House of Commons Hansard #27 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was countries.

Topics

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk—Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Bob Speller Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should be aware that in fact last fall we brought in a cull cow program of some $200 million which will help the cull cows across this country.

As the hon. member said, the Prime Minister and I made an announcement. We believe that $1 billion toward the farming sector in this country shows the commitment by the Government of Canada to this industry. It indicates to all Canadians that we feel this is an industry of high importance to this country.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Louis Plamondon Bas-Richelieu—Nicolet—Bécancour, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister does not understand that the compensation package he is talking about covers at most 16% of the herd. In Quebec, 25% of the herd is affected. He does not want to recognize the distinct nature of Quebec in this matter. That is what I am asking him.

Should his $1 billion package not have included cull cattle as well, taking Quebec into account, and the fact that 25% of its herd has to be renewed each year?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk—Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Bob Speller Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should be aware that in fact farm groups in Quebec are very supportive of this issue. They believe, as we do, that governments at all levels should be able to support their farmers as best they can, given these difficult times.

Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister just cannot get anything right. He finally brings in new legislation that he can honestly call his own, but he gets it all wrong. Canadians do not want an integrity commissioner who sits comfortably in the lap of a Liberal cabinet minister.

Will the Prime Minister live up to his democratic deficit promise and let Parliament select, appoint and supervise Canada's first integrity commissioner?

Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bourassa
Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, as the member is aware, first of all, the future integrity commissioner will be appointed by both houses, by the Senate and by the House of Commons. With the mandate and all the specificity and all the tools that he has to work with, I think that we walk the talk. Also, we are addressing the democratic deficit regarding the parliamentary process and not only for the framework law, but also for the code of conduct, the standing committees will be in charge. We will look at every opportunity, and I am flexible to look at every opportunity.

Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, many prominent Canadians with knowledge or an understanding of the importance of an integrity commissioner say the legislation is flawed.

Whistleblower legislation should cover all aides to cabinet ministers, the Department of National Defence, the RCMP and all other federal agencies.

Will the Prime Minister replace this flawed legislation now and give Parliament the responsibility of seeking out, appointing and supervising an integrity commissioner who will have a real and uncompromised independence in this House?

Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bourassa
Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I disagree with my colleague.

First, with regard to all the employees of the House of Commons, for example, there is some specific legislation attached to it. We are covering all public sector employees.

With regard to National Defence, the RCMP and CSIS, they will be obliged to have their own code and that is within the law.

We are covering all the angles. We feel that it is a good law, good legislation and a great step in the right direction.

Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Paul Forseth New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, whistleblower legislation must be seen to be trustworthy and workable by the faithful public servant who may need it.

In the bill tabled yesterday, the government still wants to politically control the independent oversight role of Parliament.

Why is the government insisting on undermining employee confidence in this new office by injecting a ministerial filter for reporting wrongdoing?

Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bourassa
Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I do not agree with my colleague. The bill does not filter at all. The fact that the commissioner will be appointed by both Houses, the Senate and the House of Commons, I think shows that the position is pretty independent.

Howard Wilson was a counsellor who was appointed. Now we are talking about legislation. It is not the same thing.

After a lot of consultation, we truly believe that not only have we made a step in the right direction but that this is exactly the spirit of the working group on whistleblowers and that we addressed all the issues they were looking for.

Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Paul Forseth New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, the President of the Treasury Board admitted that he was wrong about being against whistleblowing in view of the Radwanski scandal, but the problem is that we need comprehensive stand alone legislation that creates a real system with officers and a proper budget, and with credible authority across Canada that is separate from politics.

The Treasury Board is the employer of the public service. Why is the President of Treasury Board not ensuring that employees get everything they need to keep the system honest? Will he provide that?

Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bourassa
Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I think the member should read the bill. Not only would we cover all the angles but we would provide all the tools in the budget for the future commissioner to do his job. With all the tools he will have, he will be able to not only go through every department but he will have everything he needs to seek all the information and then to make recommendations.

After that, when we look at the correct situation and it is not proceeding in departments, we are even able to deposit a special report to Parliament. Therefore it is pretty independent. I think the way we have planned it is pretty accurate.

St. Lawrence Seaway
Oral Question Period

March 23rd, 2004 / 2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Christian Jobin Lévis-Et-Chutes-De-La-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, for some time now, the Bloc Quebecois has been telling everyone that the Government of Canada is in favour of expanding the St. Lawrence Seaway, when the entire industry says this is simply not true.

I would like to ask the Minister of Transport the following question. Does the Government of Canada support the expansion of the seaway and will this have a major impact on the St. Lawrence River?

St. Lawrence Seaway
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Stoney Creek
Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the member's question gives me an opportunity to clarify a number of concerns.

The Government of Canada recognizes that the St. Lawrence Seaway is a vital part of our economy and we will continue to ensure its viability.

The study is looking at the ongoing maintenance and long term capital requirements to sustain the existing seaway infrastructure. The study is not looking at expanding the seaway.

The Senate
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Lorne Nystrom Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the right hon. Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister often speaks of a democratic deficit, so I want to know what his position is on one of the institutions that is blatantly undemocratic.

The Senate is undemocratic, unaccountable and costs $60 million a year. There will be 14 vacancies in that place by the end of this year.

Will the Prime Minister commit to starting a process of consultation with the provinces with a view of abolishing this unelected, unaccountable, undemocratic, highly priced debating society?

The Senate
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we on this side of the House and Canadians have often talked about modernizing the Senate and the changes that are required. I think that is very much our position.

We also believe that members of the Senate do very good work. The fact is that as a legislative body, it is a body that studies specific measures. It has in fact advanced files substantially, and I am sure will continue to do that very thing.