House of Commons Hansard #192 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was life.

Topics

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the business involving contracts to Coffin bears a strange resemblance to the Groupaction affair. In the Groupaction affair, the federal government got one report for the price of three, while in the Coffin affair it got none for the price of two.

Will the Deputy Prime Minister not acknowledge that this new and worrisome affair again justifies a public inquiry?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the facts in relation to the Coffin matter were revealed through an internal audit which was initiated by the department of public works itself.

As a result of that audit, corrective action was taken by at least two of my predecessors. As I informed the House earlier, I am determining at this moment whether anything further is specifically required with respect to this matter or the broader issues involved.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, every day brings with it a new case. The most disconcerting thing is the connections between ministers, ministers' offices and companies, and the nature of the contracts obtained by those companies.

In light of the fact that what we have discovered to date looks far more like a well organized system than an isolated event, will the Deputy Prime Minister not admit that even basic decency requires a public inquiry in order to bring everything out into the open?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the hon. member that my concern in this matter is just as large and just as sincere as hers. The auditor general is undertaking the appropriate examination. As well, of course, certain matters have been referred to the RCMP where that is appropriate.

The House and all Canadians can be assured that the government will co-operate fully with all those inquiries to ensure complete transparency.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, the immigration minister has done a spectacular flip-flop on the facts about his close personal relationship with the man who raked in millions in Liberal contracts and donated generously in return. The minister vehemently denied receiving any help from Boulay. He pooh-poohed the very suggestion as “damn nonsense” and flatly stated: “No. Not at all”.

Yesterday the minister had to admit that he had stayed at chez Boulay. He has clearly failed to be open and above board. Why should Canadians still trust him with an important government portfolio?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations

Mr. Speaker, the contract in question, first, was not awarded by the individual who is now the minister of immigration. It was awarded by the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Second, as I have said repeatedly, he was not obliged to answer any questions about his private life when he was a member of parliament. The test of the code of ethics is not based upon the standards that the hon. member suggests. After all, why should anyone believe people in her party who said they would not receive a pension as a parliamentarian?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, in his first year as minister, Liberal largesse to his friend Boulay from his department more than doubled. The minister knew the situation violated the prohibition against “real, potential or apparent conflicts of interest”.

Here is his direct quote when asked recently about another minister “Between you and me, I don't stay in a place of a guy that is seeking government contracts”. However, once again that did not square with his secret lodging deal at chez Boulay.

How do these new facts reflect the Prime Minister's talk about integrity and public trust?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations

Mr. Speaker, I understand the lust for blood on the other side because, as they say, politics is a blood sport. However the failure of the Alliance to acknowledge that the standard for ministers does not apply to members of parliament to me is a trifle difficult to accept. It is rather disingenuous to not have a standard that applies to them and their statements and yet suggest that a backbencher on the government side is subject to some standard of their creation.

Research and Development
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, it was over 15 years ago that our Canadian hero, Rick Hansen, embarked on his record setting Man in Motion World Tour, raising awareness and $24 million for spinal cord injury. Since then he has raised $137 million.

Could the Minister of Industry tell us what the Government of Canada has done to help Rick Hansen in this important endeavour?

Research and Development
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, 15 years ago, the courage and determination shown by Rick Hansen inspired the nation. It did more than that. It galvanized an effort here and elsewhere in the world to find a cure for spinal cord injury.

This year the Government of Canada was proud to contribute some $13 million to a partnership fund shared by the University of British Columbia and the Vancouver General Hospital, which will accelerate the research through the Rick Hansen Institute in finding a cure for those afflicted with spinal cord injury.

He is an extraordinary man, one we respect and treasure as a great Canadian.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, this past Saturday 40,000 British Columbians spoke out against Gordon Campbell's horrifying vision of B.C. It is a vision where one cannot afford to get sick or attend school and where even the basic right to assistance is being destroyed.

Why is the Minister of Health not supporting the people of B.C. to stop the destruction of our public heath care system. Is the government now so gutless that it will not even defend its own vision and mandate for health care as set out under the Canada Health Act? Why will she not defend our public health care system?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the five principles of the Canada Health Act are fundamental to our health care system and the renewal of our health care system. My officials are monitoring and working with the officials in B.C. to ensure that the restructuring which takes place in the province of British Columbia does not violate the five principles of the Canada Health Act.

Let me remind the hon. member that all of us, federal, provincial and territorial ministers of health and governments, are working hard on behalf of our residents and citizens to renew our health care system and to have a health care system that is there for everyone when they need it.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I do not think the health minister really gets it. Canadians expect this government and this minister to act. They wonder when the health minister, after four months of inaction, will finally engage in the critical health debate of the day.

Today the health care in Canada annual survey came out. It shows that three-quarters of Canadians believe now that medicare is underfunded. Seventy per cent actually say they would pay more in taxes for the necessary changes to health care.

Canadians are willing to do their part. Will the Minister of Health do hers?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. members knows, if she put aside the rhetorical flourishes, we are very much involved with the renewal of health care, along with our provincial and territorial colleagues, other stakeholders and those who use our health care system. In fact the Romanow commission is concluding its national consultations with Canadians everywhere.

Senator Kirby and his senate committee are consulting with Canadians and others in relation to the future of health care.

In fact in September of 2000, the Prime Minister and the first ministers entered into an accord with $21.1 billion new dollars for health care.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

May 27th, 2002 / 2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, in a cynical effort to shift attention away from the unethical conduct of his ministers, the Prime Minister has simply shuffled the deck. The hasty changes in cabinet leave Canadians more suspicious about the Liberal government. It should dawn on the minister that the issue of public trust, real and perceived, has not been addressed.

Would the renewed government House leader clear the air once and for all and simply table the sequentially numbered cheques. This will allow Canadians to judge for themselves whether the minister's weekend at Boulay's was paid for prior to the scandal breaking?