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House of Commons Hansard #156 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was americans.

Topics

ZimbabweOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Canadian Alliance Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, I guess it is difficult for the government to tell that dictator to step down, especially when it is coming from one dinosaur to another.

This is not the first time the Canadian government has been soft on Mugabe. The member for Calgary Centre, as prime minister, urged the Commonwealth to reject the democratic elections of 1979 because Mugabe's Marxist guerilla group did not participate. Then in 1988, as foreign affairs minister, he offered Mugabe military aid.

Will the Liberal government reject the failed appeasement of the past and tell that Mugabe his time over and he must step down?

ZimbabweOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the result of the election is very much an issue that needs to be considered by the Commonwealth in terms of the response that it needs to take.

However, in the meantime look at the facts. Canada through CIDA changed its aid programs with Zimbabwe many months ago. We took a clear position leading up to the election, that the election needed to be free and fair.

The suggestions that we somehow tell governments who should lead them is simply ridiculous and suggests an immaturity on the part--

ZimbabweOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Drummond.

Airport SecurityOral Question Period

March 14th, 2002 / 2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance plans to impose a tax on air travel starting April 1, to meet the costs of airport security.

Imposition of such a tax will be prejudicial to the airline industry, tourism and economic development in general.

Under the circumstances, is the Minister of Finance going to come to his senses, abolish the tax on air travel, and finance the cost of security measures from the government's consolidated fund?

Airport SecurityOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member must realize that the cost of all the measures for national security comes to about $7.5 billion.

Of that amount, over $5 billion has been assumed by the taxpayer. The users have been asked to pay the other $2 billion, because the users are the ones who stand to benefit the most.

Airport SecurityOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister seems not to understand the irreparable harm that this tax is going to have on the regions.

Does he agree with this dubious approach, which means the government will be making a profit at the expense of regional development?

Airport SecurityOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the hon. member that we will be very open, very transparent, on the costs and their relationship to the charge, and that we are going to revisit, review, the entire situation in the fall, once we have an exact idea of its effects.

TradeOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rick Casson Canadian Alliance Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, the government has a horrible record when it comes to protecting Canada's trade interests. Just ask potato farmers, softwood lumber workers or cattle producers.

In the last year the Minister for International Trade refused to enforce Canada's tariff rate quotas allowing imports of 40,000 tonnes of beef over and above the agreed upon limit. These imports deny Canadian producers domestic markets and harm our trade relationship with the United States. Some in the U.S. are accusing Canada of allowing third party access through the back door and are calling for increased border restrictions.

Why does the minister of trade continue to grant harmful supplementary import permits and when will he stop?

TradeOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I am very surprised to hear the Alliance today, this very day in this very week, complain about Canada's international trade policies. Just last week we got an exemption for steel, an exemption that will benefit thousands of workers. Yesterday we received the endorsement of the whole country, all 10 Canadian provinces, supporting the government.

We had a stakeholders meeting yesterday and 95% of the industry in Canada supported our stand on softwood lumber.

TradeOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rick Casson Canadian Alliance Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, I do not think the minister should be bragging until there is a softwood deal in place.

The government is also harming our cattle producers through its inaction. In a previous answer in the House, the minister of agriculture stated that the Canadian cattlemen had grave concerns about expanding the free flow of cattle between Canada and the U.S. He is grossly mistaken. Our cattle producers understand that if we fail to reduce Canadian border restrictions, our exports to the U.S. will be restricted.

The government is choosing inaction again and this will lead to another trade crisis. Why does the minister of agriculture continue to refuse to implement the terminal feedlot protocol?

TradeOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows full well that the research is being done on that in co-operation with the industry and the United States. Our primary concern has been and will continue to be the consistent maintenance of the health of the Canadian livestock herd.

We have shown in the past that when we can ensure regional recognition of health standards, with certification from the United States, we move ahead, but we will not move ahead until we have that assurance.

Youth JusticeOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the issue of bullying and teen violence is a serious one. Could the Minister of Justice tell the house how the government and the new Youth Criminal Justice Act will deal with youth who commit serious violent crimes against individuals, as in the case of Jonathan Wamback?

Youth JusticeOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I speak for all Canadians when I say that we deplore the violence that Jonathan Wamback suffered. I admire the courage and determination that Jonathan and his family have shown in dealing with this tragedy.

Even though we know that over the past few years violent youth crime has declined, we all know that we have to keep working on it. The government has invested in crime prevention and not long ago we enacted a new legal system regarding the youth justice system. That will improve the situation. As well, we have increased the participation of families, victims and community members.

