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House of Commons Hansard #150 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was claims.

Topics

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, the member for LaSalle—Émard has said that the Sea King replacement should be bought as soon as possible. The member for LaSalle—Émard has said that he would have no problem buying the Cormorant. The member for LaSalle—Émard has said that we should get the best equipment for our military, not just the cheapest.

If a mere backbencher can get it right, why not the Prime Minister?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am not in a position like the member to pretend that one is better than the other because I am not an expert. However we are the guardians of taxpayer money and we want a machine that can do the job at the least cost possible to the taxpayers.

Minister of FinanceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance went on a trip with Mr. Morrison, who is no longer the Chairman of the Brewers Association of Canada, but who is a legal adviser and board member. He went several weeks after having, in his budget, made a decision favouring the Brewers Association over the microbreweries.

Is it not normal to ask a minister whether or not—yes or no—he paid the actual value of a sailing trip he took with his family in the Caribbean? It seems to me that this is a perfectly good question. It is part of his ministerial responsibilities, and he has every reason to give us the answer.

Minister of FinanceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is mistaken. The association was in favour of reducing the taxes on microbreweries. I have before me the proposal that the association made to the Standing Committee on Finance. I did not accept it, but despite that, Mr. Morrison is still my friend. I paid the full value of that trip.

Minister of FinanceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear. The microbreweries were frustrated by the minister's decision, when he took the part of the large brewers, their competitors, who were opposed to this idea.

Therefore, is it not normal to ask the Minister of Finance to be as transparent as the then government House leader was, or the Minister of the Environment, and tell us whether or not he reimbursed the market value of the benefit he enjoyed on his trip with a representative of the Brewers Association of Canada? It is clear.

Minister of FinanceOral Question Period

November 4th, 2003 / 2:30 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I did not go on a trip with the Canadian brewers. It was not a private boat; it was a rented boat. As is usual with a group of friends, we each paid one quarter of the costs. The exact amount I paid is no one's business but my own.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deborah Grey Canadian Alliance Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, a 10 year anniversary is a long time since the Prime Minister cancelled the Sea King helicopters. Now he is lifting off out of politics and is retiring but the Sea Kings are not.

Today the members across the way have said that it would be speedy, that it would be as rapidly as possible that we would get these replacements. The Prime Minister has used the excuse of the deficit being so bad, but that has been gone for years now. He has talked about interest rates, but in fact they are lower now than they ever have been.

With the deficit long gone and interest rates so low, how can the Prime Minister defend putting off this contract for even one more day?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is because we have been very responsible that today we can say that we have very low interest rates. We are having a bidding process. There are many competitors. They are following the rules and the best offer to the government will win. That is why we have public bidding.

I see that the opposition members do not want to have public bidding. They have already made up their minds about one helicopter. I do not know why they know better than the experts.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deborah Grey Canadian Alliance Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, it only took him one day to decide on the Challengers. That is speedy.

The Prime Minister cancelled the contract. Well, it is the 10 year anniversary. Mr. Speaker, you might know that the traditional gift for the 10th anniversary is tin. We would take tin. We would take aluminum. We would take steel. We would take whatever he has as long as it is in the form of a safe, reliable, effective chopper replacement.

Robert Browning, the poet, said:

Grow old along with me, The best is yet to be.

We have all grown older. When can we expect him to cough up the best that is yet to be ?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this is the hon. member who told her electors three times that she would never accept a pension from the people of Canada, who is complaining now, while she is taking the pension, that she would like us to pay any amount of money for a helicopter without having a real competition to have the best product at the best price.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Roy Bloc Matapédia—Matane, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday for the first time in relation to section 35 of the Fisheries Act, the minister stated, “We use this section when a project request is submitted and there is evidence that destruction could occur”.

The minister claims that the Belledune project poses no danger to marine wildlife, since he consulted the studies provided by the company.

Consequently, can the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans state, beyond all doubt, that destruction of the marine wildlife could not occur as a result of Bennett Environmental's project?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

West Nova Nova Scotia

Liberal

Robert Thibault LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the first project submitted by the company stipulated that waste water was to be emptied into the bay at Belledune. An environmental assessment of the project was needed. The company amended its project and opted for a closed circuit system so that no water would be released.

With regard to air emission controls, there are regulations. Companies must meet the standards, unless otherwise notified.

Therefore, there is no need to enforce the legislation in this instance.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Roy Bloc Matapédia—Matane, QC

Mr. Speaker, in its lobbying to promote this project, the company invited local doctors in the affected region to a meeting to show them the project was completely harmless.

However, not only did the doctors attending the meeting not feel reassured, they also announced that they were staking their credibility as men and women of science to prevent the project from going forward.

I repeat my question. Consequently, can the minister state, beyond all doubt, that destruction of the marine wildlife could not occur in Belledune?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

West Nova Nova Scotia

Liberal

Robert Thibault LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member can be in favour of the project or not. I can personally be in favour of this project or not.

