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House of Commons Hansard #175 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was wto.

Topics

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Canadian Alliance Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, if the government had not waited four years to buy these things, they never would have been mothballed. It is a complete double standard on the part of the government. It is made in Canada luxury jets for the cabinet and second-hand subs for our military. Why is that?

Canada is supposedly a modern G-8 country. We have the longest coastline in the world and we have a proud naval history. How is it that countries like Australia, Sweden and the Netherlands all build their own subs but Canada does not?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, it is interesting that the hon. member mentions Australia, which did decide to build its own class of submarine but it took 15 years to get it into service.

MicrobreweriesOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in order to help small businesses that create jobs, France, Belgium, Germany, England and the United States all impose a lower excise tax rate on beer produced by their microbreweries than on bottled beer produced in large quantities by major beer breweries.

How does the Prime Minister explain that, contrary to their foreign competitors, Quebec and Canadian microbreweries do not enjoy a preferential rate to help them on a domestic market that is dominated by large breweries?

MicrobreweriesOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, the bill that is currently before the committee has nothing to do with this issue.

However, the Minister of Finance is continuing his discussions with microbreweries, and we will soon have an answer.

MicrobreweriesOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we got the answer yesterday. The excise tax review under Bill C-47 includes wine, spirits and tobacco, but not beer. Indeed, the government has decided that Quebec and Canadian brewers, large and small, will continue to pay an excise tax of 28 cents on each litre of beer.

Could the Prime Minister explain to us the twisted logic whereby beer is the only product that is excluded from the excise tax review?

MicrobreweriesOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, I can only repeat what I just said.

We are having in-depth discussions with the industry. We will announce the outcome of these discussions as soon as the government is ready.

MicrobreweriesOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, since 1997, 38 of the 86 microbreweries in Quebec and Canada have disappeared. The government's taxation policies are in part responsible for this situation, because domestic microbreweries have to pay 28 cents a litre in excise tax, while their American and European competitors pay only 9 cents.

How can the government use its fiscal policy to subject the microbreweries of Quebec and Canada to such prejudicial treatment?

MicrobreweriesOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, I do not know why the Bloc Quebecois has asked the same question three times now. All I can do is keep on giving the same answer.

We are holding discussions with the industry, and the government will do what the government will do.

MicrobreweriesOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, what interests is the government pursuing by maintaining fiscal policies that are causing microbreweries to close down one after the other and putting the survivors in a perilous situation?

Are we to consider the present fiscal policies a form of collusion between the government and the major breweries in order to enable them to maintain their dominant market position in Canada?

MicrobreweriesOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Quebecois' last statement is utterly ridiculous, and it is not necessary to answer the same question four times.

Middle EastOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, last Friday the UN security council voted to send a fact finding mission to investigate the horrors of what happened in Jenin. The Sharon government initially pledged to co-operate with the mission but yesterday did an about-face.

Egypt, the U.K. and even the U.S. have condemned Sharon's foot dragging. What action has the Canadian government taken to press the Israeli government to allow the UN peace mission to proceed?

Middle EastOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Annan is pressing the sending of his mission. We support Mr. Annan and the United Nations in this. I understand negotiations are going on today in New York between the Israeli government and the United Nations.

We pressed the Israeli government to accept a fact finding mission. I am confident that Mr. Annan will work out with the Israeli authorities the right composition of the mission so that the world will know what has taken place in Jenin.

Middle EastOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question was not what Kofi Annan has done. It was what has the government done. Canada's whisper is so faint, so wimpy in the world today that I cannot even hear it over here, let alone Sharon getting the message.

Whatever happened to Canada, the proactive promoter of peace? Whatever happened to Canada, the confident internationalist? When did the government decide to just sit it out?

Middle EastOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I was confused about whispers. I was not too sure what member they were coming from, but I take it they were coming from the leader of the party who is representing her party on the Middle East.

I want to assure her that the government does speak in more than whispers. We speak forcefully on this issue and we continue to pursue, in all cases, those measures which will lead to a peaceful conclusion and the end of this conflict.

National DefenceOral Question Period

April 24th, 2002 / 2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of National Defence. Yesterday it was stated and reported that one of the British submarines bought by the government had a dent in the hull. One military official stated that it was just by chance that they discovered this dent.

The minister today has said that these submarines were inspected before he paid $700 million for them. Will he table in the House that full report on that inspection on these submarines?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we will certainly table whatever information we can. The matter of the dent is being looked into. If it is something we inherited when the submarine was brought over from the U.K., then indeed a claim will be submitted and we will expect full reimbursement for any of the damage.

Let us bear in mind that these submarines are still a quarter of the price of what it costs to build new ones. They were only used one or two years. The U.K. has a solid reputation for excellent construction of its ships and submarines. I think we will get these repaired and will get the submarines into service.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, they might have cost a quarter of the price, but they cannot be used. They do not even float. Two of the four subs have been delivered thus far. One leaks and the other has a dent. The government has spent $472 million upgrading these subs, yet none of them are expected to be operational until at least the year 2004.

How much more money does the Minister of National Defence expect to pay before all those subs are operational? What arrangement has been made with the British regarding the cost of these repairs? Will we get the money back that it is costing us?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we are having some problems getting the submarines operational. There is no doubt about that. However, if any of these expenses relate back to the British guarantee to put them in operable condition, then of course we will make appropriate claims.

FundraisingOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian Alliance Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, today we learned that other questions have been raised about the Minister of Canadian Heritage and her fundraising. It is very similar to the Minister of Finance's problems.

Will the Prime Minister promise today to set guidelines for ministerial fundraising and to make them public immediately?

FundraisingOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have answered this question several times. I said that we would have public guidelines, we hope, before the end of May.

FundraisingOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian Alliance Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the heritage minister in this campaign has doled out big taxpayer bucks to an organizer in Toronto. Now we find out that he is organizing her phantom leadership contest.

My question is straightforward. Will these guidelines ban the sort of practice that looks like a conflict of interest to every single Canadian? Yes or no.

FundraisingOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is all right to make accusations but he collected money a few weeks ago for his own campaign. He has not revealed all the people and the amount of money he received. That is the case of many on the other side.

I said we will have guidelines, but in this case it was for a voluntary organization. That person is a volunteer who has no personal interest in the contribution that is important for this group in Toronto.

FundraisingOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

I ask hon. members to have pity on the Speaker. I have to hear what hon. members say. When everyone is carrying on conversations across the floor while someone is speaking, I cannot hear, in spite of speakers behind me that blast the sound into my ears.

I need the co-operation of all hon. members.

MicrobreweriesOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, the powerful Standing Committee on Finance, chaired by the member for London West, has rejected the opposition amendments concerning microbreweries. We now know that this member is in a conflict of interest situation because her husband is one of the seven directors of the John Labatt Company.

How can the Prime Minister and the government allow the member for London West to stay on as chair, accept the biased recommendations of the Standing Committee on Finance, and stand by and watch while the microbrewery industry, which has already lost 38 of the 86 companies working in this sector, dies?

MicrobreweriesOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, this is a scurrilous personal attack against the chairman of the finance committee who is a distinguished lawyer, a longstanding member of the House and an experienced parliamentarian as a committee chair and as a parliamentary secretary. She was prudent enough in this matter to seek legal advice from the law officers of the House in advance of the committee hearing and they have ruled conclusively there is no conflict of interest.