This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #150 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was afghanistan.

Topics

EqualizationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the government began to reform and renew the equalization system beginning in 2004, and the province of Saskatchewan was the first beneficiary of that reform process. Over the last 18 months, the province of Saskatchewan has, because of that process, gained $799 million that it otherwise would not have had.

With respect to the anomalies in the formula, we correct those on an annual basis. If there are continuing anomalies, they would be further corrected in the budget in February.

EqualizationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Dave Batters Conservative Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, rectifying previous mistakes is not a fair deal for the province of Saskatchewan. The finance minister has again slammed the door on a fair equalization deal for Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan cannot afford to wait, yet the finance minister has delayed any deal until next year. This will cost the people of Saskatchewan over $750 million in lost revenue. Apparently, he has been too busy trying to buy off Canadians with their own money.

Why has the finance minister again failed to deliver a fair deal for Saskatchewan?

EqualizationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, raising transfer payments to an all time record high is good for Saskatchewan. Providing over the last 18 months about $700 million in extra payments to agriculture and providing early childhood learning systems for Saskatchewan of $146 million over the next five years is good for Saskatchewan.

On this new found interest on the part of the Conservatives in equalization, before they could even spell the word, the government put $799 million extra into the province of Saskatchewan.

Human Resources and Skills DevelopmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Michael John Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

Yesterday's economic update by the Minister of Finance contained some great news for post-secondary education, including direct support for students, some of whom are visiting Parliament this week. More funding will be made available to help students gain access to education, to upgrade their skills and to become the leaders of tomorrow.

Could the minister tell us how, in concrete terms, this new funding made available by the finance minister will get to students?

Human Resources and Skills DevelopmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Newmarket—Aurora Ontario

Liberal

Belinda Stronach LiberalMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister responsible for Democratic Renewal

Mr. Speaker, I wish to thank the hon. member for his hard work as chair of the post-secondary education caucus.

In today's labour market, a post-secondary education is essential for prosperity and for growth. Statistics show that two-thirds of all future jobs will require a post-secondary education.

I am pleased by the investments outlined yesterday: $550 million to extend the Canada access grant for low income students; $2.19 billion to assist post-secondary students by addressing access and affordability; $210 million to expand the number of Canada graduate scholarships available; and $150 million to support international education. An investment in students is an--

Human Resources and Skills DevelopmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Elmwood--Transcona.

Parliament of CanadaOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the right hon. Prime Minister.

It seems to me that the Prime Minister's position on when the next election should be held grows more untenable as more and more Canadians realize that there is nothing unconstitutional, nothing unparliamentary about Parliament expressing its opinion about when the next election should be held. This is an activity that the Prime Minister already has legitimized, by himself saying when he thinks when the next election should be called.

Why is it okay for the Prime Minister and not for Parliament, and why is he playing chicken with the aboriginal affairs conference?

Parliament of CanadaOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday, the Prime Minister has been very clear and consistent in making his commitment to Canadians. On national television, he told Canadians that he would call an election within 30 days of Mr. Justice Gomery's second report. Canadians deserve all the facts and they deserve to have their say on the basis of those facts.

This morning, when we were on CBC Radio, it was the leader of the NDP who was sitting there with the Canadian taxpayers coalition arguing for an earlier election, while I sat with Phil Fontaine arguing to ensure that this Parliament continues to work.

Parliament of CanadaOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, somebody said, “Say it isn't so”, and I will. That is a totally false misrepresentation of what happened this morning.

All we are asking is a compromise which would enable the aboriginal affairs conference to take place and everything else the government says is important. Our compromise would do that.

I ask the Prime Minister to put the testosterone tactics aside. If the Prime Minister were at the United Nations, there would be a war every day because he cannot accept a compromise. Why can he not accept a compromise and respect the will of Parliament? What the hell is wrong with that?

Parliament of CanadaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, what opposition members are suggesting is not a compromise. What they are suggesting is that they would want to be able to vote non-confidence in the government today, only to have the consequences of that vote sometime in January.

We are in a parliamentary democracy that operates on the principle that a government must have the confidence of Parliament. We either have confidence or we do not. If we do not have that confidence, the opposition parties can put forward a non-confidence motion.

We are here to make this Parliament work for Canadians and keep the Prime Minister's commitment to Canadians.

AgricultureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Finley Conservative Haldimand—Norfolk, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday's Liberal campaign platform proves that the government has abandoned agriculture. This third budget of the year does not mention agriculture, not even once. The Liberals want to spend $40 billion, but not one penny of it will help anyone trying to scratch out a living by feeding our nation.

Our farmers are in terrible straits and they need help now, but the mini-budget is just an insult. Why has the government ignored farmers in its last two mini-budgets?

AgricultureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister of State (Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario)

Mr. Speaker, just to set aside the political rhetoric for a moment, I want to recognize the hon. member for coming back to the House after having faced serious health challenges. We appreciate seeing her back in the House.

Right now governments are making record payments to producers. We have provided over $2 billion in the CAIS program. We have provided our fifth payment this year, which was an additional billion dollars to producers.

AgricultureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals love to talk about their phoney numbers but are ignoring the facts.

