November 18, 2005

LIB

Robert Thibault

Liberal

Hon. Robert Thibault (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to inform the hon. members of the House that the Minister of Health and legal representatives for individuals affected with the hepatitis C virus through the blood system before 1986 and after July 1, 1990, today announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding committing the federal government to provide compensation to those individuals.

Discussions will continue on both sides as both sides negotiate the amounts and categories of compensation. By entering into this MOU, both sides have made a clear commitment to the ongoing negotiation process. The federal government will compensate the pre-1986, post-1990 class because it is the right and responsible thing to do.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Health
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NDP

Nathan Cullen

New Democratic Party

Mr. Nathan Cullen (Skeena—Bulkley Valley, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, the amount of false bluster being displayed by the Liberals over the past few days has been nothing short of astonishing for Canadians. It is the same sort of attitude the government has shown toward the environment over the past 13 years.

While everyone knows the Liberals are masters of spin, Canadians are starting to learn the truth about what is happening in our environment. Yesterday the Commissioner of the Environment expressed justifiable skepticism at the government's latest promise to develop a sustainable development strategy for the environment, asking, “How will this effort succeed where others have failed?”

The result is that we are on the eve of an international conference on the environment where Canada's record will be held up as what not to do when it comes to the environment. My question is for the Minister of the Environment. What makes him think that he has any credibility with Canadians on this file?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Environment
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LIB

Geoff Regan

Liberal

Hon. Geoff Regan (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I am surprised that my hon. colleague from the NDP would ask a question on the matter of the environment today, the day after respected Canadian environmentalist Elizabeth May, president of the Sierra Club of Canada, publicly stated that it is critical that the government be fully functional for the COP 11 meeting in Montreal on climate change.

In fact, she said yesterday that for an election to be going on during the course of this conference would be the nightmare scenario that every environmental activist around the world has been hoping would not happen.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Environment
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NDP

Libby Davies

New Democratic Party

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, under Liberal and Conservative governments, more than 11,000 Canadian companies have been lost to foreign ownership, even though 97% of these takeovers have resulted in job losses.

Why did this government sell out Canadians and rubber stamp the takeover of Terasen Gas? Losing control of our natural resources is losing control of our sovereignty. Why are the Liberals allowing this to happen against the wishes of Canadians? Why was Kinder Morgan allowed to take over Terasen Gas?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Industry
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LIB

Jerry Pickard

Liberal

Hon. Jerry Pickard (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the minister removed himself from this situation because at one point he was on the board of Terasen Gas.

However, Kinder Morgan is a large company that certainly has a great deal of expertise. In all of its operations it will have to operate under Canadian law. The fact is that it will be able to advance our situation in Canada far more with the capital it has, the resources it has and the expertise it has. I believe Canada, on the measure, is going to be the big winner with this takeover and, quite frankly, Canada will move forward very well.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Industry
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CPC

Leon Benoit

Conservative

Mr. Leon Benoit (Vegreville—Wainwright, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, in September, the Minister of Finance recklessly and irresponsibly cancelled advance tax rulings on income trusts. This has destroyed the savings of seniors, pension funds and some teachers' funds, the funds of ordinary Canadians saving for retirement. The minister does not seem to care at all about seniors and hard-working Canadians.

Will the Minister of Finance continue his attack on seniors, teachers and other Canadians saving for retirement? Or will he tell us specifically on what day he will announce his decision on income trusts?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Income Trusts
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LIB

Ralph Goodale

Liberal

Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, many of the allegations embedded in the hon. gentleman's preamble are just plainly, flatly false.

I would remind him that this government raised RRSP limits. We removed the foreign property rule. We are increasing the GIS. We are reducing taxes. We are removing 240,000 seniors from the tax rolls. We have revised the CPP to make it actuarially sound for 75 years. We have indexed the entire tax system to protect against inflation. We have acted, we are acting and we will indeed continue to act in the best interests of Canadian seniors.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Income Trusts
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CPC

Leon Benoit

Conservative

Mr. Leon Benoit (Vegreville—Wainwright, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that this minister and his government continue their attack on seniors. It is sad and disturbing. First his government steals millions of tax dollars from these hard-working Canadians to fund Liberal election campaigns and now he slashes their savings by irresponsible action against their savings in income trusts. That is the truth.

Canadian seniors know they can never trust this government again. Is this minister going to continue to beat up on seniors or will he announce his decision on income trusts? When is he going to make that announcement?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Income Trusts
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LIB

Ralph Goodale

Liberal

Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman's repeating of a falsehood louder and louder still does not make it true. The fact of the matter, among many other things, is that this government has taken 860,000 low income taxpayers off the rolls altogether, including 240,000 seniors. We are increasing the GIS as of January 1.

