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House of Commons Hansard #4 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was municipalities.

Topics

Canada Steamship LinesOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, first, I think the hon. gentlemen is referring to a study that was done by the Fraser Institute that included a rather kitchen sink analysis of taxes. I would point out that there were not only federal taxes but provincial and all sorts of fees and charges of every description whatsoever. Therefore, there is some question about the study to which he refers.

On the issue of tax fairness, the Government of Canada is determined to achieve tax fairness, both domestically and internationally. If that requires some renegotiation of international tax treaties, that in fact will be done.

Canada Steamship LinesOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Canadian Alliance Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is tough to take the government's information seriously, especially when it seems to be right only 2% of the time.

As finance minister, this man put in place laws to benefit great shipping magnates of Canada, of which he happened to be the biggest. In the meantime, he raised taxes on Canadians to pay for numerous scandals he oversaw, like the gun registry and advertising contracts.

How is it fair that the Prime Minister thinks he deserves to get away with not paying his fair share in taxes, while the people of Canada struggle to make ends meet?

Canada Steamship LinesOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, again the hon. gentleman repeats a false allegation. In his question is embedded the assertion that Bill C-28 benefited firms to which the Prime Minister was related.

The fact of the matter is that Bill C-28 was not pertinent at all to CSL. It was pertinent to other international shipping companies to try to attract foreign companies to base their operations in Canada, but it had nothing to do with CSL.

Electoral BoundariesOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Guy St-Julien Liberal Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons. Is the minister going to introduce a bill next week in this House based on the former Bill C-53 to change the name of certain ridings? For instance, Nunavik—Eeyou would become Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou in April 2004.

Electoral BoundariesOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Brossard—La Prairie Québec

Liberal

Jacques Saada LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, first I would like to congratulate my colleague for his determination in fighting for the names. I must say that many MPs are affected by this legislation. All MPs affected by the changes have been contacted individually.

We are going to reintroduce Bill C-53. The effective date will be different for obvious reasons. The bill will indeed be reintroduced. I can confirm that for my colleague.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is putting Canada on a dangerous track with this commitment to a star wars scheme.

I have a very simple question for him. If this missile defence program is such a good idea, why was it not included in the throne speech? Is it because the Prime Minister likes to sing with Bono but prefers to dance with Bush?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we cannot include all the negotiations and dances in the Speech from the Throne. The purpose of the throne speech is to show Canadians the direction that this government intends to take and, like all my colleagues on this side of the House, I am proud of that direction.

As for a star wars scheme, it is a figment of the imagination of members opposite, not a reality in our negotiations with the United States.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is clear the government does not want Canadians to know about star wars, so I will not even bother asking the Prime Minister what he thinks about the Bush government actively considering nuclear tips on interceptor missiles.

I will ask why the Prime Minister is so anxious to join star wars supposedly to protect us from North Korea when the government will do nothing to protect Song Dae Ri from North Korea? Why not let him stay in Canada?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Judy Sgro LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the IRB has a very difficult job. It reviews thousands of heart-rending cases every year. This is just one example of another one.

There are many avenues of appeal in our immigration refugee system. My understanding is that the individual referred to has put one of the options in place through a humanitarian and compassionate grounds appeal. I will be reviewing that.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gerry Ritz Canadian Alliance Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's throne speech outlined his own personal big spend agenda using everybody else's taxes. I know he will lose tax dollars from our livestock industry after his government finishes driving it into bankruptcy. That is a $30 billion industry supplying 225,000 jobs in this country, yet the Prime Minister and the finance minister continue to ignore the industry to death.

Is it because there is no political gain in rural Canada for these Liberals? Is that why?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk—Brant Ontario

Liberal

Bob Speller LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, first, I would like to thank all hon. members who last night participated in a take note debate. I thought all hon. members gave the Government of Canada a lot of information that we needed and we will use in terms of our deliberations.

As the hon. member knows, and as I said last night, the Government of Canada has responded in a couple of different areas. First and foremost in terms of out marketing Canadian beef, and second, looking after those Canadian farmers and farm families with programs to ensure there are dollars in their hands to help with the impact that BSE is having on them.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gerry Ritz Canadian Alliance Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, there we go again hearing the same old platitudes and promises that we heard last night. It is all retroactive. There is no proactivity in the government's programs at all. Nothing gets delivered to the farm gate.

