House of Commons Hansard #116 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was parties.

Topics

Status of Women
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Labour Congress National Women's Conference has once again succeeded in focusing attention on issues of vital importance to Canadian women.

Conference studies show disturbing trends in women's employment that clearly point to the abysmal Liberal record on helping women gain an equal footing in the workforce. The earnings gap between men and women actually grew between 1997 and 2002, with women earning only 63% as much as men on average. Women of colour earned even less.

The percentage of women working full time has dropped from 51.6% in 1995 to 44.5% in 2002, even though a quarter of women working part time would prefer to work full time. Many are pinned down by the Liberal failure to bring in a meaningful national childcare program, as are many unemployed women.

The percentage of women in low paying jobs has also risen to 31.5%, with the majority still in clerical, sales or service jobs.

Canada's unions are fighting hard to improve this disgraceful record. When will the Liberals put women's equality back on their agenda?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I must tell the Prime Minister that there really is growing concern and frustration among cattlemen and their families.

They have been waiting weeks for test results to be completed. Those tests are apparently now completed, but our border with the United States remains closed. It is within the power of the U.S. administration to open the border and we believe it is incumbent upon the Prime Minister of the country to phone the President and try to get action on that.

Will the Prime Minister do that or does he believe he has lost complete credibility with the U.S. government?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, at this moment Canadian scientists are discussing the file with their counterparts in the United States. We must prove to them scientifically that everything is safe.

At this moment the best course is to let the scientists resolve the problem among themselves. Of course, if there is a need at one time to speak with the President, I will be happy to do that. I have already discussed this problem with him when I was in Europe last week.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, that has been the government's line for weeks, that the science must be dealt with.

We now believe that the science has been dealt with, but yesterday two of the Prime Minister's own cabinet ministers, the Minister of Health and the Minister of Public Works, suggested science was not the issue. They suggested that somehow there were issues beyond science.

Can the Prime Minister tell us what they were talking about? Were they talking about the Prime Minister's bad relations with the United States?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we must be very careful when there is a question of public safety. The member should recall the problem we had with P.E.I. potatoes for a number of years. I spoke with the President time and time again. The Americans were using the health problem to ban potatoes.

At this moment it is very important not to make a mistake. Our people must convince their counterparts in the United States on a scientific basis first.

Of course, if there is a need for me to speak to the President, I will be happy to speak with him and I am sure that he will be happy to speak with me.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, there is a need to talk to the President. The Prime Minister had time to give no less than two press scrums on what the President was doing wrong with domestic policy in the United States. He can have a second conversation on this issue with the President.

For two weeks we have been told the science would be done and the borders would be opened. The science is now done and it is the responsibility of the Prime Minister to get answers.

Can the Prime Minister tell us with any degree of specificity what exactly is the new criteria that Canada must meet to get the borders open?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we must assure everybody that there is no disease in Canada. It was only one cow and the system worked well. We have acted very diligently. Scientists, who came from other nations, have looked at the file and complimented the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and the people working on the file from the Government of Alberta for having moved quickly.

That is the way to deal with it, not try to score political points. We must do it in a responsible way.

Political Party Financing
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, on the day the Liberal government is forcing through a new law on election financing, the minister responsible for ACOA has already a unique way to get around the rules. He just mailed out a letter asking constituents to send money to help celebrate the 1000th anniversary of Viking settlements in Newfoundland and to send all cash to his home address where he promises never to issue receipts or account for the spending. For that matter, no public events will actually be held but what the heck, those are just details.

Does the Prime Minister really believe that this kind of behaviour is acceptable from his minister or have we simply moved from Eric the Red to Gerry the red-handed?

Political Party Financing
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

Mr. Speaker, there is always a time and place for supporting community events, especially when they are very important to the constituents.

I say to hon. members opposite that maybe this is a good example of how they will be supporting Bill C-24, the political financing act, because they agree with transparency.

Political Party Financing
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

It is pretty transparent, Mr. Speaker, when he takes the cash at his home address and does not account for how it will be spent. That is transparent.

But not only did the minister's fundraising activities violate the new political financing act, they make a mockery of this new ethics package that the Liberals are ramming through the House today as well. Rules look good on paper, but they really only work for honest people.

The Prime Minister should be asking himself: is this kind of behaviour acceptable from his ministers? Or does he really think that transparency and accountability should be a hallmark of someone in his cabinet?

Political Party Financing
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member across is pontificating--

Political Party Financing
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, ho.

Political Party Financing
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. member for Fraser Valley has to be able to hear the answer from the Minister of State and he will not be able to with all the noise.

The hon. Minister of State has the floor.

Political Party Financing
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member across is pretending today that he is in favour of Bill C-24 and to have the rules in place now regarding everything that is in the bill including transparency. He and his party have systematically blocked this bill at every occasion, but today the bill will pass and it will be the law of the land.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

June 11th, 2003 / 2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, to be part of the select club of agencies entitled to manage federal sponsorships, the call for tenders specifies that the tenderer must have extensive experience in the field. The Nino Colavecchio translation firm, which has no experience in sponsorships, not only was part of the club, but pocketed $14,000 in commissions and landed contracts worth $115,000.

How could a company with no relevant experience have been selected, without the cosy relationship that existed between its owner, Nino Colavecchio, and Alfonso Gagliano?