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

Topics

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition is addicted in a very sick way to making statements that have no basis in fact. He ignores the fact that we were faced with a $42 billion deficit from his Conservative friends. We eliminated that.

We not only balanced the budget. We went on to have three successive years of surpluses. In addition, we have paid down the nation debt, freeing up billions of dollars, freeing up some $2.5 billion every year for constructive spending.

If the hon. member were fair and balanced and did not have an addiction to imaginary statements, he would recognize these strong points.

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I am very fair. They paid down the Tory deficit by slashing health care, slashing security and raising taxes. That is simply how they did it.

The Liberal government is slashing defence, health, and security, but refuses to slash waste. It is clear from the auditor general's report that there is waste and mismanagement throughout this government.

Will the government finally listen to the opposition and boost spending on security and health, keep tax cuts, and cut the fat and waste?

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have already increased health spending by $21 billion.

So the hon. member is mistaken, as usual. He should get help for his terrible addiction to saying things that are not true as soon as possible.

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, it is bad enough to be an addict. Now he is trying to push it on everybody else.

Yesterday, Canada supported a UN resolution condemning Israel for violating the Geneva convention.

Israel, the United States and Australia boycotted this meeting, which took place after innocent Israelis were murdered. The Liberal government continues to attend meetings such as those in Geneva and Bonn.

If this government will not listen to the opposition, why will it not listen to—

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

I am sorry to interrupt the hon. member. The questions and answers are rather long today.

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as the Prime Minister said yesterday, we believe it is better to attend gatherings like the one in question to speak out against what we consider unacceptable. I do not see why the hon. member would want us not to do something constructive like that. After all, at the conference Canada issued a statement. Its first paragraph began:

Canadians were outraged by the recent, indiscriminate attacks in Jerusalem and Haifa, and offer their sympathy to the victims and their families. There can be no justification for these horrific acts. They serve only to demonstrate contempt for the universal humanitarian principles which have brought all of us into this room today.

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, let us be very clear. The government continues to support wrong activity by not speaking out and condemning not just the action but the perpetrators.

The record is clear. Canada voted for resolution 1322 which condemned only Israel for violence in the West Bank. Canada supported the Durban declaration which condemned only Israel for racism. Now Canada has supported the Geneva declaration which condemns Israel alone for killing civilians. My question is, we want to--

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

We will need to have shorter preambles if we are to have questions. The hon. Deputy Prime Minister.

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there is balance in our approach and I think I can say on behalf of the government that there is no country, except perhaps for the United States, that stands up in a more forthright and balanced way for Israel.

I want to point out that the declaration at the Geneva conference also said:

--the Palestinian Authority should ensure respect for the universal principles of International Humanitarian Law, including the protection of Israeli civilians--

This is part of Canada's statement of reservation criticizing the declaration at that meeting. The hon. member should recognize that and admit that because the decency and balance of these important--

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie.

CinarOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in order to justify his refusal to hand the tax file of CINAR over to the RCMP, thus facilitating a fraud investigation, the Minister of National Revenue has always cited confidentiality, which he has described in the House as being one of the fundamental principles, one of the cornerstones, of the Income Tax Act.

Yesterday, however, Radio-Canada revealed that, in other cases of fraud, Revenue Canada regularly provides confidential information to the RCMP.

Could the government explain to us why, in the case of CINAR, the Minister of National Revenue has chosen not to co-operate in the fraud investigation being carried out by the RCMP?

CinarOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalMinister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I myself have answered the leader of the Bloc on a number of occasions in the past, as well as certain of his colleagues, citing section 241, which forbids the disclosure of information before charges have been laid.

There is, of course, the possibility of co-operation, but not at first. This is the law, and the hon. member knows it.

CinarOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the RCMP says otherwise. The facts do too. It is being used as a way of hiding a number of things. Maybe some of the people involved do not want anything to get out.

