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House of Commons Hansard #121 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was moved.

Topics

Budget SurplusesOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance always presents an economic report to the House of Commons in the fall. This report presents the situation at the half way point during the year. The minister will make such a presentation again this year.

Things are going well, but I should point out to the hon. member that, for example, we allocated substantial amounts of money for health, even for the current year. Right now, all the provincial governments can buy equipment which they would not have been able to buy if an agreement had not been reached two weeks ago.

We co-operate with everyone to invest in health, to reduce taxes and also to provide a very good administration.

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health.

Today, we learned that certain pediatricians in Montreal are charging up to $60 a shot for standard vaccines that protect our children against the usual childhood diseases.

What does the minister have to say about this troubling state of affairs? Will he tell us what he is going to do to put a stop to this practice?

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I intend to raise this matter with Quebec's health minister.

I have asked my officials to investigate to ensure that the principles of the Canada Health Act are being respected everywhere at all times.

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, last spring the health minister said with respect to queue jumping and user fees for operation rooms in Montreal “We're looking into it”. With respect to queue jumping and user fees for cataract surgery in Calgary he said “We're looking into it”. Now we learn that privatization has taken another step forward, this time targeting our kids.

Where is the government? How many families will have to pay $500 for their kids' vaccinations before the government is willing to take action?

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, less than two weeks ago, on September 11, the premier of Quebec joined with all other premiers and the Prime Minister to reaffirm their confidence in the Canada Health Act and their adherence to the principles in the Canada Health Act. I have every confidence that the minister of health of Quebec will work with this government to ensure that in the case cited by the hon. member those principles will be respected.

I have always believed and I believe today that the best answer for those who would want access to private parallel health services is to reinforce the public system so there is no market for private services. That is what we are doing.

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, the subcommittee on organized crime is set to resume its study. However, recent events and publicity tell us the time is getting short.

Canadians and police are very concerned about the government's inaction on organized crime and the new RCMP commissioner has as much as told us so.

The subcommittee's work, although valuable, will take far too long and there is an election looming. Will the Minister of Justice introduce legislation now to provide law enforcement with legislation to enhance investigative techniques and to protect vital information and evidence for Canadians?

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I have said on a number of occasions in the House, we are working with the province of Quebec and all provinces and territories. We are working with the RCMP and provincial and local police forces. In fact, we are very much at work in terms of looking at possible legislative changes to ensure that law enforcement officials, prosecutors and judges have the laws and the tools necessary to deal with organized crime.

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

André Bachand Progressive Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister seems to want to reassure the House. But what is clear is that the subcommittee is beginning its work.

Is the Minister of Justice telling us that, instead of waiting for the subcommittee to submit a report to the House for debate here in order to introduce a new bill, she will agree very quickly to introduce an organized crime bill in the coming weeks? Could she give us a valid and verifiable timetable?

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I know the subcommittee on organized crime is hard at work. Certainly the work it does will help us and enhance not only our work in the federal government but the work being done in conjunction with the provinces and law enforcement authorities.

As soon as that work is done we will take whatever steps are necessary, be it on the legislative side, the resource side or the investigative tools side, to ensure that we can effectively deal with organized crime.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

John Cummins Reform Delta—South Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, after two months of dithering the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans has finally taken a few tottering steps toward protecting the few remaining lobster in Miramichi Bay, but he is still in hot water. Lobster catches are below historical levels across the maritimes.

The minister's failure to protect lobster stocks in Miramichi Bay, Malpeque Bay and in St. Mary's Bay means that things will be even worse for fishermen next year. After Burnt Church, negotiating fisheries' agreements will be even more difficult than ever.

Looking ahead to next year, what is the minister's plan to deal with this mess he has created and is he prepared—

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, let me first say that the lobster fishery has been managed extremely well. In fact, lobster fishermen over the years have greatly benefited from the excellent management of the lobster fishery.

In terms of Miramichi Bay, I am happy to inform the House that our enforcement action resulted in 1,351 traps being removed from Miramichi Bay to protect the resource, without confrontation and without conflict. I think that is good news. We can now continue our work to protect the resource. I have always said that conservation is our number one priority and we will continue to make sure the resource is protected for all Canadians.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

John Cummins Reform Delta—South Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, let us not forget the 40,000 pound quota and perhaps 300,000 pounds taken out of the bay.

The minister never had a plan to deal with the fallout from the Marshall decision. He brought in a couple of negotiators, gave them $160 million and wished them luck. He brought in Bob Rae and just hoped for the best.

