House of Commons Hansard #55 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was trade.

Topics

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

February 11th, 2005 / 11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is now clear that the Liberals are actively working to discredit the Gomery inquiry. First, John Manley said that it was a bad idea. Then the Liberal caucus Chair actually had the gall to congratulate Mr. Chrétien for, “opening a can of whup-ass” on Judge Gomery.

Every day the Prime Minister or his stunt double tells us to let the inquiry do its work. Why have they not instead told these Liberals to stop undermining Gomery?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am glad to hear, I think for the first time, that the opposition is determined to see the Gomery process a success. The government shares that point of view.

We want Gomery to do a thorough, competent job, so this whole situation can be thoroughly investigated and reported upon. We have every confidence that Judge Gomery is doing exactly that.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, we are not the ones with the skeletons in our closet.

The minister says that he cannot comment on the inquiry. Yet Liberal members are talking about it all over town. He says that we should respect the inquiry. Yet the Liberal caucus applauds Mr. Chrétien's behaviour, which was anything but respectful. To make matters worse, the Prime Minister cheers them on rather than reining them in.

Why is the Prime Minister supporting Mr. Chrétien's shameful behaviour before the Gomery inquiry?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, at the inquiry the Prime Minister made it abundantly clear that the Government of Canada looked forward with a great deal of anticipation to the good work of Judge Gomery.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, the facts speak for themselves; that a growing number of Liberals are undermining the work of the Gomery inquiry.

The member for Simcoe North said, “I don't think it's going to necessarily help the Liberal Party in the long run”. The member for Brome—Missisquoi whined, “It's hurting the Liberal Party in Quebec”. I have news for the Liberals; it should hurt them, a lot.

All Canadians now know about the millions that were doled out of government coffers to pay for Liberal bills. When will the Prime Minister repay the money to taxpayers as he promised?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the issue is not who may or may not be hurt by the process. The issue is ensuring this process gets to the bottom of the matter and provides a thorough, complete and competent answer. That is what Judge Gomery is doing. That is what this government supports.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Edmonton—Spruce Grove, AB

Mr. Speaker, in a recent study by the Vanier Institute, nine out of ten Canadians said that they would ideally have one parent stay home to raise their kids. In fact, almost all working moms and 84% of working dads said that if they could afford it, they would choose to work part time and stay home to care for their children. Their last choice was institutional day care.

When will the government implement a tax system that supports families and gives parents the power to make their own child care choices?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, in every budget the government works to improve the Canadian tax system to be fair and equitable to all Canadians in all circumstances. In the last number of years, for example, we have implemented and then strengthened over and over again the Canadian child tax benefit, which is of direct benefit to families with children. On top of that, now we are working on a major contribution to child care, which the Minister of Social Development is engaged upon this very day.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Edmonton—Spruce Grove, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Quebec has set up its own child care program and does not need any federal interference.

Will the minister confirm that he will respect Quebec's jurisdiction and that the province will receive full and unconditional compensation for its child care agreement?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, it is very clear that we do intend to respect the jurisdiction of all the provinces. This does not, however, prevent us from working together, which is why Quebec is this very day in discussions with my colleague, the Minister of Social Development, with a view to sharing its expertise on child care and early childhood education. We hope this spirit of cooperation will continue.

Child Care
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, during the last election campaign, the Prime Minister declared that Quebec would get its share of child care funding without being held accountable to Ottawa. The Minister of Social Development said yesterday that the provinces who refuse to turn in accounts will simply be left out of the program.

Will the government be able to bring the minister back into line and insist that he respect the promises made during the election campaign and give Quebec its proper share of the child care program—without conditions?

Child Care
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear when we talk about accountability or responsibility. The Government of Canada, in all its dealings with the provinces, has never required the provinces to be directly accountable to the federal government. Exactly as in the field of health, the Canadian government requires that the provinces be accountable to their own citizens, and there is no problem. The Liberal government in Quebec already does that.

Child Care
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, not only were promises made by the Prime Minister, but the former Minister of Social Development declared, and I quote, “There are no strings attached” which means that Quebec was receiving the money unconditionally. That declaration does not match the words of the Minister of Social Development who talks about national child care standards.

What is the minister waiting for before making adjustments and transferring the share of funding that belongs to Quebec, without any conditions?

Child Care
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, I think the Bloc could now let the Liberal government in Quebec negotiate with the Government of Canada. Negotiations will respect the jurisdictions of all parties involved. I have real confidence that we will reach an agreement with the Government of Quebec, and with the other provinces of Canada.

Child Care
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is always the same story. The Liberals promise the moon but, after the election, they renege on their promises. Now, they are backing down not only on child care, but also on parental leave, issues which were supposed to have been settled before the election but are still unresolved. Claude Béchard even ushered an ultimatum, giving the government one week to come to an agreement; otherwise, the implementation of Quebec's program for 2006 will be compromised.

Does the government not realize that its tardiness in funding these two programs is compromising the cohesion of the social programs that Quebec took years to develop?