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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

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Simard Bloc Beauport, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the absence of mandatory measures, it would appear that the Prime Minister is preparing to allow auto manufacturers to decide on their own measures for reducing fuel consumption.

Does the Prime Minister intend to face the facts and admit that reaching the Kyoto targets will mean imposing mandatory measures on the auto industry and on other industries?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Richmond Hill Ontario

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we are working with the auto sector to achieve a voluntary agreement. Clearly, if one is not reached, we will have to regulate, but the discussions are ongoing and I would ask the member to stay tuned.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Simard Bloc Beauport, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government has already invested $3 billion in voluntary measures and yet greenhouse gas emissions have risen by 20%.

The Minister of the Environment went to California, where antipollution standards are among the strictest on the continent. If the Minister of the Environment learned something during his trip to California, will he admit that mandatory measures are needed for the auto industry, otherwise he is wasting his time?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Richmond Hill Ontario

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, first of all, the auto sector has been a leader and continues to lead. I would point out that we are interested in reducing emissions, not just to 2010 but beyond. The Minister of the Environment has committed to that. The Minister of the Environment is working with the auto sector and with my colleagues on this side of the House, and again, please stay tuned.

AirportsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Scheer Conservative Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, in November the Minister of Transport told the transport committee that he would seek to scrap the plans to raise airport rents. Crown rent on airports cost the Canadian economy over $286 million in 2004 and that figure will balloon to over $368 million in 2006.

Under the government's plan, regional airports will have to start paying huge rental fees. The Regina International Airport alone will be asked to come up with over half a million dollars. The Regina Airport Authority fears that such a massive rental fee could result in higher ticket costs and reduction of service.

What happened to the minister's promise to stop gouging air travellers?

AirportsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I am also worried about the airport rent and so is the Minister of Finance. The hon. member can count on the Minister of Finance to protect Regina.

Royal canadian mintOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Pallister Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, recently the Royal Canadian Mint entered into an exclusive contract with Tim Hortons for the distribution of the poppy coin. Taxpayers footed the bill for millions in advertising and distribution costs designed to drive traffic to the retail stores, a double-double for Tim Hortons.

Companies pay millions of dollars for product placement. However, for this exclusive privilege, Tim Hortons paid nothing, a big doughnut hole.

Why did the Liberal government give the exclusive right for the distribution of the poppy coin to Tim Hortons?

Royal canadian mintOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Markham—Unionville Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the hon. member that the Mint is an arm's length organization. It is pleased with the transaction. Perhaps more to the point, all veteran's organizations have expressed great pride and praise for the poppy coin. With all due respect, the opinion of Canada's veterans is more important to me than the opinion of the hon. member across.

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

February 14th, 2005 / 2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Boshcoff Liberal Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Industry.

The price of gasoline in my riding of Thunder Bay—Rainy River is unacceptably high and unjustified. This week regular gas is selling for 93.1¢ a litre, while the wholesale gas price, including taxes, is 78¢ per litre. This windfall for the oil companies is coming at the expense of my constituents. It is shared also by many other ridings in this country.

When will the minister take up the recommendations of the 2003 industry committee to establish a gas price monitoring agency in order--

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Industry.

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is concerned. All members of this House are concerned with gas prices. That is why the Competition Bureau is undertaking a review of the state of competition in the retail gasoline industry.

The only reason for setting up a monitoring agency is so that it can be regulated. We will await the results of the Competition Bureau review. If there is an anti-competitive situation, it is actually the provincial governments that have to regulate retail gasoline prices.

Equalization ProgramOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance is not being up front with the people of Saskatchewan with respect to the clawback of oil and gas revenues for the province.

Had Saskatchewan received the same equalization deal as Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia, it would have received over $4 billion in additional revenue over the past decade. Last year alone this government clawed back $223 million from the province. That money does not belong to the government. That money belongs to the people of Saskatchewan.

Will the minister or his designate stand today and commit to the elimination of the clawback provision for Saskatchewan?

Equalization ProgramOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Scarborough—Guildwood Ontario

Liberal

John McKay LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, Saskatchewan is now in the happy circumstance of moving from a have not province to that of a have province. It is to be congratulated, by virtue of the dint of hard work of the people of Saskatchewan.

This equalization formula is a complex formula of 33 indices of various fiscal capacities. Sometimes provinces are beneficiaries and sometimes they are not. In this particular case, Saskatchewan has done very well out of the equalization formula over the past number of years.

