House of Commons Hansard #133 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was nafta.

Topics

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, maybe Liberal members should have showed up yesterday instead of calling for another meeting today. The 1993 Liberal red book of promises said:

If government is to play a positive role in society, as it must, honesty and integrity in our political institutions must be restored.

Yet this week, seven years later, the auditor general said:

Our audit examined four of the grant and contribution programs by HRDC. We found breaches of authority, payments made improperly, very limited monitoring of finances and activities, and approvals not based on established processes.

Given the government's dismal failure to restore public confidence, why should Canadians trust it with their votes?

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should be, shall I say, complete in his language, because the auditor general said:

HRDC has initiated quite extraordinary corrective action to address these serious problems. We concluded that the department is on the right track.

Why does the hon. member not put that in his question and give us credit in the same way that the auditor general has done?

Liberal Government
Oral Question Period

October 20th, 2000 / 11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Rimouski—Mitis, QC

Mr. Speaker, this week was the darkest and most shameful one for this government.

The government demonstrated its arrogance and its contempt. Not only did it muzzle the information commissioner, it also tried the same trick on the auditor general by not showing up at the Standing Committee on Public Accounts.

The government was so arrogant as to present a virtual mini-budget, with many measures that will not be implemented because of the dissolution of parliament.

Does the government really believe that all its schemes will allow it to escape the true judgment of voters?

Liberal Government
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member surely knows that the facts are different.

With regard to the measures included in the budget, yesterday we adopted a ways and means motion with the support of two parties in this House. The hon. member is well aware of that. In fact, yesterday, all the parties except hers understood what this ways and means motion meant. All the other members of parliament understood that.

As for the auditor general's report, there will be a televised meeting today, at 12.30 p.m., to show that the government acted in good faith and was accountable in this issue.

Liberal Government
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Rimouski—Mitis, QC

Mr. Speaker, the actions taken this week by the government have nothing to do with the values that it claims to be upholding, but they have everything to do with the political agenda of the Prime Minister, who did not hesitate to use the House to launch his election platform and who, according to TVA, even paid $2 million to cancel the rooms reserved for the trip to China.

Does the government realize that by giving priority to its own agenda, it is showing its contempt for public institutions, which must first serve the public, not a political party?

Liberal Government
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the question is rather strange.

On opposition days, the hon. member opposite promotes the ideas of her party. When the government presents its agenda, it obviously promotes its ideas, as it did in the excellent economic statement presented by my colleague a few days ago and adopted in this House yesterday, which has been very well received by the overwhelming majority of Canadians.

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, no one is going to be taken in, neither the general public nor the members of this House.

This is the second time, on the eve of a general election, that the Liberal government is trying to muzzle the auditor general. The government has gone so far as to dare to try to convince us that its MPs could not find the meeting room. This just shows the arrogance and disdain of this government.

Does the Prime Minister think that his attempts to muzzle the auditor general are really going to prevent the truth about the Liberal government's administrative scandals from breaking out into the light of day?

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, there is no muzzling going on.

First of all, this government is the one that made the change to having the auditor general report to this House, not once a year as in the past, but four times a year. That was an initiative of this government.

Second, the committee in question is meeting today. This is its second meeting this week to discuss the auditor general's report.

This government is totally transparent, totally accountable to the Canadian public.

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are glad the committee is meeting today, but it took the intervention of the Bloc Quebecois and all the opposition parties to get the government to act.

Does the Prime Minister seriously believe that his crisis management techniques, which are nothing more than damage control, will prevent him from having to answer for all the scandals and criminal investigations he has hanging over him?

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, if the matter of the auditor general's report is being discussed in a committee room a little later today, the hon. member knows very well that this is not because of intervention by the Bloc Quebecois. I myself proposed this initiative—

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

—to all party leaders, last night and this morning.

Moreover, I thank them, as I have informally already, for accepting my suggestion.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the government was elected because it promised to get tough on pollution. It promised to clean up our environment. It did not promise to sit on the sidelines while 20 million tonnes of Toronto garbage pollute the water in Ontario and Quebec, threaten the water that first nations and a great many other communities depend upon.

Why is the government so stubbornly and persistently refusing to launch a full federal environmental assessment into the Adams mine madness?

The Environment
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the situation with respect to the Adams mine is this. The province of Ontario has carried out an assessment. It has come to a certain conclusion, which is that it is environmentally safe to carry out the use of the mine site for Toronto garbage.

On the other hand there are two aspects of federal jurisdiction. One is the transboundary aspect with Quebec, between Ontario and Quebec. The other is the transboundary aspect between the Ontario jurisdiction and the federal Indian reserve in the area.

As I have said in the House time after time, and the hon. member knows it, that question has been put to the environmental assessment authority. When it comes up with scientific conclusions I will make a decision on whether to proceed with a fully inquiry.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, 80 billion litres of water are at stake. The health of people in thousands of communities is at stake. The government did not campaign on dumping 20 million tonnes of Toronto garbage into a lake and it did not campaign to let Mike Harris do whatever he darned well pleases with our environment.

Canadians expect the federal government to protect our water, so that when people turn on their taps they know that their kids are safe to brush their teeth.

Canadians do not want another Walkerton. Why is the government refusing to put an end to the Adams mine mess?