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House of Commons Hansard #127 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was organized.

Topics

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, I was referring to concrete measures to deal with rising fuel costs, and the answer I have just heard has no connection to that.

With gas at $1.05 a litre, it is estimated that additional costs to Quebec producers this year will be $52 million. Imagine what the situation will be when it is up to $1.40.

Will the minister come to the defence of farmers once and for all, and demand that his government compensate them for their additional expenses as a result of higher fuel prices?

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister of State (Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member may have some difficulty understanding what an input cost is, but the reality is the CAIS program does deal with increased input costs, including those for energy.

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, the measures proposed by the Bloc Québécois can be implemented without being impossibly costly for the government. All that is needed is some courage and concern for the public interest.

Does the government not think that a surtax of $500 million on the astronomical profits of the oil and gas companies would be far more intelligent than repeating the $250 million in tax cuts they were given in 2003?

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman's logic is a bit obscure. I am not sure that increasing taxes in this situation would lead to solutions to the problem.

To extend his logic, if there should be a sudden spike in the price of natural gas, would the hon. gentleman advocate some great new federal tax on Gaz Métropolitain or is it just Alberta and Saskatchewan companies that should be taxed?

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Since the Minister of Finance's decisions keep on getting reversed, I would ask the real finance minister, in other words the Prime Minister, why he would miss the opportunity to put a surtax on oil and gas company profits in order to return that money to where it ought to have stayed all along, i.e. the taxpayers' pockets?

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the gas companies are already among the largest taxpayers in the country. I would point out that on the latest figures that I recall when I was Minister of Natural Resources that the energy companies of this country to the federal government, to the provinces and to the municipalities were contributing over $15 billion in annual revenues to support public services like health care and education, and that was when the price was $35. Now they are contributing considerably more.

Criminal CodeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Vic Toews Conservative Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Justice stated that the Criminal Code is full of examples of mandatory prison sentences, including murder and firearms. He also said that American defence lawyers say that mandatory prison sentences do not work. Big surprise there. The fox wanting to help the chickens out here.

Is the minister proposing to eliminate mandatory prison sentences for murder and firearms offences because he philosophically is opposed to those mandatory prison sentences?

Criminal CodeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Northumberland—Quinte West Ontario

Liberal

Paul MacKlin LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

No, Mr. Speaker.

Criminal CodeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Vic Toews Conservative Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, the minister says that he is philosophically opposed to mandatory prison sentences and yet we have mandatory prison sentences. Those are in danger. Property crime rates in Vancouver and Winnipeg have now overtaken the worst American cities. In addition, thousands of serious violent offenders, including methamphetamine dealers, are getting house arrest, and the minister argues that mandatory prison sentences for murder and firearms offences do not work.

Is the minister proposing to eliminate them?

Criminal CodeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Northumberland—Quinte West Ontario

Liberal

Paul MacKlin LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I am not certain what the hon. member does not understand about the word no.

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Helena Guergis Conservative Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, another day goes by, another day of inaction from the government and high gas prices.

According to an internal 1999 Environment Canada study, the government felt that Canadians should be paying $1.40 per litre for gasoline. Has the Prime Minister stopped trying to implement this secret report or will he continue to gouge Canadians at the pumps?

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member would consult with some of her own colleagues, including perhaps the member for Medicine Hat, he could explain to her that the cause of the recent spike in gasoline prices is international market circumstances. The tax has not changed. The federal taxes are the same now as they were in 1995.

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Helena Guergis Conservative Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is only now that we are learning about the Liberal hidden agenda on high gas prices. The Calgary Herald revealed this in an interview with the environment minister. He said that high gas prices were actually good for Canada.

Will the Prime Minister admit that his environment minister is wrong, listen to Canadians and help them with the out of control cost of gas?

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, that is misquoting me. She would be unable to say that I have said that. It is not a quote.

What is true though is that we have structural growth of the energy costs. We need to be more energy efficient. The climate change plan that we have is a plan for efficient energy. The Conservative Party is against it. Canadians should not support a party that wants to go in the wrong direction.

