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House of Commons Hansard #95 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Monte Solberg Conservative Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance revealed that the Prime Minister's deal with Premier McGuinty really was not worth the napkin on which it was written. Basically in an interview, when the parliamentary secretary was asked about funding for this, he said, “Well, there's a reasonable chance” that the money would not flow to Ontario.

When the Prime Minister struck his deal with Premier McGuinty, did he tell the premier that there was a reasonable chance that the money would not flow?

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, obviously there are important elements of the arrangement with Ontario that are dependent upon very important conduct in the House of Commons, including the passage of the budget.

I would remind the finance critic for the opposition that within a couple of hours of the announcement of the budget plan on February 23 he said “this budget is a step in the right direction”.

Economic DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Françoise Boivin Liberal Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec. Soon, the House will be asked to vote on Bill C-9, which reinforces the role of this agency in Quebec.

Can the minister tell us why the Bloc Québécois intends to vote against this bill? Why is the Bloc voting against the economic development of Quebec?

Economic DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:40 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, the stakeholders in the social economy, the municipalities and the regions of Quebec want this bill, and the Bloc is voting against it. The federal budget includes an additional $307 million for Quebec alone, and the Bloc is voting against it.

The Bloc Québécois is voting against the economic diversification of the regions, against the most vulnerable communities, against research and innovation and against Montreal's development. In my opinion, the Bloc is putting its interests ahead of Quebec's. Canada has always played a fundamental role in Quebec's economic development and it will continue to do so, despite the Bloc Québécois.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, on a number of occasions in the past I have felt that concentration in Parliament on corruption, scandals and things like that were putting a larger question at risk, and that is the long term sustainability of our environment, which, if we do not save, all these other questions become academic.

I am particularly worried now about the Devils Lake diversion. We only have until June before that water starts to flow. I am concerned that if we have an election, the government, which is already not focused enough on that issue, may become even less focused.

What is the government's plan, election or no election, to make sure that dirty water does not flow into Manitoba's ecosystem ever?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I can tell the House that when the Prime Minister met with the president and when I met with Ms. Rice, the secretary of state, we insisted that the case of Devils Lake be brought to the borders board which is the place at the commission to really look into it.

This is not a case of Canadians versus Americans here. Many Americans are on our side and they do realize that the Devils Lake diversion should not take place.

Maher Arar InquiryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, shamefully, no minister in the government is taking responsibility to ensure that justice prevails in the Arar inquiry.

Before recusing himself, the justice minister acknowledged the dangers of trampling human rights and trashing justice in the name of security.

In contrast, the fisheries minister, assigned explicitly to ensure justice for Arar, is defending non-disclosure, justifying lack of transparency and deferring to the public security czar.

Why is the Prime Minister's government, in the name of security, stonewalling the inquiry's pursuit of justice?

Maher Arar InquiryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Halifax West Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I want to assure my hon. colleague that I have instructed the officials to make the fullest disclosure possible in keeping with the security and safety of police work.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Chong Conservative Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Mr. Speaker, in this Liberal lottery, the government has announced spending of $22 billion over and above the $42 billion already promised. Don Drummond, chief economist with the TD Bank, has said the government appears to have lost all sense of how much money is involved. After more than 10 years of sacrifices by Canadians, these financial follies could well put the country back in a deficit.

Will the Prime Minister acknowledge that he is drifting toward economic disaster in an effort to keep his government afloat?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the newspaper stories and the websites to which the hon. gentleman refers are clearly in error. They are adding together apples and oranges and bananas and coming up with pineapples and not making any sense whatsoever.

The fact of the matter is that all of these spending plans of the Government of Canada fit within our fiscal framework.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Chong Conservative Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is why the finance minister should provide a full accounting to the House. At least former finance minister John Turner had the integrity to resign when Mr. Trudeau flip-flopped on fiscal and monetary policy in 1975.

In fact, only one month ago the finance minister said, “You can't, after the fact, begin to cherry-pick”, meaning the budget. He added, “If you engage in that exercise, it is an absolute, sure formula for the creation of a deficit”.

Will the finance minister show some ministerial accountability, admit that he has made deficits a real possibility, admit that the Prime Minister has cherry-picked his budget and resign?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

No, Mr. Speaker, I most certainly will not. The fact is the budget, in the form of Bill C-43, was proceeding very nicely through the House of Commons until a certain event on April 21 when that gentleman's party reversed itself 180 degrees, flip-flopped from support to opposition and joined with the separatist party to try to defeat both the government and the budget.

