House of Commons Hansard #109 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was fisheries.

Topics

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Vic Toews Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, last year an official from Revenue Canada threatened a Catholic bishop with the loss of his church's charitable status on the basis of his support for traditional marriage.

Not only has the Prime Minister failed to protect religious freedom in the country but it appears his government is actually attacking it.

Will the Prime Minister commit to amending the same sex marriage legislation to specifically protect the charitable status of those organizations that support traditional marriage, or will he break his word again?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Mount Royal
Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the matter is now before the committee. We indicated with respect to our responses that we are open to any recommendations that will be consistent with the principles of the legislation and will be supportive of the rights in the charter.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Vic Toews Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister broke his word to one of his former members. I have no confidence that he will do anything in respect to this issue.

Speaking out on social issues is a fundamental right for all Canadians. Church officials should have the same right and yet church officials have been threatened. Now Liberal members of Parliament want Christian organizations investigated by Revenue Canada for voicing their concerns on same sex marriage.

Why does the Prime Minister say he protects certain rights and denies other rights?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Mount Royal
Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we respect all rights: equality rights, freedom of religion and I reject the premise of the question.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

June 6th, 2005 / 3 p.m.

Liberal

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, the week of June 5 to 11 is Canadian environment week. Could the minister describe for us, at the start of environment week, three recent measures testifying to the government's determination to improve the environment in Canada, in the wake of the greenest budget since Confederation?

The Environment
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the three measures are as follows. First, Bill C-15, on protecting migratory birds, is now law in this country. I want to thank all the members of this House for voting unanimously for the bill.

Second, the Minister of State for Infrastructure and Communities invested $800 million to improve public transit systems in Canada.

Third, the Minister of Public Works and Government Services announced this morning the establishment of the Office of Greening Government Operations, which aims to protect nature, quality of life in our cities and the role of the Government of Canada in the environment.

Public Service of Canada
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, if the government thinks that public servants should be paid more, then it should be transparent about it and increase their basic salary instead of giving them a year-end bonus. Canadians do not believe that 9 out of 10 senior managers deserve such a generous bonus.

The government has already wasted billions of dollars on the gun registry and the sponsorship scandal. How can it justify paying any more money to those who supervised these fiascos?

Public Service of Canada
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Winnipeg South
Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, we can support these people because 457,000 of them do valuable work right across the country and they act ethically and honourably. Frankly, at the higher levels, by every independent study, they are underpaid and deserve to be paid more, not less. I do not know why the opposition continues to make this false attack on the leadership of the Public Service of Canada.

Public Service of Canada
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, last year 91% of all senior public service executives received bonuses totalling over $32 million. I believe public servants at all levels should have the opportunity to earn bonuses for exceptional performance but when extra pay becomes routine it is no longer a bonus. It is just more unaccountable spending by an irresponsible government.

Will the President of the Treasury Board explain to overtaxed Canadians why the government arbitrarily takes money from their paycheques and adds it to the paycheques of senior public servants?

Public Service of Canada
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Winnipeg South
Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, what I will do is correct the misinformation that the opposition puts on the record every year on this. Only 37% of executives received bonuses this year. There is an at risk pay portion designed by an independent committee and headed by a professor at the University of Western Ontario who recognizes that our quality of life is based upon the very good work that these people do and they deserve to be paid.

Transportation
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Rivière-Du-Loup—Montmagny, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week, Bombardier Transportation announced that it was considering moving some of the activities of its La Pocatière plant to Mexico to ensure getting contracts. This move would result in the loss of 300 well-paying jobs in my riding.

Does the government, which announced hundreds of millions of dollars to help the automobile and aerospace industry, intend to present a real action plan to help the public transit industry remain competitive?

Transportation
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway
B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, programs are available to work with public transit manufacturing organizations. Bombardier itself has a very serious line of business in producing rapid transit trains and vehicles. We have programs that are available to help the companies that qualify and we will certainly look at any proposal that comes forward.

An Act to Authorize the Minister of Finance to Make Certain Payments
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Michael John Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, in a letter released over the weekend, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce accused the government of risking a deficit through Bill C-48, in spite of the government's precondition that it would not lead to deficit spending.

I wonder if there is anything else the Minister of Finance might want to share with the House in response to the Chamber of Commerce.

An Act to Authorize the Minister of Finance to Make Certain Payments
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, just to be absolutely clear, if one reads the terms of Bill C-48, it calls for the government to avoid a deficit. It calls for the federal budget to be in surplus. It calls for $2 billion to be applied to debt paydown both this year and next. On the issue of tax reductions, the government will proceed, albeit on separate legislative tracks.

With the greatest of respect, the Chamber of Commerce was mistaken in its analysis of Bill C-48.

Presence in Gallery
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

It is my pleasure today to welcome to the House of Commons the members of Team Canada who took part in the Special Olympic World Games in Nagano, Japan, from February 26 to march 5, 2005.

We are very proud of our athletes and their achievements, who have worked hard and represented Canada well.

The months of training, as well as your determination, brought you all to Nagano where you competed against other athletes. But above all, you competed against your own abilities and have pushed your limits to new levels.

Those close to you, your family, neighbours, and coaches, provided you with the constant support you needed to reach your top performance and you did not let them down.

I am sure you will always have great memories of this competition and the friendships you have begun with athletes from other countries.

You are an inspiration to all of us and we are honoured to have you with us today to celebrate your successes.