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 #158 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was farm.

Topics

Health CareStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, we know the upcoming election will be on ethics. No place will that be clearer than in the debates around health care.

A few weeks ago the NDP presented the Liberals with its proposals to stop the erosion of public health care: prohibit provinces from using federal transfers to pay for private health care; ensure doctors working in the private system do not have billing privileges in the public system; and make it mandatory that provinces report on how transfers are used.

The Liberal response was disappointing. It began with the words “when private involvement threatens the integrity of the public system”. Doctors know private involvement already threatens our public system, which is why it was the focus of their annual general meeting this year. Nurses know the public system is threatened. That is why they are calling on all parties to support conditions on federal transfers that limit spending to not for profit health care. Health care advocates know a private system threatens universal access to care. That is why they are calling for strategies that support publicly delivered care.

The Liberals do not get it. After giving away $41 billion, they said that only future funding would have conditions attached. Their bold plan to protect health care was to fully enforce the Canada Health Act--

Health CareStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound.

Liberal Government PoliciesStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Larry Miller Conservative Grey—Bruce—Owen Sound, ON

Mr. Speaker, although the Liberal Party of Canada has officially been named in a judicial inquiry into corruption, the culture of entitlement continues with untendered contracts to friends, exorbitant severance to insiders and the Liberal Party's stubborn refusal to pay back stolen ad scam dollars. They have continuously dropped the ball on the softwood lumber dispute and the Auditor General says they are not providing adequate training to RCMP officers.

Canadians know the time for change has come. They will soon have that choice between a clean, honest Conservative government and a tired, arrogant and scandal-ridden gang of Liberals.

The Prime Minister, the finance minister and the revenue minister were flying on an executive Airbus together. The Prime Minister said to the finance minister, “I could throw a $1,000 bill out the window and make someone very happy”. The finance minister responded by saying, “ I could throw 10 $100 bills out the window and make 10 people happy”. Then the revenue minister said, “I could throw 100 $10 bills out the window and make 100 people happy”.

I say let us throw the whole Liberal government out and make 30 million people happy.

Braun Scott WoodfieldStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Gilles-A. Perron Bloc Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, we were saddened to learn that a Canadian soldier from Victoria, Braun Scott Woodfield, was killed, while four others were injured.

He is the eighth Canadian solider to die in Afghanistan since 2001. This tragic event highlights the dangers faced everyday by these men and women who risk their lives for freedom, peace and democracy.

To the soldiers injured in the accident, we wish a speedy recovery. To the family and friends of Private Woodfield we extend our deepest condolences.

Violence against WomenStatements By Members

November 25th, 2005 / 11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Helena Guergis Conservative Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to rise today in the House on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

There is so much more that the Liberals could be doing to protect women and children from violence. I know this because for several years I served as a crisis intervention volunteer.

Today as a member of Parliament I sit on the status of women committee where I presented a motion to deal with the fact that aboriginal women living on reserves do not have basic property rights. I am also proud to be working with Ilona Binns, Loretta Gismondi and Mona McFarlene of the Catholic Women's League of Canada on the C.A.S.E. campaign, Canadians Addressing Sexual Exploitation.

In my riding of Simcoe--Grey, I have two excellent shelters that are working hard to protect women and help them cope as they rebuild their lives.

In Alliston, My Sister's Place has an excellent new executive director in Judith Stevens. In Collingwood, My Friend's House continues under the superb leadership of Alison Fitzgerald. Then there are the countless staff and volunteers who give so generously of their time and energy.

I am grateful for the opportunity that I have had to serve women as a member of Parliament. I look forward to being in a Conservative government that will stand up for women.

Gabriel FilippiStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Liberal Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw hon. members' attention to an amazing exploit.

As the saying goes, where there is a will, there is a way.

This past spring, a Montrealer named Gabriel Filippi mounted an expedition to conquer the world's highest mountain peak, Mount Everest, a climb of over 8,850 metres.

Not only did he achieve this remarkable feat, but he earned the title of Angel Gabriel by coming to the assistance of a Scottish climber who was suffering from pulmonary edema.

