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House of Commons Hansard #20 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was victims.

Topics

AgricultureStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Gord Brown Conservative Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, several weeks ago we spent two evenings debating the BSE crisis in Canada. Since that time we have heard nothing positive in the House that will help our beef farmers.

In my office, however, I have heard a great deal. Regularly in my riding of Leeds—Grenville I receive calls from cattlemen who are in dire straits and are pleading for assistance to save their farms.

Among those are small farmers who have had to turn to off-farm income to pay their farm bills. Ironically, off-farm income is endangering their status as farmers and they may not pass the profitability test as outlined by Revenue Canada. Although most of the income they are earning at their off-farm jobs is being used to pay the farm bills, they may not be able to deduct all their losses.

They have asked me to remind the House, and Canada Customs and Revenue Agency officials, that we cannot afford to lose any more family farms.

East Nepean EaglesStatements By Members

November 2nd, 2004 / 2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Catterall Liberal Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we welcomed Canada's Olympians to the House. Today, I am proud to pay tribute to a new generation of athletes, the champions of today and tomorrow, the East Nepean Eagles.

These Canadian baseball champions proudly represented Canada at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania this past summer, winning soundly over Poland by five to one.

Congratulations to the coaches, the parents and above all, the players. I am proud to welcome the East Nepean Eagles to Parliament Hill, to be congratulated personally by the Prime Minister.

Way to go, team.

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I want to come back to the anger that is sweeping over Newfoundland and Labrador over its treatment by the Prime Minister.

On June 5 the Prime Minister promised to give Newfoundland and Labrador 100% of its offshore royalties. He accepted the premier's deal. On June 10 the premier wrote him to specify the terms of that deal, three weeks before the election.

Why did the Prime Minister wait until October to say that he disagreed with the terms of the deal?

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I will not get into disagreeing with the terms of the deal. I am prepared to stand behind my undertakings on this, and I want to because I believe this is very important for Newfoundland and Labrador.

Fundamentally, in terms of why the reply, it simply occurred. I said to the premier that because we would be having the health conference with the premiers, this was where the principal focus had to lie. Immediately after that we began the discussion on this.

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, very simply, I think people in Newfoundland and Labrador think that if CSL can get 98% of its offshore royalties, then Newfoundland and Labrador should get 100%.

Everyone heard the Prime Minister make a solemn promise on national television. The Prime Minister said, “I have made it very clear that the proposal that he“, Premier Williams, “has put forth is a proposal that we accept”. Now he wants to add terms and conditions.

Why do the Atlantic provinces have to negotiate? Why should anyone have to negotiate to get the Prime Minister to keep his solemn commitment?

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am prepared to live up to the undertakings that I made under these circumstances and fully intend to do so.

It is somewhat ironic that the member of Parliament, who has condemned Atlantic Canada to defeatism, would stand up here now and try to defend Atlantic Canada when his entire public service record has been against Atlantic Canada.

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Norman Doyle Conservative St. John's North, NL

Mr. Speaker, the minister representing Newfoundland and Labrador was a guest recently on the popular Rogers cable television show called, Out of the Fog . After that show, the people of the province knew that the minister was still in the fog on this issue.

In spite of repeated calls for the minister's resignation, he continues to toe the Ottawa line. Does the minister not realize he is causing great damage to the province's position by continuing to side with the Prime Minister on this issue?

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, one of the great contributions that Newfoundland and Labrador has made to public life in Canada is the men and women it has sent to the House of Commons. I am very proud to stand in the House, refer to the hon. member and say that the contribution he is making as the minister of energy and the contribution that he is making in terms of his broader vision is not only benefiting Canada, but it is of direct benefit to Newfoundland and Labrador.

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, during the election, the Prime Minister promised that Newfoundland and Labrador as well as Nova Scotia would be primary beneficiaries of their offshore resources, 100% in fact. Based on recent revelations by the Prime Minister's cagey campaign manager, Mr. Herle, promises made were probably motivated by the fact that they were in decline and poll numbers were down.

Despite the motivations, the offshore deal is still about fairness for Atlantic Canada, for its people and for its future.

