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House of Commons Hansard #55 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was trade.

Topics

Northeastern AlbertaStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Brian Jean Conservative Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, what area of Canada has 100,000 residents and a major shortage of highways, bridges, schools, police officers, teachers, doctors, nurses, labourers, pipe welders, and even lawyers?

What population base has grown by over 35 times in the last 40 years and has almost no infrastructure? What 200 kilometres of space in Canada provides almost 20% of the country's gross domestic product?

The answer is northeastern Alberta, my constituency.

How can the Liberal government sleep at night knowing that millions of taxpayer dollars were wasted on golf balls and ad scam? We the people who drive Canada's economy ask the Liberal government: when will it take steps to invest in safe and adequate infrastructure for northeastern Alberta?

World Aquatics ChampionshipsStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, after a saga drawn out over several weeks, one of the most prestigious events next to the Olympics, namely the World Aquatics Championships, is indeed going to be held in Montreal.

This is a major last-minute victory for Mayor Gérald Tremblay, who has been engaged in a huge battle to convince FINA to reconsider its decision and award the 11th aquatics championships to Montreal.

This is also a victory for all Montrealers and all Quebeckers. The City of Montreal has regained its reputation as an international venue.

It is also a significant victory for aquatics competitors, such as Alexandre Despatie, Philippe Comptois, Audrey Lacroix and Yannick Lupien, and all the other Quebec participants, who will now have the opportunity to compete before a home town crowd.

The Bloc Québécois salutes Mayor Tremblay for his dogged determination, and congratulates the City of Montreal. Let this also be our first opportunity to applaud our Quebec competitors as well as those who will be competing here for other countries.

Middle EastStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Ted Menzies Conservative Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the foreign affairs minister announced that Canada's role in the Middle East peace process amounted to yet another fact finding mission and paltry $100,000 in aid.

We have seen the appetite for real leadership and generosity by individual Canadians. Yesterday, the Canadian Jewish community announced $750,000 in private contributions to Palestinian medical needs. That is seven and a half times more than the government.

The Conservative Party is listening to the expert advice of Arab and Jewish Canadians that are calling for Canada to play a leading role to establish a viable, independent Palestinian state alongside a secure Israel.

Liberal mismanagement and weak foreign policy is embarrassing for all Canadians. Our neighbours to the south pledged $350 million to support Palestinian reforms. The $100,000 will not make us a major player in the region as promised by the Liberal government.

Will the Liberals follow the Conservative lead and make a substantial financial commitment to institution building in Palestine?

Leader of the OppositionStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, once again the leader of the Alliance-Conservatives is showing contempt for the grassroots of his party. The Leader of the Opposition has consistently voiced his disdain for grassroots politics stating, “The biggest problem is that when you seek input from the bottom up, often the ideas are simple and low quality or just slogans”.

Former Conservative deputy leader, Elsie Wayne, is quoted in today's media as saying that the new party constitution centralizes too much authority in the hands of the leader. She said, “We don't feel that the voices of the grassroots are being heard”.

This should come as no surprise since the Alliance-Conservative leader does not listen to his caucus colleagues, let alone the average citizen in his grassroots party of one. This effort to control the party rank and file has caused yet another rift in that party.

If the voice of someone as shy as Elsie Wayne cannot be heard, God help the rest of them.

AgricultureStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, we need a response to the devastating plight of the world's most vulnerable farmers, the 1.4 billion people who depend on farm safe seed. A leaked document reveals that Canada is going to the UN to protect terminator seed technology, genetically modified seeds designed to grow crops which cannot reproduce. These suicide seeds are designed solely to protect the patents and profits of multinational corporations and are currently forbidden from being planted outside the lab.

The Canadian government is doing the dirty work for these multinational gene giants and the U.S. government. Terminator technology takes a massive risk with our food supply and puts poor farmers into near servitude relationships with seed salesmen, and benefits only the multinational corporations like Monsanto who promotes it.

We want to know this. Is this official Canadian government policy? Who is really behind this Canadian move to protect terminator gene technology, which is so devastating to the world's farm community?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

February 11th, 2005 / 11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Jay Hill Conservative Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is now clear that the Liberals are actively working to discredit the Gomery inquiry. First, John Manley said that it was a bad idea. Then the Liberal caucus Chair actually had the gall to congratulate Mr. Chrétien for, “opening a can of whup-ass” on Judge Gomery.

Every day the Prime Minister or his stunt double tells us to let the inquiry do its work. Why have they not instead told these Liberals to stop undermining Gomery?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am glad to hear, I think for the first time, that the opposition is determined to see the Gomery process a success. The government shares that point of view.

We want Gomery to do a thorough, competent job, so this whole situation can be thoroughly investigated and reported upon. We have every confidence that Judge Gomery is doing exactly that.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Jay Hill Conservative Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, we are not the ones with the skeletons in our closet.

The minister says that he cannot comment on the inquiry. Yet Liberal members are talking about it all over town. He says that we should respect the inquiry. Yet the Liberal caucus applauds Mr. Chrétien's behaviour, which was anything but respectful. To make matters worse, the Prime Minister cheers them on rather than reining them in.

Why is the Prime Minister supporting Mr. Chrétien's shameful behaviour before the Gomery inquiry?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, at the inquiry the Prime Minister made it abundantly clear that the Government of Canada looked forward with a great deal of anticipation to the good work of Judge Gomery.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Jay Hill Conservative Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, the facts speak for themselves; that a growing number of Liberals are undermining the work of the Gomery inquiry.

