House of Commons Hansard #54 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was public.

Topics

Member for Rimouski—Neigette-et-la Mitis
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, just hours away from taking my leave, I want to express my gratitude for the moments of intensity we have shared in this place with its words, images and sounds, where my words could echo the passion of my thoughts, based on my convictions and my desire to serve my fellow citizens, whom I thank for having put their trust in me three times, and doing so each time wonderfully.

To those who are carrying on, I wish rewards to match the demands of this sometimes chaotic service, which also has its moments of lack of alternatives or vision, as well as moments of renewed delight.

I thank everyone who has assisted me—my family, my colleagues, my staff and every service on the Hill—and one and all for your thoughtfulness, regardless of political or personal opinions.

Member for Vancouver South--Burnaby
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Colleen Beaumier Brampton West—Mississauga, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to my colleague, the hon. member for Vancouver South--Burnaby.

First elected in 1993, the hon. member has held numerous portfolios, including Minister of National Revenue, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and Minister of Natural Resources.

Most important, the hon. member has the honour and distinction of being the first South Asian to hold a ministerial portfolio in any western democracy, and his lobbying efforts led to the opening of a Canadian consulate general in Chandigarh, India.

Born in Chiheru, Punjab, and coming to Canada at the age of six, the hon. member for Vancouver South--Burnaby is a perfect example of the opportunities available to new Canadians. He has been a successful businessman and entrepreneur, as well as a successful member of Parliament.

I would like to invite all members to join with me today in wishing the hon. member for Vancouver South--Burnaby all the best in his future endeavours. His contributions to the House will be missed.

Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, “No democracy. No respect. So we all quit”. Eight words from Liberals in British Columbia but they convey a powerful message. The democratic deficit has become an albatross hanging on the neck of the ancient mariner.

Do members remember those heady days when the Prime Minister promised he would do things differently? There are 14 former Liberals in Burnaby--Douglas who remember that promise. They all quit the Liberal Party because the Prime Minister parachuted his own candidate into their riding.

After a year of work of organizing and fundraising, two outstanding Chinese Canadian nominated candidates were told to take a hike. That has upset the Chinese community from coast to coast and overseas. They and their supporters will find the welcome mat out if they want to join the Conservative Party.

Speaking of mats, the Prime Minister, with this brutal undemocratic move, has yanked the rug out from under every Liberal candidate in British Columbia. Now we hear news reports that there are membership lists burning in Vancouver Centre as we speak.

Things just keep on getting better and better in British Columbia with a bad moon rising over the Liberal Party.

Member for Ottawa--Orléans
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Eugène Bellemare Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, allow me to say farewell to you today. I will be leaving my seat in the House of Commons shortly, at the next election.

I thank the constituents of Ottawa—Orléans for having permitted me to represent and serve them in Parliament, by electing me four times in a row, starting in 1988, then in 1993, 1997 and the year 2000.

I will miss this House, its debates, its committees and its members greatly. It was a pleasure to serve on various committees at various times, be it as vice-chair of government operations, industry or human resources, or as member of the Committee on Official Languages or the Standing Committee on Public Accounts.

I acknowledge all the members from both sides of the House who have shown me that they are committed to the well-being of all Canadians. I thank my late wife Roberte, who passed away in 2002, for her unqualified support during all those years, as well as my four children, Liette, Michel, Martine and Josée, not to mention my sons-in-law, Louis and Gary, and my daughter-in-law, Nathalie, and my loyal staff.

God bless you all. I wish you every happiness. Long live Canada.

Government Policies
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Pallister Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, this week we learned that the Liberal government could not come up with a title for its throne speech. After considering various titles, with no apparent frontrunner, the government opted for a generic white cover with no title at all, which illustrates the fact we can indeed judge a book by its cover.

Having a blank page was an ideal choice. However, one has to wonder why the government would give $50,000 to a Quebec research firm to tell it what everyone already knows: that it is adrift; that when it says everything is a priority, it means that nothing is; that when the Prime Minister says, “Let me be perfectly clear”, he most often is not; and that when the Liberals rush out pre-election press releases and promises, they are insulting Canadian voters by assuming that they can be bought.

The Liberals erred in using white paper on their throne speech. There was nothing innocent or pure about this. The correct colour was scarlet.

Member for Laval Centre
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, as there are only a few hours left before I leave this place, where I have had the privilege to make a modest contribution to parliamentary democracy for the past ten years, I would like to pay tribute to the people of Laval Centre. The trust they have placed in me has allowed me to serve them to the best of my abilities and to see just how many generous, courageous and determined people there are in our society.

