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House of Commons Hansard #67 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Goods and Services TaxOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, because of the persistent questions, I went all the way back to the very beginning of the GST. I can tell the member that in 1991 when it was brought in by his friends in the corner and since that time we have collected over $500 billion. The total of GST fraud that has been clearly identified since that time is $60 million.

I told the member we had cases before the courts. I am fully prepared to go before committee and to give its members all the information they would like. Those are the facts.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, in connection with the softwood lumber situation, we have learned that negotiations between Canada and the United States have broken down, making it even more necessary to see the legal process through to the end.

Will the Minister for International Trade admit that the situation is far from improving and that the second phase of the assistance plan has to be implemented immediately, as promised by the government when it announced the first phase of this plan?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the government announced close to $350 million for research and development, looking for new markets and making sure we help those communities that are hurt. We have also said we would monitor the situation very closely and if additional programs are required, we would look at it.

What we should do is let the process work. We have had discussions. We hope we can get back to the table. It is very important to make sure we resolve this issue and that is where our efforts are.

We have come a long way in supporting communities and we will continue to monitor. If more needs to be done, we will do it.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, what the minister does not seem to realize is that the Americans are betting that many Canadian softwood lumber companies will not be able to hold out until the end of the legal process because they are simply not strong enough.

Why is the minister refusing to make good on the second phase of the assistance plan, when companies, workers and regions involved are in great need of it, especially considering the latest developments in this dispute?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, we have always said that we will be looking at other programs if we do not get an agreement, but we need to make sure we let the process work. We have made a huge commitment, both in phase one and in phase two, of $350 million. That is a huge commitment by the government to support industry, to support workers, and to make sure we have research and development. We look for new markets around the world.

We will continue to monitor the situation. If more needs to be done, members can be assured that we will make sure we do it.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Lynne Yelich Canadian Alliance Blackstrap, SK

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

Ernst Zundel, a man that the minister's own department considers a danger to the security of Canada, entered our country seven days ago. Is he still in our country?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, it is in the public domain that Ernst Zundel is in this country but I will not comment on his specific case. There is a process right now and I want to make sure that the process will remain.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Lynne Yelich Canadian Alliance Blackstrap, SK

Mr. Speaker, last week the minister admitted that some individuals abuse Canada's refugee system. He said, “I will not let this go”, and to just watch him. Well, we are watching and what we see is the minister doing nothing. He is standing by while a verified security risk remains in our country. Why does the minister not show some leadership for a change and expel Ernst Zundel?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, in this part of the House we believe in due process and we believe in rule of law. In saying that, keep watching me.

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Wood Liberal Nipissing, ON

Mr. Speaker, this September marks the 85th anniversary of the liberation of Cagnicourt, France by Canadian troops during the first world war. Could the Minister of Veterans Affairs tell the House how Canada plans to be represented at the ceremony in Cagnicourt marking this important anniversary?

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Winnipeg North—St. Paul Manitoba

Liberal

Rey D. Pagtakhan LiberalMinister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Science

Mr. Speaker, recently I wrote to the mayor of Cagnicourt informing him that Canada will be represented at the event by the director of Canada Remembers' European operations, Mr. Al Puxley.

Indeed, the liberation of Cagnicourt is an important event in Canadian military history. Seven Victoria Crosses were awarded, including one to Cyrus Peck, a former member of Parliament. Indeed Canada is committed to keeping alive the memory of Canada's veterans.

InfrastructureOral Question Period

February 25th, 2003 / 2:40 p.m.

NDP

Bev Desjarlais NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, the transport minister must have been snoozing last week when the finance minister delivered his budget. Somehow the transport minister did not notice the lack of funding in the budget for strategic transportation investments that his blueprint says are a high priority. The total infrastructure funding in the budget is not enough to repave the Trans-Canada Highway from Winnipeg to Portage la Prairie, yet it is supposed to cover roads, rail, public transit and clean water systems for the entire nation.

If the transport minister says this is a high priority, why was it such a low priority in the budget?

InfrastructureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we went through this last week and the answer remains the same. Or the infrastructure funding that had been previously allocated in the past two budgets, much of it remains still to be committed. This was a top-up of $2 billion of strategic infrastructure, $1 billion for community based infrastructure, and committed the government to maintaining that funding with those down payments over a period of the next 10 years.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Dick Proctor NDP Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, more than 80% of Canadian customers abroad say they will not purchase any genetically modified variety of wheat, but this has not stopped Monsanto from seeking regulatory approval to introduce GM wheat in Canada. Because there is no effective way to segregate wheat from genetically modified wheat, and knowing that the introduction of this product will result in hundreds of millions of dollars in lost sales annually, would the agriculture minister not agree that a market impact test should be completed before genetically modified wheat is foisted upon Canadian producers?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows that there is a submission up for review. That submission will take a considerable period of time, in fact, many months before it is completed. There are a number of factors that need to be taken into consideration, including the one that the hon. member just mentioned, before complete registration or the marketing of that product would take place.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister told the House that he had checked the file and then he stated categorically that the loophole in the blind trust had been used by apparently two ministers of the previous government.

Does he stand by that accusation against two unnamed ministers of the former government or does he wish to correct the record?

EthicsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I do not know the names of the people. I was informed that it was used by high officials of the previous administration. I do not know if they were ministers or not. I do not have their names.

If the leader of that party wants to give the names of the people, fine. That is why I was prudent and used the word “apparent”. I was informed that this system was developed by the previous administration and it is the system we have used.

So, give us the names of those who have used it and we would know if they were--

EthicsOral Question Period

2:40 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, more than most businesses, the shipping industry is driven by tax policy. Companies are registered in countries where taxes are lower. Flags of convenience fly from tax havens. Tax avoidance is a normal business practice for shipping companies.

Yet, the Prime Minister permitted his former finance minister to be involved in a tax sensitive business while he was minister responsible for the tax system.

To protect the integrity of his government, did the Prime Minister ensure personally that his then minister of finance stepped aside from every tax issue that might have been of interest to Canada Steamship Lines?

EthicsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, when there was a file related to shipping it was the secretary of state in charge of financial institutions who carried the file in cabinet all the time.

As usual, I think the hon. member is just throwing dirt. He is so good at throwing dirt, but when he throws dirt he loses ground all the time.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Canadian Alliance Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the immigration minister told the House that the Federal Court ruling finding that his department misled Parliament was a “draft decision”. The minister knows full well the judgment was not draft at all. It was signed off on by the judge on Friday, distributed to all parties, and has even been posted on the court's website. The court's verdict was final.

Why did the minister try to mislead Parliament again?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I am so disappointed when lawyers do not follow laws and do not read the laws, so I will read it for her and for the rest of the people. Under section 74(d) of IRPA it states:

...in rendering judgment, the judge certifies that a serious question of general importance is involved and states the question.

That means that the process is not over. I will be able to comment after we have a certified question. But we never misled this Parliament.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Canadian Alliance Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister knows full well that the question the court ruled on was final. One would think that a minister of the crown that was caught red-handed by the Federal Court of Canada would hang his head in shame.

The judge's final findings stated that the minister misled Parliament, he tabled significantly incorrect numbers, and he took immigrants' money and failed to process their applications. Now he is trying to deny the court's verdict.

Why is this minister still holding high office?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, credibility in politics is extremely important. Since they are in favour of bilingualism on the other side, I will read it in French.

Paragraph 74(d) of the act states that:

In rendering judgment, the judge certifies that a serious question of general importance is involved and states the question.

That means that the court has not made a final decision given that Judge Kelen requested that the parties ask other questions to see if this case could be appealed.

I do not know how she got her degree, but she should do her homework once and for all.

Port FacilitiesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, port divestiture is in full swing, and the Minister of Transport has already transferred 80% of all port facilities throughout Canada.

Oddly enough, although Quebec showed an interest in acquiring 10 ports, Ottawa let negotiations drag on, and today the Minister of Transport has announced that the program will end on March 31.

How can the minister explain that he had all the funds needed for the other Canadian provinces, and that he is terminating the program when Quebec is the one involved?