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House of Commons Hansard #99 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, British Columbians were expecting to hear results of DFO testing of sea lice on wild salmon by mid-April, but the report has been delayed by weeks. Could it be because of the election in B.C.? Many marine scientists believe this report will show that open cage salmon farming is destroying wild salmon stocks.

Will the minister release the sea lice report today and let British Columbians see the results before tomorrow's election?

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Halifax West Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the sea lice study is being reviewed and finalized by our scientists. It would not be responsible to release the study before it is ready.

SudanOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Conservative Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, for over a year the opposition has been urging the Prime Minister to put together a meaningful and coordinated response to the crisis in Darfur. Last Thursday he rushed out with an announcement that we will be sending troops and cash. The whole announcement immediately began to unravel when the head of the regime in Khartoum said nobody had talked to him about foreign troops coming to Sudan.

I would like to know precisely, within the last week, did the Prime Minister talk to the head of the regime in Khartoum? If he did, why is the leader there saying that he did not? Why is there so much confusion over helping people in Darfur?

SudanOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to express to the House again that the government has been committed to the Darfur situation for a long time. We have exerted some leadership over the last few years. Senator Jaffer was appointed in 1999 to look into this issue.

We put together a very sound package last week. We have carried out consultations. The Prime Minister was in touch with President al-Bashir on May 11 again. We have been in touch with the United Nations, United States and NATO headquarters. We have been working with a number of partners and the catalytic leadership of Canada is well appreciated.

SudanOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Conservative Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, nobody else seems to know that Canada is talking to them. Darfur is one of the most dangerous places on earth.

Thousands of people have been murdered. Tens of thousands of people have been displaced. Women are being raped in a systematic way. We have now found out that the Canadians troops that are going there will be unarmed. The regime has said that they are not allowed to enter with the ability to protect themselves.

Did the Prime Minister know that our troops were going there unarmed when he made this announcement on Thursday? If that is not true, again, why the confusion? Why is the regime saying nobody is entering there with arms?

SudanOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member was at the committee meeting this morning when General Hillier, who is the head of our forces, said clearly he has been in the region. He has been negotiating with the African Union.

We are providing exactly the support that the African Union members have requested. Everybody recognizes that it is their obligation and duty. They are the only ones who can effectively supply the support that is needed for the problem in Darfur. We are giving them the backup they need.

We will not send any troops into Darfur or into any region of any country if they are not properly protected. The chief of our defence staff made that very clear to everyone at the committee meeting.

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Norman Doyle Conservative St. John's North, NL

Mr. Speaker, on Friday and again today the government has refused to give its consent to a motion splitting the Atlantic accord from the larger budget bill. All of the three opposition parties have agreed to separate the Atlantic accord from the big budget bill.

Why are the Liberals playing politics with the people of Newfoundland and Labrador and refusing to give their approval for a separate bill?

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Scarborough—Guildwood Ontario

Liberal

John McKay LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as the member knows, the Prime Minister and the premiers of the two provinces in question entered into negotiations and completed an agreement in the early part of this year. That agreement was reflected in the budget.

The hon. member's party opposite appeared to approve of the budget. Then, when the polls changed, that party appeared to no longer approve of the budget. If in fact the budget does not pass and the Atlantic accord does not see the light of day, opposition members will have to look in the mirror for the reason.

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Loyola Hearn Conservative St. John's South, NL

Mr. Speaker, in response to a question from me some time ago, the Prime Minister said he could not split Bill C-43 because it would be objected to by the Bloc. Every member on this side of the House gave unanimous consent to split the bill, bring forth the bill, and deal with it to give Atlantic Canadians their money right now.

The budget process will take months and the Liberals know it. Why is the government betraying Atlantic Canadians?

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Scarborough—Guildwood Ontario

Liberal

John McKay LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, a minor correction to the member opposite, unanimous consent was not obtained and the Bloc opposes any splitting of this bill. I would like to quote the hon. member's premier. He said:

I'd like to see the budget passed. I can't take partisan positions on these issues. I've got to do what's in the best interests of the people of the province.

That is exactly what the premier is doing. Presumably, the member's party will have to pay an electoral price for its intransigence on the budget.

EducationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Maka Kotto Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government has cut funding to post-secondary education and it is distressing to see that it has now gone one step further. Now it is investing thousands of dollars in propaganda measures in our kindergartens, and primary and secondary schools, in short a sponsorship program adapted to children and teenagers.

The government needs to understand one thing: it has no jurisdiction over education. My question is therefore this: what is it waiting for before putting an end to this propaganda, which smacks of being an unacceptable extension of the infamous sponsorship program?

EducationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Jeanne-Le Ber Québec

Liberal

Liza Frulla LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, it is absolutely normal for our schools to be provided with discussion tools on our Canadian institutions, Canadian diversity and anti-racism. I am sure my hon. colleague agrees with that, particularly with this weekend's evidence that most Quebeckers are very much attached to Canadian institutions.

EducationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Maka Kotto Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, with its sponsorship program, the federal government tried to buy the heart and soul, as well as the votes, of Quebeckers old enough to vote. Now it is trying the same questionable approach to younger Quebeckers.

Does the federal government intend to put an end to this propaganda which is not intended to educate our children in the least, but rather to shove Canada down their throats?

EducationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Jeanne-Le Ber Québec

Liberal

Liza Frulla LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, first of all, all children in every province receive material on our country. Quebec is not excluded from that. Second, the material is provided and teachers use it at their discretion. There have been no complaints from any school boards.

Third, as a mother, I would be very pleased for my children to have access to some of the history of Canada, as well. Whether we like it or not, it is not just Quebec history that needs to be taught; the history of the country needs to be taught as well.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Finley Conservative Haldimand—Norfolk, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government has no respect for rural Canada. Instead of enshrining property rights, it is eroding them. It is delivering less than 60¢ of each $1 of farm aid promised and Ontario just cut agricultural funding by 23%.

Why does the government refuse to respect the contribution that rural Canada makes to this country?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, that is absolutely and totally inaccurate. In fact, it is this party that respects rural Canada. It is this party that understands the importance of developing policy and an approach specifically tailored to rural Canada.

We see that in terms of our regional development agencies which that party rejects. We see that in terms of our infrastructure support which that party rejects. We see that in terms of our community futures program which provides access to capital for rural businesses and that party rejects that. Canadians clearly understand that we are the protectors and promoters of rural Canada.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Finley Conservative Haldimand—Norfolk, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is not enough to have policies. They have to be put into practice.

Rural Canada accounts for fully 40% of our exports. This is a huge economic contribution to our nation's well-being. Despite drought, frost, border closures and infestations, first the Liberal budget and now the NDP-Liberal budget only have money for more bureaucrats and consultants for these sectors.

Why does the Liberal government, along with its NDP allies, refuse to respect those of us from rural Canada?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, is it bureaucrat money only? A billion dollars of new assistance has been authorized for payment to producers and already three weeks after that announcement was made more than $700 million was actually paid out to producers. That is in addition to the $1.3 billion that has been paid out to producers under the CAIS program.

Opposition members criticize and suggest that the money is not flowing to producers. They are wrong. It is. The money is--

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for North Vancouver.

InfrastructureOral Question Period

May 16th, 2005 / 2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Don Bell Liberal North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, my province of British Columbia has already signed and is ready to have B.C. municipalities benefit from a $635 million gas tax deal. I understand that the province of Alberta has now joined B.C. with an excellent $477 million gas deal of its own.

Would the Minister of State for Infrastructure and Communities please tell the House what the consequences would be for the municipalities in B.C. and Alberta if the budget is defeated?

InfrastructureOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Don Valley West Ontario

Liberal

John Godfrey LiberalMinister of State (Infrastructure and Communities)

Mr. Speaker, we are delighted with the two gas tax deals we signed with British Columbia and Alberta, but the funding is at risk unless the budget passes.

If the opposition defeats the budget, all British Columbia and Alberta communities stand to lose funding. For example, greater Vancouver would lose $292 million; Kamloops would lose $5.7 million; Edmonton, $108 million; and Lethbridge, $11 million.

The municipalities are counting on this money for transit, water systems and infrastructure. If the opposition does not vote for the budget, it all goes down.

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie Conservative Oxford, ON

Mr. Speaker, it has long been known that the Liberal government invited the United States to use CFB Gagetown to experiment with the toxic and deadly agent orange in 1966. Press reports this weekend indicate the Department of Veterans Affairs has recently admitted that agent orange was responsible for the death of veterans who were stationed there.

In light of the government's inaction on this tragedy, can the minister inform the House why many other sick and dying Canadians have been ignored?

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Mississauga East—Cooksville Ontario

Liberal

Albina Guarnieri LiberalMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, there is no greater priority than serving those who have served the country.

Pensions are granted by Veterans Affairs for a service related disability with a pension process designed to give applicants every chance to show that their disability is related to military service.

We are investing heavily in ensuring that all veterans are treated fairly by the country for which they fought.

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie Conservative Oxford, ON

Mr. Speaker, for decades the Canadian military refused to acknowledge the Gagetown horror ever happened.

The government is currently addressing volunteers of chemical warfare testing, but it is silent on its involvement for those who were tested unknowingly. Will the minister now explain the government's shameful denial in assisting these affected members of our Canadian Forces?

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Mississauga East—Cooksville Ontario

Liberal

Albina Guarnieri LiberalMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, applications for disability pension claimed as a result of exposure to agent orange follows the same basic adjudication process as any other claimed condition.

The department has granted pensions in two cases since 2000 where sufficient evidence existed as causal relationship between agent orange and a veteran's condition. The department does consider potential causal relationships between exposure to agent orange and pensionable conditions where proven.

We will always go that extra mile to assist any veteran in need.