Equalization ProgramOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, I feel that we should start calling this hon. member the Maytag member because he tends to spin the truth more than my washing machine.

The truth of the matter is that in Saskatchewan the only elected official who is not demanding the same deal as was afforded Premiers Hamm and Williams is the Minister of Finance. That is shameful.

Will the minister or his designate stand in the House today and do what is right, do what is fair, and simply commit to the elimination of the clawback provisions and give Saskatchewan people the same deal as afforded to Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia?

Equalization ProgramOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Scarborough—Guildwood Ontario

Liberal

John McKay LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, may I ask for a ruling on the hon. member's comments about spinning the truth?

Equalization ProgramOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

There is nothing wrong with spinning the truth. It would be much worse if we were spinning untruths, so we will stick with the truth, as I am sure the hon. parliamentary secretary will continue to do in his answers.

Equalization ProgramOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Thank you for that clarification, Mr. Speaker.

As I was saying earlier, Saskatchewan has had a number of adjustments to the equalization formula. Something in the order of $580 million this year have addressed concerns that have been raised and addressed by the finance minister. The equalization formula is quite complex and over the past number of years Saskatchewan has done very well out of that formula.

Gas TaxOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, discussions are underway between the federal government and Quebec and the provinces to transfer a portion of the gas tax revenues to the municipalities. But there would be terms and conditions attached to the proposed transfer which Quebec is dead set against, arguing that it has exclusive jurisdiction over municipal affairs.

The federal government has always used the proceeds of the gas tax at its discretion. Why try to impose conditions on Quebec, when Quebec wants to have control over infrastructure programs, with no strings attached?

Gas TaxOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Don Valley West Ontario

Liberal

John Godfrey LiberalMinister of State (Infrastructure and Communities)

Mr. Speaker, we have always worked closely with the Province of Quebec in the area of infrastructure. We have always entered into mutually satisfactory arrangements, and we will do the same by working in close collaboration and in consultation with the municipalities at the same time. We are, however, respectful of its provincial jurisdictions while negotiating with the Province of Quebec.

HousingOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Mario Silva Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, the federal government has provided programs that are designed to ensure that Canadians are adequately housed. Some of these programs have been put on hold by provincial and municipal governments. As the Speech from the Throne recognizes, shelters are the foundation upon which healthy communities and individual dignities are built.

Can the Minister of Labour and Housing tell the House what programs exist and what negotiations are taking place?

HousingOral Question Period

3 p.m.

London North Centre Ontario

Liberal

Joe Fontana LiberalMinister of Labour and Housing

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for Davenport, and all the caucus members and ministers from the GTA for doing some incredible work with regard to housing in that particular area.

As members know, in an area of provincial jurisdiction, the federal government really does want to be a true partner with the provinces. Not only do we invest $2 billion each and every year to look after 636,000 low income Canadians, but we have committed to $1.8 billion in order to deal with homelessness, affordable housing and renovations to our existing stock.

We have in Ontario, finally, a government that believes in housing. We are working very closely with it to deliver on the housing commitments that we have already made.

Financial InstitutionsOral Question Period

3 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, the impact of the payday loan industry on vulnerable families in financial difficulty can be very devastating. We know that in fact one of the main triggers of this is the rollover loan, which can mean that people end up paying 1,000% or more in interest. It is like stepping into financial quicksand.

There is a simple solution: the government can ban rollover loans. Will the government do it?

Financial InstitutionsOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, federal, provincial and territorial ministers of consumers affairs have been looking at this very issue for the past year. I have had a discussion with my colleague from the province of Manitoba. It is something that we are hoping to move on in the next few months, but we need to work in cooperation with provincial governments.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

John Williams Conservative Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to table the seventh report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts regarding the report on plans and priorities 2004, and the report on performance for the period ending 31 March 2004 of the Office of Auditor General of Canada.

Injured Military Members (Major Bruce Henwood) Compensation ActRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Art Hanger Conservative Calgary Northeast, AB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-330, an act to amend the Injured Military Members Compensation Act (amendment to the short title).

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to reintroduce this private member's bill to amend the short title of the Injured Military Members Compensation Act to add a reference to Major Retired Bruce Henwood who was the driving force behind the passage of the legislation.

The bill seeks to recognize his efforts to have the Canadian Forces insurance plan for accidental dismemberment while on duty expanded to all military personnel regardless of rank.

I believe inserting his name in the short title of the act would be a fitting tribute to Major Retired Bruce Henwood for his work on behalf of all Canadian soldiers.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)