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House of Commons Hansard #113 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Nunavut Youth LeadersStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Nancy Karetak-Lindell Liberal Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, on Friday, May 27 the Nunatsiaq News published a feature called “Top 10 Under 35”. This feature highlighted several young people who have made extraordinary contributions to Nunavut and Nunavik. Nine of the honourees are from my riding, Nunavut.

I would like to make mention of these young leaders as we are so fortunate to have them as role models. The nine from Nunavut are Madeleine Allakariallak, Jolene Kuluk Arreak, Letia Cousins, Tanya Tagaq Gillis, Lori Idlout, Lucie Idlout, Jackie Price, Alexander Stubbing and Hamish Tungulak Tatty.

These young leaders come from various backgrounds, music, business, government and archaeology, among other areas. What they all have in common is a passionate interest in Nunavut and the desire and ability to make a difference.

I ask my colleagues to join me in honouring and congratulating these exceptional young people.

Rural Post OfficesStatements By Members

June 10th, 2005 / 11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Andrew Scheer Conservative Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, contrary to Liberal Party policy, rural Saskatchewan is an important part of Canada. Due to geographic difficulties, the rural people of Saskatchewan rely heavily on their small town post offices, yet the Liberals are trying to destroy this important part of our communities.

The minister's hidden agenda on post office closures has been uncovered by the Canadian Postmasters and Assistants Association. Some 750 post offices, several in my riding, are slated for closure. In many towns the closing of the post office will be a devastating blow to the few businesses still operating on the main street. At a time when Canada Post is seeing record profits, the government is cutting back on services. Post offices in small towns serve as a town centre, a place to meet neighbours and to serve the needs of their people.

I call on the minister to abandon his hidden agenda on closing post offices. He should stand up for rural Saskatchewan and help keep our small towns alive.

The BudgetStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the chronicle of Conservative budget shenanigans continues.

Let us go back to the beginning. First, the Leader of the Opposition said he supported the budget, but he abstained on it during the vote. Then he tried to split off various parts of the budget based on his own party's political interest. Then he tried to pull the plug on Parliament before the budget could be passed. When that did not work, he had his MPs support the budget while voting for an election that would have killed the budget just moments later.

Last weekend another member of the Conservative Party called for yet another part of the budget to be hived off into a separate bill. This time it was the gas tax portion of the budget. What irony, considering that the Conservatives have always been against a new deal for municipalities.

What will happen next? Canadians are sick and tired of these silly games. I join with the mayors of Canada's 22 largest cities and call on the Conservatives to pass the budget now.

Canadian SovereigntyStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, in its greedy push for even bigger profits, the Canadian Council of Chief Executives wants to eliminate virtually everything dear to Canadians.

Its plan for deep integration proposes to eliminate the Canada-U.S. border, impose American regulations, increase the foreign takeover of our energy resources, and create a common North American identity. That is just for starters. Goodbye Canada.

With deep integration our sovereignty and the institutions that we hold dear, such as public and universal health care, public broadcasting and affordable education, already menaced by Liberal underfunding, would exist no more. Deep integration uses security as a Trojan horse for the complete surrender of our sovereignty to North American big business.

Maintaining Canada's cultural diversity and strength is not negotiable. Maintaining social services that are integral to the lives of all Canadians cannot be traded away. Maintaining Canada as a free and sovereign nation is fundamental to our future.

Most Canadians reject this plan. The New Democratic Party will fight this threat to our nation with all our heart and all our soul.

BullyingStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Carol Skelton Conservative Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, in every community across Canada there is a tragedy in the making. Thousands of children are being bullied to the breaking point. Its consequences and causes are more complex than ever. Besides words and fists, bullies often utilize the latest technology to bully via computer from the safety and security of their own homes.

It is time we all worked together to protect our children from this destructive behaviour. Parents need to step forward and take responsibility for the actions of their children. Educators need to step forward and play an early intervention role in identifying bullies and victims.

More important, legislators and judges need to step forward with action, not just words. We need to provide judges with the tools to deal with the problem. We need to get tough with bullies. Judges need to use these tools to send a message of zero tolerance. We all have a role in stopping bullying. Let us get on with it.

Info-CultStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, this year marks the 25th anniversary of Info-Cult, an organization whose unique, intelligent and exemplary efforts in Quebec help prevent the exploitation of vulnerable people by cults.

