House of Commons Hansard #5 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was food.

Topics

Infrastructure
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott Minister of State (Infrastructure)

Mr. Speaker, as I said, we committed $53 million as part of the strategic highway infrastructure fund and the Government of Canada was quite prepared to put all of the money available to that fund, in Quebec, into that highway. The province of Quebec and the Government of Canada decided to do otherwise. We are committed to that piece of highway.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

February 6th, 2004 / 11:50 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, last week Scotty Goldberg, a Toronto native who had served in the Canadian Forces, was killed by a terrorist bomber in Jerusalem. He was a man of great compassion and is survived by his wife and six children.

The Canadian ambassador to Israel scheduled but then suddenly cancelled a condolence visit to the Goldberg family, apparently because he thinks they live in a disputed part of Judea, compounding the Goldberg's tragedy with an insult from their own government.

Was the Minister of Foreign Affairs aware of this insult to the Goldbergs and does he condone it?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as the House knows and as the hon. member knows, I immediately upon the notice of the terrible, tragic death of Dr. Goldberg, offered the condolences of the Canadian government, the Canadian people and of this Parliament.

Our ambassador was prepared to meet with the family in Jerusalem, which is appropriate. Unfortunately, that was not possible. There was a suggestion they might meet elsewhere, but our ambassador, as the American ambassador and others do, takes the position that they do not go into places which are disputed at this time.

We are willing to meet with the family. We offered them our condolences. It is a very sincere wish on our part that the family understand our deep sympathy at this time.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am sure that the minister did express his personal condolences, but the ambassador had scheduled a visit to the home of the family, only 15 minutes outside of Jerusalem, and then cancelled it because he apparently had a political objection to where the Goldberg's lived.

This was a great Canadian citizen. Why would the minister politicize the offering of official condolences on behalf of the Government of Canada to the Goldberg family?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I said, I do not believe that the ambassador cancelled the proposed meeting. The ambassador offered to meet with the family at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem and will be more than happy to do that. He has offered to attend on the family in Canada when he returns to Canada.

We wish to offer our condolences to the family in these tragic circumstances. As I have said, the wife of Dr. Goldberg is an American citizen. Ambassadors are attributed to countries where they are. We were prepared to meet with the family in that country, and that is the appropriate thing. We offer our deepest condolences in these circumstances.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, in July 2000 the government signed a five year funding agreement with the Fontaine foundation worth over $35 million. A few months later another $2.4 million was added. All of this came after the audits of 1996 and 1997 revealed serious fraud at the treatment centre.

Why would the government hand out almost $40 million to an organization without first fixing the mess?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, Health Canada launched a forensic audit. We contacted the RCMP. We launched a civil litigation to recover the public funds and reviewed the previous actions taken on the file. We continue to keep the office of the Auditor General informed through our briefings on the forensic audit on corrective measures being taken.

We believe in transparency. This week I tabled in the House a summary of accountable measures that have been put in place at Health Canada to strengthen the management of public funds so that this never happens again.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, this corruption has gone on for over a decade. We still do not know how high the corruption went within the department, whether it was the minister or the deputy minister. We are not sure.

In 1996 the audit uncovered $1.2 million in unsupported billings. In 1997 the audit reported another $1 million in overcharges. In 2000 the government committed $40 million to this project. Only a public inquiry will get to the bottom of why.

Will the government put its money where its mouth is on transparency and call a public inquiry?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I cannot accept the premise of the question from the member. That party will never change. It tries to change; it tries to give itself a better face.

This is just going back into the gutter to challenge or to question the integrity of the health minister at the time, who did a great job at bringing in the RCMP and firing the officials who had been involved. There was never any question about political implications.

Mirabel Airport
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, Air Transat's recent decision to move its operations to Dorval means that Mirabel will lose at least 500 jobs. This announcement follows on the heels of the hotel closing and a series of bad news that continues to hit the region since the federal Liberals decided to abandon airport management to ADM.

Instead of hiding behind the disastrous decisions of ADM, which spent tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to get Air Transat to move, this government should show transparency and tell the residents of the Mirabel region that, ultimately, its goal is to turn the airport into an empty shell so that it can be later closed. Should it not?

Mirabel Airport
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Bourassa
Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, I will answer on behalf of the Minister of Transport. My colleague is well aware that we have great respect for the agencies in place. ADM makes its own decisions. That is how this government wants to operate: to be respectful above all.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is very curious that the Prime Minister wants the Auditor General to investigate why his shipping company received so much government money, yet will not agree to an inquiry into dollars lost to aboriginal people because of Health Canada's scandalous multi-million dollar mismanagement of funding to the Virginia Fontaine Addictions Foundation.

Why has the health minister absolutely refused the idea of a public inquiry? Has he been ordered to shut it down to protect the Prime Minister's old right-hand man, David Dodge, who was in charge of Health Canada during this fiasco?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, this is a very serious matter. We have been looking into it very closely. We have taken clear steps on the inappropriate actions by some officials.

The Auditor General and Health Canada are in regular contact, and are working together on this. We should not try to disavow the work of the Auditor General who is kept abreast of this quite regularly.

We have done a forensic audit. We have contacted the RCMP and taken actions, and I have tabled in the House a summary of those actions.

Science and Technology
Oral Question Period

Noon

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, we go from conflicts of interest to contradictions. The new Prime Minister crows about building a 21st century economy, but in the age of technology he has cancelled his science minister. Making a science out of his company avoiding taxes will not generate wealth for everyday Canadians.

How can the Prime Minister say he respects Parliament when he replaces a science minister with a bureaucrat who reports only to him?

Science and Technology
Oral Question Period

Noon

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, we all know, and it was quite clear in the throne speech, that our support for research must continue in the future.

The proof is that for the last 10 years we have invested $13 billion in research. We have done a lot.

It was very clear in the throne speech that we will continue to invest in that. As industry minister, I will support that and work very closely with the scientific adviser to the Prime Minister, Mr. Carty. It is fine for Canada to have a scientific adviser to the Prime Minister, like other countries.