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House of Commons Hansard #16 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was money.

Topics

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has been very clear that the provinces will be consulted, and we take their views seriously. That is what today's meeting with my colleagues, the Minister of Natural Resources and the Minister of the Environment, is all about.

This is a matter that has been before us for more than five years. The government has said that we will ratify the Kyoto accord and we will go ahead and do it, but there will be a vote in the House of Commons. There is debate, and it is a chance for everyone to put their views forward.

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

I will try again, Mr. Speaker.

There is now a unanimous coalition demanding that ratification of the Kyoto protocol be delayed. This government refuses to give the provinces a clear implementation plan, an estimate of the costs relating to an accord that affects their jurisdictions.

Again, is the government prepared to call a first ministers' conference before the vote in the House on the ratification of the Kyoto protocol?

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister made it clear that it is our role to consult all the provinces. Today, we are having a meeting in Halifax with all the provincial and federal ministers concerned. We will listen to what the provinces have to say.

What is really important is that we will soon vote on Kyoto and all members in the House of Commons will have the opportunity to voice their opinion before voting.

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, it is the federal government's duty to get the consent of the provinces on an accord that affects their jurisdictions.

The environment minister yesterday stated his view that emissions are not the jurisdiction of provincial governments, yet notwithstanding his opinion, the provinces do have direct jurisdiction and responsibility for their own resources.

I will ask the minister this. If the environment minister has already decided that the views of the provinces are irrelevant, what was the purpose of today's meeting?

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, no one who has listened to the hon. Minister of the Environment and has appreciated all the hard work that he has done over the past years accepts that for a moment.

I can think of no other member in this House who is more concerned about the environment and who wants to hear the opinions of all Canadians than the Minister of the Environment. I think the hon. Leader of the Opposition should not be so cavalier with that kind of expression.

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Canadian Alliance West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Environment is so concerned about the environment that he has millions of gallons of raw sewage going into the ocean right in his own constituency.

The Premier of British Columbia has stated that his province has grave concerns over the government's failure to produce any kind of specifics on Kyoto. There is no limitation plan and no targets have been set. We have gross generalities and nothing in terms of what the real true economic impacts are going to be.

Is it the government's position to push through an accord that will damage British Columbia's economy?

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister went to Alberta a few weeks ago and he said that this accord will not damage any one part of the country. We are all Canadians, we work together, and we shoulder burdens together. That is what being a Canadian is all about.

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Canadian Alliance West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, that is what he said about the national energy program and that is what he said about a lot of other things. It is not fair on Canada.

Let me quote to this minister what the environment minister of Alberta has stated:

Until the federal government tells us what they expect of us, there's no way we can sign or not sign any document--

Why is the government asking the provinces to sign a blank cheque on Kyoto without revealing the true costs to the provinces?

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we tabled a plan in the House last week. We are asking the provinces for their views and we will listen to their views before the vote. We take their views extremely seriously. I hope the Leader of the Opposition does too.

HealthOral Question Period

October 28th, 2002 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, health has been a priority in the public's mind for years. Everyone knows that federal underfunding adversely affects the quality of health care services. However, the only thing that the federal government can come up with is a motion which reads, and I quote, “That this House take note of the on-going public discussion of the future of the Canadian health care system”.

How can the government be content with tabling a motion that is so meaningless, when it has the means to increase its funding for health by transferring money to the provinces?

HealthOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, there is nothing empty about the motion. This is the second take note debate which provides members of the House the opportunity to offer their views on the future of health care.

Let me remind the hon. member that in September 2000 the government put in 21.1 billion new dollars to health care. We created a $1 billion medical equipment fund. We created an $800 million primary health care renewal fund. In fact the province of Quebec has used those dollars to its advantage to provide better health care for the residents of Quebec.

HealthOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is a meaningless motion. We are being asked to note that there is a societal debate on health. The Liberals are the only ones who have not noticed it. This is definitely nothing new. They just delivered a throne speech and they have nothing to say, except that we should take note that there is a debate on health.

They should note that it is time for them to give money back to the provinces to deal with health issues. This is waking up. It is time for them to wake up.

HealthOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as I have just indicated, the federal government has put considerable amounts of new money since September 2000 into health care. I have made it very clear as health minister that I do believe additional dollars will be required.

