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House of Commons Hansard #73 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agreed.

Topics

Rights Of ChildrenOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, there is absolutely no need to split the bill. As the right hon. Prime Minister has said, everyone on this side of the House is ready to stand in their place and pass Bill C-15 this afternoon. Let us do it.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, during the last election campaign, the Prime Minister admitted that the EI reform had caused hardship. He even went to New Brunswick, a region where seasonal work is widespread, to apologize.

Unfortunately, seven months after his apology, unemployed workers are still waiting for the Prime Minister to take action.

Will the man who apologized now listen to his own members and do something for seasonal workers before the end of the present session? If they are prepared to pass the omnibus bill this afternoon, could they not act just as urgently to pass the necessary EI measures?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, what I said during the election campaign was that the Bloc Quebecois had blocked passage of the bill but that, if a Liberal majority government were elected, the amendments would be passed in the House of Commons.

The amendments we promised at the time were passed in the House of Commons. Should there be any other amendments, we are constantly studying all bills. But, in this instance, we took action despite the opposition of the Bloc Quebecois.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is simply not true. The government had all the means and the power to pass its legislation last fall. It refused to do so. It introduced Bill C-2, which is inadequate. It promised more than that during the election campaign. We on this side are supporting the bill to increase MPs' salaries. However, we think it is more urgent to do something to help unemployed workers.

If there is such a rush to increase salaries, could he now act just as quickly and generously when it comes to unemployed workers in this country and help young people and women in the regions? Is he going to get a move on?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we just passed legislation two months ago. We improved the situation. Some members would like to see other improvements. We will examine them.

But we have already taken action. And had it not been for the Bloc Quebecois digging in its heels, this legislation could have been passed six months before it finally was, after the election.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister keeps repeating that the opposition is to blame for Bill C-2 on employment insurance not being passed before the election.

Recently, his own party members, in a unanimous report, recognized that the measures included in Bill C-2 were clearly inadequate.

If the Prime Minister does not want to listen to the Bloc Quebecois, will he at least listen to the unemployed and to his own members, who are telling him, in a unanimous report, that what currently exists is not enough?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Quebecois has little credibility left, when it comes to employment insurance. One day it votes in favour of maintaining the intensity rule, while the next day it claims that changes should be made to the employment insurance program to help seasonal workers.

Will that party now admit that it made a mistake when it voted against Bill C-2 and seasonal workers?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, after the unanimous report of the Standing Committee on Human Resources Development, after months of discussions, promises and public apologies during the election campaign, it is now time to act. The time for prepared statements is over.

Can the Prime Minister give us one good reason that prevents him from having the recommendations of the unanimous report adopted before the end of the current session?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I would ask the Bloc to give us a single, good reason why it voted to keep the intensity rule in place. It was members on this side of the House who worked very hard to ensure that the changes to the Employment Insurance Act were introduced in the House and that they received speedy passage. It is the Bloc that has blocked our attempts time and time again.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the environment minister says that he is setting an example for Canadians. Some example. The lesson seems to be that the environment is the lowest of all priorities, that the environment is less important today than it was under Mulroney. When it comes to departmental budgets, the environment is dead last. The government's environmental policies are bankrupt.

Would the environment minister tell us what precisely is the example that he is setting for Canadians?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, perhaps we could start with the $1.1 billion that was put aside in the last fiscal year for climate change.

We could add to that the $2 billion that we put in place for an infrastructure program to be matched so that it will be a $6 billion program for green infrastructure. That is the second thing.

We could talk about the tens of millions of dollars that are being put aside for research into the impact of toxins on health and on the environment.

We could talk about the fact that we have negotiated and signed the Cartagena protocol and, in addition, the Stockholm protocol where Canada was not only the first nation to ratify but also the first nation to put up money.

We could talk about the agreement with the United States.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, we are asking the minister for environmental leadership and he cannot even show us that the government has replaced the money that it ripped out of the environmental commitments of the past. We mostly get token gestures and feel good announcements.

The minister wants to be an environmental superhero but he throws his weight behind Bush's continental energy plan, an energy plan that would raise Canada's greenhouse gas emissions to 44% above our Kyoto commitment.