Airline SafetyOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

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

Mr. Speaker, in December the government told the Canadian people it would establish an air marshals program, but the Air Line Pilots Association and CUPE, which represents the majority of cabin crew, said that the government had not given any procedural guidelines on working with air marshals to Canadian flight crews or flight attendants.

This means that either the government is being incompetent and irresponsible in setting up the program, or the government has not hired air marshals beyond the Toronto-Washington, D.C. route. Which is it?

Airline SafetyOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, as announced in the budget we will have armed police, RCMP, on flights. This has been in effect on flights to Reagan National Airport for some period of time. It is also the case on other selected domestic and international flights as the risk warrants.

However we do not discuss operational details that depend upon security in the House of Commons. These are matters that the RCMP will deal with at the appropriate time.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, earlier, the Minister of Finance told us that he was fully prepared to put the issue of fiscal imbalance on the agenda of the next federal-provincial meeting of finance ministers, provided he is asked to do so.

I have here a copy of a letter dated March 8, signed by Pauline Marois, the Quebec Minister of Finance, formally asking him to put this topic on the agenda.

Will the minister confirm that this topic will be on the agenda, since it has been requested, as suggested earlier?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I already answered the question. If my provincial counterparts wish to discuss any topic, I am very open to discussing their priorities.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant McNally Canadian Alliance Dewdney—Alouette, BC

Mr. Speaker, there is a new Liberal tax in town. The government is imposing a new tax on blank CDs, memory cards and MP3 players.

This new tax means a box of blank CDs will cost nearly twice as much. When a person gets to the cash register to pay for a $600 MP3 player, the government will reach into his or her other pocket and rip away another $400 with this new tax. How could the heritage minister and her government possibly defend this Sheila stealth tax?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, unlike the Conservative Party that claims to support intellectual property rights and copyright we actually support copyright.

HealthOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister is right today to pooh-pooh the Alliance idea of simply transferring tax points for health care. What he failed to mention is that all provinces are unanimous in terms of wanting cash transfer increases, or at least transitional funding before Romanow reports.

It is particularly important today given the report by Statistics Canada yesterday showing that one out of eight Canadians report problems accessing health care compared to before the Liberal cuts when it was one out of twenty-four having problems.

Will the minister tell us what he will do today, not what he did yesterday, and will he help stop this appalling slide in medicare?

HealthOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, if anyone would like to take a look at the agreement that was signed a year ago for $21 billion, they will see that year after year those amounts in the base year are increasing: over $2 billion this year, over $3 billion the following year and over $4 billion by the end.

Year after year the Canadian government is increasing the transfers to the provinces for health care. In a great number of the provinces the only increases that they are putting into health care are coming from the Canadian government.

Steel IndustryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, reference was made to this earlier. The United States will soon impose customs tariffs of some 8% to 30% on imports of certain steel products into their market.

Following this announcement, the Minister for International Trade stated that Canada could follow the same path as the United States by imposing tariff barriers on steel imports if foreign producers used its territory to gain for their products indirect access to the U.S. market.

Now that the time has come to act, what does the Minister for International Trade intend to do, in practical terms, to prevent his fears from coming to pass?

Steel IndustryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I believe that, first and foremost, we must rejoice in the fact that Canada has been exempted from the U.S. measures regarding steel. This is excellent news, of course, for the whole industry in Canada.

Within the next week or perhaps ten days, we shall meet with our partners in industry, with the steelworkers' union representatives, to ensure that Canada is not used as a dumping ground for the rest of the world.

I can assure the hon. member that, at this time, we are monitoring imports very closely and that we will take action, in co-operation with the industry and other partners as soon as possible.

Airport SecurityOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

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

Mr. Speaker, Canadians start getting ripped off with the new $24 air tax on April 1. The new airport authority, the security authority, does not get set up until November or December of this year. There is a one year backlog with bomb detection equipment. Air marshals have not been hired. Procedures have not been given to the unions and flight crews and there has been no impact assessment on the tax.

My question is for the minister. Why should Canadians pay this huge tax grab when they will not receive the services for the tax? Why is the government ripping off consumers and destroying the air industry?

Airport SecurityOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, once again the hon. member is wrong. Since September 11 there have been more stringent security measures, including the implementation of explosive detection equipment. The government has already announced and is expending money for the security of Canadians. The particular charge will cover that.

If the hon. member wants us to formally announce a board of directors for the new agency, he would know that we cannot do that before parliament has pronounced upon it. We respect parliament. The bill is in another place. He should know what democracy is all about.