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House of Commons Hansard #80 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was billion.

Topics

Border SecurityOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke North Ontario

Liberal

Roy Cullen LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, we are not going to get involved in the context of the comments from customs officers in the middle of labour negotiations. However, all the customs offices at our borders have all the information at their disposal. In fact, the department and the Canada Border Services Agency is investing $433 million over the next five years to enhance our capacity. A good part of that will be devoted to information technology and to improve the links between our border operations and the head office database.

Border SecurityOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, it was a U.S. congressman who said this.

In addition to having little information about terrorists or dangerous offenders, our unarmed border officials have to contend with inadequate backup from police. Over 50 border crossings, many with a single agent, are at least 25 kilometres from a police station. Internal RCMP documents show that on some weekends at Quebec crossings there is little or no police coverage. What is the government's response? Close more detachments and leave the border agents to fend for themselves.

Again, when will the government beef up border security and expand RCMP support for these entry points?

Border SecurityOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke North Ontario

Liberal

Roy Cullen LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, last year alone more than 71 million people crossed at Canada's borders at the land points of entry. The government has invested in the Canada Border Services Agency $433 million over the next five years. We are building capacity. Since 9/11, the government has invested more than $9 billion to enhance the public security environment in Canada. We will continue to do that. Our smart borders is a number one priority for the government and we are working very closely with the U.S. to implement that.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, in connection with one of our questions on his riding assistant's presence on the finance committee of the Liberal Party with Jacques Corriveau and Alain Renaud, the Prime Minister tried to minimize his assistant's role, describing it as simply selling tickets.

I ask the Prime Minister once again to explain how he can tell us today that he knew nothing of what was going on, when his own assistant was sitting in the middle of the finance committee where it was all happening?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, everything I knew, my assistant knew. She was selling tickets. The job had to be done. It was a fundraising dinner. I imagine that even the Bloc sells tickets to cocktail parties or dinners to raise money. That is what she was doing.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, is the Prime Minister trying to have us believe that the only role of the Liberal Party of Canada's finance committee, on which sat the top leaders of the Liberal Party of Canada, is simply to sell tickets to fundraising dinners? This is what the Prime Minister—

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

As the hon. member knows, that question is unacceptable. It has nothing to do with the administration of the Government of Canada.

The hon. member for Edmonton—Leduc.

InfrastructureOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Conservative Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, we learned this weekend of a cozy relationship between the Mont Tremblant ski facility owned by Intrawest and the health of Liberal Party coffers. It seems that when donations to the Liberal Party by Intrawest began to rise, the amount of taxpayer money funnelled into the ski resort also increased.

One begins to wonder whether this kickback culture is not just exclusive to the Liberal advertising program.

Can the Minister of Industry explain the relationship between the increase in Liberal Party donations by Intrawest and the increased taxpayer money going to Mont Tremblant?

InfrastructureOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Brossard—La Prairie Québec

Liberal

Jacques Saada LiberalMinister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec and Minister responsible for the Francophonie

Mr. Speaker, a large part of the federal public money given Mont Tremblant must be reimbursed. The remainder comes from the infrastructure program, under which the Government of Canada simply acts on the priorities of the Government of Quebec.

InfrastructureOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Conservative Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, here are the facts. The Liberal government has given $100 million in grants and interest-free loans over the last decade to Mont Tremblant, a ski resort owned by Intrawest Corporation. At the same time, and there is an interesting relationship along the way, Intrawest has donated more than $100,000 to the Liberal Party. That is a relationship that the government has to explain.

Is this simply not another kickback program instituted by the government?

InfrastructureOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Don Valley West Ontario

Liberal

John Godfrey LiberalMinister of State (Infrastructure and Communities)

Mr. Speaker, we have just been working very hard to make the northern part of Quebec an economically prosperous area. Because of our investments, it is the city of Mont Tremblant, the region of Mont Tremblant, that is going to benefit from the public infrastructure, such as roadways, waterworks and sewer systems. That is what we are investing in, the region of Mont Tremblant.

HealthOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Liberal Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, today is the 25th anniversary of Terry Fox's Marathon of Hope. Given that cancer is still the cause of too many deaths in this country, and as a Canadian who ran with Terry Fox at that time, I want to ask the Minister of Health on this historic day what he is willing to give as hope to Canadians who are still suffering from this terrible disease.

HealthOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we have made cancer control a priority.

In terms of the five areas where we need to reduce wait times, cancer is one of the priorities for wait time reduction. Also, we provided in the last budget $300 million for an integrated strategy on healthy living and chronic disease control to face this important challenge. This year we have given $10 million to the Terry Fox Foundation in recognition of its work and in order for it to pursue research on this very important issue.

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Norman Doyle Conservative St. John's North, NL

Mr. Speaker, in the media today there are headlines stating that the fate of the government and its programs may well depend on the outcome of the Gomery inquiry. There is one initiative, however, that need not wait for Judge Gomery's report. That is the Atlantic accord legislation.

Will the government reconsider its position today and remove the accord legislation from the omnibus budget bill and immediately put it before the House as a stand-alone bill?

