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House of Commons Hansard #19 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was opposition.

Topics

Financial InstitutionsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Scott Brison Progressive Conservative Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, according to senior bank officials, at Scotiabank and the Bank of Montreal, they were told by the finance minister to explore merging. The same bank officials also say that the Prime Minister's Office shut down the merger talks saying that there would be no bank mergers until after the Prime Minister's retirement in 2004.

Would the Minister of Finance please explain the relevance of the Prime Minister's retirement schedule to the Canadian banking industry?

Financial InstitutionsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I do not know whether the people who the member refers to said the things he claims they said. If they did, they are not true.

Public SafetyOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

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

Mr. Speaker, after the events of September 11, the United States passed antiterrorism legislation in less than 11 weeks. The Liberals, however, took 13 months and three attempts to present legislation that was clearly inferior to what the Americans came up with.

Why must Canadians wait so long for so little when it comes to their safety?

Public SafetyOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, there is a very good reason for that. After reflection and debate in the House, the government listened to members on this side and on the other side and improved the legislation. That is why we introduced Bill C-17 today, an improved bill that will guarantee our security.

Public SafetyOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

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

Mr. Speaker, September 11 happened and inside of 11 weeks the U.S. house of representatives drafted a bill, passed it through the house, passed it through the senate and had a signature from the president of the United States. It has taken this government 13 and a half months and three drafts to put together a piece of legislation that does nothing to address the port securities in this country and the fact that Hezbollah is operating in Canada. The government does not take terrorism seriously.

Why does it take the government so long to deliver so little on our country's security?

Public SafetyOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, once again the hon. member has not done his homework. The fact is within the same time frame as the U.S., we passed Bill C-36 and Bill C-44, and we have a third bill that will go through that reflects the opinions of everyone in the House.

École de médecine vétérinaire de Saint-HyacintheOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Louis Plamondon Bloc Bas-Richelieu—Nicolet—Bécancour, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Agriculture stated that the veterinary college in Saint-Hyacinthe was not the only one awaiting accreditation, but that there were three other colleges outside Quebec.

Based on our experience of the closing of the francophone military college in Saint-Jean, after points similar to those raised by the minister yesterday were made, are we not at risk of soon learning that the same low blow will be dealt to the college in Saint-Hyacinthe, the only French-speaking one in North America?

École de médecine vétérinaire de Saint-HyacintheOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, there is no reason for the veterinary college at Saint-Hyacinthe to close.

École de médecine vétérinaire de Saint-HyacintheOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Louis Plamondon Bloc Bas-Richelieu—Nicolet—Bécancour, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister does not seem to realize how urgent the situation is. The dean of the college has to report to the American Association of Veterinary Medicine by December, confirming whether or not he will be able to make the necessary changes to the college to ensure its continued accreditation.

Given the urgency, is the minister not able to say today that he will indeed meet this deadline of December, and provide the $59 million that is required?

École de médecine vétérinaire de Saint-HyacintheOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, as I recently have said several times in the House, we realize the importance of the veterinary college in Saint-Hyacinthe and the other three locations in Canada. We as a federal government will work in every way we possibly can to ensure that all our veterinary colleges continue to play an important role, not only for animal health and safety but for human health and safety because they play an important role as well.

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dave Chatters Canadian Alliance Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, on Tuesday, March 12 of this year in response to a question that I directed to the Minister of Natural Resources in the standing committee, the minister stated:

--I wouldn't sign a contract unless I knew the cost. I think it just makes good sense. My view is the same. It hasn't changed on this.

It appears that the minister's view has now changed and now he is in support of signing the Kyoto contract without knowing the cost. Why?

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I have said right from day one that it is important to do our due diligence and that is what we have been doing. It is important to consult with Canadians and that is what we have been doing.

The hon. member asked for costs. We clearly have stated in the draft plan, for example in the oil sands, what the cost is per barrel for the oil producers. It ranges for synthetic and bitumen from 10¢ to 12¢ a barrel. We have clearly outlined to Canadians what the cost is for industry and we will continue doing work.

My position has not changed. It is exactly the same as it was when I became minister in January of this year.

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dave Chatters Canadian Alliance Athabasca, AB

If that is true, Mr. Speaker, why does the industry itself claim that the cost in the tar sands is from $3 to $7 a barrel? His figures are out to lunch.

