House of Commons Hansard #45 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was money.

Topics

Bill C-20
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister seemed favourable to the idea of having the legislative committee on Bill C-20 broaden its hearings to include not just experts, but other groups with opinions to offer.

According to the Prime Minister, the bill is at the top of the government's list of priorities. If this bill is as important as the government would have us believe, does the Prime Minister not think that he should let the public express its views, and that the best way for it to do that is to have the committee travel throughout Quebec?

Bill C-20
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have already answered that question.

This is a bill that affects all provinces in Canada and that will be studied by the House of Commons committee. The committee will decide who may appear before it, but we hope that the bill will be passed as quickly as possible, because it is not a major concern of the public right now.

The public wants us to address other problems, such as job creation, health, tax relief; things of interest to Quebecers and the rest of Canadians.

Bill C-20
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's remarks are a bit strange, because his parliamentary leader said that it was the government's priority, and now the Prime Minister is telling us it is not important.

However, if the problem is about travelling only to Quebec, and the Prime Minister thinks the committee should travel throughout Canada, no problem; we would go along with that.

So I ask him, because it is well known that the Liberal members on the committee receive their orders from Cabinet—that is no secret; everyone knows that is how it works. I would like the Prime Minister's opinion. Does he agree, yes or no, that the committee should travel throughout Canada, as the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans did. I imagine this is just as important.

Bill C-20
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is an important bill which is being debated in the House, and which will be considered in committee next week. The committee will do its job; it will hear from a certain number of witnesses, and the House of Commons will be able to make its views clearly known.

Bill C-20
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Prime Minister and the government House leader suggested that individuals and groups would be allowed to testify before the legislative committee, as was the case with the parliamentary committee that reviewed the issue of linguistic school boards, in 1997.

Can the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs confirm that the Liberal majority of the legislative committee will accept that representative groups from Quebec may be heard by the committee?

Bill C-20
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

As all hon. members know, the committees are responsible for their own agenda. In my opinion the question is out of order, but if the government House leader wishes to address it, he may do so.

Bill C-20
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, less than 24 hours ago, the hon. member's leader in the House sent me a memo asking me to address this issue on behalf of the government. I promised that I would give him an answer by the weekend.

It seems to me that the hon. member should speak to his leader to find out what was agreed on yesterday. We will of course provide a very clear answer.

Bill C-20
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Bloc Quebecois and I talk to each other, but we would also like to get the opinion of the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.

Does the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs want representative groups from Quebec to be heard by his committee? Does he want, for example, Canadian groups also to be heard, including the Canadian Union of Postal Workers and the National Action Committee on the Status of Women, which are asking the minister to withdraw the bill he introduced in this House?

Bill C-20
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the committee will determine its own agenda.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

February 9th, 2000 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the government is withholding information that Canadians have a right to know. What is worse, it is twisting information to conceal the truth for its own purposes.

Why does the government not just come clean with the facts and table the detailed documentation already prepared at public expense on a riding by riding basis of all HRDC grants and contributions?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, members have information available then so that they can ask questions. These questions will be answered according to the formula.

I can understand that opposition parties are jealous because the other ministers and I are well prepared for oral question period.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, it looks like the Prime Minister has already used up all his lifelines.

When a government deliberately conceals information from its own citizens there is a name for it. It is called cover-up. Why does the government not stop concealing the information—

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. leader of the New Democratic Party can begin her question again if she wishes.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, as we know when the government deliberately conceals information from its own citizens there is a name for it. It is called cover-up. Why is the government refusing to disclose all the information riding by riding on all of the HRDC contributions and grants?