House of Commons Hansard #6 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was new.

Topics

Auberge Grand-Mère
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, ethics counsellor Howard Wilson said he saw nothing wrong with the Shawinigate affair and that was after the Business Development Bank was bullied into giving a stinker loan that quickly went into default.

The Prime Minister now hides behind the very same ethics counsellor when his good buddies turn around and ask for money from the identical officials whom they gave big appointment favours to.

Is it not true that the Prime Minister is up to his eyeballs in this ongoing cycle of Liberal whitewash and cronyism?

Auberge Grand-Mère
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, one might wonder why the Conservative Party is not very popular in Canada, but it is easy to understand, what with the questions asked in this House intended only to undermine the credibility of our Prime Minister, who is competent, honest and favoured by all Canadians.

Once again, I do not intend to criticize or comment on this ruling in the public arena. First and foremost, the board has to review the matter and take the necessary action.

National Capital Commission
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, thousands of Canadians from all regions are sharpening their skates to glide along the world's longest skating rink or take part in Winterlude's many activities.

Last Thursday, members of the national capital region caucus publicly affirmed their support for the National Capital Commission and its chairperson.

Could the Minister of Canadian Heritage indicate to this House whether she supports the actions of her colleagues to ensure that the National Capital Commission can continue its mandate to make the capital region a symbol of unity and pride?

National Capital Commission
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Louis-Hébert
Québec

Liberal

Hélène Scherrer Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, first, I want to thank the hon. member for Hull—Aylmer for his question, my first, and take this opportunity to recognize the contribution of the national capital caucus with regard to this issue.

The chairperson of the NCC is in his second term, which will end in September 2006. The NCC's board of directors supports the chair and wants him to finish his term.

In light of these facts, I have no intention of doing anything contrary to the board's resolution or the apparent consensus in the national capital region.

Public Services
Oral Question Period

February 9th, 2004 / 2:40 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, as the NDP predicted, the Liberal government wants to go ahead with its privatization plans. The Prime Minister's right hand man is quoted in today's National Post as saying that he wants to see government operations privatized.

Can the Deputy Prime Minister tell us why the government is prepared to abdicate its role in favour of the private sector and the banks, as the parliamentary secretary has said?

Public Services
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Winnipeg South
Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for this question.

I would like to take advantage of this opportunity to say the government has no plans to privatize services. We are exploring a wide range of options. We have met with the unions. We have said that we will be including them in the process. We are going to look at every means possible to modernize the delivery of public services.

Public Services
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are in the process of doing exactly what they accused my leader, Jack Layton, of wanting to do: bringing in a privatized public service. That is what their plan is.

The parliamentary secretary refers to privatization of the hospitals, sewer system management, infrastructure and even services to the public. This is a total abdication of responsibility to the public.

Why does the Prime Minister want to abandon the role of the government to his friends in the private sector?

Public Services
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

Again, Mr. Speaker, the government has no plans to privatize services. We are looking at all programs of government and we are entering into discussions with the employees and others, but we have no plans to privatize public services.

Firearms Program
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Garry Breitkreuz Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, on December 5, 2002 the member for Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough moved a motion in the House that cut $72 million from the supplementary estimates, $72 million that were designated for the firearms program. The House agreed and voted on the reduction and get this: the government did not consider this reduction in the estimates a matter of confidence.

Will the Prime Minister explain why he will not let his MPs have a free vote on future reductions to the firearms program?

Firearms Program
Oral Question Period

2:45 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, as far as the firearms registry is concerned, there are two possible questions: one, the fundamental issue of its existence, and two, the way it is administered and what improvements could be made to it.

I have no problems whatsoever with improvements to the program. But let it be properly understood: the program is in place, and it is there to stay. The firearms registry must continue to exist.

How can they be calling for a free vote when they have absolutely no interest in applying the same principle within their own caucus?

Firearms Program
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Garry Breitkreuz Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, I think something was lost in the translation because my question was on whether it should be a free vote or not.

The Firearms Act has already cost taxpayers $1 billion. Taxpayers want to know when it will become $2 billion. A succession of ministers in charge of this have kept Parliament in the dark since December 2002.

Why will the Minister of Public Safety not stop this cover-up today? Just tell us, how much is the gun registry going to fully cost to implement and how much will it cost to maintain? It is a simple question. How about an answer?

Firearms Program
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, in spite of all the conspiracy theories and the paranoia that comes from him, there is no cover-up here. In fact, on this side of the House we have been absolutely clear year after year in terms of what the firearms program cost.

We should not lose sight of the fact that Canadians are committed to gun control. Canadians are committed to a function of safety in relation to firearms.

The Senate
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, the government taking responsibility for gun control is like Senate reform; it is a good idea, but it is just not going to happen with those guys.

Alberta has had two elections to prepare for a slate of Senate candidates. Premier Hamm of Nova Scotia has indicated that he is also committed to Senate reform. The Prime Minister could easily commit to appoint senators chosen by the people rather than patronage.

Will the Prime Minister commit to the appointment of elected senators? Plain and simple, will he commit?

The Senate
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, that party was against the Charlottetown accord. That party has fought any kind of review that has been embarked upon where we have tried to talk about the Constitution. It has fought everything we have tried to do in terms of constitutional changes.

My view is that we can do a great job when those people get real at one stage or the other.

The Senate
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, that sounded like no to me, but there is a golden opportunity here. With 14 new Senate vacancies within the next 12 months, the Prime Minister has a historic opportunity to allow for elected senators.

The province can elect, the Prime Minister can appoint; it is just that easy. Or is the Prime Minister only interested in deepening the democratic deficit?