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House of Commons Hansard #62 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was federal.

Topics

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Canadian Alliance Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, that is in fact wrong. All economists are telling us that we are looking at a planning deficit that will lead into the contingency reserve by the fourth year of this fiscal plan. We are also told that the finance minister will only give us a two year projection. Last October before the election he gave us a five year projection.

Why is he changing it? What will happen in those three ensuing years, like the planning deficit which he is afraid to admit to this House and to Canadians.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I never talked to that person, but there is a person by the name of Craig Wright, chief economist of the Royal Bank, who said:

Everything this government has done in the past would suggest we don't have to worry about a deficit.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Canadian Alliance Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, his own member for Markham said last October “the Liberal proposal does eat into the prudence reserve”. The Prime Minister has just told us that reserve is there for emergencies and emergencies only.

His former ADM of finance commented in the Economist . His own members are admitting that he is going to use the emergency reserve, which we may need for an economic downturn, to finance increases in Liberal spending.

Will he clearly commit that will not happen and that we will not have a planning deficit in the fiscal year 2004?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I do not know where his economists come from, but I have another quote from a gentleman named Tim O'Neill, chief economist of the Bank of Montreal. He said:

I don't think they are going to have any problems avoiding a deficit in the foreseeable future.

That was in the Toronto Star of May 11, 2001.

Missile Defence ShieldOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, some new facts support the statement made by a senior federal official to the effect that Canada is about to give its support to the U.S. missile defence shield program.

Indeed, the Department of National Defence has confirmed that a Canadian lieutenant-colonel will soon be at the Pentagon to act as liaison officer under the missile defence shield program.

When will the government finally be upfront, stop fooling the public and the parliamentarians, whom it has not yet seen fit to consult, and admit that it will support the missile defence shield program of the Bush administration?

Missile Defence ShieldOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I told President Bush that we wanted a dialogue on this issue. He agreed to have a dialogue with us, with the NATO allies, with Russia and with China.

We are keeping an eye on what is going on and we are waiting for the President of the U.S. to make proposals and to discuss the issue with us. We want to be involved in the discussions. Once we have all the information, we will be in a position to make a decision. But we cannot make a decision on a project that the Americans themselves are not sure they can implement.

Missile Defence ShieldOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, at the end of the meeting with the U.S. envoys, the federal government will hold a briefing for the media. However, the government has not planned anything for parliamentarians.

Why is the government so intent on not having parliamentarians involved in this issue? Is it to put members of parliament before a fait accompli and thus avoid a true debate in the House before the government adopts its position and makes it public?

Missile Defence ShieldOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, when we talk to the media, we generally assume that some members of this House will read the newspapers.

Second, there are House committees that review these issues.

Third, nothing prevents the Bloc Quebecois leader from calling public officials and asking them to provide him with the same information that they are giving to the media. This is public information. Therefore, it is available to all. I do not understand why they are moaning.

Missile Defence ShieldOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, a week ago the leader of the Bloc Quebecois asked the Prime Minister for a meeting with the two U.S. envoys who are today in Ottawa to provide the Canadian government with more information on the missile defence shield project.

Does the Prime Minister intend to respond favourably, and what is more important immediately, to the request by the Bloc Quebecois to meet with the U.S. envoys. This is a decision that can be taken readily. All the Prime Minister has to do is say “right away”.

Missile Defence ShieldOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this is not a political visit, but a briefing for departmental officials, a technical briefing.

If the hon. member wishes us to prepare a briefing, we can get the appropriate departmental officials to prepare it. That is not a problem.

Missile Defence ShieldOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government seems to be up to its old tricks once again. It is informing us that it is going to brief the journalists and departmental officials, while all parliamentarians are kept uninformed. I find that this government is absolutely arrogant in making decisions like this one.

I would ask the Prime Minister to rise and tell us that he intends to make a commitment for a debate to be held in the House on this matter, and that he will assure us that Canada will not take an official position until there has been a debate and vote here in this House.

