House of Commons Hansard #118 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was salmon.

Topics

Democratic Reform
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Ed Broadbent Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the minister's answer and I take him at his word.

The minister knows full well that if the citizens engagement group and the parliamentary committee are to get under way early in September, preparatory work will have to be done starting as early as in the next few weeks, especially for the citizens engagement process.

Will he assure the House that this work will be undertaken in the next few weeks so that the committees can start their work early in the fall?

Democratic Reform
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Ottawa—Vanier
Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Minister for Internal Trade

Mr. Speaker, the government will do what has to be done in order to address this report in a serious and respectful manner, in the way that the committee itself did its work. In the spirit of that report, the answer is yes.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Bill Casey North Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, I received a package of information on the Nappan Experimental Farm through access to information the day before yesterday. On the same page where it states that the Nappan Experimental Farm is going to be closed, the second part of the story is given, that a second farm in Nova Scotia is going to be closed.

Every Nova Scotian should listen to these words. The document states that the Atlantic Food and Horticulture Research Centre at Kentville will be phased out; the food quality safety program will be moved to Prince Edward Island; the horticulture research program will be moved to Quebec; and the plant breeding programs will be phased out.

At a time when farmers need all the help they can, why are these experimental farms being closed?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Winnipeg South
Manitoba

Liberal

Reg Alcock President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, exactly the same process is going on in my province.

The minister in this particular case has made a commitment that there will be no diminishment of the research capacity in the province. What there is is a sincere attempt by a group of stakeholders to reorganize the research infrastructure to get the best possible value out of it. That is what is going on. It is an attempt to improve things, not make them worse. Unfortunately, the opposition never takes enough time to try to understand that.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Bill Casey North Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, this paper is labelled as secret for some reason, but this is scary. The Minister of Public Works represents the riding where the Kentville research centre is located and it is now depending on the public works minister, whose main purpose in life is to divest of government facilities. The centres have to depend on him to defend them.

The President of the Treasury Board says it is a great thing to do. Agriculture in Nova Scotia cannot afford this and the government has to change it. We want the government to stop the closures in Nappan and Kentville, and to do it now.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Winnipeg South
Manitoba

Liberal

Reg Alcock President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, there are simply none so blind as those who will not see. The reality is that the minister has made some commitments. He has committed that research capacity in the province will be maintained. He has provincial stakeholders involved in it. They are looking at this. They are working to get to the best possible solution they can on behalf of farmers.

That is what the minister is committed to. That is what he has always been committed to. That is what the government and the Prime Minister are committed to.

Finance
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Charlie Penson Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, in his 2004 budget, the Minister of Finance set the surplus at $1.9 billion, only to admit a few months after the last election that it was really $9.1 billion. This was a continuation of the previous finance minister's sorry record of consistently lowballing the surplus.

The minister finally decided to buy some time by appointing Tim O'Neill to do a comprehensive, independent review of the government's economic and fiscal forecasting. The press release announcing the appointment stated that the review was to be completed by early 2005. I would remind the minister that it is June 17, 2005. Where is the report?

Finance
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, Dr. O'Neill has worked very hard on his assignment. I would expect that he will be able to put his report in the public domain, and then it would be referred to the finance committee of the House of Commons, perhaps as early as next week.

Finance
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Charlie Penson Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, when the Prime Minister and his Minister of Finance were caught lowballing the surplus again last fall, they were sufficiently embarrassed and concerned about their lack of credibility that they appointed Tim O'Neill to study the situation.

Meanwhile, the finance committee has also considered the merits of having an independent fiscal forecasting office and is ready to report back to Parliament. The problem is that we still have not heard from Mr. O'Neill. The minister has the report, we understand, but will not release it. Is that because it is telling him something he does not want to hear?

Finance
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it is my understanding that the report is being translated and it will be available very shortly for members of Parliament. I made the commitment that it would go to the finance committee, and whatever Dr. O'Neill has to say about the forecasting requests of the finance committee will be very shortly in the public domain.

In the meantime, we continue to have the best fiscal record in all of the G-7 countries.

Border Crossings
Oral Question Period

June 17th, 2005 / 11:50 a.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Standing Committee on Industry, Natural Resources, Science and Technology yesterday passed a resolution inviting the ministers of international trade and of public security and emergency preparedness to explain Canada's choice to not be part of the work to improve the Lacolle border facilities, as the Americans are doing on their side.

Is the government aware that, if the work is not done, the Lacolle border crossing, Canada's fourth largest, could become an impenetrable wall?

Border Crossings
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, we regularly assess our needs at all major border crossings, both the infrastructure needs and the human resource needs. I am very well aware of the importance of the Lacolle crossing.

The Canada Border Services Agency will ensure that whatever infrastructure is required to facilitate the movement of low risk goods and people across that border crossing is in place. I can reassure the hon. member of that fact.

Border Crossings
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is all very well for the government to contend it has spent significant amounts to improve Canada's border crossings, but witnesses tell me in committee that this does not apply to the Lacolle crossing.

Why is the government not investing the funds needed to make Lacolle as efficient a border crossing as the one on the American side?

Border Crossings
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, as I say, we regularly assess the infrastructure and human resource requirements of our major border crossings. We do this on a regular basis and we make the investments necessary to ensure that low risk goods and people cross our border in a timely fashion.

I can again reassure the hon. member that the CBSA is very much aware of the situation on the ground in Lacolle. We are very much aware of what is happening on the U.S. side of the border. The CBSA will do everything that is necessary to ensure that our side of the border facilitates the movement of goods and people.

Tsunami Relief
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, both Norway and France have delivered on over 80% of their tsunami aid pledges. Canada has not delivered half that amount. The Prime Minister promised to “verify that Canadian aid is getting through to parts of Sri Lanka controlled by Tamil rebels”. He said, “This is something we are going to monitor and we'll insist it be monitored on a continuous basis”.

Why has the government not fulfilled its promise that Canadian aid dollars would reach those in need?