House of Commons Hansard #51 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was nation.

Topics

Health
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Papineau—Saint-Denis, QC

That is what the hon. member for Rimouski--Neigette-et-la Mitis was referring to when she talked about “barking”.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Charlesbourg—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government's strategy of waiting for the election campaign to announce the reinvestment that it wants to make in health is despicable.

After causing so many problems in that sector, how can this government be so cynical as to run its election campaign at the expense of health? That is disgusting.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, you know very well that, during an election campaign, a number of themes are debated. Health will be at the core of our program.

One thing is certain: when the time comes to vote, Quebeckers will know that it is time to vote for a government. They will ask themselves, “Who do we want to govern us? Do we want the Alliance to govern us, or do we want a Liberal government in which we can participate?”

The Bloc Quebecois wants to force Quebeckers to remain in the opposition, and therefore to lose by behaving like losers in the opposition. By contrast, we want Quebeckers to win and to participate in government.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

We had better not wait too long because the clock is ticking.

The hon. member for Medicine Hat.

Firearms Registry
Oral Question Period

May 10th, 2004 / 2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, over the last 10 years the Prime Minister has played a central role in funding money pits like the EH-101 cancellation, the Pearson airport debacle, the firearms registry, the HRDC boondoggle, the Challenger jet fiasco, millions for his friends at Earnscliffe, and of course there was all that money that went to his buddy Chuck Guité.

The Prime Minister says he believes in accountability, so let us see if he will answer a question about his record. Why did this Prime Minister keep writing cheques for the firearms registry when it went 50,000% over budget?

Firearms Registry
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the government is committed to effective gun control, and in fact, as we well know, the vast majority of Canadians want to see an effective and efficient gun control program put in place.

We are committed to ensuring that we review the operation of our gun control program. We are not, however, reviewing our commitment to effective gun control. We are reviewing this program. We want an efficient, effective program in place to ensure public safety and to be user friendly for legitimate gun owners.

Firearms Registry
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, we are talking about the firearms registry, not gun control. There is a big difference. In one case, gun control is actually ensuring that we get the guns away from criminals. In the other case, it is about getting money away from taxpayers.

What I am really asking about, though, is accountability. This Prime Minister just revels in any praise that comes his way, but when there are problems, and there were dozens of them under his watch when he was finance minister, he runs away. I want to know why he will not take responsibility for some of the issues I have raised, including the firearms registry. Why will he not take responsibility?

Firearms Registry
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, this government takes its responsibility very seriously.

The hon. member is referring to the Prime Minister when as minister of finance he tackled a deficit left to us by a previous government. He in fact ensured that we dealt with the deficit and that we put the debt on a permanent downward track. I think that when we look at the record of the Prime Minister we see that he is accountable. He takes responsibility. He delivers on behalf of Canadians.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rick Casson Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, since the much hailed visit of the Prime Minister and the agriculture minister to Washington, the situation in the cattle industry has become worse. Beef products that were flowing before that meeting with the president have since stopped and will remain stopped until the USDA rule change is implemented.

This step backward and the fact the border remains closed to live cattle clearly indicate the lack of influence the government has when dealing with this file, this crisis. I ask the minister this: What is the next step backward the beef industry can expect from his government?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk—Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Bob Speller Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

In fact, Mr. Speaker, we are moving forward on this issue. As the hon. member said, the Prime Minister had a direct talk with the President. We were very pleased with the response of the President of the United States, who said very clearly that he wants these borders open and he wants them open now. He also said very clearly that he wants his decision, or the decision of his government, to be based on science, and that is exactly what we want.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rick Casson Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, the facts are that due to a lack of direction from this Prime Minister, the beef industry is struggling to deal with wildly changing markets, and also, Canadians working to stay viable are competing for Canadian feeder cattle, not only against other Canadians but also against U.S. producers who are flush with cash. They are in Canada buying our cattle.

Now this government is pitting one sector of the industry against another at a critical time in the process. How does this government expect the latest strategy of confrontation with the packing industry to help get the border open?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk—Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Bob Speller Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure what the hon. member is talking about. In fact, it is colleagues on the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food who have asked the industry for some information, on which they are meeting this afternoon. This is not the position of the Government of Canada. This is the position of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food. The hon. member may want to put that question to them.

The Government of Canada has worked very closely with all aspects of the industry, including the cattlemen, including the packers, and including the provinces, to make sure we have a unified voice on that. That voice is telling--

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Oak Ridges.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Oak Ridges, ON

Mr. Speaker, on May 17, the military junta in Burma will hold talks concerning the establishment of a new constitution in which some members of the National League for Democracy, headed by Aung San Suu Kyi, most likely will participate. Since annulling her election in 1990, the military has abused human rights, political detentions have occurred, and torture has been rampant.

Since Canada maintains diplomatic relations with Burma, could the Minister of Foreign Affairs tell us in terms of engagement what useful messages we are sending to indicate our support for the process that must lead to fair and transparent elections?