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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

Government ExpendituresOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, business wants lower taxes, lower debt and controlled spending. Right. What has the government done? A $100 billion tax cut, the biggest in Canadian history. What has the government done? A $35 billion debt reduction over the last three years. On spending, what has the government done? We have the lowest spending relative to the size of our economy in my lifetime. What more does the hon. member want?

Child ProtectionOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Paddy Torsney Liberal Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, over the last month the issues relating to child pornography and the protection of children have been on the minds of most Canadians and certainly of all parliamentarians.

The government has made the protection of children one of its top priorities, as the Minister of Justice has reinforced in the House and in the media.

In light of this commitment to our children and their protection, would the Minister of Justice please tell the House why he and the government opposed yesterday's Canadian Alliance supply day motion?

Child ProtectionOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for this very good question, indeed an important question. Indeed, for the government the protection of our children is a top priority, as well as for the members of parliament on this side of the House of course. We have been working on that. As a good example of what we have been doing, Bill C-15A creates more offences.

Of course we could not agree with the timing aspect of the motion yesterday because it is a complex issue. We need to proceed with more consultation. Indeed, we agree with what was said yesterday by the leader of the Canadian Alliance, that we need consultation. We are going to do it.

Health CareOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, British Columbians are reeling today at an unprecedented attack on public health care by provincial Liberals. They are watching massive layoffs and service cuts. They are agonizing over how to care for elderly relatives. They are watching hospitals close, maybe even turn into hotels for wealthy Americans, with not a peep from Canada's health minister. They are watching in vain for some defence from her in favour of Canada's public health care system.

Will the minister who sat silent while Ralph Klein moved our Alberta system to two tier health care now act today? Will she at least signal the Campbell wrecking crew that the federal government will--

Health CareOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Health.

Health CareOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as we are well aware, the provinces and territories are primarily responsible for the delivery of health care in this country. Let me remind the hon. member that in fact it was this government and this Prime Minister which ensured that an additional $21.1 billion was transferred to the provinces and territories so that they could run accessible, high quality health care systems.

Let me reassure the hon. member that in fact we will monitor that which is happening in the province of British Columbia. If it appears that anything it is doing in its restructuring process violates the five principles of the Canada Health Act, we will--

Health CareOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have to say to the Minister of Health that nobody buys her lame excuses any more because the writing is clearly on the wall. I do not know whether she is in denial or she is ignorant about what is going on, but it is clear that the gutting of our public health care system is underway. Privatization is going to come in, with user fees to boot.

I want to ask the health minister again, is she going to hold the provinces accountable or will she continue to give cash to Campbell for closing hospitals and destroying our health care system? Who is going to stand up for this medicare system and where is the Minister of Health on that question?

Health CareOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we have made it absolutely plain that we understand that Canadians want a publicly financed, high quality, accessible health care system. That goal, I believe, is shared by provincial governments and territorial governments in this country, but I have made it absolutely plain that if in restructuring in any province or territory in the country it appears that there is a violation of one of the principles of the Canada Health Act, I will enforce that act against that province.

National DefenceOral Question Period

April 24th, 2002 / 2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister of defence admits that he has a little problem with his bargain basement submarines. One of them leaks and the other has a dent which might make its hull collapse if it goes to maximum depth.

Before Canada spent $750 million on these used submarines, was the logbook of each vessel examined to determine if there had been accidents and will the minister table in the House each of those logbooks?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, all of these matters are being examined at the moment so that we can determine what happened and when it happened, but I can assure the hon. member that these problems will be fixed. They should not be exaggerated. These problems will be fixed. If they relate to the condition in which we received those submarines from the U.K., then we will put in the appropriate claims.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, either the minister does not know or he forgot.

I have a question for the foreign minister. I know the foreign minister takes the international reputation of Canada very seriously and he would be concerned that Alfonso Gagliano is a continuing embarrassment to this country. Mr. Gagliano is now writing letters to Danish newspapers saying that he has never been the subject of any investigation. At best that is a half truth since the auditor general is investigating three of the contracts issued suspiciously under his watch.

