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House of Commons Hansard #13 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was board.

Topics

Correctional Service CanadaOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Progressive Conservative Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, I too would like to congratulate the minister on his accession to cabinet. However, I was told over the weekend that convicted criminals in Westmorland Institution near Dorchester, New Brunswick, were operating a telemarketing scheme selling vacation packages over the phone. It is not enough that they have people's name, phone number and credit cards, now they want to know exactly when people's homes will be empty.

Will the new Solicitor General commit to putting an end to this ridiculous and potentially dangerous practice right now?

Correctional Service CanadaOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Malpeque P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I basically answer the question the same way as I did the previous one. However I will say this. I have been in the position really less than 24 hours and I can tell Canadians, the public and members of the House this. In the brief time I have been in the Solicitor General's office, I really have been impressed about their work in terms of safety matters and security for this nation, and we all should be proud of their diligence in doing their jobs and protecting Canadian citizens.

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Canadian Alliance Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, Calin Rovinescu, Air Canada's executive vice president, said yesterday that the $24 air tax has “basically destroyed the regional air business entirely with a drop in service approaching 20%”.

Air Canada is now on side fighting the air tax, so the air industry is unanimous in condemning the government's $24 air tax and provincial tourism ministers are unanimously opposed to the air tax as well.

The air tax is killing air service in this country. Why will the government not kill the air tax?

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it is not surprising that a company would prefer taxpayers generally pay the cost of something instead of the users of its system. Why would they not? That is not exactly surprising.

I find it difficult to believe that this member believes that in the aftermath of September 11, all the reduction in passenger traffic on Canadian airlines is because of a fee that is, quite frankly, less than most taxi fares to the airport.

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Canadian Alliance Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance should not be lecturing the Canadian Alliance. The Minister of Finance may want to lecture the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport and every Liberal in the transport committee who agreed to this point that all stakeholders including airports, air carriers, airline passengers and/or residents of Canada contribute to a new security regime. His own Liberal members agreed to that, but this government's thirst for revenue is like cobwebs trying to lasso a locomotive to try to convince the government not to lower an air tax.

Why will the government not commit to what everybody in the air industry, everybody on the Liberal committee and every party in the opposition agrees, which is to kill the air tax? It is killing the air industry. Why will the government not lower it?

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the difference of opinion here is whether the users of the additional costs in the system should pay for it or whether it should be paid for by all taxpayers. There is no other source. We do not see it the same way. We think the people who are getting the benefit from the additional security in the airline system, namely the users of it, ought to pay for it.

I have said repeatedly that we will review the amount of the charge as we get sufficient data to deal with it and ensure that we adequately cover the costs involved in providing the security at the level that is now required.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, a mere two weeks after the release of the federal government's incomplete action plan to deal with the lumber crisis, we learn that Abitibi Consolidated was forced to pay $20 million in countervailing duties. Pending the resolution of the dispute, the company has shut down several sawmills in British Columbia and Quebec, including those in Saint-Prime and Saint-Fulgence.

Does the Minister of Industry not see in this one of the first signs that his action plan is flawed because it does not contain anything to help the industry weather this crisis?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

London—Fanshawe Ontario

Liberal

Pat O'Brien LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, as the member knows, the government announced an extensive package a couple weeks ago now to assist in this crisis which will take some time to resolve. We are on very solid grounds legally. We know that. We won this the times that we have been challenged in the past. We have won in the courts, and we will win again because the facts are on our side.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, this is the reality, this is the effect the lumber crisis is having on large businesses, and it is even worse for small sawmills.

Is the minister aware of the effect of the crisis on these small sawmills which, without help, will have no choice but to close their doors? Is the minister waiting for more disasters to act?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

London—Fanshawe Ontario

Liberal

Pat O'Brien LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the hon. member is aware that there has never been a trade minister who is consulted more widely on the softwood lumber file than the minister who is now down at APEC?

There has been a consensus across this country cobbled together very carefully with tremendous work by the minister for trade, and we will win this case because the facts support the Canadian argument once again.

HealthOral Question Period

October 23rd, 2002 / 2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Charlie Penson Canadian Alliance Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Health and the Minister of Finance refused to rule out a tax increase for new health care spending. However the government is spending less today on health care than it did when it first came to office in 1993. It had no trouble finding $6 billion for its own departments, however, including corporate welfare schemes for large international companies.

Why would the Minister of Finance not just stand up today and tell Canadians that he will not impose any new tax on health care?

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we will review the Kirby and Romanow reports when they have been received and consider them appropriately.

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Charlie Penson Canadian Alliance Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, the government likes to spread the myth that it is a good manager of our Canadian tax dollars, but let us look at the facts: $7 billion shovelled into foundations despite the protests of two Auditors General, subsidies to successful multi-billion dollar multinational corporations like Bombardier, Pratt & Whitney and General Electric, and of course we have the waste and patronage that continue to be the norm every day in this House.

