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House of Commons Hansard #69 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was cloning.

Topics

EthicsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we have dealt with this question for the last week. Obviously we know that there was a blind management agreement in place and that this type of briefing is allowed for extraordinary corporate events. Of course the content of any of these briefings, and the discussion of financing of projects, anything like that, is personal and confidential, but as Mr. Wilson said today, in a published newspaper report, any meeting that occurred was not inappropriate at all.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Canadian Alliance Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, we know there was not a blind management agreement. There was a supervisory agreement which is a big difference.

For nine years we have been promised an independent ethics commissioner by the government. For nine years the Liberals have voted against it, including the member for LaSalle—Émard. The former finance minister we know has had to excuse himself from cabinet votes and votes here in the House of Commons but now he says that new guidelines will protect his company, protect his reputation and protect the Canadian public interest. To do that he would have to install a revolving door in the cabinet room or perhaps the secret cone of silence.

How will these new guidelines possibly--

EthicsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Transport.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

On the general matter, Mr. Speaker, with respect to the governance of ethics dealing with politicians, these matters are now currently before the House. The hon. member will have ample time to make his views known.

However I would like to say quite frankly that the conduct of the government over the last nine years, in comparison to the earlier government, the government of which the right hon. member for Calgary Centre was a member, is one that has been exemplary. Ministers have not resigned as they did in the Conservative regime. That is really the issue here.

Heating Oil PricesOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, consumers are seeing an unprecedented increase in the cost of heating oil, which is up 38% over last winter.

When the price was 51¢ a litre, right before the election, the government was quick to issue cheques to everyone, including the deceased and the incarcerated. Today the price has reached 62¢ and the government is sitting back and doing nothing.

Could the government explain why there is no program to help the public and why it tolerates such an increase in prices without taking any action?

Heating Oil PricesOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Industry

Recently, Mr. Speaker, the Competition Bureau found that there was no collusion between the oil companies. The committee recently decided that it would also investigate this.

In the meantime, I do not agree that the federal government should regulate retail prices. It is up to the provinces to do so. I do not agree with the hon. member's suggestion that all these powers be centralized in Ottawa. That is unacceptable. We must respect the jurisdiction of the provinces.

Heating Oil PricesOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the question focussed on the fact that some families will be unable to pay for heating this winter. Oddly, before the last election, the government felt so responsible for this that it issued cheques to everyone.

Why, now, has the government just told us that this is none of their business?

Heating Oil PricesOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, competition is a federal responsibility. We have already conducted an investigation and the committee will begin its investigation in a few days.

In the meantime, if the problem really is retail prices, it is up to the provinces to exercise their authority. The hon. member's suggestion notwithstanding, I do not agree with all the powers being centralized here in Ottawa. That is completely unacceptable. We must respect the Constitution and stay out of the provinces' jurisdiction.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

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

Mr. Speaker, every fall in every province, thousands of teenagers try out for junior hockey teams. If they make the team the players know that they will receive no salary, accommodations will be provided for if necessary and perhaps some spending money. That is the way it is in amateur hockey.

Whether one plays for a team in Saskatchewan, or the Listowel Cyclones or the Stratford Cullitons in Ontario, that is amateur hockey.

Why does the Minister of National Revenue tax amateur junior hockey players when other amateur athletes are not taxed for the accommodation they receive?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I want to state clearly for the member opposite and for all Canadians who are watching that the role of the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency is to administer the Income Tax Act in Canada fairly so that it applies equally to all Canadians.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

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

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Revenue may not realize it but her tax actions now will kill junior hockey in Canada.

The teams in Saskatchewan, some of them at least, will no longer be viable after CCRA's crippling audits. Now in Ontario, junior hockey also fears an audit will be coming its way.

When will the minister issue a directive to her department to stop taxing junior hockey players?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, while I cannot speak to any individual case, I can tell the member opposite that when any individual goes to HRDC and asks for benefits and they look at the case and they say “we do not know if you are entitled to these benefits because you may not be an employee”, then CCRA does a ruling. We do thousands of those rulings every year. If the individual is deemed to be an employee then they are entitled to the benefits of employment insurance, Canada pension and so forth. This relates not only to hockey but to all--

TaxationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia.

Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

John Harvard Liberal Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Canadian Heritage.

