This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

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

Member for Newton—North DeltaOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Ottawa—Vanier Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger LiberalMinister for Internal Trade

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister was informed of the intention of the member for Newton—North Delta to cross the floor of the House and join the Liberal caucus. He told his senior adviser and the Minister of Health that no offer was to be made, and none was made. If members opposite have any other information at this time, it should be provided to the RCMP, which will decide whether or not an investigation is required and will act accordingly.

Member for Newton—North DeltaOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, the member confirms that the Prime Minister was informed, but what we want to know is when.

Does the Prime Minister realize that, by refusing to answer this very simple question, he is himself raising questions about what really happened in this matter?

Member for Newton—North DeltaOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Ottawa—Vanier Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger LiberalMinister for Internal Trade

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister was informed that the member for Newton—North Delta wanted to cross the floor of the House and join our caucus. He gave instructions that no offer was to be made to this member. No offer was made.

If the members opposite, who, incidentally, have already referred the matter to the RCMP, have anything else, they should contact the RCMP. In the meantime, they should let the RCMP do its job.

Civil Marriage ActOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Rob Moore Conservative Fundy, NB

Mr. Speaker, the committee studying Bill C-38 continues to hear from witness after witness that the Liberals' plan to change the definition of marriage will have an impact on basic freedoms in our country.

The minister has finally admitted what the Supreme Court told us months ago, which is that the federal government has no power to fully protect individuals from being attacked because of their beliefs.

Bill C-38 does not protect freedom of religion or freedom of conscience in any way, and the minister knows that.

Why is the minister rushing this bill through the House in spite of clear evidence and his own admission that it will have a negative impact on Canadian rights?

Civil Marriage ActOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I agree that it will have an impact on rights and freedoms. It will protect rights and freedoms. It will protect both equality and religious freedom.

I have continued to say that the legislation is anchored in the rule of law, in the charter and in the jurisprudence of this country which protect both equality and religious freedom.

We remain open. If there are any amendments that can give further certainty to the protections already there, we are prepared, within the democratic process, to consider such amendments.

Civil Marriage ActOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Rob Moore Conservative Fundy, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Supreme Court clearly stated that Parliament could not protect religious freedoms if the definition of marriage is changed.

The minister's response is cold comfort to those who have already been impacted: Bishop Fred Henry in Calgary; the Knights of Columbus in British Columbia; and provincial human rights commissioners from coast to coast who have been told to resign because of their basic personal believes.

Will the minister do the right thing and at least wait until all provinces provide legal protection for these individuals before imposing a new definition of marriage on Canadians?

Civil Marriage ActOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I would recommend to the hon. member to read the Supreme Court decision. If he read that Supreme Court decision, he would see that the Supreme Court refers to protection of religion as an expansive freedom. Indeed, former Chief Justice Brian Dickson of the Supreme Court of Canada referred to freedom of religion as the firstness of our freedom.

We will protect freedom of religion within our jurisdiction. The provinces will protect freedom of religion within their jurisdiction. We invited them to do that.

What we have is a compelling protection for freedom of religion in our law, in our jurisprudence and in this draft legislation.

Child CareOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Barry Devolin Conservative Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Social Development has admitted many times that the $5 billion promised for child care over the next five years represents only a tiny portion of the total cost anticipated. Using Quebec as a cost model, this national day care scheme could easily top $12 billion a year.

It is easy for the minister to wax poetically about the next great social program but Canadians want to know, overtaxed Canadians want to know, who does the minister expect to pick up the tab, the provinces, the municipalities or parents themselves?

Child CareOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Ken Dryden LiberalMinister of Social Development

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, many years ago people decided to invest in education. They decided to invest in health care. They knew it was important. They knew it was going to matter a lot to Canadians in the present and to Canadians in the future.

What Canadians have an opportunity to do in an early learning and child care system is to decide for themselves, now and in the future, how important early learning and child care is for this country.

Child CareOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Barry Devolin Conservative Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

Mr. Speaker, cash-strapped provinces and municipalities deserve to know what is further down the road on which the minister wants to take them.

I am glad he raised the issue of health care. When the Canada Health Act was introduced, Ottawa agreed to pay 50% of total health costs. Today that contribution has been slashed to less than 15%, mostly by the Prime Minister.

With the federal contribution starting at less than 10% for day care, how long until Ottawa totally abandons provinces and municipalities to carry the entire cost of this program themselves?

Child CareOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Ken Dryden LiberalMinister of Social Development

Mr. Speaker, I might remind the hon. member that the commitment of $5 billion over five years represents an increase of 48% on what all governments are currently spending on child care in this country.

