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House of Commons Hansard #53 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was gst.

Topics

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we are working on very tangible measures to deliver benefits to Canadians. That is the whole point of our negotiations with the municipalities.

We have already provided the municipalities with a full rebate on the GST. That will amount to $7 billion over the next 10 years. We are now working on proposals to rebate to the municipalities a significant portion of the federal gasoline tax, along with, we hope, a portion of the provincial excise tax. That will materially help Canadians and local communities.

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, that is easy for the minister to say while his limo is idling outside. Gas prices have skyrocketed in the country. The Competition Bureau has launched an investigation into price fixing. Even Liberals are worried about this. The member for Pickering—Ajax—Uxbridge has stated that the public is being fleeced to the tune of at least 7¢ a litre.

My question is for the Prime Minister. When will the Prime Minister take concrete action to bring down the price of gasoline and stop gouging Canadians?

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it is not a limo. It is a Dodge van and it runs on ethanol fuel. That is for our environmental protection. It is not something that is on the hon. gentleman's mind.

I would point out again that one of the great benefits that we are working on in our agenda for the future is to provide new revenues to municipalities so they can deliver a higher quality of life to Canadians across the country. Obviously the opposition is not interested in that.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have a visitor among us today, in the person of the Prime Minister. I greet him, and take advantage of his presence to ask for an explanation of the words he used, words heavy with portent, in connection with the sponsorship scandal. On February 12, the Prime Minister declared himself, and I quote, “absolutely prepared” to go before the Public Accounts Committee and stated that “there had to be political direction”.

Since the Liberals have managed to arrange it so that he will not appear before the committee, can the Prime Minister tell us today who was behind that political direction in the sponsorship scandal?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Public Accounts Committee was struck precisely to answer such questions, as was the Gomery Commission. This is also the reason Mr. Gauthier was asked to help, that is, to find the answer to these questions.

When the leader of the Bloc mentioned a visitor, I thought he was referring to Bono, who is here to celebrate an announcement with great significance for Canada concerning our lead role in connection with AIDS throughout the world.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, if Bono were more familiar with the record of the Prime Minister, he would surely say “I can't believe the news today”.

Since the Prime Minister has stated very clearly that there had to be political direction and that he was prepared to go before the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, why is he running away now? If he knows something, why is he keeping it from the public? Why has he refused to go before the committee to tell it that he does know something and will disclose it?

What he is telling us today is that he knows something but is concealing it, that he does not want the public to know what this party has been up to, filling its pockets with the taxpayers' money.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have made it clear since mid-February that I was prepared to go before the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, the Gomery commission, or anywhere else, and I am saying it again now.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, the same day, February 12, the Prime Minister declared, and I quote, “that very few ministers, Quebec ministers, did” know. For the Prime Minister to make such a declaration means that someone knew. Still, he has never identified anyone.

I ask the Prime Minister, who claims to want to shed light on the sponsorship scandal, if he can tell us who, in the current cabinet, did know?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:25 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, it is interesting to see that the people who say they want to know what happened are refusing to report to the public on what has been done so far. There is a stark contradiction.

Commissions have been set up precisely to shed light on all this. But they prefer to make assumptions, for political reasons I leave to your imagination, while what we find much more interesting is the truth of the matter. That is why, exactly, there will be a partial report—a preliminary report.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, the same day, February 12, the Prime Minister also said, and once again I quote,“anybody who knew about that and did nothing should resign immediately.” Despite the Prime Minister's invitation, no one resigned from the current cabinet.

Therefore, if the Prime Minister today refuses to say what he knows, is it not because certain members of his cabinet could be forced to resign?

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, that question comes from a political party whose whip declared in committee that he intended to take—and I quote—“5 hours and 45 minutes—I will do everything to try and go on longer than that” with the aim of preventing the committee from reporting to the people on what has been done.

That is pure and simple hypocrisy.

HealthOral Question Period

May 12th, 2004 / 2:30 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is curious to see the official opposition concerned about high gas prices; this is the first time in 25 years. I remember a Tory government that fell because it jacked the price of gas up so high. My question for the Prime Minister--

HealthOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

HealthOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

An hon. member

It would have been higher if it was up to you.

HealthOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. member for Winnipeg—Transcona has the floor.

HealthOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I have a very simple question for the Prime Minister. The Conservatives have made their position on for profit delivery of health care very clear. They are for it. They are wrong, but at least they are honest. We have made our position clear. We are against it.

I want to ask the Prime Minister, does he think that for profit delivery of health care has a place in our system, yes or no?

HealthOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have said in this House and I will repeat, the reason we want to have a meeting with the premiers this summer, the reason we want to essentially deal with the health care situation is so that more money will flow, that reform will take place, so that in fact the publicly funded, universally accessible health care system that was put in place by a Liberal government will continue and will strengthen.

InfrastructureOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, note the absence of any comment whatsoever on non-profit delivery of health care versus for profit private delivery. That was a complete evasion of the question.

I want to ask the Prime Minister, are we to be treated to the same mystery when it comes to the Prime Minister's policies on cities? We are told now that there is a great privatization scheme in the works for cities and how to deal with infrastructure in cities, which we are not supposed to know about until the election.

The people at Earnscliffe must be salivating knowing that they are going to have more say than the mayor of Toronto when it comes to spending money on infrastructure. Would the Prime Minister--

InfrastructureOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The right hon. Prime Minister.

InfrastructureOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I would be delighted to tell the parliamentary leader of the NDP about it. The fact is that Canada's major cities are suffering from urban gridlock. They are suffering from air that is not clean and water that is not clean. We intend to deal with it.

At the same time, we intend to deal with the problems of economic development and homelessness that are found in our smaller communities right across the country.

I am delighted to answer the hon. member's question, as I will many times over the course of the next period, and say we are here to defend Canada's cities and its smallest communities. That is part of our policy and we are going to bring it into being.

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

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

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are wondering who to blame for the price of gas, which is up to almost a dollar a litre. The answer is obvious: the Liberal government.

A study by the Minister of the Environment says that the tax increase required to achieve the Kyoto protocol objectives would double the price of gas from roughly 54¢ a litre to $1.40 a litre.

Is that not the true Liberal agenda: to have Canadians pay $1.40 for a litre of gas? Is that not the true Liberal agenda?

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the trouble with this opposition is that the question starts with the search for blame. That is typical of what the Conservative Party stands for. It is always on the negative, always angry, always looking to tear down, always looking to criticize. In fact, that party's whole reputation is a witch hunt from beginning to end.

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

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

Mr. Speaker, this Liberal government has no grounds, as this is the same Liberal Party and this finance--

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I cannot hear a word. We must have a little order. The hon. member for Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam has the floor now. I am sure he appreciates the help with the question, but we do have to be able to hear him.