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House of Commons Hansard #41 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was provinces.

Topics

Lumber IndustryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, we decided to put softwood lumber on the export control list because we needed to have consistent national data in order to defend ourselves against American charges. This data will help producers in every province and region.

Lumber brokers are already available to issue permits. The Maritime Lumber Bureau has been well informed about it and we have been working very closely with it on that file.

Lumber IndustryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Progressive Conservative Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, the Maritime Lumber Bureau was caught completely off guard, as were all the softwood lumber mills in Atlantic Canada, by this surprise announcement.

Traditionally Atlantic Canada has been treated as a region, not province by province, in negotiations with the U.S. and other parts of Canada when it comes to softwood lumber. Will the minister once again treat Atlantic Canada as a region, not province by province or, again, is this a prelude to an export tax?

Lumber IndustryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, this is absolutely not a prelude to an export tax. This is strictly to get consistent national data. Atlantic Canada is part of the country and we need to know all exports that are going to the United States in order to correctly fight charges of the United States.

The EconomyOral Question Period

April 2nd, 2001 / 2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Canadian Alliance Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, last week we learned that Canadian productivity continued to lag over the past five years, coming in at half the level of the United States. This of course is reflected in a further decline in the Canadian dollar again today, which is trading near an all time low.

What is the Liberal response? No budget, no more tax relief and no real debt reduction.

When will the finance minister finally take action to restore value to our dollar and growth to our economy?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member's facts are simply wrong. Since 1997 Canada's productivity has been on the increase. It has been on the increase because of the measures taken by Canadian industry and by the government.

The fact is that if we look at the other statistics, whether it be personal disposable income or employment, in virtually all the indicators Canada is doing much better than the vast majority of other countries.

Are we being affected by the slowdown? Yes, we are, but we are in better shape to weather that slowdown than we have been in decades.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Canadian Alliance Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister's facts are wrong. Statistics Canada said last week that between 1996 and 2000 Canadian productivity growth was 1.4% compared to 2.8% in the United States, half as high.

Ten years ago the minister's seatmate said to Don Mazankowski:

—will he...bring the value of the Canadian dollar down right now?

The Liberals finally got their wish. Since they have been in power the loonie has dropped its value by 25%. Today it is losing value against the Mexican currency becoming the new North American peso.

Given the finance minister agrees that the value of a currency is a reflection of our productivity, what does this say about the Canadian economy under his watch?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it is incumbent upon opposition members to be somewhat consistent in their statements. I would like to quote from the Edmonton Journal dated June 17, 1998:

Provincial Treasurer Stockwell Day called the fall on the Canadian dollar—

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I think the Minister of Finance was referring to the Leader of the Opposition, and he knows he must do that by his title, not by name.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Martin Liberal LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, the provincial treasurer of the time, now the current Leader of the Opposition, called:

—the fall on the dollar good news for Alberta...it makes Alberta products more competitive on the U.S. market..it helps our manufacturing and export sector.

That was a quote from the Leader of the Opposition. What kind of question is that? Who is he trying to fool and why?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. We are wasting time. I know that there is a lot of encouragement from both sides of the House.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, the public, the newspapers, the polls and the observers are all faulting the Prime Minister on his lack of ethics.

The Ottawa Citizen summarizes the situation well by calling upon the Prime Minister to table all the documents or resign. The choice is up to him.

Is the Prime Minister going to finally face the fact that he must table all documents and call a public inquiry?

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, this has no connection with the real concerns of Quebecers. The hon. member is not asking any questions about softwood lumber, for instance, or the economy. She is asking farfetched questions.

Eighty-two percent of Canadians are calling for the opposition to move on to something else. Once again, however, the hon. member has broken her commitment to her parliamentary leader by asking this type of question.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like the Deputy Prime Minister to know that there have been at least 12 questions on softwood lumber so far.

The opposition parties and the editorial writers are not the only ones questioning the Prime Minister's ethical shortcomings. Gordon Robertson, former clerk of the Privy Council, who saw service under four Liberal PMs, says that the position of Prime Minister at this time is more like an elected dictatorship.

Is the government going to admit that Mr. Robertson is far from wrong, since the only one who can decide to initiate an inquiry into the Auberge Grand-Mère affair is the Prime Minister?

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has no conflict of interest whatsoever. In my opinion, the Prime Minister is one of the greatest democrats in our entire country.

