June 5, 2003

LIB

John Manley

Liberal

Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, there have been funds made available for public transit in a significant way, not only through the infrastructure program, but that vehicle is also available through the climate change funds that were proposed in the last budget.

The point here is to create more availability of public transit. That is what the challenge has been in many of our cities and that is where the federal government is directly implicated.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Urban Affairs
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NDP

Libby Davies

New Democratic Party

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, clearly the minister has done nothing to dedicate more funds for public transit and, in fact, in a newspaper today he is quoted as saying he opposes a tax deductible transit pass because it would discriminate against people who do not work. The funny thing is that most of his beloved tax cuts discriminate against people who do not work.

Just where does this minister stand on public transit? Why does he support tax deductible business lunches, but he will not support tax deductible transit passes for people who really need them?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Urban Affairs
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LIB

John Manley

Liberal

Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I support public transit being available for people who can use it. The problem we have in many of our cities is the lack of availability of service. That is why our emphasis has been on constructing the infrastructure making it available so that people can then use it, not coming up with a very expensive scheme to reward people who already use it.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Urban Affairs
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CA

Jim Gouk

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Jim Gouk (Kootenay—Boundary—Okanagan, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, committees are charged with the responsibilities of reviewing the estimates of government departments and agencies. Recently, the transport committee reduced the funding request of VIA Rail by $9 million after VIA failed to explain why it needed even more money than last year. The minister has indicated he will move to overturn the committee's decision and put the money back.

Can the minister explain how he justifies circumventing the decision of an all-party committee so he can give even more money to his personal pet project VIA Rail?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Transportation
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LIB

David Collenette

Liberal

Hon. David Collenette (Minister of Transport, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member obviously does not understand the rules of the House. No one individual can overturn a committee decision, but all members assembled can and that is what I hope will happen next Thursday night when the estimates come forward.

I believe, with great respect, the members of the committee erred in their decision and they did not ask the right questions of VIA Rail. I have offered to go and I have been asked to go on Monday to explain VIA's estimates to the committee. Hopefully, that will make the hon. member more warm to passenger rail in Canada.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Transportation
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CA

Jim Gouk

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Jim Gouk (Kootenay—Boundary—Okanagan, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, in an attempt to defend the runaway firearms registry cost the Liberal government suggested that if MPs had done their job in reviewing estimates the huge cost overruns might not have occurred. The transport committee did provide that scrutiny with VIA Rail and it acted responsibly.

How does the minister justify overriding the work of the committee which is doing the very job that the government criticized another committee for not doing?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Transportation
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LIB

David Collenette

Liberal

Hon. David Collenette (Minister of Transport, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the transport committee was fully within its rights to examine the estimates and come to whatever conclusion it wanted. However the entire House of Commons has the right to pronounce upon that and they will do so next Thursday night.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Transportation
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BQ

Christiane Gagnon

Bloc Québécois

Ms. Christiane Gagnon (Québec, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the Montreal school board has implemented a plan to fight violence on television. From 1994 to 2001, acts of violence increased by 432% on the private television network in Quebec and more than 80% of these acts of violence were broadcast before 10 p.m.

Does the Minister of Canadian Heritage intend to support the demands of the Montreal school board, which is asking that violent shows and films be broadcast after 10 p.m.?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Violence on Television
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LIB

Sheila Copps

Liberal

Hon. Sheila Copps (Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I am certainly interested in receiving such recommendations. It is well known that a report on the diversity of broadcasting channels will be released by the Canadian heritage committee a few days from now.

If it is possible to review this matter, why not?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Violence on Television
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BQ

Christiane Gagnon

Bloc Québécois

Ms. Christiane Gagnon (Québec, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, meeting the expectations of the coalition formed by the Montreal school board will require changing the CRTC's mission.

How does the Minister of Canadian Heritage intend to handle this matter?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Violence on Television
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LIB

Sheila Copps

Liberal

Hon. Sheila Copps (Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I think it has been a year and a half now that the Canadian heritage committee has been reviewing issues pertaining to broadcasting. I know that the hon. member is on the committee.

