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House of Commons Hansard #14 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was health.

Topics

HealthOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we have just recently entered into an agreement with the provinces and the territories where all of the jurisdictions have recommitted themselves to the five principles enshrined in the Canada Health Act. The allegations that are being made by my friend are absolutely untrue.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

Gurmant Grewal Conservative Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister and his minions tell us that by lobbying for sponsorship funds his office was simply helping a constituent. Serge Savard is not a constituent of LaSalle--Émard but rather of Westmount--Ville-Marie. His group, Internationaux du Sport de Montréal, is also not located in LaSalle--Émard. In fact, Mr. Savard is the Prime Minister's golfing buddy. He is a crony who raised $1 million for the Prime Minister's leadership campaign.

Why does the Prime Minister not come clean and admit he milked the sponsorship Liberal slush fund for all it was worth?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, this is another case of the opposition focusing on day to day testimony instead of waiting for the full report, which will give Canadians the truth. It is irresponsible and it is dangerous, because on a day to day basis they are making errors over there.

Let me say that hypocrisy and sanctimony are a dangerous combination and there are near toxic levels of both emanating from the opposition benches.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Dave Batters Conservative Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Gomery commission does not prevent the highest minister in the land, or in this case his designate, from standing in his place and answering a simple, direct question. It has come to light in the past days that the Prime Minister's office made calls to Mr. Gagliano's office on behalf of Serge Savard, who is a prominent benefactor of the Liberal Party but not one of the Prime Minister's constituents.

Did the Prime Minister's office make any other calls to Gagliano's office to secure sponsorship money for any other benefactors of the Liberal Party who did not reside in the Prime Minister's constituency?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, once again, the Conservatives were wrong this week on Francis Fox. They were wrong in terms of the Prime Minister making a phone call on this. They were wrong about the Liberals being the only party that was aware of the sponsorship program. And they were wrong about Belgium. In fact, a National Post editorial this week said:

As was the case with his now notorious “firewall letter” of 2001, the agenda he is pushing, far from having appeal in all corners of the country, is one of massive decentralization that is geared almost exclusively toward a handful of regional agitators.

Why does--

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Brandon—Souris.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Merv Tweed Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, the government has a history of antagonizing the United States, our largest trading partner and neighbour. Comments by senior Liberals, calling Americans morons and idiots, does not help to solve the softwood lumber and BSE trade issues. Now we have cabinet ministers picking sides in the upcoming U.S. presidential election.

Does the Prime Minister believe these comments from Liberal MPs will help our Canada-U.S. trade relationship?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister was absolutely clear yesterday that no one in this government would express a preference in the United States election. It is up to Americans to decide who will lead the Americans, as much as it is up to Canadians to decide who governs Canada.

As a government, we will work in good faith with whoever forms the next American administration. Indeed, we will resolve softwood lumber and BSE. We have a great trading relationship with the United States; 96% of it is problem free.

JusticeOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Conservative Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we learned that public works has been auctioning off previously seized marijuana grow op equipment. York Region Police Chief Armand La Barge tell us that public works is, “basically selling ready made, tailor made marijuana grow operations”. Halton Police Chief Ean Algar describes the system as a “revolving door”.

There are 4,500 grow ops in Surrey alone. How much government gear is in use there? What steps has the government taken to make certain that this does not happen again?

JusticeOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I welcome the hon. member to the House of Commons. She is part of a now very historic parliamentary couple in the House of Commons.

When I became aware of the situation, I decided to put an immediate freeze on any transactions of this nature. In fact there will be no reselling of this type of paraphernalia or equipment used in hydroponic grow operations. That will allow us to perform a review to identify some of the material. Some of the material, such as humidifiers and fans, are of a more general purpose. Others are not such. However, we are reviewing it. We have frozen the practice.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

October 22nd, 2004 / 11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of the Environment rejected the suggestion by his predecessor that some ministers were acting like lobbyists for industry in cabinet, and added that the Minister of Natural Resources, among others, is green.

How then can the minister explain that his colleague, the Minister of Natural Resources, refuses to harmonize Canadian motor vehicle emission standards with those of the state of California? Is this not evidence that, far from being green, the minister is acting like a lobbyist for the automobile industry?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Richmond Hill Ontario

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, if the member would read the Speech from the Throne, he would see the great initiatives put forth by the Minister of the Environment.

The Minister of the Environment is working with all his colleagues, both in the cabinet and in caucus, to ensure that we have a greener economy and that we meet our Kyoto commitments.

