House of Commons Hansard #34 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Agriculture
Oral Questions

June 6th, 2006 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government was hesitant in the past to defend supply management in the negotiations with the WTO. Yesterday Pascal Lamy, the director-general of the organization, warned Canada that it will have to make further efforts if it wants the negotiations to succeed.

We know that the Europeans and the Americans are challenging supply management. The government says it is for supply management and the House has spoken unanimously in its favour.

Will the Minister repeat to Mr. Lamy that there is no question of dropping supply management and that there will be no compromise?

Agriculture
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon
B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, I met with the director-general, Mr. Lamy, last Sunday. I said that we were committed to defending the agricultural interests of Canada, including supply management systems. I also clearly said that Canada is committed to remaining at the table until the end of the negotiations so as to obtain the best results for our agricultural sector as a whole.

Agriculture
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, foreign countries already have access to 5% of our market under supply management. For certain products, such as hatching eggs, that access increases to close to 20%, even though those same countries, on average, are opening only 2.5% of their protected markets.

Instead of calling supply management into question by trying to weaken it, can the minister require the Europeans and Americans to open their markets and make the same effort as Canada has made since 1996?

Agriculture
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon
B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, we supported the supply management system during and after the election campaign, as we support it today. Interestingly enough, Mr. Lamy sees no problems with maintaining the Canadian supply management system within the WTO framework. There is no problem: we support the supply management system. That was the case yesterday, it is the case now and it will be the case tomorrow.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government has just unveiled its new pilot project—replacing former pilot project number 6—which covers 21 administrative regions and eliminates three. The three regions eliminated have an unemployment rate of less than eight per cent, the others have a higher rate.

Will the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development explain why the greater Montreal area, with an unemployment rate of 9.4%, is not eligible for these assistance measures?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, as we explained in the House, the original pilot project included 24 regions where seasonal workers had a tough time finding work in the off season because there was already high unemployment in those areas.

Our extension of this project has been modified to make it more efficient and more effective, but to be effective and as a pilot project that we can analyze, we need to maintain certain standards including the areas where this work is done. That is why Montreal was excluded and why other ones where the employment rate has dropped down to below 6% were excluded as well.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister's response just does not cut it because the unemployed in Montreal and the many seasonal workers in the area also have rights.

How can this government justify the fact that five of the regions included in the pilot project have an unemployment rate in the neighbourhood of eight per cent while the greater Montreal area, with a rate above nine per cent, is not covered by this program? What explanation is there for this injustice?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, as I explained once or twice in the House before, a pilot project is a test. It is done with a sampling of the total population to see if it is worth applying across the country. That is why we are going with the sample that we started with and that is why we are going to continue with it. We were pleased to extend this program to areas where there is high unemployment and where seasonal workers are having a tough time finding new jobs. I look forward to seeing the results.

Member for Calgary West
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, allegations have arisen that the member for Calgary West falsified travel expenses and illegally used taxpayer money to repay questionable loans he received from a former staffer.

The moral bar was never very high for that member who once called Nelson Mandela a terrorist and worked as a paid--

Member for Calgary West
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order, please. I warn the hon. member to be judicious in his choice of language in repeating allegations in the preamble to the question. I do not know where the question is going because I am not sure we have hit on the administrative responsibility of the government yet, but I would caution the hon. member from making statements about hon. members' personal finances. He might want to be more careful and proceed directly to his question.

Member for Calgary West
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, there have been allegations of both fraud and corruption and the question is very simple. When will the Prime Minister call in the RCMP to deal with these questions? Would the Prime Minister tell the House if these are common fundraising practices within the Conservative Party and its predecessors?

Member for Calgary West
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I have grave reservations about the propriety of that question. It sounded to me as though it has something to do with the hon. member's dealings with the House of Commons. Why this would be the administrative responsibility of the government is beyond me. I may have missed it.

However, if the hon. member has a supplementary question that is in order, I will hear it.

Member for Calgary West
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, reports today also stated that staff for the Calgary West MP were drawing salaries for working on a campaign for the Prime Minister.

Member for Calgary West
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Member for Calgary West
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I think we will move on. I do not believe the dealings of hon. members with the House of Commons have anything to do with the administrative responsibility of the government. If the hon. member wants to ask a question directly without the preambles I will hear it but I have grave reservations of where this is going from what I am hearing.