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House of Commons Hansard #64 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was children.

Topics

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, by allocating a mere $2 billion over five years to implementing the Kyoto protocol, the government is not showing any real determination, because the outcome of the $1.7 billion it has invested over the past five years has been, not a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions, but a 6% increase.

How can the Minister of the Environment explain his belief that the government's effort in this budget is a significant one, and by what miracle would investing a virtually identical amount over the next five years have any more positive effect than in the last five?

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, it is true that we have so far invested $3.7 billion toward the necessary goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It is quite likely that in another two, three, maybe seven years the Minister of Finance might increase that amount. The announcement by the Minister of Finance two days ago of another $2 billion is still not bad, yet the hon. member is already complaining. When most of that amount has been spent, then perhaps it will be the right time to ask for more.

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, as its record on reducing greenhouse gas emissions shows, Quebec is in the best position to attain the Kyoto objective.

Would the Minister of the Environment not be better off if he sat down with the Government of Quebec to negotiate a bilateral agreement and to hand the money over pronto?

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, as I have said often in this House and elsewhere, we hope to have a bilateral agreement between the Province of Quebec and the federal government. I have spoken with Minister Boisclair on numerous occasions on this. We expect a positive outcome. I do not know why the hon. member is not aware of the cooperation between the two levels of government.

National Child CareOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Canadian Alliance Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, the reason the Minister of Human Resources Development has not got a deal with the provinces on a national child care initiative is because she wants to channel the entire $1 billion into institutional day care.

However the provinces know that parents want choice in child care. Parents want the money to go directly into their own pockets in the form of a universal deduction for all children. That would start to address at least some of the discrimination in the tax code against stay at home parents and those with other child care arrangements.

Why is the minister so opposed to choice in child care?

National Child CareOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary. As the hon. member becomes more experienced with the complex issues that we have to deal with in family and child policies, he will realize that it requires a number of measures. It requires tax incentives, tax issues and tax measures of which we have a number. It requires income support.

I am so glad that through the national child benefit we have significantly increased that support, but it also requires child care. In our system we have allowed for the flexibility in the provinces. It does not necessarily mean regulated care only in centres. It could be regulated care in homes.

National Child CareOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Canadian Alliance Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am disappointed that the minister does not recognize the importance of people who make the choice to look after their children themselves at home.

The minister's department is legendary for its ability to waste, squander and lose track of hundreds of millions of dollars. Even the finance minister is calling on all departments to start cutting waste.

Instead of using new money for these HR initiatives that were announced in the budget, will she cut some of the mountain of waste in her department to fund these new initiatives? By the way, she just dropped some money on the floor. She might want to pick it up before she--

National Child CareOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Human Resources Development.

National Child CareOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, from his question, it sounds to me that the hon. member is suggesting it is a waste for the government to invest $935 million in working with the provinces and territories to create quality, reliable, regulated child care spaces. If that is the way he thinks, let us be clear.

However on this side of the House we are in unanimous agreement that the right thing for us to do is to work with the provinces and territories to ensure that Canadian parents can rely on a strong system of quality child care for their children.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Rose-Marie Ur Liberal Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, Tuesday's budget contained an extra $100 million over two years for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Can the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food tell this House in what areas he intends to allocate these dollars?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I am certainly pleased that in the budget the government recognized the important role of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and the safety and the quality of Canadian food by further providing another $100 million over two years.

It will allow the agency to continue to enhance food safety in Canada. The regulatory system, along with the border control, will ensure the safety of food exported from our country to other countries and imported from other countries. It will ensure the health of Canadians as well as the health of animals and plants in Canada.

InfrastructureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, how in the world could Liberals in Toronto be bragging today about how great the budget is for Toronto? If all of the infrastructure money--

InfrastructureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

InfrastructureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, only the Liberals would clap for a kilometre of subway in their city if all of the infrastructure money were to be spent there. If Toronto were to get an equal share with every other community, it would get 25 centimetres of subway.