With a record like this on waste, how can the Minister of Finance stand up and tell Canadians there is no money available for health care?

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Waste, Mr. Speaker? The lowest program spending as a percentage of our GDP in my lifetime, save for one year.

Waste, Mr. Speaker? The only country in the G-7 that is running a surplus and has done so five years in a row, the best record in our history.

He is talking about waste. He is talking about a country that has brought its deficit to GDP ratio from 6.2% to a surplus, that has brought its debt from over 71% to below 50% of GDP.

I cannot understand why he is not recognizing the good administration he has been witnessing from the other side of the House.

Regional DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Rick Laliberte Liberal Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, recently the Canada-Saskatchewan Northern Development Accord and Agreement were signed with our northern Saskatchewan leadership, which includes first nations, Métis and municipal councils.

Could the Secretary of State for Western Economic Diversification please tell the House why this accord and agreement are important for Canada?

Regional DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen LiberalSecretary of State (Western Economic Diversification) (Indian Affairs and Northern Development)

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member and the Minister of Public Works and Government Services for their dedicated support for the development of this agreement and this accord over the last several years.

The accord will bring together the collaborative leadership of Métis, first nations and municipalities in northern Saskatchewan with the provincial and federal governments in an accord and an agreement signed last week in La Ronge, Saskatchewan. They will create a joint federal-provincial fund to support local initiatives implemented in northern Saskatchewan for economic development, sustainable communities, employment and outside private investment.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Garry Breitkreuz Canadian Alliance Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, the minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board has been notified of illegal activities at the Canadian Wheat Board in regard to licensing costs.

Legislation clearly prohibits the Canadian Wheat Board from paying all export licensing costs out of the wheat sales of western Canadian farmers, yet the board has done it anyway.

How long has the minister known that this is happening and why has he not corrected the problem?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman alleges that I have been informed of something. Quite frankly, I have not been informed of it. If there are facts to be discovered here I will find them out and I will take the appropriate action, but he should make no allegation that I have not acted upon information that has been known to me, because it has not been.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Garry Breitkreuz Canadian Alliance Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, the minister should read his mail.

The Canadian Wheat Board Act states that the minister “may...direct the Corporation with respect to the manner in which any of its operations...shall be conducted...”, so clearly the minister has a responsibility for licensing.

In addition to this, the buyback that farmers are forced to go through does not have a legislative requirement. This has become like an extra fee for Prairie farmers only. Ontario and Quebec do not have to buy back their grain in order to export or process it. Why will the minister not correct this problem as well?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, this is a matter that falls within the purview of the management of the Canadian Wheat Board. That management is responsible to the directors of the Canadian Wheat Board and the directors are two-thirds elected directly by western Canadian farmers. As long as I have been minister, I have never given the Canadian Wheat Board a direction. I believe its authority should rest with farmers.

Meteorological Service of CanadaOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Bloc Charlesbourg—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, for several months, the climate at the Meteorological Service of Canada in Quebec City has been most unpleasant.

Employees, and meteorologists in particular, are living under the threat of their office closing and the staff relocating to Montreal.

This is one more eloquent example of the federal government's lack of commitment to Quebec's national capital region, depriving the public of a very useful frontline service.

My question is for the Minister of the Environment. When will he finally show the leadership necessary to put rumours to rest and maintain in Quebec City this efficient service and these highly specialized jobs?

Meteorological Service of CanadaOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, it is not easy for a minister to put to rest rumours circulated by another political party.

However, I can say that, on the matter of office closure, this government has made no decision to close the offices in question.

Research and DevelopmentOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, in the recent Speech from the Throne the government made a commitment to make Canada a world leader in innovation and learning.

All of us clearly understand the need to attract and retain top quality researchers in Canada. I am proud of the work that has been done by York University in the riding of York West.

Could the Secretary of State for Science, Research and Development tell the House how the government is planning to invest in research and development at Canadian universities?

Research and DevelopmentOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Winnipeg North—St. Paul Manitoba

Liberal

Rey D. Pagtakhan LiberalMinister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Science

Mr. Speaker, we have increased funding to the granting councils. We have created the Canada research chairs, established the Canada Foundation for Innovation, and funded indirect costs of university research.

In Winnipeg last Friday, the foundation announced $22 million for 124 faculty members in 27 universities across the country. We are confident that Canada will become one of the top five countries in the world in research and development by the end of the decade.

JusticeOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Canadian Alliance Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, in Canada child abuse is fueled by child pornography. The violent sexual exploitation of children in Canada is protected by legislation that justifies this brutality on the basis of artistic merit.

How many more children need be brutalized before the Minister of Justice takes the appropriate steps to act on this serious problem?