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House of Commons Hansard #133 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was nafta.

Topics

Economic PolicyOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, that is not true.

In our projection, the vast majority of our tax cuts are for low and middle income Canadians. This is exactly what we did in our budget. We concentrated tax cuts for Canadians who need them most.

Economic PolicyOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, since Wednesday we have been criticizing the election goodies and electoral cynicism of the Minister of Finance.

We realize today that when the House dissolves on Sunday many of these goodies, including the funds for the environment, will vanish.

Does the Minister of the Environment realize that the public will not look kindly at all on this manipulation of parliamentary institutions?

Economic PolicyOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I do not think the hon. member has understood that in the budget for 2000 we set aside some $640 million in new dollars for the environment, especially for the greenhouse gases. In addition, we added $500 million to that in the speech the Minister of Finance gave a few days ago.

The figure has increased by $1.2 billion in the past eight months, something the hon. Bloc Quebecois member should be proud of.

Standing Committee On Public AccountsOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Reform

Ken Epp Reform Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, occasionally rooms for committees get changed. When that happens members of parliament make a quick phone call to the clerk's office to find out where the committee is. In this particular instance, we have not one, not two, but eight Liberal members all of whom, coincidentally, failed to phone the clerk's office to find out where this meeting was being held.

How can the government ask Canadians to believe its explanation that it could not find the room?

Standing Committee On Public AccountsOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

The Speaker

I am having a hard time making a connection here with the responsibility of the government. I would judge the question to be out of order. If the government House leader wishes to respond he may.

Standing Committee On Public AccountsOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I will gladly respond. As I indicated, this was not intentional on the part of the government. I will not hide behind the fact that this question is probably as close to being out of order as anything that has ever been said in the House.

Notwithstanding that, yesterday, immediately upon discovering this, the chief government whip rose in the House of Commons moments later to indicate his disapproval of what happened. We immediately commenced corrective actions. Consultations were held with all political parties in the House. Their help was appreciated. It was done and of course the debate will take place this afternoon in a committee room.

Standing Committee On Public AccountsOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

The Speaker

I ask the hon. member to please go to the administrative responsibility of the government in his question.

Standing Committee On Public AccountsOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Reform

Ken Epp Reform Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, I will put it this way then. Clearly the work of the committees is a very important role of members of parliament, and members of parliament on this side of the House were prevented yesterday, when they were prepared to do so, from dealing with this issue.

In view of the fact that exactly the same thing happened in 1997, a week before the election, the probabilities, to me as an amateur mathematician, just seem outrageous. I would like to know from the government why it would deliberately boycott a committee meeting like this.

Standing Committee On Public AccountsOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

The Speaker

I rule the question out of order, but if the hon. government House leader wants to answer it, he may do so.

Standing Committee On Public AccountsOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, again this impugning of motives I do not think is helpful. I can state here that many committee meetings are held without Alliance MPs ever showing up, and that happens all the time.

Standing Committee On Public AccountsOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. You are out of order on both sides.

Social HousingOral Question Period

October 20th, 2000 / 11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the Liberals came to power, social housing needs have almost doubled for the most disadvantaged.

On Wednesday, billions of dollars in electoral goodies were distributed to the wealthy, but there was nothing for the families most affected by poverty.

How does the Prime Minister have the nerve to talk about values and compassion when he has simply abandoned the poorest families in our society?

Social HousingOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, that is not true. For example, the child tax benefit was increased by $4 billion a year. The tax rate has dropped to 16%. Taxes over the next five years for families with children will drop by 27%, and the heating oil tax credit for tenants and landlords has been set at $1.3 billion. These are measures for low and middle income families.

Seasonal WorkersOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Maurice Dumas Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, while the rich are well looked after by the government, seasonal workers will have to make do with a few temporary crumbs for one year only, and will have to get through the winter on nothing after using up their paltry 21 weeks of benefits.

How can the Minister of Finance justify ongoing and generous tax breaks for the rich while seasonal workers must make do with crumbs, and temporary ones at that?

