House of Commons Hansard #83 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

National Defence
Oral Question Period

April 15th, 2005 / noon

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bagotville military base is the only air force base operating in French in North America. This promotes the recruiting and training of francophones who contemplate a career in the air force.

Despite the reassuring words of the Minister of National Defence regarding the base's future, there are still concerns and these are shared by several former members of the military.

Can the minister confirm that the Bagotville base will remain operational and that the government has no intention of reducing the activity level at that location?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

Noon

Toronto Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I am going to repeat what I have said time and again in this House. We have absolutely no intention of reducing any operational activities at the Bagotville base.

Of course, there are always reorganizations taking place within our air and armed forces. We are currently discussing a very important policy to reorganize our air force and our Canadian forces, so that they can deal with threats. This is extremely important for Canada. We will do that, but there is no question of closing the Bagotville base.

Transportation
Oral Question Period

Noon

Liberal

David Anderson Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, the port of Prince Rupert has the advantage of much shorter sea routes to Asian destinations than all the other west coast ports in both Canada and the United States.

I wonder if the Minister of Transport could explain to the House what plans the government may have to improve the capacity of the port of Prince Rupert.

Transportation
Oral Question Period

Noon

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to tell the House that at this moment the Minister of Industry is in Prince Rupert announcing the contribution of $30 million from the Government of Canada to ensure we have a great container port in Prince Rupert opening the gateway to the Pacific. I want to pay tribute to the members of the B.C. caucus and also to the Deputy Prime Minister for their efforts in making this happen.

This is a great day for Prince Rupert, a great day for B.C. and a great day for Canada.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

Noon

NDP

Peter Julian Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is about time the government did something for B.C. It has been 13 years.

There is mounting evidence and concern that the United States has been hiding its cases of mad cow while keeping its border closed to Canadian beef. These concerns have been raised by the U.S. department of agriculture inspectors themselves.

Since we are importing American beef into our country and its safety is in question, will the minister close our borders to American beef, launch an investigation and stand up for Canada and the safety of Canadian food?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

Noon

Malpeque
P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (Rural Development)

Mr. Speaker, we always stand up for Canada and the safety of Canadians and food. The member has referred to but one program. The fact is that regulations north and south of the border are much the same. We abide by international protocols. We can absolutely assure Canadians that our products and our inspection system are among the best in the world. We have among the safest food in the world.

Privilege
Oral Question Period

Noon

Liberal

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege pursuant to Standing Order 18, which states that “no member shall use offensive words against either House or any member thereof”.

Yesterday, in the context of a debate on the opposition motion by the hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie, the Bloc Québécois member for Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup made some very offensive remarks about me. The Chair asked him to withdraw them but he refused, claiming he had not uttered them.

I would draw your attention to the remarks he himself made:

Why do we want to see this motion passed? To make sure that the member for Gatineau will not finance another electoral campaign with the dirty money collected by the Liberal Party of Canada. That is basically why.

That is what he said, though he denies having said anything that was directed at me personally. Judging by the attitude of the Bloc, Mr. Speaker, you will have no trouble seeing how much a comment such as this can be offensive to someone who has newly entered politics after an election campaign. Behaviour such as this casts a very wide net and attacks people's reputations. Perhaps he does not attach much importance to people's reputations, but I do, and so do the people of Gatineau.

Privilege
Oral Question Period

12:05 p.m.

The Speaker

I take this question of privilege as notice. I have listened carefully to the hon. member's comments and will take them into consideration.

Does the hon. member for Drummond wish to speak on this matter also?

Privilege
Oral Question Period

12:05 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc member referred to in this question of privilege is not here today. We will pass on to him the comments made by the member for Gatineau and he will be able to explain himself next week.

Privilege
Oral Question Period

12:05 p.m.

The Speaker

That is why I took the question of privilege under advisement and will report back to the House later.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Pallister Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, during question period, in response to a question regarding post office closures asked by my colleague adjacent, the minister denied that post offices were closing. I referred to him as the “Forrest Gump of the postal service”.

Mr. Speaker, you did not admonish me for that comment but you did for my comment “Stupid is as stupid does”. Despite the fact that in the minister's response he proved my point, I do withdraw those comments as I expect they were offensive to fans of Forrest Gump.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

12:05 p.m.

Ottawa—Vanier
Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I too rise on a point of order. During question period, representatives of the Bloc Québécois put certain questions which you ruled out of order because they dealt with a matter that did not pertain to the administration of government.

Following your rulings, the Bloc House leader accused you of having interpreted these questions in a partisan fashion. I would be remiss if I were to leave these remarks unchallenged. You received the unanimous support of the members of this House when you were elected as the Speaker of this assembly. You have always demonstrated a non-partisan attitude and a very thorough knowledge of our rules. I think it was inappropriate to accuse you of partisanship, when you had clearly used your best judgment in directing the debates in this House.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

12:05 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, I believe there is likely a misunderstanding in the assessment you may have made of the questions we asked. In fact, we were referring to the new election financing legislation. It may be a matter of interpretation on your part, why you did not allow our questions.

Now, regarding the remarks the deputy government House leader attributed to our colleague from Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean, the member in question is not here right now to explain himself. I suggest that, at some later time, he be asked to comment on the remarks attributed to him.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

12:10 p.m.

The Speaker

I could not hear what the hon. member for Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean was saying, but I could see that he was perhaps a bit upset with what I had said. This happens from time to time in the House, but we will wait for him to comment some other time.

The hon. member for Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington is rising on a point of order.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

12:10 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, during question period the hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice seemed not to believe the truth of my statement that I had Beryl Wajsman's business card stating that he was special counsel to the Minister of Justice in the minister's capacity as a member of Parliament. That of course was why I had to give reference to the minister by name.

I would be happy to table that business card if there is the unanimous consent of the House, and also to table the public press release in which Mr. Wajsman makes reference to the fact that he was trying to fight against the Quebec wing of the Liberal Party's habit of treating members of ethnic communities as campaign slaves and ticket buyers.

I will post these on the website anyway at www.scottreid.com, but I would be happy to do this--