House of Commons Hansard #113 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Civil Marriage Act
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Rob Moore Fundy, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Supreme Court clearly stated that Parliament could not protect religious freedoms if the definition of marriage is changed.

The minister's response is cold comfort to those who have already been impacted: Bishop Fred Henry in Calgary; the Knights of Columbus in British Columbia; and provincial human rights commissioners from coast to coast who have been told to resign because of their basic personal believes.

Will the minister do the right thing and at least wait until all provinces provide legal protection for these individuals before imposing a new definition of marriage on Canadians?

Civil Marriage Act
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Mount Royal
Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I would recommend to the hon. member to read the Supreme Court decision. If he read that Supreme Court decision, he would see that the Supreme Court refers to protection of religion as an expansive freedom. Indeed, former Chief Justice Brian Dickson of the Supreme Court of Canada referred to freedom of religion as the firstness of our freedom.

We will protect freedom of religion within our jurisdiction. The provinces will protect freedom of religion within their jurisdiction. We invited them to do that.

What we have is a compelling protection for freedom of religion in our law, in our jurisprudence and in this draft legislation.

Child Care
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Barry Devolin Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Social Development has admitted many times that the $5 billion promised for child care over the next five years represents only a tiny portion of the total cost anticipated. Using Quebec as a cost model, this national day care scheme could easily top $12 billion a year.

It is easy for the minister to wax poetically about the next great social program but Canadians want to know, overtaxed Canadians want to know, who does the minister expect to pick up the tab, the provinces, the municipalities or parents themselves?

Child Care
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Ken Dryden Minister of Social Development

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, many years ago people decided to invest in education. They decided to invest in health care. They knew it was important. They knew it was going to matter a lot to Canadians in the present and to Canadians in the future.

What Canadians have an opportunity to do in an early learning and child care system is to decide for themselves, now and in the future, how important early learning and child care is for this country.

Child Care
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Barry Devolin Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

Mr. Speaker, cash-strapped provinces and municipalities deserve to know what is further down the road on which the minister wants to take them.

I am glad he raised the issue of health care. When the Canada Health Act was introduced, Ottawa agreed to pay 50% of total health costs. Today that contribution has been slashed to less than 15%, mostly by the Prime Minister.

With the federal contribution starting at less than 10% for day care, how long until Ottawa totally abandons provinces and municipalities to carry the entire cost of this program themselves?

Child Care
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Ken Dryden Minister of Social Development

Mr. Speaker, I might remind the hon. member that the commitment of $5 billion over five years represents an increase of 48% on what all governments are currently spending on child care in this country.

If we look at individual provinces, for the province of Ontario by the third year it will represent a 69% increase. For Saskatchewan it will be a 95% increase. For Nova Scotia it will be a 90% increase. For Newfoundland and Labrador it will be a 130% increase. For New Brunswick it will be a 132% increase.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, the softwood lumber dispute has now been going on for more than three years. This trade dispute with the Americans has affected many communities, workers and industries.

Could the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec tell this House what concrete measures have been taken by our government to help the communities affected by this crisis, and could he also tell us about the impact of these initiatives?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Brossard—La Prairie
Québec

Liberal

Jacques Saada Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec and Minister responsible for the Francophonie

Mr. Speaker, the program was put in place in 2003. Since April 1, 2003, in Quebec alone, 325 projects have been approved and $32.9 million has been invested by Economic Development Canada. In total, investments of $149 million have been made, 1,820 new jobs have been created, and 2,402 have been maintained.

This is not to mention the pulp and paper integrated centre, in the Mauricie region, with $23.5 million, the boreal forest research consortium, in the Saguenay region, with $2 million, or the agreements with Quebec regarding the regular programming, which amount to—

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Winnipeg North.

Drugs and Pharmaceuticals
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health.

The court ruling is proof of Liberal failures. Let us take prescription drugs as one example and look at the costs. If we want to keep health care sustainable, we need to reduce the growing costs of prescription drugs. Have we had any action on patent abuses like evergreening? No. Basic steps, like bulk buying of drugs, have been ignored for nine years since they were recommended.

After 12 years why are we not bulk buying drugs yet?

Drugs and Pharmaceuticals
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Vancouver South
B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, it is very clear from the 2004 accord that all jurisdictions agreed to work toward bulk purchasing. Most of the purchasing is obviously done by jurisdictions. We want to make sure that we have a national pharmaceutical strategy that includes bulk purchasing, speedier drug reviews and includes the issue of catastrophic coverage so that no Canadians would have to pay a disproportionate amount of money to deal with the necessary drugs they need.

Health
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, I think the health minister should spend less time hanging out with Conservatives and more time trying to do his job.

I want to talk about home care now. We know an aging population needs national home care. We know it is more cost effective. Do we have it? No. Just a parade of Liberal health ministers talking about it. In 1997, Allan Rock called it fundamental to the future, or maybe he did not. Maybe the tapes were doctored.

Were the tapes spliced or was another Liberal promise broken?

Health
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Vancouver South
B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I would suggest to the member that she read the 2004 accord which actually, in a very concrete way, provides money to all the jurisdictions across the country to expand home care.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

June 10th, 2005 / 11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, when the minister admitted before committee that the Liberal rent for nothing scam broke the law and the lease, he used ignorance as the defence. No one in the government realized that the company's CEO had become a senator. Nice try, but not true.

Yesterday we learned that the Prime Minister's office reviewed the deal and decided that this Liberal friend should get his money even if it violated the law and broke the lease.

Why will the minister not just admit that this Liberal rent for nothing scam went right to the top of the Liberal Party?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, once again the hon. member is wrong in the same way that he was wrong when he said there was no contract prior to lease payments because there was an irrevocable contract going back to 2001, two years before lease payments began.

The fact is that the contract said that when the building was completed and ready to be moved into, the lease payments ought to begin. They did because the government honours its contracts and pays its bills.

The hon. member makes grievous errors every day on the floor of the House of Commons and he never says that he is sorry or that he is wrong.