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House of Commons Hansard #153 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was seniors.

Topics

AirportsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Michael Chong Conservative Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Mr. Speaker, Toronto's Pearson airport is being asked to pay two-thirds of the country's airport rent even though it carries one-third of the traffic. Because of this usurious rent, Pearson has the highest landing fees in the world.

Seventy thousand jobs and $14 billion in economic activity are at risk because of the government's irresponsible rent policy. Instead of gouging Toronto and telling us that Montreal's Dorval would happily take away Toronto Pearson's business, why will the minister not give Toronto the same deal he gave the rest of the country?

AirportsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Miramichi New Brunswick

Liberal

Charles Hubbard LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, Toronto Pearson is one of our great international airports. It has nearly 25 million people visiting it each year as passengers. Our minister is working closely with the members of the greater Toronto caucus to see that the problems at Toronto in terms of finances and landing fees will be addressed in the very near future.

InfrastructureOral Questions

November 18th, 2005 / 11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Larry Miller Conservative Grey—Bruce—Owen Sound, ON

Mr. Speaker, Transport Canada has jurisdiction over navigable waterways. The Saugeen River flows through the village of Neustadt, the birthplace of the Honourable John Diefenbaker. It has eroded the riverbank and is moving dangerously close to two sewage lagoons. The local municipality is left holding the bag.

The lagoons are not moving. The river is moving. Does the government want another Kashechewan? Walkerton is downstream. I am sure its residents do not want two lagoons floating past their front doors.

Why will the minister not take responsibility? Will he fix the erosion and will he do it now?

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Miramichi New Brunswick

Liberal

Charles Hubbard LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I am glad the member opposite is aware of things that are happening near his constituency. Quite often we do not get that response in the House.

We will take it under advisement and I am sure we will get an answer back to him in the very near future.

HealthOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Michael John Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, on November 22, 2004, the Minister of Health announced the launch of discussions to explore options for financial compensation to Canadians infected with hepatitis C through the Canadian blood system in the class before 1986 and after July 1990.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health update the House on the status of these important discussions?

HealthOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

West Nova Nova Scotia

Liberal

Robert Thibault LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to inform the hon. members of the House that the Minister of Health and legal representatives for individuals affected with the hepatitis C virus through the blood system before 1986 and after July 1, 1990, today announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding committing the federal government to provide compensation to those individuals.

Discussions will continue on both sides as both sides negotiate the amounts and categories of compensation. By entering into this MOU, both sides have made a clear commitment to the ongoing negotiation process. The federal government will compensate the pre-1986, post-1990 class because it is the right and responsible thing to do.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the amount of false bluster being displayed by the Liberals over the past few days has been nothing short of astonishing for Canadians. It is the same sort of attitude the government has shown toward the environment over the past 13 years.

While everyone knows the Liberals are masters of spin, Canadians are starting to learn the truth about what is happening in our environment. Yesterday the Commissioner of the Environment expressed justifiable skepticism at the government's latest promise to develop a sustainable development strategy for the environment, asking, “How will this effort succeed where others have failed?”

The result is that we are on the eve of an international conference on the environment where Canada's record will be held up as what not to do when it comes to the environment. My question is for the Minister of the Environment. What makes him think that he has any credibility with Canadians on this file?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Halifax West Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I am surprised that my hon. colleague from the NDP would ask a question on the matter of the environment today, the day after respected Canadian environmentalist Elizabeth May, president of the Sierra Club of Canada, publicly stated that it is critical that the government be fully functional for the COP 11 meeting in Montreal on climate change.

In fact, she said yesterday that for an election to be going on during the course of this conference would be the nightmare scenario that every environmental activist around the world has been hoping would not happen.

IndustryOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, under Liberal and Conservative governments, more than 11,000 Canadian companies have been lost to foreign ownership, even though 97% of these takeovers have resulted in job losses.

Why did this government sell out Canadians and rubber stamp the takeover of Terasen Gas? Losing control of our natural resources is losing control of our sovereignty. Why are the Liberals allowing this to happen against the wishes of Canadians? Why was Kinder Morgan allowed to take over Terasen Gas?

IndustryOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Chatham-Kent—Essex Ontario

Liberal

Jerry Pickard LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the minister removed himself from this situation because at one point he was on the board of Terasen Gas.

However, Kinder Morgan is a large company that certainly has a great deal of expertise. In all of its operations it will have to operate under Canadian law. The fact is that it will be able to advance our situation in Canada far more with the capital it has, the resources it has and the expertise it has. I believe Canada, on the measure, is going to be the big winner with this takeover and, quite frankly, Canada will move forward very well.

Income TrustsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Leon Benoit Conservative Vegreville—Wainwright, AB

Mr. Speaker, in September, the Minister of Finance recklessly and irresponsibly cancelled advance tax rulings on income trusts. This has destroyed the savings of seniors, pension funds and some teachers' funds, the funds of ordinary Canadians saving for retirement. The minister does not seem to care at all about seniors and hard-working Canadians.

