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House of Commons Hansard #56 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was foreign.

Topics

TaxationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Monte Solberg Conservative Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is unfortunate that the finance minister is so invisible on this issue, giving us that vacant look today.

The last time I checked that duck hunter registry was still there, hoovering up $10,000 a day. The minister clearly thinks that bureaucrats and politicians are better at handling workers' incomes than workers themselves.

When it is Canadian workers who are buying the groceries, why is it that Liberal bureaucrats and politicians and boondoggles get the steaks while workers get the wieners?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Scarborough—Guildwood Ontario

Liberal

John McKay LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I think congratulations are in order for the way in which the hon. member has crafted his question, but whether it made any sense or not is something else again.

The revenues of the Government of Canada have actually declined from 17% of GDP to 14.8% of GDP. Program spending has hovered around 11.8% of GDP and that is expected to go up slightly given the very significant commitments of the Government of Canada to health care and equalization, $75 billion over the next 10 years, and a very significant--

TaxationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Okanagan--Coquihalla.

Middle EastOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Conservative Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, prior to his trip to the Middle East, the Minister of Foreign Affairs had requests from Canadian Lebanese organizations to meet with their democratic counterparts in Lebanon. These groups, quite rightly, are opposed to Syria's occupation of Lebanon and they fear the work of groups like Hezbollah.

Today those fears were tragically confirmed with the killing of Mr. Hariri. I know the minister shares the grief in that tragedy. Mr. Hariri will be a martyr now for the cause of Lebanon's liberation from Syria.

Why would the minister meet with the dictators of Syria but not meet with these democratic organizations in Lebanon? It seems unbalanced.

Middle EastOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I certainly want to express our deepest condolences on the death of Prime Minister Hariri who was a great friend of Canada. I remember his two visits in 1997 and 2001, which were very much appreciated.

What I think is important is to meet these individuals, whether in Lebanon or in Syria, and tell them that Canada supports resolution 1559 which requires Syria to leave the territory of Lebanon. It was easy to meet people who, like Canada, think that Syria should leave the territory, but I prefer to meet the leaders in Syria and Lebanon and inform them that they--

Middle EastOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Okanagan--Coquihalla.

Middle EastOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Conservative Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, that was not the case. UN Resolution 1559 called for the 14,000 Syrian soldiers to withdraw from Lebanon. Our allies, Great Britain, Spain, Australia, France, and the United States, all want the Syrians to leave.

How can our minister praise such a cynical regime that backs odious acts of terrorism?

Middle EastOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Canada's position is extremely clear. We support Resolution 1559, which calls upon Syrian forces to withdraw from Lebanon. However, I must also point out that at press conferences in both Lebanon and Syria, I drew the attention of government leaders to the role being played by Hezbollah and Hamas. I asked these two countries to do whatever it took to avoid violence in the Middle East. If there is any real desire to support Mr. Abbas and help the Palestinian cause rather than exploit it, we must bring about an end to all violence, and Mr. Abbas must be given a chance.

International TradeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Borys Wrzesnewskyj Liberal Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of International Trade.

Canada has made it clear that we support the waiving of interest payments and debt to third world countries anchored to the past by a history of mismanagement by dictatorial and corrupt regimes.

Are we willing to take the next step and say to those among these countries that have moved toward democracy and civil society that we will encourage these moves with free trade agreements so as to help develop small and medium-sized businesses and a fair labour market to ensure civil society development parallels economic development?

International TradeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Barrie Ontario

Liberal

Aileen Carroll LiberalMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, Canada has a very proud record of supporting entrepreneurs in developing countries. We know that to grow those economies we have to unleash the entrepreneurs. We have to help them with the programs and microfinance building the regulatory systems and legal systems that enable those entrepreneurs to build their own economies.

In addition, my colleague, the Minister of International Trade, being the brilliant strategist that he is, has been pushing for market access for developing countries in the Doha round of the WTO.

Wal-MartOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Ed Broadbent NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, Wal-Mart is the most anti-democratic company in the democratic world. Last week in Jonquière, Wal-Mart closed a store where there was a union. This week, the same company is trying to deny the rights of working men and women in St-Hyacinthe.