You will understand that this is a very rare accomplishment and one that is noteworthy regardless of the circumstances. That is why we must mention it here in the House today and congratulate Mr. Filippi for his bravery and persistence.

Mr. Filippi is an example of what a Canadian can accomplish with great determination.

Cassandra Poudrier and Sébastien BisaillonStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Bloc Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, there is no denying, the young people of Laurentides—Labelle are making names for themselves in the sports world. This time, it is our hockey players.

Cassandra Poudrier, a female player only 12 years of age from Rivière-Rouge, has been chosen to play on the Europe 2006 team in the Christmas Cup tournament in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Then, on the male side, we have Sébastien Bisaillon, a young man from Mont-Laurier, who plays defence for the Val-d'Or Foreurs. He was invited to the Montreal Canadien pre-season training camp, and recently played two games against the Russian national team as a member of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League all-stars.

Congratulations to you both. May your hard work continue to bring great results both now and later on in life.

Citizenship and ImmigrationStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Tony Martin NDP Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I rise to share with the House and those watching the work that has gone on for quite some time, in one instance for over a year now, to have the immigration minister and the ministry recognize the legitimacy of two cases I hand delivered to him for minister's intervention this past week.

The minister has been crossing the country in the last couple of weeks making announcements about how he is going to make his ministry more efficient, more responsive and more generous to people trying to make Canada their home.

I need an intervention on compassionate grounds in one instance, in keeping with his recent announcement to normalize quickly people already within our borders who are making a very positive contribution without asking them to leave and to reapply.

I urge the minister to put action to his words. I have delivered many letters in both cases in support of these applications. I have put my own political reputation on the line. Will he do the right thing and give these families the best Christmas present ever?

FinanceOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

John Reynolds Conservative West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, in its dying days, the Liberal government has resorted to trying to bribe Canadians with their own tax dollars on an unprecedented scale. According to media estimates, the Liberals have made over $20 billion in bogus pledges over the past two weeks, new spending that was not included in any of the three budgets that the minister brought in over the past year.

Is it not true that the Liberals have thrown away any fiscal plan they may have had in their desperate effort to distract voters from their decade of corruption?

FinanceOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, on fiscal matters, the hon. gentleman is flatly wrong, but let me deal with another issue.

I understand today that the opposition leader is travelling to British Columbia, where the Prime Minister is at the aboriginal summit. I hope the opposition leader will take the opportunity to apologize to the Prime Minister for the outrageous smears that he made in the House yesterday, and that members of his shadow cabinet repeated outside the House.

We have seen this kind of thing before from the Leader of the Opposition. This time I hope he shows a little dignity.

FinanceOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

John Reynolds Conservative West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, there is still $40 million missing. Nobody knows where it went. There is nothing to apologize for on this side of the House.

No one can keep track of how many billions of tax dollars the Liberals have made in bogus promises this week. According to the former senior finance official Don Drummond, “The fall update isn't even two weeks old, but already we need a scorecard”. Liberal insider Warren Kinsella says that it is “like 100 monkeys on drugs, writing cheques”.

How do the Liberals plan to pay for this reckless pre-election spending spree? Do they plan to raise taxes, run up deficits or just ignore their promises?

FinanceOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the opposition members cannot get away with a diversionary tactic. Their leader in the House yesterday made absolutely unacceptable remarks. Those remarks cannot stand.

The Leader of the Opposition is on his way to British Columbia. He should take the opportunity to meet there with the Prime Minister, apologize for his remarks, retract the offensive comments and for once, depart from his pattern of meanness and show a little dignity and courage.

FinanceOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

John Reynolds Conservative West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is quite interesting to hear the gentleman and that party talk about meanness after what they have done to our country over the last 10 years. In less than 60 days, there will be a prime minister in the House who has the respect of all Canadians.

The Liberals continue to threaten to punish Canadians if there is an election soon. They threaten to withhold benefits from seniors and soldiers if there is an election. Now the member for Vancouver Centre is claiming that the 2010 winter Olympics will be jeopardized if Canadians go to the polls. That makes as much sense as their previous accusations that British Columbians were burning crosses on their lawns.

