House of Commons Hansard #118 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebec.

Topics

Industry
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Industry
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Dennis Mills Broadview—Greenwood, ON

The Reform Party does not seem to show a lot of interest here in the government's commitment toward small and medium sized business. This is National Services Month.

The service companies of this country employ close to 9 million Canadians and the Government of Canada has made a commitment to work with the service organizations of this country to make sure that they are properly equipped to be more competitive as we head into a global trading experience. We are adding all kinds of support to the FBDB and to the rest of the Department of Industry to make sure that the service companies of this country are looked after.

Industry
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Industry
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

I am sure we will all agree that all questions should have the same weight and they should be getting an answer that we all listen to. I would encourage you that when questions are asked we give the responder a chance to get the answer out.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, I too would like to change the line of questioning. The Liberals of the 1990s are scandalously similar to the Liberals of the 1970s, smacking of allegations and conflict of interest.

In 1971 our present Prime Minister called a Quebec judge. Regardless of the reason he maintained he could call since he was acting just as a member of Parliament and not as a minister. Sound familiar? He did not say that was a mistake.

Could this be the reason 20 years later why the Prime Minister will not ask this minister to resign because he could not hold this minister to a higher level of responsibility than he himself had?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I am surprised and disappointed at the line of questioning of the hon. member.

The fact is there is no one in this House who has a greater sense of integrity or honesty than the Prime Minister.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, in 1976 Prime Minister Trudeau brought in guidelines that stated: "Nor may any member of cabinet communicate with members of quasi-judicial bodies", except of course through the proper formal channels. Even in 1984 Mr. Mulroney put guidelines in place.

Are these guidelines of the 1970s and the 1980s not good enough for these Liberals of the 1990s? Will the Prime Minister live up to that fine sense of integrity and ask this minister to resign?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I think the hon. member is somehow leaving the impression with the public that this guideline is in someway different from the guidelines that have been in place in the past.

The guideline the Prime Minister instituted with respect to quasi-judicial bodies was the guideline that had been in place for more than a decade. The guideline is obviously not clear and that is why last Friday the Prime Minister asked the ethics counsellor to make sure there is a full public-the previous minister of Mulroney's government did not seem to mind when they were his guidelines at that time in 1989.

The fact is the current guidelines are not clear and to clear up any uncertainty the Prime Minister is asking for a full open parliamentary public debate on new guidelines. I do not see how much clearer the Prime Minister can get than that.

Government Spending
Oral Question Period

November 1st, 1994 / 2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Marc Jacob Charlesbourg, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are now facing a very serious financial crisis, as the Minister of Finance found out himself just recently. In that connection, we learned that the cost of travel made last year by federal civil

servants reached $617 million, which is more than $2.5 million a working day in travel by federal civil servants.

The minister asked members of the Bloc Quebecois for suggestions; should he not work at reducing travel by federal civil servants which costs, as I said, $2.5 million a working day?

Government Spending
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, actually the amount of travel costs has been going down.

There has also been a decline in the number of people in the public service as has been pointed out previously. Of course this is kept under very close scrutiny by the Treasury Board and by the various ministries. We intend to keep doing that.

We are in a position in which we have to cut the cost of government to get the deficit down to 3 per cent of GDP. It requires that we keep vigilant on all of our expenditures including travel expenditures. We intend to do that.

Government Spending
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Marc Jacob Charlesbourg, QC

Mr. Speaker, while we are on the subject of costly travel, my second question is for the defence minister. Can the Minister of National Defence confirm that Lieutenant-General Scott Clément used a government Airbus 310 for the sole purpose of going to the William Tell missile firing competition in Florida, when he could have taken a commercial flight?

Government Spending
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I have no knowledge of the specific question the hon. member has posed.

Quite often there are training flights using A-310s and Challengers. I will look into the matter for him.

Crtc
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley East, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

With respect to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, it is becoming increasingly obvious that the application process of the CRTC was tainted by political interference by the minister.

The CRTC in refusing the application may itself have made a political decision just to be on the safe side. The panic stricken phone call from Mr. Darling to the member for Calgary Southeast yesterday merely confirms the concern felt by many Canadians that this quasi-judicial body is now feeling pressure for political reasons.

How can the Prime Minister assure us that the integrity of the CRTC and its decision making process have not been compromised by the actions of the minister?

Crtc
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, in the letter of the secretary general to the hon. member he states quite categorically that all communications related to a public process are treated in the same way. This includes a minister of the crown or other members of Parliament.

The member pointed out quite rightly yesterday that obviously the influence of the minister could not have been that substantial because the application was denied.