This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #143 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was program.

Topics

Aboriginal AffairsStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Dick Proctor NDP Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, for 25 years the early childhood intervention program has provided services to families of children from birth to school age who were developmentally delayed or a risk for delay.

Until now, families residing within first nation communities have had equal opportunity to access these services, either through provincial funding off reserve or federal funding on reserve.

Incredibly, as of next March, the on reserve access through the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs will be cut off. Why? Because federal bureaucrats have erroneously concluded that these services duplicate the aboriginal head start programs. They certainly do not, as the professionals who work in this specialized area have attested.

Hundreds of on reserve families in Saskatchewan alone will be negatively impacted as a result of this decision. New Democrats are pleading with Health Canada and the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development to relook at this program and the clientele it serves.

It would be readily apparent to them that there is no duplication and that the continuation of these programs is both urgent and imperative.

Small Business WeekStatements By Members

October 24th, 2003 / 11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to rise today to recognize the 2003 small business week, which runs from October 19 to 25. This year's theme is, “You're the power behind the Canadian economy, let's share the energy”.

Small business is the fastest growing business sector in Canada and in this sector women-owned businesses are the fastest growing segment. Based on the 2001 census, the number of women entrepreneurs grew by 208% from 1981 to 2001 compared to a meagre 38% increase for men.

In fact, there are more than 821,000 women entrepreneurs in Canada and their businesses contributed over $18 billion to the Canadian economy in 2001. According to the OECD, Canadian women have the highest participation rate in the world for owning their own businesses.

To focus on this burgeoning increase in women who own businesses, I have been honoured to chair the Prime Minister's task force on women entrepreneurs and I am pleased to inform the House that our report will be released next Wednesday.

JusticeStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Pallister Canadian Alliance Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, Perry Fontaine comes from a privileged background. He is the former chairman of the Virginia Fontaine Addictions Foundation, and was responsible for the care and treatment of solvent addicted aboriginal children.

Mr. Fontaine is now facing eight charges of bribery and fraud for allegedly funnelling over $600,000 from the addictions foundation and away from those very children. He is accused of stealing from the most vulnerable, the most fragile, and the most deserving of our compassion.

Because Perry Fontaine is aboriginal, he can ask the court for special treatment at sentencing. Liberal amendments to the Criminal Code and the Youth Criminal Justice Act instruct judges to place the rights of aboriginal criminals above the rights of aboriginal victims. That is wrong.

We must end race based sentencing and say yes to the equal rights of aboriginal victims to justice in this country.

EthicsOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, yesterday for the first time the Minister of Industry finally admitted freely that he accepted a free gift by going fishing at the Irving fishing lodge. A forced, half-hearted, eleventh hour apology is simply not good enough.

I ask the Deputy Prime Minister, does he still care about integrity in government? Has he intervened on behalf of Canadians, and when will the Minister of Industry be asked to resign?

EthicsOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the minister has answered these allegations fully in the House. He has dealt with each of the issues that have been raised.

There are a couple of outstanding items that have been referred by the minister himself to the ethics counsellor. He will deal with those when the ethics counsellor has completed looking at them.

EthicsOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, the fact remains that the ethics counsellor has not a shred of credibility with Canadians or with members of the opposition certainly and, I suspect, members of the government.

The Minister of Industry since 1993 filed six gift declarations. He had to understand the provisions of the code of ethics. Yet there is a suspicious eight year gap during which he filed nothing.

Why did the Minister of Industry not come forward sooner with this declaration? Why does the Deputy Prime Minister not care about responsible government and ask the Minister of Industry to resign?

EthicsOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to credibility, he is a member who ought to be careful where he treads. He did sign a document not that long ago and then kind of threw it aside.

In respect to the matter that he is raising, it is clear that the minister has dealt with each of the allegations. He has dealt with them in the House. He has dealt with them in public. He has issued an apology for some aspects of his actions. That should leave the matter closed.

EthicsOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, I will take no lectures from a former junior rat packer who while in opposition used to care about responsible government. I will take no lessons from a Deputy Prime Minister who stands in this House day after day and defends the corrupt, sleazy actions on behalf of cabinet ministers that cost Canadian taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

In the absence of leadership from the Prime Minister, when will the Deputy Prime Minister step forward, show some leadership and ask the industry minister to resign?

EthicsOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it has been many years, but I recognize the dulcet tones of a rat packer myself in that question.

What we have here is a desperate attempt on the part of the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party to attract some attention to himself. He is a leader who has decided to abandon the history and traditions of his party and turn the brand and its reputation over to the Alliance Party, and who does not have the support of key people in his party, including the previous leader. His desperation shows in his tone of voice.

EthicsOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Carol Skelton Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, the government continues to throw muck on people.

We do not accept the industry minister's half-hearted apology he gave yesterday. It was too little and it was too late. He was wrong to accept the trip. He was wrong to hide it from the ethics counsellor. He was wrong to lobby for the Irvings.

