This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #8 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was research.

Topics

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I think we all owe a debt of thanks to my predecessor, who over the last five years achieved very major increases in improvements in the quality of life of the military: improvements in housing, improvements in salary, improvements in family centres, and improvements in the treatment of stress disorders. One of the things we are doing is gradually moving to a market price basis for our rentals.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Keith Martin Canadian Alliance Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, let us look at those improvements. Canadian Forces Base Kingston has the worst housing in the entire country. Right now in Downsview and Oakville our soldiers have to boil their water as we speak.

I cannot believe the minister would support such a heartless, bean-counter, woolly-headed decision.

My question is simple: Will the government reverse the decision on these rents and stop increasing soldiers' rents? Yes or no.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, notwithstanding the fine work of my predecessor, I did not say that we had yet reached a state nirvana

Problems remain and we are addressing them as best we can. Seventy per cent of the military live in the private sector. It is a matter of fairness between those who live in the private sector and those who live on military bases. We should have equality in the rent for all of them.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the criticisms of the government's aid package for the softwood lumber industry have made it very clear: the government has not delivered the goods, and it is a matter of too little, too late. The U.S. strategy is becoming increasingly obvious. It consists in playing for time, hoping the Canadian softwood lumber industry will just disappear.

How can the government, and the Minister of Industry in particular, be satisfied with their intervention plan, when it gives no direct assistance to the industry to counter the American strategy, as loan guarantees would have, for instance?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the measures announced yesterday will help workers. The training courses and job sharing arrangements will help communities to diversify their economy. The package will also allow major investments in research, in order to make this sector more competitive in the future.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, according to Carl Grenier, spokesperson for the softwood lumber industry and international trade expert, these loan guarantees to affected companies would not have cost the government anything extra.

Why has the government rejected this solution, which would have cost it almost nothing, and would have been so effective? Has it thrown in the towel?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as my colleague, the Minister of Natural Resources, said yesterday, we are going to keep working on this with our partners in Quebec and elsewhere. For the moment, however, we are confident that the $250 million we have allocated are going to improve the situation for workers and for communities.

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

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

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister tells the House and Canadians that he will “study the reduction of the air tax”, but we have all the evidence we need to prove that it is bad public policy.

WestJet is cutting back on routes. Bay Chaleur Air, an air carrier out of New Brunswick, has declared bankruptcy and Atlantic Canada is being left behind. Its routes are being cut.

What more evidence does the government need to show that this is bad public policy? Why will the government not simply listen to its own backbenchers, to Canadians and to the air industry and commit to eliminating or cutting the air tax today?

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I do not think we disagree between parties on the requirement for increased security measures. What we disagree on is whether the user should pay for them. If that is not to be the case, I presume the Alliance is suggesting that the funds should be taken from general revenues, in other words, tax increases or a reduction in spending in other worthwhile things.

I think the principle that the user should pay is a sound one. What we are reviewing is whether the level of the charge should be reduced to make it roughly revenue neutral with the expenditures.

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

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

Mr. Speaker, the constituents of cabinet ministers are also affected by this.

The Minister of Health and the Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific are from Edmonton. Their constituents are being hurt by this through the loss of service. With regard to the ACOA minister, Stephenville, Newfoundland is losing all Air Canada service. The Minister of Labour from Moncton is losing air service. With regard to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, his constituents are being left behind by the loss of air service.

Is the reason those cabinet ministers are not standing up and publicly defending their constituents that they are scared to stand up and speak out against the largest tax increase in the final budget of Paul Martin?

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

I think the hon. member meant the hon. member for LaSalle—Émard, but I am not sure. The hon. Minister of Finance, in any event, will answer.

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the truth is that a number of factors have been buffeting the air industry in every country in the world, particularly since September 11.

I think for a thoughtful member of Parliament to suggest that the only factor affecting services in Canada is the charge for additional security measures is really a little disingenuous. He knows that passenger levels are down, not only in Canada but elsewhere as well. Those factors all have to be taken into account when we levy a charge to ensure that people getting on an aircraft are confident that they will be safe.

BiotechnologyOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, in March I asked the Minister of Industry a question about patenting for human genes.

In his answer, the minister said he was awaiting a report from the Canadian biotechnology advisory committee, which he received this summer.

Last week, a senior official was quoted as saying that “the government was prepared to reaffirm its opposition to patenting forms of life”.

