House of Commons Hansard #119 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Canadian Forces
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the committee has, in fact, reflected on this. How, despite the dissenting opinion of the Standing Committee on National Defence and Veterans Affairs, can the Minister of National Defence defend his decision to hire Yves Côté, who spent part of his career specifically representing DND interests and, what is more, was involved in narrowing the ombudsman's mandate when the position was created?

Canadian Forces
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Toronto Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, obviously, the members and I differ on this. I believe I have selected someone with great familiarity with the position, having been the one to define it, as well as with the workings of Canadian government. This is exactly the kind of person most suited to represent the Canadian Forces within the system.

Mr. Côté possesses the talent, integrity and professionalism required for this position. I will discuss this further with my committee colleagues, but rejecting this choice solely for political reasons is, in my opinion, really not acceptable.

Transfer payments
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, Jean Charest said, “There must be a moment of reckoning on the issue of equalization payments”. We have been waiting for that moment for a long time. The only thing this Prime Minister has done with respect to the fiscal imbalance is unite the provinces against Ottawa.

When will the Prime Minister implement a national plan to resolve the fiscal imbalance issue for all the provinces?

Transfer payments
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the allegation of fiscal imbalance, it should be noted that because of the decisions taken by this government over the course of the last 12 to 15 months, there will be a new revenue stream flowing to the provinces for health care and a variety of other programs totalling well over $100 billion over the next 10 year,s which is a major improvement.

In terms of the details of the equalization, we have established an expert independent panel of eminent Canadians to offer us advice on the distribution formula before the end of this year.

Transfer payments
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, what the Prime Minister has done, for a man who is terrified of piecemeal solutions to Senate reform, is he has adopted absolute piecemeal approaches and has refused to take a systematic approach to the disequilibrium problem.

The gap between what Ontarians give to the federal government and what they get back has grown by several multiples since the Prime Minister took over the finance ministry in 1993. Ontario's fiscal imbalance now amounts to thousands of dollars per family per year.

Could the Prime Minister explain how cutting side deals with individual provinces is better value to taxpayers than having a comprehensive national agreement to end the fiscal imbalance?

Transfer payments
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, Ontario's contribution to national programs is naturally quite large because Ontario is the largest and wealthiest province within Confederation. It is a province that has the largest number of the highest income taxpayers.

At the same time, over the last period of time we have increased transfer payments to benefit Ontario both in terms of health care and a variety of other transfers. Most recently was last Friday with major announcements having to do with the transfer of money to support cities and communities in Ontario of $1.8 billion.

Natural Resources
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, the sun is shining in Manitoba and North Dakota and it is starting to dry up. We are only a matter of days away from the opening of the Devils Lake diversion. This weekend North Dakota Governor Hoeven challenged Canada and said that if we want a sand filter as recommended by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, we should put out the $20 million to buy it.

Since the government has been unable to convince the U.S. to make a joint referral to the IJC, will it take up Governor Hoeven's challenge, work with North Dakota and protect Manitoba's waterways?

Natural Resources
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, obviously we are working with North Dakota. We have many allies in North Dakota who think that the outlet should not be opened as long as there has not been a proper environmental assessment. We are building on this in order to make sure that the best thing will be done. We will not go ahead without having all the assurance that the biotic quality of the water will be protected.

Natural Resources
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, with all due respect, that is a little hard to believe because the fact of the matter is the government has been in power for over a decade and nothing has happened. Lake Winnipeg is the 10th largest freshwater lake in the world. When this diversion is opened, Lake Winnipeg will be impacted on in a very major way.

Will the government stop neglecting Manitoba's waterways and do something concrete to ensure that this diversion will not open until a proper environmental impact assessment is done and not just talked about?

Natural Resources
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Papineau
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this is precisely why the Minister of the Environment and I have been working very hard. I am grateful to the Prime Minister who has discussed this issue with President Bush. We have been a team. The file is being reviewed by the Council on Environment Quality. Our officials have met twice to obtain exactly what it is that we want to have for the IJC. Should we not get it that way, we will get it through these negotiations. We will have been meeting exactly the objectives we had in mind when we started.

Infrastructure
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, last Friday was a great day for all Ontario communities. The government delivered again on a new deal for cities with the signing of a gas tax deal with $1.8 billion for Ontario and a public transit agreement worth $310 million. The mayor of Mississauga called this deal monumental and I completely agree with her assessment.

Could the Minister of State for Infrastructure and Communities tell us whether all parties in the House are listening to their communities and supporting this deal?

Infrastructure
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Don Valley West
Ontario

Liberal

John Godfrey Minister of State (Infrastructure and Communities)

Mr. Speaker, the new deal agreements we signed for Ontario on Friday are fantastic news for communities large and small. The deal delivers new funding and new respect to the province's communities. That is why the mayor of Toronto called it “a huge, huge victory”.

Unfortunately the official opposition has consistently worked to undermine that success by opposing funding for transit which cities need badly, and by treating municipalities as stakeholders instead of partners. That is not good enough and Ontario's communities know it.

International Cooperation
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, whether it is fighting poverty at home or abroad, the government leaves a lot to be desired.

My question is for the finance minister, who after years of Liberal back loading budgets is now attacking Europe for back loading its budgets on foreign aid.

I know it is a lot to ask a Liberal to be consistent or take responsibility for their actions instead of attacking others, but here goes. If the finance minister does not support Canada keeping our promise on foreign aid, why did he run for a party that pretends to?

International Cooperation
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, indeed the Government of Canada must keep its promises on foreign aid. That is the very reason we are careful about making those promises and make sure the performance lives up to the commitment.

Bob Geldoff has said that we should focus on debt relief, doubling aid, improving the terms of trade and reducing corruption. The Government of Canada is hard at work on every one of those things. We are completely consistent with the international objective.

Child Poverty
Oral Question Period

June 20th, 2005 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Tony Martin Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government is not honouring its international covenants on social and human rights at home.

UNICEF has rated us 19 out of 26 on child poverty. Last month Statistics Canada under-reported the level of poverty by 750,000. That is a number as big as the population of Winnipeg. Last week in its scathing report the National Council of Welfare said that our social safety net is in tatters.

Will the Minister of Social Development commit today, at the very least, and finally to end the clawback of the national child tax benefit supplement for our most at risk--