House of Commons Hansard #41 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was kyoto.

Topics

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are told about enforcing rules and audits. It seems to me that it would have been simple to produce the full report.

Is the reason that the minister only produced part of the report not to hide a certain number of facts that would have been embarrassing for the government, and for some of his colleagues? If they are going to talk about transparency, they should not hide 11 pages. Why did he hide these pages?

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 one final report and that report has indeed been released. The department, in preparing that report, identified a number of difficulties having to do with billing procedures and other matters. The report indicated that every one of those allegations was being properly followed up. The appropriate action will be taken either by the police or through legal action to recover the money. All proper steps are indeed being taken.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the 16 page report became public, the minister said that he had hidden it to respect the principle of privacy.

How is the right to privacy violated if taxpayers know that, once again, Groupaction Marketing, received $147,000 to do a study but never submitted any report, if they know that, on average, Polygone received eight times too much money to organize the outdoor shows for which it was responsible? Whose privacy does the minister want to protect?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, in the material that the hon. gentleman referred to there were a number of allegations and questions raised. All of those allegations and questions are being pursued, as I indicated they would be when I released the material on October 10. When the process results in specific action that too will be released.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister was supposed to provide us with all the details of the internal investigation, not just tell us what he wants to tell us.

How does the minister justify that he hid this report from us to respect the right to privacy, when we are talking about public funds, about people working for the public, about a government that is accountable to the public and to whose Minister of Public Works I am directing my questions? What is private in all this?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, indeed I am responsible to the public. I promised to investigate every one of the allegations that was brought to my attention that merited either legal actions, references to auditors, time verification audits, or a review under the Financial Administration Act. All of that activity is underway. I would note that I have brought forward the final report of the file review process voluntarily, without being required to do so.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, the government is rewriting defence and foreign policies on the fly. We asked a couple of months ago about the deal and about the terms and conditions of the agreement signed today with the United States with absolutely no input from Parliament or, for that matter, all Canadians.

We know what happens when the government operates in the dark. The mismanagement of Bill C-68 is a classic example.

Why was this deal signed with the Americans with absolutely no input from Parliament and, for that matter, all Canadians?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we did speak to parliamentary committees. Parliamentary committees have produced reports recommending, some of them, to go even further than we have gone today in terms of Canada-U.S. military cooperation.

I would just add that this is a great deal. It is in the historical tradition of when we joined with the United States to defend the continent against Nazi Germany 60 years ago. Against the Soviet Union, we created Norad more than 40 years ago. Today I am very proud to say that faced with a third external threat, terrorism, we have joined together with the United States to once again defend this continent.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, I am on the defence committee and we never once discussed this agreement before that committee.

The fact is, we have major differences with the United States when it comes to military issues. We have differences over nuclear arms, landmines, the international court and our Arctic sovereignty. The United States still has not recognized Canada's Arctic sovereignty.

Again I ask the Minister of National Defence why he enters into these agreements without input from Parliament and, for that matter, all Canadians.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, it is true that we have important differences with the United States over such things as landmines and the International Criminal Court. This is obvious. We have said this many times, but this agreement today has nothing to do with that. Indeed, the hon. member may have forgotten, but as it says right here in my briefing notes, I recently discussed planning for this agreement when I appeared before the committee of which he is a member on November 27.

Firearms Registry
Oral Question Period

December 9th, 2002 / 2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, on June 12, 1991, the Prime Minister said:

...every minister in the cabinet that I will be presiding over will have to take full responsibility...If there is any bungling in the department...The minister will have to take the responsibility.

Which minister will take the full responsibility for the $700 million bungling on the gun registry? Will it be the current Minister of Industry, who started the scheme, or the current Minister of Health, who hid the costs from Parliament, or the present Minister of Justice, or will the Prime Minister himself take responsibility, and, Sir, what will the penalty be?

Firearms Registry
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Justice, who is handling the file at this time, is a very competent minister and he is doing what is needed at this moment.

Obviously the Auditor General indicated very clearly to us that we have some problems with this program and we are taking the steps to correct them.

Firearms Registry
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Then, Mr. Speaker, my next question is for the chairman of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts.

Will the chair seek agreement of the committee to conduct early public hearings on the report of the Auditor General concerning the overspending on the gun registry and the failure to report that overspending to Parliament?

In addition to hearing from the President of the Treasury Board and the Minister of Justice, will the committee seek evidence from the current Ministers of Industry and Health, who are directly involved in these cost overruns, and from the member for LaSalle—Émard, who on at least five occasions as a member of the Treasury Board had an opportunity to put an end to this billion dollar fiasco?

Firearms Registry
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Williams St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the right hon. member for his question.

I will say that I will place this question before the public accounts committee and if there is agreement from the Liberals as well as this side we will be glad to hold these investigations and table a report on what we find.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gerry Ritz Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, we have a brand new trend here: an actual answer in question period. Will wonders never cease?

In 1997, Public Works endorsed a proposal from Claude Boulay, owner of Groupe Everest, to create Attractions Canada. Taxpayers were already on the hook for the Canadian Tourism Commission. Its former president said, “...there's no real reason to have Attractions Canada up and running”, none at all.

The minister is clearly dragging his feet on cleaning up this abuse of $27 million in taxpayers' money. Is the job too big for him or do these programs simply serve the Liberal Party too well?