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House of Commons Hansard #3 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebec.

Topics

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question.

The budget will be delivered shortly. We have indicated that there will be a paper on fiscal imbalance and the issues relating to that delivered with the budget. I will ask the hon. member to wait for the budget.

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, when they served on the Subcommittee on Fiscal Imbalance, the Conservatives, as opposition, voted in favour of the recommendation to increase transfers for post-secondary education.

Now that they can go ahead with that proposal and make it happen, why do they not mention it at all in the throne speech?

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, this is one of the issues that has to be addressed in terms of the broader discussion with respect to fiscal imbalance. There not only will be a federal paper with the budget, but the O'Brien report is to be delivered to the federal government probably in the month of May. The Council of the Federation has a report. Various provinces have delivered reports, some with their budgets, the provinces of British Columbia and Manitoba among others. I think the big city mayors and chairs also have a report coming in June.

There will be lots of reports and lots of opportunity for discussion.

AgricultureOral Questions

April 5th, 2006 / 2:45 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, the hour is dark for the thousands of farm producers gathered today before Parliament. In Quebec and Canada, the agricultural sector has suffered losses of $6.1 billion in four years, and the average net annual income per farm is barely $5,600. This is a historical low and further proof that the phenomenon is not a passing one.

What does the minister have to say to the thousands of farmers who have come to ask him for emergency help, asking him to change the way the measures announced in the throne speech are implemented and, specifically, to reveal his schedule?

AgricultureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is right. We agree that there is a short term problem for farmers right now and a longer term problem as well. We are taking steps in some ways to address some of those needs immediately. There will be more forthcoming in the days ahead. I urge the hon. member to wait for some of those announcements in the House.

In the longer term I believe the member is also right. We need to have a long term plan for farmers, working with farmers, to ensure that what we do not end up with is an annual pilgrimage to Ottawa to try to get what I think farmers deserve, which is a decent living from the hard work they do.

AgricultureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, farmers are justifiably worried in view of the statement by Canada's representative to the WTO that he did not feel bound by the resolution adopted unanimously by this House, which calls for the retention in its entirety of the supply management system.

With the minister's promise this morning to producers, will the government get the word clearly and firmly to its team of negotiators that they are not to touch supply management? It is not negotiable.

AgricultureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, we supported the system of supply management at our congress in Montreal last year. We supported the system during the election campaign and we will support the supply management system during negotiations at the WTO.

Child CareOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, thousands of Canadian families with children are on waiting lists for early learning and child care. Yesterday the Speech from the Throne made only vague promises of working with the provinces and territories. This is simply not good enough for those families.

Will the minister commit to honouring the early learning and child care agreements that are already in place, or will she acknowledge that she really has nothing to offer these families?

Child CareOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, our program does have two parts. The first part is to provide $1,200 in cash directly to the parents of preschool age children. The second part is to create incentives to create 125,000 new child care spaces across the country.

Child CareOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, as the waiting list for affordable places in daycare is growing daily, why is the minister stubbornly refusing to consider real solutions, especially in the case of the 165 places that will disappear in his riding?

Child CareOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, we are delivering two times as many dollars for our child care program than the Liberals ever did in 13 years. We are going to create 125,000 new spots, and we are going to do it in consultation and collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders so we make sure that it happens.

Our choice in child care delivery will take effect July 1, with the permission of the House.

EthicsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's conflict of interest code states that ministers shall avoid even the appearance of being under an obligation to anyone who might profit from special consideration.

The Minister of National Defence was a registered lobbyist until February 2004, representing at least 28 defence firms. Why did the Prime Minister appoint that minister in violation of his own code?

EthicsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I can simply assure the House and the hon. member that the Minister of National Defence has complied with all aspects of the conflict of interest code and will be an outstanding Minister of National Defence. He brings tremendous knowledge to an area of government that needs a lot of rebuilding after 13 years of that party in office.

EthicsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister claims the accountability act as the top legislative priority of his government, but his defence minister's list of former clients reads like a who's who of the defence industry.

Defence procurement represents nearly half of all government procurement. Why did the Prime Minister give that portfolio to a former defence lobbyist?

EthicsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, the Minister of National Defence is not only in compliance with all the conflict of interest rules of the previous government but with much more stringent conflict of interest rules that we are introducing.

I will only say that it is about time we had a Minister of National Defence who had some background and some knowledge in national defence.

David DingwallOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Pallister Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have been told two different stories about David Dingwall: first, that he quit; and second, that he was fired. Either way, the previous Liberal government--

David DingwallOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

David DingwallOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. member for Portage—Lisgar has the floor. I know that occasionally his comments cause some merriment in the chamber, but it seems excessive at the moment.

The hon. member for Portage—Lisgar has the floor and we will hear his question.

David DingwallOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Pallister Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Methinks he doth protest too much, Mr. Speaker. Either way, the Liberal government found a way to pay David Dingwall severance, $400,000 plus, just before election day and in secret.

The arbitrator's report will clear up many questions surrounding this sordid affair. Will the Prime Minister release that report?

David DingwallOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for his persistence in this matter. You will know that he has spent months, without success, trying to get to the bottom of the actions of the previous government.

I can confirm that the government has received the arbitrator's report dealing with Mr. Dingwall. Mr. Dingwall has agreed to its release and my officials are first making every effort to ensure that other individuals named in the report will also agree to its release. When we have achieved that, we will be all too happy to table it in the House of Commons.

Members of ParliamentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have a democratic right to be represented by the political party that they elect to represent them. The Prime Minister offended all Canadians when he seduced the member for Vancouver Kingsway over into his camp and talked him into crossing the floor.

Floor crossing undermines the democratic process and fuels cynicism. Will the Prime Minister use his new accountability act to put an end to floor crossing and these musical chairs once and for all?

Members of ParliamentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I do not think I have ever been accused of seducing anyone, even my wife.

Members of ParliamentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Members of ParliamentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. The right hon. Prime Minister has the floor.

Members of ParliamentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Harper Conservative Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member will know that what he is asking for is not the position of this party. I explained that in televised debates during the election campaign. There are members of the House who favour that position, and if a private member wants to bring that forward, it of course will become votable in this Parliament.