House of Commons Hansard #235 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-32.

Topics

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Sudbury
Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau Minister for International Cooperation and Minister responsible for Francophonie

Mr. Speaker, the contract was awarded according to the rules in place at the time. It was a competitive process. It was awarded by an independent committee to the person with the lowest bid. It was $2.5 million lower than the other bid.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister spoke of being a good member of parliament. Good members of parliament certainly should not approve grants and loans to questionable individuals in their ridings, particularly before receiving departmental approval. Certainly, a good member of parliament should not be funnelling $6.3 million to Liberal supporters who bailed out his own troubled numbered company.

Can the Prime Minister explain how such a blatant abuse of taxpayers' money is his definition of being a good member of parliament?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Sudbury
Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau Minister for International Cooperation and Minister responsible for Francophonie

Mr. Speaker, Transelec has done work with CIDA before. It actually worked on a contract awarded in 1985 to do similar work in Togo. To my recollection it was the Mulroney government that was in power at the time.

Infrastructure
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Mac Harb Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it has been reported recently that the government may be considering the introduction of a new infrastructure program to help with rebuilding roads and bridges.

I know my colleagues in the Tory party are not interested, but I would ask the President of the Treasury Board if that is the case and if such plans are in the works.

Infrastructure
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, given the success of the infrastructure program there is no doubt that quite a number of municipalities would like to see it renewed.

In terms of need, there is no doubt that there is a need and we are ready to listen to the various requests to see if they fit within our budgetary framework.

Government Grants
Oral Question Period

June 1st, 1999 / 2:55 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, let us hope that no new infrastructure program requires the approval of the local MP. We can see that might just be a bit of a problem.

After 36 years of political IOUs, it is now payback time, big time. Mr. Gauthier contributes tens of thousands of dollars to the Prime Minister's campaign and to the Liberal—

Government Grants
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I want the hon. member to go to his question.

Government Grants
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question is very simple. Is the Prime Minister so ethically and morally blind that he cannot see a problem with this?

Government Grants
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I think that any sensible person would understand that when there is a bid and one bidder is $2.5 million lower than the second bidder, the government got a good deal when it gave that contract.

The opposition would not be very happy if the bidder had not received the contract and the government had spent $2.5 million giving it to a contractor who nobody knew. We saved $2.5 million in giving this contract to the lowest bidder. For me it is very clear and I am very happy with the system because it is doing what has to be done for the good of the taxpayers of Canada.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, for years the Minister of Human Resources Development has been hemming and hawing, hiding behind unfinished studies, rather than announcing the changes that would restore some sense to the employment insurance program.

Does the minister realize that, at a party meeting in Quebec this weekend, his colleague the Minister of Finance also said that he was waiting for the essential corrective measures to employment insurance? What, then, is the Minister of Human Resources Development waiting for before moving on this, since he is the only one responsible for the delay?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance acknowledged what we all acknowledge, that our government has a duty to control, and to very closely monitor, the impacts and consequences of our employment insurance reform.

I have stated in this House that we were aware that there were certain difficulties, particularly those relating to women's access to employment insurance. At this time we are involved in an examination of a number of proposals on what we could do to facilitate the situation. This is quite simply our duty to the people of Canada.

The Budget
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Lorne Nystrom Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, in case the Minister of Finance is enjoying this question period, I have a question for him.

There are hundreds of capable public servants in his department who are able to write budget speeches. Yet the minister paid $104,000 of taxpayers money to three outside consultants to polish a 29 page speech. That is at a cost of $3,500 a page. Let us hope the minister does not catch a case of verbal diarrhea; he would bankrupt the country.

I know the minister is obsessed with his image, but can he tell us why he paid so much money to three Liberal hacks?

The Budget
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, that is a little like the pot calling the kettle black.

Let me simply say that it was not for speech writing. Certainly it was part of the reason, but in addition there was an entire communications plan, an entire strategic plan laid out.

As well, in the busiest four months before the budget there was the whole question of setting up the website. We were one of the one of the hottest websites in North America following the budget. I would recommend to all members after the next budget that they look at our website. It is really worth while.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, I have asked the Minister of Natural Resources on many occasions if he is considering a carbon tax. The answer has repeatedly been no. Yet a 25 member transportation panel looking at ways to reduce greenhouse gases states that transportation bureaucrats, lobbyists and business representatives are closely examining a fuel tax.

My question is fundamental. If the government is not interested in a carbon tax, why is a 25 member panel examining a fuel tax?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, at the beginning of the follow-up process after Kyoto the provinces and the federal government agreed that there should be an open, inclusive, transparent process involving all Canadians in which all options would be reviewed and the costs and the benefits analysed so that all governments, not just the Government of Canada but the provinces, the municipalities, the private sector and all Canadians, could have a full and rational assessment of all the costs and all the benefits.