House of Commons Hansard #23 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was coast.

Topics

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bourassa
Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I find it somewhat deplorable that someone who aspires to become the leader of his party would engage in petty politics at the expense of the public.

The fact is that members of his own party are continually asking me to issue ministerial permits. I will not mention specific cases, but the hon. member is definitely not in a position to talk.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gerry Ritz Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, here is a new one, a politician playing politics. That is exactly what the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration is accused of doing.

Canadians have grave concerns about how much pressure the minister used to promote his friend's firm for a half a million dollar contract while he was Secretary of State for Amateur Sport. The Minister of Public Works insists that his department signed the contract but he cannot or will not tell us who is responsible for promoting Groupe Everest in the first place.

With evidence mounting daily that the minister did indeed direct the contract to his buddies at Groupe Everest, will the Prime Minister show us some of his new ethics and mount a real investigation into this?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, again to refresh the hon. gentleman's memory, as I have said in the House before, there was a pre-qualified suppliers list. It was available to both the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Department of Public Works. It was established through a competitive process and the particular firm in question here was on that list.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gerry Ritz Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, there is more than just Groupe Everest on that pre-qualified list. Why did some of the other names not come forward, other than just his buddy at Groupe Everest?

The conflict of interest code says: “Public office holders shall not step out of their official roles to assist private entities--”. A growing number of public servants have corroborated each other's claims that the secretary of state did just that, and now he will not even defend his actions here in the House.

Is the government prepared to announce a full investigation into this situation or will it once again just stonewall Canadians?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I want to say that he cannot make an accusation that the minister does not want to defend himself in the House. He should know the rules of the House. It is the minister who is responsible for his department and in this case the minister responsible for the contract is the Minister of Public Works. If he wants to be in order he will have to follow the rules of the House of Commons.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Lanctôt Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Public Works confirmed that the process begins once the contract has been signed. The contract with Everest is dated May 30, 2000, but the Internet site was in operation as early as May 19, which is two weeks before the contract was signed.

Does the Minister of Public Works admit that Everest did work before the contract was signed, which is unacceptable?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I would simply point out that in relation to government contracting, if certain firms undertake, on their own behalf, some work in anticipation of a contract they do so at their own risk and there is no guarantee that they will get it.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Lanctôt Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, since it is not normal to do work before a contract is signed and since it has been established that the Internet site was already in existence since May 19, 2000, which is two weeks before the contract was signed, could the minister tell us how much money he deducted from the Everest contract for the work done by that firm before the contract was signed, without being authorized to do such work?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I inquired into the procedure here and after a contract is in fact awarded it is up to the client department to decide if any work that may have been done falls within the scope of the contract. If prior work were undertaken I would quite frankly remind all private sector companies that that is a risky practice which they ought not to pursue.

Prairie Farmers
Oral Question Period

November 6th, 2002 / 2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

David Anderson Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, seven days ago the government was eager to lock up prairie farmers because they sold their own grain. They are still in jail. Yet the minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board has been aware for some time that the board is operating illegally by charging the cost of export licences to prairie farmers.

Could he tell us why he locks up prairie farmers but takes no action against the Wheat Board when it breaks the law?

Prairie Farmers
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the hon. member and all hon. members that any conduct inconsistent with a statute of Canada or a regulation of Canada is subject to prosecution. Quite frankly, if the gentleman has any information that ought to be brought to the attention of the law officers of the Crown, rather than grandstanding, I invite him to do it.

Prairie Farmers
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

David Anderson Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, the minister received the information two weeks ago. He created the law that jailed these farmers. He insisted that the farmers go to jail. He has kept farmers in jail for the last week. Why is he so eager to jail farmers and so reluctant to enforce the law when it applies to his own department?

Prairie Farmers
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the correspondence that was first referred to in the House by the member for Yorkton—Melville has in fact been referred to officials and law officers to determine if there is any fact there that merits any further inquiry.

I would also point out to the hon. gentleman, in respect of the farmers who were protesting by means of the conduct which he has referred to, that they had options and alternatives. They themselves have said that they chose this option.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the contract awarded to Everest for the tour by the former Secretary of State for Amateur Sport, as the heritage minister said repeatedly yesterday, everything was done in accordance with the standards and procedures in place at Canadian Heritage.

I would like her to tell us again whether, at Canadian Heritage, it is the procedure and practice to negotiate contracts directly with suppliers and then have them approved by Public Works Canada? Is that the procedure followed in her department?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Minister of Canadian Heritage

Yes, Mr. Speaker.