House of Commons Hansard #74 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was mmt.

Topics

The Wording Of The Referendum Question
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we will have the opportunity in the next few days to announce our intention, and I would just like to state that all of our options are still open. In the days to come, I will have the opportunity to clarify our position.

Canadian Armed Forces
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Preston Manning Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, Brigadier-General James Cox, the army's new command inspector, is doing something that the Liberal government refuses to do. He acknowledges that there is a morale crisis in the armed forces and it has everything to do with leadership.

General Cox says he has a team of soldiers ready to stare people in the face, ask all the hard questions and expect honest answers.

Let me ask the Prime Minister one of those hard questions. Does he now acknowledge the morale crisis in the Canadian Armed Forces and that it has everything to do, not with reorganization or downsizing, but with the leadership vacuum at the top of that department?

Canadian Armed Forces
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I stated yesterday that we have confidence in the leadership of the armed forces at this time. This period of reductions is a difficult time for the armed forces. The fact that there is a public inquiry which will analyse all the operations of national defence, something which has never happened before, is delicate and complicated for everybody.

I urge members of Parliament to let the commission look into all matters and report to the people of Canada. After that we will make the proper decisions. At this time General Boyle, the minister of defence, General Baril and all the others are working to make sure that the armed forces are ready for the tasks they have to do today, tomorrow, next week and next year.

Canadian Armed Forces
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Preston Manning Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, fortunately for the rank and file people in the Canadian Armed Forces, Generals Cox and Baril are not going to put politics before the morale.

According to General Cox our soldiers are worried about a lingering cloud that follows them around because of the actions of a few. They want the cloud to pass. The only person who can make that cloud go away, especially the cloud at the top, is the Prime Minister.

Will the Prime Minister get rid of the cloud that is hanging over our soldiers by appointing a new chief of the defence staff and a new Minister of National Defence.

Canadian Armed Forces
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, my answer is no. I am not about to cancel the inquiry either.

Canadian Armed Forces
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Preston Manning Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, he digs himself in deeper and deeper.

Brigadier General Cox said: "We may still have a couple of warts out there that are still hiding and I have to go out there and uncover them". The two biggest blemishes on the reputation of the Canadian Armed Forces are the defence minister and General Boyle.

These generals cannot do it alone. The plumbers and carpenters cannot be expected to rebuild the entire house. At some point, the chief architect of this whole mess has to be held accountable.

Will the Prime Minister hold General Boyle and the defence minister accountable for damaging the morale and reputation of the Canadian Armed Forces or will he pass the buck to General Cox and General Baril?

Canadian Armed Forces
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have replied to all these questions. I urge the leader of the third party, if he has any respect and he wants the army to have good morale, to try to find something else to talk about.

It is very easy for me to answer. I said that I have full confidence in the Minister of National Defence. Why? Because the previous administration had seven ministers in nine years. That was the cause of the drop in the morale of the armed forces.

I am committed to giving them stable leadership. That is why the Minister of National Defence will remain the Minister of National Defence.

Francophones Outside Quebec
Oral Question Period

September 25th, 1996 / 2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Gaston Leroux Richmond—Wolfe, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Canadian Heritage told us without blinking an eye that francophones in western Canada would be better served by a one hour national newscast than by four 30 minute regional bulletins. What she was saying was that an hour is more than 120 minutes.

My question is directed to the Minister of Canadian Heritage. Does the minister apply this kind of arithmetic to Radio-Canada's radio stations in Vancouver, which will experience cuts totalling 45 per cent, in Regina and Edmonton, with 50 per cent, and finally in Windsor, Ontario, with 60 per cent?

Francophones Outside Quebec
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, it is a fact that these cuts will create problems in all regions in Canada.

Management at Radio-Canada in Montreal worked on this with the president and the board of directors and has decided how far these cuts should go. I know it will be difficult. I never denied that. Today we hope francophones in western Canada can have an around-the-clock service through RDI, which is in fact happening now.

It is also true that cuts hurt everyone. However, if we consider Radio-Canada's total budget, after these cuts it would still be $300 million, which is $100 million more than TVA, for instance.

Francophones Outside Quebec
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Gaston Leroux Richmond—Wolfe, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is clear the minister remains insensitive to the needs of francophones outside Quebec and needs of Acadians.

By imposing new cuts at Radio-Canada, which will have the effect of restricting local broadcasting in French to a few hours a day, would the Minister of Canadian Heritage agree that this is very similar to what was done by the Government of Ontario in 1912, when it passed Regulation 17, which restricted French to one hour a day?

Francophones Outside Quebec
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, these are the crocodile tears of an opposition that referred to francophones outside Quebec as paraplegics in wheelchairs and said that, after a referendum, they would disappear just like that.

I would like to draw your attention to what was said by someone who ought to know what he is talking about, and who said, in referring to francophones outside Quebec, and I quote: "The Government of Quebec does not do enough, the Péquistes do not do enough. The federal government has certainly done more than Quebec, and I am prepared to acknowledge that". These comments were made by Lucien Bouchard on April 13, 1994.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Jim Hart Okanagan—Similkameen—Merritt, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister says that he does not have a problem if he does not fire a minister. That is ostrich logic and I would like to tell the Prime Minister he has a problem here.

The defence minister has been demonstrating a lack of leadership and abusing his budget for months now. Yesterday we learned of a new contract issued to Mr. Stephanos Karabekos. Today we learn he rewarded his Liberal buddy, Joe Thornley, with an untendered contract for $50,000.

Does the Prime Minister endorse the defence minister's sleazy, pork barrel politics as a way to restore morale in the Canadian Armed Forces?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, all that is within the budget of the Minister of National Defence and within the guidelines of Treasury Board.

Every department uses people from outside to help sometimes. Members of Parliament have a budget to use people from outside and it is within the guidelines of the House of Commons and Treasury Board.

This hiring is exactly in that category, the right to hire people within the budget of the minister and the budget as a member of Parliament.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Jim Hart Okanagan—Similkameen—Merritt, BC

Mr. Speaker, if those are the guidelines, Canadians are saying change the guidelines.

The defence minister has been too busy paying off Liberal friends to worry about morale in the forces. He has been using his budget as a slush fund to keep Liberal buddies rolling in dough. Not only that, the only reason he gave the untendered contract was because the defence minister's former press secretary told him to.

What kind of example does the Prime Minister think this sets for rank and file people in the military when their boss is filling the pockets of Liberal pals?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Perth—Wellington—Waterloo
Ontario

Liberal

John Richardson Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the minister had a requirement for some assistance in handling some communications issues and a contract was processed by the Department of National Defence in accordance with Treasury Board policies.

The company in question was determined to have the unique qualifications required to do the work.