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House of Commons Hansard #148 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

11:25 a.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, again, we are hearing nonsense from the opposition.

As I have said many times, this is the army's visionary plan for the future. It is the army plan. I liked it so much I made it happen five years earlier than it otherwise would, but it is the army plan.

I have spoken to Secretary Rumsfeld and General Hillier has spoken to his counterpart.

The United States is firmly committed to the Stryker. It is a state-of-the-art, extremely modern and transformational vehicle. We will be fully interoperable with the United States. We will get it fast.

As I have said before, this is fantastic news for the Canadian army. I know the opposition does not like good news.

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Canadian Alliance Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, not all of our armoured personnel think that it is wise to get rid of the tank.

While the minister plows ahead with the Stryker, the Sea Kings sit grounded again. To add insult to injury, our Canadian forces had to endure the Prime Minister telling them that, since the President of the United States flew in one, they were good enough for our air crews. That is like saying a 1960 Volkwagen Beetle is the same as the one that sits on the lot today.

Why are older Challengers not good enough for this government, but 40 year old Sea Kings are? Could it be because of who flies in them?

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, when the hon. member says that not all armoured personnel want to get rid of the tank, I am sure he is correct.

When there are transformational changes, like getting rid of horses for tanks, certainly the horse people would have objected. However, I commend to them the head of the army, General Hillier, who has driven tanks or run tanks for 20 years. He has a picture of a tank in his office. He says that if he can go along with getting rid of tanks, everybody else can as well.

FinanceOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is unfortunate that the Liberals have allowed the Sea Kings to become the tarmac kings, but my question is for the Minister of Finance.

Today the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives says that this year's surplus will be $6.6 billion. Over the last four years, the CCPA's estimates have exactly mirrored the exact surpluses while the Liberals have been out $36 billion. It is a good thing they are not forecasting the weather, we would not know what to wear.

Will the minister finally admit that he is in fact sitting on a surplus next year and has money to spend on things worthwhile?

FinanceOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I looked at its forecasts. I hope they are right, but we do not rely on forecasts that we make up ourselves. We take 20 private sector forecasters, we take the average of their recommendations and we ask four private sector modelling firms to run those forecasts through their computers to come with the estimates, which I will present next Monday in the annual fiscal and economic update.

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

October 31st, 2003 / 11:25 a.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, given the obvious likelihood of a surplus and given all the talk around here about a democratic deficit, the fact of the matter is the House of Commons has spoken by unanimously adopting the recommendation of the Standing Committee on Defence and Veterans Affairs with respect to paying all war widows the VIP benefits. Therefore, it is not a question of what the Prime Minister can do, it is a question of the House of Commons having spoken.

Given this government's so-called commitment to democracy, will the Minister of Finance, because he can make this happen, get up and say that the government will honour the commitment to the widows and honour the will of this House?

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Oshawa Ontario

Liberal

Ivan Grose LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, speaking personally, which I am not supposed to do, I would like to honour that request. However, things do not operate that way around here. One has to get consensus. Sometimes one even has to get consensus from the members opposite. However, in this case the consensus will be reached and there will be an answer.

FinanceOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, federal health care funds in the provinces have dropped from 50% of the total cost to as little as 14% in some cases. Veteran's widows have been told only some of them will get pensions.

How can the Prime Minister brag about a balanced budget when it is balanced on the back of the sick and the elderly?

FinanceOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, both on our website and in document form, the hon. member may want to look at this year's budget where we increased funding for health care over the next five years by $35 billion. The single largest increase in spending this year is transfers to the elderly. He might want to rephrase his question.

InfrastructureOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, deeds, not words, is what we want.

The infrastructure in the country is literally falling apart. The government is higher on grass than it is on pavement. Downloading on the provinces and eventually the municipalities has led to an inability to maintain the system.

Instead of bragging about a balanced budget, when will the government deliver treats not tricks?

InfrastructureOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, talking about infrastructure falling apart, look at the Progressive Conservative Party.

Let me tell the hon. member that in this province the credibility of that party, which left a province with a deficit in excess of $5 billion, is totally shattered. It is almost as bad as the credibility of the leader of his federal rump.

Since 1993, we have been investing in infrastructure in the country year after year, including in the last federal budget with an investment in strategic and municipal infrastructure, an increased investment of $3 billion.

World Trade OrganizationOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, during the mini summit of the WTO in Montreal in July, the municipal authorities had to deploy a stronger security force than anticipated to ensure the safety of participants, at an additional cost of $1.7 million, which the Solicitor General is now refusing to pay.

