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House of Commons Hansard #115 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was liability.

Topics

Anti-terrorism LegislationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member does not understand the process of issuing the certificate. As of today, if a committee decides to accept the amendments proposed, my issuance of that certificate would be subject to judicial review by a judge of the federal court.

I cannot imagine a better process of review that provides greater protection to Canadians in relation to that provision.

Anti-terrorism LegislationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Canadian Alliance Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, I think we understand only too well. By the minister's testimony at committee today, it is now abundantly clear that the government is intent upon increasing its ability to eavesdrop, gut the privacy and access to information acts, sidestep government appointed watchdogs and above all, avoid accountability for its actions.

Where in the anti-terrorism legislation are the checks and balances to ensure the government or future governments do not misuse these powers? Where is the provision for an independent oversight official to monitor the legislation who is not controlled by the government?

Anti-terrorism LegislationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is obviously not aware that in relation to this legislation, normal oversight processes continue. For example, there is a public complaints commission as it relates to the RCMP. There are civilian oversight mechanisms that apply to all local police.

Ministers of the government or any future government have to report to the House on an annual basis. Judicial review of almost all actions that could be taken under this legislation exist. In fact, today we have reinforced the prospect of judicial review.

I honestly do not know where the hon. member is coming from.

International AidOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deepak Obhrai Canadian Alliance Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, the government wants to increase foreign aid and has repeatedly said that its priority is rebuilding Afghanistan. Under the minister, CIDA has lost its focus and has become an agency for rewarding her friends.

Why give the minister more money when she cannot even use the current aid budget effectively?

International AidOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Beaches—East York Ontario

Liberal

Maria Minna LiberalMinister for International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, with all due respect, the member is completely off base. He is totally and categorically wrong.

The government spends its aid money on providing 45 million children with vitamin A capsules just in the last several weeks in Afghanistan and Pakistan despite the hostilities, providing $150 million additional to fight HIV-AIDS across the world and providing assistance to children who could have died of malaria and TB as well.

International AidOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deepak Obhrai Canadian Alliance Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, let me remind the minister that she has no CIDA deployment in Afghanistan to evaluate, monitor and co-ordinate aid distribution. The British are making commitments to ensure aid effectiveness, but our minister has a habit of giving untendered contracts to her campaign workers and has a record of mismanagement according to the auditor general.

Will this unco-ordinated and ineffective response be the hallmark of her aid policy in Afghanistan?

International AidOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Beaches—East York Ontario

Liberal

Maria Minna LiberalMinister for International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, as usual the member has his facts all wrong. He is categorically wrong.

First, with respect to Afghanistan I am in touch on a constant basis with CIDA staff in Pakistan, with our partners the Red Cross and United Nations human rights representatives who are now in Kabul, as well as the Red Cross who have people in Kabul, and the world food program. We talk on a regular daily basis. I know exactly what is going on. The humanitarian response on the ground is effective. Canada is also providing tactical assistance for the world food program to get food over the roads and the mountains. We know exactly what we are doing in Afghanistan.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the chief actuary of Human Resources Development Canada expects the employment insurance plan to have a record surplus of $8 billion at the end of the current fiscal year.

Will the Minister of Human Resources Development finally admit that the employment insurance fund surplus is swelling as we speak because far fewer unemployed workers qualify for benefits and those who do receive them are for a shorter period?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, on this side of the House we have taken a balanced approach to managing the employment insurance fund. That means on the one hand watching employment insurance premiums come down every year since 1994 where they began at $3.07 and are now at $2.25. On the other hand, where study and proof warrants, we make and expand our benefits.

At a time when more Canadians are turning to the employment insurance fund, I believe that that balanced strategy pertains today as well as earlier.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, does the Minister of Human Resources Development not find it a scandal that, at the very moment the employment insurance fund is headed toward a surplus of $8 billion, she is continuing to refuse to honour the promise of Liberal ministers, who promised employment insurance reform during the election?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, what I find scandalous is that the member continues to ask about expanding benefits in the employment insurance fund when it is he and his party who voted against Bill C-2, a bill that was specifically brought in to support seasonal workers.

I would ask him what he says to the 340,000 Quebecers who are now receiving money as a result of that bill being passed when they ask him why he voted against it.

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Canadian Alliance Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, after the September 11 attacks the transport minister gave $100 million to Air Canada to cover its expenses for the two and a half days that the skies were closed. Days later Air Canada launched Tango, which the head of Canada's Competition Bureau says was anti-competitive and designed to run Canada 3000 out of business.

Why did the transport minister not make a condition of the $100 million to Air Canada that it not launch Tango and destroy domestic air competition with taxpayers' money?

