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House of Commons Hansard #98 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. government House leader.

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the Ottawa Citizen is saying “constitutional experts say that while the recent events on Parliament Hill may be attention grabbers”--and I would have to suggest that the hon. member has no interest except trying to grab more attention--“there is no suggestion that it adds up to a constitutional crisis. We are at an impasse. We are not at war. The economy is booming”. “The situation would be a crisis only if the government refused to have a confidence vote”. That vote will be on Thursday. It will be a clear vote and a clear question. What I want to know is whether the members opposite will respect the results.

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Andrew Scheer Conservative Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, the government is not respecting this House. The institution of Parliament is built upon the principle of democracy which is intended to ensure that the views of Canadians are represented by this House.

Over the last few days it has become apparent that confidence is no longer possessed by the government and yet, in the words of John Ibbitson, “the government is still testing the limits of its legitimacy by refusing to face the House and settle the matter”.

Will the government confront its democratic mandate to rule by committing to a confidence vote, not on Thursday but on Monday, right away?

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, repeating the question does not make it any more valid. In fact, I have to say that Thursday is a very reasonable date. I do not understand why the hon. members will not take yes for an answer.

It will be a clear question. It is a money bill. It is a budget vote. It does respect the investments that have been made by both the people and the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta.

The real question is whether the members opposite will respect the result of that vote. The Prime Minister has said he will. Will they?

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Conservative Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, this government's fingernail grasp on power is only because it is ignoring the democratic constitutional traditions.

According to a new poll, almost 70% of Canadians now believe the Prime Minister was personally aware that sponsorship money was being misdirected. Canadian voices are loud and clear and they are telling us that they too no longer have confidence in the government.

Will the Prime Minister accept our compromise and commit to another vote of confidence on Monday?

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

London North Centre Ontario

Liberal

Joe Fontana LiberalMinister of Labour and Housing

Mr. Speaker, what we know, at least on this side of the House, is that Canadians believe in due process. Our Prime Minister put in place the Gomery commission to get to the whole truth, nothing but the truth and to issue a report. Let him do his work.

We have an opportunity to have a confidence vote. It is on the budget. It will happen on Thursday.

The BudgetOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Michael John Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, the premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, Premier Williams, was quoted in today's paper as saying that a vote against the budget would be a vote against Newfoundland and Labrador.

I understand that members of the Conservative Party from Newfoundland and Labrador, and possibly Nova Scotia, are planning to vote against the budget. I wonder if we could get a comment on that in light of the Atlantic accord.

The BudgetOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Scarborough—Guildwood Ontario

Liberal

John McKay LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Atlantic accords are included in the budget Bill C-43. It is a reflection of the agreement and the unique circumstances faced by those two provinces.

Apparently on Thursday we will have the unseemly spectacle of the Conservatives voting against people in the Atlantic region, along with their separatist friends. That vote is actually understandable because they care little or nothing for anyone else in the rest of Canada.

If the bill does not pass, members opposite only have to look in the mirror.

HousingOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Labour and Housing should get his head out of the sand and stick it up his attic because if he looked he might find it full of deadly asbestos laden--

HousingOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

HousingOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Winnipeg Centre could perhaps be a little more judicious in his choice of language. He might want to consult the member for Ottawa Centre.

HousingOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am simply saying that if the Minister of Labour and Housing looked in his own attic he might find it full of deadly asbestos laden Zonolite, like hundreds of thousands of other homeowners.

When UFFI foam insulation was a problem, the government put in place a comprehensive program to help homeowners remove it. It also forced homeowners to disclose it if they had it when they sold their homes. UFFI was only irritating but Zonolite is deadly.

Why will the Minister of Labour and Housing not put in place a Zonolite removal home program to help homeowners get rid of this deadly material?

HousingOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

London North Centre Ontario

Liberal

Joe Fontana LiberalMinister of Labour and Housing

Mr. Speaker, I know the hon. member believes in working men and women and those working men and women are the professionals who in fact should, when asked by people, check the insulation and then ask whether or not they want to make renovations. They should call the professionals.

They are the working men and women whom we support on this side and I hope he would support them on his side.

All insulation is not Zonolite and all Zonolite is not contaminated with asbestos. We are providing information. It is not a health risk if left undisturbed. People should call the professionals before they repair their homes.

EmploymentOral Question Period

May 13th, 2005 / 11:55 a.m.

NDP

Tony Martin NDP Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

Why is the minister, at a time when a surplus is projected in the new Liberal-New Democrat budget, and, as the House leader has said, the economy is booming, and we have just made a commitment to post-secondary students to help them with the cost of education, and we have out-migration of youth in regions of the country, including northern Ontario, cutting the funding to summer employment this year?

EmploymentOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Vancouver Quadra B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen LiberalMinister of Western Economic Diversification and Minister of State (Sport)

Mr. Speaker, the constituency budgets have changed across the country for two reasons this year. First, we have gone from 301 to 308 constituencies. Second, we have now instituted new 2001 census data to reflect the new constituencies. Combined with this, the student population and unemployment rate has shifted. As a result, some budgets at the constituency level have increased and some others have decreased.

House of CommonsOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Daryl Kramp Conservative Prince Edward—Hastings, ON

Mr. Speaker, the very heart and soul of this institution is based upon the respect of the democratic will of its members. Sadly, we see the government clinging to power by ignoring our time honoured democratic traditions.

By failing to commit to a vote of confidence at the earliest possible moment, the government is undermining the very institution that we represent.

Respectfully, I ask the Prime Minister to show some leadership and schedule a confidence vote for this coming Monday.

House of CommonsOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Don Valley West Ontario

Liberal

John Godfrey LiberalMinister of State (Infrastructure and Communities)

Mr. Speaker, we will be having a confidence vote on the budget on Thursday. At that time we will be able to ask Conservatives whether they support the new deal for cities and communities, the $5 billion gas tax deal.

Mayors across the country want us to do it. They want them to vote for that budget. We will test them on Thursday.

The Prime MinisterOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Conservative Niagara West—Glanbrook, ON

Mr. Speaker, why does the Prime Minister continue to tarnish Canada's great reputation for democracy around the world? When is the Prime Minister going to realize that it is not he who decides if there is confidence in the government. It is the democratic duty of the House to decide whether there is confidence in the government. It is the democratic duty of the Prime Minister to respect the will of the House.

The Prime Minister has not only ignored the House but he has ignored the will of Canadians.

Why, if the Prime Minister is so sure of his moral authority to govern, will he not call a confidence vote on Monday?

The Prime MinisterOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Barrie Ontario

Liberal

Aileen Carroll LiberalMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, the moral authority of the Prime Minister is clearly shown in the incredible leadership that he has put forward in our budget.

If I may speak as Minister of International Cooperation, when I look at a $3.4 billion increase in our aid budget which is to reduce poverty, when I see the leadership he has shown with the $100 million in the battle against AIDS, when I read the letters of approbation from Canadians all across the country, en particulier du Québec, let me assure the House that people in Canada know what is in this budget and they give the Prime Minister--

The Prime MinisterOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Oshawa.

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Colin Carrie Conservative Oshawa, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government has officially entered uncharted constitutional waters. It has been accused by Canadians of governing by technicality with the consent of itself.

It is clear that the government is not just being challenged by the opposition, but by the entire country.

Liberals have responded by arguing that technicalities supersede the will of the House.

Canadians are challenging the Prime Minister to stop hiding behind procedural tactics. Why will he not commit to a confidence vote on Monday? Is it that he is afraid of facing the Canadian people?

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Ahuntsic Québec

Liberal

Eleni Bakopanos LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Social Development (Social Economy)

Mr. Speaker, no one is afraid of facing the Canadian people. We did a year ago and in fact we are prepared to do it. The Prime Minister has said that on Thursday there will be a confidence vote.

Why are the opposition members not talking about the deal that we signed today with Newfoundland on the early learning and day care program? Why are they not talking about the other three? Why are they not talking about $5 billion we are putting into a national early learning and child care program? Because they do not care. They only want to give a tax break of $200 to parents.

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

Noon

Conservative

Gerald Keddy Conservative South Shore—St. Margaret's, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government, in a shameful display, has deliberately delayed the passage of the Atlantic accord. It has once again delayed the clean-up of the Sydney tar ponds, spending the money on other Liberal election promises.

Now it is delaying a vote of confidence. Will the Prime Minister stop these stalling tactics, face Canadians and call a confidence vote on Monday?

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

Noon

Richmond Hill Ontario

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, when we talk about confidence, let me say that Canadians have confidence in this government because of the work we have done on the environment. They have confidence in our plan in moving forward on climate change.

The question is, why is that member not confident in Canadians and not supporting the budget, which is the greenest budget in Canadian history and which will help in the Sydney tar ponds, help deal with pollution and help deal with the health of Canadians? The real question is, what are they afraid of? We are not afraid. We are not afraid of Canadians. We are not afraid of the truth.

It is unfortunate that those members clearly have taken a different position than the majority of Canadians when it comes to the budget and investing in Canadians.

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

Noon

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, the lack of confidence in the government is also seriously affecting Canada's image abroad. Journalists everywhere are wondering about the deterioration of Canada's political practices. They are talking increasingly of the government's loss of moral authority to manage the affairs of state.

Does the Prime Minister understand that his hanging on in defiance of the decisions of the House discredits his government daily along with Canada's image abroad.

This is why a vote on Monday is absolutely essential—