Would the environment minister tell us why the government is choosing to follow Bush instead of following Kyoto?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I can see why, when the newspapers and the media stop wondering about the splits in the official opposition, they start talking about the splits in the NDP. I can see why their members believe their party should be scrapped and thrown aside.

As the hon. member knows, the Prime Minister has committed the government again to meeting the Kyoto targets and he said that subsequent to the energy paper put out by President Bush and the United States cabinet.

We signed Kyoto, we stand by Kyoto and we will achieve the Kyoto targets.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, one of the major bidders for the maritime helicopter project is an important employer in the riding of the Deputy Prime Minister.

Could the Prime Minister confirm that the Deputy Prime Minister is chairing a cabinet committee overseeing this project? If so, why did the Prime Minister choose a chairman with a serious potential conflict of interest? I wonder if the Prime Minister consulted the ethics counsellor. How does the Prime Minister justify this kind of conflict of interest?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, how low can the leader of the last party in the House of Commons go?

The Deputy Prime Minister is the most honourable member in the House of Commons. He is not chairing any committee on this program, and if he were I know he would do it with competence and honesty.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I guess you call him a square-rigger.

The government paid $500 million in cancellation fees when the Prime Minister scrapped a signed helicopter deal. Now the government is seeking an additional $400 million to split the new contract. It says that would help 13 Canadian companies. Of the 13 Canadian companies, Oncap, a subsidiary of Onex, is wholly Canadian owned.

Which of the other 12 companies are wholly Canadian owned? Who exactly is this $400 million—

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The right hon. Prime Minister.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is unbelievable. There is no request for $400 million. By doing that we will have more bidders so that we will have helicopters that will cost less money to taxpayers.

It is not like the Tories, who did not give a damn about the price of the previous program as long as their friends did well.

JusticeOral Question Period

June 6th, 2001 / 2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Randy White Canadian Alliance Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, Bill C-15 has four significant issues in this omnibus bill: sexual predators, firearms, cruelty to animals, and disarming police officers.

All these issues deserve consideration in and of themselves, but the Liberal government lumped all together is suggesting that it wants to push them through the House fast, knowing full well they would not go through the House fast. I would like to know why.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has identified only some of the important elements found in Bill C-15. In fact Bill C-15 deals with amendments to the criminal law.

What I would simply ask members of the official opposition is why, if they are so keenly interested in the legislation, they do not do what the right hon. Prime Minister has suggested.

We will be here this afternoon to pass Bill C-15. We would ask them to be here. Let us just do it.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Randy White Canadian Alliance Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is amazing that it takes the government but three days to put through a bill on a pay raise for MPs, yet parts of this bill have been sitting around this place for better than two years.

I would like to know from the government just why it is that sexual predators are being put ahead of a pay raise for members of parliament.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, it is interesting that the hon. member concedes that much of this legislation has been before the House in earlier parliaments. It is unfortunate that the opposition has not been able to get its act together and work with us to pass Bill C-15.

How long does it take? We are ready to act this afternoon. We would call upon them to join with us to pass Bill C-15.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Human Resources Development tells us that we must review the committee report before passing the act and that it is complicated. In the case of family trusts, the issue was settled on a December 24, shortly before midnight. The issue was just as complex and $2 billion were at stake.

Could the minister tell us why she is unable to act quickly to help seasonal workers, since the government was able to do so at the time for a family of billionaires?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, we have just introduced and passed amendments to the Employment Insurance Act that support seasonal workers right across the country. The Bloc voted against that.

We introduced legislation that reduced the number of hours required to get special benefits. The Bloc voted against it.

We introduced legislation, which passed, to double parental benefits. The Bloc voted against it. There is absolutely no credibility from the Bloc on EI.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister knows that we could work together to improve the employment insurance program and help the public. We can do it immediately. I am telling the minister in all good faith that we should work together to pass the necessary amendments before the end of the session.

Will the minister agree, for the benefit of the unemployed and their families, to set aside party politics and to legislate immediately?