House of Commons Hansard #29 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I recall the discussion quite well, and also the fact that Mr. Gray went to Berlin and had the support of all ministers.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the former minister also said that her two colleagues even went before cabinet to prevent her from signing the Berlin mandate.

Given these critical comments from his colleague, can the Prime Minister tell us what credibility can be given to his supposed determination to implement the Kyoto protocol?

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, former Deputy Prime Minister Gray had responsibility, assumed that responsibility fully, went to Berlin and signed the mandate. He had our support.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, this morning in the public accounts committee Huguette Tremblay confirmed that the President of the Privy Council contacted Chuck Guité. She confirmed that this morning.

A minute ago, the Prime Minister stood up and essentially said that Ms. Tremblay is lying. Is that his position today?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra
B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the public accounts committee is hearing evidence from various people and has obviously been getting different points of view, different evidence. The process is to find the truth. It is not complete yet. What the hon. member referred to has contradicted in the House a statement by that witness.

Members of this cabinet have said they will come forward to any of these processes to say what they knew, if anything, or to defend themselves, and we stand ready to do that. That is why these processes are continuing, but that allegation this morning has been directly contradicted by this minister.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, we are getting a lot of different stories from the government. Maybe I will ask the minister directly. My question for the President of the Privy Council is, has he ever contacted Chuck Guité in any possible way? Has he ever provided political direction to Mr. Guité? Will he give us an answer, yes or no?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bourassa
Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the answer is no.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is becoming clear that the Liberals are having trouble following their own train of thought. The Prime Minister says that there was political direction, a small group of people giving political direction, behind this entire scandal. He is mad as hell and touring the country about it, but today he says he denies the witness is telling the truth. The witness is somehow misleading what? The committee? The House? The minister?

Why does the Prime Minister not get to the bottom of this and release Mr. Gagliano's papers, which will reveal the truth about this entire sordid affair?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra
B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the processes are set up. There will be a public inquiry in public, judicially. We have the public accounts committee. It will hear evidence from various people.

These are fact finding processes. Let the processes go forward, and if any of those processes require documents, let them ask for them and the government will produce them.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the processes, as the minister calls them, have asked for papers. They asked for them in the public accounts committee and the Liberal members denied it.

The Prime Minister says there was political direction behind the sponsorship scandal. Is the president of the PCO the director? Is that the political direction? Where is this political direction? The Prime Minister says he knows where it is. Why does he not release the Gagliano papers and get to the bottom of this so that we can shed light and shed the truth on what went on in the sponsorship scandal?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the reason that the government asked the opposition to accelerate the hearings of the parliamentary committee, the reason that we asked Judge Gomery to take on the inquiry, the reason that we set up Mr. Gauthier, was to get to the bottom of this.

We appreciate very much the fact that Ms. Tremblay appeared this morning and we want other people to come forward because we do want to get to the bottom of this. We want to find out exactly what happened and we want those who did it to be punished.

Public Service
Oral Question Period

March 25th, 2004 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Eugène Bellemare Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, I asked a question of the President of the Treasury Board on Tuesday concerning the government's expenditure review program.

The minister did not answer my question. The morale of our career public servants is important for me and they deserve a clear answer. I will ask the minister once again. Does the government's expenditure review mean job cuts in the public service?

Public Service
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 wish to apologize to the member. When he previously asked this question, I was musing on the fact that he was the only member of the House who has been asking questions on the public service, the only one who showed any interest at all in the 450,000 people who work for us.

My answer to his question is no.

Insurance Companies
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, according to a recent report of the Insurance Bureau of Canada, in 2003, the 200 general insurance companies made profits of $2.6 billion, which represents a 700% increase over 2002. Meanwhile, seniors, young people and low income individuals are forced to sell their vehicle or to break the law by driving without insurance, because their premiums sometimes exceed payments on their car.

Does the federal government intend to do something to stop these companies from robbing Canadians?

Insurance Companies
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Brome—Missisquoi
Québec

Liberal

Denis Paradis Minister of State (Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, as we saw in the budget, the government is acutely aware of the needs of Canadians.

As regards insurance premiums specifically, these premiums are set by the provinces. I believe it is important to have an ongoing dialogue between the federal and provincial governments to ensure that the big winner is the Canadian taxpayer.