House of Commons Hansard #56 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was foreign.

Topics

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway
B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is concerned. All members of this House are concerned with gas prices. That is why the Competition Bureau is undertaking a review of the state of competition in the retail gasoline industry.

The only reason for setting up a monitoring agency is so that it can be regulated. We will await the results of the Competition Bureau review. If there is an anti-competitive situation, it is actually the provincial governments that have to regulate retail gasoline prices.

Equalization Program
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance is not being up front with the people of Saskatchewan with respect to the clawback of oil and gas revenues for the province.

Had Saskatchewan received the same equalization deal as Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia, it would have received over $4 billion in additional revenue over the past decade. Last year alone this government clawed back $223 million from the province. That money does not belong to the government. That money belongs to the people of Saskatchewan.

Will the minister or his designate stand today and commit to the elimination of the clawback provision for Saskatchewan?

Equalization Program
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Scarborough—Guildwood
Ontario

Liberal

John McKay Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, Saskatchewan is now in the happy circumstance of moving from a have not province to that of a have province. It is to be congratulated, by virtue of the dint of hard work of the people of Saskatchewan.

This equalization formula is a complex formula of 33 indices of various fiscal capacities. Sometimes provinces are beneficiaries and sometimes they are not. In this particular case, Saskatchewan has done very well out of the equalization formula over the past number of years.

Equalization Program
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, I feel that we should start calling this hon. member the Maytag member because he tends to spin the truth more than my washing machine.

The truth of the matter is that in Saskatchewan the only elected official who is not demanding the same deal as was afforded Premiers Hamm and Williams is the Minister of Finance. That is shameful.

Will the minister or his designate stand in the House today and do what is right, do what is fair, and simply commit to the elimination of the clawback provisions and give Saskatchewan people the same deal as afforded to Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia?

Equalization Program
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Scarborough—Guildwood
Ontario

Liberal

John McKay Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, may I ask for a ruling on the hon. member's comments about spinning the truth?

Equalization Program
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

There is nothing wrong with spinning the truth. It would be much worse if we were spinning untruths, so we will stick with the truth, as I am sure the hon. parliamentary secretary will continue to do in his answers.

Equalization Program
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Thank you for that clarification, Mr. Speaker.

As I was saying earlier, Saskatchewan has had a number of adjustments to the equalization formula. Something in the order of $580 million this year have addressed concerns that have been raised and addressed by the finance minister. The equalization formula is quite complex and over the past number of years Saskatchewan has done very well out of that formula.

Gas Tax
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, discussions are underway between the federal government and Quebec and the provinces to transfer a portion of the gas tax revenues to the municipalities. But there would be terms and conditions attached to the proposed transfer which Quebec is dead set against, arguing that it has exclusive jurisdiction over municipal affairs.

The federal government has always used the proceeds of the gas tax at its discretion. Why try to impose conditions on Quebec, when Quebec wants to have control over infrastructure programs, with no strings attached?

Gas Tax
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Don Valley West
Ontario

Liberal

John Godfrey Minister of State (Infrastructure and Communities)

Mr. Speaker, we have always worked closely with the Province of Quebec in the area of infrastructure. We have always entered into mutually satisfactory arrangements, and we will do the same by working in close collaboration and in consultation with the municipalities at the same time. We are, however, respectful of its provincial jurisdictions while negotiating with the Province of Quebec.

Housing
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Mario Silva Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, the federal government has provided programs that are designed to ensure that Canadians are adequately housed. Some of these programs have been put on hold by provincial and municipal governments. As the Speech from the Throne recognizes, shelters are the foundation upon which healthy communities and individual dignities are built.

Can the Minister of Labour and Housing tell the House what programs exist and what negotiations are taking place?

Housing
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

London North Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Fontana Minister of Labour and Housing

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for Davenport, and all the caucus members and ministers from the GTA for doing some incredible work with regard to housing in that particular area.

As members know, in an area of provincial jurisdiction, the federal government really does want to be a true partner with the provinces. Not only do we invest $2 billion each and every year to look after 636,000 low income Canadians, but we have committed to $1.8 billion in order to deal with homelessness, affordable housing and renovations to our existing stock.

We have in Ontario, finally, a government that believes in housing. We are working very closely with it to deliver on the housing commitments that we have already made.

Financial Institutions
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, the impact of the payday loan industry on vulnerable families in financial difficulty can be very devastating. We know that in fact one of the main triggers of this is the rollover loan, which can mean that people end up paying 1,000% or more in interest. It is like stepping into financial quicksand.

There is a simple solution: the government can ban rollover loans. Will the government do it?

Financial Institutions
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway
B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, federal, provincial and territorial ministers of consumers affairs have been looking at this very issue for the past year. I have had a discussion with my colleague from the province of Manitoba. It is something that we are hoping to move on in the next few months, but we need to work in cooperation with provincial governments.

Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

John Williams Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to table the seventh report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts regarding the report on plans and priorities 2004, and the report on performance for the period ending 31 March 2004 of the Office of Auditor General of Canada.

Injured Military Members (Major Bruce Henwood) Compensation Act
Routine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Art Hanger Calgary Northeast, AB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-330, an act to amend the Injured Military Members Compensation Act (amendment to the short title).

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to reintroduce this private member's bill to amend the short title of the Injured Military Members Compensation Act to add a reference to Major Retired Bruce Henwood who was the driving force behind the passage of the legislation.

The bill seeks to recognize his efforts to have the Canadian Forces insurance plan for accidental dismemberment while on duty expanded to all military personnel regardless of rank.

I believe inserting his name in the short title of the act would be a fitting tribute to Major Retired Bruce Henwood for his work on behalf of all Canadian soldiers.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)