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House of Commons Hansard #68 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was claims.

Topics

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalMinister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the attention the hon. member is giving to the Canada-U.S. relationship because it is truly an important one. We realize that as a trading nation we have to pursue our commercial interests with the United States and with the rest of the world.

In this regard, I am very pleased that we are proceeding on the softwood lumber file, a file on which we have had a longstanding dispute for some 20 years, and that we have achieved a position for the territories and the provinces of Canada that has the potential for negotiating a settlement.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, just as the softwood lumber issue is about to come to a positive conclusion by legal means, the industry is extremely vulnerable, because the government has not put in place a real aid package.

Instead of floating a proposed settlement in Washington, which does not have the support of all the parties involved, should the government not be assuming the industry's legal costs, thereby allowing the industry to hold on until the legal process has concluded, as it is about to?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalMinister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, as everyone knows, we had allocated over $350 million in aid to the industry.

Frankly, the hon. member is incorrect on several of the points he mentioned. Our proposal to the United States has received the support of every Canadian province and territory, for the first time.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister will meet with President Bush on March 23, and it is rumoured that he will not raise the issue of softwood lumber at this meeting. In fact, no trade dispute appears to be on the agenda.

Will the Prime Minister admit that it would be completely irresponsible of him not to discuss softwood lumber with President Bush, given the importance of this issue and the importance of a return to full free trade in softwood lumber?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, during a recent conversation with President Bush, I raised the issue of softwood lumber. Each time I have met with the President, I have raised this issue and that of mad cow, and I intend to do so again at our meeting two weeks from now.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Guy Côté Bloc Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, the 21 Liberals from Quebec, including the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, the Minister of Transport and the Prime Minister himself, continue to deny the existence of the fiscal imbalance. Yet, all the Liberals in the National Assembly and all the other parties voted unanimously in favour of a resolution confirming its existence.

I want the ministers who claim to be representing Quebec to tell me this: how can they go against a unanimous decision of the National Assembly of Quebec?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I had a very good conversation with the Quebec minister of finance a number of days ago about issues related to fiscal matters in Quebec and in Canada. We agreed that we would respectfully disagree on certain theories about fiscal balances or imbalances and that it would be far better for all of us to focus on the practical solutions to real problems, moving forward in such a way that we improve the living conditions of Quebeckers and Canadians, and that we do that constructively in partnership together.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Guy Côté Bloc Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, the political lieutenant in Quebec seems to have a great fondness for rainbow coalitions. Such a coalition exists at the National Assembly.

Before being elected he said that Ottawa was swimming in surpluses. How would he respond to the Quebec finance minister, who said the only one to deny the fiscal imbalance is the one that benefits from it directly and that is the federal government?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, in dealing with fiscal issues between Canada and the provinces, I am very pleased to say that federal transfers to the provinces are now at an all time record high, and they are rising. In some of those transfers, like health, for example, we have a built-in escalator at 6% a year. With respect to equalization, we also have a built-in escalator at 3.5% per year.

On all fronts, the transfers of the federal government to the provinces are now at a higher level than they have ever been in history, and they will continue to rise year over year.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Monte Solberg Conservative Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, the bungling on the Canada-U.S. file just continues on and on. The parliamentary secretary for Canada-U.S. relations has stated publicly that we are going to embarrass the hell out of the Americans so other countries will not buy from them.

The parliamentary secretary has been kicked out of the House. When will she be kicked out of her position?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalMinister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, Canada and the United States enjoy today the largest trading relationship that this world has ever seen. In spite of very high profile disputes, such as softwood lumber, BSE, live swine, more than 95% of that trading relationship is dispute free and those of us on this side of the House will work to ensure that it is 100% dispute free.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Bradley Trost Conservative Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's inability to get the border open to live cattle exports has claimed another victim. A rancher in my riding phoned to say that the bank had called in their loan. Their before-tax income was only $4,000. They have no money left on which to live.

How can the agriculture minister believe in his programs when farmers are going bankrupt?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I think all members in the House are very much touched by a story such as this about a particular producer. The reality is there has been substantial assistance provided to producers, particularly in respect to the BSE, some $1.9 billion.