On the Liberal mini-budget, Bob Friesen of the CFA said, “The Liberal government abandoned rural Canada and have not supported Canadian farm families...yet...given the opportunity, farmers were neglected again”.

The minister should consider the facts. The fact is grain and oilseed prices are below the cost of production. The fact is U.S. and European subsidies are driving down commodity prices. The fact is the CAIS program is not going to save family farms. The fact is the Liberals had a chance to put farm aid in their mini-budget and did not.

Why are Liberals ignoring the facts and ignoring our farmers?

AgricultureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister of State (Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario)

Mr. Speaker, the fact is payments to producers are at record levels right now in Canada. The fact is this past year we provided an additional billion dollars, beyond all our other programs, to help Canadian producers. The fact is they cannot have it both ways. They cannot on one side call payments bribery and then on the other side criticize us for not making them.

TaxationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Conservative Edmonton—Spruce Grove, AB

Mr. Speaker, this Liberal government continues to deny the existence of the fiscal imbalance and does not hesitate to use its surplus funds for Liberal Party priorities and buying votes, while leaving the provinces unable to pay for health care and education.

When will the minister follow the lead of the Conservative Party, and commit to transferring tax points to the provinces so they can meet the needs of Canadians, not the needs of the Liberals?

TaxationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, revenue flows to provinces and territories are now and will continue to be consistently higher than federal revenue flows. In fact, federal debt is higher than all the provincial debts combined. Federal transfers from the Government of Canada to the provinces and territories are at an all time record high. We have already announced that over the next 10 years those payments will be going up by $100 billion.

JusticeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Russ Hiebert Conservative South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Lower Mainland of British Columbia is now Canada's capital of crime. According to the Vancouver Sun , “Crime is rampant throughout the GVRD, no community is immune”.

The Liberal failure to tackle grow ops, the Liberal failure to provide enforcement capacity, and its failure to toughen up the Criminal Code are all reasons why crime is rampant. It has been 12 years of Liberal failure.

Why have the federal Liberals allowed crime to skyrocket in the Lower Mainland?

JusticeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I wish that the hon. member might have been at the meeting of federal, provincial and territorial ministers of justice where we unanimously adopted a four point strategy with regard to combating grow ops, and other drugs and synthetic substances.

Number one is law reform. Number two is more effective law enforcement. Number three is combating organized crime. Number four is a program for education and awareness. We are moving. We are not just asking questions.

Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, this economic update is a smokescreen. It contains nothing for agriculture, softwood lumber, textiles, clothing or, yet again, the regions. There is no shortage of problems, or money.

How did the Minister of Finance manage to produce an economic update while totally ignoring the serious problems facing a number of regions?

Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Brossard—La Prairie Québec

Liberal

Jacques Saada LiberalMinister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec and Minister responsible for the Francophonie

Mr. Speaker, barely a few months ago, we voted an additional $307 million for Quebec regions, which the Bloc members opposed. We invested $50 million in softwood lumber and $34 million in fisheries, despite the Bloc. We have developed the Gaspé, Chandler, Cap-Chat and Magog, despite the Bloc. We have achieved economic diversification, despite the Bloc. This is hypocrisy pure and simple.

Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, how could the regional economic development minister allow his colleague in finance to produce a mini budget with nothing for the regions? Is this not evidence of this minister's light weight in cabinet?

Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Brossard—La Prairie Québec

Liberal

Jacques Saada LiberalMinister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec and Minister responsible for the Francophonie

Mr. Speaker, I can hardly wait for André Harvey to return to this House and behave like a real MP.

The members of the Bloc voted against a $307 million increase in the budget and against Bill C-9. We have helped the textile industry with CANtex, but they did not agree. They were absent. We helped the regions of Quebec in need, despite the Bloc. I travel throughout Quebec, and the Bloc comes along behind me. I repeat this is total hypocrisy.

JusticeOral Questions

November 15th, 2005 / 2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Daryl Kramp Conservative Prince Edward—Hastings, ON

Mr. Speaker, the justice minister has consistently denied the positive effects of mandatory sentence reform. Yet under pressure from a Conservative private member's bill, the unanimous national police endorsement, the approval of provincial justice ministers from across this country and overwhelming public support, he reluctantly announced a vague proposal to increase mandatory sentences.

The minister now says he has no details since he has not discussed this idea with cabinet. When can we expect these details? Is this just another example of Liberal death bed conversion to Conservative Party policy?

JusticeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the proposals are not vague. They were specifically endorsed unanimously by all the provincial and territorial ministers of justice. We will be introducing a legislative package with 10 legislative amendments but, more importantly, we will be providing hope and opportunity to prevent tragedy that the Conservatives are trying to exploit here in the House.

JusticeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the B.C. solicitor general said that it was “absolutely unbelievable” that a man avoided jail and was given house arrest after stealing a car he crashed into a truck, killing his passenger. It is beyond comprehension that someone can kill people and not go to jail.

The government introduced phoney sentencing legislation and made phoney pre-election promises on mandatory prison sentences. When will the government take crimes that endanger lives seriously and impose prison sentences for violent and repeat offenders?