The fact remains that it is under provincial jurisdiction. He continues to demand that the federal government get involved and abuse its powers, because he does not approve of a provincial decision.

The government finds this completely unacceptable. New Brunswick would find this unacceptable, as would Quebec, I expect, in similar circumstances.

Atlantic Canada Opportunities AgencyOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Randy White Canadian Alliance Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have been following the Liberal largesse-capades of ACOA for 10 years now and nothing has really changed. Each politician that has been put in charge over the years has used and abused taxpayer money for his or her own particular political purpose.

Why has the Minister of State responsible for ACOA forbidden MPs to have access to information about ACOA? Is it because he wants the bulk of the largesse for himself, or is he afraid of what others will find out about ACOA?

Atlantic Canada Opportunities AgencyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Gerry Byrne LiberalMinister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

Mr. Speaker, information is available to all people, including members of the House, citizens of Newfoundland and Labrador, citizens of Atlantic Canada and members on the opposite side.

One of the things that the hon. member is alluding to is the fact that assistance has been provided to those who have been negatively impacted by cod fishers on a proportionate basis. I am delighted that we were able to provide that assistance. That information is available.

Atlantic Canada Opportunities AgencyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Randy White Canadian Alliance Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, of course he is delighted, but holding grants up for his own riding is quite disgraceful.

Being given responsibility for a portfolio is not a licence to spend money on every conceivable project in one's riding just to get elected.

Does the Minister of State responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency understand that the word opportunities is not for himself but for all citizens to benefit from?

Atlantic Canada Opportunities AgencyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Gerry Byrne LiberalMinister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Langley--Abbotsford is promoting an interesting proposition.

Fisheries assistance is provided to those who need it on a proportional basis. If the hon. member is suggesting, for example, that funding for forestry compensation through the community economic development initiatives related to the softwood lumber agreement should be given to everybody in the country, whether or not they have actually been impacted, that is a ridiculous proposition.

We target funding to where the impacts occur on a proportionate basis and that is exactly what is happening in this particular case.

Foreign AidOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is probably nobody who knows more than the Prime Minister about the urgent need for drugs for AIDS in the developing countries.

In August the WTO made an urgent appeal for governments to provide these needed drugs to developing countries in a manner consistent with the protection of intellectual property.

Could the Prime Minister please tell us what our government will do?

Foreign AidOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada fully supports the agreement reached by the World Trade Organization to allow poorer countries better access to the medicines needed to respond to public health problems, especially those resulting from HIV-AIDS and other epidemics.

Today we have served notice to the House that we will introduce legislation this week to implement the WTO agreement. Canada will be the first country to introduce legislation to implement the WTO agreement. We hope that our quick response will encourage other countries to follow our example.

Atlantic Canada Opportunities AgencyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rex Barnes Progressive Conservative Gander—Grand Falls, NL

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of State for ACOA is insisting that it is impossible to show how much money has been spent in each riding. There was a different tune from him when he was a backbench MP claiming his riding was not getting its fair share of ACOA funding.

The then minister of ACOA was certainly able to give him and others the exact total per riding. Is the minister now saying that since he took the office of ACOA that riding by riding figures are no longer kept? Is he admitting that he changed things to make sure that no one knows how much is going into his riding in comparison to other ridings?

Atlantic Canada Opportunities AgencyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Gerry Byrne LiberalMinister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, a lot of projects do not occur distinctly in a particular riding. In fact, I pointed out yesterday in the House of Commons that several initiatives were on a pan-provincial, pan-regional point of view. This information cannot be compiled on a riding by riding basis.

However if he would like some further instruction as to how to access the website or anything else I would be more than happy to provide it to him.

Atlantic Canada Opportunities AgencyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rex Barnes Progressive Conservative Gander—Grand Falls, NL

Mr. Speaker, I am not the person who has the problem. He has the problem.

The people of Gander—Grand Falls, Burin—St. George's and Labrador deserve to know that they are getting their fair share of ACOA money. They deserve to know how projections were evaluated and approved and whether or not the ACOA minister's riding received more than its fair share.

Is the Prime Minister willing to invoke section 11 of the Auditors General Act to determine if that office should conduct an independent audit of ACOA funding for Newfoundland and Labrador?

Atlantic Canada Opportunities AgencyOral 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, regrettably, there is a serious problem throughout Newfoundland and Labrador and Atlantic Canada, and that was the closure of the cod fishery, which created a great negative economic impact.

Those impacts, particularly on the northern peninsula, have been very severely acute. Of course we put in place an assistance program to provide some level of assistance based on those impacts.

That is exactly what occurred and that is exactly what will continue to occur.

Canada-U.S. BorderOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Revenue is building a search facility for the United States customs in the middle of Windsor. American customs will be inspecting trains to search for bombs and other security threats within yards of a high school, park, major roads and a football stadium.

The minister has said that this location was “appropriate and well considered”. Windsor city council does not think so.

Will the minister kill this project before she kills our community and our economy?