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

Topics

Canada Steamship Lines
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Jacques Saada Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, they are not interested at all in the facts: I am speaking, and they are talking at the same time.

What this means—it all boils down to one thing—is that the truth does not interest them. They are only interested in politics.

Canada Steamship Lines
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, that was a truly pathetic answer. Canadians want to know what happened when the government was asked a serious question about the contracts that the finance minister got at the time from the government.

We get garbage such as $137,000 when the actual figure was $161 million. Now we find out that does not include potentially millions of dollars in subcontracts. These are subcontracts that are registered with the federal government.

We would like to know, how much money has the government given to CSL through subcontracts on top of the $161 million?

Canada Steamship Lines
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Brossard—La Prairie
Québec

Liberal

Jacques Saada Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, I said a few seconds ago that the government has no role and had no role in this contract with Hibernia. It was not a government contract.

The Hibernia oil project is a joint venture managed on behalf of its owners by Hibernia Management Development Corporation. It has hundreds of supply contracts for the construction of the Hibernia project, including one with a Dutch engineering firm. It was this firm that selected its own suppliers and subcontracted with CSL.

I cannot answer a non-question.

Canada Steamship Lines
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, we are not really interested in the House leader's hair splitting about what is a subcontract and what is a contract. We want the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. That is what we want from the government.

The question the public has and the public's right to know trumps the Prime Minister's desire to keep hidden his business dealings with the government. We want the answer. What are the subcontracts that went to CSL for government work?

Canada Steamship Lines
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Brossard—La Prairie
Québec

Liberal

Jacques Saada Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, all the contracts and subcontracts given directly to CSL by the government, as indicated in the documents we have available, have been presented in the report. That report has been submitted and is on my Internet site.

I think that is about enough.

That is not a new party; it is only by name. It is an old party casting aspersions in the same fashion that it used to do, throwing mud, not caring about the rest.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has just declared that he has fought against tax havens throughout the world.

Can the Prime Minister tell us why he has tightened up the rules against tax havens everywhere in the world except Barbados? Could it be because that is where his own company had its headquarters?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the short answer to the hon. gentleman's question is no.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us be serious here. The Prime Minister's defence is to say “I have fought against all tax havens” and this is true, with the exception of Barbados. In 1995, he moved the headquarters of his company to Barbados.

Is there a connection between the fact that the Prime Minister has tried to eliminate all tax havens, with the exception of the one that enabled him to pocket $100 million?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, emphatically the answer to the hon. gentleman's allegation is no.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Rimouski-Neigette-Et-La Mitis, QC

Mr. Speaker, while the Prime Minister was working on saving hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes for himself and seven of his friends, he was taking away billions of dollars from thousands of unemployed people.

How does the Prime Minister explain his eagerness, as Minister of Finance, to save millions of dollars in taxes for himself and seven of his friends, when at the same time he was eagerly taking away billions of dollars from Canada's unemployed?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, with other colleagues in the cabinet, the Prime Minister was indeed the author of one of the most superb programs for the assistance of children and poor families, the national child tax credit. It is growing to the value of $10 billion a year for the assistance of poor people in this country.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Rimouski-Neigette-Et-La Mitis, QC

Mr. Speaker, on June 6, 2003, during his leadership campaign, the Prime Minister promised the “sans chemise” movement that employment insurance would be reformed. Today, the “sans chemise” feel betrayed.

How does the Prime Minister explain the fact that it is so easy to change legislation to help him and his friends, but it is so difficult to honour his promise to the unemployed and that many elections later, Liberal promises still have not been kept?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, my department is currently examining and reviewing all the employment insurance boundaries.

This process takes place every five years. The Prime Minister has shown particular interest in this matter and an accelerated process was implemented to find a way to address the problems the hon. member opposite is talking about.

Lobbyists
Oral Question Period

February 4th, 2004 / 2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, apparently there are other problems with the ship of state over there. The Prime Minister has developed a two tier ethical system, one for public office holders and another for his closest advisers.

A senior member of the Prime Minister's transition team, Mr. John Duffy, has left his job advising the Prime Minister and has now gone to work immediately to lobby the very government that he helped to set up.

We all know that public office holders and paid staff must wait one year before they can join a lobbying firm, but there is no waiting period for political staff.

Why does the Prime Minister hold his transition team to a lower ethical standard than a regular public servant?

Lobbyists
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Mr. Speaker, the person in question followed the advice of the ethics counsellor to the letter. During the transition, this person deregistered and did exactly what the ethics counsellor advised him to do.

This is quite different from a public office holder. It is a private sector person who came to help the government, the transition team, and it is normal that this person could go back to his ordinary occupation.