House of Commons Hansard #117 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Older Workers
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister must distinguish between an adjustment program and an assistance program.

The government has raided the EI fund to the tune of $47 billion. But coming to the assistance of workers who are victims of a plant closure would only be fair and compassionate.

Why is the government, which itself cut the former POWA, refusing to put in place a new income support program for older workers unable to find work, so they could survive once their EI runs out until their pension begins?

Older Workers
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Newmarket—Aurora
Ontario

Liberal

Belinda Stronach Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister responsible for Democratic Renewal

Mr. Speaker, the current programming we are looking at will enable workers to develop their skills to stay in the workforce, not just to retire. There is temporary income support through EI, but we are also looking at active measures that will teach workers to develop and improve their skills with technology. We are working together with the provinces to ensure we develop the right programs to enable workers to stay in the workforce longer, if they choose, to have economic freedom and the choice to do so.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister. One week ago the Supreme Court delivered its ruling on our health care system and it was a wake up call to protect and to improve public medicare.

Rhetoric will not cut it. We have had 12 years of that and the Supreme Court essentially has said it does not work. The health care accord signed last fall will not cut it either because it does not mention privatization, not a word.

We need a plan. The country is waiting for it. Where is the Prime Minister's response to the Supreme Court ruling?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the very important federal-provincial conference, which led to the spending over a 10 year period of $41 billion, was in order to deal precisely with the issue with which the Supreme Court dealt. That is the issue of waiting times and the need to reduce waiting times, to increase the number of health care providers, to ensure the needed restructuring that will allow our hospitals to be more efficient and to set up a transition fund to focus on wait times.

We have dealt with all of that. It is now very important that it be put into place.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister did not address the point. It has to do with protecting public medicare and the non-profit delivery of our services. There was not a word about that in his answer.

The Prime Minister wants to talk about serious issues, yet we saw yesterday the tabling of The South Beach Diet for heaven's sake. I am sure the patients are still laughing.

Let us talk about tabling something. Will the Prime Minister table, by the end of the day, the minutes of the meetings that he has held in the past week on the Supreme Court decision so we know he is actually working on the issue and not just talking about it?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, what the hon. member does not seem to understand is eight months before the Supreme Court decision the federal government took the initiative to convene a federal-provincial conference to deal specifically with the issue of wait times.

The fact is we are working with the provinces. There have been extensive meetings, phone meetings and meetings of officials face to face across the country over the course of the last week, since the Supreme Court decision was handed down.

We take this very seriously. What is important to understand is what we are doing is strengthening the public--

Health
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Cypress Hills—Grasslands.

Border Security
Oral Question Period

June 16th, 2005 / 2:30 p.m.

Conservative

David Anderson Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, my constituency borders the United States for 150 miles. The RCMP is closing five detachments along that border. The result is that 100 miles of the international border will be left unprotected.

Why is the government deliberately abandoning my constituents and Canadian border security?

Border Security
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the province, as the hon. member is probably aware, establishes the level of funding for provincial police services in the province.

In relation to the detachments in question, it is my understanding that the provincial government, the attorney general of the province of Saskatchewan, is in agreement with the approach being taken by the force.

These are matters that are left up to the force in discussion with the provincial government because they are in the province under a contract with the government of Saskatchewan

Border Security
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

David Anderson Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, this is not a provincial issue. It is happening all the way across Canada. This is a populated area of 5,000 square miles left without a single permanent RCMP officer or detachment. It will have 100 miles of unprotected border.

In the last two months the government has spent money like drunken sailors. The other night it just approved another $65 million for a useless gun registry.

With all that spending, why is there not enough money to provide my constituents with the same basic services that are granted to other Canadians?

Border Security
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I suggest the hon. member perhaps talk to the provincial government in Saskatchewan. These decisions, as it relates to the deployment within the province where they are policing under contract, are dealt with in conjunction and consultation with the provincial government.

The hon. member should probably talk to the government of Saskatchewan.

Transfer Payments
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Edmonton—Spruce Grove, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Bank of Nova Scotia released a report arguing that the “financial arrangements between Ottawa and the provinces are in a mess and need a major overhaul”, and that the government needs to take a holistic approach to solving the issue of the fiscal imbalance.

The Conservative Party has long argued the need to reform the equalization formula and address the fiscal imbalance with a national vision. When will the Prime Minister finally admit that a fiscal imbalance exists and that his government's continuing denial of this serious problem is undermining the relationship among all orders of government?

Transfer Payments
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, in fact the decisions taken by the government over the last number of months have led to commitments that will see an incremental $100 billion transferred to support the provinces over the course of the next 10 years.

It is interesting that the report the hon. member refers to argues for increased tax cuts instead of transfers to the provinces. I wonder if the hon. member agrees with that.

Transfer Payments
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Edmonton—Spruce Grove, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Bank of Nova Scotia report clearly states that the fiscal imbalance needs to be addressed for the good of our nation and the benefit of our provinces and our municipalities.

The Conservative Party of Canada is the only federal party that is listening to the provinces and municipalities and working toward solutions to rectify the fiscal imbalance. When will the Prime Minister admit that his approach to federalism is failing and is undermining the ability of provinces and municipalities to meet the needs of Canadians?

Transfer Payments
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the premise behind the question is horse feathers. The fact of the matter is that the report the hon. member refers to argues for tax cuts instead of support for the provinces. I gather the hon. member agrees with that.

It also takes issue with detailed reporting requirements and targets for waiting times in health care. Do those members across the way also disagree with reporting requirements and targets for reducing waiting lists?