House of Commons Hansard #127 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was employment.

Topics

Forestry
Oral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Don Bell North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister's budget speech claimed that Canada starts at the Rockies, but four million B.C. residents and all Canadians know he is wrong. This budget did not mention the pine beetle a single time in 477 pages. The Prime Minister and the finance minister have both falsely claimed that they have put $1 billion into the problem but they only budgeted $400 million last year.

There is absolutely no new money for this serious problem, only re-announcements.

When will the government do something for Canadians west of the Rockies?

Forestry
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Calgary—Nose Hill
Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am sure that B.C. appreciates the Liberals' new-found concern about the pine beetle problem because when people in British Columbia begged the former Liberal government to help them to contain this scourge of our parks, the former Liberal government devoted not one penny to it.

We have devoted $1 billion to the pine beetle problem in the hope that this will contain the problem. Whether we can stop it now after the Liberals let it go on for so long, I do not know, but we are certainly going to work very hard on it.

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Mike Allen Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, the latest request to Parliament to amend the new fisheries act comes from the Liberal Government of New Brunswick.

What is more, opposition members keep calling on us to deal with serious fisheries problems, like invasive species, and then stall progress at every turn, at odds it seems with their own provinces.

Would the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans inform the House how he is planning to make progress in the new fisheries act regardless of partisan politics?

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

St. John's South—Mount Pearl
Newfoundland & Labrador

Conservative

Loyola Hearn Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for his question.

Perhaps his own provincial minister in New Brunswick gave us a way to do it. He is urging members of Parliament's small parties to send the proposed new fisheries act to second reading. This has been re-echoed by the fisheries ministers from British Columbia, Yukon, Nunavut, Ontario, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. They are basically saying the same thing as the member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie.

In my opinion, I say that we should get on with it, let it go to second reading and let the debate take place. It is time to put politics--

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Surrey North.

Health
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Penny Priddy Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, the budget does nothing to lower prescription drug costs for ordinary Canadians. In 2005, over $20 billion was spent on prescription drugs and yet 3.5 million Canadians have no drug coverage whatsoever. We spend more on drugs than we do on doctors. Expenditures are rising eight to ten times faster than the rate of inflation. This is shameful and it is shameful that the health minister did not do anything about it.

Will the Conservatives commit to lowering drug costs or will they leave Canadians to swallow the bills with the pills?

Health
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Calgary—Nose Hill
Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as the member will know, this government has put a great deal of effort into helping our health care system provide better benefits to Canadians and particularly on wait time guarantees and the projects that will move that forward.

I am sure the provinces will have other programs. I know some of the provinces are working on giving assistance for the cost of drugs. The federal government will give over $40 billion a year to the provinces and the money will increase by 6% every year. I hope the member will continue pushing for some of the programs she is talking about.

Health
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Penny Priddy Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, skyrocketing drug costs hurt families, businesses and governments. Regular Canadians spend almost $4 billion a year out of their own pockets on prescription drugs, businesses spend about $7 billion and governments spend $9 billion. When drug costs go up, everybody feels the pinch. A whopping 70% to 80% of businesses' overall health costs are on medication.

When will the government introduce a comprehensive plan to reduce drug costs and save Canadians money?

Health
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia
Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, considerable investments have been made in the health care system. Not only do we have the wait times guarantee, but there are $300 million for a vaccination for cervical cancer. The health minister is working with the provinces to address issues around pharmaceuticals.

Thank goodness this government is taking action because the previous government promised a national pharmaceutical strategy and delivered nothing. This government is delivering and Canadians appreciate it.

Equalization Formula
Oral Questions

March 23rd, 2007 / noon

Liberal

Sukh Dhaliwal Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, in Surrey and Delta property values are rising on average by more than 21%. Now the Conservative government is including B.C.'s skyrocketing property values as part of its equalization. This is a cash grab. Who will end up paying in the end? The hard-working British Columbia families, who have been betrayed by the budget, will.

When will the Prime Minister stop electioneering with tax dollars and deliver a real budget that does not stop at the Rocky Mountains?

Equalization Formula
Oral Questions

Noon

Calgary—Nose Hill
Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the House is well aware that the new equalization formula put into place by the government to provide fairness, to provide certainty, to provide long-term funding to the provinces includes measures that were recommended by an independent panel set up by the Liberal government. The new formula is committed to fairness.

The member will know that compensation of many millions of dollars was given to B.C. to help it move to the new formula. I am sure the member appreciates that.

The Environment
Oral Questions

Noon

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, budget 2007 was full of good news, especially for Canadians who care about the environment and fighting climate change.

Earlier this week in Ottawa, the Minister of the Environment was joined by the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Transport to talk about some of the great action Canada's new government is taking on climate change.

Could the Minister of the Environment tell the House about some of those great programs that will help clean our air and fight climate change across our great country?

The Environment
Oral Questions

Noon

Langley
B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, earlier this week the Minister of the Environment was pleased to share with Canadians the government's eco-auto plans. Canada's new government will reward Canadians, who choose green vehicles, with a rebate program of up to $2,000 for the purchase or lease of new fuel efficient vehicles.

We are going to place a green levy on the gas guzzling vehicles and put $36 million over the next two years on vehicle scrappage programs to get the old gas guzzlers off the road. The David Suzuki Foundation said, “it's a step in the right direction”.

We are getting it done.

Post-Secondary Education
Oral Questions

Noon

NDP

Denise Savoie Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, the future of our country lies in a well educated citizenry, yet there was nothing in the budget to help students access post-secondary education. They will continue to face mounting debts as they did during the Liberal years.

Today student debt stands at $20 billion in Canada. Why should a post-secondary education only go to those who are well off?

When will the minister strive to close the prosperity gap and honestly help working families with post-secondary education? Scholarships just do not cut it.

Post-Secondary Education
Oral Questions

Noon

Medicine Hat
Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, it takes an extraordinarily negative point of view to see a 40% increase in post-secondary education transfers as bad news.

Over the next number of years, transfers to the provinces will increase by $39 billion. The previous government cut transfers to students, to seniors, to the disabled by $25 billion. We will never do that.