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House of Commons Hansard #47 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agency.

Topics

IraqOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalMinister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member and his colleagues all know that we are using an approach that has been there for years. We have used it each time. About once a week, there are opposition days to allow parliamentarians to debate any issue.

The hon. member knows full well that what he is sayaing today is not quite accurate.

National SecurityOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

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

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals imposed a punitive $24 tax on air travellers last year to finance air security. On the other hand, no user fee has been imposed on shipping companies for port security. That means air travellers get taxed while shipping companies, like Canada Steamship Lines owned by the former finance minister who imposed the taxing imbalance, get security without a tax bite.

Why should Canadians tolerate this clear example of a taxing imbalance for security needs?

National SecurityOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member will know that there are a variety of charges that apply in the shipping industry. In the case of the air transportation security charge, the member also knows that we have released a consultation document. I hope that with some changes that are coming we will be able to see a reduction in that charge.

National SecurityOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

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

Mr. Speaker, there are no specific charges for port security and the government cut the port security.

In the former finance minister's last budget he played shell games with taxpayers' money and selectively taxed one industry but not another.

Canadians deserve secure borders, secure ports and secure airports without a tax increase.

I ask the finance minister, will he end the unfair taxing of one industry and not another, and put Canadian security interests first and the corporate interests of the former finance minister last?

National SecurityOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister has answered the question with respect to the user charge on the airlines.

What the hon. member fails to inform the House of and consistently ignores are the security improvements that the government has put in place since September 11, 2001, not just in aviation, but look at the announcement we made last week with the ports.

The member should be focusing on that and reassuring Canadians and not alarming them.

HealthOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government is preparing to put back into the health sector a portion of the money cut since 1994. Unfortunately, the Prime Minister wants to do so with strings attached, and this is unacceptable to the provincial governments, which have responsibility for health care.

Despite the formal commitment made by Bernard Landry that all moneys paid out by Ottawa will go directly to patient care, how can the Prime Minister maintain that there will be conditions, when his government is not the one with the expertise in health, the provincial governments are?

HealthOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted that this time he is not going to put the money in the Toronto Dominion Bank in Toronto. If he indeed wants to use it strictly for health, I am thrilled. I trust that he will have no objection to doing the same as the other provinces and the federal government, namely being accountable to the public for all expenditures, as is normal procedure in a democracy.

HealthOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, does the Prime Minister realize that his government administers five hospitals, four for aboriginal people and one for veterans? The federal government lacks expertise in health care.

How dare it dictate procedures and priorities to provincial governments, which are responsible for health care, when its true expertise is limited to five hospitals? Once and for all, ought it not to be wise enough to leave it up to the provincial governments to look after these responsibilities?

HealthOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions among the ministers of health, and I believe a fairly clear agreement exists between all governments, the federal government included, on the priorities.

We want to be sure that the moneys which will be made available in the budget and which we want to see allocated to health care will focus on these priorities. We also want to see each level of government clearly reporting to the public on what it is doing with the taxpayers' money.

Goods and Services TaxOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Canadian Alliance Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, shortly before the House recessed in December, the Minister of National Revenue indicated that $25.4 million had been lost due to GST fraud and not the $1 billion that has been widely reported.

She was able to get away with clouding this issue because her department no longer reports GST input tax fraud in the public accounts.

Would the minister explain who made the decision to stop reporting these numbers? Was it the CCRA, Treasury Board or the former finance minister?

Goods and Services TaxOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, last year some $28 billion was collected from GST and over the past six years, as I reported, there have been accounted some $25.4 million.

My agency is forthcoming at public accounts. We are happy to report it in any way that the public accounts committee would like because we believe in openness and transparency and are happy to provide all of that information as always.

Goods and Services TaxOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Canadian Alliance Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister does not seem to understand that she has a responsibility to Parliament. The minister has a duty to report lost revenues to the House.

