House of Commons Hansard #24 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was citizens.

Topics

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the defence minister criticized military personnel for making sarcastic jokes about the Sea King helicopters. He said the humour was in poor taste. Let me tell the House what is really in poor taste. It is the way the minister criticizes the gallows humour used by those condemned to fly in our Sea Kings instead of providing them with new helicopters.

When will the minister tell Canadians specific dates for the replacement of the Sea King helicopters, or will he admit that his government has no intention of replacing them?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the safety of our brave men and women in the Canadian Forces who fly those helicopters and their families are of paramount concern. I stated that I thought it was in poor taste to have pictures denigrating those helicopters, given that our men and women are flying them.

I also have said repeatedly that it is a high priority for me. There has been some slippage and I am working very hard to get that helicopter as soon as possible.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-De- Beaupré—Île-D'Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minutes from the April 10, 2000 meeting show that Everest had started its work organizing the Secretary of State for Amateur Sport's tour seven weeks before the contract was signed with the government. This is quite a financial risk for a company.

Who had enough clout to give Everest a solid enough guarantee that it would take on the risk of carrying out a large part of this contract, without yet having been awarded it officially? This had to come from the top.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, no one gives guarantees to the private sector. If work was undertaken in advance of a formal contract being authorized, then that work was entirely at the risk of the private sector company.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-De- Beaupré—Île-D'Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, is it not obvious that the only person who had enough clout to reassure his friend, Claude Boulay, and tell him, “Go ahead Claude, you'll get the contract for my tour, I'll look after it for you”, was the secretary of state himself?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Minister of Canadian Heritage

No, Mr. Speaker.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

November 7th, 2002 / 2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Keith Martin Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government's systematic neglect of our military is threatening the safety and security of Canadians. Some countries have even questioned our lax borders. Now we learn that the navy will be receiving cuts and it will be forced to ground its ships for five month periods of time. Drug smugglers, terrorists and other individuals will take advantage of this.

My question for the Minister of National Defence is: Why is the government forcing our navy to ground our ships, leaving our borders defenceless?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, our borders are far from defenceless. As I have said in the House before, there are stresses in the defence budget. We are not allowed to run a deficit. Therefore some low priority items in the navy's budget are being postponed as a result of the need to live within our budget. This is responsible behaviour from the point of view of the taxpayer.

I might add that this new planning group with the United States, where we will work more closely with the United States to defend our coasts, will be a plus for Canada.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Keith Martin Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have a message for the defence minister. Defending our borders is not a low priority. This is not a small problem; it is acute.

I am asking and pleading with the defence minister as we all are. It is not only us. Our military personnel are also asking the minister because they are deeply worried that we cannot protect our shoreline.

My question is simply this: In this age of terrorism, will the minister stand up, be counted, and put the investment back in our navy so that it does not have to ground our ships and leave our borders undefended?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, there is a lot of water around our country. It is always a challenge for both Canada and the United States to defend it. We will be working more closely together in the future to do that.

But I can tell the hon. member that in terms of our top priorities, there has been absolutely no change. These priorities are: force generation for the campaign against terrorism, maritime surveillance, force protection and Victoria Class submarine preparations. There has been absolutely no reduction in any of those vital programs.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, contrary to what the Minister of Public Works and Government Services says, no company would spend seven weeks doing most of the work of a $500,000 contract without having the government's authorization, unless it had obtained a very strong guarantee that it would be awarded the contract.

I am simply saying to the secretary of state that since he used his influence to help out his friend Claude Boulay, does he not think he should step down immediately?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 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 believe a question was asked again about a minister in his previous portfolio. This was raised in the House of Commons yesterday and the Chair will recognize it is out of order to put a question in that form.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, when referring to the ethics counsellor and in tabling his code of conduct 15 days ago, the Prime Minister said, “When it comes to matters of ethics, it is up to the Prime Minister to decide, not the ethics counsellor”.

Given this statement, and given the overwhelming evidence that we now have regarding the secretary of state in the awarding of the Everest contract, should the Prime Minister not immediately fire his secretary of state, who is involved in this affair up to his neck?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I was informed that an opposition member wrote to the ethics counsellor on this issue. It is up to Mr. Wilson to look into the matter. We will wait for the findings.

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, in refusing to ban all Hezbollah activities in Canada, the government has been offering the lame excuse that the left hand of Hezbollah does the killing but the right hand is a social group.

Today I have obtained the official written policy document of Hezbollah. I quote its leader. He states, “We obey the orders of one leader. Our military apparatus is not separate from our overall social fabric”. Hezbollah's own leader says there is no difference between the military arm and the social arm.

Will the minister now agree with him and ban all Hezbollah activities in Canada?