Official Languages ActOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Françoise Boivin Liberal Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, protecting the linguistic rights of minorities is important to our government. That being said, what does the minister think of the Bloc members' comments on Bill S-3?

Official Languages ActOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa—Vanier Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger LiberalMinister for Internal Trade

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois is true to itself. When problems arise in applying the Official Languages Act—and they do arise and we do address them—they blow them out of proportion.

Nevertheless, when the Commissioner of Official Languages says that progress has been made over the past 35 years in every area affecting the country's linguistic communities, we do not hear a peep from the Bloc.

As far as the Quebec anglophone community is concerned let me say this. As far as this government is concerned the linguistic minority of Quebec will always be covered by the Official Languages Act.

Government of CanadaOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the government House leader.

We showed up in this session ready to get to work and ready to get something done for Canadians. What did we get? We got a do nothing legislative agenda that is filled with housekeeping bills, committee reports and even leftovers from the Chrétien years.

I have a very straightforward question. Does the government have a priority for the fall, and if so, where is it and what is it?

Government of CanadaOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt that our agenda in this particular sitting will work toward emphasizing and building the priorities of a 21st century economy, protecting and strengthening our social foundations and continuing to ensure that Canada enjoys a role of pride and influence in this world. We will have an update from the Minister of Finance who will reinforce our well-earned reputation for sound fiscal management, moving forward on measures to enhance growth and prosperity and foster Canada's economic competitiveness. I could go on and on but I know my time is over.

Electoral ReformOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Ed Broadbent NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the deputy House leader.

We have just heard another example of empty rhetoric. Last June the deputy House leader promised there would be action taken so we could begin the serious process of electoral reform by next Monday at the latest. Nothing happened over the summer.

Is this not another extraordinary example of the cynicism and empty rhetoric of the government that the people of Canada want removed from politics?

Electoral ReformOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa—Vanier Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger LiberalMinister for Internal Trade

Mr. Speaker, I can understand the eagerness of some members of the House to proceed with electoral reform.

Let me say that when the question came up in June about this matter, I had given assurances to the member that the government would take the report very seriously. The government will table its response to that report on or before October 20, as per House rules, and I believe members will see that the government indeed is treating it very seriously.

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Conservative Niagara West—Glanbrook, ON

Mr. Speaker, it becomes clearer every day that if one wants a government contract it all boils down to who you know in the PMO.

It is not just Liberal friendly ad firms that get rich at taxpayers expense. It is also Prime Minister friendly firms as well. A Liberal insider confirmed months ago that there were contracts issued to the PMO friendly firms with no competition. We now know that those contracts were worth over $71 million.

Why did the Prime Minister's friends at Earnscliffe and EKOS receive these contracts with little or no competition when they were actually just working on his behalf?

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I believe what the hon. member is referring to is the area of public opinion research. It is important to recognize that the Auditor General has recognized that with the public opinion research the government has conducted itself appropriately. In fact, the government has strengthened management of both advertising and public opinion research. These changes create more competition and improve the value for the Canadian taxpayer that we receive from these suppliers for the department. We are strengthening our governance and ensuring the best possible value for all Canadian taxpayers.

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Lunn Conservative Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, could the Minister of Public Works confirm that the RCMP attended the offices of Public Works sometime within recent weeks to take possession of numerous documents related to the sponsorship scandal which had not previously been disclosed to either the public accounts committee inquiry or the Gomery commission? Could the minister confirm that this is true?

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, no, the minister cannot confirm that because this in fact has not occurred to the knowledge of the minister.

Income TrustsOral Questions

September 28th, 2005 / 2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Monte Solberg Conservative Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, here is what a senior Liberal said in the media today about income trust unit holders. He said that Liberals do not believe there is a danger of a major backlash from angry investors because this group does not vote as a bloc. “They have no constituency. They don't count politically...”. Don`t you just love that Liberal arrogance, Mr. Speaker?

Why does the finance minister not just admit that the real reason he wants to gut the retirement nest eggs of seniors and investors is because they think they can get away with it?