Missile Defence ShieldOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Foreign Affairs has just offered the hon. member a briefing on the matter. We have therefore just said yes to him, yet he is rising to tell us that we are being arrogant.

Second, yes, there will be a debate in the House of Commons. I hope hon. members will also discuss it in committee.

We are not prepared to reach a decision. We want to know everyone's position, not just the position of the hon. members but also that of the public, before a decision is reached. That is what I have told President Bush.

InfrastructureOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister. CMHC has estimated that $4 billion yearly is needed for the next 15 years just to maintain safe water and water waste management systems. That is $4 billion annually that is needed urgently from the federal government.

Will the Prime Minister indicate whether such a clean water fund will have the priority it so desperately deserves in the forthcoming economic statement?

InfrastructureOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in the infrastructure program we put forward we said to the municipalities that money would be available for their water systems.

In fact almost 50% of the money in the infrastructure program is for what we call for green infrastructure. We are already doing that, and I hope this will satisfy the leader of the NDP Party.

InfrastructureOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the point is it will not satisfy the need. It is a drop in the bucket compared to what is required.

Water experts and ecologists like David Schindler have been screaming for a national water strategy from the government since the day it took office. What do we have eight years later? We have Walkerton. We have North Battleford. We have up to 100 aboriginal reserves and over 700 other communities that are faced with contaminated drinking water.

How could the government maintain the fiction that safe drinking water is a priority when it will not put its money where its mouth is?

InfrastructureOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I just said yes, it is the priority of the government. That is why, when we introduced our infrastructure program, we said our priority was to help the municipalities with the green infrastructure.

A lot of the requests for money at this moment are coming from the municipalities, to be approved by the provincial governments and financed one-third by the federal government.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence stated that as soon as a general retired he received with his first pension cheque some type of conscience that he did not have when he was in the CF.

Was he expressing the views of the government? If not, will he retract those statements or resign his position in government today?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary and all on this side of the House are certainly quite respectful of all those who have served with the Canadian forces. There may be times when we agree to disagree on certain issues.

I can tell the member that with respect to this matter of whether our troops are combat capable, they are indeed. They are much better than they have been for a great many years because of the kind of investment which has been put in place by the government.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, if the parliamentary secretary had stayed for the full meeting we had last week, he would have found out from one of the retired officers that the government told the officers what they were to tell the committee.

They are given a document. They are not allowed to tell us exactly what we need to hear. Will the minister confirm to the House today that his office continues to censor officers with talking points before they speak to the parliamentary committee on defence?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

No, Mr. Speaker.

JusticeOral Question Period

May 15th, 2001 / 2:25 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Canadian Alliance Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, the ability of sexual predators to lure children, including through the Internet, is a concern to Canadian parents and members of our party.

Will the justice minister commit today to ensuring that specific and separate legislation is brought forward dealing with the use of the Internet to protect children against these predators?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is lobbying to split a bill. Might I suggest that the House leaders' meeting is held in room 340-S, not in public, and that it is at 3.30 p.m.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Canadian Alliance Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the House leader said that this legislation was not a priority for his government and that he wanted to see the legislation put over until the fall.

Will the Minister of Justice correct the House leader and tell him that Canadians care?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I am here to tell the hon. member that not only do Canadians care about the protection of their children but we care.

That is why I would ask the hon. member and the official opposition to stop their game playing on Bill C-15. It includes important provisions to protect our children. What do they want to do? They want to play their silly little games around firearms, their silly little games. They are supposed to protect the children of the country.

North American Free Trade AgreementOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the interpretation and scope of chapter 11 on investments contained in NAFTA have been considerably broadened by recent court decisions.

After saying that this chapter had to be reviewed, the Minister for International Trade said, in a recent article, that there was no need to change it. The minister's position is confusing, to say the least.

Could the minister bring us up to date on NAFTA's chapter 11 and tell us his intentions exactly?