House of Commons Hansard #195 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-55.

Topics

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the matters pertaining to the sponsorship program, the auditor general has conducted an inquiry, she has filed a report, she has referred certain matters to the RCMP and she has indicated that she will be conducting a government-wide audit into all these matters. I would point out that once that report is filed, it is automatically referred to the public accounts committee and to all members of the House.

Africa
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Carole-Marie Allard Laval East, QC

Mr. Speaker, Africa will be on the agenda during the Kananaskis summit, on June 26 and 27.

Could the Secretary of State for Latin America, Africa and the Francophonie tell us what he is currently doing to make Canadians aware of this issue?

Africa
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Brome—Missisquoi
Québec

Liberal

Denis Paradis Secretary of State (Latin America and Africa) (Francophonie)

Mr. Speaker, we are extremely proud to be Canadians when we see what the Prime Minister and Canada have done to include Africa as a priority issue during the G-8 summit.

I personally began a Canada-wide awareness tour, along with a number of MPs. We visit schools and we meet special interest groups and members of the local and regional newspapers.

When 53 of Africa's poorest countries agree on a partnership plan to develop that continent, and when eight of the world's richest countries are getting ready to provide a response, I think we are about to witness a historic moment.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the health minister.

Given the latest evidence of skyrocketing drug costs, Canadians would really like to know why the Liberals will not abolish the Progressive Conservative inspired drug patent protection act. This is the act that is gouging Canadians and an act the Liberals once promised to scrap.

With almost $400,000 rolling into Liberal Party coffers from pharmaceutical companies, could it be that Liberals are just as addicted to drug money as they are to communications company money?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is correct that the total cost of drugs in the health care system does continue to rise. This is a matter that was identified as being of concern for first ministers and was addressed in the accord signed in September 2000 by the Prime Minister and the premiers.

The federal government and provincial and territorial health ministers continue to work together, dare I say very effectively, in relation to dealing with tough issues around drug utilization, prices of individual drugs and the total cost of drugs to the health care system.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

May 30th, 2002 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Dick Proctor Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, for years now the agriculture minister has been urging grain farmers to diversify into livestock and they have. Now Saskatchewan agricultural producers are saying that half the cattle herds in that province are at risk because the water has dried up and the pastures have burned up in a devastating drought.

The $2.2 million in the rural water development program evaporated months ago and more than 2,000 applications are still outstanding. The question the farmers and ranchers want answered by the government is why does the minister of agriculture refuse to take the request forward for an additional $5 million for this program?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, on an annual basis there is $5.5 million for rural water projects in western Canada. Last year the government added another $3.3 million to that. Just a few weeks ago we added another $1.1 million to it in the hon. member's province.

This is usually done on a cost share basis but in that case the member's own province did not even want to help the farmers in Saskatchewan so the federal government did it on its own for them.

Government Grants
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, the conflict of interest questions surrounding the solicitor general's conduct in helping his brother's college access over $8 million comes straight out of the Shawinigate playbook. They have run this pattern before. Like the Prime Minister, the solicitor general, upon hearing that a loan he wanted approved was rejected, intervened directly and personally with what is supposed to be an arm's length government agency, namely the RCMP.

What exactly did the solicitor general say to the commissioner of the RCMP in his meeting on May 14?

Government Grants
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Cardigan
P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I have said many times in the House, what happened was that the proposal was given to my office and submitted to the AIF. When my office received a copy, it submitted a copy to the RCMP. When the commissioner met with me on May 14, he indicated to me that they would have difficulty supporting the project.

Government Grants
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, we know what the commissioner said. My question was what did the solicitor general say?

Can the solicitor general tell the House whether he has pulled any other patterns out of the Shawinigate playbook? In other words, has the solicitor general and political minister for P.E.I. made similar direct interventions to lobby on behalf of any of the millions of dollars in contracts awarded to the APM Group whose CEO, Tim Banks, is the president of the P.E.I. Liberal Party?

Government Grants
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Cardigan
P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, any proposal that I receive from Prince Edward Island is sent to the appropriate department to be dealt with. Any proposal that I have received has been dealt with fairly. I am surprised that my hon. colleague would try to defame people who are trying to make Prince Edward Island and Atlantic Canada a better place in which to live.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ted White North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians now know that political interference in the awarding of advertising contracts started in the office of the Minister of Finance as far back as 1994. That is when the minister's assistant urged officials to add Liberal firms and donors to the preferred list. Just months after being elected on the Prime Minister's platform of ethical government, there was the Minister of Finance up to his neck in the pork barrel trying to get jobs for his Liberal friends.

For how long after 1994 did the minister continue with this completely unethical practice? Is he still adding names to the list, or has he run out of names?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, in 1993 when we took office the very important Canada savings bond program was in fact in slow motion, if not on the skids. It was in desperate need of revitalization. That was my opinion, the opinion of the department and that of most outside observers.

One of the important ways in which one does this is to increase the professionalism of the services that are being provided for it. What was recommended in the memo was that we go to as open and transparent a bidding process with as many bidders as possible. That is what the memo recommended and that is good policy.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ted White North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, telling officials to look in the yellow pages is the way to get good competition. In the yellow pages in Ottawa alone there are hundreds of firms listed. That is the way to get a good competition going.

The Minister of Finance has not denied that he pressured his officials to add Liberal firms to his preferred list of appointments. He also added Groupe Everest to that list. He has not complained about Groupe Everest. This could be one of the firms that is under investigation by the RCMP.

Why did the minister instruct his officials to add Groupe Everest to his list of preferred advertising companies? What exact--

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Finance.