That is an interesting point. Who acts for senior citizens in this country? Is it the party that is proposing to increase the guaranteed annual supplement as of January 1 and again on January 1 of the next year or the party that would propose to cut that off?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Income Trusts
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CPC

Ed Komarnicki

Conservative

Mr. Ed Komarnicki (Souris—Moose Mountain, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the minister in charge of the Canadian Wheat Board continues to drag his feet on raising the initial price of board grains. A month ago, he advised this House that he was addressing the issue “as we speak”, and “I will be responding...immediately”, he said.

He said the same thing yesterday. The minister's idea of soon is adding unnecessarily to the stress and bankruptcy of western Canadian farmers.

The government has promised election goodies to everyone except cash-strapped farmers. Why will this minister not do the right thing and just give farmers back their money?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canadian Wheat Board
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LIB

Stephen Owen

Liberal

Hon. Stephen Owen (Minister of Western Economic Diversification and Minister of State (Sport), Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, the Canadian Wheat Board is independent and acts at arm's length from the Government of Canada. In fact, 10 of 15 members of the Canadian Wheat Board are members of the farm community and five are appointed by the Government of Canada.

The hon. member's question is better posed to those farmers who control the Canadian Wheat Board.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canadian Wheat Board
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CPC

Ed Komarnicki

Conservative

Mr. Ed Komarnicki (Souris—Moose Mountain, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, farmers, farm groups and the Canadian Wheat Board have asked the minister to raise the initial prices and the minister has failed to do so. He is putting a veto on the Canadian Wheat Board, which is still controlled by the government. It is time that he act and act now.

There is absolutely no reason why this minister cannot make a decision here and now, today. Where I come from, immediately means within 24 hours, same day, not months.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canadian Wheat Board
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LIB

Stephen Owen

Liberal

Hon. Stephen Owen (Minister of Western Economic Diversification and Minister of State (Sport), Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member can be certain and have confidence in the fact that the President of the Treasury Board, who acts as minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board, takes every issue of advice and information into account as he makes the important decisions that are necessary to promote the interests of farmers in our country.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canadian Wheat Board
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BQ

Bernard Bigras

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Bernard Bigras (Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Environment changes his speech according to whether he is talking to the Montreal or Toronto media. He tells the francophone media that rushing into an election will hurt the conference in Montreal and the Canadian press that he will avoid campaigning in order to ensure the success of the conference.

Will the minister admit that if he fails to reach a fair agreement with Quebec, one that respects the efforts that have already been made, he will send a very poor signal on the eve of the Montreal conference?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Environment
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LIB

Geoff Regan

Liberal

Hon. Geoff Regan (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada is honoured to be hosting this very important conference. The Minister of the Environment is doing an excellent job preparing for this event.

Canadians know the impact of climate change. Canadians know what it will be. They want politicians to work together to do something about it. The international community gets it, the government gets it, but that party wants to bring the government down and prevent us from playing a full leadership role at that meeting.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Environment
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BQ

Bernard Bigras

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Bernard Bigras (Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, in his negotiations with Quebec, is the minister prepared to make a formal commitment to compensate Quebec fairly for the hydro-electric projects that improve Canada's record, the cost of which was borne exclusively by Quebec?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Environment
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LIB

Lucienne Robillard

Liberal

Hon. Lucienne Robillard (President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, at the moment, the federal and Quebec departments are involved in intense discussions. We hope to reach a conclusion shortly.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Environment
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CPC

Rick Casson

Conservative

Mr. Rick Casson (Lethbridge, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, this week a 30 year old sex predator from Texas who was charged with luring a 14 year old Ottawa boy to a hotel for sex and the production of child pornography was let go with a slap on the wrist. Canada has become a destination for sex tourists who prey on our children by exploiting weak Liberal laws. We repeatedly have warned the minister about the threat to our children.

In light of this alarming reality will the justice minister now commit to protecting our children by raising the age of sexual consent?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Justice
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LIB

Irwin Cotler

Liberal

Hon. Irwin Cotler (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I want to respond to yet another case of fearmongering at this point. I want to make it clear that there can never be any consent to any sexual assault regardless of age. We have adopted legislation with those members' approval so that no such crime can be committed.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Justice
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CPC

Guy Lauzon

Conservative

Mr. Guy Lauzon (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in response to a question from my colleague from Yorkton—Melville, the public, safety minister said that she had no outstanding formal requests for RCMP officers. The day before the minister told the subcommittee on public safety, “I've received a formal written request from the Minister of Justice in Manitoba for an increase in complement”. She also said, “The Solicitor General in the province of Alberta after the Mayerthorpe tragedy asked for a significant increase in complement”.

Which of the minister's statements is false, the one made in committee or the one made in the House?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Royal Canadian Mounted Police
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November 18, 2005