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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

Social DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Sault Ste. Marie.

Social DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Tony Martin NDP Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, profit should never trump a child's safety.

Quality and for profit too often contradict one another. Quality means retention of workers, decent wages, enriched learning activities, higher licensing standards, consistency of care, parent involvement through a volunteer board and lower staff-child ratios.

Is not the real reason the federal government needs for profit centres is to deliver on its arbitrary promise of 250,000 child care spaces, even if it means it will jeopardize the quality of care for our children?

Social DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Ken Dryden LiberalMinister of Social Development

Mr. Speaker, once again, the challenge for the government and the country is to create an early learning and child care system across the country. It is to respect what we have, to work with what we have and to make better what we have. That is in the big cities, the small towns and in the various provinces in this country.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Conservative Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, for the last 50 years communist China has demonstrated a horrible record of human rights violations to the people and the territory of Tibet. As a matter of fact, it is so bad that 159 MPs from the House recently signed a letter asking the Prime Minister to meet with the Dalai Lama to see how they could put pressure on communist China to meet directly with Tibetan officials and resolve this horrific record.

The Prime Minister is the only one who can answer the question related to his recent meetings in China. Will he tell us how aggressively he raised this specific issue of Tibet with the Chinese leaders?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in addition to having been the only one who met at that time with the Chinese leadership, I am also the first Canadian Prime Minister who had ever met with the Dalai Lama. I met with the Dalai Lama and we discussed this. He raised spiritual issues with me, the issues that he wanted transmitted. Those are of course the messages that I would transmit.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Conservative Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, he did not answer the question in full. I asked about his meeting with the Chinese officials. What he is trying to say here flies in the face of a recent declaration he signed in China, basically signalling that he would never publicly raise issues of human rights violations, including in Tibet.

Even the recent Liberal minister of Asia-Pacific has criticized the Prime Minister for abandoning Tibet and human rights issues. I would ask the Prime Minister specifically, how does he square his position? On the one hand he tells us that he is going to speak up on human rights violations and on the other he signs a declaration with the communists saying he will not.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, respect for human rights, including cultural and religious freedoms, minority rights and freedom of expression or association, are important objectives of Canada's views on the situation in Tibet. The Prime Minister has expressed that time and again. It is absolutely part of our foreign policy and of our preoccupations. We will continue to do this.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Conservative Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister simply ducked the question. One hundred and fifty-nine MPs have asked him to put pressure on the Chinese government to ask the Chinese to meet with the Dalai Lama and negotiate the status of Tibet.

It is a very simple question. Did the Prime Minister ask the Chinese government to negotiate the status of Tibet with the Dalai Lama, yes or no? Did he ask them to negotiate with the Tibetans, yes or no?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Canada has consistently--

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yes or no.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The Minister of Foreign Affairs has the floor. The member for Calgary Southeast has a supplementary coming up. How can he ask his supplementary if he cannot hear the answer?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canada has consistently spoken out about the human rights situation in China. We have specifically mentioned Tibet in our public statements at the United Nations Commission on Human Rights and at the United Nations General Assembly. Canada's record is absolutely clear on that.

We continue to express Canadian concerns about the human rights situation in China and to Chinese authorities. The Prime Minister, when he met with Prime Minister Wen of China, even gave him a list of cases that preoccupy Canadians. This is exactly what we have been doing.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Conservative Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, he is right on one point. This government has been consistent. Every time the United States sponsors a resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva condemning Chinese human rights violations, this government votes against that resolution and sides with the communists in China.

The question is very simple. Only the Prime Minister can answer this question. Did he place direct pressure on the Chinese to meet with the Dalai Lama and Tibetan officials to negotiate the status of Tibet to stop the 50 year campaign of cultural genocide that has eradicated thousands of monasteries and destroyed the way of life of Tibetan Buddhists?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it is very daring of the member for Calgary Southeast to get up in this House and say that to this Prime Minister, who has raised the human rights situation with the Chinese authorities.

