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House of Commons Hansard #136 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-65.

Topics

HealthOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the basis of the Chaoulli decision was that waiting times were too long and as a result the Supreme Court made the decision that it did.

We anticipated this in the election campaign and we anticipated it when we had the federal-provincial conference in which we put the $41 billion over the next 10 years precisely to deal, among other issues, with the issue of waiting times.

On the question of benchmarks, the Minister of Health has worked very hard across the country. We appointed Dr. Brian Postl to advise the Minister of Health on this particular issue and he is having a very important federal-provincial conference on that issue.

HealthOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that this so-called $41 billion solution has not worked for wait times and it has not stopped the privatization of our health care system.

The Prime Minister says that he is very concerned about this but is the reason that he will not agree to new rules and will not answer the question properly is that he knows he will go down in history as the Liberal Prime Minister who would not defend public health care in this country?

HealthOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, that is absolute nonsense. The fact is that it was the Prime Minister who made wait times the issue. It was the Prime Minister who actually provided $41.3 billion. It was the Prime Minister who appointed Dr. Brian Postl. It is the Prime Minister who is going to see that we have benchmarks before the end of the year and that we strengthen the public health care system.

Our quarrel is not with the NDP. We share the objective with the NDP of strengthening public health care. It is those people opposite who actually have no commitment to public health care.

HealthOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

HealthOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

Perhaps we could have a little less catcalling in the House. It is very difficult to hear the answers when members are continually yelling things. It would be a little more orderly if members would be quiet and listen to the questions and the answers.

Indian and Northern Affairs CanadaOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Prentice Conservative Calgary North Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Indian Affairs told Canadians that his gag order contract with Totem Hill Inc. protected sensitive personal information.

I have the contract. It is not a contract about sensitive personnel information. The contract relates to the audit and management structures of the department. It relates to whether or not his department is meeting its constitutional, legal and treaty obligations to aboriginal Canadians. It relates to how DIAND measures the health of aboriginal communities and their quality of life. This is not a personnel matter.

Why did the minister mislead the House?

Indian and Northern Affairs CanadaOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

We had difficulties with that kind of question about a week and a half ago and I have indicated my dissatisfaction with that kind of question. Inviting a minister to answer one question is one thing. Inviting him to explain why the House may have misconstrued his remarks is another. We will not have this. I am warning that the next time I will rule the question out of order. We will proceed and if the minister is willing to answer he may do so.

Indian and Northern Affairs CanadaOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday regarding the aspect of the contract that involved personnel matters, we asked for that to be done in an oral presentation. On the balance, there is a contract, there is a statement of work and there is a clear audit trail which shows the department received what it paid for.

Indian and Northern Affairs CanadaOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Prentice Conservative Calgary North Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have the contract; it is not a personnel matter. Everyone knows that the minister is trying to gag his consultants. He does not want Canadians to find out that every social indicator shows that the quality of life of aboriginals is deteriorating. He does not want them to know that he and the Prime Minister are responsible for this mess.

Is that not why the minister is stifling his consultants?

Indian and Northern Affairs CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, we are getting to the bottom of the audit and evaluation branch. That is what this exercise was about. It was intended to get that kind of information. There was sensitive personnel information that we wanted to protect. It was a small part of a contract. There is a contract and there was a clear audit trail.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Monte Solberg Conservative Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, a new Conference Board report reveals that Canada's world economics performance at the hands of the Liberals has slipped from third to twelfth in just two years. We see it every day actually in layoffs in the manufacturing sector around this country.

Anne Golden of the Conference Board of Canada today called the government's recent economic initiatives “foolhardy”.

Why should Canadians settle for foolhardy Liberal policies that are clobbering our economic performance?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Scarborough—Guildwood Ontario

Liberal

John McKay LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, Canada at this point is enjoying a very prosperous period of time in its history. Inflation is between 1% and 3%. We enjoy historically low interest rates. The government books are balanced. We have paid down $60 billion in debt. Family incomes are up 8% between 1993 and now. After tax income is up 11% in the same period of time.

When the Conservatives were involved in government in a period of time, incomes actually declined 16%. I would ask the hon. member to review the report and point to the last and concluding thought which says “Canada remains--

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Medicine Hat.

Income TrustsOral Questions

October 18th, 2005 / 2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Monte Solberg Conservative Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, there they are whistling through the graveyard again.

Today the Canadian Association of Retired Persons wrote the finance minister to tell him that he had it all wrong on income trusts. CARP says that “seniors are actually enraged, frightened and panicked about potentially losing retirement savings that they count on for essentials of daily living”.

We know that a senior Liberal is quoted as saying that income trust investors do not count politically. Maybe it was the parliamentary secretary. Is that why the parliamentary secretary and the government are attacking the retirement savings of seniors?

Income TrustsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Scarborough—Guildwood Ontario

Liberal

John McKay LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I know the hon. member to be an intelligent individual, however—

Income TrustsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Income TrustsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

I know this kind of compliment can provoke disorder but the parliamentary secretary has the floor.

Income TrustsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

And it appears, Mr. Speaker, that he has had a lapse from that usual level of intelligence.

This is an area of complex public policy in which the rights of all Canadians, including the rights to set aside sufficient funding for their retirement, needs to be protected.

I would ask the hon. member to contemplate the productivity agenda that is presently before the finance committee and include in that productivity agenda his concern about the way in which income trusts need to be treated.

Child CareOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister agreed, in the context of health, that a special agreement would be made with the Government of Quebec confirming that Quebec has full control over the application of the health agreement within its jurisdiction.

Why then is his government reluctant to sign an asymmetrical agreement with Quebec on child care, when that sector is clearly the responsibility of Quebec and one in which that province is already investing $1.5 billion a year, more than all the other provinces combined?

Child CareOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we have also signed separate agreements with Quebec and the other provinces on immigration, labour, fuel tax, housing and the homeless, and we will do the same for child care.

Child CareOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government is insisting that the money it wants to invest in setting up a child care network be used specifically for that purpose in all the provinces of Canada. But how can it justify requiring this of Quebec where the network is already in place and even sets an example for the others and where Quebeckers are already investing $1.5 billion a year in this service? Is it not ridiculous that the federal government has not figured this out already?

Child CareOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this is just today's installment of the Bloc's tall tales. We will acknowledge precisely what is going on in Quebec, and the innovative model it has developed over the years. We will acknowledge it in the funding agreement we will sign with the Government of Quebec.

TaxationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, this new interference by the federal government in areas of jurisdiction belonging to Quebec and the provinces and this notion of national interest are made possible by the very existence of the fiscal imbalance.

Is this notion of national interest not just a new pretext and a new justification being used by the federal government for its repeated infringements in areas of jurisdiction belonging to Quebec and the provinces?

TaxationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, do you know that we live in a country called Canada? In a country, is it not normal to speak of national interest, the interest of all the citizens of this country? I understand that the Bloc, which wants only to separate, does not share this notion of country. I can understand that. However, Canadians, including Quebeckers, want all levels of government to work together for the good of all. This is what we are doing.

TaxationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about national interest. Back when he was finance minister and trying to reduce the deficit, national interest had nothing to do with it. The finance minister eliminated the deficit, at the expense of Quebec and the provinces, by cutting their transfer payments without any regard for national interest. Now that the government is swimming in surpluses, the national interest has suddenly become important.

Does the Prime Minister realize that he is confusing national interest with Liberal interest?