Seasonal WorkersOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to hear the member mention seasonal workers because the Bloc Quebecois has finally discovered them.

Seasonal WorkersOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Seasonal WorkersOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Liberal Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Approximately one and a half hours ago in the House, the Bloc Quebecois, through their deputy House leader, refused consent for passage of Bill C-44.

Information Commissioner's ReportOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Reform

Garry Breitkreuz Reform Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, the justice minister's officials are stonewalling investigators from the Office of the Information Commissioner. When the investigator examined the department's firearm registry project finance files there were no financial spreadsheets or budget projections for this fiscal year. This is highly unusual, if not illegal.

Does the minister really want parliament and the voters to believe they are running a $300 million program without any budget? Why have the true costs of the gun registry been hidden from Canadians, or is the Liberal government just plain out of control?

Information Commissioner's ReportOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, what we know on behalf of the Minister of Justice about the point of view of members of that party is not that they are seeking numbers, but that they oppose fundamentally the protection of Canadians through a comprehensive system of registration of firearms. That has been their point all along.

We on this side are prepared to go to the people saying we support gun control, effective gun control. It is important for Canadians. It is important for the safety of people in the country. We are for it. They are against it.

Information Commissioner's ReportOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Reform

Garry Breitkreuz Reform Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, we will support effective gun control as well, but let me ask this question. In Yves Lavigne's book, Hell's Angels at War , he says this about the Liberal gun registration scheme:

Police and politicians knew Bill C-68 was just a ploy to strip guns from law-abiding citizens with a grossly overbudgeted financial sinkhole of a bureaucracy...This is why the law was never mentioned during talks about a biker war—

Why has the justice minister wasted more than half a billion dollars on her useless gun registry, instead of helping the police and the provinces in their fight against organized crime? How many more hundreds of millions will she waste before she does the right thing and repeal Bill C-68?

Information Commissioner's ReportOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows that already more than 1.3 million individuals have complied with the licensing requirement. We know that since the beginning of December 1998 over 10,000 potentially dangerous gun sales were sent for further investigation, that almost a thousand licence applications have been refused, and that over 1,200 licences have been revoked.

We know that this gun control law will bring about a safer society. We know they are against it. What price do they put on the lives of Canadians who are threatened by illegal guns?

Canada Labour CodeOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Gérard Asselin Bloc Charlevoix, QC

Mr. Speaker, for the past 18 months, Cargill Limited, of Baie-Comeau, has been plagued by a labour dispute that hurts the region's economy and makes it very hard for the workers who have been locked out since March 28.

Will the Minister of Labour pledge to take all necessary actions to settle that dispute quickly and to everyone's satisfaction, and to put a stop to unfair practices such as the hiring of subcontractors for the mooring and sailing of ships, which violates section 87(7) of part I of the Canada Labour Code?

Canada Labour CodeOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I am told that the parties will resume collective bargaining on October 24, 2000.

An officer of the federal mediation and conciliation service is currently in contact with the parties and is available to help them in their negotiations.

As for the interpretation of the provisions of the Canada Labour Code, to which the hon. member alluded, including section 87(7), it is the responsibility of the Canada Industrial Relations Board.

Criminal CodeOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Ian Murray Liberal Lanark—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Justice. There is some concern in rural Canada that provisions in Bill C-17 relating to cruelty to animals will allow for prosecution for such normal activities as farming and hunting.

Will the minister please clarify the actual intent of the measures in Bill C-17?

Criminal CodeOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I have always wanted to act as Minister of Justice. Let me say that Bill C-17 is good, solid law reform. It is an attempt to recognize cruelty to animals as a form of violence and to encourage the justice system to treat it seriously.

However, some have misunderstood the intent of Bill C-17. These amendments make no changes to the way the law applies to currently lawful activities involving animals. In fact, to make that clear, the Minister of Justice would support changes to the bill that clarify the law and provide assurances that humane practices will not be affected.