House of Commons Hansard #162 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was trade.

Topics

Grants and Contributions
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, yes the Bloc Quebecois has called for the auditor general to audit the government's entire administration, but every day we learn something new that goes beyond mere government administration. That is why we want a public inquiry.

Clearly, this entire affair is more than merely government administration. What we want to know, what the public wants to know, is the nature of the involvement of both ministers, including the hon. member for Sudbury, the political staff, and the senior departmental staff, in the awarding of phony contracts to the Liberal Party's cronies in recent years.

Does the minister understand that this affair, which involves public funds, requires a public inquiry?

Grants and Contributions
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the only thing new here is that this is the newest version of the same questions.

I repeat to the hon. member that the mandate of the auditor general is, first, to audit any file she wishes to audit.

Second, in connection with the Groupaction matter, she has been asked to review the requirements of the three contracts, to analyze and compare the content of the three documents, to review the process and to conduct any other audit procedures necessary.

Games of La Francophonie
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the Secretary of State for Amateur Sport told the House that he would conduct an investigation and that he would answer all questions concerning the organizing committee for the Games of La Francophonie.

Even though a Canadian commissioner is refusing to comment on the regularity of the committee's financial books, we learned this morning that there will be no investigation.

Can the Secretary of State for Amateur Sport explain why he went back on his word, and is he still sure that he will be able to answer all questions about the organization of these games?

Games of La Francophonie
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, it is not a question of a Canadian audit, but an audit by the international committee of the Games of La Francophonie.

Furthermore, the Bloc Quebecois critic accompanied me to the international conference two weeks ago where the rules for this audit were established. It was in Ouagadougou, in Burkina Faso and, if I am not mistaken, it was the same member who asked the question who delegated his colleague to attend in his place.

Games of La Francophonie
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, it is becoming clear that the Minister of Public Works and Government Services has inherited a political hot potato from former minister Gagliano. But this is a matter in which he is involved.

We will try another little question. We have in our hands documents showing that the Canada Information Office paid the organizing committee $600,000, much of it for advertising activities.

Can the minister assure us that no part of this $600,000 was paid as a commission to Rhéal Leroux, the games' general manager?

Games of La Francophonie
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member's question was asked in the House several months ago. We were asked whether commissions had been paid on Canada's sponsorships to the organizing committee of the Games of La Francophonie.

The information we were given at the time, which to my knowledge still obtains, was that no commissions were paid on government contributions.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

March 22nd, 2002 / 11:25 a.m.

NDP

Lorne Nystrom Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister for International Trade. Yesterday in Monterrey, Mexico, the Prime Minister met with Presidents Bush and Fox to push for the fast tracking of the free trade zone of the Americas. Meanwhile in Washington the softwood lumber talks have collapsed.

How can the government say that NAFTA is working just fine when the softwood lumber situation demonstrates once again that NAFTA only works and is good for the U.S. lobbying groups and not good for ordinary Canadian people?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, as the member knows very well, within NAFTA we have not eliminated national trade laws. Canada has maintained its national trade laws within NAFTA. The United States has as well maintained its national trade laws within NAFTA. Unfortunately it is those very trade laws that the United States is using and abusing for punitive measures against softwood lumber.

I would say that the Canada--United States bilateral trade is a very successful one, but of course we are extremely frustrated that we cannot have this free trade in softwood lumber as well.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Lorne Nystrom Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the extremely frustrated Minister for International Trade. How can the government ask Canadian people to wait another two or three years for a WTO ruling when the penalties the Americans are now talking about will wipe out dozens of Canadian communities and thousands of jobs?

Will the government table in the House today an emergency package that will assist those communities and assist those workers that will include such things as loan guarantees and measures from EI to help the people involved?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, the government will work very closely with industry. We will work very closely with the provinces. We have been doing this for a year and a half to two years on the softwood lumber file. I can say that we do believe in litigation unlike the member who seems to say that litigation is not the road.

We have identified a two track approach which we tried and spared no effort. That is what we have been doing this very week in Washington: sparing no effort at trying to reach a long term policy based solution. We said however that we would not sign a bad deal. We broke off the relations and the negotiations yesterday when we could not get that good deal. However we believe--

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

The Speaker

The right hon. member for Calgary Centre.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the leader of the government in the House and relates to the breakdown of the softwood lumber negotiations last night. Crippling duties on Canadian lumber exports could be announced as early as this afternoon. Further mill closures will be announced today in British Columbia where there are thousands of Canadians out of work.

The government did not have a plan to deal with the expiry of the softwood agreement last year. Now negotiations have failed. It says it is working now on some second track. That leaves communities across the country, particularly in British Columbia, in a terrible situation. They cannot wait longer. What--

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister for International Trade.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I am a little puzzled by the attitude of the leader of the Conservative Party. Yesterday his member for Cumberland--Colchester said that we should not cave in, that the last thing to do was to negotiate a bad deal during the course of the day. Yesterday the Conservative Party accused us of being in Washington to sell off the country. It was a terrible thing.

I am telling the House that the government has been working very hard in harmony with the provinces and the industry and they are supporting us unanimously.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, the simple fact is that the Conservative government to which the minister referred successfully negotiated a deal to keep the factories open, to keep the softwood mills going and to keep the workers going. This government has failed. The Conservatives succeeded where the Liberals have failed.

In the House the minister promised to come up with a plan with the industry and the provinces to help the thousands of people that have been thrown out of work and the communities that will be devastated. When is that meeting to be held?