We had the Kirby report last week. We are awaiting the Romanow report. I have no doubt after the Romanow report that federal, provincial and territorial health ministers will meet. The first ministers will meet in January. I have every confidence that we will move forward with a plan for renewal which will involve new dollars for health care.

HealthOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, the provincial ministers of health and the premiers have spoken out unanimously against the federal government's withdrawal from health care funding. Ottawa has made dramatic cuts in its contribution to health funding and this has jeopardized the quality of care.

How, with such a clear consensus and such a clearly identified problem, can the government come up with no other solution than to propose a debate inviting the House to take note that discussions on health are under way in Canada? Is the federal government not thus indicating that it is out of solutions altogether?

HealthOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the take note debate today is an opportunity for members of the House who have not had the opportunity to speak on the future of health care or share their constituents' views on the future of health care to do so.

Let me reassure the hon. member that after we receive the Romanow report there will be a meeting of provincial, territorial and federal health ministers. There will be a first ministers meeting some time early in the new year. That commitment has been made by the Prime Minister.

The government takes very seriously the number one priority of Canadians. We are committed, as are our provincial and territorial colleagues, to the renewal of the health care system.

HealthOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the federal government has a substantial financial margin available to it, how can it justify the fact that, under this Liberal regime, the share of health costs assumed by the federal government has been reduced by one-third in the past eight years, which is the real problem of which we must take note?

HealthOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I have no intention this afternoon of engaging in a sterile debate around fiscal imbalance. What we need to be focused on is the renewal and future of our health care system.

I would remind the hon. member that the government put in 21.1 billion new dollars as of September 2000. We created a $1 billion medical equipment fund that has provided new medical equipment all over the province of Quebec. We have created an $800 million primary health care transition fund which the Government of Quebec is using to transform the way primary health care is delivered in that province.

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the health minister has already established herself as highly receptive to private, for profit health solutions.

Canadians are more concerned than ever after the minister on Friday described Kirby's prescription for more privatized medicine as a very important contribution. People are nervously wondering if Kirby is basically the health minister's insurance policy to back up her predisposition toward more private, for profit health care.

Will the minister assure Canadians that is not the case?

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I find it amazing that the leader of the New Democratic Party seems to be suggesting that the Kirby report should be discounted, that after three years of work and discussions with Canadians and health care professionals from coast to coast, somehow one should dismiss that work. Of course it is an important contribution, just as Commissioner Romanow's report is going to be a very important contribution to help all Canadians understand the challenges around the future of their health care system.

The hon. member should be fully aware that the Kirby report spoke to the importance and maintenance of a--

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Halifax.

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, let me make it very clear. The problem did not originate with Kirby, and it did not originate with the Reform-Alliance either, although it has been busy giving the federal government a free ride on privatization. The problem is the minister's steadfast refusal to rule out the expansion of private, for profit prescriptions.

Will the minister repudiate her earlier comments in the House that Canadians do not care who delivers their health care? If not, will she admit that she is not following her own advice, that she has no intention of waiting for the Romanow recommendations and that she is already programmed to pursue more privatized medicine?

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I do not suppose that anything has been clearer than my statements and the statements of many others including, dare I say, Senator Kirby, that there is no appetite in this country for a parallel private system. We will have a publicly financed health care system. The challenge for all of us is to figure out, and to ensure, how we maintain a high quality accessible, publicly financed health care system.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, last Friday in what he called his first major speech, the Minister of National Defence said that the government “should be spending more than is currently planned” on national defence. The minister claimed he was expressing a personal view, but he was speaking as the Minister of National Defence. Ministers are not allowed the luxury of a split personality.

Will the acting prime minister tell the House whether the contents of the speech were approved in advance by the Prime Minister or by the Privy Council Office? Was the defence minister stating government policy?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I was very careful in my speech to point out to the public that the government has put over $5 billion of new money into defence, that the government at the end of the day will make the decision on difficult choices on priorities, but that I as Minister of National Defence am conscious of sustainability problems and will be making a reasoned and respectful argument for more resources.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, how is Parliament or the public to know when the minister is just blowing off his own personal opinions and when he is speaking for the government?

The minister was asked at the Toronto Board of Trade meeting whether expanding Norad would include ground and naval forces. That would put Canadian ground and naval forces under a command structure headed by the United States.

The minister said that is not the plan but anything could happen. Was the minister speaking for the government when he said it is possible that Canadian ground and naval forces would be under U.S. command?

Would the acting prime minister have the courage to stand and answer that question?