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House of Commons Hansard #131 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member appears to be saying that the working people of Canada do not benefit from our health system, our system of transfer payments to the provinces, our contributions for R and D, or our infrastructure programs.

I have a great deal of trouble following her reasoning.

The BudgetOral Question Period

December 13th, 2001 / 2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian Alliance Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, only the Minister of Finance thinks there is no waste in the budget.

The auditor general said clearly that the amount of waste had to be cut. The Standing Committee on Finance said the same thing.

If the Minister of Finance did not know where to cut, why did he not listen to the auditor general or to his own members on the Standing Committee on Finance?

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, clearly we have to guard against waste and eliminate it, and this is what we have done. The President of the Treasury Board has a program in place under which she meets individual departments to look at their spending and to eliminate waste, and we have done so.

This is one reason our spending since we took office has not increased by one cent.

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian Alliance Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, we have asked the finance minister over and over again to identify one single cent of waste that he cut out of the budget. He has not done that.

I am going to give him the opportunity again right now. I want him to identify, and not to talk about what we might do, one single penny that he cut out of the budget that was wasteful.

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, based on the kinds of questions we are getting today, probably the biggest amount of waste that we could eliminate is the Alliance's research budget.

Infrastructure ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are still waiting to hear why the Minister of Finance put billions of dollars into a foundation when there are infrastructure projects waiting to go ahead that would cost twice the amount of money available.

Does the Minister of Finance believe it was wise to set up a foundation that will be fully operational by 2003 at the earliest when there are hundreds of infrastructure projects in Quebec that are ready to go ahead and that are only waiting on funding?

Infrastructure ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I do not know where the member came up with 2003. If she were to help us pass the bill before the end of March, it would be in force by the second quarter of 2002.

Infrastructure ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, the fact remains that several municipalities in Quebec will have infrastructure projects rejected because of a lack of money.

If, as the Minister of Finance claims, his intention was to breathe new life into the infrastructure program, how does he explain that there are valid projects that will have to wait because the minister refuses to fund them adequately, while we will be wasting a lot of time setting up a new foundation that is not even needed?

Infrastructure ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday when I quoted the Union des municipalités du Québec, not only does it support the new infrastructure program, but it also supports the infrastructure foundation.

If the member wants projects in Quebec to go ahead, she should tell her friends in the PQ to stop delaying them.

Infrastructure ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Infrastructure ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The Chair would appreciate a little co-operation. There is one question period going on in this House not four. There appear to be four at the moment.

I would appreciate having the co-operation of all members. It is almost impossible to hear the questions.

Research and DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Preston Manning Canadian Alliance Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have a straightforward question. It has been almost a decade since a royal commission said that Canada needed a legislative framework to deal with assisted human reproduction and related research.

Yesterday the health committee tabled a report which stated that it was urgent that we proceed with that legislation and that we get on with the job.

When can we expect a revised bill for the regulation of assisted human reproduction and related research to be presented to the House?

Research and DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I know I speak on behalf of all members, certainly on this side of the House, in observing that this will perhaps be the last week for the hon. member here in this Chamber, in telling him that we appreciate his contribution to public life in the House of Commons.

In response to the member's question, I want to thank the member and all members of the health committee who, in a very non-partisan way, rigorously examined some of the most complex issues we face in public policy in this country and delivered an excellent report. It is a matter of priority for this government to act on it. I expect to be tabling legislation early in the new year.

Research and DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Preston Manning Canadian Alliance Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, I will be around until the end of January so perhaps I will see the bill from the minister.

The subject of stem cell research raises hope for the treatment of degenerative diseases but it also raises major ethical concern. Embryonic stem cells have flexibility but their production involves the planned destruction of the human embryo. Adult stem cell research shows great progress and does not raise the same ethical concerns.

Will the minister tell the House what the government's priorities are when it comes to supporting and regulating embryonic stem cell research versus adult stem cell research?

Research and DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as the member well knows, the committee heard large amounts of testimony from very capable witnesses talking about the potential for breakthroughs in scientific treatments and medical cures resulting from this kind of research.

The committee, in its majority report, was obviously reluctant to see Canada alone behind the United States, England and other developed countries without access to this important research capability.

We will be looking carefully at the report. However, as the member knows, our original proposal was that embryonic stem cell research be permitted under very strict conditions in this country.

Canada-U.S. BorderOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

John Maloney Liberal Erie—Lincoln, ON

Mr. Speaker, following meetings with U.S. representatives, could the Minister of National Revenue tell us what action is being taken at our common borders?

Canada-U.S. BorderOral Question Period

2:40 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, yesterday we signed an agreement with the United States with regard to the shared border. We call it the smart agreement for a smart border. The first concrete action has been the re-opening of Nexus as a pilot project in Ontario. It is a very good concrete step toward helping the free flow of goods and people across the land border. The next step will be waiting for the report on the joint evaluation of the program. Of course we would like to expand the program as soon as we can.

Middle EastOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are appalled at the escalating violence in Israel and the occupied territories. As the Minister of National Defence recently noted, we mourn the deaths of both Israelis and Palestinians.

We welcomed the Prime Minister's statement today urging Israel to resume its dealings with Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian authority as the only credible partners for peace.

My question for the Minister of Foreign Affairs is this: Will the government support Jordan's request for an emergency meeting of the security council to implement international protection for the Palestinians?

Middle EastOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the government is prepared to go along with a proposal for the security council to discuss the Middle East situation, which is very serious right now.

There is loss of life on both sides, and the present peace process holds very little hope for the people in the region.

I think that it is now necessary for all stakeholders worldwide who are interested in a peace process not only to be aware of the situation but to persuade the parties to participate.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, 45-gallon containers of PCBs and agent orange have been discovered on the old Tracadie-Sheila firing range in New Brunswick.

Is this firing range a dumping ground for national defence or is it really a Canadian forces firing range?

Will the Minister of National Defence spend more money on decontaminating this site before these containers develop leaks and pollute the groundwater and thus avoid placing the families in this area in danger? As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the Department of National Defence takes its environmental responsibilities very seriously. In fact the reports from the environmental auditor have generally indicated that defence has been one of the leaders with respect to dealing with such matters. We will continue to do that on this site and on any other site. I would be happy to provide further details with respect to the Tracadie site to the hon. member.

CidaOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the CIDA minister respecting the funding of the environmental impact study on the proposed Chalillo dam in Belize.

The CIDA funded study was the basis of a decision to go ahead with the dam. The Museum of Natural History in London said that the dam would do “significant and irreversible harm to at least 12 endangered or rare species of wildlife”.

Could the minister advise why CIDA became involved in the study and whether CIDA is considering any further financial support to the project?

CidaOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Beaches—East York Ontario

Liberal

Maria Minna LiberalMinister for International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, CIDA did not fund the construction of the Chalillo dam. It funded an environmental and social impact study to assist the government of Belize in its decision on how to proceed. In fact there was public and social consultation. The study enabled the government of Belize to decide in a more objective manner which way to direct its work.

CidaOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for finally rising to answer a question in the House.

Given the difficult issues of morality and judgment that are involved in so many CIDA decisions, has the minister considered asking for a leave of absence from those sensitive responsibilities, at least for the period when her personal conduct in Canada is under scrutiny by the ethics counsellor?

CidaOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member, through his first question, showed why his second question is totally unwarranted, wrong and irrelevant. He asked her a question about her official duties. She gave a fulsome and effective answer. Out of his own mouth, the hon. member has shown why his question is unwarranted.