House of Commons Hansard #58 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Health Care
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canada's emergency rooms are in crisis, a crisis so bad that fire marshals were recently called to the Royal Columbian Hospital in British Columbia. They said that the level of overcrowding is so dangerous that it cannot be tolerated.

This is not an isolated problem. It is a chronic national, lethal, systemic crisis that has to be rectified immediately. As an emergency room physician, I have had to treat people in hallways, on chairs and benches without the privacy and dignity these patients deserve.

The underlying problem is a lack of funds for hospital beds, chronic care facilities, and outpatient treatment health care workers. Canada's emergency room physicians are desperately trying to get the federal government to act in the name of patient safety but with no success.

Now, the current Conservative government has wasted billions of dollars leaving little room for federal spending on health. This is appalling. Will the government give an emergency injection of cash to tackle the ER overcrowding crisis, or will it simply stick its head in the sand and ignore this crisis? It is a matter of life and death.

The Budget
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, last week was a great week for Souris—Moose Mountain, and Estevan in particular. It was also good news for Saskatchewan and the country of Canada as a whole.

Budget 2008 allocated $240 million to Saskatchewan to set the stage for world leading technology to occur in carbon capture and storage.

It positions Estevan, Saskatchewan, the city in which I live, for a $1.4 billion investment to ensure clean coal can provide a source of electricity for Saskatchewan's booming economy.

It is a positive step to reduce greenhouse gases and to improve our environment. It will provide for a reduction of nearly 3,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per day, or a reduction of approximately one million tonnes per year.

Also, the town of Pangman in my riding produced a hero in the name of Barry Kessler who last week was awarded the Governor General's Medal of Bravery. The award was for his heroic actions on August 30, 2004 when he rescued a farmer and neighbour by pulling him from a burning tractor.

We are proud of Barry and congratulate him.

International Aid
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative budget is deeply flawed, with massive giveaways for the wealthiest and crumbs for the poorest of the poor.

In the 1990s the Liberals dragged Canada's international development assistance from 0.53% down to 0.23% of gross national income.

In 2005 Parliament adopted unanimously an NDP motion committing Canada to meet our 0.7% ODA obligations by 2015 in accordance with the millennium development goals. The New Democrat budget infused crucial funding toward those goals.

Three Conservative budgets bring us no closer to meeting our global poverty reduction obligations. Development aid is stagnant at 0.3%.

While Conservative senators block the more and better aid bill, Bill C-293, successor to the NDP bill, Bill C-243, undermining transparency, efficiency and effectiveness, the world's poorest of the poor suffer along with Canada's reputation as a caring nation.

Centres of Excellence
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Joe McGuire Egmont, PE

Mr. Speaker, the network of centres of excellence is supposed to be a national program of partnerships between the public, private and academic sectors to help commercialize research across the country. Yet Atlantic Canada was shut out of the last round of awards, even though an excellent project proposal on wind energy made it to the final cut.

This project had the financial support of the government of Prince Edward Island to the tune of $4 million and would have been located at the Wind Energy Institute of Canada at North Cape, P.E.I. We would have been able to build on that success story.

The limiting of Atlantic Canada to a peripheral role sends a very negative message. How can we ever catch up economically if the federal government refuses to invest in the region in an area where the province is prepared to step up to the plate and in an area where we have an advantage?

Are we being written out of any meaningful role in this country? Of the last 18 awards, Atlantic Canada got one.

I call upon ACOA to provide the funds required to establish the centre of excellence in North Cape now that it is painfully obvious the national selection process will never give us a fair hearing.

Social Housing
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Ouellet Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am very worried about the future of our most disadvantaged citizens. Social housing is seriously lacking for thousands of men, women and children who do not have decent homes.

A number of federal spending programs on social and affordable housing will end in March 2009. What will happen after that time? These federal commitments for cooperative housing, which have been an effective solution since the 1970s, are expiring, although no renewal process has been proposed by this government. March 31, 2009, will also mark the end of the homelessness partnership initiative.

People who work in the field are disappointed that the Minister of Finance decided to ignore the recommendations made by the United Nations special rapporteur, who denounced the housing conditions endured by too many families and called on the federal government to invest the money needed to ensure a long term renewal of the programs.

The Conservatives are insensitive to the needs of the most vulnerable members of our society.

Status of Women
Statements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, this week, women around the world will be celebrating their international day. This year's theme is, “Strong Women, Strong World”.

We will remember the pioneering Canadian women whose determination made it possible for women to be recognized as people.

