House of Commons Hansard #117 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was federal.

Topics

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, this is one more blow to medicare under the watch of the Minister of Health.

I ask the Minister of Health, does she or does she not stand by the conclusion of Commissioner Romanow that non-profit health care is superior to for profit health care? If she does stand by that conclusion, why is she not prepared to do anything about it?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I think it is fair to say and I have said in this House on a number of occasions that there is no evidence to suggest that for profit health care provides either better health care or more cost effective health care.

Delivery of health care is a matter for the individual provinces and territories. Our obligation on behalf of all Canadians is to ensure that in the delivery of that health care, they respect the five principles of the Canada Health Act. If they do not, we will take action against them.

Viking Millennium Celebration
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, when the secretary of state for ACOA sent out his made for Vikings family income support plan letter, a copy of which I have here, he claimed he needed money because he would be solely responsible for several community receptions relating to the Viking millennium celebration.

There is no evidence of a single public event ever occurring under the minister's direction, although everyone is now looking for one of those cute Viking hats with the horns and maybe the yellow braids.

Will the government confirm that the minister responsible for ACOA was indeed given the sole responsibility for hosting community events relating to the Viking millennium celebration?

Viking Millennium Celebration
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, what the hon. member has not said is that these particular fundraising activities occurred when the hon. member was not a minister of the Crown. The question is out of order. It has nothing to do with the business of government. It has to do with a constituency association and the party across the way does not even want to register party constituency associations. It voted against Bill C-24.

Viking Millennium Celebration
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the member claimed to be representing the federal government at federal government sponsored events. I think that is important.

The arm twisting letter the minister mailed out has no letterhead but there was an invoice included. The invoice asked for $2,000 and the letter promises the victim that by using the invoice, it will help guide the money through the accounting process. But, there was no accounting process, no receipts, no accounting for money spent.

Will the minister confirm whether this money making scheme was sanctioned by the Liberal Party of Canada or will he at least see whether the minister claimed the money and that part of the income tax--

Viking Millennium Celebration
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

I am afraid that question is out of order. It does not relate to the administrative responsibility of the government, despite the debate on Bill C-24 that we are now having. We will move on to the next question.

The hon. member for Roberval.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, on the front page of La Presse , we were treated to the story on Mr. Gagliano's friend and the contracts he obtained simply because he knew Mr. Gagliano.

How can the minister, since he is responsible for defending Alfonso Gagliano and since the front page scandal reported erroneous figures provided by his department, expect people to believe that no one informed him prior to question period that it was not $115,000 worth of contracts, but $3 million that were—

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Public Works and Government Services.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the discrepancy in the arithmetic was drawn to my attention later on.

I have indicated to the hon. gentleman that all of the information had in fact been published as a result of ATIP requests a year ago. It was already in the public domain. Therefore, nothing at any moment was concealed.

I regret in the ATIP process within the department that apparently an incomplete return was filed. I have asked my officials to investigate that and to explain to the reporter.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Public Works and Government Services can go to extraordinary lengths to defend Alfonso Gagliano. However, now that his office has noticed that we are not talking about $3 million worth of contracts but $115,000 worth, the minister wants us to believe that he was never informed of what he calls a discrepancy in the arithmetic.

I would ask him this. Does he not find it strange that each time there is a discrepancy in the arithmetic or whatever, the oversight is in the government's favour and covers its tracks?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, not at all. The original problem here was that unfortunately the first question was directed toward the wrong department.

We have worked our way through this. We have found the error. We are correcting it with the reporter.

I would also indicate to the hon. gentleman that at no time was any information concealed because as a result of other ATIP requests, that information was already in the public domain as much as a year ago.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gerry Ritz Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, the minister of public works hides behind his lawyer's jargon and says he cannot comment on any investigation.

The minister claims he wants to avoid political interference, but unless his Danish predecessor is actually under investigation, we have to assume it is his political interference that is preventing that investigation.

Has the RCMP ever interviewed Alfonso Gagliano, or do we need to extradite him home from Denmark?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the short answer to that question is I do not know, nor should I. That is up to the RCMP.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gerry Ritz Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, there is an “I do not know” to a whole lot of things.

The Prime Minister spirited his Quebec bagman out of the country before the RCMP could get to him. Accusations of patronage at Canada Lands, money laundering through sponsorship grants and insider trading on printing contracts all beg for a public judicial inquiry with Mr. Gagliano as the star witness.

Who is preventing the return of Mr. Gagliano from Denmark to testify?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, what I can comment on is what is within my jurisdiction and undertaking at my instigation. That includes all of the inquiries with respect to the sponsorship program and with respect to advertising where that is appropriate.

I have indicated that we are pursuing these things through forensic investigations as a result of the Financial Administration Act. The Auditor General is conducting a government-wide examination. Wherever a matter has been drawn to my attention or that of my officials that raises a legal question, that has automatically been referred to the RCMP.