Once again, the hon. member had the opportunity to ask questions on matters of importance to her constituents. Once again, she has let the general public down. Why are there no questions on the real concerns of her constituents, of Quebecers in general, and of all Canadians?

MulticulturalismOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gurmant Grewal Canadian Alliance Surrey Central, BC

Mr. Speaker, the United Nations' world conference on racism will be held in Johannesburg at the end of August. Guess who will represent Canada? It will be the disgraced minister of multiculturalism.

Why on earth would the Prime Minister allow her, of all people, to go to the world conference to represent Canadians?

MulticulturalismOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is wrong. The disgrace is in his question. For example, the president of the Canadian Ethnocultural Council on March 29 issued a statement, which read, in part:

“The Secretary of State for Multiculturalism, has been and continues to be a strong advocate for anti-racism measures and a supporter for Multiculturalism in Canada. Under very challenging conditions she has persevered and advanced the ideals and principles of equality and justice, the fundamental principles of a Multicultural Canada” noted Mr. Hagopian. “It is necessary for all Canadians to reflect in the greater issue of tolerance and equality for all—

MulticulturalismOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gurmant Grewal Canadian Alliance Surrey Central, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is bad enough that the minister has smeared Prince George and Kamloops nationally in parliament and in the Canadian media, but now the Prime Minister is rewarding her by sending her to represent us at the world conference.

Why is the Prime Minister sending this disgraced minister to an international forum to embarrass us on the international stage?

MulticulturalismOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is wrong. He is wrong in not accepting the minister's apology and her admission of making a mistake in this area a few weeks ago.

Why does he not accept the very insightful remarks of the president of the Ethnocultural Council when he said “It is necessary for all Canadians to reflect on the greater issue of tolerance and the equality for all”, rather than dwell on specific unfortunate remarks?

The hon. minister has an outstanding record of fighting racism and discrimination, and she will represent Canada with honour and dignity at the conference.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, I know that asking a relevant question is normally the purview of the official opposition. Given its fixation du jour, I thought I would be allowed to ask a question which is relevant to Canadians and to my constituents.

Sri Lanka has been in the grip of a bloody civil war for almost the past two decades. After years of mutual acrimony, the government of Sri Lanka and the Tamil tigers appear to be approaching a retrenchment primarily through the government of Norway.

In light of this, could the Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific tell the House Canada's policy with respect to this important peace initiative?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Winnipeg North—St. Paul Manitoba

Liberal

Rey D. Pagtakhan LiberalSecretary of State (Asia-Pacific)

Mr. Speaker, Canada believes that this war can only be brought to a peaceful end through a political settlement that satisfies the legitimate aspirations of all Sri Lankans and preserves their country's unity and territorial integrity.

Hence, Canada is encouraged by indications that formal peace talks being brokered by Norway may soon begin. Canada supports Norway's efforts and is willing to play an active role in the peace process upon invitation by both parties.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Bob Mills Canadian Alliance Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, with the United States withdrawing from the Kyoto protocol, the government so far has not answered the question about its commitment to the protocol.

How does the government plan to reach the 6% CO2 target and at what cost to Canadians.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, the question is interesting because of the previous position taken by the Alliance Party, which has always been to oppose the Kyoto protocol.

Our view of the matter is that the international negotiations remain ongoing. Canada will play a very constructive role in those negotiations to try to achieve an international agreement that will work for Canada and for the world.

In the meantime, domestically we have already announced our action plan, which is $1.1 billion that will take 65 megatons of carbon out of our atmosphere.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Bob Mills Canadian Alliance Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, partnership is the key to successful environmental programs. The fatal mistake that the government made in the negotiations of the Kyoto protocol was that it did not consult with the provinces, the industry and the Canadian people. They were not consulted and they were not listened to.

This time, before the government makes commitments to any international agreement on CO2, will it publicly consult all the stakeholders?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, a federal-provincial-territorial process was conducted before the Kyoto protocol.

Since the Kyoto protocol, in complete collaboration with all the provinces, all the territories, all the municipalities, the private sector, the scientific community and environmental organizations, we have had two years of consultation. Some 450 individual Canadians representing every aspect of Canadian life have been involved.

Based upon that we have a Canadian implementation strategy. We have business plan and we have invested $1.1 billion to achieve the objective.