House of Commons Hansard #25 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was dairy.

Topics

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday this government said the theft was, and I quote, “a very sophisticated criminal scheme”, and that is why it went undetected by the Liberals for years.

When it comes to keeping track of tax dollars, it seems that this Prime Minister is so incompetent he makes Inspector Clouseau look like Sherlock Holmes. Why did someone, anyone, not get suspicious when DND employee Paul Champagne was living in a mansion, with a gym, an indoor pool and a tennis court, on billionaires' row? Did anyone think to ask him how he could afford all that on a director's salary?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Liberal

David Pratt Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I have already indicated, a forensic audit is going on. The RCMP is looking into this matter. There are a lot of details that will be forthcoming, in terms of the actions that are taken subsequently. I fully expect that this matter will end up in the courts. At that point, a lot of information will come forward.

However, I go back to the point that we cannot jump to any sort of conclusions, with respect to the final outcome of this. Let us let the process work.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Well, thank you, Inspector Clouseau. Paul Champagne was a director--

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

The Speaker

I think the hon. member meant to address the Chair. I do not see the inspector in the room. I am sure he would want to address his remarks to the Chair. I hope he was not suggesting that I am somehow Inspector Clouseau.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Thank you, Inspector Speaker.

Paul Champagne was a director at the Department of National Defence, a middle-management position. It is incomprehensible, even I might add unbelievable for an incompetent Liberal government, that any bureaucrat could single-handedly sign off on $160 million of taxpayer money.

Why did no one take the time to investigate whether Paul Champagne had won a lottery or made a killing on the stock market, as he claimed? Was it because there were so many Liberals at the trough that they did not notice Paul Champagne living high on the hog?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Liberal

David Pratt Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member may be prepared to jump to all sorts of conclusions here, but there is some fairly serious work being done with respect to this, his joking aside. I would urge the hon. member, and the opposition as a whole, to wait for the results. This thing will be settled.

From the standpoint of the government's position, we feel very confident that the eventual outcome will support our version of the facts.

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour—Petitcodiac, NB

Mr. Speaker, the superannuation directorate of PWGSC is located in Shediac, New Brunswick. For over 20 years, these dedicated and hard-working public servants have managed public service pension benefits.

In recent weeks, concern about possible privatization, outsourcing or public-private partnerships has worried these great government employees.

What assurances can the minister give us about the future of the superannuation directorate and its future modernization?

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Vancouver Quadra
B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for the excellent question. I would also like to thank the employees of the superannuation directorate in Shediac for their continued hard work in ensuring that the pension system runs smoothly.

I can tell the hon. member that there are no plans for the privatization or outsourcing of those dedicated employees in Shediac. In fact it is quite the opposite. The superannuation directorate is being confronted with excellent training opportunities as part of the modernization of the public service.

Child Benefits
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Wendy Lill Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Social Development. Nova Scotia has the lowest number of subsidized day care spaces in the country. Two non-profit day cares have closed in Halifax and Dartmouth in the last month, leaving 100 families scrambling for child care. The situation in B.C. and Ontario and Quebec is no better.

There is no accountability for the federal dollars that have been transferred to the provinces. In Halifax and Dartmouth, subsidized day cares will see an increase of only $11 a month instead of the $11 a day that they need.

Today's families want to know this. When will this government commit to a national day care program and enforce national standards to help families in need?

Child Benefits
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speak, the Government of Nova Scotia, like all provinces and territories, has jurisdiction over how it invests in child care. I understand that Nova Scotia officials are willing to meet with the child care operators to discuss their concerns.

Nova Scotia currently receives $15 million annually for early childhood development and $25 million for early learning in child care. I understand the minister will be speaking soon to her Nova Scotia counterparts on this matter.

Post-Secondary Education
Oral Question Period

March 12th, 2004 / 11:40 a.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, under previous Conservative and now current Liberal governments, post-secondary tuition in this country has more than tripled and students and their families are suffering under an increasing debt load.

My question for the finance minister is quite clear. Will the next budget offer significant relief for our students and their families or will this government continue to pull a “Bertuzzi” on our students?

Post-Secondary Education
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I had the opportunity to travel across the country in January and I consulted with Canadians about their prebudget expectations. I can tell the hon. gentleman that in every one of those round table sessions, education was indicated as a major concern and priority for Canadians. They also emphasized that the critical issue was access. While I cannot scoop myself, I think I will leave the answer right there.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Pallister Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister claims he did not know about ad scam. That is the old ignorance defence. Everybody else seemed to know. Treasury Board officials knew, Privy Council officers knew and certainly his Liberal friends on the gravy train knew. His most trusted senior staff, we have learned knew, and they do not act on their own. Perhaps he just did not want to know. The Prime Minister is on the wrong side of common sense here.

When will he realize that the Canadian public is just not buying this?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, everything the Prime Minister has said and done, both as Prime Minister and in his previous capacities, indicates complete honour and probity in public life. Any allegation to the contrary is totally malicious.