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House of Commons Hansard #36 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

RCMP Pension FundOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member can yell as loudly as he wants but it does not change the facts of this case. No funds are missing from the RCMP's pension plan.

An internal audit was undertaken and some irregularities were identified. The Ottawa police service is investigating whether any wrongdoing took place. It is pretty straightforward.

National DefenceOral Question Period

April 19th, 2004 / 2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Roy Cullen Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of National Defence.

I wonder if the minister would describe for the House and for Canadians the significance of the defence announcements that were made last week in New Brunswick and in British Columbia.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Liberal

David Pratt LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I was very pleased to join the Prime Minister in Gagetown last week for some very important announcements.

The Prime Minister gave what was probably the most comprehensive statement on defence ever made by a Prime Minister, certainly in recent memory. Equally important was the announcement with respect to the tax exemptions for members of the Canadian Forces serving in places like Haiti and Bosnia. Also important was the announcement on our continuing commitment to Afghanistan.

There were a number of other announcement with respect to joint support, for instance the largest--

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Langley--Abbotsford.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Randy White Canadian Alliance Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, the avian flu has created a serious economic crisis. Over 19 million birds are scheduled to be slaughtered and the flu is still spreading.

The government says that it will pay the cost of the birds they are killing but will the government help compensate for the cost of neutralizing the manure, shipping the material, downtime at the farms for extensive periods and other related costs?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk—Brant Ontario

Liberal

Bob Speller LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question, albeit it has been a month and a half and this is the first question on this issue from the opposition.

I do want to say that we are working very closely with the government of British Columbia, with the producers and with the processors to help work through this terrible situation that is going on in the area of the Fraser Valley. I do want to assure all hon. members that the Prime Minister has had an opportunity to talk with the premier and I have been in close contact with my colleague, the minister of agriculture. We are doing everything we can to control this disease.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Randy White Canadian Alliance Langley—Abbotsford, BC

I think the farmers are expecting a lot more of an answer than that, Mr. Speaker.

Let me quote the Prime Minister in Victoria, British Columbia: “We cannot allow...issues in British Columbia to be relegated to the sidelines as regional issues”. A week later in Quebec he said that the avian flu is “a problem hidden behind the Rockies”.

I would like the minister to stand up and commit seriously to the farmers in British Columbia on a compensation package for all related costs and a comprehensive plan for all provinces.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk—Brant Ontario

Liberal

Bob Speller LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, there is no question that we will be holding this disease in British Columbia. There should be no worry to the rest of Canada, in fact, that this disease will spread across the country.

In terms of compensation, we are working through a number of different departments to work with the provincial government and both the producers and the processors. We do not know at this stage, because we are working through this kill process now, what the overall impact of this is, but I can assure all hon. members that we will be working with the province, with the processors and with the producers to make sure that the impact this has on British Columbia--

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Lotbinière—L'Érable.

National Unity FundOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Odina Desrochers Bloc Lotbinière—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, on March 24, the government promised to provide us, within two days, with the detailed list of events that received money from the national unity fund, the Prime Minister's secret fund. Obviously, the government spends faster than it provides information.

What explanation can there be, more than three weeks later, for it still being unable to tell us what activities received the hundreds of millions of dollars in the national unity fund?

National Unity FundOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Leeds—Grenville Ontario

Liberal

Joe Jordan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, the Treasury Board Secretariat is currently working with all departments to collect information on the use of this unity reserve. I should say, though, that to obtain this information requires research in government programs and business line spending of a number of departments over a number of years. We are currently in the process of compiling this information.

National Unity FundOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

An hon. member

Oh, oh.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Liberal Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, and I am sorry to interrupt the leader of the Bloc. The Prime Minister today hosted the first Canada-Aboriginal Peoples Roundtable with aboriginal leaders. Unlike the paternalistic questions asked by the New Democrats a little earlier, I have a real question about this.

Could the parliamentary secretary inform the House on how the Government of Canada intends to strengthen relationships with our aboriginal citizens in order to achieve tangible results for those citizens?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Yukon Yukon

Liberal

Larry Bagnell LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for giving the House another chance to celebrate this historic day in Canada. The Canada-Aboriginal Peoples Roundtable is the first event of its kind. More than 70 aboriginal leaders are meeting right now here in Ottawa to work in collaboration with the Canadian government.

