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House of Commons Hansard #66 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was general.

Topics

InfrastructureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

The Toronto Star says that his budget trashed cities. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities called it doomsday. No wonder Toronto Liberals are worried. Well, my city is worried too. The mayor of Winnipeg called the budget a joke.

Could the Prime Minister explain why Winnipeg's share of the budget meets only 0.05% of what it requires just to fix roads and bridges?

InfrastructureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Vaughan—King—Aurora Ontario

Liberal

Maurizio Bevilacqua LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, it is typical of the NDP to have a very narrow view of what it takes to build a city, very narrow indeed.

Of course infrastructure is important. That is why we invested over $8 billion. When we ask the small business people who want to generate greater wealth for the city, they say they are benefiting from the higher deduction. When we ask people if cities are in fact benefiting from the fact that disposable income in this country is going up, cities benefit from that. If we ask whether they benefit from greater health investments, cities benefit from that.

We understand what it takes to build a city. We understand what it takes to build a country.

InfrastructureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, when Mike Harris was cutting taxes and not building clean water, the Liberals said that those choices caused Walkerton.

Two years ago the Liberals cut taxes by $100 billion, twice the amount of today's infrastructure needs. But instead of building clean water, they are still cutting taxes, such as the abolition of the capital tax, costing $700 million.

Could the Prime Minister explain why corporations need a capital tax elimination more than communities need clean water?

InfrastructureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Vaughan—King—Aurora Ontario

Liberal

Maurizio Bevilacqua LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, that is typical of people who cannot take a two-pronged approach.

We have to generate wealth in a country before we can redistribute it. That means we have to set up the economic conditions so that people and companies can profit, create jobs and improve investments in Canada.

Let us be frank with one another. We are leading the G-7 in economic growth. We are leading the G-7 in job creation. Disposable income in this country is going up. Productivity is going up. This plan works and it works well for the people of Canada.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

February 24th, 2003 / 2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy Progressive Conservative South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, the justice minister is about to wash his hands of all accountability for the firearms registry. In five weeks the whole mess will be handed over to the Solicitor General, the next in a long line of ministers who cannot answer for their predecessors. This is a major move and must have been the subject of indepth studies before the decision was made.

Will the Minister of Justice tell exactly how much the transfer will cost while the Minister of Justice is still able to speak on this matter?

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, obviously the hon. member did not look at the plan of action that the government tabled on Friday.

We saw the report of the Auditor General before Christmas. As well, we asked consultant Raymond Hession to prepare a report. He has tabled his recommendations.

We have decided to move ahead with a good plan of action which has been accepted by the Canadian population and police forces as well. We are talking about improving program management. We are talking as well about improving service to the public, engaging stakeholders in discussion and strengthening accountability and transparency. As well, we will--

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The right hon. member for Calgary Centre.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister in an earlier answer said that the loopholes in the blind trust rule that he has used were used by two former ministers of a former Progressive Conservative government. I believe, sir, that is not the case.

I would ask the Prime Minister, who said he has seen the documents, to table those documents, or at the very least, to stand now and give the names of those ministers in the House. If he requires the approval of the former prime minister to release information relative to that government, I can tell him he has that approval.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I do not ask about the personal affairs of anybody. I am informed that this rule existed before we formed the government . It was that system that the former minister of finance used to arrange his own affairs. There was a precedent that existed in the previous administration. That is what I said. It is the truth because when we started, we took exactly the guidelines as they existed before I became Prime Minister.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Keith Martin Canadian Alliance Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the opposition in Zimbabwe, Morgan Tsvangirai, is on trial with two others on trumped up treason charges. The RCMP did an investigation into these allegations because the person who set up Mr. Tsvangirai is a Canadian, Ari Ben-Menashe. It took place in Montreal.

Unless the results of these findings are released publicly, three innocent people will possibly be executed. Will the Solicitor General release the results of these investigations?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Malpeque P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I recognize the hon. member's concern over this issue but the member knows full well that I cannot get into the operational matters of the RCMP or direct them thereon. However I can assure the hon. member that through the full breadth of the government, we want to ensure that there is fair justice everywhere around the world.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Keith Martin Canadian Alliance Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, three innocent people could be executed and we have the power to exonerate them. We have the proof but we are not releasing it. All we have heard are nice diplomatic platitudes and the cop-out of expected watching.

