House of Commons Hansard #140 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was riding.

Topics

St. Lawrence Seaway
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, last May, Canada and the United States signed an agreement to analyze the current and future needs of the St. Lawrence Seaway, thereby opening the door to widening the seaway, approved in principle by the Minister of Transport and in accordance with the wishes of the U.S. military.

Can the Minister of the Environment tell us if he also gave his approval, thereby ensuring Canada's involvement, no matter what the environmental cost?

St. Lawrence Seaway
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, as I understand it, this started in January 2001 when the United States army corps of engineers was authorized by the United States congress to initiate a reconnaissance phase of a possible five year study to review the feasibility et cetera.

In July the corps of engineers recommended further research. We are very far from any firm plans to expand the seaway.

St. Lawrence Seaway
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, tthe fact remains that the government has signed an agreement. It signs first and evaluates second. However, the study on the future needs of the seaway is just the starting point. In a memo dated February 13, the U.S. Department of Defence hoped to ensure Canada's cooperation in conducting a study on widening the St. Lawrence.

Can the Minister of the Environment tell us if Canada is taking part in a study specifically on the widening of the St. Lawrence Seaway, as the U.S. military wants? Has he let military considerations take precedence over the environment?

St. Lawrence Seaway
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I already answered this question, yesterday, in the House of Commons. As I said, we are studying this in cooperation with the U.S. military. These are simply studies to determine if widening the seaway is in the interests not only of Canada, but also the United States.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

October 21st, 2003 / 2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister tried to justify the purchase of Challenger jets for the cabinet by saying, “We wanted to have Canadian planes”.

So what did he do? He tendered a contract without any competitive bidding. The rules say there should be competitive bidding.

My question is for the Minister of Public Works and Government Services. Is this a major purchase?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, obviously, this is a significant contract compared to, for example, the contract for purchasing military helicopters.

This is a relatively minor contract in respect of the jets. The two are not in the same order of magnitude when we compare the value. The best information I have is that the rules were appropriately followed.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, so to the minister of public works $100 million is just a tiny issue. Here is the issue.

The minister, who was not there at the time, says it was not his problem; however, his assistant deputy minister, a Queen's counsel lawyer, said this deal would be very difficult to justify in court.

My question is to the minister. Is this the sort of deal that he today approves of, yes or no?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman is a master at twisting but not very good at the facts.

The facts of the matter are that a decision has been made with respect to the procurement of certain aircraft. Based on all of the information that has been presented to me, the appropriate steps were followed.

For the record, there was a warning extended that there could be legal proceedings. In fact, there were none.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, given the growing opposition to genetically modified wheat by farmers and given the Canadian Wheat Board's intention to prevent the release of Monsanto's genetically modified wheat variety because it poses an economic and environmental risk, can the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food inform the House as to whether he will reject Monsanto's application?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows and the House knows that the first concerns we all have, whether it be products of biotechnology or whatever, are that of science and safety. Both must be reviewed by the Ministry of Health or the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

We also know there are other concerns in areas such as roundup ready wheat. We are discussing the implementation of another step in the process with the industry, the provinces and everyone in order to recognize the concerns that are out there before any product is commercialized, even if it did pass all of the safety tests. That step needs to be put in place and we are working toward doing that.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Deputy Prime Minister defended a one day contract to purchase new Challengers by saying that ministers should fly in airplanes made by Canadian workers.

Can this minister explain why the government bought used submarines from Great Britain when Canadian shipyards sit idle and he wants our military to float its used submarines?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I regret that we did not have anybody making submarines at the time

However, I will defend everyday the need of Canadian ministers to fly in Canadian made airplanes, made by Canadian workers at Canadian facilities, using parts that are made in Canadian plants, just the same as I defend using money to help the conversion of the Saint John shipyard, which is something she was wanting to take credit for that very thing being done.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. We have to be able to hear the supplementary question from the hon. member for Saint John. She has the floor, but with all the enthusiasm for her next question I cannot hear it.

The hon. member for Saint John has the floor.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, first and foremost, I have worked to keep the shipyard going; however, no Liberals have helped us one little bit.

Secondly, Mr. Speaker, yes, indeed, you know and I know that the old Challengers were made in Canada. When the government bought the Challengers, it put aside the rules governing procurements on the basis that it was buying Canadian made equipment.

Will that policy extend for the purchase of the Sea Kings? Will the government choose--