House of Commons Hansard #6 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was farmers.

Topics

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, a problem that does not exist cannot be solved. The provinces have the same revenue sources as the federal government, and others as well, lottery revenues for instance.

We all have an obligation to control spending and the public has its priorities. That is what we must focus on. We must stop blaming each other. We must find real solutions in order to meet the priorities of Canadians.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Question Period

October 7th, 2002 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Lorne Nystrom Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Deputy Prime Minister.

Last week the government announced the appointment of Howard McNutt as the director of the CBC. The press release listed many of Mr. McNutt's previous occupations and stated that he is a member of the board of directors of a number of organizations in the country. What the release failed to mention however is that Howard McNutt's relationship is with the Liberal Party and with Compass Communications, which is a long time Liberal tied marketing agency in Halifax.

Could the Deputy Prime Minister explain to the House why the government made a political appointment to the board of the CBC?

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Parkdale—High Park
Ontario

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, the CBC is governed by a board of directors appointed independently from the government.

Surely, the position the government takes is finding the best qualified people to ensure there is a strong, healthy CBC that speaks for all Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Lorne Nystrom Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Let me explain further, Mr. Speaker. Howard McNutt has ties with both the Liberal Party and Compass Communications. Compass Communications is a member of the Groupaction consortium that is at the centre of an RCMP investigation of government sponsorship contracts. Even more, Compass is one of the firms that has lost its exclusive contract in management sponsorship grants.

My question for the Deputy Prime Minister is the following. Can the government explain why it rewarded Mr. McNutt, an individual with links to a firm currently under RCMP investigation?

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Parkdale—High Park
Ontario

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, again I would like to repeat that the role of the government is to appoint a board of directors to manage the day to day operations of the CBC which the hon. member knows is independent and a crown corporation.

What the government does do is effects the policy for the CBC. As the hon. member knows, the heritage committee is actually in the process of examining the Broadcasting Act and the role of the CBC and how and when directors should be appointed. I am sure that report will be tabled in December and we can discuss it at that time.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, I am sure the ethics counsellor can sort that one out too.

The plot thickens in P.E.I. In a note prepared by the executive director of the Canadian Police College it indicates the minister's adviser, David Nicholson, was actually acting on behalf of the minister's brother's college.

Was the minister's adviser, Mr. Nicholson, acting as a lobbyist for the minister's brother's college while employed by the office of the solicitor general? If the minister can follow that one, please tell us.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

Mr. Speaker, when the hon. member refers to the minister's brother's college, he should point out this as well. It is news to the 14 member board of governors of Holland College that it is owned or has been sold to a Mr. Alex MacAulay. That is news to the 14 member board of governors. It is also news to the provincial legislature because Holland College was created by a statute of the provincial government legislature. It is news to the minister of education. I am also sure that it is news to the premier of the province. I am sure it is also news to the maritime provinces' higher education commission.

If the member wants to start--

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, that was a nice attempt at distraction by the minister responsible for ACOA. What is news is there is a Senate vacancy for P.E.I.

Examples of patronage and ethical lapses by the Liberals seem to be piling up on the island. Last February the federal government announced a $5 million improvement to the Confederation Centre of the Arts. The minister bragged of this last week.

Could the minister advise whether that $5 million contract was (a) untendered and (b) awarded to P.E.I. Liberal Party president, Tim Banks, the same Mr. Banks who holds the $17 million contract and lease for the Greenwich development centre in the minister's riding?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

Mr. Speaker, while the hon. member is trying to create some news, we will just clarify.

The Confederation Centre of the Arts is an incredibly important project. In fact, everybody in the House understands extremely well the value and credibility of it. It was all done in proper order.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Myron Thompson Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, information trickles out in bits and pieces as the solicitor general sees fit. He tells us only what he thinks we need to know. The four exceptions to sole sourcing a contract are: one, it must be under $25,000; two, it must be an emergency; three, it can only be filled by a supplier; or four, it is not in the public interest to solicit bids.

Today I ask the Treasury Board minister, which one of these four criteria was used when awarding the contract to the solicitor general's friend?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Cardigan
P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I indicated last Friday in a press release all the details of what took place with this contract. As my hon. colleague must have heard, it was publicly posted. It was issued under Treasury Board guidelines. The rules were followed.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Myron Thompson Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Solicitor General has had four days to come clean to the House and explain his actions. Instead he slowly dribbles out his version of the truth. Now the Treasury Board minister fails to answer. She will not do so.

The Treasury Board guidelines state that only contracts under $25,000 can be sole sourced. Is there anybody on that side of the House who is willing to stand in his or her place and tell the taxpayers of Canada what criteria was used to hire the Solicitor General's friend?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Cardigan
P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as my hon. colleague, I suspect, is well aware the contract was awarded to a firm, not an individual. It was given under Treasury Board guidelines and it was also publicly posted. In fact, those are the details. Whether the opposition likes it or not, those are the details and the guidelines were followed.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Lanctôt Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Thursday, the Minister of Public Works said he would make enquiries about the contract awarded to Everest for the tour by the former Secretary of State for Amateur Sport.

Is the Minister of Public works able to table Heritage Canada's request to Public Works Canada for Everest's services, the supporting reasons and the response to Heritage Canada's request?