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

National Security
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is the government's failure and inaction that scares Canadians.

When credible and knowledgeable forces are publicly condemning the government's security record, I do not know how the Prime Minister can sit here and try to satisfy Canadians with false promises. He should be absolutely ashamed of his government and its failure to keep Canadians safe at the airports, ports of entry and the borders.

Again, why does he just not admit that Canadians are sitting ducks because the government has repeatedly failed to take security seriously?

National Security
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, let us go back to what, for example, our neighbours in the United States has to say about our efforts.

National Security
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

National Security
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. member for Crowfoot asked his question. Now we have to hear the answer. It is not multiple questions. The hon. Deputy Prime Minister has the floor. I cannot hear her.

National Security
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Anne McLellan Edmonton West, AB

Mr. Speaker, let us talk to some of the people who actually are on the frontlines and who know what is happening day after day in our fight against terrorism.

Asa Hutchinson is one of the most credible U.S. officials in relation to terrorism and the fight against terrorism. What Asa Hutchinson said on Wednesday was, “Canadian officials have offered their neighbours extraordinary commitment on the anti-terror front”.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, that is very interesting but that is not what Canadians are saying.

One week ago the Liberals tabled another budget that neglects the needs of the Canadian Forces. On Tuesday the Auditor General blew the whistle on just how ill-prepared our country was to defend our own borders. Today we learn the Liberal government has strangled the military to the point where the navy must now consider cancelling the few coastal patrols remaining.

Why has the Minister of Defence failed so miserably to convince the Prime Minister to keep his promise to adequately fund our military?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Liberal

David Pratt Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I was hoping the hon. member would ask this question. Over the course of the last year, if the hon. member would refer to the main estimates, we have seen the defence budget rise from 2003-04 to 2004-05 by over $1 billion. As well, in the most recent budget there was an additional $300 million for our overseas commitments plus $1.3 billion in connection with acquiring a new fixed-wing search and rescue aircraft.

The government has done a considerable amount in terms of re-equipping the Canadian forces.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, there is a $635 million shortfall. That is the gap between what the Liberals allotted the army, navy and air force in last week's budget and what they need just to maintain existing operations.

Has the government learned nothing from 9/11 and Madrid? At a time when we are supposed to be at war with terrorists, why are the Liberals denying our troops adequate bare essentials like ammunition and training?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Liberal

David Pratt Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member's assertions are absolutely preposterous. Let me talk about anti-terrorism. We have in Canada one of the best anti-terrorist units in the world in terms of the JTF2. We have an immediate response capability in terms of the DART. We have immediate reaction units, four of them, across the country. In addition to that, we have a nuclear biological response company that is, again, one of the best in the world and one of the most well equipped.

Parental Leave
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec proposed setting up a comprehensive parental leave system. The federal government refused, and the case was brought before the courts, which decided in favour of Quebec; Ottawa decided to appeal the judgment. The Prime Minister told us he was going to negotiate with Quebec and reach a settlement.

Consequently, can he promise to reach a settlement before the election is called?

Parental Leave
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, I have discussed this subject with my Quebec provincial counterpart. We continue to agree on the fact that our representatives should sit down together to discuss problems, seek solutions, and present an action plan to the federal and provincial ministers. We are still agreed. The Quebec minister is pleased with the situation. He sees the federal and provincial—

Parental Leave
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Terrebonne—Blainville.

Parental Leave
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, one judgment is still to come. We want to know if the federal government can make the commitment that, regardless of what the upcoming judgment says, any future agreements concerning parental leave will include the right to opt out with full compensation so that, in the future, the federal government cannot take advantage of these to tell Quebec what to do in its own areas of jurisdiction.

Parental Leave
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, I am not in the habit of negotiating in the House. I have just said that the Quebec minister remained in agreement with the action plan we have established. Therefore, we will let the two groups of representatives do their work.

I am ready to build, unlike the Bloc who want to tear apart and destroy.

National Security
Oral Question Period

April 1st, 2004 / 2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, if a person enters this country by air, that person goes through rigorous screening. If a person comes by road, that person is checked from bumper to bumper. However, if a person owns anything from a washtub to a CSL steamship, that person can enter almost anywhere and nobody knows the person is there unless he or she calls ahead for reservations.

When will the Prime Minister take marine security seriously?