correct, certain problems have developed. The minister and the department are aware of them and they are trying to resolve them as soon as possible.

Transportation
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ted White North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, the owner of NDI has a Liberal donation record as long as my arm, so no surprises there.

The minister has already admitted he has known about the problem for a long time and has still done nothing. Spring is here. The boaters are getting their boats out of the sheds and back into the water, and still nothing has been done on this critical safety issue.

When will the minister end this outrageous NDI royalties sweetheart deal and put maps back into the hands of the boaters?

Transportation
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Hillsborough
P.E.I.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, as I stated previously, this arrangement has been going on for 11 years now. It has worked well, but the minister and the department are aware of the problems that the hon. member has brought up. They are presently dealing with the problems. We expect the problems to be resolved in the very near future.

Trade
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, manufacturers in the already very vulnerable textile and clothing sectors now find themselves in an extremely precarious situation, partly because they have to face unfair competition and also because in January 2005, all quotas on these imports will be lifted.

Does the Minister for International Trade realize that the some $26 million in customs duties that will be paid back over a three-year period are just a drop in the bucket compared to the $300 million in tariff duties that the clothing industry will pay on its textile imports?

Trade
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Brome—Missisquoi
Québec

Liberal

Denis Paradis Minister of State (Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, we presented a bill to extend customs tariffs for an additional 10 years. At the same time that we introduced this legislation, our colleague, the Minister of Industry, submitted a proposal to invest $60 million over the next three years, in both the clothing and textile sectors, to help our industry.

Trade
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, does the government not think that, instead of adopting measures that apply across the board to all textiles, it would be wiser to simply lift customs duties on textiles that are not manufactured here and to take strict measures to protect our textile and clothing industry?

Trade
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Brome—Missisquoi
Québec

Liberal

Denis Paradis Minister of State (Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, as regards the amount of $60 million over a three-year period to which I just referred, about half of that money should go to the clothing sector. One of the purposes of that amount of $30 million or so is indeed to see if we could not lower tariffs for fabrics that are not produced here.

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Greg Thompson New Brunswick Southwest, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of ACOA continues to encourage the president of ACOA to promote a Liberal policy paper called “The Rising Tide: Continuing Commitment to Atlantic Canada” with scarce mention and no funding in the budget. This policy paper, in the words of the minister, “will remain part of the Liberal platform in the next election”.

Will the minister now reign in the president of ACOA who is, by the way, a senior public servant, or is it politics as usual at the agency in a pre-election warm-up?

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott Minister of State (Infrastructure)

Mr. Speaker, those of us who were responsible for both “Catching the Wave” and “The Rising Tide” are very proud of the work we have done on behalf of Atlantic Canadians.

Rather than this being a political document, the fact of the matter is that we have consulted with APEC, the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council, and university presidents. It has been endorsed by mayors in small and large communities throughout the region. We are very proud of this document. It is good for Atlantic Canada.