October 30, 2003

BQ

Paul Crête

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Paul Crête (Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister, who is surprised that his laissez-faire attitude toward the behaviour of his ministers while vacationing at a fishing lodge is a cause for concern, was told by the World Economic Forum that Canada's ranking for competitiveness has dropped from 9th to 16th place in the world because of patronage in government decision making, which undermines investor confidence.

Will the Prime Minister review his position and take appropriate steps to discipline his ministers and earn his salary?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   The Economy
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LIB

Jean Chrétien

Liberal

Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the separatists are a little touchy right now. It is true that they are in trouble in Quebec. But coming back to the question, this gives me the opportunity, in connection with the article in the papers this morning about productivity, to seek the consent of the House to table a letter from the chief executive officer of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, Thomas d'Aquino.

He wrote Klaus Schwab protesting very strongly about this absolutely unacceptable statement made based on very little fundamental information.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   The Economy
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BQ

Paul Crête

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Paul Crête (Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, it does not sit well with the Prime Minister that the international economic community is criticizing Canada because of his lax attitude as Prime Minister.

Should he not realize that his attitude is affecting the perception of Canada's economic health? Has the time not come for him to discipline those ministers who do not abide by the ethics rules?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   The Economy
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LIB

Jean Chrétien

Liberal

Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I just said that very reputable international organizations have called Canada the best place to invest, that Canada ranks third in the world for competitiveness and that Canadian business people have dismissed as not serious the survey released today.

It was not a politician who said so, but Thomas d'Aquino in a statement made on behalf of business people.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   The Economy
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CA

Brian Fitzpatrick

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Brian Fitzpatrick (Prince Albert, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, the industry minister's conflict of interest problems continue. One of the supposed purposes of the Atlantic innovation fund was to assist small and medium sized businesses with research and development.

In July 2002 the government announced its very first commercial recipient: a $700,000 contribution to J.D. Irving Ltd.

Does the Minister of Industry consider this company to be a small business or is it just a payback for a fishing trip?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
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LIB

Gerry Byrne

Liberal

Hon. Gerry Byrne (Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency), Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, had the member done a little more research, he would have discovered that an independent advisory body, which provided me with recommendations, reviewed all applications. Over 154 applications were received. Funding was provided based on merit, based on the ability of the commercial entity to develop and commercialize technology that was of benefit to all businesses.

That is how the process was done, and that included this company.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
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CA

Brian Fitzpatrick

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Brian Fitzpatrick (Prince Albert, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals wax eloquently when they talk about helping small businesses. The reality is that the Liberals take care of their rich friends first.

Why is the Atlantic innovation fund making contributions to a very large and wealthy corporation when the money was intended for small and medium sized businesses?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
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LIB

Gerry Byrne

Liberal

Hon. Gerry Byrne (Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency), Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, perhaps he did not understand the answer to the first question.

This is an entity that provides benefits throughout the entire region. The forestry sector is extremely important to all Atlantic Canadians. The fact of the matter is that this was a joint research and development and commercialization initiative that went beyond the boundaries of just J.D. Irving and sons. It went to other entities, other research institutions. The benefits are very, very real for all Atlantic Canadians.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
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LIB

Mark Eyking

Liberal

Mr. Mark Eyking (Sydney—Victoria, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, now that the recommendations for the cleanup of the Sydney tar ponds have been received by governments from the joint action group, will the Minister of the Environment please tell the House what the next steps will be leading to the final cleanup of this hazardous site which is right in the middle of my riding?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Environment
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LIB

David Anderson

Liberal

Hon. David Anderson (Minister of the Environment, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, we are reviewing with the province of Nova Scotia, the government which has the lead on the cleanup plan, what has to be done. We are looking at environmental considerations, health considerations, risks and benefits, the length of time it will take to deal with the problem to clean up. Also the issues of future site use are being taken into account. We are looking at the issues of acceptability to the public and of course costs.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Environment
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PC

Loyola Hearn

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Loyola Hearn (St. John's West, PC)

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister brags about six balanced budgets. Let me say they were balanced because of free trade and GST, two good Tory initiatives, and his own horrendous program of social cuts.

