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House of Commons Hansard #111 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was young.

Topics

HealthOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, yesterday's motion was about cancer control, mental health and heart disease. It was essentially about the major chronic diseases. I said yesterday in the House that we had $300 million over the next five years for an integrated chronic disease strategy, and that is what we will do.

HealthOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Fletcher Conservative Charleswood—St. James, MB

Mr. Speaker, that answer is in contempt of the motion of yesterday and it is a slap in the face for all cancer groups in Canada.

Although this House decided yesterday to fully fund the national strategies for mental illness and heart disease, the government refuses to pay. Despite 12 years in office, the government has lagged behind governments in other developed countries.

For the cost of a Liberal scandal, these national strategies could be initiated. Why is there money for Liberal corruption but none for specific strategies, for mental illness and heart disease?

HealthOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, in addition to the $41.2 billion that has been given to the provinces, additional over the next 10 years, we have also funded research in the last year to the tune of $90 million for cancer. We have also given $10 million to the Terry Fox Foundation. We will be putting $300 million in a Canadian healthy living and integrated chronic disease strategy that will contain a significant element with respect to cancer control.

Audio Taped ConversationsOral Question Period

June 8th, 2005 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, with regard to the tape affair, we are inventing nothing. We are quoting the Prime Minister himself and not the tapes. On May 31, he said in this House, and I quote, “—when the member approached the government, I was obviously informed”. He added as well that an offer had been solicited. At that point, the Prime Minister knew there was a possible criminal offence and he failed to inform the RCMP of it.

I put the question once again to the Prime Minister. At what point did he know that the Conservative MP was soliciting an offer from his chief of staff? Was it during the negotiations or after them, once they had been made public?

Audio Taped ConversationsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I have said repeatedly, we are talking about altered tapes.

Second, we are saying very clearly that no offer was made.

Third, unlike the opposition, we do not launch accusations of malfeasance gratuitously. We are basing our action on the principle that all MPs act in good faith. We may be disappointed sometimes, but, still, that is the underlying principle.

Audio Taped ConversationsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will never believe that the Prime Minister was guilty of malfeasance. I am quoting him. These are his words. He is the one who said, “an offer was solicited”. I am not quoting doctored tapes; I am quoting Hansard . These are his words. I did not doctor them. He said: “—an offer was solicited”. It was he who said it. He knew.

I am asking him to stop avoiding the issue and answer us. When did he know that an offer had been solicited? During the negotiations or after them? That is the question.

Audio Taped ConversationsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister said that he was informed that the member for Newton—North Delta wanted to cross the floor. The Prime Minister said that no offer was made or was to be made and no offer was made.

The hon. member mentioned the RCMP. I would reiterate that the RCMP will determine whether there is anything to investigate in this matter. If the hon. member does have any information to provide the RCMP, then he should do so.

Audio Taped ConversationsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Charlevoix—Montmorency, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals' attitude is always the same and consists in denying and ignoring the whole issue. But the Deputy Prime Minister told us what to do when she said it was our duty to contact the RCMP. It is obvious that the Prime Minister knew what was going on, since he said, and I quote, “—the statement is absolutely clear that no offer was made, that an offer was solicited”.

The Prime Minister makes this kind of statement, but he never contacted the RCMP. My question to the Prime Minister is clear. When did he learn that an offer was solicited?

Audio Taped ConversationsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, that is essentially the same question. I understand that the hon. member also wrote the RCMP to lodge a complaint, I assume, or ask the RCMP to investigate. The RCMP will determine where there is anything to investigate in this matter. In fact, if the member has any other information he would like to provide the RCMP, then all members in the House would certainly encourage him to do so.

Audio Taped ConversationsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Charlevoix—Montmorency, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will again quote the Prime Minister, who said in this House, on May 31, “—when the member approached the government, I was obviously informed”.

Knowing that the member's move might be a criminal act, why did the Prime Minister act like an accomplice by refusing to report it?

Audio Taped ConversationsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister said that he was informed the member for Newton—North Delta wanted to cross the floor. The Prime Minister also said that no offer was to be made and no offer was made.

Automobile IndustryOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

Our auto industry workers are among the most efficient in the world. In fact, the GM plants in Oshawa are the leaders in North America when it comes to productivity and yet those workers now have to be concerned about the potential job layoffs announced by GM. They are also concerned, and all of us should be concerned, about the soaring trade deficit in vehicles in this country.

What plan does the Prime Minister have to increase the market share for vehicles that Canada and North America would share so that our efficient industry can be strong?

Automobile IndustryOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, the General Motors plant in Oshawa is among General Motors' top plants in North America. If we look throughout the auto industry, auto plants in Canada are among the top plants in North America and indeed in the world.

