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House of Commons Hansard #133 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was report.

Topics

Canadian Grand PrixOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, so much for any leadership from the Minister of Justice.

According to the La Presse article, the Minister of Justice has indicated to Bernie Ecclestone that the federal government has the money the Grand Prix needs to survive and to protect the $80 million in spinoffs. Clearly, what is lacking on the other side of the floor is not money but political will.

While Normand Legault is busy consolidating the funding, why is the Minister of Justice, who has the money, still refusing to send a message to the private sector by committing the few million needed to save the Montreal Grand Prix?

Canadian Grand PrixOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, regardless of the $80 million in economic spinoffs, the fundamental character of the event remains unchanged.

The Formula 1 Montreal Grand Prix is vital to Montreal, Quebec and the rest of Canada as well.

That said, Mr. Legault is working at this time with the Formula 1 people, and in fact met with Mr. Ecclestone this very day. They are working on the financial arrangements. Having a brand-free race is one that has been suggested right from the start. We need to let them finish their work; then we will see what request they make to the Canadian government.

Canadian Grand PrixOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, on September 29, the Secretary of State responsible for Canada Economic Development said that there was no question at this time of the government investing in the Montreal Grand Prix unless the private sector did the same.

Given that the private sector is prepared to get on board, and solutions are coming from all sides, except from the federal government, can we at least get a commitment today that the government will do its part to make up for the shortfall?

Canadian Grand PrixOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, to repeat the latter part of my answer earlier, a few years ago, when we talked about changing the legislation, it was the people on this side of the House who managed to get the change. It was the people from our Liberal caucus who got the change. Why? Because we believe in the fundamental impact of the Canadian Grand Prix.

The first phase is over, in other words, the principle of the bill, or the application of the bill. Now we are discussing the possibility of having a race without trademarks. Let us look at the financing package, and then the Canadian government will reconsider its position.

Canadian Grand PrixOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, while Mr. Legault is in London to save the Montreal Grand Prix, why does the government not provide him with one more trump card in negotiating with the private sector by promising to do its part to save the Montreal Grand Prix?

Canadian Grand PrixOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, there are currently no players who have taken a firm position with respect to figures. We have basically heard from Mr. Ecclestone, who talked about millions of dollars. We also know that he may be able to invest some money in the Canadian Grand Prix.

Mr. Legault is currently in the process of meeting his counterparts. He has also spoken to Mr. Ecclestone. They are preparing a financing package. Before doing anything, we will have to see what Mr. Legault has to say after meeting with his counterparts, to see what the financing package would be and then determine what the Canadian government's position could be.

Our position seems entirely reasonable, and it has always been a position of leadership.

Government AssistanceOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Scott Brison Progressive Conservative Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of National Defence said that “now is not the time to be dealing with money”, in relation to disaster assistance for Nova Scotia.

Meanwhile, in Halifax, the member for LaSalle—Émard, the Prime Minister-in-waiting, said Ottawa must respond quickly with disaster funding.

With unpaid claims, outstanding for four previous disasters in Nova Scotia, dating back to hurricane Hortense in 1999, will the minister tell the House when exactly is a good time to be dealing with the money?

Government AssistanceOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, it sounds like the hon. member prepared his question in advance and did not take account of the answer I gave to the earlier question.

As I just said, I have asked my department to give me very quickly the answer concerning my question as to whether we can make advance payments to the provinces. I do understand the urgency of the situation and I would very much like to be in a position to make such advance payments.

Government AssistanceOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Scott Brison Progressive Conservative Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, that is cold comfort for Nova Scotians and the Nova Scotia government that has been waiting since 1999 for the federal government to pay the unpaid bills.

There is a double standard at play. Internal government problems with HRDC or the privacy commissioner go unchecked, while the provinces which have suffered disasters are subjected to shamelessly lengthy audits.

Will the government commit to the immediate payment of the four outstanding claims from Nova Scotia and make an advance payment for this week's disaster, the fifth to hit the province in five years?

Government AssistanceOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the reason why I am moving in the direction of advance payments is that I understand that it takes some time to do the auditing.

We also have to wait for the province to develop its programs and then for the federal government to get involved. It is a bilateral affair involving provincial and federal initiatives. It does take time.

I want to speed up the process as a whole. But in the meantime, I am looking at making advance payments.

Electoral SystemOral Question Period

October 3rd, 2003 / 11:25 a.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is funny that so many Liberals are up on their feet today congratulating Mr. McGuinty when it was Mr. Eves--

Electoral SystemOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Electoral SystemOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Order, please. Maybe we could just rewind the clock and start over.