As the finance minister and I have said, we will continue to work with the industry and with the individual producers to provide them the kind of assistance that they require in light of the circumstances surrounding the border.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Merv Tweed Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, we have heard the stories of despair coming from families across Canada, yet the government continues to ignore the needs of its farmers.

We know that the finance minister has been asked to use the emergency reserve to help our producers. This is a real emergency. There are funds available and an immediate response is required.

Will the finance minister stop dithering, promise to use the emergency reserve fund and keep that promise?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, long before this issue was raised in the House, I indicated that in appropriate circumstances the emergency reserves of the Government of Canada could be used. In fact, we did that last year. We have already demonstrated the principle.

I am working with the Minister of Agriculture and my cabinet colleagues to determine the appropriate response. We will be timely in our reply.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Merv Tweed Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, our leader, producers and Canadians have called on the government to use the emergency fund to give real aid to producers. Sadly, the finance minister from Saskatchewan has turned a blind eye to the suffering.

Today we heard the stories. Last night we heard the stories. When will the finance minister use the reserve fund for the purpose it was intended and help the farm crisis in Canada?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the contrast is really striking between the kind of partisanship that one sees in this chamber and the meeting I was privileged to have over the noon hour, when I sat down with the executive of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture. We had a very useful discussion about circumstances on Canadian farms and how the Government of Canada might assist.

I want to thank President Friesen and the members of his executive for being very constructive and helpful in the advice they offered at noon hour today.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Liberal Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of National Defence.

We have learned today that a Montreal company founded by three former Canadian Forces fighter pilots has obtained a large contract with National Defence.

Can the minister tell us the role to be played by Top Aces Consulting and explain why this contract is a first in this country?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question and for his interest in the aeronautical industry in Montreal.

I am proud to announce today that the government has chosen Top Aces Consulting of Montreal to provide flight training services to the Canadian Forces. This $93 million contract will significantly improve the quality of flight training provided to the members of our military family.

This is great news for the Canadian Forces and great news for the aeronautical industry in Montreal.

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. Which is it? Two weeks ago he said “just watch me” about privatization. Today he says that this is outside of the Canada Health Act.

If the Canada Health Act does not stop privatization, what does?

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we are enforcing the Canada Health Act. We shall enforce the Canada Health Act.

We need to remember that the kind of clinic the hon. member talks about, her predecessor said that those kinds of clinics, which are totally outside of the system, were outside the ambit of the act. I agree with her predecessor on that issue. That is how I have looked at the act and that is how I understand it.

We have provided $41 billion for the next 10 years to the provinces on this issue. We stand for public delivery of health care and public pay for health care.

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, clearly the Canada Health Act is not addressing what is happening with privatization. For years we have heard the Liberals say that they are going to stop it.

Let me talk about something else here. The warning gets clearer, the wolf is at the door. We can expect an influenza pandemic that will rival the one in 1919. Our own military experts believe that this avian flu could be used as a terrorist weapon.

We look to our doctors as the first stop. How is this Liberal government preparing family doctors for the pandemic?

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the director general of the WHO was here last year. The WHO has looked at our preparedness and has said, “Canada is the best prepared country in the world by far to deal with this issue”.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

March 9th, 2005 / 2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Conservative Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, today in a rare show of solidarity, MPs from all parties held a news conference with Friends of Sudan. We are trying to encourage our government and the United Nations to get the focus back on to Darfur. A genocide continues to unfold there. Our own General Roméo Dallaire spoke about it today in another setting.

Will the government please send not just a voice of hope but take some actions that will give hope to the people in Darfur as they see the horror of another genocide unfolding upon them?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his interest in this very important issue. Yes, I have seen the solidarity of all parties calling to the attention of all of us the situation in Darfur.

We have been very active since October 2003. We have invested $26 million for humanitarian aid, protection and peace building measures. We have given $70 million since 2000 for humanitarian aid in Sudan. We have invested $20 million to help the African Union to do a better job.

Next week I will call on our envoy, Mobina Jaffer, the senator--