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 #147 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was provinces.

Topics

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is always the accusation of the opposition that the army is not well equipped. I was in Kabul a few days ago and the general in charge said that we are the best equipped troops around Kabul at this time. In the army in the United States, too, there are people who think they should have new equipment and so on. I think our troops are very good. They are excellent soldiers and they are equipped properly to do their job.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, after two of our soldiers died in inadequate equipment, the Prime Minister should be embarrassed to make that kind of statement.

Another embarrassment for the Prime Minister has been the World Economic Forum's declaration that one of our greatest problems is favouritism in the decisions made by government representatives.

Will the Prime Minister finally admit that the ethics deficit is harming our country?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, first I would like to state very clearly that the soldiers who died were in a jeep like all the soldiers have there, and it was over a mine that would have blown up a tank. It was a big one. These people were the victims of terrorists in Kabul and to try to score political points against the government with false statements like that is completely unacceptable.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn Progressive Conservative St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, according to the World Economic Forum, Canada has dropped off the world's top ten in growth competitiveness, with countries like Singapore, Iceland, Norway and the Netherlands all surpassing us. In 1994, Canada was ranked third. In 2000, Canada was ranked sixth. Today Canada is ranked sixteenth.

How can the Prime Minister explain this dramatic drop? And why should we expect anything better from his replacement, the man who presided over the decline as finance minister during the past 10 years?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, that was a survey that was taken during the time that we had some problems with SARS, with mad cow disease, and so on.

There are many surveys. For example, a month ago, the Economist Intelligence Unit report said that Canada will be the best place to invest for the next five years. The 2003 World Competitiveness Yearbook ranked Canada number three. In 2002, KPMG said Canada has the lowest business costs among advanced industrial countries. There are other very good statements made by everybody about Canada.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn Progressive Conservative St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, last year Canada was ninth, this year sixteenth. It has nothing to do with SARS or BSE. It is because the World Economic Forum has for the first time included government waste and mismanagement in its calculations.

The government is reckless and wasteful and the numbers speak for themselves. How does the Prime Minister defend his stewardship of Canada's economy when the world economic community has pronounced his stewardship an outright failure?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, is it a failure that ours is the only country that has balanced its books for six years? Is it a failure to have created three million jobs in the last 10 years? Is it a failure that we took interest rates down from 11.5% to 6%? Is it a failure that we have in Canada, as I have said, the best place to--

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie.

1995 ReferendumOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs stated that the 1995 referendum was a fraud, which is strangely at odds with the Prime Minister's comments. In his victory speech on the night the referendum on that same question was won, the PM stated, “We have every reason to be proud of democracy in Canada”.

Will the Prime Minister, who also said that the people are always right, admit that the Quebec people had understood the question, that it was completely democratic and that there was no fraud about it, as his Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs said?

1995 ReferendumOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, of course the 1995 referendum question was a fraud. It was a complete fraud. And there was a precedent. With regard to the 1980 referendum question, the leader of the No camp said, “A real fraud, a misleading and dishonest question, a cover-up to maximize support for the yes camp”.

My question is as follows: can Quebeckers lose Canada through fraud, cover-up or deception? Of course not, and we now have the Supreme Court's opinion, and the clarity legislation to protect Quebeckers.

1995 ReferendumOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, that evening, the Prime Minister also said that the decision was irreversible, that the question was clear and that it was about staying or leaving. It is fraudulent to say, “Yes, I agree, I agree to this debate and to taking part in this debate, and yes, it was their last chance”. What both he and the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs did was to mislead the public by letting them believe that he had agreed to take part in this debate, when he had a speech in his pocket that said the opposite.

The fraud artists, no matter what the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs says, are on that side of the House.

1995 ReferendumOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, in 1980, the leader of the No camp was Claude Ryan.

The fact that the Prime Minister of Canada, a few days prior to the referendum, had to explain what Mr. Parizeau, the leader of the Yes camp, was trying to do proves that there was a cover-up.

How is it that, according to a poll conducted a few days prior to the vote, only 46% of Quebeckers understood that sovereignty would occur even without a partnership? How is it that the leader of the Bloc himself did not understand the question and got really upset when Mr. Parizeau had to explain it to him?

1995 ReferendumOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs had the indecency to describe the referendum question as a fraud. The federal government has some nerve using such a term to describe an initiative that the Prime Minister and all the Liberal MPs from Quebec were involved in.

Will the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs admit that the real fraud, during the referendum in Quebec, was when the federal government violated Quebec's Referendum Act by spending huge amounts of money on the “love in” in Montreal, even though this was completely illegal?

