This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #107 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was finance.

Topics

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, he is doing it again. I hear him equating refugees and criminals. Nothing could be further from the truth.

There are over 23 million people around the world in a refugee situation, fleeing persecution. Canadians are proud of their humanitarian and compassionate response. We are not going to allow the official opposition, nor are we going to allow terrorists, to deter us from our humanitarian obligations to welcome those in genuine need of our protection.

FinanceOral Question Period

November 1st, 2001 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes Liberal London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Secretary of State for International Financial Institutions.

Canada will soon be hosting the G-20 meeting. Would the secretary of state please tell the House what is expected as a result of this meeting and specifically why financial global governance is important to Canadians today?

FinanceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, as members know, the G-20 consists of 20 countries comprising 87% of the world's GDP, 65% of the world's population and 60% of the world's poor. Chaired by the hon. Minister of Finance, the best finance minister in the world, this forum will be looking at the issues--

FinanceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Regina--Qu'Appelle.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Lorne Nystrom NDP Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the same minister with the new hairstyle.

The Canadian dollar has now hit an all time low, trading a few minutes ago at less than 64¢ compared to the U.S. dollar. Over the 10 years the Canadian dollar has lost 30% of its value compared to the U.S. dollar.

I want to ask a specific question of the minister. How low does the Canadian dollar have to go before the minister will instruct the Governor of the Bank of Canada to intervene in the financial markets to halt the erosion of the Canadian dollar? How low does it have to go before he will do that?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, let us look at what Canada has already done. We have brought in the largest tax cut in the history of our nation. Our interest rates are the lowest that they have been in 40 years. We have paid down more than $35 billion of debt and at the same time have made major new investments in health care, education, research and innovation.

Our obligation as a government is to get our economic fundamentals right. That is what we have done and that is what we will continue to do.

Canada PostOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, I will try another minister. My question is for the minister responsible for Canada Post.

United Parcel Service is suing Canada under chapter 11 of NAFTA to try to put Canada Post out of the courier business. Both CUPW and the Council of Canadians have just been denied standing at this tribunal, with the Canadian government lining up with UPS to block them.

Why is the Liberal government siding with UPS to keep Canadian workers and the Canadian public out of the secret NAFTA tribunal hearing on the future of public postal services in Canada?

Canada PostOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, we are, as a government with Canada Post, fighting this decision before the Canadian international trade tribunal and we will continue to fight it. We are working with all the partners. When it comes to the trial, Canada Post and the Government of Canada will definitely be there.

National SecurityOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Canadian Alliance Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, it appears that the only economic policy consistently followed by the government is its dubious plan to drive the Canadian dollar to record lows in the hopes of promoting Canadian exports, yet Canadian exporters are saying that problems at the borders are putting the industry at risk. They warn that the government still has no concrete plans in place to address the problem.

Will the government commit today to the creation of a new ministry to co-ordinate public protection and improve border management for our exporters and for Canadian people?

National SecurityOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

Sophia Leung LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the member is not well informed. We have just passed Bill S-23. We already are implementing modernizations to our customs system. In the meantime, the member should know that we are implementing some of the new technologies that will tighten up the borders without any problems.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Scott Brison Progressive Conservative Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, when questioned about the record low Canadian dollar, the finance minister consistently responds that it is not his fault, that all currencies are doing badly compared to the U.S., yet in the last three years the Canadian dollar has fallen 5%. Over the same period of time the Mexican peso has gained 10%. Since September 11 the peso has gained 2.5% while the Canadian dollar has lost a point and a half.

If Canadian fundamentals are as strong as the minister likes to say, why is the Mexican peso doing so much better than the Canadian dollar?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member does not have to accept just my word that the government has been getting its economic fundamentals right. I refer him to the world economic forum which just a couple of weeks ago published its most recent report. Canada has moved from seventh to third in terms of global competitiveness.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Canadian Alliance Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the defence minister said that we had thousands of sailors for future rotations and that we had no problems.

The facts are that even before this latest commitment he closed down ships due to lack of personnel. He mothballed one of our four destroyers due to lack of sailors. He put 7 of our 12 frigates on a lower state of readiness due to lack of sailors. Where are we going to get the people trained, ready and rested to meet future rotations?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, what he said yesterday was nonsense and it is nonsense today. Or, as his leader says, tomato or tomato, it is the same thing.