Will the Minister of Finance continue his attack on seniors, teachers and other Canadians saving for retirement? Or will he tell us specifically on what day he will announce his decision on income trusts?

Income TrustsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, many of the allegations embedded in the hon. gentleman's preamble are just plainly, flatly false.

I would remind him that this government raised RRSP limits. We removed the foreign property rule. We are increasing the GIS. We are reducing taxes. We are removing 240,000 seniors from the tax rolls. We have revised the CPP to make it actuarially sound for 75 years. We have indexed the entire tax system to protect against inflation. We have acted, we are acting and we will indeed continue to act in the best interests of Canadian seniors.

Income TrustsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Leon Benoit Conservative Vegreville—Wainwright, AB

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that this minister and his government continue their attack on seniors. It is sad and disturbing. First his government steals millions of tax dollars from these hard-working Canadians to fund Liberal election campaigns and now he slashes their savings by irresponsible action against their savings in income trusts. That is the truth.

Canadian seniors know they can never trust this government again. Is this minister going to continue to beat up on seniors or will he announce his decision on income trusts? When is he going to make that announcement?

Income TrustsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman's repeating of a falsehood louder and louder still does not make it true. The fact of the matter, among many other things, is that this government has taken 860,000 low income taxpayers off the rolls altogether, including 240,000 seniors. We are increasing the GIS as of January 1.

That is an interesting point. Who acts for senior citizens in this country? Is it the party that is proposing to increase the guaranteed annual supplement as of January 1 and again on January 1 of the next year or the party that would propose to cut that off?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki Conservative Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, the minister in charge of the Canadian Wheat Board continues to drag his feet on raising the initial price of board grains. A month ago, he advised this House that he was addressing the issue “as we speak”, and “I will be responding...immediately”, he said.

He said the same thing yesterday. The minister's idea of soon is adding unnecessarily to the stress and bankruptcy of western Canadian farmers.

The government has promised election goodies to everyone except cash-strapped farmers. Why will this minister not do the right thing and just give farmers back their money?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Vancouver Quadra B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen LiberalMinister of Western Economic Diversification and Minister of State (Sport)

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, the Canadian Wheat Board is independent and acts at arm's length from the Government of Canada. In fact, 10 of 15 members of the Canadian Wheat Board are members of the farm community and five are appointed by the Government of Canada.

The hon. member's question is better posed to those farmers who control the Canadian Wheat Board.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki Conservative Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, farmers, farm groups and the Canadian Wheat Board have asked the minister to raise the initial prices and the minister has failed to do so. He is putting a veto on the Canadian Wheat Board, which is still controlled by the government. It is time that he act and act now.

There is absolutely no reason why this minister cannot make a decision here and now, today. Where I come from, immediately means within 24 hours, same day, not months.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Vancouver Quadra B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen LiberalMinister of Western Economic Diversification and Minister of State (Sport)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member can be certain and have confidence in the fact that the President of the Treasury Board, who acts as minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board, takes every issue of advice and information into account as he makes the important decisions that are necessary to promote the interests of farmers in our country.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Environment changes his speech according to whether he is talking to the Montreal or Toronto media. He tells the francophone media that rushing into an election will hurt the conference in Montreal and the Canadian press that he will avoid campaigning in order to ensure the success of the conference.

Will the minister admit that if he fails to reach a fair agreement with Quebec, one that respects the efforts that have already been made, he will send a very poor signal on the eve of the Montreal conference?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Halifax West Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada is honoured to be hosting this very important conference. The Minister of the Environment is doing an excellent job preparing for this event.

Canadians know the impact of climate change. Canadians know what it will be. They want politicians to work together to do something about it. The international community gets it, the government gets it, but that party wants to bring the government down and prevent us from playing a full leadership role at that meeting.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in his negotiations with Quebec, is the minister prepared to make a formal commitment to compensate Quebec fairly for the hydro-electric projects that improve Canada's record, the cost of which was borne exclusively by Quebec?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, at the moment, the federal and Quebec departments are involved in intense discussions. We hope to reach a conclusion shortly.

JusticeOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Rick Casson Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, this week a 30 year old sex predator from Texas who was charged with luring a 14 year old Ottawa boy to a hotel for sex and the production of child pornography was let go with a slap on the wrist. Canada has become a destination for sex tourists who prey on our children by exploiting weak Liberal laws. We repeatedly have warned the minister about the threat to our children.

In light of this alarming reality will the justice minister now commit to protecting our children by raising the age of sexual consent?

JusticeOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I want to respond to yet another case of fearmongering at this point. I want to make it clear that there can never be any consent to any sexual assault regardless of age. We have adopted legislation with those members' approval so that no such crime can be committed.

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Conservative Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in response to a question from my colleague from Yorkton—Melville, the public, safety minister said that she had no outstanding formal requests for RCMP officers. The day before the minister told the subcommittee on public safety, “I've received a formal written request from the Minister of Justice in Manitoba for an increase in complement”. She also said, “The Solicitor General in the province of Alberta after the Mayerthorpe tragedy asked for a significant increase in complement”.

Which of the minister's statements is false, the one made in committee or the one made in the House?