House of Commons Hansard #103 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was community.

Topics

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canada's behaviour is unacceptable and could jeopardize Montreal's status as the seat of the UN biodiversity convention secretariat.

Does the Minister of Foreign Affairs realize that, by denying Dr. Tewolde a visa, he is not only making a diplomatic blunder, but he is also sabotaging the efforts of Montreal and of Quebec to reach out internationally?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Thunder Bay—Superior North
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Comuzzi Minister of State (Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario)

Mr. Speaker, I think I just answered that. We do not comment on specific cases of visa applications. It would not be fair to the applicant.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Carleton—Lanark, ON

Mr. Speaker, recently I asked the minister what his government was doing to ensure the future of CFB Goose Bay. He answered that he and the Prime Minister had personally intervened with every foreign defence minister.

Yet in a radio interview this morning the minister still has no firm commitment for CFB Goose Bay and the people of Labrador. Expecting to convince foreign militaries to come back to Goose Bay is not good enough.

Why is the minister prepared to see the base activity continue to decay and the economic well-being of Labrador decline as a result?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca
B.C.

Liberal

Keith Martin Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is factually incorrect in his assessment. The Minister of National Defence is working with his counterparts internationally as well as with the provincial government in Newfoundland and Labrador to ensure that we move forward with Goose Bay. I can assure the hon. member that he will be kept in the loop as to what is taking place on this important file.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Carleton—Lanark, ON

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that the Liberal government has little interest in Goose Bay except at election time.

When the government took office in 1993, revenues from allies were nearly $80 million. This year it will only be $23 million. If the trend continues, training at Goose Bay will cease and the base will fade to black.

The Liberals promise and promise, but they do not deliver. With such a depressing track record, why should the people of Newfoundland and Labrador believe the government?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca
B.C.

Liberal

Keith Martin Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member actually contradicted himself in his first and second question. We cannot, on one hand, be working hard with our allies and the provincial government of Newfoundland and Labrador to resolve the issue, and yet on the other hand, as the hon. member mentioned, pretend to pay no attention to it whatsoever. I suggest that the member get his facts correct.

This is what the government is doing to ensure that Goose Bay moves forward as an important aspect of our defence forces and capabilities.

Canada Post
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Brian Pallister Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, this week in the operations committee, former Canada pork-master general and CEO, André Ouellet, admitted under oath that he had failed to forward almost $200,000 in receipts to Revenue Canada auditors. Any other Canadian who claimed expenses without receipts would be immediately assessed a taxable benefit by Revenue Canada authorities.

I would like the minister to tell the House today why there are different rules in place for Liberal patronage appointees than there are for all other Canadians?

Canada Post
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Halifax West
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, as has been said before in the House, the Canada Revenue Agency is in the process of conducting an audit on the office of the president of Canada Post. The agency will perform its duties and, as it would with any taxpayer, will take necessary steps and actions, if required, to ensure there is compliance with the law.

Canada Post
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Brian Pallister Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, every burglar needs a good inside man.

The rules are tough for Canadian taxpayers, but they are easy for patronage pals of the government. According to Revenue Canada rules, we are guilty until proven innocent. If we do not have receipts, we do not get a claim, except apparently André Ouellet.

The minister has been hiding behind this smokescreen audit now for a running time of eight months. For eight months, he has been an accomplice in Mr. Ouellet's tax avoidance.

Why should every other Canadian be subjected to a different set of rules than André Ouellet?

Canada Post
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Halifax West
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I am not an auditor, and neither is my hon. colleague. But I know that it takes time. I think that auditors have to put in a great deal of effort in completing their work.

Natural Resources
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Susan Kadis Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, last night Parliament supported both budget bills at second reading. Liberal MPs voted for the Atlantic accord by supporting both budget bills.

The Conservatives, meanwhile, voted against one of the budget bills, knowing full well that a vote against either budget bill was a vote against the accord. The budget contains many important initiatives that are important to the people of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Could the minister tell them how the results of last night's vote affects them?

Natural Resources
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Halifax West
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the offshore accord provides Nova Scotians and Newfoundlanders and Labradorians with all the revenues from their offshore resources. Last night we took an important step toward making this a reality.

As the Prime Minister said, we must move forward now in a spirit of cooperation. I urge all parties to ensure speedy passage of the budget, which includes the accord. The people of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador deserve nothing less.

Democratic Reform
Oral Question Period

May 20th, 2005 / 11:40 a.m.

NDP

Ed Broadbent Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the government House leader.

For decades now, Canada's democracy has had many political parties but an electoral system designed for only two. This has proved to be dysfunctional and unfair.

Now that we have a new Minister responsible for Democratic Renewal, will the government House leader assure the House that electoral reform will become a top priority of the government?

Democratic Reform
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Ottawa—Vanier
Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Minister for Internal Trade

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member might be disappointed that I am still answering his question. However, given the results of the referendum in British Columbia this week, it is quite obvious that in that province at least there is a thirst for some change. This goes quite well with what the government is trying to do.

As members will recall, last fall, through a unanimous vote in the House, members assigned a task to a committee to suggest a way of consulting Canadians on democratic renewal and electoral reform. We are awaiting eagerly the report of that committee. In the meantime, the government has been preparing, so that we can move forward--

Democratic Reform
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Ottawa Centre.