The member for Simcoe North said, “I don't think it's going to necessarily help the Liberal Party in the long run”. The member for Brome—Missisquoi whined, “It's hurting the Liberal Party in Quebec”. I have news for the Liberals; it should hurt them, a lot.

All Canadians now know about the millions that were doled out of government coffers to pay for Liberal bills. When will the Prime Minister repay the money to taxpayers as he promised?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the issue is not who may or may not be hurt by the process. The issue is ensuring this process gets to the bottom of the matter and provides a thorough, complete and competent answer. That is what Judge Gomery is doing. That is what this government supports.

TaxationOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Conservative Edmonton—Spruce Grove, AB

Mr. Speaker, in a recent study by the Vanier Institute, nine out of ten Canadians said that they would ideally have one parent stay home to raise their kids. In fact, almost all working moms and 84% of working dads said that if they could afford it, they would choose to work part time and stay home to care for their children. Their last choice was institutional day care.

When will the government implement a tax system that supports families and gives parents the power to make their own child care choices?

TaxationOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, in every budget the government works to improve the Canadian tax system to be fair and equitable to all Canadians in all circumstances. In the last number of years, for example, we have implemented and then strengthened over and over again the Canadian child tax benefit, which is of direct benefit to families with children. On top of that, now we are working on a major contribution to child care, which the Minister of Social Development is engaged upon this very day.

TaxationOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Conservative Edmonton—Spruce Grove, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Quebec has set up its own child care program and does not need any federal interference.

Will the minister confirm that he will respect Quebec's jurisdiction and that the province will receive full and unconditional compensation for its child care agreement?

TaxationOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, it is very clear that we do intend to respect the jurisdiction of all the provinces. This does not, however, prevent us from working together, which is why Quebec is this very day in discussions with my colleague, the Minister of Social Development, with a view to sharing its expertise on child care and early childhood education. We hope this spirit of cooperation will continue.

Child CareOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, during the last election campaign, the Prime Minister declared that Quebec would get its share of child care funding without being held accountable to Ottawa. The Minister of Social Development said yesterday that the provinces who refuse to turn in accounts will simply be left out of the program.

Will the government be able to bring the minister back into line and insist that he respect the promises made during the election campaign and give Quebec its proper share of the child care program—without conditions?

Child CareOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear when we talk about accountability or responsibility. The Government of Canada, in all its dealings with the provinces, has never required the provinces to be directly accountable to the federal government. Exactly as in the field of health, the Canadian government requires that the provinces be accountable to their own citizens, and there is no problem. The Liberal government in Quebec already does that.

Child CareOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, not only were promises made by the Prime Minister, but the former Minister of Social Development declared, and I quote, “There are no strings attached” which means that Quebec was receiving the money unconditionally. That declaration does not match the words of the Minister of Social Development who talks about national child care standards.

What is the minister waiting for before making adjustments and transferring the share of funding that belongs to Quebec, without any conditions?

Child CareOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I think the Bloc could now let the Liberal government in Quebec negotiate with the Government of Canada. Negotiations will respect the jurisdictions of all parties involved. I have real confidence that we will reach an agreement with the Government of Quebec, and with the other provinces of Canada.

Child CareOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is always the same story. The Liberals promise the moon but, after the election, they renege on their promises. Now, they are backing down not only on child care, but also on parental leave, issues which were supposed to have been settled before the election but are still unresolved. Claude Béchard even ushered an ultimatum, giving the government one week to come to an agreement; otherwise, the implementation of Quebec's program for 2006 will be compromised.

Does the government not realize that its tardiness in funding these two programs is compromising the cohesion of the social programs that Quebec took years to develop?

Child CareOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, as far as I know, Claude Béchard, who is a Liberal minister in the Government of Quebec, does not, unlike the Bloc, typically resort to ultimatums, threatening the end of the world.

Claude Béchard is keeping in touch with me, so that we can settle the parental leave issue. I must say that the negotiations are progressing very well.

Child CareOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, he may be a Liberal but, clearly, Claude Béchard is not a member of the same family as the government opposite.

Will the government reiterate its commitment to respect Quebec's specificity not only in health care, but also in the issues of child care and parental leave?

Child CareOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, this is the same Bloc member, the member for Verchères—Les Patriotes, who praised the health accord, in which we respected provincial jurisdictions and we even allowed Quebec to sign a side deal. Let me tell the member for Verchères—Les Patriotes that we have stood the test of time and he better brace himself, because we are going to sign an agreement with the Government of Quebec.

Treasury BoardOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Ed Broadbent NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the President of the Treasury Board.

Canadians want fairness in the distribution of federal jobs but they also want cost benefit efficiency and fairness for those now holding those jobs.

Given news reports this morning that jobs once again are going to be relocated out of Ottawa, will the President of the Treasury Board assure us that the workers affected in Ottawa will be consulted first and that there will be a cost benefit study done before these jobs are relocated?

Treasury BoardOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Winnipeg South Manitoba

Liberal

Reg Alcock LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, given the member's experience, he ought to know that he should not believe everything he reads in the newspapers.

The government is committed to following through on its promises. We are constantly looking at ways to improve services for Canadians all across the country and we will continue to do so.

No decisions have been made on how fast, how far and in what manner. Should there be decisions made that impact on our employees, I guarantee the House and the member that we will treat our employees with respect and in the fairest way possible.