The event, chaired by the Prime Minister--and I can tell the hon. member that when I was there this morning it was very moving--will serve as a starting point in a new partnership to work toward new priorities in key areas that are important to the well-being of aboriginal Canadians, such as health, education, economic development, housing and achieving results. The government is committed to closing the tragic social and economic gap between aboriginal and non-aboriginal Canadians.

HealthOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Deputy Prime Minister. The Standing Committee on Health has unanimously recommended increasing annual HIV-AIDS funding to $100 million. Last June, the Deputy Prime Minister said, “It's important to at least double the funding on an annual basis”.

The current health minister said on March 10, “We will have to wait for the budget”. There was no mention in the 2004 budget about doubling annual funding for HIV-AIDS.

I have three questions. Why not? What specific commitment will the government make today regarding new funding for HIV-AIDS? Will the Deputy Prime Minister keep her word?

HealthOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that the hon. gentlemen is raising a very serious issue. Undoubtedly this is a challenge for our country and for most countries around the world.

I want to assure him that the Government of Canada takes the issue seriously. As Minister of Finance, I will certainly be looking for opportunities where I can make a meaningful contribution to meaningful solutions, and I thank him for the question.

Middle EastOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, in supporting Prime Minister Sharon's unilateral decision on Palestine, President Bush's road map ignores Security Council resolutions, its own agenda and favours the Israelis over the Palestinians. Given this dramatic shift in the American position, the Prime Minister of Canada said, when questioned, “We will have to wait and see”, while the Minister of Foreign Affairs said that Canada will stick to its position.

My question is for the Prime Minister. Could we at last know what Canada's position is?

Middle EastOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, the Prime Minister was quite clear. Our position has not changed. Our position has never changed.

We believe that the road map is the best way to resolve this issue. An agreement between the two parties involved in this tragic disagreement is essential to a long-term solution. That has always been Canada's position, and we will continue to support the two parties so they can negotiate between themselves a settlement to this terrible problem.

Automobile IndustryOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week the Province of Ontario had to borrow a half a billion dollars for the auto industry because this federal government has no national auto policy aside from a trade agreement that allows other countries to steal Canadian jobs.

My question is for the Minister of Finance. Premier Dalton McGuinty wants him to “pony up”. When will this government actually take action on the auto industry? When will it actually get off its high horse and do something? Municipalities have done it. The provinces have done it.

The government created the trade policy problems. It should have the solution. When will this government come to the table?

Automobile IndustryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

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

In fact, Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member may not be aware, the Minister of Industry is working very closely with the auto industry, with members of our caucus and with members of the standing committee. We on this side of the House are very seized with the importance of the auto industry to our economy and the challenges this industry faces.

I can assure the hon. member that the Minister of Industry is working very hard with all affected parties to develop a reasonable, sensible strategy by which we can encourage the auto industry in Canada.

TransportationOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Pallister Canadian Alliance Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, every working day in Canada there is a collision between a vehicle and a train. Most of them occur at unmarked crossings. Every week someone in Canada is killed as a result. Many of these accidents could have been prevented if all rail cars were equipped with proper reflectors, yet sadly, fewer than one in four in Canada actually are.

I want to give the minister a chance today to immediately commit to the development and implementation of a rule which would require all Canadian train cars to be properly equipped with side reflectors.

TransportationOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the government certainly is strongly supportive of the reflectorization of rail cars. We are working with our U.S. counterparts. We are working with the Canadian railway industry. We have to address the reality of north-south traffic with respect to rail.

Members on both sides of the House have approached me on this issue and the hon. member certainly has been very much involved in that process. In fact, it is the government's intention to have an announcement on this issue in a very short while to reflect the need for this type of activity to ensure safety on the railways.

PrivilegeOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Leeds—Grenville Ontario

Liberal

Joe Jordan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, I am rising on a question of privilege. During question period, after what I thought was a very competent answer to a question, the leader of the Bloc, the member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie, stood up and said, and I quote, “That's not true, buddy. You are lying”. I am not his buddy. I would like him to retract the buddy part.

PrivilegeOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

I am sure the hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie will take note of the question of privilege raised by the hon. member and deal with it once he is back in the House.

For now, there is nothing the Chair can do about this matter.

Power System Outage Task ForceRoutine Proceedings

3 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

R. John Efford LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), I am pleased to table, in both official languages, the final report of the Canada-U.S. power system outage task force on the August 14, 2003 blackout in Canada and the United States.