In the United States, Wal-Mart is already subject to anti-women's law-breaking under a class action suit and on the weekend we learned that it had violated the child labour code in the U.S.

Will the minister call in the Canadian head of this company and explain that it is not our--

Wal-MartOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Labour and Housing.

Wal-MartOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

London North Centre Ontario

Liberal

Joe Fontana LiberalMinister of Labour and Housing

Mr. Speaker, I can appreciate the member's concern. We in the government and this country believe in people's right to organize. We also believe in a collective bargaining system.

I should tell the member, although I am sure he already knows, that this is a provincial jurisdiction and that the provincial jurisdiction has the opportunity to engage both the employers and employees to find, hopefully, a resolution to this very important issue.

Wal-MartOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Ed Broadbent NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Industry and it is deliberately so because there is federal jurisdictional authority.

Under the Investment Canada Act, last fall the minister speculated on including human rights as a requirement. Will he now put such a clause in that act so we will not have companies like Wal-Mart that discriminate against women, violate child labour laws all over the world and destroy workers' rights?

Wal-MartOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we are having a look at the Investment Canada Act and we will bring some suggestions forward to Parliament in the weeks ahead.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

February 14th, 2005 / 2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Conservative Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, Justice Gomery's terms of reference clearly instruct him to take into account a Treasury Board review of ministerial accountability. The Treasury Board President has now shelved that review, which was supposed to report last September. Justice Gomery cannot take into account a review that does not exist.

If the Treasury Board President really wants to make ministers more accountable, why does he not start with himself and give Canadians the real reason he halted this review?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Winnipeg South Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his question and, frankly, I thank his leader for allowing him to ask it.

The reality is that we have been working on these reviews. I did raise the question in conversation with a few individuals about whether or not there would be concerns about us pre-empting Mr. Justice Gomery, something that we do not wish to do.

I am working on the report. There will be discussions. I have made repeated suggestions that the committee bring me before it and as soon as the committee wants to take me up on that, I will do so.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is the third such delay. The Treasury Board President was supposed to have these guidelines before the government operations committee a long time ago. Originally, the guidelines were meant to be completed by September 30. Then it was promised for Christmas. Now the dog has eaten the minister's homework for a third time.

What is taking the king of procrastination so long? Is he worried that these new rules might get in the way of the Liberal patronage bonanza?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, we will have a little order so members can hear the President of the Treasury Board's response. The member for Nepean--Carleton is on the edge of his seat. He will not be able to hear a thing.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Winnipeg South Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased that after an entire year the opposition has finally realized there is some important work going on. This is an exceptionally important piece of work and one that I intend to do well, and that means it will be ready when it is ready.

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Charlie Penson Conservative Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, while the Minister of Natural Resources considers pipeline applications for gas from the Canadian Arctic, there are still many unresolved disputes resulting from the last major pipeline that went through my constituency.

Just listen to the problems these landlords have had to face. In May 2000, landowners requested that the minister-appointed arbitration panel settle disputes. In May 2001, the minister finally appointed the panel. In March 2002, the panel finally began hearings, and in February 2005, there is still no decision.

After five years, can the minister not see that justice delayed is justice denied?

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Natural Resources works with constituency groups on an ongoing basis.

The hon. member mentions the Mackenzie Valley pipeline. There is a tremendous amount of work being done with the first nations in that community and with others to ensure that this is done in a reasonable way and in a way that takes into account the views of all those being impacted by the project.

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Charlie Penson Conservative Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, it gets worse. We have found out that the entire arbitration process has been derailed after John Gill, one of the panel members, removed himself from the case before it was concluded. The Prime Minister rewarded Mr. Gill for chairing the last Liberal federal election campaign in Alberta by appointing him to the Court of Queen's Bench just a few weeks ago.

Five years of work has gone down the drain. Landowners are left with nothing. Why is the minister letting political patronage get in the way of justice?

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, that is utter nonsense. The Minister of Natural Resources sees within his mandate the need to work with all stakeholders. He does that well and will continue to do that into the future.