My question is for the finance minister, who interestingly has also ignored his own home town, except for the Ottawa Senators. Does he really think that it is good enough to help the city of Ottawa build 14.5 centimetres of light rail?

InfrastructureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure how she felt interrupted, but I can assure her I listened closely to her question.

I was waiting for her to mention the money we put into homelessness; the money we put into affordable housing; the $5 billion we put into infrastructure in the last two budgets, much of which is still not spent; the money we put into health care that helps people who live in the cities; the money we put into a clean environment to make clean air better for people living in cities; and the money we have given to poor children, many of whom live in cities.

I would not have interrupted her if she had put all those things in her question.

InfrastructureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I did not have enough time in 35 seconds to criticize all of those areas, but I want to focus on infrastructure.

The finance minister's plan will take 190 years to meet the real needs the communities face right now, communities like Walkerton, North Battleford, and communities all over Newfoundland and Labrador who are worried about the state of their drinking water. They do not have two centuries to wait, but if every penny of the minister's infrastructure plan were spent on clean water, we would maybe have 15 new plants across Canada.

I want to ask the minister, since we are all worried about privatized water and more Walkertons, with 15 plants--

InfrastructureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

I am afraid the 35 seconds are gone. The hon. Minister of the Environment.

InfrastructureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member really must read the budget because in it she will find $600 million specifically for the federal area of responsibility with respect to clean water. She will find $8 billion, the new $3 billion and the previous $5 billion, which is available for municipalities for water treatment plants, both for drinking water and for dealing with waste water.

She will find opportunities in the regional development budgets that encourage municipalities to spend the money in ways which are environmentally friendly. There is plenty there. All she has to do is look.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of National Defence confirmed what many have suspected, that he is looking at eliminating Canada's Leopard tanks after previously suggesting that such an idea was crazy.

How can the minister make arbitrary decisions on what capabilities the Canadian military will require before undertaking a full review of defence and foreign policy?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, it is true that there will be a review of defence policy, but that does not stop the minister from looking at the department and seeing where savings can be made. I should inform the hon. member that time does move on. The last time tanks were deployed by Canada was in the Korean war over a half century ago.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, in the budget the Minister of Finance committed to providing $950 million to the Canadian Forces, however it costs the Canadian Forces more than $32 million a day to function even at currently reduced levels. The money the minister provided is enough for the Canadian Forces to operate for 29 days.

Will the minister admit that he has shortchanged the military in this budget and commit to providing the funding the forces need to do its job? Or is he still hiding in the washroom?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, let me assure the hon. member that the Minister of Finance will admit no such thing because in consultations with the Minister of National Defence he realized that the military had to receive more money. Some $800 million dollars was given to the military on a sustaining basis and that will be more than adequate for its needs.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

February 20th, 2003 / 2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Bob Mills Canadian Alliance Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Environment has been quoted as saying that we need a control group of four disinterested departments to be established to decide the spending of $1.7 billion allocated in Tuesday's budget for climate change.

My question is, where does the Minister of the Environment think he will find four Liberal ministers who are not interested in spending an extra $1.7 billion?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the contradiction in the hon. member's mind is that we intend to spend $1.7 billion, but we intend to do so with the best possible results.

This would be my quote, “To ensure that only the very best projects in terms of cost effectiveness to achieve climate change goals actually get funded. We do not fund pet projects which might have a marginal climate change impact but do not have the cost effective nature that we think is necessary”.

What we want on this side is cost effectiveness and maximum results for the dollars we spend.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Bob Mills Canadian Alliance Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, I think the minister will find he has a big lineup of people who know how to spend money, particularly on that side of the House.

What does he not understand about, “You cannot trust a Liberal with that money”? If he wants to keep that Kyoto slush fund all for himself, he should be afraid of the Minister of Industry, the Minister of Natural Resources and the Minister of Transport. Of course the finance minister keeps talking about how even the cities can get in on this money.

The environment minister has already wasted $1.7 billion on Kyoto and CO

2

has risen. How does he think this will lower--