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House of Commons Hansard #150 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was wto.

Topics

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Canadian Alliance Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, this caucus stopped fighting a long time ago. That is another thing the government stole from us.

It is not just Canadian businesses and provinces that are worried about Kyoto. It is the government's own figures. Industry Canada's 2001 report shows that to comply with Kyoto could cost up to $75 billion and lead to massive layoffs in the oil, gas, agriculture, electricity and chemical sectors.

Does the Minister of Industry stand by his own department's figures?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as the Prime Minister has made clear, we are looking at all the perspectives in this issue and we will find the answer that is best for Canada.

The narrow view of the opposition looking only at one part of the problem just will not do. We are talking about the future of the planet, what is good for farmers and what is good for all Canadians. We will uncover the true facts and we will make the right decision.

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the past, the Prime Minister tried to portray himself as the little guy from Shawinigan. He proudly told us how he defended justice and was close to the people. Today—

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. We must be able to hear the hon. member for Laurier--Sainte-Marie's question.

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Soon, they are going to get up and say “ and you too, my son ”.

Now that many of those with whom he claimed to be so close are seniors and hoping to receive the guaranteed income supplement which the government denied them, the Prime Minister is abandoning them. His government would rather help billionaires skip out on taxes than look after the country's poorest seniors.

In the name of justice, will the Prime Minister recognize the full responsibility of his government and see to it personally that these people receive the $3.2 billion they—

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The right hon. the Prime Minister.

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Anyway, Mr. Speaker, I thank the leader of the Bloc Québécois for showing clearly that, in fact, we are still looking out for the less fortunate in our society. Seniors and others in need have been a concern of this government for a very long time.

Those who qualify for benefits must receive them, and they will do so in accordance with the legislation passed by Parliament.

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, that being true, he must use the same logic.

When citizens owe the government money, the government goes back many years in collecting the money they owe. But when the shoe is on the other foot, when it is this government which owes money, and to the least fortunate members of society to boot, there is an 11-month cut-off.

Is the Prime Minister going to hand over all the money he owes, all the money of which the least fortunate members of society are being deprived, this $3.2 billion, and make it retroactive, as he did with society's richest members? That is the question.

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member will know that as part of the guaranteed income supplement, there has always been a provision for retroactivity. The supplement is determined and based on annual income.

I would also note that this particular retroactive principle is the same as that which is used in the Quebec family allowance.

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Marcel Gagnon Bloc Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, during my recent tour of Quebec, I met hundreds of elderly people who are alone, poor and needy, and for whom the guaranteed income supplement is really not a luxury, but a necessity.

I am asking the Minister of Human Resources Development to give up her technical explanations and to answer a simple question: Do these people not deserve our compassion? The Bloc Québécois wants to help them. Does the minister want to help them too?

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, they deserve our support. That is why I am very glad to tell the House of the things we have done to ensure that Canadians have the information they need to participate in this program.

We sent out recently 4.5 million information inserts in old age security and tax forms. We have touched 250,000 people by providing them with information about the program. We have posters distributed in nursing homes, seniors organizations and with anti-poverty groups.

The hon. member himself congratulated me yesterday for simplifying the forms and making sure that Canadians have the information they need to participate in the program.

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Marcel Gagnon Bloc Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister, who is a man of my age, and whose riding is adjacent to mine, knows the sacrifices that these elderly people have made. Now, these seniors are trusting that we will help them.

Can the Prime Minister accept that these elderly, who are among society's poorest and who were treated unjustly, are not receiving their due? How can he accept to refuse to give them full retroactivity?

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, working together to make sure that all of our constituents have the information they need to participate in the guaranteed income supplement is very important to us all.

The hon. member for Frontenac--Mégantic in his S. O. 31 talked about things that he is specifically doing in his riding to touch his constituents. I would hope the hon. member would take note of that and do the same.

Minister of National DefenceOral Question Period

February 27th, 2002 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, there is no point in beating a dead horse or beating around the bush. Canadians have lost confidence in the defence minister. Parliamentarians have lost confidence in the defence minister. Worse still, Canada's military has lost confidence in the defence minister from the front lines in Afghanistan to the most senior level of defence staff.

Why does the defence minister not put an end to this mess, do the right thing and resign his cabinet position today?

Minister of National DefenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the cabinet, the Liberal Party and I have confidence in the abilities and the dedication of the Minister of National Defence.

Minister of National DefenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, for Canadians it is no longer a question of whether the defence minister lied or whether he is incompetent. It has gone way beyond that.

It is clear that the defence minister is not up to the task. He cannot go on cowering in the cabinet corner while the lives of military men and women are at risk from the front lines in Afghanistan all the way up to the senior defence level.

For the sake of their safety and Canada's honour, will the defence minister resign today?

Minister of National DefenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the answer is no. At the committee the member representing the NDP said clearly that he could not agree with the proposition that the Minister of Finance lied to the House of Commons.

Minister of National DefenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Minister of National DefenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The right hon. member for Calgary Centre.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Now there is a Freudian slip, Mr. Speaker.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

We would not want any more Freudian slips. We will hear a question of privilege after question period. We do not have them during question period.

The right hon. member for Calgary Centre.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of National Defence.

Briefing notes for the minister revealed that the government was considering an American plan to put weapons into space. The memo also suggested to the minister that if he was asked, that he should keep the information secret, which should be easy for the minister.

Could the minister tell the House if Canada is having any discussions about space weapons with the United States, and do these discussions include missile defence systems?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, Canada is opposed to the weaponization of space. Having said that, we do agree with surveillance programs, surveillance from space of earth, surveillance of space. We have been into those kinds of programs for many years and we have had discussions with respect to that.

With respect to ballistic missile defence, it has been said often that we have not been officially asked by the United States. We are following the progress of this matter. No decision has been made by that country and no decision has been made by this country.