Nevertheless, let us not forget that a Canadian woman today earns just 71¢ for every dollar a Canadian man earns.

Let us not forget that this Conservative government eliminated the court challenges program, which helped women.

Let us not forget that this Conservative government abolished the law commission.

Let us not forget that this Conservative government cut 12 of the 16 Status of Women Canada regional offices.

We salute Canadian women and call on this government not to make any more decisions that will hinder their progress.

Ethics
Statements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have been inventing false smears against our government for a long time. Normally they do not have the guts to say them outside the House of Commons. Well, this time they got sloppy.

Without any proof, they have made outrageous accusations of criminal activity. This devastatingly defamatory attack is absolutely false, is contradicted by Chuck Cadman's own words, and the Prime Minister is demanding a full apology from the Liberal leader.

The real question is, if they thought there was a crime, why did the Liberals hold back this attack for more than a year, until after their climbdown on the tackling violent crime act, until after their climbdown on our budget, until they were forced into months of humiliating back downs on votes here in the House of Commons?

Why is it that the Liberal leader had to fall into a period of leadership crisis before he threw this smear out in the House of Commons and outside this place? Why will he not stand up now and apologize?

Lena Jacobs
Statements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Independent

Blair Wilson West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honour the remembrance of Lena Jacobs who passed away on February 23, 2008.

Lena Jacobs, mother of Chief Gibby Jacob, was born on the Mission reserve in North Vancouver, British Columbia on February 9, 1910. At age 98 she was the eldest member of the Squamish First Nation.

Yet, we rejoice in her life. We will remember and treasure her love for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and for her wisdom and knowledge of her community.

Mrs. Jacobs instilled her teachings and values of her culture and language upon her people, and she will be greatly missed. She was one of the few fluent speakers of the Squamish First Nation language.

She is remembered for her active role with the Squamish First Nation, Your Grandchildren's Upbringing Elder Language Authority program, and as a loyal member of Saint Paul's parish.

Mrs. Jacobs was a lady of courage and dedication. She was a loved and respected elder whose legacy will continue to thrive for generations to come.

Ethics
Oral Questions

March 3rd, 2008 / 2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has tried everything to avoid answering questions about his party's million dollar bribe. He has even resorted to threats of lawsuits. Well, it is going to take much more than the threat of a lawsuit to stop us from getting to the truth.

Is the Prime Minister willing to change his story? Is he ready to tell the truth?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the truth is that in the past several months, as the problems of the Liberal Party and its leader have mounted, they have engaged in more and more extreme accusations, going to the point last week of publishing on their website a series of false and unfounded allegations of criminal misconduct on my part.

The truth is that this will prove to be in court the biggest mistake the leader of the Liberal Party has ever made.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, there is a tape of the Prime Minister. On that tape, the author of the book, Mr. Zytaruk, asks the Prime Minister whether he knows anything about the $1 million insurance policy. Anyone who was not aware of what had happened would have asked what Mr. Zytaruk meant and why he was talking about $1 million. But the Prime Minister answered that he was not aware of the details. The Prime Minister therefore knew that an offer had been made.

How could he have been so lacking in judgment and so morally bankrupt?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, in recent months, the leader of the Liberal Party and the Liberal Party have decided to deal with their own problems by making more and more extreme accusations, without proof.

What is more, last week, the leader of the Liberal Party and his party posted allegations of criminal conduct on my part on a website. That will not help solve the problems of the leader of the Liberal Party; it will prove to be the biggest error in judgment in his political career.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the mistake of judgment we are talking about is the one made by the Prime Minister. He had knowledge prior to the question that has been asked of him and knowledge that there was an offer being made to Mr. Cadman.

There is a tape. The Prime Minister is on tape discussing financial considerations for Mr. Cadman.

Will the Prime Minister call in the RCMP to investigate immediately?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition should know that the government does not direct the activity of police authorities.

The leader of the Liberal Party today in his questions repeated once again an allegation that there was a million dollar bribe offered.

We will be watching with great interest to see whether, after question period, the leader of the Liberal Party publishes those questions on his website.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thank the Prime Minister for the charming letter he sent me this morning. I was very impressed.

In the taped interview with Mr. Zytaruk at Mr. Cadman's residence, the Prime Minister clearly mentions Mr. Cadman's “financial insecurity” and financial considerations he might lose due to an election.

I want to know whether that was why the two individuals, who in the Prime Minister's own words were “legitimately representing the party”, offered Mr. Cadman a financial inducement to change his vote?