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House of Commons Hansard #149 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-46.

Topics

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it is not our strategy to underestimate the surplus. Even if it were, it is at least an improvement over the PQ strategy of underestimating the deficit.

HealthOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Canadian Alliance Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, the government still cannot offer a firm commitment for health care but it seems to have plenty of money for its pet projects: last week, $700 million for VIA Rail; the gun registry that continues to be a sinkhole of federal money; and today, it is reported more federal cash for Bombardier to sell planes to Air Canada.

When it comes to health care, why does the government not simply commit an additional $2 billion today?

HealthOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about our commitment to health care. Let us talk about $35 billion in increased health care funding that was provided in the last budget.

Let us talk about the increased health care funding that was included in the 2000 health accord.

Let us talk about the performance of the government year after year to increase the amount available through the CHST to the provinces for health care, for post-secondary education and for social services.

The contrast to 10 years ago is a contrast of night and day.

HealthOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Canadian Alliance Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about health care. Health care has never been a priority of the government.

The incoming leader of the Liberal Party slashed billions from health care when he was the finance minister. What did we get? We have long waiting lists and shortage of doctors and nurses from which we will never recover. That is the legacy of those cuts.

Will the provinces get the $2 billion in January, yes or no?

HealthOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, apparently the member has not had an opportunity to review the update. The commitment clearly was that if there were a surplus in excess of $2 billion determinable in January there would be a payment of additional money to the provinces for health care.

It is clear now that we will be unable to make that determination in January. Therefore we have assured the provinces that as long as we do not go into deficit the first $2 billion will go to the provinces for health care in the current year.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister likes to act superior to the other G-7 countries, saying he has no deficit. What he forgets to say, however, is that Canada is the only country that gets other people to pay off its deficit.

Will the Minister of Finance admit that he has eliminated his deficit by choking the provinces and stealing from the unemployed?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, in my opinion, the greatest risk for Canada's social programs is the burden of the debt and the interest payments on that debt. When we were elected, the debt was eating up 37 cents of each dollar of tax revenue. We have been able to reduce this to 21% of revenue and we have reduced the debt and the burden of the debt, because that is the best way to save social programs in Canada.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, what does the Minister of Finance say in response to the report from ENAP's Observatoire de l'administration publique, which states that from 1994 to 1998 the provinces and unemployment insurance bore the brunt of the federal government's budget cuts?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, that is untrue. In fact, we had a program review. I was Minister of Industry; I know the facts very well. We reduced the department's expenditures by 50%.

The federal government we has reduced expenditures more than the provincial governments did during program reviews. We have also reduced interest rates, meaning that Canada has now earned the world's respect for its fiscal position. That was very beneficial, not only for us, but for each of Canada's provinces.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rick Casson Canadian Alliance Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, the much touted fiscal update delivered today leaves some alarming questions for Canada's agricultural producers.

In his comments, the minister used the BSE crisis as a crutch and an excuse for missing the mark on his budget projections. The only response to the BSE issue from the government was a flawed program that left producers wondering who got the money because they sure did not.

What guarantee can the minister give that the money from the newly proposed program will go directly to producers?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I do not know how the hon. member can stand there with a straight face and say that the $312 million in the BSE recovery program did not go to the producers, because the cheques went directly to producers who marketed animals through that program.

As we look at other programs in the future, I can assure members that if other programs are put in place that money will go directly to the producers, as well, as it has in the past.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rick Casson Canadian Alliance Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, if the minister were to talk to producers he would find out that their margins are gone, their equity is gone and their money is gone. They do not have that money.

The agriculture minister has been trying to sell his agriculture policy framework as the answer to everything for the past two years. He knows full well that there are components of the APF that producers find absolutely less than useless. Provinces have not signed on and the program is in now in limbo.

Has the minister consulted the soon to be Liberal leader to see if he supports the APF or will this be one of the programs that he scraps?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I think the gentleman the hon. member is talking about was finance minister when the APF was put in place. I think that says something right there.

Not only did all the BSE recovery money, the $312 million from the federal government, go directly to the producers, so did provincial money at that time. The $600 million in transition money is also going directly to producers across Canada in cheques to their mailboxes.

International CooperationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, this morning CIDA launched the 2004 Butterfly 208, creative art and essay contest. This is an important initiative of the agency to increase youth involvement in international development.

Could the Minister for International Cooperation inform the House how her department encourages young people to learn about global and international development issues and find ways to make a difference in the world?

International CooperationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Essex Ontario

Liberal

Susan Whelan LiberalMinister for International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, the Butterfly 208 contest is about young Canadians who are looking for ways to make a personal contribution and to make a real difference in the world. It is an opportunity for us to get youth involved for an essential piece of the puzzle for development.

All hon. members in the House will be receiving a Butterfly 208 kit that talks about all the youth initiatives. I would encourage them to do as the hon. member for Peterborough has already done, to get involved in their communities, to educate their youth and to have them help and learn about what is happening in the developing world.

It is an opportunity, as I said, for Canadians to extend themselves to help face and make differences with the challenge of poverty.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

November 3rd, 2003 / 2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

A consul general of Canada requires the highest security clearance, particularly in a post like Chandigarh.

The government will not say when Bhupinder Liddar received his Canadian citizenship. It says that is a privacy question.

I have some security questions. Does Mr. Liddar have Canada's highest security clearance? If not, how could he serve as consul general? If so, was Mr. Liddar a Canadian citizen at the time the process began to give him security clearance?

Does the government often arrange security clearance for people who are not Canadian citizens?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, without going into details on this particular case, I can assure the House that all the rules were followed and that all the criteria were met. The consul general in Chandigarh will do an excellent job.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rex Barnes Progressive Conservative Gander—Grand Falls, NL

Mr. Speaker, I am not aware that ACOA is a threat to our national security so I am puzzled about the secrecy regarding ACOA funding for a Newfoundland and Labrador riding with regard to the cod closures.

Will the hon. Minister of State responsible for ACOA provide full disclosure to the House within 24 hours of all projects approved and applied for, as well as the criteria and departmental evaluation?

Did the minister give orders for ACOA representatives not to talk to Newfoundland and Labrador MPs with regard to these projects?

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Gerry Byrne LiberalMinister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

Mr. Speaker, with the new innovations in the House the member can get that information right from his chair in the House of Commons because it is all on the Internet, which we have now introduced into the House.

The fact is that the hon. member is very aware of all the projects that are occurring in his riding, despite the fact that he said that there was an air of secrecy around them.

I remember not too long ago telling the hon. member about a particular project in Little Bay Islands, one that all of a sudden, when asked by the media, he had no knowledge of whatsoever.

That $575,000 will be of great benefit to his riding, but most important, to the people of his riding.

International TradeOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is about to meet here in Ottawa with South Africa's president, Thabo Mbeki.

Mbeki was instrumental in the WTO agreement to allow generic drugs to flow to developing nations to treat the millions suffering from HIV-AIDS, TB, malaria and other deadly diseases.

Canada engaged in much self-congratulations about being the first country to amend our patent laws but the world is still waiting.

With rumours about a UN appointment for the Prime Minister, he should be more committed than ever to implementing this legacy.

Will the Prime Minister promise that Parliament will not rise until this life saving legacy is firmly in place?

International TradeOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I can tell the hon. member that the Prime Minister has been fully committed to Africa for the last few years that he has been Prime Minister.

We in Canada have worked very closely with South Africa to develop the August 30 breakthrough with a waiver on intellectual property.

We intend to do the same thing in this country. We will make sure that in consultation with our industry we can allow Canadian companies to contribute to this extraordinary effort in Africa.

Canada-U.S. BorderOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the city of Windsor has discovered that CP Rail, in conjunction with Transport Canada and Canada Customs, is building a centre for U.S. customs to inspect rail cars going to the U.S. on Canadian soil. With no notification and no planning, it will create more transportation chaos for our industry, health and security. I understand that the Manley-Ridge plan is the driving force for this process.

Could the Deputy Prime Minister explain why the municipality or local industry was not consulted? Will he meet with them immediately and put this on hold before we have more chaos and border destruction affecting our industries?

Canada-U.S. BorderOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, pre-clearance away from the border, whether it is for land or rail, is one of the important features of trying to have the border function safely and efficiently. All these initiatives have been undertaken to ensure that the public interest in Canada is served. I can assure the member opposite the actions that are being taken are both appropriate and well considered.

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Roy H. Bailey Canadian Alliance Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, November 5 through to November 11 is Veterans Week in Canada. It is a week to honour those who fought and died for this country, but the government refuses to honour war widows by not extending their VIP benefits.

The parliamentary secretary for veterans affairs said on Friday:

--I would like to honour that request. However, things do not operate that way around here.

The 23,000 widows who are cut off from other benefits deserve a lot better than that. Will this government today honour the commitment to the--

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Veterans Affairs.