Without a plan, the minister has put lobster stocks, livelihoods and entire communities at risk. Fishermen want to know now what the minister's plan is for ending this mess he has created and if he is prepared to bring that plan before parliament.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, our plan was very clear. I went to the fisheries committee and outlined our plan. Our plan was also brought forward to the fisheries ministers in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and P.E.I. They were very supportive. It was about bringing aboriginal communities into the fisheries and improving the lives of aboriginal communities. That is why we had 29 agreements with aboriginal communities. We have built the foundation to move forward, to create hundreds of jobs and real opportunity for aboriginal communities.

Budget SurplusesOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, there are three ways for a government to dispose of unexpected surplus funds: It can do nothing, as has been done on numerous occasions, and then the money goes directly on to the debt; it can take piece-meal decisions, in which case the money is spread around to win votes; it can bring down a mini budget, hold an informed debate on the problems facing society, and then take proper managerial decisions.

Which of these three is the government going to choose?

Budget SurplusesOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Etobicoke North Ontario

Liberal

Roy Cullen LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, over the past seven years, the Bloc Quebecois has called five times for a mini budget.

I can say with confidence that Canadians did not need the last mini budget nor do they need a mini budget today. Furthermore, it is interesting to note that while we underestimated our revenues by 3.6%, the province of Quebec has raised its revenue forecast by 3.8%. This is a national and an international phenomena. It is a good news story.

Budget SurplusesOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, I believe my question deserved a rather more serious response, since it addressed a basic problem.

We have always known the Liberals have a tendency to throw money around all over the place for the purpose of winning votes, of improving their visibility with the taxpayers.

What we would like to know, and this seems reasonable to me, given the major social problems confronting our society and the surplus the Minister of Finance was not expecting—a 300% error—is what they are planning to do? I feel this is a reasonable question and deserves a reasonable answer.

Budget SurplusesOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has stated that we are big spenders. I would like to remind him that, when we formed the government, total departmental expenditures were $121 billion.

Now, after seven years of Liberal administration, the figure for government expenditures is $115 billion.

I would challenge the hon. member to find another government in the world that is spending less on programs after seven years in power than was being spent when it assumed power.

Crime PreventionOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Myron Thompson Reform Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, according to the Kingston city police, 47% of all convicts released from federal prisons are committing new crimes. According to the National Parole Board and Correctional Service Canada, they report between 5% and 15% of freed inmates go on to commit new crimes. I choose to believe the police.

My question for the solicitor general is, which of these two statements should Canadians believe, the police or the National Parole Board?

Crime PreventionOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we are certainly aware of this report. Neither Correctional Service Canada nor the National Parole Board were involved. We are evaluating both reports.

Correctional Service CanadaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Darrel Stinson Reform Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, young Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French cannot celebrate their birthdays anymore. They were only 14 and 15 years of age when Karla Homolka helped torture and murder them. The newspapers are now showing Homolka celebrating her birthday in formal attire while serving time with other violent sex offenders.

My question is for the solicitor general. Where is the justice in all this?

Correctional Service CanadaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, like most Canadians I am disgusted by this crime. However, no matter how we feel, Correctional Service Canada has a role to play. There must be punishment for the crime and attempts at rehabilitation. That is exactly what is taking place.

Gasoline PricingOral Question Period

September 25th, 2000 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Bloc Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance has intimated that he could reduce the GST in order to fight the significant increase in the price of gasoline.

Has the minister really compared the impact of a reduction in the GST to the solution we proposed, namely, a reduction in the excise tax, especially since the GST is refunded to truckers and transport companies in any case. Their solution for truckers is zero, not one cent more in their pockets.

Gasoline PricingOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Etobicoke North Ontario

Liberal

Roy Cullen LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the GST was under debate by the Alliance Party just recently. However, our government is looking for a comprehensive approach to this issue. The GST, for example, with respect to truckers, is fully rebated when they apply for the GST credit. In addition, if we look at the federal excise tax it is 4 cents a litre for diesel but in Ontario it is 13.5 cents and in Quebec it is a similar amount.

We are working very diligently on the problem. It is a problem for Canadians. We want to have the right solution that gets in the hands of consumers, not in the hands of the oil companies.

Gasoline PricingOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Bloc Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, the question is what will they do for the truckers if it is not to be this solution and there is none?

The situation is not going to be resolved with verbiage. What are they prepared to offer? We want them to lower the excise tax by 10 cents a litre immediately for consumers and 4 cents a litre for diesel. Why are they not doing something?