House of Commons Hansard #38 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was energy.

Topics

Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay Byelection
Statements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, Gilbert Tremblay, the Liberal candidate in the Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay by-election, has stated without turning a hair to the regional press that, had he not sat on the regional sociopolitical committee, the federal government would never have been aware of the issue surrounding Agropur of Chambord.

Nothing could be further than the truth. We have proof of this in Hansard . The member for Roberval was the first to speak out against this situation, on October 29, and then my colleague from Jonquière carried the ball by bringing it up on November 7, 8 and 29.

The same cannot be said of the federal member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord. A painstaking examination of Hansard does not yield a single instance in which the Liberal member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord brought this situation to the government's attention publicly.

What cheek for the Liberal candidate in the riding of Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay to make such a statement, when there are official records which prove the contrary.

Violence Against Women
Statements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, December 6 is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. On this day in particular Canadians are encouraged to discover methods to deal with violence in the daily lives of many. One of the many forms of violence against women that needs to be addressed is spousal assault.

Twenty years ago this topic was brought up in this very Chamber to the apparent amusement of some of the hon. members. As was the case in 1982, the numbers today are certainly no laughing matter. In the year 2000, female victims of reported spousal assault were in the majority. There were over 28,000 of them. That number could have been twice as much since only 37% of suspected cases of spousal assault are reported when a female victim is involved. Many more women live in silence and fear.

Last year 69 women were victims of spousal homicide. This number has significantly increased in just one year. That is slightly more than one woman being killed by her current or ex-spouse every week.

It is important that Canadians take these facts to heart. We can all make a difference in taking action against violence against women today and everyday.

Firearms Registry
Statements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rick Borotsik Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Auditor General's report once again put the spotlight on the government's ill-fated gun registry program. In the report she highlights the “astronomical cost overruns” and the government's “failure to report to Parliament”.

It is not at all surprising to see that the government has once again mismanaged Canadian taxpayer dollars.

Let us not forget who was the architect of this fiasco: the current Minister of Industry. There seems to be a dark cloud that follows the minister wherever he goes. Who can forget his legacy: the Airbus blunder, the hepatitis C controversy and the Cipro affair.

However, the biggest and most expensive Christmas gift of all was the $1 billion gun registry program. It is costly, inefficient, confusing and, above all, legislation that is prepared to make honest people criminals and criminals, like the Hell's Angels Maurice “Mom” Boucher, a registered gun owner.

The way the Kyoto accord is going, the minister must have had his hand in that one too.

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I want to return to the Auditor General's report and government mismanagement.

Last week the government denied suggestions of a billion dollar cost overrun in the firearms registry, yet the Auditor General says the government has known this for two years.

All of this sounds very familiar. The government denied the billion dollar boondoggle at HRDC, it is attempting to sweep the sponsorship scandals under the rug and it is headed toward a multi-billion dollar boondoggle on Kyoto.

My question is straightforward. What financial controls will the new finance minister put in place to end the mismanagement problems of his predecessor?

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday, the numbers are known by the population.

The question raised by the Auditor General is basically a question of reporting: the way we should report to be accountable to the population. Numbers were known, whether through Justice Canada or other stakeholders that are involved in the program delivery and administering.

As I said yesterday, we accept the recommendations of the Auditor General. Indeed, are we concerned? Yes, we are concerned and we will fix the problems.

Firearms Registry
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the justice minister says the numbers are known. In his defence of the massive overspending on the firearms registry, yesterday his office put out a press release stating that the projected costs for this year were $113.5 million. That forecast did not even include the extra $72 million that the justice minister asked for and received from the House in supplementary estimates two months ago.

How can the justice minister's financial oversight be so incompetent that he does not even know about the current expenditures in his own department?

Firearms Registry
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I have said many times, the numbers are well known. The Auditor General recognizes that all the numbers have been approved by Parliament.

The question raised by the Auditor General was on the way we should report. Of course, the Department of Justice and I, as Minister of Justice, are accountable and are seen as being the single point for being accountable to Parliament. We will manage with the external audit that we have asked for. We will manage in order to make sure that we will organize the books in a manner that is supported by the Auditor General.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

December 4th, 2002 / 2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the numbers, he says, are well known. The truth is, the justice minister does not have a clue about how much this is costing.

On another issue of mismanagement, yesterday the public works minister prevented a second audit of the sponsorship scandal from seeing the light of day. He is hiding behind a police investigation to prevent this information from coming to Parliament.

Surely the minister is not suggesting that every page of a 2,500 page audit is subject to police investigation. Will the minister agree in the House to reveal the portions of the audit that the police are not using in their investigation?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, there is absolutely no second audit. There was a second sampling done after the first, which confirmed the first findings. We went through all of the ATIP release procedures to provide this information to the public, to provide the information to Canadians, and it was indeed the advice of the RCMP that we could not release it. If the RCMP changes that advice, I will release it.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Auditor General ripped the government over its failure to respect the intent of the EI act.

The finance minister and his predecessor think that workers and employers should be satisfied with thin dime reductions of EI premiums when the Auditor General and the Chief Actuary both say that the reduction should be 50¢.

How long will the finance minister perpetuate the EI rip-off started by his predecessor?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am sure the hon. member was paying attention when the announcement was made in October 2000 to reduce a whole series of taxes and charges on the Canadian public, amounting to $100 billion over five years. Included in that has been reduction in EI charges, and the member will know that next year alone that amounts to over $800 million.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, that is a little like the bank robber who pleads not guilty because he did not steal all the money.

Yesterday the Auditor General said that it was Parliament's intent that the employment insurance program be run on a break even basis over the course of a business cycle. I guess the finance minister has break even mixed up a little bit with break and enter.

How much longer will the finance minister perpetuate the EI rip-off started by his predecessor, the member for LaSalle—Émard?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I know the arithmetic is really tough for the hon. member. Maybe he can try to figure it out for himself if I give him a little help.

We have a whole series of sources of revenue. Relating to EI premiums, they include taxes of a variety--

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

John Manley Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, they do not want to listen so perhaps I should just wait.