Again, why will the Prime Minister not respect the Atlantic accord and respect the deal he promised the Premiers of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland?

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to tell the House that discussions continued yesterday and continue today with the two provinces involved. All of us are working very hard to find the right solution to this situation.

I can assure the hon. gentleman that we want to achieve those very positive results for Newfoundland and Labrador and also for Nova Scotia, which have been discussed in the last number of days.

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, the list of those individuals supporting the premier, Danny Williams, grows on a daily basis. The Leader of the Opposition has supported the position. The Liberal MPs and senators have supported the position. Now even the Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador has announced that it is solidly behind Premier Williams.

It is time for some leadership from the Prime Minister himself on this. Atlantic Canada's potential future is hanging in the balance. We know that Premier Williams and Premier Hamm continue to talk. They want a three-way dialogue. Will the Prime Minister make it unanimous? Will he invite the premiers of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland--

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Finance.

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, conversations are indeed ongoing between the Prime Minister and the two premiers and between me and the appropriate counterparts in the provinces. Let me give the hon. gentleman the firm assurance that Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador will fare far better in terms of keeping deals than David Orchard.

Parental LeaveOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker—

Parental LeaveOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Parental LeaveOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie is clearly very popular, but he has the floor and we must listen to him. Order, please.

Parental LeaveOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, on the eve of the election campaign, the Liberals made much of reaching an agreement in principle with Quebec on parental leave. Signing the historic agreement is merely a formality, the press release said. The appeal before the Supreme Court is simply for clarification, said the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

In this context, how does the Prime Minister explain that his Minister of Human Resources intends to appeal to the Supreme Court to try to impose a parental leave agreement on Quebec adapted to Ottawa's wishes?

Parental LeaveOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Bloc must know that we appealed because the scope of the decision goes far beyond simple negotiations on parental leave between governments. That is why the government appealed, because the scope goes much farther than the discussions between the two governments.

Parental LeaveOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, what the Prime Minister is saying is interesting because that is not what his Minister of Human Resources said yesterday. He said that if we reached an agreement, if Quebec went along with the federal government's arguments, then the appeal would be dropped. Yet, the scope of the matter would be no different. The Prime Minister and his minister are not saying the same thing.

Furthermore, we were told that only the figures were not ready, but the terms of the agreement were clear. Are they clear or not? Does the historic agreement in principle still stand, or has it disappeared? What has happened since June 28? Is the appeal just as broad? Is the agreement historic or is it missing a lot of figures?

Parental LeaveOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, whether the Bloc likes it or not, we will reach an agreement with the Government of Quebec. Our two colleagues are currently finalizing this agreement.

Parental LeaveOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Human Resources said that, should Quebec City and Ottawa come to an agreement before the Supreme Court hearings begin, Ottawa will withdraw its appeal. Otherwise, the agreement will be negotiated on the basis of the final judgment.

Why is the federal government now hanging a sword of Damocles over the head of the Government of Quebec, when, before the election, it was talking about a historic agreement?

Parental LeaveOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, I also said that the legal issue is a separate issue. We are continuing with the negotiations. Just this morning, I met with my Quebec counterpart.

Parental LeaveOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, just before the election, an agreement on parental leave was signed with Quebec. We were told that all that remained to be done was to include the figures.

Why is the minister backtracking now that the election campaign is over, especially since he said he would resume negotiations on the basis of the upcoming judgment? Does he not realize that he is taking parents in Quebec hostage?

Parental LeaveOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the hon. member opposite did not hear the answer. I said that we were continuing with the negotiations, because we said we would continue. Moreover, I met this morning with the minister responsible in Quebec. Officials from my department are continuing to meet with officials from Quebec. There is no problem.

PrivacyOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister who refuses to act to protect Canadians in the face of George Bush's patriot act.

The facts are that the CIBC bank records of Canadians are in the hands of the Bush administration. The facts are that the B.C. privacy commissioner has indicated grave concerns and says that the patriot act knows no borders.

The Prime Minister has refused to lift a finger so much as to ask the United States to obey Canadian laws. How can the Prime Minister pretend to act when our bank records are in the hands of the--