Yesterday in New Delhi the international community once again turned down the minister's proposal on credits for clean energy exports, which will drive the cost even higher than the government's proposed plan.

Why will the government and the minister not come clean with Canadians and tell us what the Kyoto plan is going to cost us?

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I hope the hon. member will go and read the draft plan that we have put forward. We are consulting with the provinces, with Canadians and with industry to get their input so that we do have a plan that is workable, that is balanced and that does not create an unfair or unreasonable burden on any one part of the country or any one sector.

The Alliance Party will vote against every environmental initiative in the House. It is obvious that it will not support anything that is to improve the environment in this country.

Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Canadian Heritage. November 11 is a very special day for all of us each year. It is a day on which we remember those who fought and died for our freedom.

Some of my constituents have noticed that not all government departments lower their flags on that very special day. Would the minister describe to us government practices with respect to the lowering of flags on Remembrance Day?

Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, in eleven short days we will all be in our constituencies to honour the contribution of those who gave their lives for the country.

I am happy, on behalf of all of us, to recognize that the Government of Canada has this year issued a new directive that on November 11 all flags at government offices and facilities across the country will be at half-mast. We certainly encourage provincial and territorial counterparts to exercise the same show of respect for the veterans of Canada.

FinanceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dick Harris Canadian Alliance Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, just two days ago the PMO said that there would be no bank merger proposals considered until after the Prime Minister's retirement in early 2004. At the same time, the finance minister has said that there is no ban on merger proposals.

Will the finance minister confirm today that it is he who has the final say on bank merger proposals, not the Prime Minister?

FinanceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I refer the hon. member to the Bank Act and to Bill C-8 in the last session, rather than to whatever day's newspaper he may have been reading.

FinanceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dick Harris Canadian Alliance Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, let us try to get some real clarity on this. Will the finance minister, or whoever speaks for the PMO over there, confirm that the PMO will not interfere again against any future bank merger proposals? Will they confirm today that it will be the finance minister who will deal with it and it will be his decision, not the whim of the Prime Minister?

FinanceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, in fact there are a good number of people who are involved in dealing with any proposed merger should a proposal formally be made. That includes the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions. It includes the Commissioner of Competition. It will include committees of the House which will need to examine any such proposal on the basis of the public interest.

I and my colleagues will all have views on whether the interests of the public are best served in any proposal.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Monday I raised the issue of a Montreal company which has lost a $40 million contract to export ambulances to Iraq, because of the U.S. position on that country. The minister's response was as follows:

—we are continuing to cooperate with the U.S. authorities to reduce tensions in that region and not give materiel to Iraqis under these circumstances

How can the Minister of Foreign Affairs make such a statement when he knows very well that the sale of humanitarian supplies such as ambulances is in full compliance with the spirit of the United Nations program on trade with Iraq?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is absolutely correct. Exports to Iraq need UN approval because it is the United Nations which issues the export permits. If a UN permit has been issued, Canada approves the export and it takes place. It is a misunderstanding to imply that the American authorities are the ones stopping the export. It is a decision by all of the countries via the United Nations.

Privacy CommissionerOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Walt Lastewka Liberal St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, the privacy commissioner has expressed concerns over the use of data collected from international air travellers with regard to the advance passenger information and passenger name record program.

Could the Minister of National Revenue assure the House that the information collected is used in the best interests of all Canadians?

Privacy CommissionerOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Yes, Mr. Speaker, an appropriate balance has been achieved between the security needs of Canadians and the civil liberties of Canadians, in Bill S-23, which was the Customs Act.

I know the House would want to know that just hours ago Canada Customs and Revenue Agency officials, along with the RCMP, seized 16 kilograms of heroin with an estimated street value of $8 million. This was accomplished in large part due to the information that we were able to glean from the API/PNR system. I think it is also a tribute to the excellence of our targeting officers. This clearly demonstrates the importance of having good intelligence.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

October 31st, 2002 / 3 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Greg Thompson Progressive Conservative New Brunswick Southwest, NB

Mr. Speaker, I might have caught the Minister of Public Works flat-footed yesterday, but is he willing to admit today that a deal cobbled together by his predecessor, Mr. Gagliano, is now under joint investigation by the FBI and the RCMP? Of course I am referring to Canadian military spare parts being housed in Florida in a warehouse owned and under contractual agreement with a Canadian company, a deal cobbled together by his predecessor.

Will the minister now admit that it is under investigation?