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House of Commons Hansard #70 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was yukon.

Topics

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deborah Grey Canadian Alliance Edmonton North, AB

They certainly have their confidence undermined, Mr. Speaker. He says it is a priority for the government. It surely is, but it is a pathetically low priority.

This week the defence minister said that he could not just snap his fingers and get new helicopter replacements. Oddly enough it took only days to get a luxury Challenger jet for the Prime Minister and his Challenger chums. That was untendered.

We now learn that the frigate HMCS Fredericton is on its way to replace the HMCS Iroquois when the government said not long ago that those frigates were just too small for command ships. The government does not know what it is doing.

Why does it take years for our troops to get what they need, but only days for the Prime Minister to get what he wants?

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Beauséjour—Petitcodiac New Brunswick

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, surely the hon. member is not suggesting that the Maritime helicopter project proceed by way of an untendered contract.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the House of Commons debated a motion sponsored by the Bloc Quebecois, calling on the federal government to ratify the Cartagena protocol on biosafety as soon as possible.

Can the Minister of the Environment tell us whether his government intends to ratify the protocol under the precautionary principle that he himself supported in 1992?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the government is looking at the Cartagena agreement. At this time we are working with farmers who have certain concerns. We want to ensure that we make a well informed decision, and work with the stakeholders and farmers of this country. We are working at other ways to ensure we comply with the principles of that agreement and we will continue to work in that way.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, on January 27, 2000, the Minister of the Environment said that he believed, and I quote, “—that a strong Biosafety Protocol under the Biodiversity Convention is in the interests of all nations.”

Can the Minister of the Environment tell us what has changed in three years and why he is not committed to joining the list of 44 countries that have ratified the Cartagena protocol?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, we agree with the principles outlined in the Cartagena biosafety agreement. We must ensure that we consult with farmers and have their views. Nothing has changed. We are also working on a bilateral agreement so that we can ensure that we comply with those principles.

I am sure the hon. member will want to ensure that we take into consideration the views and concerns of farmers, and that we continue to work with them. We very much support the principles outlined in Cartagena and our position has not changed.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

February 28th, 2003 / 11:30 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ken Epp Canadian Alliance Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, Liberal leadership candidate, the Minister of Canadian Heritage, has close to $1 billion a year to spend on pet projects. One of those projects is the HMCS Haida that is to end up in Hamilton harbour as a floating museum. Here is a surprise, CSE Marine Services Inc., a subsidiary of Canada Steamship Lines, has the contract.

Can the minister of heritage explain why she is funnelling money to the former finance minister's not so blind empire?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the removal of HMCS Haida from Toronto to Hamilton was part of the establishment of a waterfront park and marine facility at Hamilton harbour. It is something which is quite laudable. Funds were granted from Canadian Heritage for this restoration. As to who did the contract, as we know, companies, whether they are CSL or others, are private companies and do work based on the proper tendering process.

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Canadian Alliance Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, in October 1997 technology partnerships Canada gave nearly $9 million to Western Star Trucks. It was justified at that time on the basis that it would create more than 1,000 jobs across Canada over a 10 year period. Last June Western Star Trucks moved its manufacturing, engineering, customer support, operations and staff to Portland, Oregon.

Can the industry minister explain why taxpayer dollars are being used to subsidize the movement of Canadian jobs to the United States?

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, technology partnerships Canada is an instrument by which we help Canadian companies compete in world markets. In addition to the $2 billion we have invested in this program, $8 billion has been furnished by private sources. We have leveraged private money to create over 38,000 jobs here in Canada.

This enables us to compete with every other country in the world that does similar things to encourage research and development in their economy. The hon. member should know that this is an essential instrument for economic growth.

TaxationOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, in his budget the Minister of Finance announced his intention to retroactively change the provisions of the Excise Tax Act with regard to school transportation.

Even worse, the minister could establish a new rate for school boards despite all the court decisions handed down since December 21, 2001.

Does the minister agree that his proposed change will completely set aside judgments in the school boards' favour on the issue of GST rebates for school transportation?

TaxationOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Vaughan—King—Aurora Ontario

Liberal

Maurizio Bevilacqua LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member would know that on December 21, 2001, in response to a Federal Court of Appeal decision the government announced a proposed GST amendment to clarify that the provision of student transportation services would continue to be an exempt activity for which school boards would be entitled to a 68% rebate of tax and not a 100% input tax credit.

TaxationOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, is the minister aware that this retroactive measure is an extremely serious infringement of the rule of law and the authority of a judgment, which probably constitutes a precedent in the Canadian parliamentary system?

TaxationOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Vaughan—King—Aurora Ontario

Liberal

Maurizio Bevilacqua LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should know that if the school boards were only entitled to a 68% tax rebate, they would obviously not be entitled to 100%. This is in keeping with the announcement that reaffirms the long standing policy that the GST has applied since the inception of the tax. The government's policy intent has not changed in this particular instance.

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Scott Reid Canadian Alliance Lanark—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, in recent years Canadian farmers have been plagued by floods, drought, grasshoppers, the U.S. congress, and a Liberal government that just does not care.

Now the minister, with his new APF program, is expecting farmers to provide an initial deposit of $3 billion to ensure adequate coverage.

My question is simple this, where does the minister expect that cash strapped Canadian farmers will get this money?

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food announced a program worth $5.3 billion to help farmers across this country.

This is the amount of money we have provided to support farmers. The Alliance Party members said that farmers should not be provided with support and that they should not be subsidized. They should stand up and congratulate the good work that the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food has been doing for many years.

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Canadian Alliance Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food is trying to apply a one size fits all approach when he designed the APF for the entire agricultural industry. This will not address the different problems faced by the various regions in Canada. The gradual removal of federal money from the companion programs will leave farmers with ineffective coverage.

Does the minister think it is fair to withdraw money from programs that are already working for farmers?

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, we are not withdrawing programs. In fact, we have a new framework to improve the programs. We are having a transition period to move from the current programs to the better, more improved programs to provide better protection. The transition period will be over the next three years. The hon. member should take that into consideration when she asks her question.

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Veterans Affairs.

In 1917 Canada defined itself as a nation at the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Today, the Canadian national Vimy memorial is in bad need of repair.

Can the minister please tell the House today what the government is doing to address this issue?

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Oshawa Ontario

Liberal

Ivan Grose LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Vimy Ridge is one of Canada's most important historic sites, honouring the Canadians who lost their lives at this important battle during the first world war.

I am pleased to inform the House that the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of Public Works and Government Services recently announced the awarding of a contract for $1.8 million for architectural and engineering services for the restoration of the Vimy memorial. This is part of the battlefield memorial restoration project which also includes the restoration and rehabilitation of 12 other first world war battlefield memorials and sites.

If I might add something I heard at the Canadian Defence Association yesterday, our soldiers went up that hill--

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Windsor--St. Clair.

Border SecurityOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—St. Clair, ON

Mr. Speaker, we continue to hear of numerous incidents of racial profiling at our borders and airports.

Last year the Minister of Foreign Affairs told Canadians that he had assurances from Colin Powell and the U.S. attorney general that the practice of systemic racial profiling would end. Well, it has not. There was a recent incident at the Toronto airport where both a customs officer and his supervisor told a Canadian citizen that dual citizens of specific countries had to be registered, that it was the law, and that he had to comply.

I ask the government, will it impose and order a travel advisory--

Border SecurityOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Border SecurityOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I certainly would hesitate to order a travel advisory based on a single very unfortunate incident. These are matters which we have constantly brought to the attention of the American authorities.

I have been assured by the ambassador and by Secretary Powell himself that profiling of the nature that is described in the hon. member's question is not being practised by the United States authorities, but that there are other circumstances which they may choose to consider when making a decision whether to admit someone into the United States. This matter can be raised with them, but we will obviously work with the United States to remove this type of--

Border SecurityOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Palliser.