There is a huge difference between $25 million and $1 billion. Just ask the justice minister. The revenue minister should clear up the difference. There are strong possibilities that this GST fraud may be connected with organized crime.

Would the minister tell the House why she did not report this problem in November when the issue first came up?

Goods and Services TaxOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, while our enforcement officers are extremely good at what they do, it often takes more than one year to complete cases before the courts. There are a number of cases before the courts at the present time.

As I have said and I will say once again, we are very pleased to report to public accounts in any format which would conform to its requirements the total of GST fraud as it has been determined by the courts in any given year.

Ethanol IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Jerry Pickard Liberal Chatham-Kent—Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, the benefits of the ethanol industry in this country are clear. Ethanol can eliminate over 30 megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. It will generate over $1.5 billion in new investments. It will create new markets for 100 million bushels of wheat. It will generate 2,000 new jobs.

This year alone the United States has built one ethanol plant per month, while in Canada only one plant has been built in 10 years.

Would the finance minister make a one time commitment of $400 million over the next eight years to kickstart this industry in Canada?

Ethanol IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the member has been a champion of the ethanol industry since he arrived here. It is no coincidence that his riding is the home of Canada's largest producer of ethanol, Commercial Alcohols.

As we prepare for the upcoming budget, the member will know that we have put a lot of our emphasis on alternative energy sources over the last several years. I will be working very closely with my colleagues in order to ensure that we continue to find alternative energy sources to help us achieve our Kyoto target.

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, Roy Romanow was crystal clear and Canadians have been crystal clear that profit must be kept out of health care. In the draft accord the Prime Minister presented to the premiers, there is no mention of this fundamental issue.

Does it not strike the Prime Minister as problematic that what he has said to the premiers could very well have come from the official opposition? The Alliance wants private hospitals. The Liberals just do not bother to stop them. What is the difference? Will he put a real Romanow offer on the table?

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, let me underscore for the hon. member that Canadians have been crystal clear. What they want is a publicly financed system.

This government has been crystal clear. What we want to do is work with the provinces and the territories to ensure that the publicly financed system is sustained into the future and continues to provide accessible high quality care to all Canadians.

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, let me ask the Prime Minister who is clearly interested in his legacy.

Unless he starts to listen to those commissions, the National Forum on Health Care, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, the Royal Commission on the Future of Health Care, he will leave a legacy of ignoring the experts he sought out for advice and the advice of Canadians.

Will he start to listen to those royal commissions, change his position to the premiers, and put forward a Romanow offer that keeps the profit out of health care?

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, let me reiterate for the hon. member that all those reports and task forces she referred to talked about a commitment to publicly financed health care. What Canadians have talked to us about, and what they have talked to Mr. Romanow and Senator Kirby and others about is a publicly financed health care system.

I suggest the hon. member should look at our proposed draft accord. She will see there are measures that will ensure a publicly financed health care system for all Canadians well into the future.

IraqOral Questions

January 28th, 2003 / 2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Progressive Conservative Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, incredibly a minute ago the Minister of National Defence said who knows what the rules of engagement in the conflict will be. If the Minister of National Defence does not know the rules for his own forces, who does?

IraqOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, my goodness, talk about out of context. I would have thought the hon. member would remember I said that for a hypothetical Canadian contribution to a hypothetical war, it would be very difficult to know in that doubly hypothetical situation what the rules of engagement would be.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, U.S. forces have ID paint on their vehicles that shows up in the thermal imaging screen of its weapons system to mark them as allies. In 1991 the British went into combat without such markings and suffered casualties as a consequence. Our Coyotes do not have this marking. Canadians are therefore at risk of being victims of friendly fire once again.

What steps has the Minister of National Defence taken to obtain the necessary marking system to avoid any more tragic losses for our military?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, it has been suggested that if our soldiers were to wear the dress of the hon. member over there they would be very well identified.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham, ON

More seriously, Mr. Speaker, I know that our Coyote vehicle is a top of the flight addition to our military. I will look into the answer to the hon. member's question with great seriousness.