House of Commons Hansard #100 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was ndp.

Topics

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Mount Royal
Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, a complaint is currently before the Canadian Judicial Council. We will let the matter take its course.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Myron Thompson Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Agriculture bragged about the millions paid out to producers.

A couple in my riding, Dan and Wanda Meyer from Didsbury, Alberta, both have to work off the farm in order to pay utilities and put food on the table for their three children. They were excited when they saw a brown envelope with a cheque for the direct payment portion of farm income payment. When they opened the envelope the cheque was in the whopping amount of $106.40, far short of the few thousand that they were expecting.

Given the large amount of cash in brown envelopes changing Liberal hands in Montreal restaurants, how can the minister sleep at night knowing that near destitute farmers are receiving this pittance?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I go back to the point that I made before to the hon. critic, and that is the importance of not trying to politicize this to score points on the floor of the House of Commons.

The reality is that we have had a number of programs, particularly in terms of BSE over $2 billion. At the year end we had another program valued at over $1 billion. Already 70% of that money has flowed. Hundreds of thousands of producers are benefiting from that.

As a government we will continue with the strong commitment to Canadian producers that we have demonstrated in the past. We will continue to do that in the future.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Myron Thompson Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, I wonder what the minister would have to say to the families of the four most recent suicides in Saskatchewan.

Wendy and Doug Newton are from my riding. They are a hardworking couple from Crossfield who have been forced to work off the farm as well to keep it alive. They were excited when their cheque arrived on April 26. However, it was in the amount of $304. They, too, were expecting thousands.

Can the minister please explain how $304 will save the Newton farm?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, we could trot out all the particular examples the hon. member wants, but again, what he is trying to do is to set the stage on something that is not a reality.

The fact is that through our CAIS program we have already provided $1.6 billion to Canadian producers. Through the farm income program we are providing close to $1 billion to Canadian producers.

The hon. member is correct, and all members in the House who understand agriculture know the serious concerns that our producers have. We are taking serious steps to assist them. We are not trying to score cheap political points.

Transport
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Don Bell North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, the B.C. Assessment Appeal Board ruled that a company leasing federal waterfront property in North Vancouver will no longer be assessed at market price, reducing by 50% the annual municipal taxes paid by this industry, forcing repayment of $2.6 million in taxes previously collected.

The city and district of North Vancouver could lose several million dollars more in taxes, loss of certainty for future tax revenues, putting municipal programs and services at risk and putting pressures on residential and business taxpayers.

We need both a healthy competitive port and financially sustainable municipalities. Will the Minister of Transport commit to discussing this matter with his provincial counterpart?

Transport
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Transport.

Transport
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I share the concern of the member for North Vancouver. I am going to raise the issue with my counterpart, the minister of transport in British Columbia, as soon as the election is over tonight. I am sure I will be able to talk with Minister Falcon tomorrow and in the months ahead.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

May 17th, 2005 / 3 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Lunn Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, four years ago, former JDS employees received tax bills from Revenue Canada for hundreds of thousands of dollars for some make believe income. They have never seen one penny of it.

During the last election the Prime Minister, who was fully aware of the problem, told JDS employees that he would fix it. What has he done since then? Nothing. Why should the people of Canada believe the Prime Minister's future promises when he will not even keep his past ones?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Markham—Unionville
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, without accepting the premise of the hon. member's question, I nevertheless thank him and also my colleague from Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca for their assistance on this difficult file.

As I have assured the House before, I am in constant touch on this issue and receive regular information. I can assure the members of the House that the agency is dealing with this on a case by case basis, in a way that is as flexible and humane as is permitted under the law.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Lunn Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, if the minister does not like the premise, let me give him some of the facts that he should be getting on a daily basis.

The minister has forced numerous families into bankruptcy since the last election. Some families are being threatened by Revenue Canada with the loss of their homes and family savings. I contact these families on a regular basis. They are being shattered by the government.

The Prime Minister looked them straight in the eye and made a promise to them. They are now in tears. How can anyone believe anything the Prime Minister says?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Markham—Unionville
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, again I cannot accept the premise and the law does not permit me to deal with the individual cases to which the hon. member makes reference. I can assure him that my agency is pursuing an administrative solution to this matter with the greatest degree of flexibility and fairness that the law permits.

Canada Post
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday morning, more than a 100 Canada Post employees expressed their grave concerns about the possible loss of close to 200 jobs at the rue Saint-Paul postal station in Quebec City. If the mail is rerouted to Montreal, 200 jobs in the Quebec City area are at risk.

Can the minister responsible for Canada Post give us any reassurance as to that agency's intentions, and can he commit to maintaining these 200 mail-sorting jobs in Quebec City?

Canada Post
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Markham—Unionville
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, Canada Post must monitor, and react to, demographic changes as well as changes in demand trends throughout the country. I can assure the hon. member that no jobs will be lost. This is, however, a reaction to a country-wide change in demand trends.

Official Languages
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister responsible for Official Languages.

Given the threat of an upcoming election, one which Canadians certainly do not want, and given also the fact that Canadians living in minority communities want Bill S-3 to pass in order to enhance their protection, is the minister prepared to do whatever it takes, in cooperation with the committee, to pass Bill S-3 on official languages this very week?