Thanks to them, I have learned that the quality of the work of an elected representative goes hand in hand with an active presence within the community, support of the various socio-cultural organizations and excellent service to one's constituents.

I must thank the House staff for their professionalism and readiness to help, which have made my life a lot easier, in this world where the great and the small rub shoulders for better or for worse. To colleagues who are moving on, I wish the excitement of new challenges; to those who soldier on here, I wish the success they deserve.

In looking back on these ten years in the other capital, I will have fond memories of respect, friendship, and why not, complicity.

Member for Vancouver Kingsway
Statements By Members

May 13th, 2004 / 2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Elinor Caplan Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, born in China, she emigrated to Canada in 1962, received the Order of Canada in 1994 and, when elected to the riding of Vancouver Kingsway in 1997, became the first Canadian woman of Chinese origin elected to the House of Commons.

We were elected together and we worked together. We travelled to China and successfully secured travel documents for the misguided youths who boarded boats for a dangerous journey that led them to detention in a Canadian jail for a year, but saved them from a life of slavery.

I was moved by her impassioned plea to the most senior Chinese officials to help their children return home and alert other youths of the perils of the snakeheads. She said, “They are your children and your future”.

The House of Commons is losing a strong voice, an individual whose dedication and commitment to her constituents and this country have been an inspiration. She really made a difference.

We wish success to the member for Vancouver Kingsway, my dear friend and colleague.

Member for York Centre
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Art Eggleton York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise to inform hon. members that after much thought and reflection, I have decided not to seek re-election in the forthcoming general election.

It has been an honour to represent the people of York Centre in the House of Commons these past ten and a half years. I want to thank them for their support and confidence. This decision draws to a close 32 years in elected office, starting as an alderman in the city of Toronto in 1970, mayor of Toronto in the 1980s, and then a member of Parliament, including eight and a half years as a cabinet minister in three portfolios.

I have always worked hard to make a difference in the lives of individuals and for the betterment of my city, province and country. Whatever endeavours lie ahead, I hope that in one way or another, service to the people of Canada will continue to be a part of my life. After all, as King George VI once said, “the highest of distinctions is service to others”.

In that spirit, I extend best wishes to all who serve in this House in future years.

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, in Quebec the CAA is receiving letters from consumers who are furious about gasoline prices. For every cent the price of gas goes up, this government collects $32 million in extra revenue. It even collects GST on the excise tax on gasoline.

Why does the Prime Minister refuse to eliminate this tax on a tax?

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, in terms of our relationship with municipalities, of course all the GST is remitted to municipalities through a refund. We are now working on remitting a portion of the fuel tax to municipalities as part of our new deal for communities across the country.

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, that may be on the GST that the municipalities pay, but it is certainly not on the taxes that consumers pay.

Yesterday, in Liberal fashion, the government blamed everyone else for high gas prices. It blamed the provinces, the oil companies and it slammed the opposition, yet it refused to do one thing to help consumers. That would be to eliminate the GST on fuel excise taxes.

Why are the Prime Minister and the government refusing to axe a tax on a tax?

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman knows the principles of taxation underlying the broad based GST because the party he now leads introduced it.

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, what I know about taxes is that our taxes are too high and we should be getting them down.

The finance minister claimed yesterday that communities would benefit from higher gas prices, but there is still no deal with the cities to transfer gas taxes. It is just another unfulfilled promise. Only the federal government is actually getting the benefit out of these gas taxes.

Why will the government not admit it just is not right to raise gas prices by charging tax on top of tax?

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman said there has been no agreement with Canadian cities. In fact there is agreement.

First, we are rebating to the municipalities 100% of the GST that they pay. That is worth $7 billion over the course of the next 10 years.

Another part of the agreement with communities is the acceleration of infrastructure. That is an acceleration of 50%, bringing forward our infrastructure programming into the next five years as opposed to the next ten.

The third part of the agreement is the arrangement with respect to the fuel tax and we are working on that.

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

No, Mr. Speaker, the government broke its promise to give a share of that gas tax to the municipalities. That is the promise it has broken.

Let me quote from a document that we received from Environment Canada under an access to information request. It states:

The tax increases required to achieve the Kyoto target would more than double gasoline prices--from about $0.54 per litre to about $1.40 per litre by the year 2010.

How is that going to go over in Victoria? Is it not true that the environment minister's only concern with $1 a litre gas is that it is too low?