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House of Commons Hansard #5 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was federal.

Topics

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Bill Graham Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would ask the hon. member to please not go ballistic over this question.

Members have had an opportunity of debating the issue on several occasions in the House and the hon. member was there. I have shared my debating points with him. There are members in our caucus who have different points of view. The Prime Minister has encouraged an open debate over what is an issue of great importance.

The hon. member, also being a very experienced member of the House, knows full well that the ratification of international treaties is and must remain a prerogative of the government.

Shipbuilding IndustryOral Question Period

October 8th, 2004 / 11:45 a.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Industry.

He and the Liberal government should hang their heads in shame for allowing the B.C. Liberal government and the B.C. Ferry Corporation to tender a contract with a German company for three ferries worth over half a billion dollars.

For years in the House we have been asking for a comprehensive shipbuilding policy so that our workers in B.C., Quebec and Atlantic Canada could have access to those jobs. Our navy requires new ships along with our Coast Guard, as does our laker fleet and our ferries across the country. Those ships could be built right here in Canada.

When will the government institute the policy to put our workers back--

Shipbuilding IndustryOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Industry.

Shipbuilding IndustryOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, Industry Canada is in fact reviewing the shipbuilding industry. We are having discussions with representatives of the shipbuilding industry. We are having discussions with the union movement.

The B.C. Ferry Corporation and its emanations is an independent company as the member knows. The federal government does not have any place in directing a private company as to where it should be acquiring its ships, but we will be pursuing this as it goes forward.

Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Lee Richardson Conservative Calgary South Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the heritage minister waved an invitation accepted by her predecessor on January 7 to speak at the Banff television festival on June 13. She flew out on a government jet. With five months in advance of the event, would the Prime Minister's aide not have had plenty of time to book a commercial flight?

Can the government tell us why the Prime Minister's top aide spent $50,000 of taxpayers' money when a $354 WestJet ticket could have got her there just fine?

Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Jeanne-Le Ber Québec

Liberal

Liza Frulla LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, the minister had to be there. I am repeating that this was an international and Canadian event. The minister's presence was compulsory.

Now, it was an electoral campaign. Does the member not think that the minister would have preferred to campaign in her own riding instead of going to Banff, and continuing her role as minister and assuming her ministerial responsibility? But she did so. Why? Because she was a professional.

Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Lee Richardson Conservative Calgary South Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, too professional--

Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. There seem to be a lot more than one question being asked at the moment. The hon. member for Calgary Centre is the one who has the floor. It is his question that we are going to hear and answer, not all of the questions that are going back and forth at the moment.

Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Lee Richardson Conservative Calgary South Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, the question was not about whether or not it was an important event. Of course the Banff festival is an important event.

The question was about her flying out on a government jet. I understand that she is too professional to fly commercial with the rest of us and she would rather the splendid isolation of a luxury government jet at the cost of $50,000 as compared to a commercial flight for $354. That was the question.

Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Jeanne-Le Ber Québec

Liberal

Liza Frulla LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, she had to be there. She flew in and out. It was not a vacation. It was dependent on the schedule of the festival. But again, it was an important festival. She had to be there and professionally she felt that it was important for her to be there, so she took the means to go.

Government SpendingOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, on June 12 the Minister of Finance's director of parliamentary affairs took a trip to the minister's riding to “attend meetings with the minister”. This trip lasted 17 days and this individual returned to Ottawa on June 29, the day after the election.

Taxpayers paid over $2,800 for this trip including a food bill of almost $1,300. My question is for the Minister of Finance. Did this individual take part in any campaign related events during this trip?

Government SpendingOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, during the course of the election campaign I ensured that all of my staff behaved completely in accordance with all of the rules.

Government SpendingOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, for the moment let us forget about whether or not this may have been a violation of any election laws. Let us focus on the fact that the minister's staffer racked up a $2,800 bill in the minister's riding during an election campaign.

Does the Minister of Finance not agree that this looks an awful lot like a clear violation of election laws, or does the appearance of propriety not appeal to this minister?

Government SpendingOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I would be happy on any occasion to stack up my record for propriety with any member across the way.

Textile IndustryOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, in Quebec there are nearly 40,000 jobs in the textile industry. With quotas to be removed in less than three months, the industry is threatened, especially by imports, and the government's action is ineffective. The rules of origin are ill-defined. The tariffs are mis-targeted.

Is the government waiting for the textile industry to disappear from Quebec's landscape before taking any properly targeted measures to save it and prevent having the few fabrics still produced here from being swept away by imports?

Textile IndustryOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, obviously the government is very interested in the well-being of all Canadian businesses and industries in whatever sector they may be or in whatever region or province they may be.

In the previous Parliament we undertook certain steps to try to provide the appropriate action in relation to both the apparel sector and the textile sector and we continue to work very hard on that.

Some of these matters are, at the present time, before the Canadian International Trade Tribunal.

Textile IndustryOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, our industries have to deal with competitors that sometimes use the worst forms of exploitation, such as forced labour and child labour. Canada cannot work toward eradicating such practices, since it has not even ratified all the International Labour Organization conventions that ban them.

What is the government waiting for to propose ratification to the House of the ILO treaties banning forced labour and child labour and allowing freedom of association?

Textile IndustryOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

London North Centre Ontario

Liberal

Joe Fontana LiberalMinister of Labour and Housing

Mr. Speaker, as we know, the Government of Canada, through its international labour organization, its membership, its unions and a number of other stakeholder parties, has done some great things around the world in making sure those labour standards, of which the member spoke, are adhered to.

Canada has taken a leadership position, along with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, to ensure that Canadian labour standards are upheld not only in Canada but throughout the world.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Bob Mills Conservative Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have two interesting quotes regarding the lack of a Kyoto plan.

First we have the new environment minister saying “We came out with a plan in 2002 , but this plan is not enough and it was not intended to be enough”.

We now have the recently fired environment minister saying “There is no argument that he hasn't got a plan. The plans have been there for a long time”.

Can the minister finally be honest with Canadians and tell them whether we have a plan or whether we do not have a plan?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, indeed we have a plan which we implemented in 2002.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

An hon. member

Is it a secret plan?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Liberal Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

No, it is a well known plan. Climate change is an issue that we learn about more and more. The more we learn about it, the more we need to refine the plan.

It was implemented and it is what the throne speech set out for the government to do.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Jim Prentice Conservative Calgary North Centre, AB

My question, Mr. Speaker, is for the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.

This week Amnesty International issued a scathing report highlighting Canada's glaring and obvious inaction over the past decade toward the fact that Canadian aboriginal women face a higher risk of violence than other women in our society. The report states “In every instance, Canadian authorities could and should have done more to” protect these women.

Why is the government failing to protect our aboriginal women from violence?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, I want to welcome my critic to the House. I know his extensive experience in these files will add much to our debates.

On the question of the Amnesty report, I can only go to the Aboriginal Women's Association here in Canada. I have been meeting with them prior to and since the meeting and since the report and we are working on plans right now to deal specifically with that.

Social DevelopmentOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Susan Kadis Liberal Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am rising for the first time on behalf of the vibrant riding of Thornhill.

My question is for the Minister of Social Development. As Canadians very well heard in the throne speech, the idea of a national system of early learning and child care was prominently featured.

What is being done to move this very important file forward?