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

Parliamentary Reform
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Minister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I would strongly recommend a reading of the Standing Orders by the hon. Leader of the Opposition. He will know that secret ballots are permitted now.

Parliamentary Reform
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, they never happen. We will see whether the government supports this tomorrow.

The government has been giving an excuse that the reason we cannot do this is only the Prime Minister could strike a regional and gender balance in choices for committee chairs. This is a Prime Minister who has picked 59 out of 69 male committee chairs and has had two-thirds of committee chairs coming from a single province and in some cases provinces have not had committee chairs in the past nine years.

Does the government really believe that members of the House could possibly do a worse job of striking regional and gender balance by voting for committee chairs by secret ballot?

Parliamentary Reform
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Minister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is once again wrong. He is not doing very well today. He said that no chair of committee was elected by secret ballot. The chair of the environment committee was.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

November 4th, 2002 / 2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, I will not comment on those last ones as they were incorrect.

For nine years the government has delayed much needed funding for military personnel and equipment. Ongoing neglect for Canada's military is making it increasingly difficult to meet our international obligations.

The Prime Minister has stated that fulfilling Kyoto's international obligation is essential. Why will he not apply the same sense of urgency to the needs of the Canadian Forces?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, to say that we have not met our international obligations is absolutely false. We had 800 soldiers in Afghanistan who received huge praise from American colonels, generals and sergeants.

We had ships, nine at one point, operating seamlessly and leading the group in the Arabian Sea. Just last Thursday they captured a ship with five patrol vessels on the way to Iraq; not a bad day's work.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, the arrogance is something else. It is a long way from the private dining rooms of the Royal Bank to the military mess halls.

Today marks the ninth anniversary of the cancellation of the Sea King replacement contract. For nine years the government has systematically neglected the needs of our military.

When will the government commit to providing our troops with the necessary revenues they need and stop all this poppycock?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I would acknowledge that it is a long way from Bay Street to Kandahar, but I am very glad I made that change.

As for the helicopters, 1,000 technical suggestions have been made by the companies. It takes a while to get everything moving. I am committed to moving this file as fast as possible and getting the best helicopter at the lowest price as soon as possible.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, despite an e-mail message specifying that the firm the secretary of state wanted hired was Everest, the Minister of Public Works and Government Services insists that it was his department that awarded the contract. However, the minister forgot to mention that Everest had already been working for weeks before the contract was signed.

Will the minister not acknowledge that, according to the wishes of the former secretary of state, the dice were already loaded in favour of Everest well before the contract was officially awarded?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I have no idea what the preferences of any particular minister might have been at that time two or three years ago. The fact of the matter remains that the decision in this case was one that had to be made by those officials who were at the time in the Department of Public Works. They made the decision according to the procedures in place at that time.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I know that the minister does not want to answer my question because, in all likelihood, he knows the answer.

However, I will ask him this: since he has said that procedures were respected, is it customary for a firm to begin work before a contract has been awarded? Is this acceptable under his department's guidelines? I would like to hear what he has to say.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the department works very hard to follow the guidelines and the policy principles established by Treasury Board for all matters of contracting, whether that is in the communications field or otherwise. I would note that because of the concerns that were expressed earlier this year, the Prime Minister instructed the President of the Treasury Board to review the governance framework for all contracting in the field of sponsorships and advertising. In due course the President of the Treasury Board will be making recommendations to strengthen the whole process.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Lanctôt Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, Everest was awarded the contract to organize consultations for the former Secretary of State for Amateur Sport on May 30, 2000.

However, the former secretary of state's tour began June 2 and 3 in Fredericton, only three days after Everest was awarded the contract.

Would the Minister of Public Works and Government Services still have us believe that Everest did not start work well before the contract was signed, as the former Secretary of State for Amateur Sport wished?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the quality of the consultation, given the short timeframe, is a matter of particular importance. I am happy to have the remarks on May 22 by this hon. member, the member for Châteauguay, who indicated that this was an excellent initiative upon which he wished to congratulate the government.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Lanctôt Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister is mixing apples and oranges. It is possible that things were done properly. However, awarding contracts prematurely is another matter altogether.

Prior to the May 30, 2000 contract, Everest submitted a budget estimate in which it forecast that it would cost $60,000 to create an Internet site, a site that was launched on May 19, 2000 by the former secretary of state.

Can the Minister of Public Works affirm that Everest did no work prior to getting the contract, even though the site had been up and running for two weeks?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I have no personal knowledge at all of the matters that the hon. gentleman is alleging. He seems to have some concern with respect to dates and timing. I will inquire into those matters to see if there is anything that requires further clarification. However there is nothing before me at this time that would support the allegations he is making.