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

Topics

Older WorkersOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Bloc Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister must distinguish between an adjustment program and an assistance program.

The government has raided the EI fund to the tune of $47 billion. But coming to the assistance of workers who are victims of a plant closure would only be fair and compassionate.

Why is the government, which itself cut the former POWA, refusing to put in place a new income support program for older workers unable to find work, so they could survive once their EI runs out until their pension begins?

Older WorkersOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Newmarket—Aurora Ontario

Liberal

Belinda Stronach LiberalMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister responsible for Democratic Renewal

Mr. Speaker, the current programming we are looking at will enable workers to develop their skills to stay in the workforce, not just to retire. There is temporary income support through EI, but we are also looking at active measures that will teach workers to develop and improve their skills with technology. We are working together with the provinces to ensure we develop the right programs to enable workers to stay in the workforce longer, if they choose, to have economic freedom and the choice to do so.

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister. One week ago the Supreme Court delivered its ruling on our health care system and it was a wake up call to protect and to improve public medicare.

Rhetoric will not cut it. We have had 12 years of that and the Supreme Court essentially has said it does not work. The health care accord signed last fall will not cut it either because it does not mention privatization, not a word.

We need a plan. The country is waiting for it. Where is the Prime Minister's response to the Supreme Court ruling?

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the very important federal-provincial conference, which led to the spending over a 10 year period of $41 billion, was in order to deal precisely with the issue with which the Supreme Court dealt. That is the issue of waiting times and the need to reduce waiting times, to increase the number of health care providers, to ensure the needed restructuring that will allow our hospitals to be more efficient and to set up a transition fund to focus on wait times.

We have dealt with all of that. It is now very important that it be put into place.

HealthOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister did not address the point. It has to do with protecting public medicare and the non-profit delivery of our services. There was not a word about that in his answer.

The Prime Minister wants to talk about serious issues, yet we saw yesterday the tabling of The South Beach Diet for heaven's sake. I am sure the patients are still laughing.

Let us talk about tabling something. Will the Prime Minister table, by the end of the day, the minutes of the meetings that he has held in the past week on the Supreme Court decision so we know he is actually working on the issue and not just talking about it?

HealthOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, what the hon. member does not seem to understand is eight months before the Supreme Court decision the federal government took the initiative to convene a federal-provincial conference to deal specifically with the issue of wait times.

The fact is we are working with the provinces. There have been extensive meetings, phone meetings and meetings of officials face to face across the country over the course of the last week, since the Supreme Court decision was handed down.

We take this very seriously. What is important to understand is what we are doing is strengthening the public--

HealthOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Cypress Hills—Grasslands.

Border SecurityOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

David Anderson Conservative Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, my constituency borders the United States for 150 miles. The RCMP is closing five detachments along that border. The result is that 100 miles of the international border will be left unprotected.

Why is the government deliberately abandoning my constituents and Canadian border security?

Border SecurityOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, the province, as the hon. member is probably aware, establishes the level of funding for provincial police services in the province.

In relation to the detachments in question, it is my understanding that the provincial government, the attorney general of the province of Saskatchewan, is in agreement with the approach being taken by the force.

These are matters that are left up to the force in discussion with the provincial government because they are in the province under a contract with the government of Saskatchewan

Border SecurityOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

David Anderson Conservative Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, this is not a provincial issue. It is happening all the way across Canada. This is a populated area of 5,000 square miles left without a single permanent RCMP officer or detachment. It will have 100 miles of unprotected border.

In the last two months the government has spent money like drunken sailors. The other night it just approved another $65 million for a useless gun registry.

With all that spending, why is there not enough money to provide my constituents with the same basic services that are granted to other Canadians?

Border SecurityOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, I suggest the hon. member perhaps talk to the provincial government in Saskatchewan. These decisions, as it relates to the deployment within the province where they are policing under contract, are dealt with in conjunction and consultation with the provincial government.

The hon. member should probably talk to the government of Saskatchewan.

Transfer PaymentsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Conservative Edmonton—Spruce Grove, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Bank of Nova Scotia released a report arguing that the “financial arrangements between Ottawa and the provinces are in a mess and need a major overhaul”, and that the government needs to take a holistic approach to solving the issue of the fiscal imbalance.

