This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #34 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Longueuil.

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Quebec Minister of Finance, Mr. Yves Séguin, said, “It is obvious that the federal contribution to health care funding is clearly insufficient. We also know that Ottawa imposes more restrictions on Quebec today than it did when it was paying a larger share of the bill”. That is the reality.

How can the Prime Minister claim in his ad campaign that he will do something about health after the election, when he has had the means to do something about it now, but has not?

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, $665 million for public health, including $400 million to create a fund that the provinces can use to enhance immunization across the country, that is quite significant. We have implemented a very specific plan involving not only finance ministers and health ministers, but the premiers as well, and we are putting a lot of effort into this right now.

Some $36.8 billion is being transferred until 2007-08. I can say one thing: the members on this side know that we are going to work with the provinces for the good of the patients, if these people can—

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Winnipeg Centre.

Whistleblower ProtectionOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I watched the Prime Minister's latest ad scam on TV last night where he had the gall to tell Canadians that whistleblowers are now protected by legislation. Nothing could be further from the truth. If anything, Bill C-25 should be called an act to protect ministers from whistleblowers.

Will the government come clean and admit that its feckless idea of whistleblowing legislation is more about plugging leaks than about protecting honest civil servants?

Whistleblower ProtectionOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Guelph—Wellington Ontario

Liberal

Brenda Chamberlain LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member sits on the committee. As he well knows, this piece of legislation is going to committee next week with the minister. Any amendments will happen there. The member will have ample opportunity for all kinds of input.

Post-Secondary EducationOral Question Period

April 1st, 2004 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the word Liberal was not the only thing left out of the Prime Minister's take on education in his latest ad scam; so was credibility.

My question is for the Liberal finance minister whose budget had nothing on tuition. There was nothing on student debt, except to help students carry more of it, and a grant program that will not help anyone until 2022 and even then not by much.

How will this help a student going to school this year? The only thing in the budget for that person is a budget that helps them go further into debt. How is that possible?

Post-Secondary EducationOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, students have different views with respect to the Canada student loans program. The vast majority of students that were consulted during the prebudget consultations recommended exactly that the weekly loan limits ought to be increased, that computers ought to be factored into the calculation, that we should reduce the dependence on parental income and that we should improve the debt relief measures at the end of a student loan.

We have done all four of those things. We have also created the learning bond so low income families can plan and prepare. We have created a new grant of $3,000 for low income students, plus $2,000--

Post-Secondary EducationOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Calgary—Nose Hill.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Canadian Alliance Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are bulldozing through anything that stands in their way to hatch up a hasty report on the sponsorship scandal so they can call an election. The Liberals on the parliamentary committee repeatedly abuse their majority control to force through motions over the protests of every other party.

The Liberal plan is to use stale-dated testimony from Chuck Guité for a slick and shallow report to whitewash the scandal and pretend they have kept their word. Do the Liberals really believe that Canadians will not see through such a trick?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, there is a democratic deficit, but unfortunately it rests with the opposition members at the public accounts committee. In fact government members of that committee want to hear from Mr. Guité. We know how important Mr. Guité's testimony will be in getting to the bottom of this matter. I wonder why opposition members filibustered all morning in that committee to try to prevent Mr. Guité's in camera testimony being provided for all Canadians to hear.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Canadian Alliance Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals want to hear from Guité so badly they have put off his appearance until the end of April.

The Prime Minister played the violin about the democratic deficit and acted like he cared. Today he is out anointing Liberal candidates without the inconvenience of a pesky decision by members.

On the sponsorship investigation his Liberal henchmen abuse their majority control to block key evidence and to force a whitewash report before central witnesses are heard.

How can Liberals who lack respect for democracy be trusted to restore democracy?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, the only whitewash is the hon. member's comments.

This morning in committee it was government members who in fact ensured that a motion was passed so that Canadians would be in receipt of the evidence of Mr. Guité's in camera testimony that was provided by Mr. Guité.

