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House of Commons Hansard #120 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was ndp.

Topics

BroadcastingOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Maka Kotto Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, if I understood the Minister of Canadian Heritage correctly yesterday, she said she cannot be both judge and jury, that she cannot act immediately, that she cannot appeal the CRTC decision on subscription radio before certain groups appeal the decision themselves.

Can the Minister of Canadian Heritage assure me that her words, as I have reproduced them, are a clear reflection of her thinking on the recent CRTC decision on subscription radio?

BroadcastingOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Jeanne-Le Ber Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, first, I did say yesterday that this is a highly complex decision and that it had taken the CRTC a year to reach it. We are going to take time to judge the repercussions.

Second, the groups or organizations wishing to appeal have 45 days to do so, and then we have 45 days to respond. We will meet our responsibilities and respond.

BroadcastingOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Maka Kotto Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will read an excerpt from the Broadcasting Act. It states:

Where the Commission makes a decision to issue, amend or renew a licence, the Governor in Council may...on, on petition in writing...or on the Governor in Council's own motion, by order, set aside the decision or refer the decision back to the Commission for reconsideration and hearing of the matter by the Commission.

Why does the minister maintain that she needs to wait for certain groups to appeal before she acts, when the legislation clearly stipulates that she may do so on her own initiative?

BroadcastingOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Jeanne-Le Ber Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the decision was released at 4 p.m. on Thursday. It took the CRTC a year to reach that decision and submit its recommendations to us.

As I said, the groups have 45 days to appeal and we have 45 days to respond. There is every indication that some groups will be appealing. We are, therefore, going to wait. In the meantime, we are studying the repercussions of the decision. I will not go back on my word.

BroadcastingOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Canadian Heritage made it very clear yesterday that she cannot be both the judge and the judged regarding the CRTC's recent decision on subscription radio. The minister is, in fact, neither judge nor judged. Her role is to appeal, as permitted under the law.

Will the Minister of Canadian Heritage stop talking about being both defendant and judge, which is not relevant here, and will she do her duty and ensure the Canadian and Quebec culture is protected?

BroadcastingOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Jeanne-Le Ber Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I have to say, with all due respect to the opposition, that I do not need their advice on protecting Canadian and Quebec culture.

That said, all indications point to an appeal by certain groups. In the meantime, I repeat, the decision is a complex one. We are looking at it very thoroughly. I will carry out my responsibilities, as I always do, to protect Quebec and Canadian culture. That is the story of my life.

BroadcastingOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like the minister to add one chapter that is not blackened to the history of her life. At the moment, francophone Quebec culture has a mere 2.5% of all satellite radio programming, something the Union des artistes criticized as well this morning.

In the name of the cultural diversity so dear to her, will the Minister of Canadian Heritage act immediately, not wait for the others, not wait until certain groups decide to launch an appeal, but appeal the decision herself?

BroadcastingOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Jeanne-Le Ber Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I said I will carry out my responsibilities and so I will. I need no lessons from anyone. I will do it with full knowledge of the issue. Period.

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Conservative Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, the government has not been forthright about the management of Technology Partnerships Canada.

For years this program has been justly criticized because virtually no money has been repaid, very few jobs have been created, and reviews and reports that have been promised have never materialized.

The Minister of Industry yesterday claimed that there have been no improper payments to lobbyists through the TPC program. If this is the case, why will the minister not release the results of the special audit today?

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the audit that we have done is part of a preventive audit that the department has undertaken as a proactive measure to ensure good administration.

We have found some anomalies in that consulting fees were paid to people to help clients apply for a TPC grant. Those grants have been extremely effective in helping to transform the technology of companies in Canada. They have helped create companies like Research in Motion.

We will continue to administer these programs with diligence.

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Conservative Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, this is over $2 billion of taxpayers' money and taxpayers deserve to know how their money is being spent.

The fact is that three Liberal industry ministers in a row have promised public reviews of this program, yet not one has ever been presented to the House or to Canadians. Billions of dollars have been spent, millions of dollars have been wasted, yet this program remains shrouded in secrecy.

Why does the government continue to hide the facts of this program? Why has a special spin committee been set up at Industry Canada to do damage control on the audit? Why will the minister not release the audit?

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, those hon. members have been attacking the technology partnerships program for as long as I can remember.

It is a program that is helping to transform technology in a lot of small and medium size companies in this country. A lot of them are in those members' ridings. A lot of those people are lobbying government for TPC grants.

It is a good program. We will be releasing the results of the audit that we are undertaking. We will be reforming the program.

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Werner Schmidt Conservative Kelowna, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Industry has publicly admitted that money from the Technology Partnerships Canada program ended up in the wrong hands. Yet despite assurances that he will get to the bottom of it, the minister is delaying the release of his findings until September.

