House of Commons Hansard #39 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agreement.

Topics

Earth DayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—St. Clair, ON

Mr. Speaker, today is Earth Day, a day to recognize the importance of the environment to all who share this planet. What began as a small grassroots celebration some 34 years ago is now recognized in more than 100 countries and by hundreds of millions of people.

Canada first officially recognized Earth Day in 1990. Since then, largely through the efforts and leadership of a number of environmental groups and activists as well as labour organizations, such as the Canadian Labour Congress, and Canada's first nations, some important progress has been made on environmental issues. Regrettably, there is still much work to do, and the government has much to learn from those efforts.

Finally, on Earth Day, I invite all to celebrate the importance of the steps, small and large, we can all make to create a sustainable future.

The Dalai LamaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, today in Parliament we welcome a Nobel Peace Prize winner, respected spiritual leader and figurehead of the pacifist movement, His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. The Bloc Quebecois welcomes him with pride and great joy.

As head of the government in exile of Tibet, a territory invaded and annexed by the People's Republic of China in 1950, the Dalai Lama is seeking a negotiated solution with Beijing. This is no easy task, since the Chinese authorities have been engaged, since the invasion of Tibet, in heavy-handed repression coupled with an active policy of colonization or Chinafication of the territory.

Nevertheless, the Dalai Lama constitutes the very incarnation of Buddha for his people and thousands of the faithful throughout the world.

My colleagues of the Bloc Quebecois join with me in greeting him and thanking him for his smiles, and the hope and serenity he exudes everywhere he goes. Our thoughts go with him in his quest for the independence of his people and his country.

Chronic Fatigue SyndromeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, chronic fatigue syndrome is a debilitating disorder characterized by profound fatigue that is not improved by bed rest and may be worsened by physical activity.

People with CFS can be so tired that they do not have the energy to get out of bed for more than a few hours a day. In addition to fatigue, sufferers report various non-specific symptoms, including weakness, muscle pain, impaired memory and concentration and insomnia. In some cases, CFS can persist for years.

The cause of CFS has not been identified and no specific diagnostic tests or cure are available. Over time it can cause injury to the brain, the immune system and muscles of the people who suffer from it.

Canadians who suffer from CFS often feel overlooked as there is no treatment or cure for their condition. I feel it is important to raise awareness of this debilitating disease so we can one day find an effective way to treat CFS and allow its suffers to enjoy a normal and active life.

Earth DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Bob Mills Canadian Alliance Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise today to mark Earth Day.

I would like to use this opportunity to outline the Conservative Party ideas for a cleaner, healthier environment. It stands in contrast to the Liberal government's policy, whose only recent House initiative is to remove a portion of a treasured national park for a housing project.

Central to our policy is the understanding that scientific development, technological innovation and economic growth are essential for a cleaner, healthier and safer environment.

Environmental policy must be practical. It must balance competing social interests. It must minimize, harmonize and rationalize the overlapping laws and jurisdictions. It must recognize that provincial and territorial governments must play a role in federal environmental policy.

Canadians deserve cleaner air, land and water. They deserve a Conservative government which will help deliver it.

Earth DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Liberal Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, today is Earth Day, a day on which we as Canadians should reflect on our ability to be custodians of the earth's vital natural resources. I want to highlight one particular resource today, which is water.

As members well know, water is essential to life and to the health of humans and ecosystems. Canada has 7% of the world's supply of renewable fresh water. This provides us with both tremendous opportunity and the responsibility to be careful stewards. The responsibility extends beyond our borders. Globally, more than a billion people lack access to safe drinking water and more than two billion lack adequate sanitation. Canada is honouring its commitment to work with our international partners to cut those numbers in half by 2015.

At home, the government is leading in participating in a range of initiatives to improve water quality for Canadians and the natural environment. The federal government will continue to work closely with our partners in the provinces and territories to ensure that Canadians have clean, safe and secure water.

Government of CanadaStatements By Members

April 22nd, 2004 / 2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Canadian Alliance Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, a constituent asked me recently why I spend so much time criticizing the Liberals and their long list of scandals. The answer is, the money wasted could have gone a long way.

The $2 billion wasted on the gun registry could have gone a long way to reducing health care waiting lists.

The $1 billion HRDC boondoggle money could have gone a long way to helping people suffering with arthritis, Parkinson's, leukemia or countless other illnesses to receive the treatment they need.

The $250 million wasted on sponsorship scandal could have gone a long way to meeting the health care accord commitment to provide all Canadians with access to catastrophic prescription drug coverage.

Liberal scandals are not just about wasted money. They represent lost opportunities to help those in need to get the help that they really need. That is why these scandals matter. Every dollar wasted is another reason for Canadians to abandon the Liberal Party and vote for better government with the new Conservative Party.

HomelessnessStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes Liberal London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada's homeless population is diverse and includes single men and women, youth and families with children. Research has shown that many women who are homeless have fled abusive relationships.

The government has undertaken a number of initiatives to help these women and other homeless persons. In 1999 the government launched the national homelessness initiative to help communities reduce and alleviate homelessness.

Two examples in London, Ontario that help show the need of people and how we are trying to help are the funding of the At^lohsa Native Family Healing Services to establish a six bed transitional shelter for aboriginal women and five bed emergency shelter for aboriginal individuals and also funding for mission services to provide increased services, including additional beds and linens.