The 2001 census showed that demographics in Canada were constantly changing. I am wondering whether the minister could tell the House what she is doing to ensure that all Canadians have the opportunity to celebrate their heritage and to engage in cultural expression in the Canadian context?

Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I would just like to tell the House how pleased I am that the Secretary of State responsible for Multiculturalism and the Status Women and I will co-host a summit on culture on April 22 and 23 which intends to ensure that the heritage of Canada is the heritage of all her peoples and not simply the heritage of the English and the French.

To that end we will be inviting aboriginal people, minority communities and the cultural sector to get together to see how we can create a true synergy of cultures which should be the real nature of Canada.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

February 27th, 2003 / 2:40 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, aheadline in the February 24 edition of the newspaper L’Acadie-Nouvelle reads “Chrétien sympathetic to seasonal workers’ stand on calculation of hours”, but Canadian families cannot eat sympathy.

My question is for the Minister of Human Resources Development. Will the minister change the way hours are calculated for EI, given the $43 billion surplus, rather than just expressing sympathy?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I would draw to the attention of the hon. member the changes that have been made to the Employment Insurance Act that do benefit seasonal workers. The change to an hours based system is responsive to seasonal workers. The repeal of the intensity regulation was in recognition that it was not fair to workers, including seasonal workers.

Where there is evidence that the Employment Insurance Act can be improved for the benefit of Canadians, we take action. The Prime Minister just conveyed that again in his meeting in the hon. member's region.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that this government would not have a balanced budget if it had not robbed EI.

International Women's Day is on March 8 of next week. I want to talk about real balance. The Liberals hiked RRSP limits, a move that benefits three times as many men as women, but they will not touch rules for EI that make it all but impossible for part time workers to qualify, and we all know that part time workers are twice as likely to be women.

Where was the status of women minister when the budget was being developed, because clearly she was not standing up for the status of women?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Jean Augustine LiberalSecretary of State (Multiculturalism) (Status of Women)

Mr. Speaker, I should address actually the last part that I was not standing up for the status of women. I think it is important to look at the budget very carefully. I think it is something that the member did not do. Look at what we have done to improve the situation of children, what we have done to improve the situation of graduate women who are entering educational systems, what we have done on compassionate leave and what we have provided to women and their families. All those are issues I think the member did not notice.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, I am glad today to see that members of the Canadian Alliance want the Sea King replaced, especially when they were against it in 1993.

Just last week the Canadian search and rescue EH-101 helicopters proved their superiority in a record-breaking ocean rescue. Now today we have the tragedy and embarrassment of the 40 year old Sea King crashing on the deck of the HMCS Iroquois , injuring two people and delaying the mission to which the Iroquois was assigned.

Will the minister get off his butt today and take the politics out of this--

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

I think I misheard the hon. member for Saint John. She has forced the Speaker to take certain steps. The minister will now have a chance to reply.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I note that the hon. member and the Alliance are not on the same page on every issue. Both of them did ask me to replace the Sea King immediately.

I wish I was able to wave a magic wand and cause that to happen. In the real world, under the realities in which we live, one can only do what is humanly possible.

We have moved very recently to expedite the process and obtain that replacement as quickly as we possibly can, but that is all I can do.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rick Borotsik Progressive Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, there has never been a worse example of fiscal sleight of hand, a gun registry shell game, than yesterday's supplementary estimates providing $59 million for the gun registry and another $14 million accessed through Treasury Board contingency, again for the gun registry.

The Minister of Justice probably does not know the answer, but in the off chance that he does, could he tell us exactly how much money was given to the gun registry is yesterday's supplementary estimates?

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, it is important to see that the hon. member cannot even read.

If we look at the supplementary estimates that were tabled yesterday, essentially we are talking about $59 million for this fiscal year. It is clear in the document that I have with me, which was tabled yesterday by the President of the Treasury Board.

G-8 SummitOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Canadian Alliance Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, during the G-8 summit in Kananaskis last summer, many businesses in the area suffered from lost revenue as a result of security restrictions imposed for the meeting.

Prior to the summit, the government promised local businesses full compensation for their losses. To date less than half of the claims submitted have been offered a partial payment, while others have been flatly denied any money.

Why is the government not fulfilling its promise?