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House of Commons Hansard #155 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was producers.

Topics

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we were prepared to work with the NDP on strengthening public health care. They ran to the lap of the Conservatives, the wreckers of health care, who wanted that Canada Health Act, and who want to end the federal role in health care. The NDP members need to ask the question of themselves. Where do they stand on health care? We want to strengthen it. Do they?

Parliament of CanadaOral Questions

November 22nd, 2005 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, the only difference between the Liberals and the Conservatives when it comes to health care is that we have dishonest privatization and honest privatization.

My question is for the right hon. Prime Minister. Last night, Parliament spoke clearly and overwhelmingly in favour of an election call in January for an election in February. I am giving the Prime Minister, the man who said he would address the democratic deficit, the man who said he would have more respect for Parliament and the members of Parliament, one last chance to show that he means it. Will he respect the will of Parliament and abide by the resolution of last night?

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, what the opposition is suggesting is that it should be able to vote non-confidence in the government today and only have the consequences of that vote sometime in January.

As I said earlier, we are a parliamentary democracy. It operates on a principle that a government must have the confidence of Parliament. Parliament either has confidence or it does not. There is no halfway about it. It is not a compromise. In fact, it is a cop-out. It is the leader of the NDP trying to evade responsibility for causing an election during the holiday season.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

John Duncan Conservative Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government continues to abandon the forest industry, workers and communities. For three years, it sat on forest industry proposals asking for Export Development Canada backing during a prolonged softwood dispute with the U.S. Instead, this incompetent government plans to present a softwood package that it can never implement because it has run out of time.

Will the government just implement the EDC loan guarantee proposal, for which there is all-opposition party support, and do it today?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Markham—Unionville Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, just before question period we had the rather sad spectacle of the separatists plus the Conservatives and their new-found NDP leader outside talking about forestry because they are trying to get political points knowing we are about to make an announcement.

If they are serious, I invite the opposition to devote its opposition day this Thursday to doing real work for Canadians on the subject of forestry rather than provoking an election that nobody wants.

TradeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Ted Menzies Conservative Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Agriculture and the Minister of International Trade are threatening to boycott crucial WTO meetings because of the upcoming election. In the last election, the Challenger was fired up for Hélène Scherrer and the Prime Minister jetted off to a G-8 meeting. What has changed?

The truth is that the Liberal government will not stand up for Canada's farmers, ranchers or forest industry.

Does the Prime Minister support this Liberal WTO boycott? If his ministers cannot be bothered to go, will he agree to send me in their place?

TradeOral 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 hon. member was obviously not in the House this morning when I spoke specifically to this issue. I said clearly that the federal government will defend our producers and will defend our trade interests whenever and wherever we are required to do it.

I also made the point, and this cannot be forgotten, that if the House does vote non-confidence in the government, it will impair our ability to do that in Hong Kong and those members will bear the responsibility for it.

TradeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

TradeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. Perhaps members who would like to carry on a discussion between themselves across the aisle could do it in the foyer so that we can hear the questions and answers. There seems to be an inordinately large number of discussions going on in the House today.

The hon. member for Blackstrap has the floor.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Lynne Yelich Conservative Blackstrap, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government refuses to take action to protect the rights of aboriginal women. The government has failed to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act, failed to pass matrimonial property rights legislation, and has delayed funding the Sisters in Spirit violence prevention initiative. That delay saw more aboriginal women like Melanie Geddes and Amber Redman disappear, forcing the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations to issue a warning about the potential risk of abduction.

This government's record of protecting aboriginal women is shameful. When will the Minister of Indian Affairs take responsibility for this?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

London West Ontario

Liberal

Sue Barnes LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, this government has no lessons to learn from those opposition members.

Earlier this week, the government had a conversation with the president of NWAC and she was very happily in receipt of her Sisters in Spirit money. Our department continues to invest approximately $17 million per year into the family violence prevention program, which provides funding for community based projects aimed at addressing health and social problems relating to family violence.

The family violence prevention program funds operational funding to 35 shelters for women and children living on reserves. We have--

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Edmonton--Spruce Grove.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Conservative Edmonton—Spruce Grove, AB

Mr. Speaker, last week the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development stated that the first ministers meeting in Kelowna would be “dealing...very specifically” with the issue of violence against women in aboriginal communities, yet it is not on the agenda.