It may be useful to remind the Solicitor General that the mini summit in Montreal was held at the suggestion of the Minister for International Trade. Does he feel it is right for the federal government to invite itself to an event and then refuse to pay its bills?

World Trade OrganizationOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine Québec

Liberal

Marlene Jennings LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member opposite indicated, the Solicitor General is responsible for implementing the government's security policy, known as the federal government security policy framework.

I would point out, however, that the City of Montreal was informed well in advance of the WTO ministerial meeting that the criteria were not met. I would also like to mention that the meeting—

World Trade OrganizationOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Verchères—Les-Patriotes.

World Trade OrganizationOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Solicitor General refuses to pay the bill, claiming that the situation was not extraordinary.

Is the Solicitor General not using that as an excuse for not taking his responsibilities and, above all, not paying the $1.5 million bill that goes with it?

World Trade OrganizationOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine Québec

Liberal

Marlene Jennings LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the federal government's security cost policy framework is clearly premised, as is known by the local law enforcement agencies and provincial and municipal governments, on the fact that local police services are responsible for ensuring public safety during major events in this jurisdiction.

As I already mentioned, the City of Montreal was informed well in advance of the holding of the meeting that the meeting did not meet the clearly defined criteria of this security cost policy framework.

Member for LaSalle--ÉmardOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Canadian Alliance Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, the ethics counsellor has fallen on so many swords lately that he is starting to look like a pincushion to that Liberal cabinet.

Yesterday he attempted to whitewash up to $12 million in undeclared government contracts received by one of the Liberal leader's companies, Lansdowne, over the past decade. The new Liberal leader was regularly briefed about his assets, but he still signed four false asset declarations.

If he cannot be trusted to fill out a truthful asset declaration, how can he be trusted to be prime minister?

Member for LaSalle--ÉmardOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I recognize that for political reasons the member for Medicine Hat wants to continue to his smear campaign against the member for LaSalle—Émard, who for 10 years has complied entirely with the requirements of the ethics code. In fact, as member of Parliament before coming into cabinet, he complied with rules that did not even apply to him.

The ethics counsellor has cleared the former minister of any conflict on this issue, and I wonder why the hon. member is not prepared to admit that he was wrong.

Member for LaSalle--ÉmardOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Canadian Alliance Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, when the finance minister was running for the Liberal leadership, he said a lot worse about the member for LaSalle—Émard. I have to remind him of that.

The truth is that the new Liberal leader wants us to believe that while he is not competent enough to fill out the form properly or cannot be trusted to fill out the form, he should still be the prime minister of Canada. There were no penalties for breaking the code of conduct for those who flew air Irving.

Will the Prime Minister continue to undermine the code by giving the new Liberal leader a pass or will he have to face some real penalties for signing a false declaration four separate times?

Member for LaSalle--ÉmardOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I want to remind the hon. member. It is nice that he paid attention to our leadership campaign, but what I was asking for was full disclosure of financial contributions, something that all candidates for the leadership of the Liberal party have now done and something that the leader of his party has never done.

I want to know what were the sources of the contributions that went to the leadership campaign of the Leader of the Opposition. It should be known now. It should be known before the party members at the other end are asked to vote on whether they want to be taken over by that crowd. They want to--

Member for LaSalle--ÉmardOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Rosemont—Petite-Patrie.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister wanted to leave a more positive legacy by ratifying the Kyoto protocol. However, at the implementation stage, his ministers are in the process of ruining everything.

How does the minister responsible for CIDA defend the fact that her department funds projects that do not meet the most basic environmental requirements, as is the case with the joint project of the World Bank and the Plantar company in Brazil?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Chicoutimi—Le Fjord Québec

Liberal

André Harvey LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, as usual, the Bloc Quebecois is quick to exaggerate.

CIDA is viewed as one of the most credible international agencies in terms of funding management and international standards.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, under the Kyoto protocol, development projects abroad can be used to accumulate greenhouse gas emission credits.

Will the Minister of the Environment explain why Canada is avoiding, at all cost, applying international environmental standards to these projects, when it knows full well that the European Union is making the inclusion of these rules a pivotal issue for the future of the protocol?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

York South—Weston Ontario

Liberal

Alan Tonks LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the member will be aware, as part of the Kyoto protocol, that the whole issue of carbon sinks is one that will figure very emphatically into our strategies to reduce greenhouse gases.

I would expect the member would also respect that where there are initiatives, through the world bank and through non-governmental organizations, that are aimed at that objective, we should be in support of them.