Where was he? He preferred to cop out. He preferred never to sit down with parliamentarians.

This Prime Minister signed with Prime Minister Wen a declaration on both sides broadening dialogue between Canadians and Chinese institutions but the member refused to participate in the dialogue. He prefers to do his thing with--

Aerospace IndustryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Rivière-Du-Loup—Montmagny, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the industry minister's press secretary admitted that she did not know when the federal government would be making a formal offer to Bombardier, contradicting what the Minister of Transport said on January 13.

What is the Minister of Industry waiting for to put an end to the ambiguity maintained by his colleague at Transport and to give us the assurance that the offer put on the table will ensure that Bombardier remains in Quebec?

Aerospace IndustryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Chatham-Kent—Essex Ontario

Liberal

Jerry Pickard LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we are well aware of the importance of the aerospace industry in Canada. It is critical for all of us. The aerospace industry in 2002 exported $21 billion worth of product. We believe we are working with that national industry and doing what we can to make sure there is a solid foundation to keep aerospace strong and viable in Canada.

Aerospace IndustryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Rivière-Du-Loup—Montmagny, QC

Mr. Speaker, when we think that the federal government refused to help the GM plant in Boisbriand, which eventually closed, and later provided $500 million in funding to the automotive industry in Ontario, there is no doubt that government decisions have an impact on private businesses.

Does the Minister of Industry intend to put forward a comprehensive offer including R and D, which will have an impact on the aeronautical industry in Quebec similar to the impact the $500 million announcement had on the automotive industry in Ontario?

Aerospace IndustryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Chatham-Kent—Essex Ontario

Liberal

Jerry Pickard LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we as a government treat all industry in this Canada equally. We are very concerned that we can make sure industries are successful. There is no question that at this point this federal government is ready to work with and deal with Bombardier to help them with whatever issues we can, but we have to be responsible. We have to discuss the issues with it and negotiate what we are doing.

TransportOral Question Period

February 1st, 2005 / 2:50 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Conservative Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, because of this government's tax policies Toronto's Pearson airport is now second only to Tokyo as the world's most expensive airport. El Al of Israel and Olympic Airlines of Greece have both raised the possibility of dropping service to Toronto because of the tax costs, and high airport fees are the central reason Southwest Airlines does not serve Canada.

The Greater Toronto Board of Trade, the Greater Toronto Hotel Association and Toronto City Council have all demanded lower taxes for Pearson Airport. Will the Liberals listen to them or ignore them yet again?

TransportOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I am spending a lot of time trying to correct the mistakes that were made by the government when it was a PC government. All those leases were signed by the PC Party. Those leases are not equitable. That is what I will be talking about with the Minister of Finance. We are going to correct your mistakes.

TransportOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Conservative Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, it was the Liberal government's Pearson airport privatization that cost tens of millions of dollars. It is this government that has dropped the ball, not any other government.

Toronto business groups, stakeholders and local politicians have all unanimously demanded that this government lower taxes and help our air industry and help Pearson airport. This Prime Minister has ignored them. The finance minister has turned a deaf ear and the transport minister has turned a blind eye.

When will the Liberals do what is right, help the air industry and stop ignoring Pearson airport and the GTA?

TransportOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I want to say that every day we have to correct the mistakes that were made when that government was in power. We are going to do that. We are going to do that for Toronto and for all airports in the country. We are going to find a more equitable system. We are going to deliver contrary to what they did. They killed the airports.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, during the recent Speech from the Throne the government pledged to create the conditions for long term development, learning, economic opportunity and modern institutions for aboriginal governance for Canada.

Would the Minister of National Revenue tell us of any actions taken by his department to meet the government's commitments?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Markham—Unionville Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to report to the House that earlier today National Chief Fontaine and I announced a new advisory committee to the Canada Revenue Agency. This committee will advise the agency on matters intended to improve the situation of first nation peoples. It is entirely in the spirit of the activities of this government since the aboriginal round table, which are designed to work in partnership with aboriginal peoples in a number of areas to improve their living conditions and--

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Macleod.