Does this opposition to patenting life forms also apply to patenting human genes?

BiotechnologyOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the document we received from the advisory committee is currently being studied, along with another very important report on the same subject recently published in England. We are also awaiting the Supreme Court of Canada's ruling on the same issue. This is how we plan to respect our commitments while promoting research in this field.

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Reed Elley Canadian Alliance Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the finance minister got to the root of the disability tax credit problem. The source of the problem is that he sees people as numbers on a tax return rather than as real people. He says that he does not want us to personalize the disability issue.

Let me tell the minister from personal experience that disabilities are a very personal issue and the government needs to face that reality.

When will the finance minister do the right thing and change these oppressive tax laws?

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I would be very happy to listen to any suggestions the hon. member has on what he would like to see changed specifically.

As we pointed out yesterday, since 1996 there has been about a 70% increase in the amount of benefits being made available to disabled people in Canada. In addition, there is an indication in the Speech from the Throne that we intend to deepen and broaden that support.

What is it that he wishes to have changed?

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Reed Elley Canadian Alliance Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, if the minister would listen to his own committee, which sent recommendations to his department, and the calls and letters from many groups and individuals from across Canada who are angry and upset at the proposed changes to the disability tax credit, perhaps he would do something. Certainly the finance minister must be getting the same reaction as many members of Parliament are.

When will the finance minister start listening to Canadians and instruct his department to change these oppressive tax laws which hurt disabled Canadians?

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I will take that to mean that he does not know what changes he wants.

These are issues that I have worked on for a lot of years, everything from the support for assistive devices that we have created in a program in Industry Canada, through to the most recent initiatives that involve the Speech from the Throne.

I suspect the he may be concerned that some taxpayers are being asked to verify that they still qualify. Surely he would agree that the resources should be made available to those who are most in need. On that we surely can agree.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

October 9th, 2002 / 2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Bloc Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, today we learned that the safe third country agreement between Canada and the U.S. has apparently been approved by the federal cabinet.

All that remains for the agreement to come into effect are a few formalities and yet it has not been discussed at all in the House of Commons or by the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration.

Will the minister promise today to submit the text of this agreement to the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, so that we can debate it and hear from experts who could inform us about the many risks entailed if this agreement were to come into effect in its current form?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Gatineau Québec

Liberal

Mark Assad LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration will be able to answer the hon. member's question when she returns.

Heritage CanadaOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, Bill Reid was, without doubt, one of the most famous and influential northwest coast artists of our time. His work is the result of his magnificent talent and a very precious part of Canada's heritage.

Would the Minister of Canadian Heritage provide the House with an update of her department's efforts to ensure that the Reid collection remains a source of pride for the Haida people and for all Canadians?

Heritage CanadaOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, as a result in large measure of the work of the member for Vancouver Quadra, in November 2001 we were able to certify the collection for donation purposes at an appraised value of $3.4 million.

We are establishing a tax credit process. I have to say that this is a collection that should never be lost to Canada. As a result of the work of our government and, in particular, the British Columbia caucus, we will be acquiring the necessary financing to make sure this collection stays in British Columbia and in Canada.

I want to thank, in particular, Herb Auerbach who has been an incredible supporter in this incredible initiative.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy Progressive Conservative South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence overlooks the fact that the pilot training contract was sole-sourced without proper justification to Bombardier following an unsolicited proposal from that company.

After two years and hundreds of millions of dollars this innovative program managed to graduate 61 Canadian pilots from basic training, three less than the old tutor program graduated every year.

Once again, would the minister tell us the reason we needed this contract?

National DefenceOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, first, the fact is that Bombardier was the only Canadian company with the capabilities to undertake this project.

The second fact is that it was joined by a consortium that included all potential Canadian bidders.

The third fact is that the only alternative to this is that all the training would have been done in the United States. Is that what the member wants?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Canadian Alliance Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, we have heard what Canadians think of this government's softwood lumber aid package. Quebec's natural resource minister said that it was a joke. The B.C. forest minister said that it was insufficient and inadequate. The paperworkers union said that it was little more than welfare for workers who this government has given up on.

The minister announced that this was simply a work in progress. Well this work has progressed once again into a disaster on this file.

When can we expect the government to come up with a decent aid package so that this forest industry has some chance of survival?