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 equalization.

Topics

Child Care
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, on December 14 on Radio-Canada, in response to a question by Bernard Derome about child care, the Prime Minister confirmed that Quebec would not be subject to conditions regarding child care. Mr. Derome asked, “Can you guarantee that Quebec will receive its cheque with no strings attached” and the Prime Minister replied, “Absolutely”.

I am now asking the Minister of Social Development to tell clearly us, yes or no, will he fully respect the Prime Minister's commitment to Quebeckers on child care?

Child Care
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Ken Dryden Minister of Social Development

Mr. Speaker, as I have said to the House before, the work that has been done by the Government of Quebec in the area of early learning and child care acts as an inspiration to the rest of the country.

Clearly, the work that has been done is respected, will be respected and actions that are taken ahead of everybody else are certainly actions that are not going to be penalized in the future.

Child Care
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister also said, during this interview, and I quote, “So, does this mean, since the other provinces have a little work to do, that Quebec will be penalized? Not at all—we want to reward those provinces that have made progress”. That was his answer.

If the Minister of Social Development intends to respect the Prime Minister's commitments, why does he not immediately and unconditionally transfer funds to Quebec for child care? What is he waiting for?

Child Care
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Ken Dryden Minister of Social Development

Mr. Speaker, as I just said, and it was in direct response to the question that followed. The actions that have been taken by the Government of Quebec, ahead of everybody else, are certainly actions that will not be penalized with anything that this government does in the future.

Wal-Mart
Oral Question Period

February 14th, 2005 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Health negotiated an agreement with Wal-Mart to display anti-smoking pamphlets in all its stores.

Given the recent events in Jonquière in Saguenay, does the federal government not think it would be sending a far better message if it pulled its displays from Wal-Mart and negotiated just with other chain stores to distribute its anti-smoking programs?

Wal-Mart
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver South
B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, there is no question that the issues around jobs for the people of Canada, including those of Quebec, is very important.

We in Health Canada believed that Wal-Mart was an appropriate business to deal with in terms of reaching thousands of people and in terms of an educational program that dealt with anti-smoking issues. However it is important to recognize that Health Canada is not an advertising agency for any business whatsoever.

Wal-Mart
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, Health Canada's January 17 news release is quite flattering toward Wal-Mart and invites people to consult Wal-Mart pharmacists for information on Health Canada's anti-smoking campaign.

Is the Minister of Health still proud of his association with Wal-Mart after what happened in Jonquière? Has the federal government become one of the associates of Wal-Mart, which thumbs its nose at Quebec labour law?

Wal-Mart
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver South
B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as I said, that was cooperation in the context of a very good educational program but that does not mean we condone everything Wal-Mart does. We absolutely do not.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, the government has a very bad habit of wasting money on Liberal friendly ad schemes, rusted out submarines and the money sucking firearms registry, just to name a few, all part of a massive 40% hike in government spending since 1997.

However, while the Liberals go hog-wild with tax dollars, the average worker has seen their take home pay frozen at 1989 levels.

Will the minister commit in his budget to slashing wasteful spending so that workers can keep more of the income they work so hard to earn?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Scarborough—Guildwood
Ontario

Liberal

John McKay Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the minister is preparing a budget that will be delivered here next week. At that time the concerns of the hon. member will be addressed.

I want to remind the hon. member that in the past five years we have entered into a $100 billion tax cut. I know the hon. member has difficulty believing that, but I suggest he go to his socks and underwear drawer and check out his income tax returns for the last five years.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is unfortunate that the finance minister is so invisible on this issue, giving us that vacant look today.

The last time I checked that duck hunter registry was still there, hoovering up $10,000 a day. The minister clearly thinks that bureaucrats and politicians are better at handling workers' incomes than workers themselves.

When it is Canadian workers who are buying the groceries, why is it that Liberal bureaucrats and politicians and boondoggles get the steaks while workers get the wieners?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Scarborough—Guildwood
Ontario

Liberal

John McKay Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I think congratulations are in order for the way in which the hon. member has crafted his question, but whether it made any sense or not is something else again.

The revenues of the Government of Canada have actually declined from 17% of GDP to 14.8% of GDP. Program spending has hovered around 11.8% of GDP and that is expected to go up slightly given the very significant commitments of the Government of Canada to health care and equalization, $75 billion over the next 10 years, and a very significant--

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Okanagan--Coquihalla.

Middle East
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, prior to his trip to the Middle East, the Minister of Foreign Affairs had requests from Canadian Lebanese organizations to meet with their democratic counterparts in Lebanon. These groups, quite rightly, are opposed to Syria's occupation of Lebanon and they fear the work of groups like Hezbollah.

Today those fears were tragically confirmed with the killing of Mr. Hariri. I know the minister shares the grief in that tragedy. Mr. Hariri will be a martyr now for the cause of Lebanon's liberation from Syria.

Why would the minister meet with the dictators of Syria but not meet with these democratic organizations in Lebanon? It seems unbalanced.

Middle East
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Papineau
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I certainly want to express our deepest condolences on the death of Prime Minister Hariri who was a great friend of Canada. I remember his two visits in 1997 and 2001, which were very much appreciated.

What I think is important is to meet these individuals, whether in Lebanon or in Syria, and tell them that Canada supports resolution 1559 which requires Syria to leave the territory of Lebanon. It was easy to meet people who, like Canada, think that Syria should leave the territory, but I prefer to meet the leaders in Syria and Lebanon and inform them that they--