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House of Commons Hansard #114 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was parties.

Topics

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, federal-provincial relations on this Prime Minister's watch have hit an all time low. Six out of 10 provinces oppose the long gun registry. The same number have said no to the softwood lumber offer. The federal government's neglect of SARS and BSE continues to wreak havoc on the Canadian economy.

When will the government start to show respect for the provinces and convene a first ministers conference? Will the Prime Minister convene a first ministers conference to deal with these crises?

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate the hon. member for his election as the leader of the Conservative Party. I hope he will stay in the same position for a long time and on the same side of the House.

We had a federal-provincial meeting with the first ministers in February that was very successful. We also had a health accord that was very welcomed by the Canadian public.

All the files the hon. member is referring to are part of the continuing work that we do on a daily basis with the provincial governments, where each government does its best to solve the problem in one province and in the nation.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, this morning's promise of a future compensation package for farmers affected by BSE is another cynical attempt to pre-empt the western premiers' request for aid.

The need for compensation is urgent and immediate. There is a product backlog and liquidity is the big issue.

When will the government relax the two week waiting period for workers affected by the ban of Canadian beef and when will it provide a fair and immediate compensation package for farmers who cannot afford to feed their cattle?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada is treating Canadians fairly, no matter where they live across the country.

With regard to the waiving of the two week period associated with health realities associated with SARS, this has been applied equally across the country. Sixty-four Canadians in the western provinces are benefiting from it.

We are aggressively working with employers and employees to implement flexible standards of the work-sharing provisions as well as ensure that we are processing employment insurance claims as quickly as possible, because we know individuals who are laid off need those benefits urgently.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, while the Prime Minister is busy congratulating himself, the fact is the western beef industry is still in crisis and needs help now.

Cattle producers are losing millions. Meat plant workers are losing their jobs. These people deserve more from their government than glib responses and buck-passing. They need help and they need it now.

When will the Prime Minister wake up and give some substantive help that is needed to plant workers and to cattle producers in the country? They are in crisis. Does the Prime Minister understand that?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we know that and we are working on it. As I said, we have federal and provincial programs very often working together to compensate farmers in difficulties.

This situation is affecting people in Saskatchewan and Alberta. We are looking at what can be done to give them the proper access to the resources that are needed for them to get through this very difficult period.

HealthOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have to say that sounds a lot like 100% Canada grade A bull.

It has been almost three months since SARS hit and there is still not a penny for hospitality workers nor a cent in disaster funding. Whether it is help for hotels and workers through job sharing or help for the provincial government itself, the Liberals have had the same response: no.

Maybe the Prime Minister can tell people in Toronto what is the use of electing only Liberals when none of them can deliver the help for a city that is in deep trouble?

HealthOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member makes direct reference to work-sharing. I would like to advise her and the whole House that to date we have 94 work-sharing agreements in place in the city of Toronto.

I would like to congratulate those employers and employees who see this as a natural opportunity for them to deal with this difficult time.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Howard Hilstrom Canadian Alliance Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, operating cash has run out for the cattle industry and it is losing one of its main players, the feedlot industry.

Contrary to what the Prime Minister has said, the agricultural policy framework does not work in this large financial crisis. Feedlot companies are not even covered by the APF.

We know the cattle industry has developed a compensation package and it is supported by the western premiers. Why has this government not accepted the industry's proposal or come forward with one of its own?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Portneuf Québec

Liberal

Claude Duplain LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister responded to this very well earlier. Government stakeholders, starting with the Minister of Agriculture, are working with industry people and the provinces to find a solution to this problem as quickly as possible.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Howard Hilstrom Canadian Alliance Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, representatives of the industry were down here last week and the government sent them home on Friday with nothing in their hands, not even a promise that it would do something. I do not accept that answer. What I want to see is the government stand and say that it intends to provide some financial help until that border is opened up and our exports start to flow again. Is there that commitment or not?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Portneuf Québec

Liberal

Claude Duplain LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, as we said earlier, we are working very hard on this matter. I would like to know whether the member told his constituents that last week while the committee was meeting with people from Saskatchewan here, they called for a vote to adjourn the House of Commons for the summer holiday. We missed the meeting.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the report from Public Works and Government Services Canada refers to a tightly knit network of firms, a system that was well-honed over several years that were very profitable for the Liberal Party of Canada.

