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House of Commons Hansard #47 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was billion.

Topics

Parental LeaveOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, I think the statement by my hon. colleague from the Conservative Party is totally unfounded.

Once again she is confusing the two issues. Just because we are before the Supreme Court does not prevent us from reaching an agreement with Quebec on parental leave. We are negotiating with Quebec as we speak. We have agreed on most issues. We still have to settle the first year of the system and that is what we are working on today.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

February 1st, 2005 / 2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Pallister Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, in 1997 the Liberal government granted Canada Post $275,000 to sponsor a stamp launch. Canada Post has no record of ever receiving the money. Liberal friendly Lafleur Communications was hired to transfer the money but it appears that never happened. Liberal incompetence may have paid Lafleur a 100% commission for doing little or no work.

How many other Liberal friends forgot to forward their funds?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Markham—Unionville Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member should be aware, there has been a very extensive audit of Canada Post under those conditions. All these matters are now before the Gomery commission. He should leave it to the Gomery commission to investigate those matters.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Pallister Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, former Liberal cabinet minister André Ouellet hired himself to the best paying patronage position in the country and then he took $2 million in non-receipted expenses. All the while it turns out he was receiving gifts, luxury box tickets and invites to the home of his good friend, Jean Lafleur. Like his Liberal colleagues, he was so busy spending taxpayer money, he forget to protect taxpayer money.

How many other contracts did Lafleur receive from the government following the $275,000 which went missing?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I am certain the hon. member realizes that some of what he is describing does result from testimony before the Gomery inquiry. We are not going to comment on day to day testimony before the Gomery inquiry because we respect the independence of a judicial inquiry. The government supports Justice Gomery in his work. In fact, all members of Parliament within the Liberal Party support Justice Gomery's work. We look forward to receiving his report.

I would urge some patience over there. I would also urge the hon. member not to interfere in Justice Gomery's work by commenting on it.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, as regards the missile defence shield, the Prime Minister has said on a number of occasions that he would have to receive guarantees that this initiative would not lead to the militarization of space, otherwise Canada would not participate in it. Today, the Prime Minister received his answer from the U.S. government: there will be no guarantee.

Now that he has his answer, what is the Prime Minister waiting for to make a decision and state clearly that Canada will not participate in this missile defence project?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I too read the Journal de Montréal this morning and I do not believe that the U.S. government commented on the issue raised by the hon. member, except through an interview that the Journal de Montréal apparently obtained with an individual in the U.S. government.

That said, I can assure the House that, as far as our government is concerned, there is no question of participating in an effort that would contribute or lead to the militarization or the weaponization of space.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is not just the Journal de Montréal that talks about it, the Prime Minister said it to a number of media. They reported “The Prime Minister made it a pre-condition for Canada's participation in the missile defence shield that this project must not lead to the weaponization of space”.

Why does he continue to remain so vague on this issue today? After all, this is not just anybody, it is Stephen Rademaker, the assistant to the U.S. Secretary of State for arms control, who just confirmed that he would not get the guarantees that were demanded. Therefore, what is the Prime Minister waiting for to finally make up his mind?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the same spokesperson for the U.S. government also said that the militarization or weaponization of space was not part of the anti-missile shield program in its current form. Therefore, he was very clear. There is no contradiction between the U.S. government saying that the program will not lead to the militarization of space, that it will not include the weaponization of space, and the commitment made by the Prime Minister, a commitment that he will honour, namely that his government has no intention of getting the country involved in an initiative that would lead to the weaponization of space.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in Canada, greenhouse gas emissions have increased by 20% since 1990. Yesterday, we learned that subsidies to the oil and gas industry increased by 33% between 1996 and 2002.

Can the Minister of Finance commit today to presenting a budget that promotes the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by applying the polluter pay principle instead of the polluter paid principle, as the government has done in recent years?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, a successful battle against greenhouse gases will involve a variety of measures. It will obviously involve economic instruments. It will obviously involve strategic investments in science and technology. It will involve the encouragement of common sense behaviour on the part of individual citizens and businesses across the country. The Government of Canada will approach this matter in a comprehensive way because we intend to honour our international obligations.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the message of the federal government with regard to enforcing the Kyoto protocol in Canada is muddled to say the least. On one hand, the Minister of Natural Resources states that the reduction targets of the major polluters is not realistic, while on the other, the Minister of the Environment reiterates Canada's intention to meet the Kyoto objectives.

Can the Prime Minister assure us that he will uphold the obligation of major polluters to reduce greenhouse emissions, as set out in the initial plan to reduce greenhouse emissions?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to reiterate that, in fact, we will reach our objectives based on a plan that will reinforce the Canadian economy, because Kyoto is also an opportunity to reinforce our economy with a plan that will be an improvement over the 2002 plan. Everyone will do their share, including our major emitters.