Why do the Liberals not stop trying--

FinanceOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. Minister of Finance.

FinanceOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it is clear that the opposition does not intend to retract, so let me just deal with the record over the last 10 years.

Under Conservatives, the federal debt was very nearly 70% of GDP. Today it is less than 40%. Under the Conservatives, our foreign debt was 43%. Today it is 15%. Under the Conservatives, debt servicing costs were 38%. Today they are 17%. Under the Conservatives, unemployment was 11.2%. Today it is less than 7%.

Income TrustsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Charlie Penson Conservative Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, on Wednesday, after months of dithering and indecision, the finance minister signed on to the Conservative Party plan to leave income trusts alone and instead cut the double taxation on dividends. However, on the same day, the parliamentary secretary was on national television telling Canadians that the Liberals had a new plan to slap a new tax on income trusts.

Why does the government continue to threaten seniors and Canadians saving for retirement with a new tax on income trusts after the election?

Income TrustsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it is amazing that everybody in the country can get it except those guys across the way.

The head of the Yellow Pages income trust has said that what we did this week showed managerial courage. Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan said, “ this will go a long way toward eliminating the current arbitrage among businesses. The minister and his advisers appear to have listened to the concerns of the pension community”. BMO Financial Group said, “By our yardstick, the minister of finance has come to the best public policy outcome, and for that he deserves credit”.

Income TrustsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Charlie Penson Conservative Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, a deathbed conversion, but it will still not give seniors back all the money they lost in their income trusts as a result of the Minister of Finance.

The parliamentary secretary was absolutely clear. He said, “The trusts will be taxed going out or starting, I think, around 2007”. When will the minister reveal his hidden agenda and admit that the Liberals are on the same track? If they are re-elected, seniors and Canadians saving for retirement will be subjected to a new tax on their income trusts in the future.

Income TrustsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, wrong, wrong and wrong. The opposition clearly is trying to put the country on the road to an election, but I wonder why that party always insists on the low road to anywhere.

The Canadian Association of Income Funds said, “We believe the government's decision is very positive.” The Canadian Chamber of Commerce said, “...the government recognized that there are inequities in the tax system. They're going after the right target here”. The Canadian Tax Foundation said, “It's good news for investors, and it's good news for people who raise capital in the market”.

If everybody else can get it, why can that party not get it?

Economic StatementOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, this past May, Ontario announced an agreement with Ottawa on climate change, totalling $538 million. Imagine our surprise to read in the Minister of Finance's economic statement that the amount Ontario will be receiving from Ottawa is, instead, $738 million.

I would like to know whether the figure is $738 million or the $538 million as announced. Has a $200 million error slipped in somewhere, somehow?

Economic StatementOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the correct figure is $538 million.

Economic StatementOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, in other words, we have just been told that the economic statement, seemingly so seriously prepared, contains a $200 million mistake. Does this not smack of improvisation? We do not want to hear that, just by pure chance, $200 million too much has somehow gone missing. Might there not be some millions more, as was the case with Human Resources in 2000? Hon. members will recall that a trifling $1 billion went missing that time.

Can we count on the other figures given in the statement, when there is $200 million too much for the agreement with Ontario. Can somebody explain that to me?

Economic StatementOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

No, Mr. Speaker.

International CooperationOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Finance launched into one of his tirades in order to try to make Canada's stance on international aid look better. What the minister failed to mention is that Canada's share of its GDP devoted to international aid is far from increasing; it has, in fact, decreased over the years.

Does the Minister of Finance admit that, when the Liberals assumed power in 1993, that share was 0.45% of gross domestic product, while today it is 0.32%?

International CooperationOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Barrie Ontario

Liberal

Aileen Carroll LiberalMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, I listened carefully to the hon. member's comments. She is an excellent critic and a strong supporter of what we are doing.

However, I need to draw her attention to the fact that we have received an 8% increase in our budget. That is higher than any other department in the Government of Canada. It will see our budget doubled. We have taken excellent initiatives. We received compliments from Stephen Lewis on our leadership in the HIV-AIDS battle. Many times it is the quality of what we do as well as the quantity. I am very proud of our record.