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House of Commons Hansard #138 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was firefighters.

Topics

HomelessnessStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Simard Bloc Beauport, QC

Mr. Speaker, this Friday, October 21, some 17 towns in Quebec will hold homelessness awareness night activities.

The main purpose of the event is to gain social recognition for the homeless and financial recognition for aid agencies.

In Quebec and Canada there are more than 150,000 homeless people who need help from the government if they are to have any chance of improving their lot. Yet, the government still has not renewed the SCPI program, which funds agencies working with the homeless. Unless prompt action is taken, the homeless will have no more service after March 31, 2006.

That is why I call on the Prime Minister to join me in taking part in the awareness raising activities on the night of the homeless. Perhaps that experience will inspire him, at last, to call a cabinet meeting in the wee hours of October 22 to take action against poverty and eradicate homelessness.

National Highway SystemStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Gerald Keddy Conservative South Shore—St. Margaret's, NS

Mr. Speaker, on October 18 the Government of Nova Scotia and the Government of Canada announced that Highway 103, spanning from Halifax to Yarmouth, would become part of Canada's national highway program.

This very important step recognizes both the national strategic importance of the Highway 103 system and its regional significance for the movement of goods and services. In the past six years alone, the federal Liberals have collected more than $800 million in gas taxes from Nova Scotia drivers. Only a paltry portion of that amount, $31 million to be exact, has actually been spent on Nova Scotia highways.

The Government of Nova Scotia is calling for a significant long term federal highway funding program. The Highway 103 committee has lobbied for years for that very same thing. This can only be accomplished if the federal government stops playing politics with Nova Scotia's gas tax.

David HamiltonStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Thibault Liberal West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to acknowledge David Hamilton.

Mr. Hamilton is a true hero. On August 22 without regard for his own safety and against the advice of others, Mr. Hamilton entered the frigid waters of the Bay of Fundy off Morden in order to rescue a woman trapped by the tide. Mr. Hamilton's selfless act rescued this woman.

As a local fisherman from Morden, Mr. Hamilton is very familiar with the area. Due to nightfall and foggy conditions, his knowledge of the tides was invaluable.

I want to commend Mr. Hamilton for his act of bravery. His selfless act of courage deserves our recognition. The word hero is much overused, but when a person risks his life to save a stranger, that is a true act of heroism.

Intergovernmental AffairsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, every day, this government launches a new attack against the Government of Quebec. Yesterday it was the Minister of Transport, the co-founder of the Bloc Québécois, who insulted a minister, Benoît Pelletier.

Will the Prime Minister remind the Minister of Transport that he is no longer in the Bloc Québécois and that it is no longer his role to attack the federalist government in Quebec?

Intergovernmental AffairsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the position of our government, as expressed by the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, the Minister of Transport, and all the other ministers, including ministers from Quebec and the other provinces, is that we respect provincial jurisdictions. Furthermore, we want to work together.

We know full well that if we continue to work together, we will achieve great things. That is what Canadians and all Quebeckers want.

David DingwallOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister should join with Premier Charest in condemning the comments by the Minister of Transport.

Yesterday David Dingwall said he was told to go to the Privy Council Office to seek any severance he believes he is entitled to. The Privy Council Office is under the Prime Minister's direct authority. The Prime Minister has maintained that Mr. Dingwall quit voluntarily. In fact, he says his government urged him to stay.

Why does the Prime Minister not just say no to David Dingwall's demand for more money?

David DingwallOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Markham—Unionville Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, on the morning of September 28 Mr. Dingwall informed me that he was going to resign later that day. The reason he gave was that he thought it would be in the best interests of the Mint and I did not agree.

On the subject of legal obligations, that is a matter for the Privy Council Office lawyers. They are operating under the instructions of the Prime Minister to pay the legal minimum that is required under these circumstances.

David DingwallOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I do not understand why the Prime Minister just sits there. David Dingwall is knocking on his door. He holds Canadians' chequebook in his hand. He says David Dingwall quit voluntarily. In fact, he begged David Dingwall to stay and not quit.

Why does he not just say no and say he will not give him any more taxpayers' money?

David DingwallOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Markham—Unionville Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, David Dingwall is not knocking on anybody's door. David Dingwall is doing what is legally appropriate in our system. That is to say, any matter regarding legal obligations is handled by government lawyers in the Privy Council Office who are under instructions from the Prime Minister to pay the legal minimum.

David DingwallOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Pallister Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is putting the sit in democratic deficit.

Let us get this straight. Dingwall quit in disgrace. He did not fulfill his contract. He said he was leaving anyway, but now he is ready to sue us because he is entitled to his entitlements and the Prime Minister seems to agree with that.

For three weeks he and his government have been promoting the idea of paying Dingwall off with severance without providing us a single shred of evidence as to why. Dingwall could not successfully sue unless he had a deal.

Will the Prime Minister admit he did a Dingwall deal?

David DingwallOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Markham—Unionville Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, rather than going through all these doubtful premises and hypotheses, why do we not just stick to the facts? The fact of the matter is, Mr. Dingwall telephoned me on the morning of September 28 and indicated he would resign later that day because he felt it was best for the Mint. I agreed.

He is engaging a lawyer in consultation with government lawyers at Privy Council Office to determine the legal obligations under the instruction of the Prime Minister that the government will pay the legal minimum. Those are the facts.

David DingwallOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Pallister Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, in a recent negotiation the Prime Minister's chief of staff said, “—the PM will say we are not offering and making no offers. And I think that is the narrative we have to stick to it”. More backroom deals. Here we go again.

Here are the facts. First, the revenue minister encourages Dingwall, then the Prime Minister accepts Dingwall's resignation. Then they both try to sell us on severance for Dingwall. Those are the facts.

Will the Prime Minister admit that he knew in advance that his minister had spoken to Dingwall concerning his entitlements?

David DingwallOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Markham—Unionville Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, only one of those statements made by the hon. member I know to be absolutely false. The idea that I encouraged Mr. Dingwall is false. I can only assume his other statements are equally likely to be false.

I was informed by Mr. Dingwall on the morning that he was going to resign. When he said it was in the interests of the Mint, I did not disagree. That is not encouraging anything. It is accepting a resignation.

Intergovernmental AffairsOral Questions

October 20th, 2005 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister said Quebec-Ottawa relations were as good as ever. Yet his Minister of Transport has said otherwise, accusing Benoît Pelletier, the Quebec Minister responsible for Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs, of adopting an attitude that poisons Quebec-Ottawa relations.

I would ask the Prime Minister to clarify this: are things going well between his government and the Government of Quebec, or badly? Does he share the opinion of his political lieutenant in Quebec?

Intergovernmental AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, our relationship is fine.

Intergovernmental AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like him to tell us whether he shares the opinion of his political lieutenant.

The Quebec Minister responsible for Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs, Mr. Pelletier, made it clear he was speaking on behalf of the Government of Quebec. I would like to know whether the Prime Minister believes his political lieutenant was speaking on behalf of the Government of Canada when he criticized Mr. Pelletier.

Intergovernmental AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, he speaks on behalf of a government that has concluded the final agreement on the Quebec parental leave program, a government that has signed an agreement on municipalities, a government that has signed an agreement on infrastructure programs, a government that has signed an agreement on older workers. I believe, therefore, that he speaks on behalf of a government that is maintaining good relations with the Charest government.

Child CareOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government's position is full of contradiction. The Prime Minister, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and the Minister of Social Development are saying that everything is going very well in the negotiations with Quebec on child care, while the Minister of Transport is saying that things are now at a standstill with Quebec's Canadian intergovernmental affairs secretariat.

Can the Minister of Social Development tell us, once and for all, since there is still no agreement with Quebec on child care after 16 months of negotiations, what is the hold up?

Child CareOral Questions

2:20 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, the Minister of Social Development is with his provincial counterparts this very day discussing the various challenges we face throughout the country. He also is in ongoing dialogue with his colleague from Quebec, Carole Théberge.

Child CareOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, minister Béchard has confirmed that Quebec refuses to allow Ottawa to impose conditions. The federal minister says that the Government of Quebec could put the money into its family policy. Is this not a condition imposed by Ottawa and therefore in direct contradiction with the Prime Minister's promise during the election campaign that the transfer would be made with no strings attached?

Child CareOral Questions

2:20 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, there is no contradiction. First, as far as Quebec is concerned, discussions are being held between the minister responsible, Carole Théberge, and our Minister of Social Development. It is absolutely normal for Quebec, given its headstart over many other provinces, to consider other aspects of its family policy.

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in the House the health minister indicated that the government would be willing to sit down to talk about the issue of private health care. As the Prime Minister knows, the NDP has some proposals in that regard.

My question is for the Prime Minister. Would he be willing to sit down and have a discussion?

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, unlike the official opposition who have said on countless occasions that it does not want to see Parliament working, that it does not want to see government business proceeding, the leader of the NDP has always stated that he wants to see the House work. Under those circumstances, I would be more than happy to sit down with the leader of the NDP.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the Prime Minister for his response. Our office will be in touch right away to set that up.

I would like to bring up another matter with respect to the question of oil exports to China. As the Prime Minister knows, the production of oil and gas does lead to the production of greenhouse gases. In fact, Canada has greenhouse gas emissions that are greater than the United States.

How can we square the increase in the production of oil and gas for China in the context of our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, first, I think one should understand that the principal source of energy in China at the present time is coal which, obviously, in terms of CO

2

emissions and pollution, is a problem, which is why, at the same time that we would export oil and gas, we would seek to export environmental technologies. In fact, when the Chinese president was here, whether it be CO

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sequestration or whether it be the development of renewable energy, we talked to the Chinese in terms of the overall energy package.