Generally, the leaders of these movements use so-called new religions as a front for abusing their members. They exploit members' vulnerability, take over all their assets, or even require sexual favours. Mutilation and death can even be the final outcome. Everyone will recall the tragic events associated with the cult of Moïse Thériault as well as the Order of the Solar Temple.

The way to limit, if not totally eliminate, this type of exploitation is by amassing objective knowledge based on facts and making these known to the public. Info-Cult has been doing just that for the past 25 years.

The people at Info-Cult can be proud of what they have accomplished. I respect and congratulate them for all their efforts over the years. Long may they continue. Let us hope that it does not take another dramatic event like the Solar Temple mass suicides before the importance of such a worthwhile undertaking gains proper recognition.

Tom BrzustowskiStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Conservative Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Dr. Tom Brzustowski for his distinguished career at the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada, and for his devotion to public service and the betterment of science and engineering in Canada.

Many individuals and institutions drive the state of science, industry and innovation in this country, yet this coming September we lose a rather important one. Dr. Brzustowski has been the president of NSERC since 1995, but he will be retiring from this post in the fall.

He has always been very forthright in his opinions and in offering solutions on science, and research and development in Canada. Throughout his career he has served the goal of making Canada a country of discoverers and innovators, and for this we should thank him.

While his talent will be missed at NSERC, it will be appreciated by the world of academia to which he will be returning. I want to wish him, his wife Louise and their sons John, Mark and Paul well, and encourage him to use this point in his career to spend some time with his family and grandchildren.

The EconomyStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Marc Godbout Liberal Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, 35,000 new jobs were created in Canada in the month of May according to Statistics Canada's monthly labour market survey. This is more than double the monthly average of the four previous months and more than double the number projected by most economists.

Job creation has always been a priority of this and previous Liberal governments. Since 1993 over three million jobs have been created in the country.

Unemployment is currently at 6.8%, its lowest level in four and a half years. Let us contrast that to when the Conservatives left office in 1993. The unemployment rate was a staggering 11.2%.

Canada has the best job creation record of the G-7, the fastest growth in living standards of the G-7, the only balanced budget of the G-7, and the best fiscal performance since 1867.

Standing Committee on FinanceStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, on September 26, 1996, the member for Medicine Hat said:

When a six-year old child does not accept responsibility it is bad. But when adult men and women, capable people, people who are supposedly the cream of the crop, people who make up the caucus and the cabinet of the country, refuse to accept responsibility for promises that are on paper, which they campaigned on, it is scandalous. It is ridiculous. Is it any wonder people are so disrespectful of politicians today? Hardly.

Yesterday that same member bullied, cajoled and harassed an entire panel of witnesses into silence. The transcripts show the words “point of order” were raised almost a hundred times and the word “budget” only five times.

I demand that the Conservative finance critic and his obstructionist and bullying colleagues allow the business of the finance committee to proceed, and that they shape up or ship out, put aside their NDP envy, and get on to getting things done for Canadians.

HealthOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, no one in Canada is more responsible for the declining state of health care than the Prime Minister. The unilateral cuts to health care that he inflicted a decade ago do not come close to a fix for a generation that he boldly proclaimed last September.

Dr. Albert Schumacher, president of the Canadian Medical Association, said that the financial commitment was not nearly enough to provide the kind of quality health care patients deserve.

While the Prime Minister waits for his generational fix to kick in, what should Canadians do about their personal, lengthy wait times for surgical procedures, just pull out their credit cards like he does?

HealthOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister provided an additional $41 billion last year to ensure there is strong health care in Canada over the next 10 years.

The members on the opposition benches have spliced out their own history on health care. They cut out the fact that they left Canada as a financial basket case and a candidate for the third world. They spliced out the fact that they called for deeper spending cuts, and are trying to erase the fact that they have been the strongest enemies of the Canada Health Act and the greatest champions of health care privatization.

HealthOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, that is very interesting. This is what the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence had to say:

To save our medical system, we must embrace new ideas, such as allowing a separate, parallel, private system to augment and enhance our public system.

The Supreme Court said that as a result of wait lists, patients in Canada are dying. The Liberal government's cuts caused the crisis in health care, the loss of doctors and nurses, and the growth of private health care clinics. Wait times doubled on the Prime Minister's watch.

