House of Commons Hansard #194 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was public.

Topics

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, this morning we learned that the series on the Rocket received a grant—

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. We will have a little order. The official opposition has had questions and we will have more later, but we will not have them now.

The hon. member for Longueuil.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, this morning we learned that the series on the Rocket received a grant of $1 million, including $120,000 that was presumably paid in sponsorships to the firm Lafleur, before transiting through VIA Rail Canada and finally ending in the hands of Robert-Guy Scully's production company. Incidentally, Robert-Guy Scully also received $2 million to produce a television series on innovation.

In light of these new revelations, does the minister of public works not deem it appropriate to put the $2 million contract awarded to Robert-Guy Scully on hold, until more is known about this case?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, it is obvious that this file was reviewed by officials in my department. They concluded that there were matters here that raised important questions. Those questions have been referred to the RCMP. The RCMP will investigate and the matter will be disposed of according to law.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, based on the minister's reply, we must conclude that the contract awarded to Robert-Guy Scully should not have already existed.

What we are asking first and foremost is this: In order to spare us the lengthy delays of the access to information requests, will the minister of public works pledge in this House to table, at the earliest opportunity, the contracts for the series on the Rocket and Robert-Guy Scully's new contract, which already exists?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, obviously the matter is in the hands of the RCMP. I am sure no member of the House would want to pursue any course of conduct that would in any way interfere with the RCMP investigation.

On the other hand, I recognize the need for transparency and I will consider what can be done to ensure that while this matter is unfolding there is sufficient transparency to satisfy the public interest.

Government Grants
Oral Question Period

May 29th, 2002 / 2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, the president of Holland College is the brother of the solicitor general. In January the RCMP wrote Holland College to tell it there was no funding for its $3.5 million proposal.

Yesterday the Prime Minister admitted that the solicitor general raised this matter with the RCMP in a meeting in May. Today he admits that the solicitor general was lobbying.

Why did the solicitor general reopen this matter with the RCMP when the RCMP formally denied the request?

Government Grants
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Cardigan
P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I am aware of the letter to which my hon. colleague is referring and I stand by the facts that I gave yesterday. The facts are that the proposal was submitted to the AIF. My office received a copy and it was sent to the RCMP to be reviewed. The RCMP decided it would not support it.

Government Grants
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, that explanation goes nowhere. The solicitor general should not put political pressure on the RCMP. An independent police force is the hallmark of a democratic society.

How then can the solicitor general possibly suggest he was doing his job when he put political pressure on the RCMP commissioner to reconsider the decision? How can corrupting the RCMP be doing his job?

Government Grants
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Cardigan
P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday and I will say again today for my hon. colleague, as solicitor general I meet regularly with the commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and he briefs me on issues.

As I indicated yesterday, on May 14 this was one of the issues that came up. I said that yesterday as a fact and it is a fact today.

Francophone Youth
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, this afternoon, the minister of intergovernmental affairs announced a contribution of $3.5 million for a new initiative, “Francophone Youth and Community Futures”.

Three well-established community organizations, the Foundation franco-ontarienne, the Société des Jeux de l'Acadie, and Manitoba's Francofonds, will be the three recipients of this funding.

Can the minister tell us how this announcement will benefit the official language minority communities of Canada?

Francophone Youth
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, is it absolutely appropriate that the first question the hon. member for Saint Boniface asks in this House is on something that will directly affect the youth of Saint Boniface.

For the first time, with the help of Canadian heritage—and I thank its minister—the Government of Canada will be able to provide, direct to young francophones in minority communities throughout this country, assistance that will strengthen their sense of attachment to and full participation in the life of their communities. There is nothing more vital to a community than the enthusiastic involvement of its youth.

Whistleblowing
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, if we are going to get to the bottom of these sponsorship scandals, we need public servants to feel comfortable coming forward with whatever information they have. However they are not going to speak out if they are worried about being disciplined, fired or even charged for the role they may have played.

Canada does not have any whistleblowing legislation. As an interim measure until we do, will the government agree to a general amnesty for any public servant who brings forward information relevant to investigation of these sponsorship contracts?

Whistleblowing
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board

As you know, Mr. Speaker, treasury board has a policy on disclosure and there is an integrity agent officer for the public servants. In no way will they be disciplined if they disclose any wrongdoing in the public service.