House of Commons Hansard #14 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was missiles.

Topics

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, the public accounts committee is charged with getting to the bottom of who authorized the theft of millions of dollars from the taxpayer. The Prime Minister admits that some cabinet ministers knew about the abuses in the sponsorship program.

Will the Prime Minister assure the House that any privy councillor in the know is not sitting on that committee as it looks into this scandal?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Winnipeg South
Manitoba

Liberal

Reg Alcock President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, since the opposition likes to repeat things, let me repeat what was said today. Most Canadians are already tired of the daily barrage of shrill charges and allegations, and are ready to let the official inquiries do the work.

If the hon. member has a concern, if he has a single substantive fact to put on the table, I would encourage him to do so. In the absence of that, he should stop the slander.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is this Prime Minister who said that some ministers were involved and in the know. That is what this Prime Minister said.

What I am saying is that he has now stacked the public accounts committee with members of the Privy Council. That is a conflict of interest.

Will this Prime Minister take immediate steps to remove the privy councillors in order to remove that conflict of interest?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Winnipeg South
Manitoba

Liberal

Reg Alcock President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, that hon. member is actually from my home province. He was indeed the attorney general of that province. I think it is disgraceful that he displays so little understanding of due law and process.

Refugees
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, a number of days ago, three Palestinians who were denied refugee status sought sanctuary in the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce church in Montreal to avoid being deported. Although Thérèse, Khabil and Nabih Ayoub lived in refugee camps for 50 years, Canada has no qualms about giving them a one-way ticket to a refugee camp in Lebanon.

Can the minister explain the logic behind Canada's decision to refuse to grant refugee status to applicants, although these same authorities confirm that status by sending them to refugee camps in Lebanon?

Refugees
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

York West
Ontario

Liberal

Judy Sgro Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, as she knows, I am not able to comment on a particular case, but all cases are given full and due process. When people seek sanctuary in a church, we do not go after them. We have a very fair process. One of the processes that is often criticized is that we are too fair.

Canada can be very proud of the processes we have in our immigration and refugee system.

Refugees
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, the current Immigration and Refugee Protection Act came into force on June 28, 2002, and the refugee appeal division is still not in place.

What is the reason behind the minister's delay in setting up this appeal division, which is essential to the implementation of an equitable process for all individuals claiming refugee status?

Refugees
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, we have a very fair process. There are at least four avenues of review or appeal on every application. It is always looked at with common sense, fairness and transparency.

Canadians can be very proud of the system we have in place.

Government Expenditures
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Paul Forseth New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the President of the Treasury Board. Communication Canada is supposed to be gone by March 2004, yet the Treasury Board has approved an additional $9.8 million.

The Prime Minister boastfully claims that he has killed the program. Why has he not killed its budget?

Government Expenditures
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Winnipeg South
Manitoba

Liberal

Reg Alcock President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to receive an actual question about the Treasury Board. The member who poses it is someone for whom I have a great deal of respect and with whom I have worked closely in the House.

It is a good question. It is a legitimate question. The reality is, though, when we close something down, there are closing down costs. We closed it down and we paid out the costs.

Government Expenditures
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Paul Forseth New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, talk about closing costs. The problem agency has spent $92.5 million so far this year. The government admits the failure and says it has shut it down.

If that is the case, why is Treasury Board asking Parliament for an additional $9.8 million and still counting? When will the waste ever end?

Government Expenditures
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Winnipeg South
Manitoba

Liberal

Reg Alcock President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, let me see if I can sort this out for the member. On December 12 of last year, three-quarters through the fiscal year, the government changed and the new Prime Minister shut down Communication Canada.

In the principles of accrual accounting, one has to assign all the costs and close it out. We closed it out, and it is costing a little over $9 million to do that.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

February 19th, 2004 / 2:50 p.m.

Liberal

John Cannis Scarborough Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would ask the Minister of Foreign Affairs to comment on the most recent homicide bombings that recently occurred in Israel and other parts of the world, which specifically target civilians.

As a personal friend of the brother of Yechezkel Goldberg, the Canadian-Israeli victim of the most recent atrocity by a Palestinian terrorist group, this is now much closer to home. I have as a result come to appreciate a whole new dimension to the human cost of terrorism.

Homicide bombs are a crime against humanity and those who encourage these acts must be held accountable.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the House will recall that after the tragic death of Dr. Goldberg, we united together in the House to condemn the terrorist attack and to regret his tragic death.

I also want to thank the hon. member for his question because the question clearly illustrates that members of the House want to make it clear to everyone in the international community that we in Canada condemn acts of terrorism.

We recognize that this terrible violence and the tragic death of Dr. Goldberg was destined and designed not only to kill an innocent individual, but to destroy the chances of peace in the Middle East for which we work. We urge all parties as a testimony for this to work for peace in the Middle East.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, to review again, Jonathan Murphy was a Liberal research director. He has written a tell-all insider's view of what was going on in the Liberal Party. He states that Mario Lague, now the Prime Minister's communications director, was involved and given a mandate in practising strategies to divert attention away from the Auditor General's report, the practice of discussing ways to thwart access to information; all in simple terms, meaning how to cover up what was going on in the sponsorship scandal.

Now he is the head of the Prime Minister's communications office. Why?