Did the Prime Minister not foresee the growth in private health care as a result of his cuts or is it, as Sheila Copps said recently, that the Prime Minister's hidden agenda was to have a two tier health care system?

HealthOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I will read the hidden agenda. The Leader of the Opposition said in 2002:

Our health care will continue to deteriorate unless Ottawa overhauls the Canada Health Act to allow the provinces to experiment with more market reforms and private health-care delivery options.

That party is the enemy of health care. It is that party that wants to privatize health care.

HealthOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, this is what the foreign affairs minister had to say about private health care:

If some provinces want to experiment with private delivery options, my view is that as long as (provinces) respect the single, public payer, we should be examining these efforts and then compare notes between the provinces.

He went on to say:

I'm saying that the Canada Health Act does not preclude delivery of services by private elements as long as there is a single public payer.

This is a government member, a minister of the Prime Minister's own government, saying that we are going down that road. How does he explain this basic, blatant hypocrisy within his own government?

HealthOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I have said this many times and obviously the opposition does not remember. In September 2004 all of the first ministers individually signed a health care accord. That provided $41 billion in new additional money over the next 10 years to ensure that the kind of privatization that members opposite are looking for does not continue to happen in Canada, does not happen in Canada, and that we make our health care system stronger than ever for all Canadians.

HealthOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Conservative Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, one of the things that Canadians in the past have been most proud of is their public health care system. In fact, every survey in the last 40 years says this is one of the things that helps define them as Canadians. Liberal cuts all the way through the 1990s have jeopardized this. That is why we are in this situation today, where the public health care system has been jeopardized by Liberal cuts.

Will Liberals get up now and apologize for all those cuts, and for threatening one of Canada's cherished institutions?

HealthOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, this from the sanctimonious opposition which in 1995 actually wanted deeper cuts than were made by the then finance minister. Those cuts had to be made. The government was compelled to make those cuts because when the opposition was in government, it left this country in the shape of a banana republic.

HealthOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Conservative Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, that group of people loves to quote other people. Let me quote the Prime Minister. He said, “For too many Canadians, care delayed is care denied”. It is too bad he did not do anything about it in all those years when he could have. Now all the Liberals' huffing and puffing is not going to change the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada.

Why do they not just get up and admit that they didn't fix it for a generation, but may have screwed it up for a generation?

HealthOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, using the words of the member who just stood up, they not only screwed up health care, they also had screwed up the economy when this government took over in 1993.

The fact is the 2003 accord provided $21 billion additional and the accord in 2004 provided $41 billion additional. We are on our way to setting benchmarks. We are on our way to setting comparable indicators. We are on our way to expanding home care. We are on our way to training more health care professionals in Canada. We are on our way to including more international medical graduates so that--

HealthOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

HealthOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I would urge hon. members to try to restrain their enthusiasm during the questions and answers. We cannot hear the answers or the questions if there is a lot of noise. I know hon. members do want to restrain themselves.

The hon. member for Rivière-du-Nord.

HealthOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Health said yesterday, “We continue to talk to the provinces where there might be contraventions”.

Are we to understand from this remarks that, in light of the Supreme Court decision imposed on Quebec, a decision that, I repeat, is not welcome, the minister has not ruled out the possibility of applying penalties that will have a negative impact on funding for Quebec's health care system?

HealthOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, yesterday's Supreme Court ruling did not call into question the foundations of our public universal health care system or the Canada Health Act, which is still in force today.

The federal Department of Health remains in constant contact with its provincial counterparts in order to assess the situation and make the necessary corrections when there are problems enforcing this legislation.

HealthOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, for two days now, we have been asking the minister for assurances that Quebec will not be penalized as a result of the Supreme Court decision.

I will give the minister one more chance. Can he provide firm guarantees to the users of the Quebec health care system that there will not be a decrease in health care funding for Quebec as a result of penalties?

HealthOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, frankly, I am having trouble understanding the Bloc's questions, yesterday and today, on the funding. The legislation continues to apply as it presently stands. Furthermore, we signed a health accord last September. The Premier of Quebec has a very specific agreement for Quebec. Funds, in excess of $9 billion over 10 years, will continue to be transferred to Quebec in order to allow for future improvements.

Perhaps the Bloc is disappointed, but Quebec has a very good health minister, who happens to be a Liberal.