1995 ReferendumOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Bloc did not understand his own question. He was all confused. When Mr. Parizeau said he could declare unilateral independence within days of a yes victory, he got really upset and said he would never share the same stage with Mr. Parizeau. A few days later, Mr. Parizeau had him read the Quebec independence legislation, which said it was in fact a possibility. Then the leader of the Bloc said, “Yes, very well, now I understand”.

1995 ReferendumOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, if the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs wants to uncover fraud, let us ask him if it was not fraudulent of all the Liberal MPs and ministers from Quebec in this House to vote against recognizing the people of Quebec as a nation. That is democratic fraud.

1995 ReferendumOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, speaking of fraud, the Bloc seems to be making a habit of it, given that yesterday's question was also fraudulent. It talked about recognizing Quebec as a nation, with the right to opt out with financial compensation. It intertwined these two issues, yet they claim this was a clear question. We now have clarity legislation for unclear questions.

Member for LaSalle--ÉmardOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Canadian Alliance Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, the World Economic Forum cites corruption as a barrier to economic growth. How timely.

The ethics counsellor has just released a letter showing that Lansdowne Technologies was omitted from the new Liberal leader's declaration of assets. The new Liberal leader was allowed access to his list of assets. He knows what he owns. He signed the false declaration anyway.

What penalties will the new Liberal leader face for signing a false declaration of assets?

Member for LaSalle--ÉmardOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the ethics counsellor looked at the letter of complaint by the hon. member and he gave an answer. The member should accept that answer.

Everybody files their assets with the ethics counsellor and they follow the rules that are established. All members have done it. I have received no indication that any member of cabinet since 1993 has not done what he or she has been obliged to do.

Member for LaSalle--ÉmardOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Canadian Alliance Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, actually the Prime Minister has it completely wrong. What the ethics counsellor pointed out was that the new Liberal leader signed a false declaration of assets.

The management agreement allows the former finance minister to keep informed about his assets. We know he met with his management team at least 24 times, yet he does not seem to know his assets from his elbow.

What penalties will the new Liberal leader face for signing four false declarations of assets?

Member for LaSalle--ÉmardOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, one can make all the affirmations one wants. The ethics counsellor said that there was nothing abnormal about it. There is not much I can do. The only recourse I have, when someone is in cabinet, is to ask the person to leave. The member is no longer in cabinet.

That member does not have to ask me questions about what I would do because there is nothing I can do.

TransportOral Question Period

October 30th, 2003 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's Minister of Transport announced new money for VIA Rail the other day and it has now come to our attention that the new Liberal leader's family has an interest in bus stations. For that matter, the Voyageur bus company has a long history of opposing VIA Rail and subsidies for passenger rail in the country.

Is the Prime Minister not concerned that this announcement, which we commended him for, is in danger? What will he do to ensure that money is actually spent on passenger rail and not sabotaged by the incoming Liberal leader?

TransportOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, another government will be another government.

We received requests from VIA Rail to have its capital budget approved for years to come, as is normally done. In fact the money that has been allocated is much less than the request we received.

This was processed by Treasury Board and the cabinet committee. We think it is important to invest in rails in Canada. That was the consensus of cabinet and it was approved.

If somebody changes it in the future, there is nothing I can do. I will probably not be a member of Parliament then.

TradeOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am sure the Prime Minister could find ways to lock this in if he wanted to.

My question is for the Minister for International Trade who knows about the upcoming summit in Miami with respect to the free trade area of the Americas.

Given that at one time a couple of years ago in committee he admitted to me that chapter 11, the investor-state dispute settlement mechanism, was inadequate and probably should be done away with, why does he persist in agreeing to a text which includes an investor-state dispute settlement mechanism? Why does he not just abandon this bad idea and show some leadership in getting rid of it?

TradeOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I believe that chapter 11 has served the interests of Canada's investors very well. What I said in the past was that we had learned some lessons from working with chapter 11 and that we would take into account what we had learned from it in the drafting of any other investment rules that we would negotiate. That is exactly what we are doing now.

TransportOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rex Barnes Progressive Conservative Gander—Grand Falls, NL

Mr. Speaker, VIA Rail's controversial purchase of 139 second-hand British railway cars in 2000 has suffered yet another setback. The Canadian Transportation Agency has ordered VIA to make major changes to the coaches to make them more disabled-friendly.

What will the cost be to taxpayers for this makeover to do what is right for the disabled community?