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House of Commons Hansard #31 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was year.

Topics

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there is no news in the hon. member misinterpreting what was said. The fact is I interviewed all of the ministers. I asked them at the cabinet table altogether whether in fact they had any knowledge of wrongdoing. They all said no.

The minister himself, as has been repeated by the House leader, stood up in the House and said that as minister of sport he had dealings with the public servant who was involved in matters involving his portfolio. Opposition members can ask the question 25 times, but that happens to be the fact.

St. Lawrence SeawayOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the president of the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, Richard Corfe, is publicly stating that the government is seriously considering enlarging the St. Lawrence Seaway, although the Minister of Transport says otherwise.

Can the government tell us whose version is the right one, that of the minister or that of the president of the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation?

St. Lawrence SeawayOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I responded to the hon. member's question in committee.

I can reiterate in the House that the government has no intention of expanding or deepening the seaway. We are participating in a study that has to do with the future of the seaway, including environmental engineering and economic aspects that deal with the ongoing maintenance needs of the seaway, not the expansion nor the deepening of the seaway.

St. Lawrence SeawayOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the president of the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation is basing his version on, among other things, a study by the US Army Corps of Engineers, which is in favour of enlarging the St. Lawrence Seaway.

If Richard Corfe's version is incorrect, what is the minister waiting for to set him straight?

St. Lawrence SeawayOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, as I have just said, we have no intention of deepening or widening the seaway.

Two studies are ongoing. We are participating in one study which deals with the ongoing maintenance of the seaway. We are participating in that study because the seaway is an integral component of the transportation system that deals with trade, which is critical to the future economic prosperity of the country.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gerry Ritz Canadian Alliance Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, the evidence is mounting in the public accounts committee. The Prime Minister says that he screened the ministers before he put them into their cabinet position.

I would like to know this from the Prime Minister. When was he advised of the connection between the President of the Privy Council and Pierre Tremblay?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:45 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, the next time I come into the House I will bring with me a tape recorder to record my answers and repeat them exactly.

When a member is a minister of the crown, the minister has a responsibility to assume. The minister in question was secretary of state for amateur sport, supported by the way by all those people who came to him to ask for help. He did his job. He did what he had to do as a minister.

Are they saying that as a minister he should abdicate his responsibility?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gerry Ritz Canadian Alliance Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, that is a nice sidebar argument. However, it goes a long way from the actual question. We found out that the President of the Privy Council in his former role was not above stretching the truth a bit when talking about staying with Claude Boulay.

The Prime Minister said that he screened all those ministers before he put them into place. I guess that screen had some pretty big holes in it.

Will the Prime Minister now take a second look at this President of the Privy Council and maybe bring him down a peg or two?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:50 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, in French we would say “idem”. In English I suppose there is an expression similar to this which means exactly the same answer as before.

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Christian Jobin Liberal Lévis-Et-Chutes-De-La-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, over the past few months, many members of this House and I have been approached by lobby groups about merging pilot seniority lists from Air Canada and Canadian Airlines International.

Will the Minister of Labour explain to this House what stage the merger process has reached and what her role is in this merger?

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Liberal

Claudette Bradshaw LiberalMinister of Labour and Minister responsible for Homelessness

Mr. Speaker, since 2000, six decisions have been made on the issue of pilot seniority by two arbitrators, the Canadan Industrial Relations Board and the Federal Court.

There is currently another application for reconsideration before the board. I cannot comment further because the Canadan Industrial Relations Board is an independent administrative tribunal.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian Alliance Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has said repeatedly that he asked all his cabinet ministers if they had done anything bad, anything wrong. They said, “No, cross our hearts, we have not done anything wrong, and that is the truth.”

We want the Prime Minister to answer the question. When was he informed about this relationship between the President of the Privy Council and Mr. Tremblay? Just tell us, and he should tell us.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:50 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, is there anything wrong with a minister doing his job?

The first line of questioning we heard a few days ago from these people was to allege that the minister of the Privy Council was in touch with Mr. Guité. That was denied. There was no evidence, so they are stuck.

Then they turn around and say that he talked with Mr. Tremblay. Of course he did. It was his job.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian Alliance Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am sorry, they are just not answering the question. I know we are supposed to be used to that here in question period, but Canadians are not used to not having their questions answered by the government.

