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 #132 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was waste.

Topics

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I am kind of surprised that my hon. colleague would be discussing misrepresentation. The fact of the matter is, as I have said many times, there is a proper process to take if he has a complaint against the RCMP. He knows that is the process to take.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Bloc Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, a coalition of people who support the introduction of a new parental leave system is meeting today with the government of Quebec. They want the two governments to agree to the introduction of a new program, but right now Ottawa is refusing to co-operate.

Since the Employment Insurance Act allows the federal government to transfer money to provinces which set up an equivalent or superior program, how can the Minister of Human Resources Development explain her refusal to co-operate in the introduction of a new program for Quebec?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, on this side of the House, we are very proud of the fact that we have been able to double parental benefits to ensure that all Canadians, including those living in the province of Quebec, now have the choice to stay at home with their newborns or their newly adopted children for up to a year.

As I have always said, if the government of Quebec, wishes to add to that important addition in the employment insurance system, it is welcome to do so.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Bloc Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government's program is limited to those receiving employment insurance benefits, which excludes many families.

Quebec wants to introduce a program that would cover all families, including self-employed workers. Furthermore, the EI fund is full to overflowing.

If the government truly has the interests of families at heart, why will it not support the new parental leave program the government of Quebec wants to set up?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, another important aspect of the expansion of the benefits the government has provided is the fact that we have done it without increasing costs. As the Minister of Finance has said, in every year for the last eight years we have been able to reduce employment insurance premiums.

Again, if the government of Quebec chooses to add to that very strong base, it is welcome to do so.

Middle EastOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian Alliance Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, just last week, the European Union formally called upon Yasser Arafat for “the dismantling of Hamas' and Islamic Jihad's terrorist networks, including the arrest and prosecution of all suspects” , and asked him to give a public appeal in Arabic for an end to the armed intifada. Arafat has not done this but the Prime Minister is calling on Israel to negotiate with him.

Does the Minister of Foreign Affairs agree that before Yasser Arafat can be a credible spokesperson, he must eliminate Hamas and Jihad and unequivocally call for an end to--

Middle EastOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Middle EastOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, not only our government but the United States has indicated that Mr. Arafat is the spokesperson for the Palestinian people and the head of the Palestinian authority.

That is in no way inconsistent with our agreeing with the call that was referenced by the European Union, which has been very consistent with the insistence that we have had with Mr. Arafat; that he must arrest those people who are responsible for the terrorist attacks. He must use the authority he has to rein in the terrorists. He cannot expect a better result in the Middle East until he does so.

Middle EastOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian Alliance Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, the U.S. position is clear but Canada's is inconsistent, and it cannot afford to be on an issue as sensitive as this.

Just yesterday the Prime Minister urged Israel to re-establish ties with Yasser Arafat, even though he has refused to take the steps the European Union has asked. The foreign affairs minister said that he understood very well Israel's decision to try to protect itself.

Who is speaking for the government on this? These are two very different opinions.

Middle EastOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I recognize that this is a difficult area for people who perhaps are not that familiar with it but they are not contradictory points of view. There is no other person who can be an interlocutor on behalf of the Palestinian people other than Mr. Arafat and the Palestinian authority.

If co-operation is to be resumed, not just at the negotiating table but in the whole range of activities, including enforcing security arrangements, it has to be between the Israeli government and the Palestinian authority. There is no other way. In that respect, not only does our Prime Minister say so, but so do the Europeans and the Americans.

The BudgetOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, to our great astonishment, the Minister of Finance stated that the health transfers to the provinces had been increased. The minister's statement is surprising because we know that all of the figures indicate the opposite.

How can the minister be so cynical and make such comments, when we know that the current levels of health transfers are below what they were in 1994-95?

Given the circumstances, how can the minister say that there has been an increase?

The BudgetOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I can quote the figures: there was a $2.8 billion increase this year; it will be greater than $3 billion next year and greater than $4 billion the following year.

These are increases, following the historic agreement between the Prime Minister of Canada and the provincial premiers, of $23 billion.

The BudgetOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance has added to this cynicism by asserting that employment insurance benefits were increased when in fact the benefits are lower and the criteria more restrictive.

How can he make such an offensive statement when we know that it is harder than ever for young people and women to qualify for employment insurance and that benefit periods have never been so short and so meagre?

Given the context, how can he claim that they have increased?

The BudgetOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, once again, all the member needs to do is look at last year's results.

Not only were there improvements in benefits for the unemployed, but there is also parental leave.

