House of Commons Hansard #124 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was billion.

Topics

Middle East
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the head of the European Union has said, and I quote “—the destabilization of the Palestinian authority will not help put a stop to the cycle of violence in the Middle East”.

The French Minister of Foreign Affairs has said that it would be a fatal error to go after the Palestinian authority.

To avoid playing into the hands of Hamas and the Hezbollah, will Canada too say that, in the current context, the Palestinian authority—and I stress this point—which must assume its responsibilities in connection with security, remains the only party Israel talks to in order to re-establish peace in the Middle East one day?

Middle East
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I have just said, at this point, the only authority in Palestine is the Arafat government. There is no other.

We are not the ones choosing the governments. But I hope that Mr. Arafat will exert pressure within Palestine so that the violence stops and there is no further escalation by either side and that they return quickly to the table to come up with a fair and equitable solution establishing clearly that two countries can exist in that region with mutually respected borders.

Middle East
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Antoine Dubé Lévis-Et-Chutes-De-La-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, the situation in the Middle East requires more than just wishful thinking. It requires extraordinary efforts by the various international stakeholders in order to find a lasting solution to a constantly deteriorating situation.

Given the current unprecedented escalation of violence in the Middle East, can the Prime Minister tell us whether he intends to take advantage of Canada's status as head of the task force on Palestinian refugees to bring influence to bear on the Palestinian Authority in order to get it to assume its full responsibilities for promoting peace in that region?

Middle East
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have done just that on several occasions. Last year, I was the first Prime Minister of Canada to visit that part of the world.

I had the opportunity to speak with all those involved and to encourage them to seek a peaceful solution to this very longstanding problem.

Obviously, the Canadian officials dealing with refugees are busy every day trying to improve the refugees' situation. We expend every possible effort on meeting this responsibility.

Middle East
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Antoine Dubé Lévis-Et-Chutes-De-La-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, the violence in the Middle East is a threat not only to the balance in that region, but worldwide.

Could the government not use its preferential position as a signatory to a free trade agreement with Israel to intervene with its trade partner to advance some lasting solutions to the conflict?

Middle East
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I believe the Prime Minister has been very clear.

As much as we call upon chairman Arafat to do his part, we also of course understand what a terrible affront last weekend's attack was for Israel.

The Government of Canada is also calling upon Israel to do its part and to ensure that its response is measured and within the law.

Middle East
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister. Yesterday the government condemned terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians, and rightly so. Now we have Ariel Sharon spilling the blood of Palestinian civilians and terrified, innocent children.

Before these dangerous and disturbing developments escalate further, will the government condemn attacks on innocent civilians, all civilians, regardless of the aggressor, and will it show some leadership and call for an emergency session of the UN security council?

Middle East
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have said that the attack last Saturday night by a suicide bomber on peaceful people in the street, young people of whom 160 were either killed or seriously injured, was an act of horror that was completely contemptible and should be condemned by everyone.

It is natural when something like that is done, the one who was attacked will respond. It is the nature of the situation. It is why we are urging them to stop this problem of--

Middle East
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Halifax.

Middle East
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, sometimes it seems as though the government is playing into the hands of the terrorists. The government is pummelling civil liberties, ignoring racial hatred, acquiescing on the militarization of our borders, equivocating on the escalating Middle East violence, and it cannot even assure us that Canadian materials and technology are not in terrorist hands. How do these actions defeat terrorism? Does this not allow the terrorists to win?

Middle East
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have trade relations with both Israel and Palestine. We are not giving them any instruments for violence. They know Canada's position very well. We condemn violence all the time. If people are attacked, it is natural that they respond. If there is no attack by one, there will be no response by the other. Only common sense will prevail. They have to stop the violence and try to find a peaceful solution.

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Question Period

December 4th, 2001 / 2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is steadily building a secret government beyond the control of parliament. Bill C-42 lets ministers make secret regulations that limit the rights of citizens while bypassing parliament. The auditor general today reports that the notorious Downsview Park Inc. earned $19 million selling a federal asset without the knowledge or approval of parliament.

Will the Prime Minister take a tiny step away from secrecy and make the Downsview corporation subject to the same access to information laws that apply to most other crown corporations?

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel
Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, Downsview Park Inc. is subject to all the laws and rules as all other corporations. The department reports to parliament through Canada Lands Company Ltd. Therefore, everything is on the table and before parliament.

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, the auditor general reports that the Department of Public Works is, and I quote, “the contracting authority for the largest number and value of service contracts. In most instances, such contracts are not subject to review—”.

Most of these contracts are not even awarded through a bidding process. This is an open invitation to patronage.

As a first measure to ensure transparency, will the government accept the auditor general's recommendation that Treasury Board demand internal audits for this type of contracts?

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, our contracting policy is very clear. It is respected by all departments, including Public Works Canada, to ensure transparency in the awarding of all government contracts to outside suppliers.