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Conservative Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, there are massive problems with the Technology Partnerships Canada program. It has spent over $2 billion since 1996 and recovered less than 5%. The last three industry ministers have all promised a full review of this program. Allan Rock promised a review in 2003. The current human resources minister promised a review in 2004. The current industry minister, as soon as he was appointed, promised a review from top to bottom of this program.

What happened to the review? What is the government hiding?

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Chatham-Kent—Essex Ontario

Liberal

Jerry Pickard LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, Technology Partnerships Canada invests in research in technology that leads off into the future and helps institutions in Canada be successful. Paybacks only come when they can develop those products, market them and have the profits come back in. It takes a long time for that to happen, and our opposition should be well aware that this program is only eight years old. In fact, we are looking forward at this point to large paybacks coming forward.

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Conservative Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, two years ago they promised full repayment within three to five years. Now it is eight years. Now it will be 20 years. This is the mother of all corporate welfare programs.

Not only are the Liberals delaying the TPC review, they are now fudging the release of any possible results. Yesterday the Minister of Industry stated in the House, “we will make it available as soon as we are satisfied that we have it right”. In other words, in Liberal-speak, “We will release it when we have cooked the books enough to deny to Canadian taxpayers the full results of this review”.

When will the government finally come clean with Canadian taxpayers on this program?

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Chatham-Kent—Essex Ontario

Liberal

Jerry Pickard LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, that is utter nonsense. When we look at the kinds of programs that we have funded, every person in the House has a BlackBerry in their pockets. We were in the early stages in that program. We put money in there, and as a result we will get payback on that. I look at a business in my riding, International Harvester. We put money there to upgrade technology, and a thousand more jobs in southwestern Ontario. The program is working.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie Conservative Oxford, ON

Mr. Speaker, Agusta-Westland recently announced it has been awarded a contract by the United States government to replace their fleet of Sea King helicopters, best known as Marine One which transports the President of the United States. This helicopter was chosen over the Sikorsky H-92 which the government chose to replace our Sea Kings.

If the Sikorsky helicopter is second rate for the President of the United States, then will the Minister of National Defence explain why it is first rate for the men and women of our Canadian Forces?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member and I think all members of the House know very well when the military chooses equipment, it chooses equipment that is appropriate for the task designed.

For the equipment that is needed for our maritime helicopters, we have chosen the best helicopter for the job that is necessary to do. It does not consist of ferrying a president around. It consists of working at sea in a maritime capacity. We have the right helicopter. I am sure the President got the best helicopter for his job. It is not the job we intend to do with ours.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie Conservative Oxford, ON

Mr. Speaker, the fate of the Sikorsky H-92 program depended on the U.S. contract. A disturbing comment was made by the chairman of Sikorsky, “This is win or drop dead, as far as we are concerned”.

Could the minister assure the House that Sikorsky will not shut down the H-92 project since Canada is now the only country to purchase that helicopter for military purposes?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we are entering into a contract with Sikorsky, which is a reputable firm with enormous resources. We have every understanding that it will live up to its contract. There is no reason whatsoever to expect that it would not.

We believe we will be acquiring the best helicopter at the best price for the job that it is needed to be done in this circumstance. We will be lucky to have it, and the forces are looking forward to acquiring a superb machine.

Internet PharmaciesOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Liberal Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week, the Minister of Health stated that he remained committed to controlling, personally, I would rather say abolishing, Internet pharmacies in Canada.

When does the Minister of Health intend to present options to guarantee Canadians access to safe drugs in Canada by abolishing or, at the very least, controlling these infamous Internet pharmacies?

Internet PharmaciesOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we have been looking at all the options that are available to us. A legal analysis is being done. Once the options have been completely assessed and analyzed, they will be presented to cabinet. I will be happy to share those with the House.

Social DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Tony Martin NDP Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Social Development holds up the Alberta public-private child care model. Last week in Edmonton a six month old baby with severe asthma was left for three hours, locked alone after closing, in a for profit day care. The baby was forgotten.

Why will the government not endorse what the research tells us and give public money only to the not for profit sector?

Social DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Ken Dryden LiberalMinister of Social Development

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, right now Canada has a wide mix of services and supports for early learning in child care. As unfortunate and inappropriate as what happened last week, the hon. member knows that sort of thing could happen anywhere.

Across the country right now there are a number of provinces that depend pretty significantly also on the for profit sector. What we need to do with all the provinces and territories is find a way of delivering--