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House of Commons Hansard #76 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was organized.

Topics

TradeOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, at the FTAA summit in April, the Prime Minister staged a spectacular retreat from Canada's earlier commitment to remedy the damaging effects of NAFTA's chapter 11.

A letter from 29 American multinationals, written on the eve of the Quebec summit but released only today, offers a clear and plausible explanation for the Prime Minister's reckless retreat.

The question remains, why is the government more beholden to American multinationals than to Canadians who value their public services and their environment?

TradeOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, just to illustrate what a silly statement that is, in the context of the trade agreement we have with the United States and Mexico, we have seen a huge increase in exports of Canadian goods and services to the United States and Mexico. That has accounted for an incredible increase in jobs and prosperity for Canadians, which is what we care about, jobs and opportunities for Canadians.

TradeOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, it must show that the government no longer cares about chapter 11.

United Parcel Service, not surprisingly, is among the multinationals that are pressing governments to retain NAFTA's chapter 11 investor state provisions. UPS is currently suing the Canadian government.

Before the Prime Minister caved in on chapter 11, did he consult Canada Post officials, including his old friend André Ouellet, whose mandate is to deliver postal services uniformly to Canadians and, if so, could the government honestly say that Canada Post officials recommended that the Government of Canada toss in the towel on chapter 11?

TradeOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

First, Mr. Speaker, our position with respect to the UPS case is clear and it is proceeding before the relevant tribunal. Second, we have not changed our position on chapter 11.

I think what the hon. leader of the New Democratic Party ought to do, instead of trying to make up allegations about the government's policy, is to keep an eye on the seats behind her where they are thinking about starting a new party.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Scott Brison Progressive Conservative Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister says that he will decide by the end of summer whether to have a fall budget. The minister knows that budget planning does not happen overnight. In fact, daily budget planning meetings begin months in advance of an actual budget day.

Will the minister confirm if in fact meetings to plan a fall budget are currently taking place within his ministry?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I have stated that the government will make a decision as to when a budget is required, depending upon the circumstances.

In the meantime, extensive consultations are going on with the finance committee and indeed with the minister himself going across the country, and those will continue.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Scott Brison Progressive Conservative Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, whether or not the minister likes it, the UBS Warburg most recent report on Canada has said that Canada is currently in a recession. Growth is projected to be only 1.5% for the entire year, which is almost a full point lower than the growth rate of 2.4% the minister was predicting a month ago. A 40% slower growth rate clearly threatens the minister's projections.

With all the economic uncertainty, with UBS Warburg saying that Canada is in fact in a recession, will the minister commit today to tabling a fall budget?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am not surprised at the Alliance, but I might have expected something better from the hon. member for Kings—Hants. He knows that the 2.4% came from the consensus of 19 economists, and a number of them were much higher.

Following that we then met with the chief economists of four major economic projecting firms and the chief economists of the major Canadian banks. In all cases they said we were not in a recession, as did the article this morning.

Grants And ContributionsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian Alliance Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, on Friday we released a forensic analysis of the Prime Minister's bill of sale for his golf course. The professional opinion of the analyst was: “There is a high degree of probability that the numerals 1, 9, 9 and 3 have been altered but in fairness this opinion is qualified subject to examination of the original”.

Will the Deputy Prime Minister today commit to releasing that original document for independent study?

Grants And ContributionsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am told that, according to the Alliance's handwriting analyst, the nine in ninety-three may have been changed from a five or an eight, meaning that the date may originally have been 1953 or 1983, if I understand her opinion.

I assure the House that the Prime Minister did not sell his shares in the golf course before he purchased them.

Grants And ContributionsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian Alliance Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Deputy Prime Minister cannot even figure out which nine the consultant was talking about. Ninety-five or ninety-eight were the two suggestions.

The Prime Minister was quick to call a loan authorization by the Business Development Bank a forgery and he fired it off to the police, but when it comes to his own document he just does nothing. If there is nothing to hide, he would release the original to prove to all Canadians that the bill of sale is legitimate.

My question is for the Deputy Prime Minister. Who have that document in their possession today?

Grants And ContributionsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, now I know why the nine is mentioned in the analyst's report. It refers to where the Alliance Party is in the polls.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, during the election, Liberal ministers toured Quebec and, with their candidates, promised voters the earth. They would right the inequities of the system if they were elected.

Where are these members, who yesterday intimated to the unemployed of Quebec that they would correct the injustices they faced? Where are they today? They are very quiet and fearful.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the continuing attempt of hon. members to cover up their political error in voting against Bill C-2 gives me an opportunity to remind the House of the many things we have done to change employment insurance.

We have gone to an hourly basis, which is very good for seasonal workers because every hour counts. We are working with provinces and territories to build pilot programs in support of older workers. We have doubled parental benefits. We have repealed the intensity rule. We are committed to continuing to monitor the Employment Insurance Act.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Secretary of State for Amateur Sport said, in Le Soleil on November 9:

Once a Liberal majority is elected, we will reinstate the process and make sure that the changes are effective and meet the needs, for the most part, of the people of the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean.

He made a personal commitment.

I ask him today, if he does not wish to be taken for a coward in all of Quebec's regions, will he convince his colleague to deliver the goods he promised in order to get votes?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should know that we have made these changes. We have repealed the intensity rule. We have changed the clawback rule to be more supportive of Canadians. We have made it fairer to those who are re-entering the workplace.

More specific, we are working in Lac-Saint-Jean with employers and employees there because they want more than just employment insurance. They want jobs.

If the hon. member had any sense he would be working with us in this regard instead of criticizing.

Grants And ContributionsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Charlie Penson Canadian Alliance Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, this spring it was revealed that the Business Development Bank loan authorization contained a footnote implying that the Auberge Grand-Mère owed a debt of $23,000 to the Prime Minister's personal holding company.

The Prime Minister claimed it was as forgery. Two months ago, on April 12, the BDC sent it off to the police for a forensic audit. After two months of waiting is the industry minister prepared to announce to the House whether or not the document was a forgery?

Grants And ContributionsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin LiberalMinister of Industry

No, Mr. Speaker, unlike the party opposite we do not hire private investigators. We put these matters in the hands of the RCMP and we rely upon the professionalism of the RCMP.

Grants And ContributionsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Charlie Penson Canadian Alliance Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what I am talking about, the RCMP. In fact the minister said on April 23 in the House that the allegedly forged document was still with the RCMP. It is almost two months later and he still does not have an answer for the House.

It is obvious the minister is dragging his feet. What are they hiding from Canadians? Why will they not release the results of this examination?

Grants And ContributionsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin LiberalMinister of Industry

Because, Mr. Speaker, we do not believe in hiring secret agents in the mould of Maxwell Smart. We do not believe in hiring handwriting experts.

We on this side have a plain, old fashioned, strong confidence in members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and we do not tell them how to do their job.

Canada DayOral Question Period

June 11th, 2001 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canada Day president Serge Savard has announced the amounts to be spent in Quebec for Canada Day. Apparently, $5 million, or 75% of the entire Canada Day budget, is for Quebec alone. If that is not propaganda, how does the minister explain that—

Canada DayOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Canada DayOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

If that is not propaganda, what does the minister call it?

Canada DayOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Parkdale—High Park Ontario

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I inform the hon. member opposite that over 2.5 million people in all regions of Quebec celebrate Canada activities. In addition, communities all across Canada celebrate Canada week.

Whenever those applications come in from all across Canada, not just from Quebec and including New Brunswick, most of the applications are accepted.