House of Commons Hansard #52 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was trade.

Topics

Human Rights
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would say to the hon. minister, it was not just a calamity, it was genocide, and the minister should have the courage to call it what it was.

Yesterday the Inter-Church Coalition on Africa revealed that the Sudanese government is using the Talisman Energy Inc. airfields as part of their bloody scorched earth campaign in southern Sudan. In fact, helicopters owned by the Sudanese government are being used on Talisman airfields.

Last year Lloyd Axworthy condemned the Sudanese government and condemned Talisman. What is this minister prepared to do to stop the use of Talisman airfields by the—

Human Rights
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Human Rights
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I will be glad to forward a copy of my predecessor's press release over to the hon. member. I can tell him that I entirely and heartily agree with what was said by my predecessor.

I share the member's concern if these airfields are being used for offensive purposes by the government of Sudan. We do not have information to that effect. I will certainly examine any evidence that NGOs bring to us to that effect. We will continue to take a strong position in order to encourage a peaceful resolution in the Sudan. We need to encourage Talisman, among others, to work to improve the quality of life for the people living in—

Human Rights
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Burnaby—Douglas.

Human Rights
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, the evidence is overwhelming that in fact these helicopters are being used from Talisman's airfields.

I want to ask the minister a supplementary question. The minister knows that Canadian corporations in places like Burma, Colombia and, of course, Sudan are contributing to massive human rights violations and collaborating directly in violence and repression.

Will the minister bring in strong amendments to the Special Economic Measures Act to ensure that the government can take tough action against corporations like Talisman and others that flout international human rights standards?

Human Rights
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has never failed to call a spade a shovel. I do not have evidence that all these abuses are occurring. However, I will say that we are strongly and actively engaged with Canada's private sector to adopt standards of corporate behaviour that meet international standards.

Canada and Canadian firms ought to be world leaders in living according to the standards that we believe as Canadians ought to be pursued in international relations and international behaviour. Those codes of conduct must be adopted and followed, and we will continue to encourage that to occur.

Gun Registry
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Justice.

The ludicrous, unenforceable long gun registry has taken a new twist. Omnibus Bill C-15 will designate paint ball players and operators as criminals. Because of the definition of firearms and the velocity at which these projectiles are fired, thousands would automatically be charged and I suspect many businesses will go under.

Will the minister agree that the focus should be on combating real firearms violence, not games or sports that are a legitimate form of entertainment? Will she commit to amending this anomaly in Bill C-15?

Gun Registry
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, this issue of concern has been brought to our attention. We are working very closely with those who operate businesses that will be affected. We are doing everything we can to ensure that the firearms legislation protects the public safety of Canadians.

Business Development Bank Of Canada
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question pertains to an unanswered letter dated April 26 from the leader of my party to the industry minister.

Will the minister make immediate arrangements to ensure that BDC officials appear before the industry committee to answer questions on recent unusual practices and, more specific, on why they sought a court order to seize and destroy the documents allegedly in the possession of François Beaudoin? Why are officials in the BDC taking these extreme and unusual measures?

Business Development Bank Of Canada
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should know, and his leader certainly should know even more, that Standing Order 108(2) permits a parliamentary committee to examine any issue that it wants to. That is already in the rules of the House of Commons. It does not need to be restated. It is already the case and everyone else around here knows it.

Treasury Board
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Williams St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, it appears the government will raise the maximum for non-competitive bids to purchase goods and services from $25,000 to $81,000.

My question is for the President of the Treasury Board. Will this new policy be a means to legitimize all the irregular contracts that have already been awarded by the government?

Treasury Board
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, we have no intention of decreasing the number of competitive contracts.

I would perhaps ask the opposition member to be much more prudent and note what the official said to journalists.

The director said that the regulatory change still has not gone to cabinet.

The official was talking about working hypotheses with the journalist. I find it regrettable that the opposition member implies that the government has made a decision in this regard, which is simply not the case.

Treasury Board
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Williams St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, that long answer sounds like a simple yes to me. For years the auditor general has been lamenting the lack of control on the awarding of contracts.

For example, Transelec and Mr. Gauthier, a good friend of the Prime Minister, failed every rule of qualification, yet received a $6.3 million contract.

Is this new rule being implemented to open the door for more friends of the Prime Minister to quietly help themselves to taxpayer dollars without going to public tender?

Treasury Board
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, there is no plan to decrease the number of competitive contracts.

Once again, I will read from the article, which quotes the treasury board secretariat director. He said:

That's a regulatory change and we still have not gone to ministers or anything like that, so they may say that's not an acceptable thing to do.

Let us be cautious with the conclusions here. This is not the plan of the government.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

May 1st, 2001 / 2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Gérard Asselin Charlevoix, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in Baie-Comeau, during the lightning tour on employment insurance carried out by the Bloc Quebecois, the seasonal workers, who are still awaiting the outcome of the parliamentary committee promised by the Liberal Party, called for the minister to assign a special status to seasonal work regardless of the region.

Will the Minister of Human Resources Development comply with this request, or is she going to ask them to adapt to the changes in employment insurance, as she did last year?