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House of Commons Hansard #26 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was liberal.

Topics

FundraisingOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. member for Calgary Southeast asked the question. He must want to hear the answer but I cannot hear a word that is being said. The hon. government House leader has the floor and we will hear the answer.

FundraisingOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Jacques Saada Liberal Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have difficulty hearing myself.

The Liberal Party website is very clear. There is nothing in this that is outside the law of course. If my colleague has a copy of the letter I would ask him to table it so we can have a close look at it to see where it comes from.

HealthOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Wednesday, the Prime Minister rejected out of hand a unanimous motion by the National Assembly calling on the federal government to recognize the fiscal imbalance and demanding that it transfer funds for health in particular. He explained that there would not be any new money for health before this summer's first ministers conference.

How can the prime minister reject this unanimous motion and refuse to invest new funds in health care, when health is the top priority for all governments and the public?

HealthOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, it is obvious that this government is deeply committed to ensuring the long-term sustainability of our health care system. That is why the Prime Minister already called a preliminary meeting of the first ministers in January. He asked the provincial premiers, the finance ministers and the health ministers to sit down together and make recommendations for the next first ministers' conference to be held this summer.

As for some of the other aspects of the health issue, we must wait for the Minister of Finance to table his budget tomorrow. Health, the number one priority, will no doubt garner considerable interest—

HealthOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Hochelaga—Maisonneuve.

HealthOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, the current problem in the health care system is the result of the terrible budget cuts that the current Prime Minister forced on Quebec and the provinces over the past ten years, when he was finance minister.

Does he not understand that he needs to start investing funds now, and make them recurring, to repair the damage he inflicted on the health care system throughout Canada?

HealthOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, $34.8 billion will be invested in the health budgets over the next five years. In the coming years, we have committed to an 8% annual increase.

With regard to health, everyone agrees that the long-term sustainability of the system depends, naturally, on stable funding.

We will work with our colleagues in the provinces on ways to find this funding and also ensure adequate reform. That is what Canadians expect, and we will work with Canadians, the provinces and all of our colleagues.

Public HousingOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Quebec is still waiting for its share of the $320 million for affordable housing announced in the 2003 budget. Again this year, many Quebec families are going to suffer through a housing crisis while the money sits in Ottawa.

What is the federal government waiting for to free up the $320 million earmarked for affordable housing in last year's budget?

Public HousingOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalMinister of State (Infrastructure)

Mr. Speaker, that is a good question because to this date we have spent over $300 million. We have established 14,000 units, many of them in Quebec. In fact, 3,200 of those units are in Quebec with 900 in Montreal and 400 in Quebec City. We are currently negotiating for even more.

Public HousingOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, how can the federal government justify denying Quebec money earmarked for affordable housing by citing the dubious reason that the other provinces have not fully expended their housing budgets?

Public HousingOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalMinister of State (Infrastructure)

Mr. Speaker, it is quite the contrary. In fact, we have been most successful in Quebec and those negotiations continue to be even more successful and offer more affordable housing in Quebec.

AgricultureOral Question Period

March 22nd, 2004 / 2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gerry Ritz Canadian Alliance Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, if I were a cynic I would think there must be an election coming. The Liberals over there are finally recognizing there is an urgency in the agricultural sector in Canada. More announcements today that they never plan to deliver.

The real issue is reopening the border. Does the Prime Minister not think that his time would be better spent lobbying in Washington than photo ops in Lethbridge?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I saw the reaction this morning of the president of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association. I saw the reaction this morning of the president of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture. I saw the reaction of the president of the Canadian Beef Export Federation.

They did not consider it a photo op. They appreciate the $1 billion. They are also working with the government on the other front, which is to get the border open.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gerry Ritz Canadian Alliance Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, nobody is denying that it was a Liberal love-in in Lethbridge this morning.

Agriculture Canada officials admitted to the committee last week that of the BSE moneys allocated in last year's budget, less than one-third actually were delivered.

The announcement this morning was just more of the same. We are still missing all the criteria: the dates and the application forms, all the things that let producers trigger the money.

Is the minister going to wait until after the next election to give producers the details of this newly recycled money?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, no, indeed, this is not recycled. This is incremental and we fully expect the cash to begin to flow in April.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rick Casson Canadian Alliance Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, today the Prime Minister used the pain and despair our farm families are going through as a backdrop for what turned out to be nothing more than a Liberal campaign stop.

The Prime Minister was surrounded by more Liberal candidates than producers when he made that announcement.

The government has known for months that it has had money in reserve. Why did it put farm families through hell before the money was delivered?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Agriculture, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Prime Minister and myself spent a number of weeks consulting intensively with the Canadian Cattlemen's Association, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture and other farm organizations to ensure, first, that we got the amount right, and second, that we got the program designed right because we wanted this program to be of direct benefit to Canadian farmers and to put the cash in their hands at the earliest possible moment. This government will not apologize for helping the farmers of Canada.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rick Casson Canadian Alliance Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, we have been into this crisis for 300 days and this morning the Prime Minister said that we have to recognize the urgency of the moment.

We have been fighting since May 20, 2003, to make the government wake up and deliver something to these producers. It took 300 days for the government to finally realize the urgency of the moment.

When will producers get one thin dime from the Liberal government?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the government has previously budgeted in the order of $500 million for this process.

In relation to the announcement made this morning, if the hon. gentlemen--

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I am sure the Minister of Finance appreciates all the help he is getting in his answer but he seems to know what he is trying to say and I cannot hear it.

Hon. members will have to calm themselves and allow the Minister of Finance to give his answer. He has the floor.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. gentlemen were more interested in substance than histrionics he would have noticed that in an earlier answer I said that we expect the cash to begin to flow in the month of April.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

We have heard much about the devastating blows that the agricultural community has faced. I am wondering if the parliamentary secretary could please tell us what the government is doing to assist farm families.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. We are hearing a question. Has the hon. member finished her question?

The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.