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House of Commons Hansard #75 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was fcc.

Topics

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

June 8th, 2001 / 11:25 a.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—St. Clair, ON

Mr. Speaker, all week the government has been patting itself on the back and claiming that it is environmentally friendly and a good ecomanager.

In fact it is the poorest funded department in the government. There is evidence all across the country, whether it is Walkerton, North Battleford, the smog crisis in Ontario or the disgrace of the Sydney tar ponds, that it has failed Canadians. When will the government put its money where its mouth is and do something about protecting the environment?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we have a contradiction here. On the one hand, he does not like the statements that are made, where we specify one by one the very large number of things that are being undertaken by the government on the environmental front. On the other hand he does not like it—

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

David Anderson Liberal Victoria, BC

I am sorry, there seems to be some disorder down there in the splitting ranks of the NDP. One of their major political splits seems to be occurring at this time.

They cannot have it both ways. They cannot on the one hand complain when we list what we do and on the other hand complain we have not done anything.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—St. Clair, ON

Mr. Speaker, in fact they have not done very much. The Mulroney government 10 years ago was spending more money than they are right now, both in actual terms and in percentage terms.

Again, when will they make the commitment to protect the environment and really put their money where their mouths are?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, members of the NDP are once again bragging about the $42 billion deficit of the Conservative government, the one that we had to inherit and do something about.

They never pay any attention to the fact that it is quite easy to spend more money if we ignore that the taxpayer has to produce it and that if we continue to run deficits ultimately the country will go broke and there will be no environmental programs whatsoever. That is their approach.

I only suggest that the hon. member listen to the many statements that come up day after day from myself and other members of the government and which list what we are doing on the environment.

The EconomyOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Scott Brison Progressive Conservative Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, real incomes in Canada are 30% lower than those of Americans because of a growing productivity gap. The HRDC-Industry Canada white paper on productivity will reportedly focus on government spending initiatives alone to reverse this trend.

Will the Prime Minister expand the terms of reference for the white paper to include tax reform, which all leading economists and business leaders agree is absolutely necessary to improving productivity?

The EconomyOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has been missing in action somewhere, because we have taken those kinds of steps with $100 billion in tax cuts, the biggest in history, over five years, average tax cuts for Canadians at 27% and much higher for families with children. We are already moving in this area. We are ahead of the curve.

Where has my hon. friend been the last couple of years?

The EconomyOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Scott Brison Progressive Conservative Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, Thomas d'Aquino, head of the BCNI, has said:

How can you have a paper on innovation without anything on taxes? You can't. It's a contradiction in terms.

Yet the ministers of HRDC and industry, the big spenders of the Liberal cabinet, believe they can improve productivity with big spending alone.

Why is the finance minister being shut out of a productivity plan that desperately needs leadership on tax reform? Is the Liberal leadership race more important than improving productivity for all Canadians?

The EconomyOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this may come as a surprise to the Conservative Party, but we are able to work together as a team. That is what we are doing. We will all have our input into the development of this paper.

In fact I would even be willing to take my hon. friend's comments as a representation, no matter how poorly informed or founded they may be.

Grants And ContributionsOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian Alliance Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has categorically stated in the House that the handwritten bill of sale for the shares in his numbered company was written on November 1, 1993. We decided to test this claim and took the bill of sale to a forensic specialist for analysis.

She came back with the following opinion: “There is a high degree of probability that the numerals 1-9-9-3 have been altered”.

We need the original document to send for further study. Will it be provided?

Grants And ContributionsOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have the new secret agent man. Was that not the theme song of a 1960s sitcom? Here is the secret agent man with another set of phony allegations.

If he has some charges to make, let him get up and prove them and repeat them outside the House. He does not know what he is talking about.

Grants And ContributionsOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian Alliance Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Deputy Prime Minister might make light of it, but I do not think Canadians will.

This analyst is a careful, qualified professional. I continue to quote from her letter: “This opinion is qualified subject to the examination of the original bill of sale”.

The Prime Minister could clear this up right away. The original bill of sale needs to be presented so that a forensic analysis of the ink can prove that it was in fact written in 1993. Will that be provided?

Grants And ContributionsOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, who is this fabled analyst? What are her qualifications? What do other analysts say?

He is not asking a valid question. As I say, his fooling around playing at secret agent brings embarrassment on him and his party. They are not willing to ask questions about real issues because they do not have anything to say. They are too busy trying to hide their own disintegration.

Access To InformationOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-De- Beaupré—Île-D'Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, a former privacy and access to information commissioner, Mr. Grace, testified yesterday before the committee of members, which took on the task of reviewing the current Access to Information Act.

What does the government have to say to the former commissioner's unequivocal criticism, which echoes the conclusions of the damning report tabled last October by the current commissioner to the effect that the government is not complying with the provisions of the Access to Information Act?

Access To InformationOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Erie—Lincoln Ontario

Liberal

John Maloney LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the member is well aware that there is a task force currently holding round table public consultations. The recently announced external advisory committee includes individuals from academia, the legal profession, business and the media.

This will ensure that external perspectives are included in the examination of these issues. It is a matter of concern and we are addressing it.

Access To InformationOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-De- Beaupré—Île-D'Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Grace wonders about the poor example set by the government when it comes to enforcing its own Access to Information Act.

Does the Prime Minister's idea of complying with the Access to Information Act not play a large role in sending out a very negative signal to all public servants, and is it not inconsistent with what an open and civilized society such as ours should be all about?

Access To InformationOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Erie—Lincoln Ontario

Liberal

John Maloney LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the access to information law is a good law supporting Canadian democracy. The federal government is committed to the principles of transparency and openness and ensures accountability to Canadians.

As I said, we are currently undergoing a review. This review will consider and build on previous consultations and recommendations.

Grants And ContributionsOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Charlie Penson Canadian Alliance Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, allow me to continue to quote from the letter of opinion of the handwriting examiner who, by the way, was not familiar with the details of the Prime Minister's involvement.

Grants And ContributionsOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Grants And ContributionsOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Charlie Penson Canadian Alliance Peace River, AB

They might want to listen. There might be something here that want to listen to.

Grants And ContributionsOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Grants And ContributionsOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The Chair has not seen anything but I understand there are some props perhaps being used. I caution hon. members that it is quite improper. We will not have that. The hon. member for Peace River has the floor.

Grants And ContributionsOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Charlie Penson Canadian Alliance Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, allow me to continue to quote from the letter of opinion of the handwriting examiner who, by the way, was not familiar with the details of the Prime Minister's involvement.

She states “The thirteen lines of writing on the questioned document were written with speed, rhythm and consistency with the”—

Grants And ContributionsOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member's time has expired.