The Canadian government and provincial governments have been very active in terms of providing money for help, research and development, and retraining. A number of announcements made this year point to that very fact. I believe that under those circumstances this will certainly strengthen the competitiveness of the Canadian plants which is very important in a worldwide industry.

Automobile IndustryOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, we are now facing an industry in North America that is in considerable crisis. Simply sitting back and resting on our laurels is not going to be good enough.

The industry minister promised that we would have a plan for the auto sector by December. It is now June. When is the Prime Minister going to insist that his ministers deliver on these important issues on time?

Automobile IndustryOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I would think the hon. member would be congratulating the government on getting ahead of this problem. Through programs like technology partnerships and some of the investments that we have made in the automotive industry, we now have the strongest automotive industry in North America. We are going to stay that way. We have a strategy. We have been working with the industry to fine tune it. I will be bringing it to the industry committee in the fall.

Audiotaped ConversationsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I want to follow up on some questions that were asked earlier because I want to cut through a whole bunch of the spin that has been going around here.

The Prime Minister and his agents have claimed that the member for Newton—North Delta was soliciting an offer from them. If that is the case, why did neither the Prime Minister nor any of his agents ever report this to the appropriate authorities?

Audiotaped ConversationsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, this question is coming from a member who supports tapes about which, frankly, every day more concerns are raised regarding their authenticity. Expert after expert comes forward and says these tapes have been changed in some way. The hon. member across the way does not have the courage to stand in his place and say that the member of Parliament from his party was wrong. What he does is stand in his place and defend something that is indefensible.

The Prime Minister made it very clear that no offer was made.

Audiotaped ConversationsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I will ask the question again of the Prime Minister.

If the Prime Minister believed the member for Newton—North Delta was doing something wrong, why did he and his agents never report it to the appropriate authorities?

Audiotaped ConversationsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, it is clear that the Leader of the Opposition sees nothing wrong in defending a member who has altered tapes. Jack Mitchell stated:

These tapes have been edited. This is not a maybe. This is not something that's unexplained. This is not, “Oh, this is odd”. This is a definitive statement. The tapes have been edited.

The member opposite stands in his place and defends these tapes. John Dooher said:

This sounds to me, not only that this is an edit, but an edit done with something very crude.

He is an audio expert. The Leader of the Opposition sees fit to defend that. I do not understand why.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Monte Solberg Conservative Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, there is nothing cruder than the corruption over there.

The Liberal-NDP budget is making a bad situation worse. Some analysts are now saying that we could lose 100,000 jobs in the auto industry in Ontario alone. Meanwhile, many economists think the NDP budget deal will drive up job-killing interest rates. At the same time, the budget bill is going to kill tax relief for large employers like GM.

How much damage is the government prepared to do to the economy just for the sake of its deal with the NDP?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I agree with the journalists today that describe the tack being taken by the Conservative opposition as lurid speculation. I refer to the fact that when there was last a Conservative government in this country, federal spending as a share of GDP was as low as 15.3% and as high as 18.5%. Today it is less than 12%. We have the fiscal house of this country in order and it is going to stay that way.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Monte Solberg Conservative Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, I think workers who are losing their jobs today are not really interested in the minister's self-congratulations.

A jump in inflation will drive up borrowing costs on mortgages. It will cost Canadians jobs. It will mean a cut in living standards for all Canadians. Is it not just a little ironic and sadly predictable that this deal with the NDP will hurt workers the most?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the lurid speculation continues on the part of opposition members. When they say we are succumbing to a gimme, gimme philosophy, I would ask the hon. gentleman, exactly whom is he referring to?

Is it the provinces to whom we are transferring over the course of the next number of years $100 billion? Is it the municipalities who anxiously want the money from the new deal? Is it students who want better access to post-secondary education, so they can contribute to productivity? Or is perhaps the corporate community that wants some billions of dollars in tax reductions? The objective of the government is to balance fairly.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Bloc Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government is expecting a $2.3 billion reduction over five years in the employment insurance program, which means a reduction in services to the unemployed.

After diverting $47 billion from the employment insurance fund, how can the government announce that it intends to reduce services to the unemployed and make access to that program even more difficult?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Newmarket—Aurora Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I would like to point out to the hon. member that Canada has the lowest unemployment rate among all G-7 nations at 6.8%. In the last 10 years premiums have been reduced from $3.07 to $1.95 while benefits have been increased by $2.5 billion.

There have been a number of programs put in place in the budget to help those unemployed get back to work. There are also programs for those who are looking to get into the workforce to build knowledge and skills to meet the challenges of this economy.