Does the Prime Minister realize that he is about to appoint to the Vatican a man, Alfonso Gagliano, who set up a system that benefited the Liberal Party, friends of the Liberal Party, their friends and their children, and his own son, Vincenzo Gagliano? Is the Prime Minister condoning all that by this appointment? Is that it?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I know nothing about any such appointment. Let me again say that the Government of Canada, from the very beginning on this file, has been thoroughly proactive and conscientious, pursuing every possible investigative technique to get to the bottom of what went on, to ensure that it is thoroughly exposed and that the appropriate corrective action is taken, up to and including police investigations and subsequent prosecutions.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

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

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

Instead of rewarding former minister Gagliano by appointing him to the Vatican, should the Prime Minister not call for an independent public inquiry to finally get to the bottom of the sponsorship scandal?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I would think if the hon. gentleman is truly serious about getting to the bottom of all these matters, he would want to ensure that the work of the Auditor General is fully completed, that the pursuit of materials under the Financial Administration Act is properly completed and that police investigations are properly completed.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gerry Ritz Canadian Alliance Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, of the 2,000 animals that have been put down and tested, only one tested positive. The investigation was comprehensive. What has never been comprehensive are any specifics on any compensation package for the beef industry.

Why do the Liberals always come up short on agricultural programs?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Portneuf Québec

Liberal

Claude Duplain LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, there are compensation programs available for producers. As it has been said, right now the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food is in discussions to come up with other solutions for producers.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gerry Ritz Canadian Alliance Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, it is always somebody else's fault. Time is of the essence here. Four weeks have dragged by and there is no plan. There are no specifics. The beef industry is fighting off bankruptcy on its own. There is no help from those guys. Two more weeks to study the findings, they say, and there is still no clear signal to the industry or to banks that help is on the way.

What the heck is wrong with those guys? Do they not get it? Why are the Liberals always found lacking in any crisis?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Portneuf Québec

Liberal

Claude Duplain LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, we are not lacking in any crisis. We are in the process of studying these crises. While we are studying the matter, as I said earlier, the Canadian Alliance is calling for votes in the House to interrupt the meetings we are having with people in Saskatchewan to try to solve the problem.

Immigration BoardOral Question Period

June 9th, 2003 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, when we speak of a tightly knit network, there is another example at the Immigration Board, where the commissioners are appointed on a partisan basis. For example, one of the commissioners, Mr. Colavecchio, worked on Alfonso Gagliano's election campaign, and signed his nomination papers. The commissioner's father is the owner of a company chosen by the same Alfonso Gagliano.

Will the Prime Minister admit that this is the tightly knit network to which the internal investigation referred?

Immigration BoardOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is referring to allegations concerning an individual. Since a police investigation is currently underway, we can in no way involve ourselves in this situation.

We will let justice take its course and then we will see.

Immigration BoardOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, as the Prime Minister's right hand man in Quebec, Alfonso Gagliano used his influence everywhere, and the result is that everything he touched has turned to trouble. The common denominator in the sponsorship scandals is Alfonso Gagliano.

Is the Prime Minister certain that he wants to appoint him to the Vatican?

Immigration BoardOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member again makes specific reference to the sponsorship program. She knows that corrective action began in that program in 2002. An internal audit was ordered then by the deputy minister of Public Works and Government Services. That has triggered a subsequent series of steps over the last three years to root out the difficulty, to amend the programs, to pursue the issues from the past that need to be corrected, to ensure that they are corrected and to put the program for the future on a much more solid footing, all of which has been done.

HealthOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Canadian Alliance Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, the city of Toronto and the province of Ontario have been continuing to battle SARS, but the government seems content to just let them go it alone. Ontario has spent almost $1 billion fighting SARS but this Liberal government does not think that SARS qualifies for disaster relief.

Will the government reconsider and immediately extend disaster relief for the province of Ontario?