Why not consider all these issues within the framework of a new Broadcasting Act?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Violence on Television
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CA

Betty Hinton

Canadian Alliance

Mrs. Betty Hinton (Kamloops, Thompson and Highland Valleys, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, the minister responsible for Status of Women Canada is supporting the idea of a “hate watch group” to monitor men's and parents' organizations across Canada. This recommendation is found in the report commissioned by the minister called “School Success by Gender: A Catalyst for the Masculinist Discourse”.

Two well-known and respectable organizations in British Columbia are on that hate list.

How can the minister justify spending public funds on an absurd list that promotes hatred against respected parents' organizations?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Status of Women Canada
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LIB

Sheila Copps

Liberal

Hon. Sheila Copps (Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I think the work of Status of Women Canada is actually to discourage hate against any person on the basis of gender.

I have to say that when I look at the literally thousands of women in Canada still working for 64¢ on a dollar earned by a man, the thousands of women in Canada working full time trying to raise a family on less than $20,000, and the fact that 7% of boards of directors across the country are women, I think we have a long way to go to achieve equality in this country. I hope Status of Women Canada continues its good work.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Status of Women Canada
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CA

Betty Hinton

Canadian Alliance

Mrs. Betty Hinton (Kamloops, Thompson and Highland Valleys, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, those are nice comments but they have nothing to do with the compiling of a hate list.

The minister spent 75,000 precious taxpayer dollars on a report filled with hate and inflammatory language that does nothing to raise the status of women but everything to denigrate men, families and parent organization volunteers.

We know Liberals have contempt for Canadians but never suspected they would subsidize groups to demonstrate that contempt.

Why did the minister spend $75,000 on a project that is a poorly disguised attack on men and the family unit?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Status of Women Canada
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LIB

Sheila Copps

Liberal

Hon. Sheila Copps (Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I find it troubling that the member is referring to work done by three professors at Université Laval. If she does not agree with recognized work done by universities on the issue of gender equality, that is her prerogative. However, I think the Government of Canada has a duty to ensure equality between men and women.

Three professors from Université Laval have conducted a study; we should at least look at it.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Status of Women Canada
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LIB

Rose-Marie Ur

Liberal

Mrs. Rose-Marie Ur (Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I am aware that the responsibility for dead stock removal is under the jurisdiction of the provincial governments. In Ontario, the legislation that deals specifically with this issue is the Dead Animal Disposal Act.

Although it is clearly stated in provincial legislation that dead stock removal is the responsibility of the provincial government, there have been increasing discussions in the Province of Ontario that the federal government does have a role to play in regard to this matter.

Could the Minister of Agriculture please tell the House and the residents in the Province of Ontario whether the federal government has a role in the removal of dead stock in Ontario?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Agriculture
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LIB

Lyle Vanclief

Liberal

Hon. Lyle Vanclief (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member has said, dead stock removal comes under the jurisdiction of the provinces. The provinces are responsible, as well, for groundwater and waste management within their jurisdiction. They have guidelines and standards for that.

Canadian farmers are well-known and have a good reputation for obeying those standards and guidelines, as are waste and landfill sites. I expect and I know they will live up to both the guidelines and the standards.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Agriculture
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CA

Scott Reid

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Scott Reid (Lanark—Carleton, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, last week the president of the Liberal Party stated “I think [Bill C-24] fuels the cynical fires”.

If he thought Canadians felt cynical then, he can just imagine how they feel today upon discovering that, to placate his backbench, the Prime Minister has doubled Bill C-24's annual taxpayer gift to the Liberal Party to $9 million, year in and year out.

Why should taxpayers be on the hook just because the Liberals want to be the recipients of the gift that keeps on giving?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Canada Elections Act
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LIB

Don Boudria

Liberal

Hon. Don Boudria (Minister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, let me start by thanking all hon. members who worked tirelessly on the procedure and House affairs committee for their very diligent work in reviewing Bill C-24 which was reported to the House today. Apparently they will have additional recommendations to make to us. Given that they have not been tabled, I surely will not comment on them.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Canada Elections Act
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CA

Scott Reid

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Scott Reid (Lanark—Carleton, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are unimpressed by the Prime Minister's decision to replace corporate donations with forced donations from taxpayers.

As the keystone of the Prime Minister's precious legacy, why does he not take the high road, eliminate corporate donations and require the Liberal Party of Canada to raise its money from individual donors who actually want to give money to the party, rather than picking the pockets of every taxpayer in this country?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Canada Elections Act
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June 5, 2003