We were elected in this minority Parliament to make this Parliament work. Therefore we found another configuration that would allow the budget and fiscal responsibility a decent chance to survive.

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Loyola Hearn Conservative St. John's South, NL

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has said that the Atlantic accord must be part of the total budgetary process and in fact that it must remain in the omnibus bill. Yet today we see Bill C-48 introduced as a separate two page piece of legislation.

If the government can introduce a stand-alone bill to legitimize the NDP buyout, why can he not introduce one for Atlantic Canadians who are losing millions of dollars every week because of government game playing?

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the legislation implementing the Atlantic accords is before the House already. It is in Bill C-43.

I ask the hon. gentleman to consider, as Atlantic Canadian governments have considered, the danger of actually removing the Atlantic accords from Bill C-43 and leaving them absolute hostage to the Bloc Québécois.

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Bill Casey Conservative North Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, yes, Bill C-43 is before the House today but, as a coincidence, last year's budget implementation bill may pass through the Senate today, a year later.

If the Prime Minister can take the tax cuts out of the budget with the snap of a finger, he can do the same thing for the Atlantic accord and save a year for Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador. Will he do that and make the same agreement on that bill?

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman is wrong in his facts. In respect of Bill C-33, it was not the main budget bill from last year. The main budget bill from last year was passed through the House of Commons on May 8, I believe it was, of last year. Indeed, the hon. gentleman is wrong in the analogy that he is drawing.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Denise Poirier-Rivard Bloc Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, the representatives of farm producers are expressing concern at the Government of Canada's attitude in its defence of supply management in the negotiations taking place at the WTO.

In view of the concerns of the producers over the real intentions of the government, could the minister reassure them and confirm his intention to vigorously defend the retention of supply management and order his team of negotiators to do likewise?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, absolutely, we support supply management in this country without reservation. That is the negotiating stance that we took in Geneva last year. That is the negotiating stance that our negotiations are taking right now. It is what we will pursue throughout the course of these negotiations.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Denise Poirier-Rivard Bloc Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, farm producers are concerned because the government recently backed off somewhat by agreeing to make supply management negotiable.

Why is the government not helping farmers by closing its borders to milk byproducts legally entering Canada duty free?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, as I said in the answer to the previous question, in the broadest sense we are defending supply management through our negotiations in terms of WTO.

There are other measures in the interim that we should take. We are launching an appeal under the CITT. We are taking a look at some labelling issues and some standard issues. We put in a new monitoring system in respect of those specific items at the border. We will act as the need to act arises.

Social DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Conservative Edmonton—Spruce Grove, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative Party will honour the child care agreements with the provinces; however, our party is willing to go one step further and put money directly into the hands of parents so they can make their own child care choices.

The difference between the Liberals and the Conservatives is that the Conservative Party supports equality and choice. Why is there not one red cent of the $5 billion Liberal day care scheme going to parents who choose to stay at home with their children or choose other child care options?

Social DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Ken Dryden LiberalMinister of Social Development

Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind the member opposite that the commitment that was made in last year's election campaign was not just $5 billion over five years for a system of early learning and child care but a national early learning and child care system. It is a commitment made now and a commitment to deliver now and in the future in order to build a national early learning and child care system.

Social DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Conservative Edmonton—Spruce Grove, AB

Mr. Speaker, this is about equality and choice and the government is discriminating against certain parents.

Our party has spoken to parents from coast to coast. What they are asking for is a workable program that financially empowers them with choice and provides their children with the tools they need to succeed. In fact, studies have shown that almost all working parents would stay at home part time if they could afford to.

Why do the Liberals refuse to financially empower all parents equally?

Social DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Ken Dryden LiberalMinister of Social Development

Mr. Speaker, I will remind the member opposite that in last year's election campaign the commitment was a $2,000 tax credit. That $2,000 tax credit would have the magnificent impact of affecting those who are the worst off, those who are the poorest in the country, to the amount of $320 per child.

The average cost of child care in the country is over $8,000. That is a tax deduction. That is not child care.

AgricultureOral Question Period

May 10th, 2005 / 2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Hubbard Liberal Miramichi, NB

Mr. Speaker, supply management has worked very well in this country for some 40 years and our party has consistently supported supply management.

Today we find that some processors are bringing in protein additives in the processing process with cheese and other products.

How is our government dealing with this issue? How can our dairy farmers benefit from this problem that is being created by outside sources?