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House of Commons Hansard #148 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was competition.

Topics

Highway InfrastructuresOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the Prime Minister that the same member was there between 1984 and 1993, with zero results. However, that was before he changed political hats.

Might I just remind the Prime Minister that his ministers, the ministers of justice and of immigration, along with the members for Chicoutimi--Le Fjord and Beauharnois--Salaberry, have made formal commitments, which were featured in campaign literature.

What we want to know now is how much cash there is on the table. That is what we want to know.

Highway InfrastructuresOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, yes, the hon. member was previously a Conservative MP. There was also a certain Mr. Bouchard, who was a Conservative MP and then become Premier of Quebec, and he never did a single thing about the highway between Chicoutimi and Quebec City.

That hon. member had the right idea, however; he opted for the Liberals and now the region has some hope again.

National DefenceOral Question Period

February 25th, 2002 / 2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Pallister Canadian Alliance Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister recently insulted those of us who have been calling for a strengthening of investment in defence as “a bunch of guys who are lobbyists who are representing those who sell armaments”.

The Prime Minister's comments are an insult. They are an insult to the majority of Canadians who want us to be able to stand up for ourselves in the world. They are an insult to the men and women of the Canadian forces both past and present.

Commander Mike Jeffery has said that this government is “driving our personnel into the ground”.

Will the minister dismiss this distinguished Canadian's comments as those of just a lobbyist, or is the general right?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the general has pointed out that there are indeed some challenges for the army. The government recognizes this.

The government has ensured that in any of the deployment overseas our men and women have the tools they need to do the job. We have increased the defence budget for the last four years. We have $5 billion more coming in the next five years. We now rank sixth in NATO in terms of defence expenditures.

Most important is what the men and women of the Canadian forces with the support of the government have been able to produce. We have the third largest force on the ground in Afghanistan. We are playing a very meaningful role.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Pallister Canadian Alliance Portage—Lisgar, MB

More government spin, Mr. Speaker.

Here is what Canadian forces people are saying. Major General Ed Fitch has said that the army is on starvation rations. Brigadier General Ivan Fenton has said that the army is very overstretched due to benign neglect. The commander of our army, General Mike Jeffery, said on Friday that the army is living on borrowed time.

We ask a lot of our Canadian troops. When will the government start to show some respect for them? Serving Canadian military officers rarely speak out against the decisions of their political masters. Why are they speaking out now?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately members of the opposition twist and turn and take comments that are made by our dedicated military personnel out of context.

There are challenges. We know there are challenges. That is one of the reasons we want to do a defence review but we are providing the men and women who have gone to Afghanistan and on other international operations with what they need to do the job.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Transport.

Citizens of Atlantic Canada are concerned about the effect of oil spills on our fragile coastal ecosystems. The Minister of Transport has recently expressed concerns in the House about the need for increased fines for polluters.

With reports indicating that oil soaked birds have been washing up on the shores of Nova Scotia over the past weekend, can the minister tell the House what action the government is taking?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows that we are very concerned about protecting our marine environment. In particular, the example of what we saw on the weekend in Nova Scotia is being pursued by my department, Environment Canada and the coast guard.

In that regard, under the auspices of the Canada Shipping Act, just recently the owners of a Philippines based ship were fined $125,000, the highest fine ever for ship source pollution in Canadian waters. This shows that the legislation passed by the House does protect Canadian waters.

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, let us look at some of the largest beneficiaries in the technology partnerships Canada loans: SNC-Lavalin, $8.7 million in loans, $131,000 donated to the Liberal Party; Spar Aerospace, $4.8 million in loans, $134,000 to the Liberal Party; Bombardier, $87 million in loans, $411,000 donated to the Liberal Party. These lucky companies are contributing to the Liberal Party at a higher rate than they are paying back their loans.

How does the industry minister explain the connection between TPC loans and these huge contributions? What active steps is he taking to ensure these loans are repaid?

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the member should know that these are not loans. These are investments made in order to enable these companies to develop technology which turns into jobs and prosperity here in Canada.

Technology partnerships Canada is a program of which we are proud. It is mostly pre-competitive research and development. It shows the way for the future for many Canadian businesses. We will continue to invest in this fashion. It is a proven success.

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, if these are supposed to be investments rather than loans, then I presume we now have an equity position in all these companies. Maybe we have shares in all these companies as the Government of Canada.

The whole loans and grants system in the country is out of control. Nine of the last ten TPC grants went to Liberal ridings. The Liberals shovel money to their corporate buddies who dutifully shovel it back into the coffers of the Liberal Party.

What tangible benefits can the industry minister tell us these TPC loans have produced? How does he explain that only 2% of these billions of dollars of loans have ever been repaid?

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, members should be reminded that the auditor general has looked carefully into the TPC program, has examined the question and has concluded that we have used due diligence with respect to each one of these investments. We make public disclosures through the public accounts of all the money that is invested.