If we look at individual provinces, for the province of Ontario by the third year it will represent a 69% increase. For Saskatchewan it will be a 95% increase. For Nova Scotia it will be a 90% increase. For Newfoundland and Labrador it will be a 130% increase. For New Brunswick it will be a 132% increase.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, the softwood lumber dispute has now been going on for more than three years. This trade dispute with the Americans has affected many communities, workers and industries.

Could the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec tell this House what concrete measures have been taken by our government to help the communities affected by this crisis, and could he also tell us about the impact of these initiatives?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

11:40 a.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 program was put in place in 2003. Since April 1, 2003, in Quebec alone, 325 projects have been approved and $32.9 million has been invested by Economic Development Canada. In total, investments of $149 million have been made, 1,820 new jobs have been created, and 2,402 have been maintained.

This is not to mention the pulp and paper integrated centre, in the Mauricie region, with $23.5 million, the boreal forest research consortium, in the Saguenay region, with $2 million, or the agreements with Quebec regarding the regular programming, which amount to—

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Winnipeg North.

Drugs and PharmaceuticalsOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health.

The court ruling is proof of Liberal failures. Let us take prescription drugs as one example and look at the costs. If we want to keep health care sustainable, we need to reduce the growing costs of prescription drugs. Have we had any action on patent abuses like evergreening? No. Basic steps, like bulk buying of drugs, have been ignored for nine years since they were recommended.

After 12 years why are we not bulk buying drugs yet?

Drugs and PharmaceuticalsOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, it is very clear from the 2004 accord that all jurisdictions agreed to work toward bulk purchasing. Most of the purchasing is obviously done by jurisdictions. We want to make sure that we have a national pharmaceutical strategy that includes bulk purchasing, speedier drug reviews and includes the issue of catastrophic coverage so that no Canadians would have to pay a disproportionate amount of money to deal with the necessary drugs they need.

HealthOral Question Period

June 10th, 2005 / 11:45 a.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, I think the health minister should spend less time hanging out with Conservatives and more time trying to do his job.

I want to talk about home care now. We know an aging population needs national home care. We know it is more cost effective. Do we have it? No. Just a parade of Liberal health ministers talking about it. In 1997, Allan Rock called it fundamental to the future, or maybe he did not. Maybe the tapes were doctored.

Were the tapes spliced or was another Liberal promise broken?

HealthOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I would suggest to the member that she read the 2004 accord which actually, in a very concrete way, provides money to all the jurisdictions across the country to expand home care.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, when the minister admitted before committee that the Liberal rent for nothing scam broke the law and the lease, he used ignorance as the defence. No one in the government realized that the company's CEO had become a senator. Nice try, but not true.

Yesterday we learned that the Prime Minister's office reviewed the deal and decided that this Liberal friend should get his money even if it violated the law and broke the lease.

Why will the minister not just admit that this Liberal rent for nothing scam went right to the top of the Liberal Party?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, once again the hon. member is wrong in the same way that he was wrong when he said there was no contract prior to lease payments because there was an irrevocable contract going back to 2001, two years before lease payments began.

The fact is that the contract said that when the building was completed and ready to be moved into, the lease payments ought to begin. They did because the government honours its contracts and pays its bills.

The hon. member makes grievous errors every day on the floor of the House of Commons and he never says that he is sorry or that he is wrong.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am not sorry for exposing a scam that had taxpayers pay 10 months rent for nothing.

As part of the Liberal rent for nothing scam, the minister admits that his Liberal friend broke the law. His solution was to just cancel the law, but there is a glitch. He could not cancel the law retroactively, meaning the fines for the period of the infraction when the law was still in place still applied.

Next week I have a solution. I am bringing forward a motion that would force the government to collect the fines of $100,000-plus from its Liberal friend.

Will the Liberal government--

Government ContractsOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Public Works and Government Services.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, in 2003, two years ago, the House passed a new code of ethics for the Senate. The fact is that part of that code of ethics involved the repeal of section 14.

The hon. member either does not understand parliamentary procedure or he is knowingly misleading people with these types of attacks on the other place.

Senate bashing was part of the old Reform-Alliance Party. Canadians did not buy it then and they do not buy it now. I would urge the hon. member to talk to his Conservative senators about some--

Government ContractsOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Simcoe—Grey.

ChinaOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Helena Guergis Conservative Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the minister said that she would speak very slowly for me. Today I am going to speak slowly for her because after 18 months on the job she still does not get it.

Her Liberal government is using taxpayer money to fund the Chinese government. The minister claims that this money is to set up a legal aid system, this in a country where people are tortured and disappear off the street. What good is legal aid when one cannot get a fair trial?

When will the minister stop giving money to communist China?