House of Commons Hansard #17 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was appointments.

Topics

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, we have not seen chaos and drifting in a government like this since the meltdown of the Pearson government.

While the government's own ministers fight for supremacy on the Kyoto file, the government continues to ask Canadians for their blind faith. In light of the government's contradictions which we have just seen, with the revolt of the provinces, and national skepticism from the people of Canada, why is the Prime Minister refusing to hold a first ministers' conference on Kyoto?

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have been discussing this with the provinces for a long time. The ministers are meeting again. The bureaucrats are meeting in the next few weeks. There will be another meeting in November.

Some people only have one goal in mind and that is to postpone and postpone. It is not what we said to Canadians in the Speech from the Throne. We made a clear commitment that there would be ratification before Christmas.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Immigration and former Secretary of State for Amateur Sport says that he did not recommend any company to organize his tour on sports, a contract worth $500,000. However, in addition to the E-mail specifying that he wanted to hire Everest, a second document indicates that Canadian Heritage also recommended Everest.

Could the Minister of Canadian Heritage tell us why her department recommended Everest, or for whom?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, again to repeat the facts of this matter, the contract was required by the Department of Canadian Heritage. The decision to award the contract to a particular company was made by officials within the Department of Public Works. The company that was selected, Groupe Everest, was in fact on a pre-qualified suppliers list available to both Canadian Heritage and the Department of Public Works and that list was established through a competitive process.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in his E-mail dated in March 2000, the head of the task force on sport wrote “Everest is the firm that the secretary of state wants to hire”. He added “I do not have more information. I would like to meet them ... to see what expertise they can provide”.

How does the minister explain that her officials recommended a firm whose expertise they did not know anything about, if it is not because there was political interference?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, whatever a requisitioning department may suggest or recommend, and it is that department's prerogative to make recommendations and suggestions, the selection is made by officials in the Department of Public Works. That is what transpired in this particular case.

With respect to the expertise of the firm, by all accounts the consultation process was very successful.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Lanctôt Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, we know that when Groupe Everest was hired to organize the tour of the Secretary of State for Amateur Sport, Canadian Heritage officials did not know anything about the expertise of that firm, but they nevertheless recommended that it be hired.

Since these officials did not know about the firm's qualifications, it must be concluded that this recommendation was the result of political interference. My question to the minister is: Did this political interference come from her or from the secretary of state?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, to the very best of my knowledge, neither the Minister of Canadian Heritage nor the Secretary of State for Amateur Sport made any representations to officials in my department. It was officials in my department who made the decision.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Lanctôt Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, on May 27, the secretary of state said to the journalists who were questioning him to find out who had awarded the half a million dollar contract to Everest, “Well, the question must be put to Canadian Heritage, because this comes under the purview of Canadian Heritage”.

I would like an answer from the Minister of Canadian Heritage. Why did she recommend that Everest be hired to organize the tour of the secretary of state?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, again while my department welcomes the input of other departments and takes their views into account, the selection decision is not made by those other departments. The selection decision is made according to the views of officials within the Department of Public Works and Government Services.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

October 29th, 2002 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I find it outrageous that breaking the law should be tax deductible for any taxpayer, personal or corporate. Yet we continue to allow companies to write off fines as a business expense. Presumably Acres International will be able to write off the fine it just got for bribing the Government of Lesotho.

I ask the government, what possible justification could there be for continuing to allow businesses to deduct fines and penalties as tax write-offs?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Vaughan—King—Aurora
Ontario

Liberal

Maurizio Bevilacqua Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, I will take this opportunity to clarify the issue which I am sure is of great concern to the hon. member.

Fines and penalties imposed under the Income Tax Act are not deductible. According to a Supreme Court of Canada decision however, other fines may be deductible but only if they are legitimate business expenses.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Supreme Court in 1999 ruled that fines and penalties can be deductible and since then, businesses have been deducting fines and penalties. The government's own lawyers argued against this. They argued that it is contrary to public policy to allow fines and penalties as tax deductions, but they lost that argument in the Supreme Court. The government did not waste any time cracking down on the disability tax credit. Yet since 1999 it has known that this tax loophole for its buddies exists and has failed to take any action.

I ask the minister again, will the government take action within this tax year to clarify the Income Tax Act so that businesses cannot deduct fines and penalties?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Vaughan—King—Aurora
Ontario

Liberal

Maurizio Bevilacqua Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, we will of course monitor the effects of the case under discussion to ensure that fines for serious infractions are not deductible.

I do want to clarify something else that the hon. member mentioned in reference to disability. I want the hon. member to know that the government increased by 70% the funding for disabled Canadians and has done amazing work, particularly led by the hon. member for Fredericton.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, in his speech Friday, the Minister of National Defence criticized government policy in three areas. He opposes the current over-stretching of military personnel. He opposes the current practice of raiding the capital budget to address other problems. He opposes current plans to limit defence budget increases to $5 million over the next five years.

I ask the Prime Minister, was he or his office made aware in advance of the contents of the defence minister's speech, or does he now allow ministers to oppose government policy?