I find it rather surprising that the member would rise and make such comments. He clearly needs to go back and do his homework.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, after saying that the Minister of Natural Resources was green, the Minister of the Environment made an even more ridiculous statement when he added that the Minister of Finance is also a green minister.

How can the minister say such a thing, when the Minister of Finance continues to give major tax benefits to the oil industry in Canada? Are these not totally unacceptable comments on the part of a Minister of the Environment?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Richmond Hill Ontario

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the government is working with all departments. Clearly, the minister understands the need to move forward on issues such as climate change. The fact that the member seems not to understand that is surprising, given his role on the environment committee.

We have and we will continue to move forward in many areas, whether it happens to be dealing with emissions or whether it happens to be in other areas. On the tax issue, we always work with our friends at the finance department to move forward on green technology issues, et cetera.

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, gasoline prices are on the increase again and oil companies are again reaping huge benefits this year. These revenues do not only come from the prices at the pump, but also from refining margins. The federal government is responsible for the monitoring of such margins.

What is the government waiting for to assume its responsibility and create a petroleum monitoring agency?

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the Competition Bureau initiated a study of petroleum pricing on May 4 of this year. It continues to assess whether the petroleum prices, the gas prices that we see today, are as a result of global forces of supply and demand or a conspiracy to fix prices among petroleum producers. The bureau is also looking at the question of whether there is predatory behaviour and inappropriate conduct dealing with gasoline retailers.

When the Competition Bureau completes its report, appropriate action will be taken.

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, creating such an agency is a recommendation made by the Standing Committee on Industry and is supported by oil industry officials.

Why is the minister stubbornly refusing to act?

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I am not stubborn at all. I like to have information and then make sound, reasonable, thoughtful decisions. At this point, we do not have the information that would justify revisiting that issue.

HealthOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Steven Fletcher Conservative Charleswood—St. James, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. There is $1.1 billion sitting in the compensation fund for victims of hepatitis C from tainted blood and it is not being used. Meanwhile, more than $250,000 a month is spent on administrative costs. This is not right. Money continues to sit in the fund with management costs of at least $3 million a year and no one outside the window is being compensated.

Since the minister supported opening the fund in 1998 as attorney general in B.C., why does he not do the right thing and today begin to compensate the victims outside the window?

HealthOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the government is looking at just that. It is important we recognize that this decision ultimately will be made by the court. The court is in control and is seized of the trust fund.

We will have to speak to the plaintiffs' counsel for the 1986-90 class. We will have to speak to the plaintiffs' counsel for the before 1986 class and the post 1990 class. We are attempting to look at this issue and to resolve it. It is a very serious issue, and I thank the member for raising it.

HealthOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Conservative Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is not good enough. The actuarial report on the fund is not due out until next summer and these victims need help now.

The facts are that the government has overestimated the number of victims. The fund made $50 million profit last year and there is over a billion dollars sitting in the fund.

We on this side of the House support these Canadian victims. Why do the Liberals not care about these people and do the right thing today?

HealthOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we do care about these people. That is why $300 million was set aside and given to the provinces for the class of before 1986 and post 1990. It is important we remember that we also put the money into trust for the 1986-90 class. Caring is absolutely not the monopoly of that side alone.

Charitable OrganizationsOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Conservative Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians feel strongly in the freedom of expression, the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion.

Prior to the June election, Revenue Canada attempted to quiet charitable organizations opposed to same sex marriage. It called in representatives from the Catholic church and the Evangelical fellowship, to remind them of the dangers of speaking against the Liberal government.

Could the minister tell us, whatever happened to the separation of church and state?

Charitable OrganizationsOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Scarborough—Guildwood Ontario

Liberal

John McKay LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, Revenue Canada has fairly significant rules with respect to the debate whereby a registered charity involves itself in political discourse. Those rules need to be followed. I do not think any of us would wish to have charitable donations used for improper purposes.

Therefore, any views that are based on a well reasoned position are acceptable, but activities which involve themselves in political partisanship are not acceptable.

Charitable OrganizationsOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Brian Pallister Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, the facts are these. Revenue Canada threatened to revoke the charitable status of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Calgary. It threatened to audit Focus on the Family after it expressed its views contrary to the government's. Yet the United Church of Canada, on side with the government, received no such threats. There is a clear pattern emerging. Those opposed to the government are threatened; those who support the government, hands off.

I would like the minister to stand in his place today and acknowledge that this and all public policy debates are the property of Canadians, not the property of the Liberal Party of Canada.