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House of Commons Hansard #48 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was nations.

Topics

Canada Health InfowayOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Canadian Alliance Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, we did not ask about the role. We are asking specific questions about why that foundation is not transparent.

In that same Order Paper question, we asked if Canada Health Infoway was following government contracting policy. We were told no, because it is not part of the Government of Canada. That is also the reason that the Auditor General cannot look at the books.

Why should taxpayers fund foundations when taxpayers must completely surrender control once their cheques are cashed? Why?

Canada Health InfowayOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Scarborough East Ontario

Liberal

John McKay LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I direct the hon. member's attention to the budget of 2003. If he reads the budget, he will notice that foundations will be required to provide plans annually to the minister responsible for administering the funding agreement and that the annual report for each foundation, including relevant performance reporting and audited financial statements, were provided to the minister.

The hon. member has access to all of these reports, all of the appointments. He may pursue those at his leisure.

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

May 5th, 2004 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, gasoline prices are skyrocketing, and all the government is doing is siding with the oil companies.

My question is this: While gas prices are set by a small group of oil companies, to the detriment of the consumer, how can the government justify the fact that the only thing it did last year was to reduce the tax burden of those oil companies by $250 million?

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

R. John Efford LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, allow me to ask the hon. member a question in answering the question.

Some time ago Quebec put a pricing commissioner in place to check the price of gasoline. What difference has it made to the price of gasoline in Quebec? That will answer the question of what difference it would make in Canada.

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government has a number of tools at its disposal.

First, it could have instituted a real investigation into a potential lack of competition in the oil market. That it did not do, or at least not seriously. Second, it could establish a petroleum monitoring agency, as the committee recommended. That it did not do.

How can it justify to those who are listening and who are being strangled by the oil companies that the only thing it did do is reduce the taxes on companies that are already raking in huge profits?

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalMinister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

This is incorrect, Mr. Speaker. The hon. member for Roberval is not presenting all the facts. The Competition Bureau has, on a number of occasions, carried out investigations to determine exactly what was going on in the market. The parliamentary committee has done the same. At the present time, everyone agrees that the price hike is the result of a drop in inventory, coupled with a rapid rise in crude oil prices. That is what everyone is saying right now, with the exception of the member for Roberval. He needs to face up to reality. The Competition Bureau will continue to do its job.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, following a unanimous motion by the Quebec National Assembly calling on the federal government to recognize and correct the fiscal imbalance, the Prime Minister's best response was to suggest that Quebec raise its taxes in order to fulfill its responsibilities.

How can the Prime Minister make such a suggestion when he has the money, he has been accumulating a surplus, and he need only transfer this money to solve the health care problems without anyone having to pay one cent more?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Brome—Missisquoi Québec

Liberal

Denis Paradis LiberalMinister of State (Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, in the Speech from the Throne, the words “cooperation” and “partnership with the provinces” occur 14 times. In his letter, the Prime Minister referred to his desire to assure the National Assembly that the Government of Canada is determined to develop a new partnership with the provinces and territories that will emphasize the interests of Canadians.

In this country, there is only one taxpayer, paying at the municipal, provincial and federal levels, and hoping that the elected representatives can agree among themselves.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, strangely—

TaxationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. member for Joliette.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the health care problems are entirely the creation of the current Prime Minister, who reduced transfer payments year after year. Today, instead of correcting his error by restoring transfers, he ingenuously suggests that Quebec and the provinces tax their people more.

How can the Prime Minister be just as irresponsible and arrogant as Jean Chrétien was and propose increased taxes, when the solution—transferring money for health from the federal government to Quebec and the provinces—already exists?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, a new sum of $34.8 billion will be invested over the next five years, and the latest budget has included an additional $2 billion.

We have an equalization formula by which 45% of the money goes to Quebec. We are determined to sit down with Quebec and the other provinces to create a health care system that will last into the future.

Royal Canadian MintOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Canadian Alliance Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, the government is printing money at the Mint and spending it like it is its own, but it is not. This crown corporation funded a six-day tour of Italy for Alfonso Gagliano and his cronies, but only one day of official business was conducted.

Given that the Prime Minister has said he will never defend the indefensible, when is he going to call up his good friend Alfonso Gagliano and order him to pay back the taxpayer money that was spent on this trip?

Royal Canadian MintOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Hamilton West Ontario

Liberal

Stan Keyes LiberalMinister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Sport)

Mr. Speaker, the question provides me with an opportunity to reassure Canadians that there have been changes to the Mint. The activities there are now completely above reproach, completely transparent, fully accountable, and able to withstand full public scrutiny.

It would really be nice if Canadians had the same comfort level about the Leader of the Opposition with his leadership campaign expenses, which he still refuses to disclose.

Royal Canadian MintOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Canadian Alliance Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, when these guys get caught, then they are going to change something and make it better.

This trip was clearly nothing more than a personal vacation for an ex-minister and the government should be quick to condemn it. George Radwanski is paying money back to Canadians, and so should Alfonso Gagliano.

Why is it standard Liberal practice to abuse the public trust and defend lavish vacations that the average Canadian simply cannot--

Royal Canadian MintOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of National Revenue.

Royal Canadian MintOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Hamilton West Ontario

Liberal

Stan Keyes LiberalMinister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Sport)

Mr. Speaker, no one is defending anything of the sort.

We are trying to explain to the opposition in order for Canadians to fully understand and have full confidence in the Mint. There have been changes under the leadership of the new president.

For example, and allow me to illustrate, the president must now present a summary of his travel expenses to the board at every meeting. There is now an annual review of expenses of the president to the board members and the position of internal auditor was reinstituted, with a mandate to review all expenditures. These are the actions that are presently being done at the Mint.

Royal Canadian MintOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Canadian Alliance Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the problem is that the government has been treating the Royal Canadian Mint as though it were the royal Liberal mint.

Liberal kingpin Alfonso Gagliano went on a week-long, luxury trip to Italy, in 2001, courtesy of the taxpayer. He brought along a pack of Liberal hacks, including a convicted fraudster for good measure.

Mr. Gagliano did one day of official business, though, rubbing shoulders with aging Italian sex kitten Gina Lollobrigida at the launch of her coin.

Canadians want to know why do senior Liberal ministers bilk the taxpayer for their luxury vacations?

Royal Canadian MintOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

An hon. member

Shame on you.

Royal Canadian MintOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

An hon. member

That is an awful thing that he said about Gina Lollobrigida.

Royal Canadian MintOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

An hon. member

Absolutely. It is just absolutely disgusting.

Royal Canadian MintOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Hamilton West Ontario

Liberal

Stan Keyes LiberalMinister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Sport)

I think the hon. member mispronounced Lollobrigida, Mr. Speaker. Show respect for our Italian community.

Royal Canadian MintOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

An hon. member

How dare you insult--

Royal Canadian MintOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

Order. Order, please. We must have some order so we can hear the minister's response.

There seems to be a lot of conversations going on between various members all at the same time. It makes it very difficult for the Speaker to hear what is happening.

The hon. Minister of National Revenue has the floor.