The hon. member for Winnipeg—Transcona

Electoral SystemOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, it was Mr. Eves who linked his agenda to that of the new Liberal leader, not once, but six times. Mr. McGuinty has promised to do in Ontario what the NDP tried to accomplish three days ago in this House, with respect to proportional representation.

Now that Mr. McGuinty is the Premier of Ontario, has the Liberal government changed its mind about a referendum on proportional representation? Or does it think that Mr. McGuinty is wrong-headed on this issue?

Electoral SystemOral 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, I, too, want to associate my words of congratulations to the new Premier of Ontario with those of the interim leader of the NDP. We are very pleased with Mr. McGuinty's victory. The Government of Canada will work very closely with him for the betterment of Ontarians.

As to his other request, we voted on it a couple of days back.

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, the fact is the Liberals voted against what Mr. McGuinty is proposing to do in Ontario.

But I have a question for the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

He will know that the U.S. International Trade Commission came out with its decision today. Unfortunately, it seems that the harassment of Canadian farmers will continue. A good decision on durum but a bad decision on spring wheat.

What does the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food intend to do now to protect Canadian farmers from this continuing unjustified harassment of Canadian exports to the United States?

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, we have said prior to this that we would take every step that we possibly could, including launching panels in both NAFTA and WTO if that is seen necessary.

We have very successfully demonstrated in the past that the Canadian Wheat Board works and acts within WTO compliance. We have proven that in the past and I am confident we can prove it in the future.

InfrastructureOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

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

Mr. Speaker, highway tolls are rising, roads on the Prairies are falling apart, the link to the Vancouver airport is struggling to be financed, there is still a toll on the Trans-Canada Highway in Nova Scotia, and traffic in the City of Calgary has doubled in the past four years.

We have all kinds of transportation problems but they cannot be solved because of the $4.7 billion that the government collects in gas taxes. It is only reinvesting 2.4% back into roads.

My question for the government is, with all the problems that we have in infrastructure and roads, do Canadian taxpayers not deserve a little bit better than 2.4% being put into roads?

InfrastructureOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we would have thought that the hon. member would have acknowledged the nearly $8 billion that the government has put into infrastructure in the last 10 years. It is infrastructure that has been improved: it is roads, it is sewage capacity, and it is water systems.

It is everything that is of concern to Canadians. I hope that the hon. member will acknowledge what we have done and congratulate us for the investments we have made.

InfrastructureOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

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

Mr. Speaker, I will acknowledge what the government calls infrastructure, which includes a canoe museum in the Prime Minister's riding. That is not exactly the infrastructure Canadians are looking for.

In 2002 B.C. motorists gave Ottawa $1.1 billion in gas taxes. In return it gave British Columbia $37 million. That is 3%.

Mayors Joe Trasolini, Ralph Drew, John Kingsbury and other mayors from across British Columbia need more money for the transportation infrastructure in Canada's fastest growing procine. The former Liberal finance minister had 10 years, 9 budgets and a majority government to deliver. He failed.

Why does British Columbia have to constantly wait for the government to ante up and give our province the money it needs to grow for the future?

InfrastructureOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member from B.C has forgotten the investments we have made on the Trans-Canada Highway in his province.

He has forgotten the investments we have made with the expansion of the cruise facilities and convention centre in Vancouver. He has forgotten about the commitment we have made to a rapid transit line to Vancouver airport. These are all infrastructure projects in his own province.

If he does not know what is going on in his own province, how can he come here and lecture the government?

Former Privacy CommissionerOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General is categorical: George Radwanski's contract was negotiated and approved by the Privy Council Office. The position of head of the Privy Council is an honorary position. A handbook signed by the Prime Minister confirms that appointments are made by his office. And finally, Eddie Goldenberg said he never got involved.

If that is so, we would like to know who in the Prime Minister's Office negotiated the appointment and hiring conditions of George Radwanski.

Former Privacy CommissionerOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated yesterday, Mr. Radwanski's appointment was put to a vote in this House. Of course, the appointment was proposed by the government, as we know. This was done through an order in council. Then we had a debate followed by a vote in this House, both of which are duly recorded in the House of Commons Debates .

Former Privacy CommissionerOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, it would appear that neither the Treasury Board, nor the Privy Council, or the Prime Minister's Office or the Prime Minister's adviser, Eddie Goldenberg, authorized the extension of benefits granted to George Radwanski.

Are we to understand that the decision ultimately came from the Prime Minister himself?

Former Privacy CommissionerOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I do not know what extension the hon. member is referring to. If she is talking about the housing allowance, there is an optional housing allowance available to senior officials in the public service who are from out of town and who temporarily relocate to Ottawa. This is not the first time it was granted. Other officers of Parliament have enjoyed similar benefits in the past.