House of Commons Hansard #148 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was provinces.

Topics

Ethics
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Val Meredith South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have long accepted the fact that Bombardier is the favoured child of the Prime Minister and that special treatment is always a factor.

The Auditor General is looking into one of the latest questionable deals: the purchase of two Challenger jets for the Prime Minister. Now we learn that government officials rode on a subsidized Bombardier jet to its plant in St. Louis for this purchase.

Does the Deputy Prime Minister think this is acceptable?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, it is obviously not appropriate for government employees to accept free flights from suppliers.

The officials took the most expeditious and reliable way to meet the commitments they had at a meeting. They in fact negotiated a price for the travel that was in the same range as normal commercial travel at economy rate, and they did so at a bargain rate for taxpayers.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

October 31st, 2003 / 11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Val Meredith South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, some of the bureaucrats involved in the trip to St. Louis on a Bombardier plane knew that it was a conflict of interest. They realized that by using a supplier's plane, it compromised the impartiality that the civil service is required to maintain.

Employees of defence, public works and Transport Canada knew that using Bombardier's plane was unethical.

Does the Deputy Prime Minister admit that the unethical behaviour in cabinet makes it difficult to enforce Treasury Board guidelines in the bureaucracy?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, not at all. The hon. member is quite mistaken in her facts. If she would check the record, she would find out that this trip to a meeting in fact occurred after the transaction, not before.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Karen Kraft Sloan York North, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government recognizes that it is important to collaborate with provinces and territories to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Canada. We also understand that discussions are currently ongoing to sign bilateral agreements to achieve this goal.

Could the Minister of the Environment inform the House on the status of these discussions?

The Environment
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

York South—Weston
Ontario

Liberal

Alan Tonks Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister made it very clear when $1 billion in budget 2003 was allocated for our strategies to reduce greenhouse gases consistent with our Kyoto commitments.

These bilateral initiatives with the provinces as partners will be made operational through memorandums of understanding.

I am pleased to report to the House that the minister is in Iqaluit, Nunavut, signing a bilateral protocol with the territory, and this is the first of many to come.

Elections Canada
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Greg Thompson New Brunswick Southwest, NB

Mr. Speaker, in the government's haste to speed up the timing of the next election it has forgotten one important element: the appointment of returning officers in all parts of Canada. We have a vacancy of returning officers.

I do not think I have to point out to the Minister of Public Works how important that position is for the democratic process, not only for candidates but for political parties, for democracy.

When will those appointments be completed? Will it be during the time of the present Prime Minister on his watch or will we have to wait for a regime change to get those appointments in place?

Elections Canada
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, there is no delay in the appointment of returning officers. As of a little earlier this morning, over 280 returning officers have so far been appointed. The others are in the process. Verifications are being made with security checks and so on for the remaining appointments to get to the total of 308. There are no delays at all.

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rex Barnes Gander—Grand Falls, NL

Mr. Speaker, river guardians in Newfoundland and Labrador have had significant cuts in their hours of operation. It is expected that next year their hours will be further reduced by another 30% to 50%. Concerns are being raised that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is in the process of eliminating our river guardians entirely. Will the minister confirm today his department's position with respect to river guardians?

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Bonaventure—Gaspé—Îles-De-La-Madeleine—Pabok
Québec

Liberal

Georges Farrah Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I think it is completely normal for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to be in the process of re-evaluating all the duties of everyone who works in the department, in order to ensure, in any event, that money is being spent efficiently.

The process is currently under evaluation. No decision has been made. The minister will inform us of the decision once it is made.

Health
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, we know now that trans fats are really bad for us and especially bad for our children, yet instead of banning trans fats as other countries have, the Liberal government says it is okay to put this poison in our foods as long as it is clearly labelled, and even then only three years from now, and even then, unbelievably, baby food is exempt.

Why will our health minister not stand up for our public health and take concrete steps now to eliminate this toxic garbage from our food? Why will she not simply ban trans fats now?

Health
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should actually do better research in terms of how the rest of the world is responding to the challenge of trans fat. In fact we know that trans fat is an ingredient in our food that the public needs to know about. They need to know how much trans fat they are consuming. They need to know the risks of trans fat. That is why we in fact are requiring mandatory nutritional labelling. When our labelling is in full force and effect, we will have the best science based nutritional labelling of any country in the world.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, one of the greatest challenges people have in this country is that of caring for a child under palliative care. Earlier this year, the government had an initiative that palliative care leave for parents looking after children in that situation would start in January 2004, but with the new regime change happening we understand that this program may be under review and may be delayed.

I would like assurances from the Minister of Human Resources. Will this program for parents looking after children under palliative care be started in January 2004?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, indeed I am very happy to tell the hon. member that this government is on track to introducing one of the world's first compassionate care programs on January 4, 2004.

We know how difficult workplace and family balance issues are, and we believe as a country that we have to help Canadians deal with the moral issue of going to work while at home they have a gravely ill child, parent or spouse. This is indeed a great and positive addition to Canada's unbelievably important social safety net.

Justice
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, on October 23 this government transferred Darcy Bertrand, a triple murderer and known pedophile, to a minimum security facility that does not have a fence. In 2001, Darby Cairns, another murderer, walked away from this facility.

Surviving family members of those Darcy Bertrand killed live only 20 minutes away from this facility. On behalf of the family, will this government reconsider the choice of moving this triple murderer, who committed the crime only six years ago, into a minimum security facility and put him back behind a real, real jail cell?