House of Commons Hansard #36 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Government Advertising
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra
B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, quite to the contrary, government advertising informs Canadians on issues of health and safety, produces government notices and deals with issues that are important to Canadians in terms of services that they need and deserve.

As I announced on March 15, the government advertising budget and new placements were frozen until June 1, and for the next three years going forward there will be a 15% per year reduction in advertisement placement spending.

Government Advertising
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Of course, Mr. Speaker, this advertising, this information just happens to be the same as the government's own election platform.

This government now wants to waste another $120 billion on partisan advertising. The Privy Council plan targets several government priorities—as the minister has already said—the same priorities the Prime Minister mentioned in his speech on Friday.

Will the Prime Minister explain this curious coincidence?

Government Advertising
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra
B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the issues made recently by the Prime Minister in his speech were the same issues raised in the Speech from the Throne, the same issues raised in the government's budget and the same issues that are of importance to Canadians.

I wonder if the hon. member would like to tell Canadians which of the government priorities in advertising for their benefit he would like to cut, such as anti-tobacco use, health and safety. These are issues that are of critical importance to Canadians. They need to know what services are available from the Government of Canada to address them.

Government Spending
Oral Question Period

April 19th, 2004 / 2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, I think the wing of government he would like to cut off is the Liberal Party.

It is a new Prime Minister and the same old Liberal pre-election pork-barrelling. It is the first two weeks of the fiscal year and the government has already handed out a billion dollars in loot bags to its buddies, including a quarter of a million dollars in a minister's riding for an archeological dig. Grandma cannot get a hospital bed but she is welcome to go to that minister's riding and dig for spoons.

Exactly when did the Prime Minister morph into Jean Chrétien?

Government Spending
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I would refer the hon. gentleman to today's edition of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix which deals with this issue in its editorial and condemns the opposition for its ridiculous accusations.

Government Spending
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Maybe, Mr. Speaker, it is not such a bad idea. Maybe the Liberals will uncover more ideas from the 1970s, more ideas like handing out pork to their buddies.

The Prime Minister coveted the Prime Minister's job for 13 years. Yet when he got there, why is it that the only thing he could do was parrot the ideas of Jean Chrétien, ideas like handing out pork to their buddies?

Government Spending
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, included in the list that the opposition is referring to is for example $20 million being provided by the Government of Canada over the next six or seven years to support the operation of the largest science project ever undertaken in this country at the synchrotron facility in Saskatoon.

The accusations of the opposition also include such things as $1 billion for Canadian farmers to help them deal with BSE.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, while campaigning in the Lower St. Lawrence and the Gaspé, the Prime Minister stated that seasonal work is a priority for his government, but did not offer any solutions to the unemployed who today are demonstrating in the streets of Forestville. The Liberals are using the same strategy they did in 2000. They make promises to the unemployed before the election, but they let them down afterwards.

Will the Prime Minister finally realize that 6 out of every 10 people who lose their jobs are not eligible for employment insurance, and that changes are needed now?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey
Ontario

Liberal

Paul Bonwick Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development (Student Loans)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows that quite simply that is not the truth.

The hon. member will recognize that the Prime Minister has been fully engaged in solutions to address this, as has the minister, not the least of which, of course, is the appointment of a task force. In that regard, there will be some very timely recommendations coming forward and I am sure the minister will act as he sees fit.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Exactly, Mr. Speaker; the Prime Minister tells us that a Liberal committee will consider the issue. Well, a committee of this House, the Standing Committee on Human Resources Development, has issued a unanimous report.

Why is it that the Prime Minister, who says he wants to wipe out the democratic deficit, does not apply the solutions that have already been agreed to unanimously? Unanimously—that means that the Liberals voted in favour, as well, back in 2001. The solutions are well known. The answers are well known. The unemployed are still waiting, while promises upon promises are being made and nothing gets done.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey
Ontario

Liberal

Paul Bonwick Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development (Student Loans)

Mr. Speaker, the member would lead the House to believe that the Prime Minister has done nothing. I would suggest that there has been over $2 billion redirected as a result of the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister has taken this issue very seriously. He has been very clear in his instructions in cooperation with the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, and when the appropriate recommendations come forward, they will act.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Rimouski-Neigette-Et-La Mitis, QC

Mr. Speaker, while he toured the North Shore, Jean Lapierre, the Prime Minister's Quebec lieutenant, urged those who want to see thorough changes in the employment insurance system to trust the government.

How can the government keep telling people to trust it when the same promises were made to the same people before the last federal election, by at least two government ministers and many MPs and candidates? How can we trust a government that has not kept its promises even though it has had three years to do so?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey
Ontario

Liberal

Paul Bonwick Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development (Student Loans)

Mr. Speaker, this is simply not true. The hon. member would suggest that the program is not working. The member should recognize that 88% of paid employees that become eligible to collect EI actually get an opportunity to do so. Facts are what are necessary, not rhetoric from the Bloc.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Rimouski-Neigette-Et-La Mitis, QC

Mr. Speaker, the 88% who become eligible are part of the 40% who receive benefits. There are still 60% who do not receive benefits. He ought to quote the correct figures instead of misleading the public. We have had enough of that.

How can the government justify the fact that, even though it has had a unanimous committee report in hand since 2001, it has not acted? Where was the person answering our questions? Probably in another committee. Although the necessary changes to employment insurance have been recommended, the government has done nothing to honour the commitment it made to the jobless.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey
Ontario

Liberal

Paul Bonwick Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development (Student Loans)

Mr. Speaker, there is just no need for this type of rhetoric. The fact remains that the Prime Minister and the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development have remained very committed to making the necessary changes that need to be made in order to address some of the challenges that not only Quebeckers, but people all across this country, are facing.

The minister has stated time and time again, as the recommendations come forward he is not opposed to making changes to the act. The Prime Minister has clearly stated that he is going to support the necessary initiatives to address these challenges. It is time for fact, not rhetoric.