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should know that with respect to competition policy there are certain guidelines, some of which were included in the statute we passed a couple of years ago. It is up to the commissioner to enforce those guidelines. It is not up to the Minister of Transport to enforce the Competition Act.

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Canadian Alliance Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is not up to the transport minister to finance the destruction of airline competition either. Air Canada has announced plans to expand the Tango program thereby destroying competition even further in Canada's skies. We do not know who its next victim will be.

Will the transport minister amend the sections of Bill C-26 so that Air Canada can no longer launch regional discount carriers and destroy competition in the country?

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, what I have said publicly is that perhaps there are some more powers that the commissioner should have to deal specifically with the airline industry. We are in discussions with him and obviously my colleague the Minister of Industry. These are possibilities now with the bill before the House.

I find it rather odd that the member would stand today and basically argue against the compensation package the government gave to Canada's airlines, especially to Air Canada.

International AidOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Sarkis Assadourian Liberal Brampton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, every day we hear about the plight of poor people in poor countries dying from preventable illnesses, lack of care and shortages of skilled workers. Mothers, children and families are suffering. Just today the Montreal Gazette reported that AIDS, TB and malaria kill a mind numbing 15,000 people a day. That means since September 11 an estimated 1.05 million people have died from these diseases.

Donations to the global health fund have dropped substantially during this time frame. Could the Minister for International Cooperation explain what Canada has been doing on this very important issue?

International AidOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Beaches—East York Ontario

Liberal

Maria Minna LiberalMinister for International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, a year ago Canada expanded the programs on HIV-AIDS to the tune of $220 million over a period of five years for programs provided on the ground by CIDA. The Prime Minister recently announced $150 million to the global health fund which addresses HIV, malaria and TB. As well, today I released an action plan for CIDA which brings the health and nutrition spending from $205 million to about $305 million, which on a yearly basis almost doubles our spending on health and nutrition.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Canadian Alliance West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, the grinch who stole Christmas has struck early this year. The Minister of National Revenue has mailed out what could amount to hundreds of thousands of letters to individuals receiving the disability tax credit, notifying them that they must re-prove their disability. This mailing includes 100,000 paraplegics, some going back to 1996 who according to the Canadian Paraplegic Association are legitimate claimants with no hope of a cure.

Why would the minister, especially at this time of the year, want to burden and disrupt disabled people with such an insensitive and punitive initiative?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of National Revenue and Secretary of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency of course conducts periodic reviews of accounts to ensure the integrity of the self-assessment system we have in place. In regard to the matter raised by the hon. member, we do understand the sensitivity of the review. We have been in touch with different associations across Canada. We are conducting this review in the appropriate manner.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Canadian Alliance West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, humbug. People who are paraplegics do not have a cure and should not have to go through the trouble.

Health care already is under a real problem. Could the minister explain to Canadians how he can spend the hundreds of thousands of dollars for the mail, and millions of dollars for doctors' usage and hospital fees for paraplegics to have to prove that they qualify for this tax credit?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of National Revenue and Secretary of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, I just do not know why the hon. member wants to score cheap political points with this issue.

We do understand that across Canada we have one of the best tax systems in the world. The Canada Customs and Revenue Agency is doing wonderful work. We do have to proceed with periodic reviews of some accounts of course to ensure that the self-assessment system in place is protected. We are in touch with the associations in order to make sure we are doing a good job. We are working with the people to ensure the integrity of the system.

Air TransportationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Transport refuses to intervene in regional air transportation, adopting instead a wait and see attitude and letting things take their own course.

Because of his approach up to now it still costs more to fly to the Magdalen Islands from Montreal than it does to fly to Paris.

Does the Minister of Transport not agree that it is time he initiated discussions with potential purchasers of Canada 3000 and proposed federal government assistance in exchange for guarantees of service to regions in Quebec and eastern Canada?

Air TransportationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we are looking for competition among companies that are currently in operation, such as Air Transat, and other small companies. We believe the private market and sector will provide solutions for the airline industry.

The G-20Oral Question Period

November 20th, 2001 / 2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Roy Cullen Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend Canada hosted meetings of the G-20, of the international monetary and financial committee and also the development committee, in Ottawa.

Could the Secretary of State for International Financial Institutions tell us what was accomplished at these meetings?

The G-20Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, that is a brilliant question.

Let me state five things that we have accomplished in discussions with the U.S. officials. We agreed on ways to speed up cross-border traffic. The G-20 also agreed to enlist the help of its membership in a co-ordinated effort against global financing of terrorism. Third, all the members of the G-20 agreed to pursue growth policies to counter the current economic slowdown. Fourth, there was agreement that the World Bank is going to help out developing countries. Fifth, members agreed to facilitate the international debt problems of the poorest countries.