This is the most important meeting for aboriginal communities across Canada. Violence against aboriginal women is a matter of life and death. If the minister is truly committed to dealing very specifically with this issue, then why will he not commit today to putting it on the agenda?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

London West Ontario

Liberal

Sue Barnes LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, the member's question gives me an opportunity to again point out a difference between that side and this side.

This side knows about inclusiveness and this side works with 19 different peoples, getting together and setting the agenda. Within that agenda of health, education, economic development and relationships, we will get all these issues dealt with in time. We are going to deal with these issues and we will do it with the cooperation of our first nations, Métis and Inuit people. That is the way to go.

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Bloc Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, in November 2003, the Auditor General wrote a report on the management of surveys by Chuck Guité's group. She found major problems, including contracts linking Earnscliffe to the Department of Finance.

Now that we know that the money spent on surveys tripled in nine years, that Public Works and Government Services did little, if any, quality control, and that several research firms contribute to the Liberal Party of Canada, how can the government say that there is no more cronyism within the Liberal Party?

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General has in fact stated that public opinion research is generally “well managed” within the government. Furthermore, to strengthen quality, we are establishing an expert technical panel with Statistics Canada to help us develop appropriate benchmarks and standards for the government's public opinion research.

It is worth noting that the Auditor General has indicated that the average response rate for government surveys is more than twice the industry average for cost-shared studies.

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Bloc Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General also expressed her concern with the quality of the surveys. Having read the report, we could add that Public Works has been complacent toward survey providers.

How can the government still claim that it has cleaned house when nothing has changed since the Auditor General's incriminating report of November 2003?

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, once again, the Auditor General has stated that public opinion research is generally “well managed” within the government.

We are working, as are private sector firms, to strengthen public opinion research. We are working with Statistics Canada to do exactly that.

Ridley TerminalsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Jay Hill Conservative Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, the transport minister's dithering and mismanagement of Ridley Terminals at the Port of Prince Rupert is threatening millions of dollars in future investment in northeast British Columbia.

For months I have expressed my concern to the minister regarding just how essential Ridley Terminals is to the long term viability of coal mining in my riding and to the communities and people this industry supports. Even cabinet now has belatedly requested that the minister review all options regarding the government's intended fire sale of Ridley Terminals.

Will the minister now confirm that he has canceled the sale of this terminal?

Ridley TerminalsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre LiberalMinister of Transport

Not at all, Mr. Speaker, we are now studying a proposal from the province of British Columbia because it wants us to have fair and equitable access for all producers. We are now studying those issues, but obviously we are continuing. We want to divest Ridley Terminals. We will do it eventually.

Ridley TerminalsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

John Cummins Conservative Delta—Richmond East, BC

Mr. Speaker, there is no obligation on the government to proceed with the Fortune Minerals deal, so why the hurry to sell Ridley for a pittance?

When those friends of the Liberal Party declared bankruptcy in 1983, it was reported as one of the largest insolvencies in Canadian history. In 1991, a judge found a reasonable inference of fraud or negligence with regard to the sale of shares of Doumet family companies

Why is the government prepared to sell off the future of northeast coal to its ethically challenged friends?

Ridley TerminalsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I think those guys should get their act together. One says that I am going too fast and the other one is saying that I am going too slow. Frankly, we are going to be looking at all options, but the government is committed to making sure that Ridley Terminals serves British Columbia and Canada well.

HousingOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Liberal Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, while the opposition is busy playing games, this government continues to get on with the business of governing and delivering programs across Canada.

Today is national housing day. This government promised to improve affordable housing programs for Canadians.

Could the Minister of Labour and Housing tell the House what he is doing to meet the housing needs of Canadians?

HousingOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

London North Centre Ontario

Liberal

Joe Fontana LiberalMinister of Labour and Housing

Mr. Speaker, today I announced $260 million to extend the National Homelessness Initiative, which is the responsibility of SCPI, as well as the Homeowner Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program.

These two foundation pieces of housing policy give hope for housing not only to the most vulnerable in our society but, more important, to the community organizations that each and every day help the people in our various communities deal with housing and social issues. We are committed to continuing to do that and more to help those communities.

EducationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Conservative Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance's reasons for denying school boards in Ontario and Quebec the GST rebate that they legally won in court are wrong and, according to the Canadian Bar Association, completely unjust.

Now that the Liberals are clearly on their “please don't send us to jail” election tour and spending spree, will the minister tell the House if he has any intentions of doing the right thing and giving these school boards the money they were awarded by the court? The courts are right and the kids are right but that minister is wrong.