House of Commons Hansard #136 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was street.

Topics

Child Care
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government is insisting that the money it wants to invest in setting up a child care network be used specifically for that purpose in all the provinces of Canada. But how can it justify requiring this of Quebec where the network is already in place and even sets an example for the others and where Quebeckers are already investing $1.5 billion a year in this service? Is it not ridiculous that the federal government has not figured this out already?

Child Care
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this is just today's installment of the Bloc's tall tales. We will acknowledge precisely what is going on in Quebec, and the innovative model it has developed over the years. We will acknowledge it in the funding agreement we will sign with the Government of Quebec.

Taxation
Oral Questions

October 18th, 2005 / 2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, this new interference by the federal government in areas of jurisdiction belonging to Quebec and the provinces and this notion of national interest are made possible by the very existence of the fiscal imbalance.

Is this notion of national interest not just a new pretext and a new justification being used by the federal government for its repeated infringements in areas of jurisdiction belonging to Quebec and the provinces?

Taxation
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, do you know that we live in a country called Canada? In a country, is it not normal to speak of national interest, the interest of all the citizens of this country? I understand that the Bloc, which wants only to separate, does not share this notion of country. I can understand that. However, Canadians, including Quebeckers, want all levels of government to work together for the good of all. This is what we are doing.

Taxation
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about national interest. Back when he was finance minister and trying to reduce the deficit, national interest had nothing to do with it. The finance minister eliminated the deficit, at the expense of Quebec and the provinces, by cutting their transfer payments without any regard for national interest. Now that the government is swimming in surpluses, the national interest has suddenly become important.

Does the Prime Minister realize that he is confusing national interest with Liberal interest?

Taxation
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary. The former finance minister had our national interest at heart when he decided to reduce the national debt, completely eliminate the deficit and ensure a truly balanced budget. This has allowed us to ensure better economic conditions for the entire country. These conditions are good not only for individuals, but also the provinces and the municipalities, which can benefit from lower interest rates and controlled inflation. That is what the former finance minister did. That is what the Prime Minister of Canada is doing today.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Loyola Hearn St. John's South, NL

Mr. Speaker, while the Department of Fisheries and Oceans rack up expenditures of $42 million on travel and hospitality, services to fishermen are being eroded.

Recently it took the search and rescue chopper more than two hours to get off the ground when a distress call was received from the fishing boat, Melina & Keith II , which had overturned and four lives were lost.

Could the minister tell us where his priorities lie: searching for fishermen in distress or for employees who have gone AWOL?

Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Halifax West
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, let me first indicate my sympathies to the families of those who lost their lives in that incident. Obviously that is very disturbing.

I want to point out that this audit was initiated and done by our department. It was our audit and it is posted on our website. The audit shows that our department has reduced its expenditures in the areas of hospitality and travel by nearly 20% over the past two years. That is money that can be used for the priorities of the department, such as the priorities my friend talks about.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Loyola Hearn St. John's South, NL

Mr. Speaker, the minister is avoiding the real issue. The distress signal from the Melina & Keith II was received before the crew left its regular shift.

While DFO officials can spend over $5,000 above the regular fare on flights, the search and rescue crew could not be kept back for a few minutes of overtime until it determined the location of the tragedy.

Why was the search and rescue chopper not available immediately once the location was determined?

Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Halifax West
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague knows full well that our staff with the Coast Guard and search and rescue do an excellent job, work very hard and are very dedicated.

He also knows my department has over 10,000 employees working in every province of this country, including remote coastal communities where they respond to these kinds of distress calls. In fact, 87% of our employees work outside the national capital region. We have scientists conducting world class field research. We have officers conducting fisheries patrols. We have engineers ensuring the safety of wharves and harbours. By their very nature, travel is required.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, in November last year the multiculturalism minister was the owner of a school in China. By April of this year he was not. In the interim, he went on a Team Canada mission to China, accompanied by the two people who had purchased the company. This could be construed as an effort to use an official trade mission to boost the value of the company, either before or after the sale, to ensure a higher sale value.

Yesterday the minister refused to answer my questions on this matter, so I ask him again: Is there an innocent explanation for his conduct, and if so, what is it?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa—Vanier
Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Minister for Internal Trade

Mr. Speaker, this question was answered fully yesterday.

The minister, upon being invited by the Prime Minister to join cabinet, went to consult the Ethics Commissioner who recommended that he dispose of the shares. In December 2004 the minister did exactly as was suggested. Therefore, he is not in a conflict of interest situation.

I would invite the member, before casting aspersions on people in the House, to do better homework than he has done so far.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, the question is not whether the minister divested. The question is whether he divested in a manner that represents a conflict of interest.

The question is whether, a month after selling the business, the minister took the current owners on a trade mission to sign a contract with Beijing University as a way of boosting the value of his school and thereby raising the price that they would have been willing to pay for the school. If so, he was enriching himself at the public expense.

Surely the minister can speak for himself and demonstrate to Canadians that this was not the case.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa—Vanier
Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Minister for Internal Trade

Mr. Speaker, this is verging on the despicable here. We have a minister who did exactly what the ethics adviser suggested he do, which is to divest himself of all interest. That was done in December 2004 before any trip that the member mentioned, so the minister was not in any conflict of interest.

To keep on asking questions when the member well knows the answer is not doing justice to the House.

I invite the member to do his homework and find out that indeed the minister divested himself of all shares before any such trip took place. Therefore, there is no conflict.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the official opposition and the members of the Conservative caucus have been saying for ages that they do not believe in Kyoto. Now we have the statement made yesterday by his new adviser and Quebec lieutenant that he agreed with the Kyoto objectives and there was no question of tearing up the agreement. He then backtracked by adding that the objectives were unrealistic.

Those of us on this side of the House feel no need to flip-flop on this issue. Can the Minister of the Environment explain to us what the government has done?