The Conservative Party has long argued the need to reform the equalization formula and address the fiscal imbalance with a national vision. When will the Prime Minister finally admit that a fiscal imbalance exists and that his government's continuing denial of this serious problem is undermining the relationship among all orders of government?

Transfer PaymentsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, in fact the decisions taken by the government over the last number of months have led to commitments that will see an incremental $100 billion transferred to support the provinces over the course of the next 10 years.

It is interesting that the report the hon. member refers to argues for increased tax cuts instead of transfers to the provinces. I wonder if the hon. member agrees with that.

Transfer PaymentsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Conservative Edmonton—Spruce Grove, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Bank of Nova Scotia report clearly states that the fiscal imbalance needs to be addressed for the good of our nation and the benefit of our provinces and our municipalities.

The Conservative Party of Canada is the only federal party that is listening to the provinces and municipalities and working toward solutions to rectify the fiscal imbalance. When will the Prime Minister admit that his approach to federalism is failing and is undermining the ability of provinces and municipalities to meet the needs of Canadians?

Transfer PaymentsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the premise behind the question is horse feathers. The fact of the matter is that the report the hon. member refers to argues for tax cuts instead of support for the provinces. I gather the hon. member agrees with that.

It also takes issue with detailed reporting requirements and targets for waiting times in health care. Do those members across the way also disagree with reporting requirements and targets for reducing waiting lists?

International TradeOral Question Period

June 16th, 2005 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, currently, only companies are authorized to file complaints with the Canadian International Trade Tribunal to protect themselves from unfair competition. Unions are calling for this same right.

Does the Government of Canada realize that not only companies but also unions need the right to file complaints in order to defend jobs threatened by dumping or other unfair trade practices?

International TradeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. minister—

International TradeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

International TradeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The very popular and honourable Minister of International Trade obviously wants to respond.

International TradeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalMinister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, if there are problems being caused in this country by unfair trade practices, we have our remedies under the NAFTA and we have our remedies under the WTO. We will work as we have in the past, such as with softwood lumber, in order to protect the rights and the jobs of our workers.

International TradeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the world has changed and the Liberals are confused. It is the Minister of Finance who is responsible for the Canadian International Trade Tribunal. Clearly, trade legislation in Canada is outdated. These days, companies here often outsource part of their production.

Will the government admit that some companies sometimes refuse to file a complaint simply because it suits them not to and that the workers who do not have this right are left powerless to do anything in situations that may mean loss of jobs?

International TradeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

London North Centre Ontario

Liberal

Joe Fontana LiberalMinister of Labour and Housing

Mr. Speaker, I beg to differ. The unions and workers in this country and those working for foreign companies have the opportunity to lodge any complaint against unfair working practices. It is this government that protects workers' rights. They do have the right to complain. We have an agreement with NAFTA. We have agreements with other countries to protect working conditions, working standards and labour standards.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, a jurisdictional dispute, which has been going on for two years now, is preventing Quebec parents wishing to adopt children from Vietnam from doing so. As it happens, the President of Vietnam will be visiting Canada in late June.

Ottawa has been dragging its feet on this matter for two years. Does the Minister of Foreign Affairs intend to at last sign an agreement during the President of Vietnam's visit to Ottawa later this month?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the negotiations have intensified and considerable progress has been made in recent days. I hope that this difficult situation can be resolved, for the sake of those wishing to start or expand their families, and for the sake of these Vietnamese children, whom their government is anxious to protect with an international treaty having the effect of international law. I very much hope that we will be able to conclude the negotiations within days.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, using China as an example, the federal government had signed a comprehensive agreement, but the appendix on adoption mechanisms was signed by Quebec, since it has exclusive jurisdiction over adoption procedures.

Why is the Minister of Foreign Affairs hesitant to use the same procedure here? Why not sign the comprehensive agreement with Vietnam as soon as possible, and then let Quebec integrate its own agreement on adoption mechanisms subsequently, particularly since Vietnam and Quebec reached agreement on that two years ago?