House of Commons Hansard #34 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

The Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I would have a comeback to that if I understood what it meant.

The Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

The Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. Perhaps we could go to the questions and answers instead of conversations. The hon. Leader of the Opposition has the floor.

The Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister could not name one single meaningful democratic reform that he had implemented.

Let us take Senate reform. The Prime Minister admits that the Senate is “undemocratic as hell”, but he has rejected any reform proposal. He will not even put Alberta's elected senators into the Senate.

Is the Prime Minister planning to avoid this issue as well by calling an election without filling Alberta's Senate vacancies?

The Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:15 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, it seems to me that coherence should prevail in this House. When these people are talking about democratic reform, they are not even responding to the invitation that we on this side have made to them to rise above party politics and to deal with reform of Parliament. They refuse.

We have applied free votes here. They have refused. We want to reinforce committees. They have refused. They talk out of both sides of their mouths. It is just not credible.

National Security
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

That is just incoherent in the face of the facts, Mr. Speaker.

A recent all party Senate report has laid to rest any doubt about Canada's readiness to deal with national emergencies. The 200 page, two year study found Canada's security sadly wanting, chiding the Liberal government for lacking a credible plan to deal with attacks. Despite government efforts at damage control in the wake of the damning Auditor General's report and this scathing Senate report, Canadians remain at risk.

My question is for the minister. When will the government stop playing politics with Canadians' lives and work with our closest friends and allies, the United States, in establishing a North American security perimeter?

National Security
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, let me quote from one of the highest ranking officials in the Department of Homeland Security. Asa Hutchinson, undersecretary for border and transportation security, when asked, said that Canadian officials have offered their neighbours “extraordinary” commitment on the anti-terror front. He said:

Every time we've asked for something, the response has been there and not just in terms of rhetoric, but in terms of investment, and we're very grateful for that.

National Security
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, commitments are one thing and actions are another from this government.

I am surprised that the hon. member would quote some source other than going to her own Senate report and the Auditor General. This government decimated ports police. This government cut funding to the Coast Guard. It cancelled the Sea King program. It purchased faulty submarines and it has done little to enhance our border. Twenty five thousand Canadian passports are lost and over 36,000 immigrants are illegally at large in Canada.

How can the minister even pretend that security is a priority for her government in face of those facts?

National Security
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, not only is security a priority, we have actually taken the actions to back this up, starting immediately after September 11 with $7.7 billion worth of new investments to help enhance national security and safety.

What else has happened? On December 12, the Prime Minister created a new Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, for the first time a national security adviser, and the Prime Minister has asked me to prepare, for the first time in the history of our country, a national security policy. All of this speaks to the government's commitment to Canadians' safety and security.

Health
Oral Question Period

April 1st, 2004 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is using an advertising blitz to try to make people forget the last budget, with its total lack of any new federal transfers to improve patient care in 2004-05. The Prime Minister is telling Quebeckers, “There was nothing in the budget, but not to worry, there will eventually be increased transfer payments for health”.

Instead of making promises for later, as an election looms, why did the Prime Minister, since he has the means, not deliver the goods on health in last week's budget?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, first, our government did invest $665 million in public health, which is a very high priority for a large number of people across the country.

We have confirmed an additional $2 billion for the provinces, bringing the Canadian government's total contribution to $36.8 billion.

But the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance have already acknowledged that we had sufficient leeway to be able, during the coming year, to continue to work with the provinces and find long-term solutions based on a plan. This is what we want to do in the weeks and months to come.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, clearly, there is not one cent more in federal transfer payments for health services, and I quote the Quebec Minister of Finance, a Liberal minister, who said, “Despite the needs of the people of Quebec, the recent federal budget has announced no new money for health”. Those are the words of Yves Séguin.

Will the Prime Minister admit that his ad campaign is proof that he is prepared to play with people's health to win votes?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, that same minister to whom the leader of the Bloc has referred also said that the health system of Canada and Quebec depended on more than money. It takes money, yes, but Minister Séguin himself acknowledged that a number of reforms were also necessary. It is on the basis of those reforms that our government wishes to commit, in partnership with the provinces, to ensuring that funding and reform to go hand in hand.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is running an ad campaign in which he would have us believe he listens to everyone.

How can the Prime Minister promise to listen to everyone when, in reality, he has not listened to the ministers of health or the premiers of Quebec and the provinces, who keep telling him that the health care system is on the verge of collapse? Why pretend to listen in the ad campaign when in reality he listens to no one?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, I can assure hon. members that the Prime Minister is very much aware that health is a priority. He made a personal commitment to the provincial premiers on January 30, when he met with them at a federal-provincial conference. He has already promised that there will be another federal-provincial conference on health and the health care system in the long term.

However, we are fully aware that it will take more than just money. Mr. Séguin acknowledged this yesterday in his own budget in Quebec. We must find long-term solutions based on a plan in partnership—