House of Commons Hansard #138 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was marijuana.

Topics

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Human Resources Development is announcing the creation of yet another committee that will consider the effects of EI policies on seasonal workers. I want to remind the minister that the Standing Committee on Human Resources Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities tabled a unanimous report containing 17 recommendations, not one of which the minister retained.

Rather than create yet another partisan committee, if the minister really wants to help seasonal workers, why does she not simply implement the 17 recommendations of the Standing Committee on Human Resources Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities? The solutions are there; the government needs to act.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Minister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I just explained that the government has just extended the program by one year, as the workers expected and that, in the meantime, the Prime Minister has appointed the task force to find longer term solutions for seasonal workers.

That answer is extremely clear: we are moving forward. We have just announced additional benefits. The hon. member, on behalf of her constituents and other stakeholders, should be pleased.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, there is no lack of reports and studies on the EI program; in fact, there are too many. First the standing committee, and now the Canadian Labour Congress and Statistics Canada are criticizing all the EI program failures.

Instead of wasting time with another committee, the minister has everything she needs to implement the necessary reforms. What will it take for the government to act?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Minister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, it is not about wasting time. On the contrary, we have improved benefits, as the minister announced yesterday. There is now a task force and, furthermore, this morning's news about unemployment is once again extremely encouraging. There are 10,000 more Canadians working this month. The government is continuing to look out for all Canadian workers.

Health
Oral Question Period

October 10th, 2003 / 11:25 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, the provincial finance ministers are meeting in Ottawa today.

At least two of the provinces will be forced to run budget deficits unless the government honours a commitment to provide an additional $2 billion for health care. The federal finance minister has suggested that money could be freed up if the political will exists. He has to answer his own question.

The real question is, will any monetary commitment made by the outgoing Prime Minister be honoured by the incoming prime minister? This is provincial purgatory. Does the commitment exist or not?

Health
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, for the good health of our federation, I urge the leader of the Conservative Party to agree that the commitment was to give $2 billion additional above the contingency reserve if a surplus exists. He should not distort the agreement because then he is not helping the federation.

Health
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, the incoming prime minister is the one who has put these provinces in this position. It is imperative that the provinces know if stable health care funding is going to be made available. The question is one of priorities, not politics.

The Naylor report released this week had very harsh words for the government in the way that the SARS crisis was handled, saying it was marked by a lack of leadership and a lack of collaboration between levels of government.

Will the government commit to work with the provinces on developing a national strategy to deal with a SARS outbreak, should that happen, and will it commit to a health emergency contingency fund?

Health
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, we said that we want to work with the provinces. That is why we have asked for a review of what happened about SARS. It is our duty to identify for public health what is the federal responsibility, what are the provincial responsibilities and how we may work together to help in this difficult situation.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I want to re-engage the Minister of Industry with respect to the contract given to Lockheed Martin for the Canadian census.

Yesterday the minister said on the way out of the House that the trade agreements made him do it. He knows that the trade agreements did no such thing. The trade agreements do not force the government to contract out the census to anyone.

I want to ask him why he is hiding behind the trade agreements. While he is at it, if he takes the trade agreements so seriously, can he tell us why the government does not take arms control treaties seriously enough that it is participating in star wars and negotiating with the Americans over NMD? If it took those treaties seriously--

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. Minister of Public Works and Government Services.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, contrary to what the hon. gentleman has just said, the project in question does indeed fall subject to the rules of the NAFTA and the WTO. Industry participation, according to the rules of the trade agreement, were sought by a letter of interest.

The RFP was published on the Merx system from September 4, 2002 to the closing date of November 4, 2002. Proposals were received. The proposal from Lockheed Martin was judged to be the best of those proposals at the best price. It was indeed adjudicated by an independent third party.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, the trade agreements do not force the government to put out an RFP in the first place. This is something that could be done by the government, by Statistics Canada. There is no need to contract it out in the first place and the trade agreement does not force the government to do that.

I want to ask the minister in charge, does he not think that the knowledge by Canadians that this is going to be done by a big American multinational will cause them concerns about confidentiality and about privacy? Does he not expect that there will be a lot less compliance with the census than there has been in the past? Given the mistake that the government is about to make, will it rescind this contract immediately?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, there are in fact stringent provisions in the contract to ensure that the security of Canadians is properly respected and that the whole process with respect to the census is conducted with complete integrity.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the guest book at the lavish Irving fishing lodge must read like a who's who of the Liberal caucus. Yesterday we learned that the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence was flown into the lodge on the Irvings' private jet. Now we know that the Minister of Industry and his family also enjoyed the Irvings' generous hospitality, first class, first hand, free of charge.

Federal conflict rules forbid ministers and parliamentary secretaries from accepting gifts worth more than $200. Clearly this gift was worth more than $200. Why did the industry minister break the rules?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the trip took place in the summer of 2001 when I was minister of health.

Once named Minister of Industry, after I was made Minister of Industry I informed the ethics counsellor of all the particulars relating to the trip. He gave me advice with respect to how I should conduct myself to avoid conflict and I followed his advice to the letter.