The Minister of Agriculture said in September, “We are pleased that APF programs are now available to industry”. Regrettably almost two months later, not a single cent has flowed. When will the Minister of Agriculture start delivering the beef?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Agriculture
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LIB

Claude Duplain

Liberal

Mr. Claude Duplain (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I am sorry, but I did not hear the question.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Agriculture
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PC

Norman E. Doyle

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Norman Doyle (St. John's East, PC)

Mr. Speaker, let me repeat the hon. member's question for him.

In Newfoundland the agricultural industry employs more than 4,000 people and is valued at more than $500 million annually to our provincial economy.

Newfoundland and Labrador was the first province in all of Canada to sign on to the agricultural policy framework agreement in May of this year. As the member for St. John's West was about to say, it is now five months after the agreement was signed and still not a single penny has flowed to the agricultural industry in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

How can the Minister of Agriculture justify that prolonged delay with the APF agreement?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Agriculture
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LIB

Claude Duplain

Liberal

Mr. Claude Duplain (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the agricultural policy framework agreements have been signed. I cannot answer the question, because I do not know exactly why these funds have not been delivered. Still, the framework agreement with Newfoundland has been signed and the funds should be there any minute now, if not sooner.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Agriculture
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NDP

Bev Desjarlais

New Democratic Party

Mrs. Bev Desjarlais (Churchill, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, as my colleague from Winnipeg—Transcona has stated, the NDP is concerned about the government's commitment to follow through on VIA Rail funding.

The next Liberal leader's family has interests in the bus industry which is actively lobbying against VIA. There is a conflict and there is a way to lock in funding. The Prime Minister can give VIA 10% of the surplus right now before the new leader scraps it. Will he do that? Will he get the funds to VIA now?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Transport
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LIB

Marcel Proulx

Liberal

Mr. Marcel Proulx (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the government is committed to providing a safe, efficient and environmentally responsible transportation system for Canadians. This investment demonstrates the government's commitment to the continued rehabilitation of Canada's passenger rail services.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Transport
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NDP

Yvon Godin

New Democratic Party

Mr. Yvon Godin (Acadie—Bathurst, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Human Resources Development has just learned that self-employed workers would be prepared to pay into EI in order to receive benefits. This, according to her, is something new.

The minister must have forgotten about my report, published in 1999, on the human side of employment insurance. It mentioned this, as did my Bill C-406, which she voted against.

Is the Minister of Human Resources Development prepared to make a commitment to self-employed workers, and to do what is necessary to make them eligible for employment insurance now?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Employment Insurance
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LIB

Jane Stewart

Liberal

Hon. Jane Stewart (Minister of Human Resources Development, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member's question gives me yet another chance to congratulate the members of the Prime Minister's task force for the work they did in speaking with over 1,000 women entrepreneurs.

In that report they did make reference to the importance of parental benefits. We indeed will follow up on their report and see which way is best associated to deal with self-employed workers in this regard.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Employment Insurance
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CA

Gerry Ritz

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Gerry Ritz (Battlefords—Lloydminster, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, for years now the Canadian elk industry has been fighting issues concerning closed borders all by itself.

Its producers have been denied access to the U.S. and Korean markets without so much as a whimper of protest from the Liberal government. The Liberals have done absolutely nothing to address the elk producers' losses during this trade dispute.

Why does the government continue to deny elk producers a stand-alone chronic wasting disease compensation package?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Elk Industry
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LIB

Pierre Pettigrew

Liberal

Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister for International Trade, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the member's question could not be more timely. This morning I raised the issue of chronic wasting disease with the minister of trade of Korea who happens to be in Ottawa today.

We have agreed to work on it. Our experts will sit down and based on technical evaluations that we will make, we will work very hard at finding a resolution to the issue. This took place this morning here in Ottawa with the Korean minister.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Elk Industry
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October 30, 2003