The problem is that there was a marked increase in benefits but the Bloc Quebecois voted against it.

The BudgetOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Canadian Alliance Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance hides behind a bogus claim that he consulted Canadians when preparing his budget through the finance committee. It turns out that he ignored or contradicted virtually every major recommendation of the finance committee like its sensible proposals to: reallocate spending from low to high priority areas; hold program spending growth to 3% as opposed to his 10%; eliminate the capital tax; and use the contingency reserve to pay down the debt.

Why did the finance minister trash the advice of the finance committee and of Canadians along with his reputation for fiscal responsibility in this budget?

The BudgetOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, once again, not only was the finance committee's report very influential in the preparation of the budget, as it has been in the past, but it also signalled the directions it thought we should take in the future, which it has done before and which we have ultimately followed.

I would like once again to take the opportunity, following upon the hon. member's question, to thank members of the finance committee, especially members on the Liberal side, for the extensive consultations and very hard work they have put into this.

The BudgetOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Canadian Alliance Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the finance minister could have shown his gratitude by actually accepting a couple of the committee's major recommendations. Instead he contradicted it when it said to reallocate; when it said not to raise taxes, as he did in this budget; when it said use a five year planning horizon, which he did not in this budget; when it said sell Petro-Canada, which he did not; and when it said have an audit of regulations, which he did not.

Why did the finance minister send the finance committee out on a dog and pony show when he did not recommend a single one of its major recommendations? How can he claim that this budget was based on public consultation, when he ignored the committee's major report?

The BudgetOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is factually incorrect. Anybody who reads the finance committee's report, this one and the previous finance committee report, can see the degree to which the government has been influenced. That is because of the very hard work which has been done, not only by the finance committee but by the caucus committees on the government side, which began work immediately.

I look forward one month after the budget, when the House comes back, to beginning that period of extensive consultation. I would like to thank all government members for all the hard work they put into our budget.

National SecurityOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, allegations have been made that Citizenship and Immigration Canada has been singling out foreign students from middle eastern countries already in Canada for questioning related to security concerns.

Could the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration please confirm whether this is true or not?

National SecurityOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for this very important question. I would like to remind her and others that they should not believe everything they read in the newspaper. In fact, the article that she refers to had one quote that was correct and that was from immigration spokesman René Mercier when he said “There is no such operation going on”.

I can confirm that CIC is not targeting any one group.

AgricultureOral Question Period

December 14th, 2001 / 11:40 a.m.

NDP

Dick Proctor NDP Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, the government is being sued by a U.S. chemical maker for $160 million for banning the pesticide Lindane used for treating canola. This company, formerly Uniroyal, claims the ban is tantamount to expropriation.

The government, which never acts independently but only submits to American dictates, had banned the use of this pesticide after Washington warned it would block all imports containing residue from Lindane, a product prohibited in the United States.

My question for the Minister for International Trade. Is this not a case of banned if we do and banned if we do not?

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, that product was voluntarily withdrawn from the Canadian market by the manufacturer.

International TradeOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have a supplementary question for the Minister for International Trade.

Ethyl Corporation, UPS and now Crompton Corporation, how many more times must Canada be sued by American companies for defending our sovereignty, for defending the health and the environment of Canadians before the government will finally stand up and either get rid of chapter 11 of NAFTA or abrogate the deal?

Will the minister assure the House that his government will not sign any new trade deal, such as the FTAA, that would include the investor state provision that puts corporate power ahead of the environment and the health of Canadians?

International TradeOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I totally disagree with the member. I do think NAFTA has served Canada very well.

I am not surprised that the NDP would like us to throw away NAFTA and the free trade agreement with the United States. However that is not the policy of this government.

As far as chapter 11 is concerned, I want the member and all Canadians to know that we have added some clarifications to chapter 11, which was the very policy this government was promoting. We will continue to work on improving what we already have, not throwing away everything that has served Canadian interests so very well.

Auberge Grand-MèreOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, like ghosts of Christmas past, the Auberge Grand-Mère scandal continues to haunt the Prime Minister.

François Beaudoin has a lawsuit pending that could expose many sordid details of political interference and conflict of interest on the part of the Prime Minister. Attempts to sanitize files, unlawful seizure of documents, emissaries from the PMO, like Jean Carle, and now the seizure of a personal computer by the RCMP.

Is there a link or an element of intimidation behind this second raid of François Beaudoin's home and the lawsuit against the government?