We have over 2,000 troops involved in the campaign against terrorism, many of whom are navy. We do have people back here who will both serve to protect our country and who will also relieve the people we sent overseas from their service after a period of time.

We will continue to honour our commitment. We are going up in terms of recruitment at this point in time. We are getting additional people into all three armed services.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Canadian Alliance Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, either the minister does not understand the problem or he just does not care about our men and women in the forces.

In May of this year, before we had committed the 2,000 people to this latest cause, the war on terrorism, Admiral Maddison, head of the navy, said “At the moment, I'm about 400 people short. Almost all of those are technicians, highly skilled”.

The CISS and the CDA report that the navy is already robbing technical staff from the army and the army is short as well.

How can the minister be so out of touch with the military when it is his area of responsibility?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, now he has given up on tomato and tomato and he is into apples and oranges but he is very out of date with all his information.

We have been going through a recruitment plan which has been quite successful in getting initial people. We are also offering incentives and bonuses to bring in people in certain trades and occupations in the military in which we have been short.

Yes, we have joint efforts. The army, navy and air force do co-operate together and they have for years. Where has the hon. member been? It makes sense to better serve Canada by training our forces to do the best they can to fight terrorism.

Anti-Terrorism LegislationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Lanctôt Bloc Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, a unanimous Senate report recommends what the Bloc Quebecois has suggested right from the start: a sunset clause for the anti-terrorism bill.

Wil the minister at least recognize that the Bloc Quebec and the Senate are right, as were the many intervenors who all suggested in their recommendations that sunset clauses are absolutely necessary?

Anti-Terrorism LegislationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the hon. member's question. It is one we have heard in the House on a number of occasions but I am afraid my answer is the same.

I understand the concern in and around the appropriate review mechanisms. I know the House committee is working very hard on the matter. I will be reappearing before that committee in the next week to 10 days. I know that at that time the committee and I will engage in a useful discussion about the whole area of review mechanisms and what may and may not be possible.

Anti-Terrorism LegislationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Lanctôt Bloc Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister has heard the same question many times but we have never had a reply. We realize the minister has reservations, as does the Prime Minister moreover.

Is the minister prepared to bow to the numerous opinions and recommendations from the Canadian Bar Association, the Barreau du Québec, the Canadian Lawyers Association, the Association des avocats et criminalistes and the Canadian Council of Civil Defence Lawyers, and include sunset clauses in the anti-terrorism legislation?

Anti-Terrorism LegislationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I said before, we are indeed listening. I look forward to my reappearance before the House committee where I know I will engage in a fulsome and vigorous debate with members of that committee.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Canadian Alliance Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian dollar has dropped to 62.74¢ as we speak, another all time low. That means it costs $1.60 Canadian to buy $1 U.S.

Could the fact that the Liberal loonie has lost 25% of its value since this government came to power have anything to do with the fact that we have the highest income taxes in the G-7, the second highest level of indebtedness in the G-7 and that our productivity under this government has grown half as quickly as in the United States?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, that is absolutely not true. Canada in terms of the G-7 is in the middle band in terms of its overall tax cuts.

We made record tax cuts of $100 billion over five years. We cut corporate taxes so that we will have corporate taxes in Canada that are about 30% compared to 36% in Michigan, 40% in New York and 41% in California. These are some of the things we have done to make sure Canada has a very competitive tax environment.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Canadian Alliance Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, according to KPMG, Canada has the highest corporate tax rates in the OECD. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce said “the 1990s will always stand out as the poorest decade in terms of productivity since the 1930s”.

When will the government finally take responsibility for the lame Liberal loonie which is making Canadians poorer, imports more expensive and causing our standard of living to deteriorate year by year?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, this is the hon. member whose program for strengthening the economy was to accelerate our tax cuts by two months. A year ago we accelerated them by three full years. Even his lame-brained suggestion was rejected by the Canadian Payroll Association as being administratively impossible.

The member calls for added stimulus. If it were in significant amounts it would drive us into deficit, and that would be fully irresponsible.

Indian AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Guy Carignan Liberal Québec East, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.

Consultations began across Canada with the public and the leaders of the first nations on April 30 in the context of the measure known as “Communities First: First Nation Governance”.

The aim of this measure is to examine the basic principles of the government of the first nations on the reserves, a matter that has not been reviewed since the Indian Act was passed 125 years ago.

Could the minister tell us whether the consultations on first nations governance have concluded and what the next stages are?