House of Commons Hansard #65 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was students.

Topics

International Assistance
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Barrie
Ontario

Liberal

Aileen Carroll Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, I am a bit taken back. I would share with the member that it has been a wonderful week for foreign aid in Canada as a result of the finance minister's budget.

The budget allocated significant resources to the international assistance envelope, $3.4 billion over five years. This is on top of a $248 million increase in my budget for 2005-06 and $641 million in additional funding at the end of the year.

I cannot say that it has not been a very good news story.

International Assistance
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Roger Clavet Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, it has been such a good week that there is four times more money for national defence than for international assistance. It just goes to show how compassionate this government is.

When the Liberals came to power, Canada's contribution was 0.43% of GDP. It then fell to 0.29%. Yet, other countries like France, Belgium and Great Britain are doubling their efforts to achieve the UN target. What is Canada waiting for to follow suit?

International Assistance
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Barrie
Ontario

Liberal

Aileen Carroll Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, I join countries and like-minded donors like France, Britain and other countries in our absolute commitment to fighting poverty and to reaching the millennium development goals.

We are looked on by those countries as a strong partner. I work with them in many different venues. I will be with them next week as we work at the OECD and DAC committee to move forward in the achievement of the development goals.

Because we are a balanced government and have assigned funding to the armed forces at a time when they need it, we have also done equal funding for aid. This is a balanced response.

Forestry
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Dick Harris Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, three years ago the B.C. government formally asked the Liberals to help in a plan to mitigate the damage caused by the pine beetle, and nothing happened. Five months ago the B.C. government formally requested, with a brand new more aggressive plan, help from the Liberals. Nothing has happened.

The pine beetles have not been dithering. They have chewed their way through 300 million cubic metres of mature pine and are threatening to go to a billion within eight years.

Why has the government done nothing to help the B.C. government in this pine beetle crisis?

Forestry
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Avalon
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

R. John Efford Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, it is amazing how many people from the opposition would get up and ask a question, do absolutely no research and not know what they are talking about. To say we have done absolutely nothing is absolutely false. First, we have already put $40 million into working with the B.C. government and the industry to find a way to deal with the mountain pine beetle.

To say we have done nothing is absolutely false. We will do much more.

Sport Fishery
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

John Duncan Vancouver Island North, BC

Virtually nothing, Mr. Speaker. I have been asking the agriculture minister since October to ensure that Canadian caught sport fish can receive a health certificate and be taken back to Europe under tough new EU rules.

Our competitors in Alaska, Russia and Norway have responded to the changes. Canada has not. This is leading to millions of dollars in losses in cancellations for B.C. fishing resorts.

Despite the minister's assurances otherwise, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency continues to say that it has no mandate for sport fish.

Why does the government continue to abandon B.C. sport fishing lodges?

Sport Fishery
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Quite to the contrary, Mr. Speaker. Even though the CFIA does not have a direct mandate, we have asked it to put in a protocol to assist lodges so they can continue to compete effectively.

Beyond that, we also are engaging the European Union, both in terms of having it change the minimum weight amount so it can be increased, as well as to ask it to deal with the policy in its overall context so we can have others besides the CFIA do the necessary inspections.

Public Service
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Marc Godbout Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is addressed to the President of the Treasury Board. Could the hon. member please once and for all put an end to the opposition's fearmongering tactics and inform the House on the real impact the expenditure review will have on our public service employees?

Public Service
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Winnipeg South
Manitoba

Liberal

Reg Alcock President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member and also the members for Pontiac, Gatineau, Ottawa South, Ottawa West—Nepean and the deputy House leader for their work on this file.

I fully expected the member for Ottawa Centre to stand up in the House to apologize for the statements he has made about massive job losses in the public service. In fact, what we have is a modernization of the public service, bringing to public servants the tools they need to do the jobs they want to do.

They are excited about it. They are the best in the world and they will be better still.

Housing
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the housing minister.

On February 14, the minister of housing specifically promised, “the February 23 budget will commit another $1.5 billion to help Canadians who lack affordable housing” now, not in future budgets. A good portion of the money was slated for rent subsidies to help low income Canadians meet their housing needs.

The $1.5 billion is not in the budget. Why did the minister make the promise if he could not deliver? What does he intend to do about his broken promise to low income Canadians, and the $1.5 billion that is not in the present budget?

Housing
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, the promise will be kept. The $1.5 billion will flow. The reality is there is $800 million still unspent in the last agreement and that is the issue.

Senior Citizens
Oral Question Period

February 25th, 2005 / 11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Helena Guergis Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, many seniors may not see all or part of the guaranteed income supplement promised in the budget. In Ontario, for example, the guaranteed income supplement is integrated with the provincial guaranteed annual income supplement for seniors or GAINS. If the GIS goes up by a dollar, GAINS will go down by 50¢.

Would the minister advise this House if he has obtained any assurances from the McGuinty government that the GAINS clawback will not swallow half the GIS increase for very low income seniors in Ontario?

Senior Citizens
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Trinity—Spadina
Ontario

Liberal

Tony Ianno Minister of State (Families and Caregivers)

Mr. Speaker, first, I am very happy that there is $2.7 billion in this budget that will go to low income seniors.

In respect to the provinces at large, not just Ontario, there is very minimal impact on the GIS increase for low income seniors. That is great news for low income seniors.

Official Languages
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Odina Desrochers Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Commissioner of Official Languages, Dr. Dyane Adam, told the Standing Committee on Official Languages of her concern that the federal government was running out of steam as far as its official languages action plan is concerned.

The president of the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada expressed his regrets that the budget does not contain the $18 million increase he had been demanding for the francophone and Acadian communities.

What is the government waiting for before it makes the financial commitment that is essential to implementation of the official languages action plan?

Official Languages
Oral Question Period

Noon

Ottawa—Vanier
Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the government's official languages action plan will be implemented in its entirety. We should point out that the $751 million committed to by the government two years ago is maintained in the budget in its entirety.

There were also four new initiatives in the budget that include funds for official language minority communities.

The government is maintaining the action plan in its entirety, along with its commitment to those communities.