It was government members of the committee that ensured that Mr. Guité would appear before the committee on April 22. I can assure everyone in the House that we are very satisfied that Mr. Guité will appear on April 22.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Canadian Alliance Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, is he going to appear as a Liberal candidate in the election? That is what the Liberals have done. They have punted his testimony until after the Prime Minister drops the writ. Government members voted against the motion from the opposition to release his in camera testimony when he appears before the committee so he can tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Why are the Liberals trying to hide the truth? Why did they shut down access to the Gagliano papers? Why are they wresting control of the committee? Why does the public inquiry not start until September? Why are they now trying to hijack the public accounts inquiry?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, it is time somebody asked the opposition members on the public accounts committee why they are trying to hide Mr. Guité's in camera testimony from Canadians.

As I said earlier, Mr. Guité will appear before the committee on April 22. We on this side of the House are very satisfied that he will appear and that Canadians will hear firsthand what he has to say about the sponsorship program.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Canadian Alliance Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are very satisfied that the PMO is going to draft a whitewash report that will be jammed through by the Liberal majority that has wrested control of that committee, without hearing from Mr. Guité which will not happen before an election is called.

With the public inquiry not happening for six months, why is it that the government is effectively shutting down the only inquiry in town that is trying to get to the bottom of Liberal corruption?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, the only thing that is being shut down here is the opposition trying to make sure that Canadians do not have the opportunity to hear Mr. Guité's in camera testimony. That is why government members passed a motion this morning to ensure that Canadians will have access to that testimony. In addition, we on this side of the House are looking forward to hearing from Mr. Guité on April 22.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, following one of the promises made by the Prime Minister in the sponsorship scandal, the Prime Minister's Quebec lieutenant, Jean Lapierre, promised that the tainted sponsorship money—to use his words—would not be used in the coming election campaign.

So far, all we have heard is the statement of an intention. How can we be certain that this tainted money will not be used to pay for the Prime Minister's current advertising campaign, an $850,000 campaign?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:30 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 money the Liberal Party will be campaigning with is just as clean as the money the Bloc Quebecois used when the Parti Quebecois gave it money to finance the 1997 campaign.

The Bloc has absolutely no right to cast aspersions on the integrity of our party, the integrity of this money and the integrity of the campaign we are going to run—no right at all.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, what we understand is that, when the Prime Minister of Canada promised not to campaign with the tainted sponsorship money, in the words of Jean Lapierre, perhaps it was true, but he did not tell us he was planning to use it before the campaign.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 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, I think that the double standard for integrity in that party is absolutely shocking. They did not raise their voices at all when the Parti Quebecois, under Mr. Parizeau, during or prior to the referendum, planned to steal $18,000 from every family in Quebec to preserve the sovereignty they did not want. Let us have no lessons in morality from those people—none at all.

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec and the provinces are having trouble balancing their budgets and several are in a deficit position. There is even reference to being at the breaking point, so perilous is their financial situation. According to some reports, the provinces are reduced to providing essential services, nothing more.

Does the Prime Minister realize that he has not invested a single cent of new money, particularly as far as health services in Quebec are concerned, although he had the means of doing so, and if he continues this way, the provinces are at risk of budgetary disaster and a return to deficits?

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, for a variety of measures, the budget transferred $2.5 billion to the provinces. In addition to that, I am pleased to note specifically with respect to Quebec that its budgetary documents acknowledged federal assistance and flexibility in managing a number of its equalization issues, and that at the bottom line, Quebec has been able to increase its spending, cut its taxes and declare 2003-04 in balance.

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Quebec Minister of Finance has been forced to sell $880 million worth of assets to balance his budget. Oddly enough, the federal government has a $5 billion surplus, while the provinces' deficits also happen to total $5 billion. The federal government confirms this in its own documents.

Does the Prime Minister realize that, unwittingly, he is offering an excellent illustration of fiscal imbalance: $5 billion over in Ottawa and $5 billion under in the provinces?

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, in fact the federal surplus at the end of the last fiscal year, 2003-04, was $1.9 billion, which is exactly a margin of error of 1%.