House of Commons Hansard #87 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was marriage.

Topics

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Papineau
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, clearly the answer is no, they are not. We have noted the public statements by Mr. Strong concerning the nature of his dealings with Tongsun Park, in which he indicated that these were connected to his work relating to North Korea on behalf of the Secretary General of the UN. Mr. Strong said that he had had no connection with the oil for food program. He did, however, indicate that he was suspending his work in Korea until the situation is clarified. We do not have any independent information that would enable us to have a different opinion on this matter.

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Charlesbourg, QC

Mr. Speaker, what Benoît Corbeil has had to say about judge appointments is disconcerting. According to him, the Liberal network controlled everything, and a person interested in an appointment to the judiciary needed to have connections with that network.

Does the Minister of Justice not find it troubling that the appointment of judges in this country could depend on the Liberal network that is behind all the Liberal mess?

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Mount Royal
Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Corbeil himself has said that he had no proof to back up these claims. If there are any serious allegations concerning judges, then this is something that falls within the mandate of the Gomery inquiry as part of a legal process. It is very important to make it clear to this House that judges are appointed solely on merit.

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Charlesbourg, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to Mr. Corbeil, Claudette Tessier-Couture, who has since been appointed a judge, co-chaired the electoral commission of the Quebec wing of the Liberal Party of Canada with Alfonso Gagliano. He added that she knew the so-called volunteers were paid with dirty sponsorship money from Jean Brault of Groupaction.

In light of these disturbing revelations, does the Minister of Public Safety intend to ask the RCMP to launch an investigation into the alleged behaviour of Judge Tessier-Couture?

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member has any information that leads him to believe that there has been criminal wrongdoing, he should provide that information to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or to the Sûreté du Québec.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Belinda Stronach Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, when a protectionist American cattle group filed an injunction to keep the U.S. border closed to Canadian beef, Canada only filed in a limited way as a friend of the court which the U.S. judge turned down the very next day and to which Canada has not even appealed.

The Canadian food safety system is on trial and the Government of Canada has not even requested the opportunity to defend it.

Why has Canada not applied for intervenor status to be present in the Montana courtroom to directly defend Canada's interests?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Malpeque
P.E.I.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that Canada has been defending Canadian beef producers' interests. We have taken strong action with the Americans. We have taken strong action in the defence of producers in terms of helping them in their financial trouble as a result of the border closure. We have listened to the expert advice of Canadian lawyers and American lawyers and we put forward an amicus brief to the court.

We have been taking action, not playing politics as members are trying to do on that side.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Finley Haldimand—Norfolk, ON

Mr. Speaker, an amicus brief status these days is like issuing a news release and is just as effective.

It has been 701 days since the U.S. border was closed to Canadian livestock. Since then the Liberal government has failed to apply for intervenor status, not amicus status, in the courtroom where a Montana judge has put the Canadian food safety system on trial.

Why is the government leaving it to the U.S. protectionist lobbies to explain our food safety system to a U.S. judge?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Malpeque
P.E.I.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, it is clearly our position to get the border open as soon as possible and not play legal games like the party opposite wants to do.

We have taken the best advice available in the best interests of Canadian producers and we have acted on it. On top of that, we have assisted producers in their time of difficult financial trouble. The government is acting, not playing legal games like members on that side want to do.

Economic Development
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, in terms of economic development, Atlantic Canada has both significant challenges and very interesting prospects. Budget 2005 includes important elements for ACOA projects.

Would the Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency kindly describe to us the agency's significance to Atlantic Canada and the significance of the measures in budget 2005 to the agency?

Economic Development
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Egmont
P.E.I.

Liberal

Joe McGuire Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, in response to the question from my colleague from the riding of Madawaska—Restigouche, I want to tell him that the great strides made by ACOA over the past five years in Atlantic Canada will certainly be put to a stop, and the budget of $708 million over five years for regional development will certainly not be implemented if the budget bill is lost.

That means the research and development and commercialization money that is contained in the budget will be lost. Our investments in women in business, youth and the business community will also be lost. New Brunswick and Atlantic Canada will certainly be hurt by losing this.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

April 21st, 2005 / 3 p.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, the federal government confirmed in the House last week that the Ontario Liberal government is in violation of the Canada Health Act. The Ontario government is charging health premiums administered through the tax system to soldiers and RCMP officers.

When can the soldiers be reimbursed as promised by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Toronto Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, it is true that the Ontario health tax which is in place taxes every resident of the province and taxes, therefore, members of the armed forces. The members of the armed forces, however, receive their health care from our services, and on occasion go to Ontario hospitals, in which case Ontario is remunerated for these.

I have spoken to the minister of health in the province of Ontario. I have told him that I believe this is not fair treatment of the Canadian government, but our forces, as members of the House should know, are in no way disadvantaged. They receive the health care they need. It is the federal government that is missing out in the fact that we are paying twice for services they receive in Ontario.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Lunn Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, in the last election the Prime Minister told former JDS employees directly that he would fix their tax debt on money they never earned. Now they have been told that they have to pay 100% of this tax on a phantom income.

The Prime Minister promised he would help. A man of honour keeps his word. When the Prime Minister cries his crocodile tears on national television tonight, how does he expect anyone to believe one word he says when his word means nothing?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Markham—Unionville
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, first of all I thank the hon. member as well as my colleague from Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca for their assistance in this difficult matter. As I have told the member many times, we are indeed pursuing an administrative solution in which each case is examined individually and in which I receive daily reports on each individual case. While I cannot comment on individual cases, I can assure the House that we are pursuing maximum fairness within the confines of the law.