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House of Commons Hansard #143 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was compensation.

Topics

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I find it absolutely astonishing that a representative who was elected in the province of Quebec would come here and tell us that somehow his province would be penalized if the federal government does not force measures on people without proper consultation with the provinces, including the province of Quebec. It is an astonishing position for such a member to put forward in the House.

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Cardin Bloc Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, we all know about the government's bogus consultations.

The sovereign countries of the European Union have come to an agreement on a fair distribution of the Kyoto objective and on the need to ratify the Kyoto protocol, yet the Canadian provinces, with the exception of Quebec, are incapable of reaching a reasonable agreement with the federal government.

How does the minister explain the fact that it is easier for sovereign countries to agree on protecting the environment than it is for the federal government and the nine provinces in the rest of Canada?

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I guess I could explain that in our constitution there are certain rights that provinces have. The federal government should not override them. It should enter into consultations where there is the opportunity for joint action.

To be asked by a member from the province of Quebec to ignore the rights of provinces, to ignore their constitutional responsibilities and to proceed willy-nilly, is I think absurd.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

February 18th, 2002 / 2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Pallister Canadian Alliance Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, Iraq sponsors terrorist groups. It builds weapons of mass destruction and it defies United Nations resolutions.

Yesterday the Prime Minister said that he would not support military action against Iraq, but in 1998 the Prime Minister said that Saddam Hussein would not honour diplomatic solutions so long as they were not accompanied by a threat of intervention.

The Prime Minister was right then but he is wrong now. Why is the government changing its position on Iraq?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, the government has always clearly indicated that it is against the weapons of mass destruction being accumulated by Iraq.

We have taken action through the United Nations, supported sanctions and supported measures against Iraq. We will continue to examine all means necessary to stop Iraq from acquiring weapons of mass destruction which can threaten stability and peace in the world.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Pallister Canadian Alliance Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to hear the minister's comments. In the past the Prime Minister has supported military action against Iraq as well. He said that if we did not intervene our inaction would encourage Hussein to commit other atrocities and prolong his reign of terror.

On the weekend the Prime Minister reversed his position. Terrorism is not just in Afghanistan. It thrives in Iraq as well. What will it take for the government to realize that there will no peace as long as Saddam Hussein is in power and that the longer he is allowed to stay the more dangerous he will become?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I have said to the House, the government has been very firm in its actions in respect of Iraq. We are not fooled by any suggestions of Saddam Hussein. We continue to work strongly throughout the United Nations framework to ensure that sanctions will be applied and to ensure that inspections will take place.

We will continue in the future to examine all options necessary to ensure that they do not acquire weapons of mass destruction. The Prime Minister has made that clear.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs says that tax imbalance is a myth, but while the federal government is going into individual taxpayer's pockets for close to 60% of its tax revenue, the figure for the Quebec government is only 40%.

Yet it is the government of Quebec which has responsibility for the delivery of direct and major services to its citizens, such as health and education.

Does the Minister of Finance share his colleague's point of view, and deny that his government gets 60% of its tax money from the pockets of Quebec taxpayers, while not responsible for either health or education, which are major areas of intervention?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the figures the hon. member has quoted predate the tax abatement. Taking the abatement into consideration, Quebec collects more in taxes than the Canadian government.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, instead of taking his responsibilities seriously, the Minister of Finance prefers to work on his leadership aspirations, to the detriment of a real, serious debate on a question as fundamental as this.

Does the minister not agree that in 1977-78, had the cash transfers been rightly replaced with tax points, Quebec would have in its coffers at the present time $4.5 billion more to put to health and education? If tax points are not a paying proposition, one wonders what is.

Could the minister give the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs a taxation 101 course so that he will quit talking nonsense?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs is not the one who needs a course, it is the Bloc critic.

In 1999, Quebec's total revenues were $16 billion more than the Canadian government's tax receipts from Quebec.

HealthOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Canadian Alliance Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, last October the former health minister promised that within three months there would be a network of 1,500 trainers who would instruct personnel at a local level to be ready to respond to bioterrorist attacks.

We have learned that the first training session would begin this month in Ottawa. The department has had trouble finding even a dozen doctors for the program. How many emergency personnel are currently being trained across Canada?

HealthOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I am unable this afternoon to give the hon. member the exact number, but let me reassure everyone in the House and all Canadians that the Department of Health working in partnership with other federal, provincial and territorial departments take emergency preparedness very seriously.

We are working in partnership to ensure that we have the plans in place to protect Canadians against all threats.

HealthOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Canadian Alliance Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, on October 18 the then minister of health bragged because he had a plan. The training of 1,500 experts was to begin in three months and the uptake, in his words, would be very significant.

It appears that the present minister has been left out on a limb by her predecessor. What assurance do Canadians have that the country is ready to respond to a bioterrorist attack?

HealthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I certainly thank the hon. member for his concern about my position, but let me reassure him that I am not out on any limb.

As I said earlier, we take emergency preparedness very seriously. I cannot give the hon. member the exact numbers today but I would happy to do so in response to his question.

Canadians should be reassured that we in the federal government are working with our provincial and territorial colleagues to meet any risk to the health and safety of Canadians.

Official LanguagesOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour—Petitcodiac, NB

Mr. Speaker, last Friday, the President of the Privy Council was at the Université de Moncton to announce the creation of the National Research Institute on Linguistic Minorities, thanks to a $10 million investment by the Government of Canada.

Will the minister tell us how this will benefit official language communities in Canada?

Official LanguagesOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, just as the Government of Canada helped the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism launch many avenues of research in the 1960s, which culminated in the fundamental principles contained in the Official Languages Act and a good part of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, as we enter the 21st century, we are helping to fund a research centre at the Université de Moncton which will enable us to promote Canada's linguistic duality and the development of our official language communities in the best possible conditions.

TransportOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—St. Clair, ON

Mr. Speaker, approximately two weeks ago the Minister of Finance, speaking to a municipal conference, pledged a new deal in the relationship between the federal government and the financing it provides to municipalities.

This past weekend the Minister of Transport appears to be stuck in the old deal among the provinces, the federal government and the city of Toronto with regard to Toronto transit.

Will the Minister of Transport get in line with the Minister of Finance, go with the new deal, put some dollars on the table and get that project going?

TransportOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, this is now the third time the hon. member for Windsor--St. Clair has become an apologist for the Mike Harris government and the fact that the Harris Tories have taken away transit funding for three or four years.

They have decided under great pressure to come back with 30 cent dollars. The federal government will not make up for that shortfall. The Harris Tories have to fund transit to its fullest before we do anything to help.

HealthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, this weekend the health minister said she would appreciate if the provinces waited on the Romanow commission before making major changes to health care.

What is more fundamental than Alberta introducing a new profit driven tier of hospitals, hospitals that will not save the public money but will provide a cash cow for investors? Canadians would appreciate it if the minister stopped the wishful thinking and did something to keep medicare intact. What will the minister do to stop private hospitals?

HealthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member is well aware, the provinces, territorial leaders and the Prime Minister last September entered into an accord in which they committed themselves to health renewal.

That health renewal is taking place across the country. That is a renewal process that we in the federal government support. We support it because all premiers and all territorial leaders have reiterated their commitment to the five principles of the Canada Health Act in the public financed health care system.

Canadian CurrencyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Scott Brison Progressive Conservative Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, it has come to my attention that Spexel, the Quebec company that manufactures the paper for our Canadian dollar, is in jeopardy of losing that business to a European firm.

With more than 120 Canadian jobs at stake, why is the Department of Finance in discussions with the Bank of Canada that could lead to the Canadian dollar being printed on foreign paper?

Canadian CurrencyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as is its responsibility the Bank of Canada is always seeking bills which are the least susceptible to counterfeiting. It is looking at a wide range of sources. I can assure the hon. member that the currency will be printed in Canada.

Canadian CurrencyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Scott Brison Progressive Conservative Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, under this finance minister the Canadian dollar has lost over 20% of its value. Now in a further attack on Canadian economic sovereignty his department is contemplating making the Canadian dollar the only currency of any G-7 country that is not produced within that country.

Why has the minister allowed these discussions to proceed? Why would we even contemplate this sort of lunacy of the Canadian dollar being printed on foreign paper? This is Canada, for goodness' sakes, a country of trees.

Canadian CurrencyOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am glad the hon. member noticed. As I have said, the Bank of Canada is obviously seeking different technologies around the world. Those technologies may be sourced abroad but the fact is that our currency will be printed in Canada.