The minister has even chosen not to help the RCMP in the CINAR affair, and has refused to make use of his department's power of investigation to shed full light on the matter, preferring instead to sign an out of court settlement with CINAR rather than help with the fraud investigation.

What was it the Minister of National Revenue wanted to hide? Who was it the minister wanted to protect? That is the question.

CinarOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalMinister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, gratuitous accusations of this kind do nothing whatsoever to enhance the quality of the debate in this House.

The leader of the Bloc Quebecois is fully aware of the text of the law. If he is not, I will be delighted to send him a copy of the section in question, one I myself have quoted several times in this House. It is even in the Debates of the House of Commons.

CinarOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, at the start of the CINAR business, the government spoke of urban legends. A little further along, the Minister of National Revenue avoided questions, even those that were not on the essence of the matter, claiming confidentiality. Finally, we learn that the department did not co-operate with the RCMP in the matter.

Why, when he had the chance, did the Minister of National Revenue not carry out his own investigation on CINAR, something that is provided for in the legislation and that would have thus permitted an exchange of information between the department of revenue and the RCMP? Why?

CinarOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalMinister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Revenue has always responded and continues to respond in full compliance with the law. That is what he is doing. He does it very well. He has the confidence of everyone on this side of the House. We all know it. These accusations are unfounded. He does an excellent job for Canada.

CinarOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Revenue did not answer a single question, even the one on his decisions and on the form. So there is no point in telling us just any old thing.

I would like to know how the Minister of National Revenue managed to concoct a secret agreement with CINAR based on financial statements that even the firm of accountants retained by CINAR did not want to sign.

Is this Revenue Canada's usual approach?

CinarOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalMinister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I have said several times that the minister did his job quite properly in this matter, in the interests of Canadian taxpayers, as he always does, and in full compliance with the law. This is how he does his work, in this and all other matters.

FinanceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the government cannot count. Over the last seven years Liberal budget predictions have been wrong by $75 billion. It has chronically exaggerated deficits and underrepresented surpluses. This is not fiscal prudence. This is a deliberate tactic, an excuse for underfunding the priorities of Canadians.

Will the government tell the truth, that there is still room within a balanced budget to make an extra $10 billion investment in the real needs and priorities of Canadians?

FinanceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is wrong. The Minister of Finance was not wrong. He did better than his predictions. He should be praised for that. Only the NDP would turn things upside down in such a foolish way.

FinanceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, if the government had the guts or the intellect to challenge the economic reactionaries, we would not be heading for--

FinanceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. member for Halifax knows that expression is not one that is commonly used in the House and indeed has been frowned on by previous Speakers as I frown on it now.

I invite her to rephrase her question and perhaps use a little more delicate language.

FinanceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, I will try to find delicate language for a disgusting practice. If the government would just challenge the economic reactionaries we would not be headed for a recession in this country. By committing just 1% of the gross domestic product to fiscal stimulus, to health care, to the environment and to housing we could prevent a Liberal recession.

Will the government acknowledge that its conservative finance minister has been deceiving Canadians? Will it deliver a budget that tackles the real needs and priorities of Canadians?

FinanceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have already taken steps to offset the effects of a possible recession. We have a $100 billion tax plan. We have $21 billion in additional spending for health care. We have our infrastructure program. We have our low income housing program. We have a program under way, but we are part of the world.

Only the NDP could be in such a dream world not to recognize that the economies of the world are slowing down. We do our utmost but we may not be able to escape the impact of that entirely.

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

December 6th, 2001 / 2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Canadian Alliance Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the recent auditor general's report is perhaps the most critical analysis of the government's wasteful spending practices ever written. Page after page describes government abuse and negligence in handling our tax dollars. While the government did not like the last auditor general, it must like this auditor general even less.

Yesterday ministers were bailing out of committees and today they are making themselves scarce as hens teeth in an effort to avoid answering questions. Since they apparently cannot fix this management mess, are the Liberals simply hoping that next week's budget will camouflage or somehow detract from the auditor general's obviously damning indictment of the government's spending habits?