House of Commons Hansard #48 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was first.

Topics

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. member for Joliette.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the health care problems are entirely the creation of the current Prime Minister, who reduced transfer payments year after year. Today, instead of correcting his error by restoring transfers, he ingenuously suggests that Quebec and the provinces tax their people more.

How can the Prime Minister be just as irresponsible and arrogant as Jean Chrétien was and propose increased taxes, when the solution—transferring money for health from the federal government to Quebec and the provinces—already exists?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, a new sum of $34.8 billion will be invested over the next five years, and the latest budget has included an additional $2 billion.

We have an equalization formula by which 45% of the money goes to Quebec. We are determined to sit down with Quebec and the other provinces to create a health care system that will last into the future.

Royal Canadian Mint
Oral Question Period

May 5th, 2004 / 2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, the government is printing money at the Mint and spending it like it is its own, but it is not. This crown corporation funded a six-day tour of Italy for Alfonso Gagliano and his cronies, but only one day of official business was conducted.

Given that the Prime Minister has said he will never defend the indefensible, when is he going to call up his good friend Alfonso Gagliano and order him to pay back the taxpayer money that was spent on this trip?

Royal Canadian Mint
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Hamilton West
Ontario

Liberal

Stan Keyes Minister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Sport)

Mr. Speaker, the question provides me with an opportunity to reassure Canadians that there have been changes to the Mint. The activities there are now completely above reproach, completely transparent, fully accountable, and able to withstand full public scrutiny.

It would really be nice if Canadians had the same comfort level about the Leader of the Opposition with his leadership campaign expenses, which he still refuses to disclose.

Royal Canadian Mint
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, when these guys get caught, then they are going to change something and make it better.

This trip was clearly nothing more than a personal vacation for an ex-minister and the government should be quick to condemn it. George Radwanski is paying money back to Canadians, and so should Alfonso Gagliano.

Why is it standard Liberal practice to abuse the public trust and defend lavish vacations that the average Canadian simply cannot--

Royal Canadian Mint
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of National Revenue.

Royal Canadian Mint
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Hamilton West
Ontario

Liberal

Stan Keyes Minister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Sport)

Mr. Speaker, no one is defending anything of the sort.

We are trying to explain to the opposition in order for Canadians to fully understand and have full confidence in the Mint. There have been changes under the leadership of the new president.

For example, and allow me to illustrate, the president must now present a summary of his travel expenses to the board at every meeting. There is now an annual review of expenses of the president to the board members and the position of internal auditor was reinstituted, with a mandate to review all expenditures. These are the actions that are presently being done at the Mint.

Royal Canadian Mint
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the problem is that the government has been treating the Royal Canadian Mint as though it were the royal Liberal mint.

Liberal kingpin Alfonso Gagliano went on a week-long, luxury trip to Italy, in 2001, courtesy of the taxpayer. He brought along a pack of Liberal hacks, including a convicted fraudster for good measure.

Mr. Gagliano did one day of official business, though, rubbing shoulders with aging Italian sex kitten Gina Lollobrigida at the launch of her coin.

Canadians want to know why do senior Liberal ministers bilk the taxpayer for their luxury vacations?

Royal Canadian Mint
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

An hon. member

Shame on you.

Royal Canadian Mint
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

An hon. member

That is an awful thing that he said about Gina Lollobrigida.

Royal Canadian Mint
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

An hon. member

Absolutely. It is just absolutely disgusting.

Royal Canadian Mint
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Hamilton West
Ontario

Liberal

Stan Keyes Minister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Sport)

I think the hon. member mispronounced Lollobrigida, Mr. Speaker. Show respect for our Italian community.

Royal Canadian Mint
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

An hon. member

How dare you insult--

Royal Canadian Mint
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

Order. Order, please. We must have some order so we can hear the minister's response.

There seems to be a lot of conversations going on between various members all at the same time. It makes it very difficult for the Speaker to hear what is happening.

The hon. Minister of National Revenue has the floor.