Producers, and that is their advocate over there, wonder if it is because the new agriculture minister is not up to the job. He is not pounding on the cabinet table. He is not getting their attention. There are no dollars flowing. That guy is so laid back he makes Rip Van Winkle look like a disco dancer.

Why has the minister not convinced his cabinet colleagues that there is a severe crisis out there?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member may know, over the course of the last two to three months I have met with the cattle industry in Saskatchewan, I have met with the cattle industry in Ontario, I have met with it in Quebec and I have done so in Alberta.

There is one consistent theme and that is praise for this Minister of Agriculture who went to Japan and Korea and who was on the job in Alberta and in Saskatchewan. Unanimously, the cattle industry has praised him for the job that he has done.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Canadian Alliance Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, despite the Prime Minister now admitting that our armed forces are, and I quote, “stretched very thin”, last night on CBC television he announced he intends to leave 500 of our Canadian troops behind in Afghanistan after the current mission ends in August. Rotations home have been put off and training has been delayed. Our troops need a break, and until last night, the Prime Minister indicated he would give them one.

Why do our soldiers and their families have to stay glued to their television sets to learn if and when the Prime Minister intends to send them overseas?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt that our troops are stretched thin and there is no doubt that they have to come back. At the same time, there are other jobs and other vocations which certain of our troops can fill that would not interfere with their rotation and would not in fact lead to stretching them even more thinly.

Under those circumstances, the Government of Canada has said that up to 500, not more, could remain or could be rotated back if the jobs they were required to perform would not stretch them too thinly.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Canadian Alliance Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, last night on CBC television there were no “ifs, ands and coulds”, it was that the Prime Minister was committing us to doing that.

The Prime Minister's word is not even any good for one day. Yesterday in the House of Commons the Prime Minister committed to increased debate in Parliament and more power to individual MPs, yet last night, just like Jean Chrétien, he could not resist making a major announcement on the television instead of here in Parliament.

Why has the Prime Minister put the desire for a positive photo op ahead of the needs of our troops?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Compton—Stanstead Québec

Liberal

David Price LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I think the answer is there. The Prime Minister has been very clear in his answer.

We are very proud of the work that our troops have been doing. They are doing an excellent job. They will continue to do that, and we must not forget that we are in command of that NATO operation until the end of the year.

Social ProgramsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Bloc Rimouski-Neigette-Et-La Mitis, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the former minister of intergovernmental affairs finally recognized that, as regards the issue of parental leave, the federal government was on slippery ground because of the Constitution.

Is the government prepared to announce that it will not appeal the ruling on parental leave and that it will recognize Quebec's jurisdiction in this area?

Social ProgramsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we were very clear on this issue. We are reviewing the court ruling, its impact and the steps that we will take. We have not ruled out anything.

Social ProgramsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Bloc Rimouski-Neigette-Et-La Mitis, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister who addresses Quebeckers in French is saying that the federal government is prepared to negotiate. However, in order to negotiate in good faith, one must respect the ruling made, which clearly states that the federal government is interfering in Quebec's jurisdiction. This is the basis of any negotiation.

Consequently, will the Prime Minister confirm that he will not appeal the decision on parental leave and that he will begin negotiating in good faith with Quebec at the earliest opportunity?

Social ProgramsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce to the House and to members from all parties that we have already begun the process with our Quebec counterparts. We have already set a date to begin our discussions. Let us wait to see the outcome of these initial discussions.

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

February 5th, 2004 / 2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, Veterans Affairs has extended the VIP coverage to those widows whose veteran husbands died after September 1, 1990. I cannot believe that anyone sitting in the House does not want to treat those veterans' widows. While this change increased the number of widows who receive coverage, it did not extend the VIP benefits to all our veterans' widows.

We now have two classes of widows, some covered and many not, simply on the basis of when--

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Veterans Affairs.

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, my predecessor in this position laboured long and hard and successfully to improve upon the legislation enacted by the then Tory government of Brian Mulroney in 1990. That legislation extended benefits to widows of veterans but cut them off after one year.

This government, thanks to the work of my predecessor and with the full support of veterans' associations, improved upon that such that all these veterans' widows were covered for life, resulting in 10,000 more being covered at an additional cost of $200 million.

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Veterans Affairs should just think about this. The wives of all those veterans who died before September 1, 1990 are home. I hear from them every day. They say, “Please, please I can't stay in my home unless I get that VIP”.

When will the government, when will the minister, get up in the House and say that all veterans' widows are equal? Will it be today or will it be tomorrow?