House of Commons Hansard #201 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was broadcasting.

Topics

Reproductive Technology
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we asked the advisory committee to look at this issue for that very reason. We want to ensure that our regulation reflects Canadian values and the public interest.

We have now received the report with recommendations. We will consider it. As I have told the hon. member, we will be certain to look carefully at all these issues in the public interest.

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Question Period

June 7th, 2002 / 11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Hillsborough, PE

Mr. Speaker, this country is surrounded by oceans. About 10 years, June 8 was declared oceans day at the earth summit in Rio. Tomorrow Canadians in their activities will be celebrating our oceans.

Could the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans inform this House and all Canadians what progress the government is making in its oceans agenda?

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

West Nova
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Robert Thibault Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Hillsborough his fine question. Over the past four years the Government of Canada has worked hard to promote sustainable oceans development through the Oceans Act. We have launched 21 integrated management pilot initiatives across the country and contributed to dozens of stewardship activities and international events.

I am quite proud of the work done by DFO employees, together with Canadians from all regions, to manage our oceans resource.

I ask the House and all my colleagues to join me in celebrating oceans day.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Pallister Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, the story of the Virginia Fontaine treatment centre is a sad one. It is a story about the abuse of trust. It is a tragic tale of cruises, condos and corruption. It is a story about reprehensible people who use the plight of aboriginal people and young aboriginal children addicted to substances to line their own pockets.

Yesterday the government said that it had overpaid the provinces and it wanted all the money back. Therefore, in the interests of consistency, I ask the government this. How many of the dollars that were stolen from troubled aboriginal children has it recovered?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, my predecessor, as soon as it became known to him that there was an alleged misuse of public funds, took immediate action. We are now relying on two national firms of chartered accountants to conduct audits in accordance with professional standards.

It is very clear to us that this is indeed a troubling and difficult situation. We are acting expeditiously to ensure: first, that these kinds of things do not happen again; and, second, that--

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Portage--Lisgar.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Pallister Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, that is simply not acceptable. There have been zero charges laid, zero dollars recovered, zero steps taken and zero demonstration that the government has learned anything from its past failures.

This week the government quietly reopened the facility. Aboriginal leaders I have spoken with have justifiable fears of recurrences.

In its haste to download responsibilities on to aboriginal communities without appropriate training, without appropriate safeguards in place, why is the government abdicating its responsibility to aboriginal children?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we are not abdicating our responsibility. As I said, as soon as it became known that public funds may have been misused, action was taken. We are proceeding. We have taken two court actions against the Virginia Fontaine addiction centre.

Let me reassure this hon. member that we take this situation very seriously. We will do everything in our power to ensure that aboriginal children and others are not put at risk.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister said in the House that a public inquiry was not needed. He said “We cannot be any more open than we are being right now”. Yet today we learned that the Prime Minister knew there were serious problems with the sponsorship program.

How can the Deputy Prime Minister justify the Prime Minister telling us that he wanted to provide all of the information to the House in response to our questions, when in fact, for two years, he did everything possible to ensure that this affair did not become public knowledge? Such hypocrisy.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Mississauga South
Ontario

Liberal

Paul Szabo Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, as a consequence of the internal audit that was commissioned by Public Works and Government Services Canada, corrective actions were taken.

As a consequence of further irregularities being found, the department instituted corrective actions. We now have a management framework review by the treasury board. We have a review by the public accounts committee. We have a complete review by the department itself. We have a formal review by the auditor general in addition to investigations that have been referred to the RCMP.

Acoa
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour—Petitcodiac, NB

Mr. Speaker, could the Minister of State for ACOA explain to us how Atlantic Canada is attracting new investment and why the Alliance members are so wrong when they claim that the defeatist attitude in Atlantic Canada impedes economic growth?

Acoa
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Beauséjour—Petitcodiac is very right to be proud of the performance of Atlantic Canada.

While the Canadian Alliance is spreading a tale of defeatism about Atlantic Canada, myself, the four Atlantic premiers and 65 business people were in New York City. We talked to New York City business people who were looking to invest in Atlantic Canada. Those people told us that Atlantic Canada had one of the most entrepreneurial climates that they had ever seen. They are very proud of Atlantic Canada.

We are carrying on that winning relationship. It has been reinforced that Atlantic Canada is a fabulous place to do business.

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Myron Thompson Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, this week 34 ministers of the Organization of American States, pledging to collectively fight terrorism and increase security across the western hemisphere, signed an anti-terrorism agreement. Canada was not one of the signatories.

I ask the Deputy Prime Minister this. Why did the government neglect to sign the inter-American convention against terrorism?

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I had the occasion and the pride to represent our country at that meeting. I made it clear to all the participants at the meeting that Canada will sign that agreement. As was put to me by the secretary general of the organization itself, Canada is ensuring that we have everything in proper order in our own house before we do so.

We will get this through cabinet. This agreement will be signed. We have full co-operation with every nation in the Americas in the fight against terrorism.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, for two years the Prime Minister's office knew of the problems with the sponsorship program. As soon as the internal investigation was launched in 2000, the PMO could have put an end to the shenanigans.

However, the Prime Minister's close advisers preferred to spend their energy covering up the affair instead of ordering a real administrative reform and dealing with the guilty parties.

How can the Deputy Prime Minister, who is strangely silent in defence of the Prime Minister today, still say that an independent public inquiry is not necessary, when clearly it is the only way to truly find out what really happened, and more importantly, who was pulling the strings?