Did the foreign minister approve his ambassador's letter?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Gagliano is serving his country as ambassador today as he served in the House honourably for many years on the front benches of this government and was responsible for many of the policies which have given good government to this country and which have provided many benefits for our citizens. I am confident that he will do a wonderful job for us in his post in Copenhagen.

Child ProtectionOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Canadian Alliance Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday was a great day for the Canadien horse but Canadian children were not so fortunate. This Liberal government voted unanimously to give Canada a national horse but voted against two motions to protect our children against sexual abuse.

Why does this Liberal government continue to put the interests of sexual predators, and now horses, above the interests of children?

Child ProtectionOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, that member of parliament should be ashamed for asking such a question in the House. We said yesterday that all they wanted was to score cheap political points with a very serious issue. That is a good example.

The members of parliament on this side of the House will keep making sure that we will protect our children in this country and will keep making sure we work against child pornography.

As we said yesterday, this is a complex issue and we need consultation. As far as I am concerned, the leader of the Canadian Alliance has said the same thing.

Child ProtectionOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Canadian Alliance Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have been talking and consulting for nine years and still nothing has been done. Their repeated promises on the sex offender registry has led to nothing.

Yesterday even the Prime Minister tried to stand up and blow smoke into the eyes of Canadians on this issue. What has happened? Nothing has happened.

Why will the Prime Minister not stop embarrassing himself and Canadians and take action to protect children?

Child ProtectionOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as the Minister of Justice said a minute ago, the people who are putting shame on themselves are the opposition members by using an extremely difficult issue. They distort the situation in order to try to score cheap political points. The reason they have no credibility is that the people know the kind of people they are.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, the people in the beaches area of Sept-Îles can no longer drink their water because the Department of Transport has polluted the underground water table. Yesterday, the minister told the member for Manicouagan that he had got it wrong. But the Department of Transport admitted its responsibility in this affair.

So what is the Minister of Transport waiting for to compensate the town of Sept-Îles and find a lasting solution, as the town is requesting? After all, it is his responsibility.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, as I have already explained, we worked with the city of Sept-Îles to find a solution.

I have been told that there are only two households with this problem. We will continue to look for a solution for all the residents of Sept-Îles.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, having deprived the residents of drinking water, the minister is reimbursing the cost of buying bottled water. The city of Sept-Îles has said that this cannot be considered a permanent solution. The minister's position is quite simply shocking.

Why could the people of Sept-Îles not be treated fairly by this government?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we are paying for bottled water until we find a permanent solution. This is obvious.

Child ProtectionOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Larry Spencer Canadian Alliance Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, with priorities like that thank goodness the Prime Minister is not running again.

Yesterday the government, by voting not once but twice against our attempts to protect children from sexual predators, proved to Canadians that it was more concerned with the protection of pedophiles and pornographers than with the protection of children. This is shameful.

Could the Minister of Justice explain why the government places the protection of pedophiles and pornographers ahead of protecting children?

Child ProtectionOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we essentially voted in order to make sure that when the government moves ahead to modify or add offences to the existing legislation that they will be declared valid by the Supreme Court of Canada if we have to go there.

We do of course need more consultation but we also need to take our time. In other words, we need to move ahead with a thorough consultation with the population and the stakeholders. That was exactly what was said yesterday and that is what we voted for.

Child ProtectionOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Larry Spencer Canadian Alliance Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, moments ago and again just now, before he tried to score his cheap political points, the minister acknowledged that our leader acknowledged the need for consultation in regard to revising Canada's age of consent laws.

The Prime Minister agreed with our leader's assertion. Our amended motion even included this.

If the government agrees with our leader and agrees with the spirit of yesterday's motion, what will the Prime Minister do to get the process moving beyond consultation? We need real action, not just--

Child ProtectionOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. government House leader.

Child ProtectionOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I would advise the hon. member, as he well knows, that yesterday, during the discussions with respect to the motion before the House, we offered an amendment that in fact embodied the words of his leader word for word as expressed yesterday in the National Post , and it was turned down.