Will the Deputy Prime Minister do the right thing today and ask the industry minister to resign?

EthicsOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, to hear the Alliance say that it cannot accept, or it is too little, too late, this is not exactly a surprise. Have they ever said that it was enough or that it was in time?

The Minister of Industry is a person of great personal integrity. He has been a minister for 10 years. He has demonstrated his personal integrity.

The matter has been dealt with in compliance with the instructions of the ethics counsellor who is still seized with a couple of issues. I think it is fine that we just wait and see what the ethics counsellor has remaining to say.

EthicsOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Carol Skelton Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, integrity is something that the government frontbenchers lack.

The industry minister is not the only minister accepting free flights on corporate jets. There is the defence minister, the parliamentary secretary to the minister of defence, the fisheries minister and the labour minister. How many other ministers have broken the rules and accepted free flights?

EthicsOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, this is a sad commentary on the state of the Alliance's interests in the affairs of state. Those members have asked more questions in the last week on a fishing trip than they have asked in the last year on the fishing industry. That shows where their priorities are. They are trying to throw mud. They are trying to undermine the credibility of institutions. Those members have nothing else to talk about except to pursue minor matters.

Equalization PaymentsOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, thanks to the behind-the-scenes manoeuvring of the future Liberal leader, it seems clear that the Minister of Finance is not in control. In fact, he himself has said he did not control everything himself, as justification for his inability to negotiate a new agreement on equalization payments before the next prime minister takes up the reins.

While Quebec and the provinces are demanding changes to the equalization payment system, is the government's wish to extend the present agreement not just one more confirmation of how appropriate our motion was, and of the fact that the government is at a total standstill until the new Liberal leader is in place?

Equalization PaymentsOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, when I met with the finance ministers on October 10, I proposed such a bill to them, and they were in agreement. There have been requests for changes to the formula, but there is no agreement among the provinces on these. Quebec, for instance, wants changes British Columbia does not find acceptable, so the Quebec minister has proposed that he could perhaps take the time to hold discussions himself with the B.C. representatives. This would take time, so—

Equalization PaymentsOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Longueuil.

Equalization PaymentsOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, as a rule, when the government is functioning properly, negotiations on equalization go along smoothly and no partisan precautions are necessary.

Will the Minister of Finance admit that, by getting the bill on equalization passed, what the Liberals really want is to shut down the House ASAP, so that their new leader will not have to be accountable to the public?

Equalization PaymentsOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, do all representatives of the ten provinces share that opinion? They have all accepted the idea of having a little reassurance, if possible, of the federal government's ability to make payments starting in early April 2004. It is simple, in my opinion. It is possible to make the changes and renew equalization payments before the start of the next year, but it is not necessary to do away with that assurance.

TransportOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-De- Beaupré—Île-D'Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, the intrigues of the future leader of the Liberal Party are paralyzing the business of the House and the government as a whole. After the Minister of Transport announced $700 million for VIA Rail, we learn that the future leader does not intend to follow through. Supporters of the member for LaSalle—Émard were shocked to hear that the current Prime Minister was making decisions that could tie the hands of his successor.

TransportOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

TransportOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-De- Beaupré—Île-D'Orléans, QC

Does the government realize that, by their comments, the supporters of the future leader—who are constantly harping in the House—are asking that the current government stop governing? What is going on?

TransportOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, it is my great pleasure to announce once again that the Canadian government is prepared to invest nearly $700 million in the rail network we share in Canada. This is good news for Canadians from coast to coast. This is a commitment stemming from the work of the Standing Committee on Transport. This is a new era for passenger rail service.

TransportOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-De- Beaupré—Île-D'Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the hon. Minister of Transport that this is still far from the original plan for high-speed rail service in the Quebec City-Windsor corridor.

On the one hand, the Liberal members say they will not support the BQ motion because they do not want to bring down the government and, on the other hand, they make one statement after another asking that the current Prime Minister not take any new decision that could be binding on the future prime minister.

Does the government realize that the words of the supporters of the future prime minister, who claim to want to let the current government govern, are contradicted by their actions?

TransportOral Question Period

11:25 a.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 is getting excited and a little agitated. He is making a plea in support of a motion of non-confidence in a government. It is clear that it is not the intention of the government to support a motion of non-confidence by the Bloc Quebecois, even if this motion is congratulatory and presumably wishes long life to the future Liberal government.

EthicsOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

David Anderson Canadian Alliance Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, another day, another scandal. This time it is the fisheries minister, a fly-in to an exclusive, Irving-owned salmon resort just so that he could be lobbied, an overnight stay on the Restigouche with 13 employees at his beck and call, a free night's stay for the minister. Now he tells us that this is within the guidelines.

How can Canadians possibly believe that this free gift was worth less than $200?