House of Commons Hansard #75 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was flag.

Topics

The Senate
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Jim Hart Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, British Columbians are fighting mad about policies of the government and the latest appointment to the Senate.

B.C. does not have its fair share of seats in the Parliament of Canada. B.C. does not have a proportionate share of government contracts. B.C. does not get the same attention for the west coast fish crisis that the Atlantic fisheries does. B.C. lighthouses are shutting down and CFB Chilliwack, B.C.'s only army base, is being closed.

When will the Prime Minister return Mr. Fitzpatrick to B.C. to run in a Senate election?

The Senate
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I was there not long ago when we had the APEC meeting in B.C. That was a great success.

I was there for the open skies policy which has given a big boost to the Vancouver airport and has made it one of the most important air bases in North America. I have said that the future of Canada is on the Pacific. We have always helped B.C. to be the door to Canada on the Pacific coast.

The Senate
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Jim Hart Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, the open skies agreement the Prime Minister talks about is a direct seat in the Senate, by air, by the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister sold that Senate seat and British Columbia—

The Senate
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques.

Millennium Scholarships
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

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

In recent days, the Minister of Human Resources Development has been trying to meet separately with various groups from Quebec's education sector to discuss the millennium scholarship program, without the Quebec government being present. However, the stakeholders in the education sector formed a coalition and they just called the minister to order by demanding that the Quebec government be present at any discussions on the millennium scholarships.

How can the Prime Minister refuse to meet Premier Bouchard regarding the millennium scholarships, while his minister is trying to organize meetings with individual stakeholders?

Millennium Scholarships
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I will answer the question. I am prepared to meet Mr. Bouchard at any time. It is perfectly normal that stakeholders should meet the responsible minister.

The minister met a number of them and they discussed every aspect of the program. Some people are just trying to get publicity, instead of working to find a solution through discussions with the minister responsible.

Millennium Scholarships
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, by going over Mr. Bouchard's head, is the Minister of Human Resources Development not demonstrating that the federal government wants to bypass the Quebec government and is trying to buy the education sector with Quebeckers' own money?

Millennium Scholarships
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, like young people in the rest of the country, young Quebeckers will benefit from the millennium scholarships. It is very important to ensure that young Quebeckers, like other young Canadians, have access to an education that will prepare them to face much stronger competition in the 21st century. This is why the millennium scholarship program was greeted with enthusiasm by students from across the country.

Auditor General
Oral Question Period

March 17th, 1998 / 2:35 p.m.

Reform

John Williams St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, over the last few weeks the Minister of Finance and the Prime Minister have boasted about their newfangled accounting policies that have rankled the auditor general.

Now, the government has sent a three page blistering letter to the auditor general saying “hold your nose, don't rock the boat, and approve the audit based on our rules, not your rules”.

Will the Minister of Finance withdraw the letter and apologize to the auditor general for interfering with his independence?

Auditor General
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, to the best of my knowledge a letter from the Department of Finance to the auditor general is not an interference with the auditor general's role.

What we have done is set out the government's position. The government's position is very clear and that is that we intend to be open and transparent. We see no reason why the public sector should hide things when the private sector reveals them. We will at least be as open and transparent as any private sector company and the hon. member should support that as a position.

Auditor General
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

John Williams St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, the government has tried to intimidate the auditor general by sending him a letter saying this is the way we want you to approve the audit.

The auditor general has spoken before, last year, when he qualified the audit. Now you want to do the same thing on exactly the same basis and that, I think, is intimidation. That is why we want you to withdraw the letter. That is why we are asking, will you withdraw the letter?

Auditor General
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

All questions should be addressed to the Chair. I know the hon. member knows that.

Auditor General
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it is perfectly acceptable parliamentary practice for the government to respond to the auditor general when the auditor general raises an issue. It happens all the time.

It is a little difficult to understand that this member who has been a member for quite some time does not realize what is in fact the convention of this House.

Option Canada
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Rimouski—Mitis, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Canadian Heritage wrote Claude Dauphin, the senior advisor to the Minister of Finance and former president of Option Canada, who, two and a half years after the fact, still cannot tell the people of Quebec and Canada how, in the midst of the referendum period, he spent $4.8 million in 33 days.

Could the minister tell the House whether she has received a reply from him?

Option Canada
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I am still waiting for clarification from the member, who totally misinformed the House last week. I am still waiting.