Over 790 organizations across Canada have or are receiving now project funding to improve and develop new support services for homeless people. The government is proud of this partnership role in the fight against homelessness.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, today I had the honour, along with other leaders of the opposition, to meet with His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. We discussed a variety of topics, not just spiritual matters, but also political and human rights concerns in Tibet and China. The Prime Minister is instead meeting behind the cloaks of religious leaders and discussing only a limited agenda with the Dalai Lama.

Why has the Prime Minister allowed China to dictate the terms of his own conversations with the Dalai Lama?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as the Prime Minister of Canada, I will decide whom I will meet with and whom I will not meet with. I will decide where I will meet with them, and I will also decide the subjects that I want to address with them.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, presumably he would do that on behalf of Canadians who want all these things discussed with the Dalai Lama.

This is a pattern: David Herle in Earnscliffe making announcements about our relationship with the United States; Jean Lapierre dictating what our relationship with Quebec should be; and now we have China dictating our relationship and conversations with Tibet.

Is the Prime Minister capable of making these decisions on his own without a focus group?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I would simply point out that I will be the first Canadian Prime Minister to meet with the Dalai Lama. I would ask the hon. member, who is a member of the Conservative Party, what advice he gave previous Tory prime ministers, Mr. Clark and Mr. Mulroney? Did he suggest to them that they meet with the Dalai Lama? Because if he did, they did not take his advice.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I am glad to know today I am a Progressive Conservative. Apparently yesterday I was an Alliance, but it keeps changing over there.

Speaking about confusion, we read today that Jean Lapierre, the leader of the bloc-liberal, is saying that now is the time for the RCMP to lay charges in the sponsorship affair, that it would really help the Prime Minister's re-election chances in Quebec.

Does the Prime Minister agree that it would look just a little more than suspect for the RCMP to act on Mr. Lapierre's demands at this point in time?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I may have been a little confused as to the political party to which the Leader of the Opposition belongs or once belonged. He has belonged to so many political parties over his political career, but there is one thing on which he is actually right. He has never been a progressive Conservative.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Au contraire, Mr. Speaker, I think my new leader is very progressive and very honest, I might add.

Jean Lapierre, the Prime Minister's unelected, hand-picked lieutenant from Quebec, talk about a democratic deficit. In a recent interview Mr. Lapierre commented on everything from the election timing to ad scam to the laying of charges by the RCMP. By providing this type of commentary, he simultaneously politicizes and compromises an RCMP investigation that is ongoing.

With his proximity to the Prime Minister, does the Prime Minister condone this commentary?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I am sure the hon. member, of all people in this House, appreciates the fact that police investigations proceed in this country regardless of the personal opinions of anyone, including Mr. Lapierre.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

That is just it, Mr. Speaker, I do understand the seriousness. These types of statements by a key person seen to be the main spokesperson for the Prime Minister in Quebec about an ongoing police investigation are completely unacceptable. It is reminiscent of the same old Liberal Party approach, the machinations and manipulations that we have seen during Shawinigate, APEC, Airbus and now ad scam. This is more evidence for Canadians that there is not a shaft of daylight between this Prime Minister and his predecessor.

The Prime Minister has been appointing candidates. Maybe it is time he fired one. Will he do that?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated, and the hon. member is fully aware, police investigations in this country proceed without any reference to the personal opinions of anyone.

I also want to reassure everyone in the House that any decisions in relation to final prosecutions in these cases will be made by the attorney general of Quebec.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, I asked the Prime Minister to demand that CSL International, a subsidiary of his family business, repay the $100 million it illegally avoided paying in taxes to Quebec and Canada. While the Bloc Quebecois is condemning the objectionable behaviour of the subsidiary, the Minister of Finance is talking about the head office.

Will the Prime Minister, who is no stranger to his family empire, have the decency to recognize that, in Barbados, the CSL International subsidiary is just a front, that all the decisions are made in Montreal and that, consequently, $100 million in taxes was not paid, thereby contravening the Income Tax Act?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, once again, the leader of the Bloc is misinterpreting the facts. The legislation that is involved here, Bill C-28, which is the genesis of his inquiry, has no connection whatsoever with CSL.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance is deliberately confusing the head office and the subsidiary. Furthermore, he is suffering from amnesia. Yesterday, he falsely claimed that, in terms of tax havens, all the bills introduced in the House by the current Prime Minister sought to eliminate loopholes.

So I ask the Prime Minister himself, who sponsored Bill C-28 in 1998, to tell the House what the purpose of that legislation was, other than to ensure that CSL International—I repeat that I am referring to CSL International, which is merely a front, and not CSL—is automatically considered an active business operating so as to avoid paying taxes?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, a senior official of the Department of Finance explained the situation in enormous detail before the standing committee of the House. There were questions a number of months ago from the Bloc along the same line.

The fact of the matter is that Bill C-28, the legislation in question here, deals with foreign corporations and has nothing to do with CSL.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister maintains that he excused himself from cabinet each time decisions about shipping were being discussed.

If that is the case, how does the Prime Minister explain that, when Bill C-28—which deals with shipping companies, among others—was introduced, he was the one who sponsored it in the House?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, again, the bill in question deals with nothing whatsoever that could put the Minister of Finance in conflict with his responsibilities.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, here is yet another example of the fact that, each time he finds himself backed into a corner, the Prime Minister refuses to speak.

Will he admit that, when it comes to granting benefits to one of his companies, he does not hesitate to intervene directly and even make legislation retroactive for his own purposes?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the question is simply nonsense. There is no truth or basis whatever to the allegations.

The hon. gentleman is trying to draw connections between different companies that are entirely different and a piece of legislation that has absolutely nothing to do with CSL. That was described in detail by tax experts from the Department of Finance before the transport committee.