The member is right in his suggestion. Sometimes we do take positions in companies. We are paid royalties. We have warrants that are given sometimes in return for these investments.

The important thing is that Canada, like many other countries, through this program provides money which might not otherwise be available for R and D which enables growth, jobs and prosperity.

Correctional Service CanadaOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Canadian Alliance Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, a spokeswoman for Correctional Service Canada says its new one-half billion dollar condo plan will prepare criminals for the day they are released back into society.

Under the new Liberal plan, hardened violent offenders will enjoy a more comfortable lifestyle inside jail than many law-abiding citizens on fixed incomes face on the outside.

Will the pamper plan not ensure the reality of existence for criminals outside prison pales in comparison to having all their needs met on the inside?

Correctional Service CanadaOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, if my hon. colleague were to take a look inside our prison system and to look at our prisons, he would not think they were any great places to be.

We have to have institutions for women. We have to make sure they pay for the crime. We have to make sure there is rehabilitation in place. We have done that and we will continue to do that.

Correctional Service CanadaOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Canadian Alliance Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, the fact of the matter is that while this government moves ahead with its $500 million plan to ensure all the best creature comforts for criminals, it continues to ignore the voices of victims.

An internal audit of Correctional Service Canada has confirmed that only about a third of victim impact statements follow criminals to their parole hearings. Why is it that the interests of criminals, including all the comforts of home, always take precedence over victims' rights when it comes to Liberals?

Correctional Service CanadaOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as my hon. colleague is well aware and as I have said a number of times in the House, victim impact statements are retained and are read at parole hearings.

The fact of the matter is that what money is being spent by this government and by CSC is spent to make sure that we have proper institutions in place to make sure that women offenders pay the price for their crimes and they are rehabilitated.

Correctional Service CanadaOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Andy Burton Canadian Alliance Skeena, BC

Mr. Speaker, to continue along this theme, the solicitor general continues to allow his bureaucrats to put the comfort of killers ahead of public safety. Correctional Service Canada plans on spending $500 million in taxpayer dollars to expand its cottage style or open concept prisons, fondly known as club fed. How can he justify this to Canadian taxpayers?

Correctional Service CanadaOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the biggest problem with my hon. colleague is the Tories got ahead of him with the question and the fact of the matter is that the answer has not changed. We have offenders in this country. They have to be in prison. They have to pay the price for their crimes. They have to have rehabilitation. We have done that and we will continue to do that.

Correctional Service CanadaOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Andy Burton Canadian Alliance Skeena, BC

Mr. Speaker, that is of little consolation to victims of those criminals.

The commissioner of CSC has ordered a review of the prison system but it will not be complete until this fall.

I ask the solicitor general: Why is his department putting the cart before the horse? Why is he not waiting until that review is complete before committing to huge prison infrastructure expenditures?

Correctional Service CanadaOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, a review of the prison system is a very important thing, but the fact is that this procedure taking place at this moment started a number of years ago. What we have to have is institutions for women who commit crimes in this country. They must pay for their crimes and they must be rehabilitated.

Highway InfrastructureOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, again last week, there was a death in the Lower St. Lawrence following an accident on highway 185, the Trans-Canada, bringing to 90 the number of deaths in the past ten years. These are deaths that a four-lane highway would have prevented.

Since the government of Quebec has already begun investing in this highway, and since it has been the subject of promises by the federal Liberals, what is the Prime Minister waiting for to honour his ministers' and MPs' promises? When is he going to put the money on the table to end this carnage?

Highway InfrastructureOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, our programs in this regard are well known. We are currently negotiating a cost-sharing agreement for the projects approved with the provincial governments, including the government of Quebec.

If the government of Quebec feels that the stretch between Rivière-du-Loup and the New Brunswick border is a priority, I will be very pleased to agree. When I was a member from New Brunswick, I complained that there was no good highway between Quebec and New Brunswick.

Highway InfrastructureOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Lanctôt Bloc Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the Liberal promises about highway 30, an amount of $357 million was announced as official in the member for Beauharnois--Salaberry's advertising material during the election campaign.

The $108 million out of the total budget put on the table by the federal government is far from enough to cover even the bridges necessary to extend highway 30.

When is the federal government going to honour the promises made by the ministers and MPs and put on the table, as promised, the $357 million which was part of a firm commitment to complete highway 30, not just wishful thinking?

Highway InfrastructureOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations

Mr. Speaker, first of all, we have already said that the amounts in the strategic infrastructure fund could be used for highways as well. But with so much interest in highways across the way, I think that perhaps there will soon be a provincial election.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Carol Skelton Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, the federal government's citizens first initiative rates the performance of federal departments from the perspective of people who use the system.

In the year 2000, unemployed Canadians gave Canada employment centres a failing grade. Forty-six out of 100 said they were very unhappy with the service.

Why is the government content with a failing grade in delivering services to the unemployed?