House of Commons Hansard #21 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was military.

Topics

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, there is nothing in the material that I have reviewed that would indicate any contact or lobby between the secretary of state and the Department of Public Works and Government Services.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Charlesbourg—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, what we want to know from the minister is not whether the contract was awarded to Everest by Public Works Canada; that much we know.

The question is the following: Can the minister sincerely deny there was any intervention by the former Secretary of State for Amateur Sport to ensure that the contact was awarded to Everest, as stated in an e-mail from an official at Canadian Heritage, which he should have read by now?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I have seen news reports about the e-mail. I must say that I have never seen it myself. It is not something that is in the files of the Department of Public Works and Government Services. There is nothing in the material on the files for which I am responsible in public works that would support the allegations being made by the opposition.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration continues to deny any involvement with awarding a one-half million dollar contract yet his former executive director is adamant that he was given orders to hire Groupe Everest.

We have been down this road before with the minister refusing to admit that he stayed at the firm's condo and then later admitting to it. The ethics counsellor said he is investigating whether he should investigate. Will the Deputy Prime Minister direct him to look into this matter and determine who is telling the truth, the minister or Mr. Farley?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the ethics counsellor is free to look into any matters he wishes to look into. In the recent past he has shown that he is willing to do just that.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, perhaps he is waiting for a directive. This is a very simple issue.

There is a direct contradiction between what the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration recalls and what his former assistant remembers. Only one of them can possibly be telling the truth.

The Prime Minister has launched his new so-called ethics package. What good is it if it does not compel the ethics counsellor to seek out the truth?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the package we have tabled has certainly provided every member of Parliament with the ability to go directly to the ethics commissioner, as he would be known, in order to ask for the conduct of the minister to be looked into.

The current ethics counsellor has also shown his willingness to respond to issues that were raised either in the media or in Parliament. I invite the member, if he wishes, to write his own letter to the ethics counsellor.

Public Safety
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the new version of the Public Safety Act makes some minor changes to the provisions allowing the RCMP and CSIS to access information on air passengers and to use that information to draw up arrest warrants. The Privacy Commissioner has described these changes as “an insult to intelligence”.

How can the minister justify the potential use of information gathered under these extraordinary powers for purposes that have no connection with terrorism, transportation safety or national security?

Public Safety
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Malpeque
P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, certainly the privacy commissioner is entitled to his views.

There was a lot of discussion in the House and by colleagues in this party about previous Bill C-55. We believe that we have found the balance in this bill that protects the privacy of individuals while at the same time doing our job to ensure that national security issues are undertaken.

Public Safety
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Privacy Commissioner has stated that “the right to anonymity with regard to the state is a crucial privacy right”. According to him, “this would set the extraordinarily privacy-invasive precedent of effectively requiring compulsory self-identification to the police”.

How is it that the minister did not take any notice of the numerous warnings by the Privacy Commissioner, when such a fundamental right is at stake?

Public Safety
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Malpeque
P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we have taken the Privacy Commissioner's previous concerns into consideration and we do believe we have found the balance.

I would invite the hon. member opposite, rather than just reading the latest story in the press from the Privacy Commissioner, to actually sit down and read the bill. He will see that we have found the balance in terms of protecting privacy rights while at the same time ensuring that CSIS and the RCMP can do their jobs in terms of protecting the security of the nation.

Age of Consent
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, a European Union report says that Canada is turning into a place where children are sexually exploited because of our age of consent laws. Increasingly, tourists visit Canada in search of sex with our children. Police and parents want the age of sexual consent raised from 14 to 16. Will the government commit to do this today and help guard Canadian children against sexual exploitation?

Age of Consent
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Northumberland
Ontario

Liberal

Paul MacKlin Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, clearly the government has been looking at this. We set up a consultation process in 1999. It was brought forward in February of this year. The ministers directed their officials to bring forward recommendations. This week in Calgary they are bringing forward those recommendations and we will see what they result in.

Age of Consent
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, here is a golden opportunity for the government to actually do something, because this issue is at the top of the agenda of the justice ministers meeting this week. They want to raise the age of sexual consent from 14 to 16. Canada's young age of consent brings in tourists seeking sex with girls as young as 14.

When will the Liberal government give police and parents the tool they need to protect Canadian children who fall prey to sexual predators, by raising the age of consent in Canada?

Age of Consent
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Northumberland
Ontario

Liberal

Paul MacKlin Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, there is something clearly wrong with the member's question and it relates to the issue of prostitution. If she is referring to prostitution as bringing tourists to this country, the age of consent for prostitution is 18.