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition has said that the budget measures generally are a step in the right direction. He has said that there is nothing in the budget that should defeat the government. He has also indicated his support for the Atlantic accords.

It seems that all those things have come together in one very happy package, and the answer is to pass the budget.

Canadian ForcesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Dave Chatters Conservative Westlock—St. Paul, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence promised the members of the Canadian Forces that they would be getting a 6% pay raise on March 1. They did not get the pay raise on March 1. They did not get the pay raise on April 1. They still have not got the pay raise, despite an $11 billion surplus.

When is the government going to live up to its promises, obligations and commitments and provide the raises to our members of the Canadian armed forces?

Canadian ForcesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I do not know what the hon. member is basing his information on, but I have to tell him that I was recently in Esquimalt speaking to members of our Canadian navy and they are thrilled with the pay raise. I have spoken with members of the army and they are very pleased with the pay raise, as are members of the air force.

The hon. member may not like it, but the fact of the matter is that members of our armed forces are very grateful for it and it is improving their quality of life. I am thrilled with the fact that we can show how the government appreciates the tremendous service of our armed forces.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the PMO sets up the sponsorship program; the finance minister allocates money to it; the Treasury Board President closes her eyes; the PMO selects the projects; the friends of the Liberal Party pocket the money; the organizers take their cut; and the Liberal Party gets rich.

Does that not sum up the whole Liberal Party of Canada food chain?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, once again the hon. member is quoting from testimony as if it is fact. She is quoting allegations as if they are facts. She should realize that her provincial cousin, Mr. Landry, has in fact said that Mr. Brault, one of the witnesses, has no credibility and is in fact wrong in some of his testimony before the Gomery inquiry.

I would urge her in this case to listen to her provincial cousin, Mr. Landry, who tells her and her party that she ought not judge this testimony as truth. In fact, what she ought to do is wait for Justice Gomery to submit his report. That way she can have the truth, and all Canadians can.

The BudgetOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Borys Wrzesnewskyj Liberal Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, debate started today in the House on implementing the measures announced in the budget last month, a budget for which the Leader of the Opposition could not wait to state his support in the foyer of the House of Commons, a budget about which the Leader of the Opposition stated “there is nothing in this budget that would justify an election”, a budget that the same leader is now flip-flopping on as he contemplates triggering a quarter billion dollar election.

Could the Minister of Finance please remind the members of the opposition why a few short weeks ago they thought this budget was “a step in the right direction”?

The BudgetOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, maybe it was the $5 billion for cities and communities, or the $5 billion for children and early learning, or the $2.7 billion for senior citizens, or the $3 billion for Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia, or the $5 billion for the environment, or the greenest budget in Canadian history, or the $3.4 billion in foreign aid, or the $13 billion for the Canadian armed forces, or the $12 billion in tax relief. Maybe it is just that we have the best fiscal performance since 1867 and the best fiscal performance in all the G-7 countries.

Presence in GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of His Excellency Tan Sri Dato'Seri Dr. Abdul Hamid Pawanteh, President of the Senate of Malaysia.

Presence in GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Presence in GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

Order. The Chair has notice of a number of questions of privilege and points of order. We will start with those now. We will begin with the hon. member for Red Deer.

PrivilegeOral Question Period

April 12th, 2005 / 3 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Mills Conservative Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question of privilege will charge the Prime Minister with contempt for his total disregard for the motion adopted on Wednesday, April 6, 2005 regarding the appointment of Glen Murray to the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy.

Page 67 of Marleau and Montpetit states that the House can claim the right to punish for certain affronts against the dignity and authority of Parliament.

At what point does Parliament take a stand against a Prime Minister who continually thumbs his nose at Parliament?

In this Parliament the Prime Minister reneged on his very first obligation to the House with respect to the amendment to the throne speech to allow members an opportunity to consider all public information pertaining to the missile defence agreement and to vote prior to a government decision.

My House leader raised a complaint in the House with respect to the defeat of Bills C-31 and C-32. In the case of Bills C-31 and C-32, the trade minister shrugged off the defeat of two bills that would create a new international trade department separate from the Department of Foreign Affairs, saying that the two branches of government will continue to operate independently without Parliament's blessing.

Now we are faced with a situation where a committee has rejected an appointment made by the government. That vote was nine to two. It reported that rejection to the House. The House has concurred in that rejection on a vote of 143 to 108. The Prime Minister has continued to ignore it. We brought this about because the person was not qualified for the position of the appointment.

The excessive power that lies in the Prime Minister's office prompted the Prime Minister in his address to the law students at Osgoode Hall in the fall of 2002 when he was trolling for support for his leadership bid, to state that the essence of power in Ottawa was who you know in the PMO. We thought he was complaining about it. We thought he was promising to clean that up, but if one wants a government appointment in his government, it is not Parliament that matters, it is who you know in the PMO.

In the future why would any member question an appointment and bring it before committee? The Prime Minister does not listen. Why would we debate it in the House with our three hours? The Prime Minister does not listen.

Mr. Speaker, I feel that my privilege has been taken away because of what the Prime Minister has done. I would ask you to look at that.