Again I will ask the government what it is doing to deal with the crisis in Zimbabwe. Seven million people are being starved to death. There are internment camps where state sponsored murder, torture and sexual assaults are taking place.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has personally been working through the Commonwealth to bring pressure on Mr. Mugabe to bring his regime into conformity with the obligations that he has as a Commonwealth member.

Through the Minister for International Cooperation we have aid programs to help people in that country. We work with NGOs and with Zimbabweans to help them in terms of democracy building. We tell the government of Zimbabwe that we do not tolerate the conduct which we and the member opposite find totally reprehensible.

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-De- Beaupré—Île-D'Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, in response to a question on the negotiation of bilateral agreements with the provinces for implementing Kyoto, the Minister of the Environment said that the Deputy Minister of the Environment and the Deputy Minister of Natural Resources were the two federal negotiators on all such matters with the provinces.

If the Minister of the Environment is willing to sign bilateral agreements with the provinces and the negotiators are appointed, what is he waiting for to begin negotiating?

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the two federal deputy ministers, the Deputy Minister of the Environment and the Deputy Minister of Natural Resources Canada, are meeting with representatives of the ten provinces and three territories. As soon as they have wrapped up the discussions that are currently underway, we might have several agreements with the provinces and territories.

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-De- Beaupré—Île-D'Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government is secretly negotiating with industries to determine their respective efforts in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, effectively stepping away from the territorial approach recommended by Quebec.

If the minister is serious about wanting to involve the provinces in implementing the Kyoto protocol, when is he going to transfer them their share of the budget and stop negotiating behind their backs?

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I do not know whether all the provinces, including Quebec, want their talks to be public. It is possible, but I do not know. Often, when we have discussions with certain industries or with the provinces, these discussions are not entirely public. That is normal, it is not uncommon. I do not have the details of all the talks we have had, but I assure the hon. member that we are prepared to reach an agreement with all the provinces.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian Alliance Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal code of ethics allowed one cabinet minister to have a special agreement so that he could still supervise his company's affairs. That minister of course was the former finance minister.

Will the Prime Minister admit today in front of all Canadians that the former finance minister had a special supervisory agreement that no other cabinet minister had?

EthicsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I just explained to the leader of the Conservative Party that the system used by the minister of finance at that time was a system that was in place since the government of the Progressive Conservatives. This system for that type of company was there to be used. That is why the minister of finance of the day used it. It was according to the rules as they were written when we formed the government.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian Alliance Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, for the government to stand up and try to excuse such a blatant conflict of interest by another government is absolutely 100% wrong.

I want the Prime Minister to say to all Canadians that the former finance minister had a special supervisory agreement that no other cabinet minister had.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the rules were clear and they were followed. It was made public. Two other members of the government have the same system. Owning a private personal business is not the same as owning stock in public companies. This was the arrangement before we formed the government and after we formed the government.

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Liberal Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, in its 2003 budget, the government reaffirms its intention of building an inclusive society.

But as we all know, it is often very difficult for persons with disabilities to participate fully in Canadian society. The parents of severely disabled children often face major financial barriers. Many Canadians, adults as well as children, live with autism and other developmental disorders.

What concrete action is the government taking to meet the needs of Canadians with autism and other developmental disorders so that they can take their place as full members of Canadian society?

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Shefford Québec

Liberal

Diane St-Jacques LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for his question.

I am proud to inform this House today that the Minister of Human Resources Development has announced a $130,000 investment in the Miriam Foundation learning centre for persons with autism and developmental disorders.

The contribution announced today is consistent with the measures in budget 2003. In this budget, we are investing $50 million to establish a new benefit for disabled children, which will help low and middle income families caring for a severely disabled child.

Measures like this one show once again that the full inclusion of persons with disabilities—

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Fraser Valley.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Canadian Alliance Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, obviously a two tier system of ethics is being applied to Liberal cabinet ministers. The second tier is expected to put its holdings in a blind trust or a blind management agreement, ministers like the resource minister or the foreign affairs minister.

Why did only one minister, the former minister of finance, have the tier one treatment, a shoot from the hip, ad hoc supervisory agreement that essentially allowed the former minister of finance to direct the affairs of Canada Steamship Lines whenever he wanted to intervene?