House of Commons Hansard #143 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was program.

Topics

Ethics
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the fact that there is a sawmill in the minister's riding that he visits in order to observe the operations is not inconsistent with complying with the regulations. The ethics counsellor has made it clear that he accepts that.

This is another example of those members dredging for minor things in order simply to throw mud. It brings the whole system into disrepute. They should think about that.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

David Anderson Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, it is one excuse after another why the cabinet does not have to abide by its own rules.

The labour minister broke the rules. She apologized and received a standing ovation from her colleagues. The industry minister broke the rules and gave a half-hearted apology. Now he is waiting for absolution from the ethics counsellor. The government House leader broke the rules and he was fired.

I would like to ask the government House leader, does he believe that this was fair?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as far as I know the government House leader is still in cabinet. He is sitting right beside me.

This kind of question has trivialized important matters of ethics. It has debased the currency to the extent that nobody can take any of those members' allegations seriously any longer.

Transport
Oral Question Period

October 24th, 2003 / 11:25 a.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, every once in a while the Liberals do something right, so I would like to commend the Minister of Transport for his commitment to passenger rail in this country.

I want to ask the Minister of Transport if he could explain the behaviour of some of his colleagues who seem to be at odds with him on this. I hope it is not because they are enthralled with the new Liberal leader who has a history of supporting bus companies rather than crown corporation rail companies.

Could he explain the behaviour of his colleagues and explain how he intends to make sure that this actually happens?

Transport
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I want to publicly thank all my colleagues for the hard work that they have done on the passenger rail file, going back to the “Renaissance of Passenger Rail in Canada” report, under the leadership of my colleague, the member for Hamilton West, when he was chairman of the transport committee some years ago. This was followed by the $400 million announced in the budget a couple of years ago. This follows on from a program that the government is committed to and it preserves the option for VIA fast by the next government.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, it seems odd that some of those who support the new Liberal leader complain when a crown corporation gets money to do something that is long overdue in this country, but they are silent about the awarding of a contract to Lockheed Martin to do the census or for that matter, the contract that was awarded to Lockheed Martin to do health information services for our Canadian armed forces.

Has the Deputy Prime Minister had a chance to look at the Lockheed Martin file? Can he tell the House today that this contract will be rescinded and the census will be done in Canada, by Canadians, where it belongs?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell Secretary of State (Rural Development) (Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario)

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that it is a Canadian subsidiary that will be conducting the census. The information will be maintained in Canada. It will be conducted in Canada. It will be a Canadian enterprise that provides a valuable service to Canadians, which we have always done in terms of the census.

Government Appointments
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ken Epp Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, I was just putting the finishing touches on it.

Sometimes one lands on the corner that says, “Go to jail. Do not collect $200”. But when Alfonso Gagliano found himself cornered, the Prime Minister said, “Step out of cabinet. Step out of Parliament. Step out of the country. Go to Denmark. Collect millions”. Then Mr. Gagliano had the gall to say on CPAC, “I am neither in government nor in politics any more--”

Government Appointments
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

The Speaker

I am afraid the finishing touches were a little too lengthy. Perhaps the hon. member could let us have a supplementary question.

Government Appointments
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ken Epp Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, he says “I am not in government. I am not in politics any more. I am an ambassador”.

Why can we not get him back here to Canada where he is wanted?

Government Appointments
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

I think it requires some continuing work, Mr. Speaker. What we are seeing now in a series of questions is a trivializing of issues that could be important instead of looking at things of serious importance.

The hon. member says that corruption is not important. Corruption is important. These people have so debased the currency of that word that they would not recognize corruption if they ever did see it.

Health
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, Quebec's finance minister, Yves Séguin, declared that it would be completely reprehensible for the federal Minister of Finance not to pay out the $2 billion he has promised to Quebec and the provinces for health.

As usual, Canada's finance minister states that he is in the red. Still, at the end of the year, surprise, surprise, we will find out that he has underestimated the surplus and that the money is there.

Since he has the money, will the Minister of Finance make a commitment, right now, to spend the promised $2 billion on health?

Health
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I know this is rather complicated for many people.

However, the surplus we announced was for last year. The conditional commitment was tied to a surplus in the current year. In January we will calculate the expected size of the surplus and then we will make a decision on the basis of the conditions under which the commitment was made.

Health
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, they keep singing the same old tune. They even use disasters to renege on their commitment.

I would like to remind the Minister of Finance that, despite the events of September 11 and the extra financial burden they imposed, the surplus did appear as expected. Instead of trying to put us to sleep, what is the finance minister waiting for to respect his commitments with respect to health? It is vital.

Health
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, apparently the hon. member was asleep when the agreement was signed, because it was an agreement with a conditional commitment. That means there is a condition. The condition relates to the state of our finances in January 2004. Today is only October 24; it is not January yet.