Will the Prime Minister please stand up and answer this very important. He said that he interviewed all his cabinet ministers and they all said everything was fine.

When precisely was the Prime Minister informed about the relationship between the President of the Privy Council and Mr. Pierre Tremblay? Just tell us when.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:50 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, my colleague is not really in the best position to talk about what Canadians feel on this issue, because when Canadians see the kind of witch hunt on which those people have launched themselves, I think people in Canada will be sorry for what they hear on that side of the House.

The minister was in touch with Mr. Tremblay because he was doing his job, period.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, for the past few years, the Department of National Defence has attempted repeatedly to privatize various functions within the department. This time, the housekeeping services at three garrisons in Quebec are targeted, putting at risk the jobs of more than 90 employees.

Will the Minister of National Defence admit that, with his plans to privatize the housekeeping services, he is creating difficult working conditions for these employees and being penny wise and pound foolish on the backs of civilians earning low incomes? Indeed, $13 an hour is not a fortune.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Liberal

David Pratt LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for the question. The Department of National Defence is always looking at ways to become more efficient and more effective. That is what responsible governments do. It is also important to recognize the very critical role that is played by our civilian employees. They do invaluable work for the department, and we do appreciate their efforts.

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Bras D'Or—Cape Breton, NS

Mr. Speaker, as most Canadians know, small and medium sized business has been the backbone of our economy over the past years, fueling economic growth by creating jobs in record numbers. These business owners have been calling and e-mailing my office since the tabling of the government's budget.

Could the Minister of Finance tell me what steps he has taken in the budget to recognize the competitive edge these enterprises need to keep driving our economy?

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, in the budget we are accelerating for one year the planned increase in the small business deduction limit. We are moving the impediment to the scientific research and experimental development tax credit. We are extending the non-capital loss carry forward period to 10 years. We are providing better access to the government electronic tendering system. We are improving capital cost allowances on computer equipment.

We have made a commitment to work specifically with small business groups, like the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, to reduce the paper burden facing small businesses.

MicrobreweriesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, excise tax accounts for a large portion of the tax burden on Canada's small breweries. It hampers their growth and competitiveness, and the expansion of their export markets.

While 10 countries, the U.S. among them, as well as the majority of Canadian provinces and Quebec have adopted a discriminatory tax policy for the microbreweries, what is the government waiting for before it helps our microbreweries by reducing the excise tax?

MicrobreweriesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, during the course of the budget consultations, I received many representations about tax changes with respect to all sorts of business enterprises in Canada, including small breweries.

I have decided that there is such a collection of these recommendations affecting the overall question of business taxation that I would like to seek the views of members of the House of Commons in terms of the details of these recommendations and their relative ordering of priority. Therefore, I intend to ask the finance committee of the House of Commons to conduct an examination with respect to these various recommendations.

National DefenceOral Question Period

March 29th, 2004 / 2:55 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, our bravest Canadians are those members who serve in our armed forces. However, with the recent budget, there is great confusion among the service personnel and their civilian counterparts about who, when they serve overseas, gets a tax break and who does not.

My question is for the Minister of National Defence. Will he now clear up this confusion and state once and for all that all military personnel and their civilian counterparts who serve in a theatre of conflict, like Bosnia, Haiti, the Arabian gulf and Afghanistan, will be entitled to that tax exemption?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Liberal

David Pratt LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada is obviously very committed to the men and women of the Canadian Forces and this is certainly a measure that has been very well received by the forces.

As I indicated last week, we are looking very carefully at expanding this benefit to those serving in places like Bosnia and Haiti, and we should have information on that in the not too distant future.

It is the intention of the government to have it apply in this taxation year, and I want to assure the hon. member as well that it will apply to all members of the army, navy and the air force.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Garry Breitkreuz Canadian Alliance Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister quizzed all his cabinet about their connection to the sponsorship program. Did the President of the Privy Council tell the Prime Minister of his relationship between himself and Pierre Tremblay?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the President of the Privy Council has answered the question about why he spoke to Mr. Tremblay and in what capacity. I am not quite sure what the hon. member's definition of a relationship is. If he would like to perhaps elaborate on it, one might be able to answer the question.

What I would suggest to him is that he ask the committee to call the minister. The minister has volunteered to testify. He is quite prepared to do that. Why will they not call him in front of the committee to give him the opportunity to do so?