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House of Commons Hansard #49 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was benefits.

Topics

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

R. John Efford LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I said in my answer to the last question from my colleague in the Bloc that I am very concerned about the increased price of oil which is passed on to consumers. It went up in the world markets today which is something we have no control over.

I intend to consult with my provincial colleagues who regulate gas in three provinces. I also will talk to the industry stakeholders to get a full understanding of what exactly is happening.

It is having a major impact on consumers and we are very concerned about it. I have committed to doing a follow-up review of it.

EmploymentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I have here an HRDC foreign worker application where the company says it cannot hire Canadian workers because “the cost is too high”. On this basis, HRDC allowed foreign nationals from India to come in and dismantle the pulp mill in Gold River, B.C.

My question for the minister is simply this: Has he lost his mind? What in God's name is he doing, giving away the last jobs in town to foreign nationals? Whose side is he on?

EmploymentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

If I had lost mine, at least I would be able to claim I had one to lose, Mr. Speaker.

I can only assure the hon. member and the House that whenever there is an application, the considerations that come forward are those that reflect on the impact on the local economy, other jobs that may be created, and whether the work can be carried out elsewhere as well. The other thing that happens is that the company must ensure that it is a limited occasion.

Supreme Court of CanadaOral Question Period

May 6th, 2004 / 2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Canadian Alliance Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, instead of reforming the judicial appointments process as he promised, the Prime Minister is only establishing temporary half measures to get him through the next election.

As a result, the appointment process for the next two Supreme Court of Canada justices will have no substantial input from the provinces and zero input from Parliament.

Why is the Prime Minister simply continuing the process of making sure that only he has the real say on Supreme Court appointments?

Supreme Court of CanadaOral Question Period

2:45 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 find it rather interesting that the hon. member would be so unaware of the rules of this House as to not know that when a committee is preparing a report that report remains unofficial until it is tabled and therefore we cannot comment on it.

I would ask the hon. member to respect the rules of this House.

Supreme Court of CanadaOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Canadian Alliance Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am not speaking about the report. I am speaking about the Prime Minister breaking his word. The Prime Minister has had 10 years to do the job, but instead of fixing the democratic deficit as he promised, he is only preoccupied with controlling the levers of power.

Will the Prime Minister stand up and tell Canadians that no future Supreme Court of Canada justice will be chosen without substantive provincial input and without parliamentary review of the nominee?

Supreme Court of CanadaOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member obviously did not listen to the House leader. Surely it is the essence of understanding the parliamentary deficit that one should follow the rules of the House and give the parliamentary committee the opportunity to submit its report.

If one is respectful of parliament, one allows the parliamentary committee to do its job. Why will the hon. member not?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ken Epp Canadian Alliance Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, in a speech on April 16, the Prime Minister misled Canadians when he said that he has restored the influence of members of Parliament through free votes and an increased role in the appointment of senior officials.

A few days ago, the Liberals voted against protecting 14 year olds from sexual exploitation in an obviously whipped vote. Why did the Prime Minister not set his MPs free so that they could vote correctly instead of on command?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

That question is out of order. The hon. member knows he cannot reflect on votes in the House under the rules and his question sounded to me like a reflection. Perhaps in a supplementary question he will ask something that the deputy House leader could answer.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ken Epp Canadian Alliance Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, 38 year old Daniel Sylvester used the Internet to lure a New Brunswick 14 year old to meet and have sex. He walked away free because 14 is the age of consent in Canada. Imagine, an innocent 14 year old being seduced by a 38 year old.

Liberal MPs voted the wrong way on the so-called child protection bill. It does not protect 14 year olds. It fails.

Why is the Prime Minister more interested in keeping his caucus in submission and breaking his 20 day old promise than in protecting innocent children?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa—Vanier Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger LiberalDeputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, as the chief government whip, I can tell the member opposite that over two-thirds of the votes that we have had in the House since February 2 have been free votes for the members of our caucus. The vote he is referring to was one of those.

HaitiOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister keeps promising that Canada's involvement in the reconstruction of Haiti will not be only for the short term. According to the experts, successful reconstruction requires security and disarmament. Yet on Tuesday the Minister of National Defence said that Canadian troops will be leaving Haiti after August 31.

Can the Prime Minister tell us whether or not Haiti can count on Canada as part of the UN mission it so badly needs?

HaitiOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has always been very clear about Canada's commitment to Haiti. Canada was there in the 1990s. There is a Canadian troop presence there now. We have extended our troop commitment in Haiti. We are committed to Haiti. We have promised aid for its reconstruction. We are totally committed to the reconstruction of that country, which we consider a very important ally in the Americas and we are a partner it can count on.

HaitiOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the situation in Haiti is catastrophic and the peace is very tenuous. International assistance is slow in coming, even if Canada has just announced a contribution of close to $2 million. There is a considerable risk of that aid not being able to achieve its objective, if troops are not there to ensure disarmament and security. The Prime Minister has acknowledged the particular responsibility Quebec and Canada have to Haiti.

Does the government commit to bringing pressure to bear on the international community to ensure that it provides the long-term aid promised to Kofi Annan?

HaitiOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Minister for International Cooperation, the President of the Treasury Board and myself are about to leave for Haiti. We will be meeting with our Caribbean partners this very evening.

Tomorrow we will be in Haiti to meet the Prime Minister and others. The Minister for International Cooperation wants to find out everything that Canada can do. We have clear instructions from the Prime Minister that Canada has a commitment to Haiti. We are going to do our best to accomplish what Canadians want to see done, namely getting Haiti back on the right path in the Americas.

Campobello IslandOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Greg Thompson Progressive Conservative New Brunswick Southwest, NB

Mr. Speaker, Campobello Island is unlike any other part of Canada. It can only be accessed by driving through the United States. There is no permanent ferry service. This creates problems. The unusual and routine stoppage of goods and services to the island creates problems.

I ask the minister, why is there no long term plan to deal with this? In the absence of that long term plan, I did submit one, but the minister has refused to follow up on it. Why?

Campobello IslandOral 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, I have followed up on this. When I had the opportunity to visit with Secretary for Homeland Security Tom Ridge, he and I talked about that particular situation and others. On both sides of the border, we are very aware of the unique situation this presents.

I thank the hon. member for raising this issue. I thank him for writing to me about this issue. I want to reassure the hon. member we are very much working with our American counterparts to deal with what I acknowledge is a very practical problem.

Campobello IslandOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Greg Thompson Progressive Conservative New Brunswick Southwest, NB

Mr. Speaker, why not a practical solution? Rubbing shoulders with Tom Ridge at a cocktail party just does not cut it.

What we are talking about is a long term solution, a plan. The government does not have a plan. Why has the minister refused to let her officials meet with me to discuss my plan, which is supported locally both by the Americans and the Canadians? Why no commitment by the minister?

Campobello IslandOral 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, first, I would like to clarify the record and make sure everybody understands that my discussion with Tom Ridge, Secretary of Homeland Security, did not take place at a cocktail party. It took place at a formal meeting.

Beyond that, let me reassure the hon. member that I am more than happy to have him sit down with my officials and members of my staff. In fact I have talked to the hon. member directly about this. We take his suggestions seriously. We understand it is a serious problem. If the hon. member wants to meet with my officials, I would be happy to facilitate such a meeting.

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Industry.

My constituents also are alarmed about the rising price of gas. Unpredictable and rising costs put a strain on everyone's budget. I know price control is a provincial matter. I know that most of the federal tax on gas is fixed so that it does not increase with the price.

Canada is an oil-rich nation. Surely there is something the federal government could do to ensure gasoline remains affordable for consumers in Peterborough and across Canada.

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:55 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

Mr. Speaker, I think all Canadians and all members of Parliament are concerned about the sudden rise in the price of gasoline and its impact on our economy today.

I can tell my hon. colleague that the government is making sure that it provides consumers with complete information on the price-setting mechanisms. In addition, we are ensuring that retail prices are really determined by market forces and not by anti-competitive practices.

Under the Competition Act, consumers can file complaints and investigations can be carried out to prove there is no collusion in the—

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Saint John.

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, this week the Minister of Veterans Affairs announced a package to help some military veterans, yet the government continues to ignore the war veterans of the second world war and the Korean war. It continues to deny access to the VIP for some veterans' widows. It continues to deny Korean war veterans who were exposed to toxic chemicals.

Why is the government so heartless when it comes to protecting its aging veterans and their families?

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, not only did we recently arrange payments for those who suffer from chemical testing, but this week I announced the most fundamental reform of veterans programs since the second world war.

No longer will we focus on paying people when they are sick, but we will have a whole battery of programs to help these people to become well and to become normal, functioning members of Canadian society. The government is very proud of that move.

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, it took those who were subjected to mustard gas 50 years to finally get recognition and some help.

The minister's recent announcement does little for those veterans with the greatest needs. The minister continues to deny access to the Korean war vets exposed to toxic chemicals while in the field of duty. Those Korean war soldiers were routinely doused with DDT and kerosene. They were exposed through direct spray and fumigating of their bunkers, their clothes and their sleeping kits. See if anyone would like to have that done.

When it comes to our Korean war vets--