Canadians cannot handle another cover-up. If the Minister of Industry is really serious about getting to the bottom of this, will he ask the Auditor General to conduct a full audit so that Canadians can be assured of the truth?

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I already said yesterday in the House that we would be releasing the results of the audit in September.

The reality is the audit is not complete. The audits are very complex. If the Auditor General chooses to undertake an audit, and I believe she will, that will be done whether I ask her or not.

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Werner Schmidt Conservative Kelowna, BC

Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for his optimism, but Canadians do not share it. I am quite certain he can understand why. They do not trust the government or its ability to manage funds properly.

Will the Prime Minister give his word that no moneys from the technology partnerships program found their way to the Liberal Party of Canada?

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, it is the usual hogwash, innuendo, name calling, attempts to smear.

All of the money that was paid to consultants who were helping clients obtain TPC funding has been returned. All of it has been returned, every cent.

Alberta FloodOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, as we all know, the province of Alberta has experienced significant rainfall resulting in severe flooding and the evacuation of many residents. While the situation has stabilized, numerous highways remain closed and there are several communities still under a local state of emergency.

Can the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness please inform the House what arrangements the federal government has in place in order to help in the recovery effort?

Alberta FloodOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, first of all, let me say that the government expresses concern for all of those in Alberta who have been affected by the flood.

The Prime Minister has spoken with Premier Klein and the mayors from a number of affected communities. I am in regular contact with those on the ground, including mayors and provincial ministers.

I have offered assistance, be it military, financial or otherwise, if the province believes it is required. The province can request financial relief under the DFAA. I have indicated to the Government of Alberta that if it makes such a request, we will move quickly to respond.

In fact, we should be able to advance dollars as soon as a provincial request is forthcoming.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is the first day of summer and Canadians are sparking up their barbecues.

Steak prices have not dropped, farm debt is rising and packer profits are soaring. We are living through the worst agricultural crisis in memory and two U.S. food giants are making out like bandits. Cargill and Tyson control over 80% of the slaughter capacity in this country.

What steps will the minister take to ensure a guaranteed floor price and protection against predatory pricing practices from these U.S. food giants?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, there are a number of measures that need to take place.

First of all, we need to increase our capacity in this country for processing meat and that has increased by more than 30% Second, we need to expand our marketplace simply beyond the United States. I am happy to say that we have regained access or established new access in 14 new marketplaces over the last year.

At the same time, we have provided either direct or indirect support to those in the cattle and beef industry and other ruminant industries, of over $2 billion. We will continue to support those industries.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am not talking about band-aid solutions to producers or allowing Tyson and Cargill to expand their slaughter capacity. We know that they control the shots on both sides of the border. The March 2005 boxed beef report says that packer profits have jumped sharply, while cattle prices have tanked. It is a virtual U.S. agri-monopoly.

What do we do with monopolies? We bust them up. When will the government stand up and bring in a regulatory pricing regime to insist that these U.S. profiteers are finally brought into line?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, it is not surprising to have the NDP characterize $2 billion as band-aids. That is in line with that party's philosophy.

Quite frankly, what we have done in terms of helping our cattle producers is to put in place a set aside program which has helped to stabilize the price. This has allowed them to get a much greater return from the marketplace than they otherwise would have.

The long term solution is to bring rationality back into the marketplace by balancing supply and demand. That is why it is important to increase our slaughter capacity. That is why it has increased by 30% over the last few months.

HealthOral Question Period

June 21st, 2005 / 2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Merrifield Conservative Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to privately owned health clinics, one of the biggest customers is the federal government itself.

The Canadian Forces spent $1.3 million last year and $1.6 million the year before that. Like the Supreme Court, the Canadian Forces recognize that wait times in the public system are far too long, so they are sending their patients elsewhere.

Is the Prime Minister opposed to our soldiers getting care from private clinics?

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, the Canadian Forces are not participating in the health care system with the provinces.

We get our health care where we can in conjunction with the needs for those services. We acquire them from the public health care system, but we do use private facilities when necessary to meet our unique occupational needs.

We have done that and we will continue to do that as we are not a part of the health care system of this country. We have unique characteristics and unique needs.

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Merrifield Conservative Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister says that he is opposed to a two tier health system, but he gets his health care from a private clinic.

Correctional Service of Canada spent $31 million on medical clinics and suppliers last year. The RCMP spent almost $250 million on medical clinics. Neither distinguished between a privately owned clinic or a publicly owned clinic.

The real question is why do the likes of Clifford Olson and Paul Bernardo get health care ahead of ordinary Canadians?