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

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister. Next month, His Holiness the Dalai Lama will be visiting Canada to conduct religious teachings and to meet with parliamentarians, including the foreign affairs committee.

I want to ask the Prime Minister whether he will agree to meet with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, as almost half the members of the House from all parties have requested of him, and will he agree to consider serving as an intermediary in talks between the People's Republic of China and His Holiness the Dalai Lama?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we have received representations in respect of the visit of the Dalai Lama. We have a great deal of respect for His Holiness as a Nobel Prize winner and as someone who is coming to our country and will be treated with a great deal of respect.

In terms of whether or not we would have official government discussions with him, that is another matter, but that does not mean in any way that we in the House and everyone on this side of the House in particular do not regard the Dalai Lama with the highest of respect and the veneration he is due.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the President of the Privy Council denies ever having contacted Chuck Guité. Chuck Guité was replaced in that office by Pierre Tremblay.

I would like to ask the President of the Privy Council if he met with Pierre Tremblay while he was running the sponsorship program. If so, how often? And how much did he interfere in the management of this program?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra
B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker--

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

Order. I know the Minister of Public Works and Government Services is very popular, but we have to be able to hear his answer. The cheering is great, but the hon. minister will want to answer the question and members will want to hear the answer.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Stephen Owen Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, this question is clearly related to the sponsorship incidents which are the subject of the inquiry by the public accounts committee and by the judicial inquiry to be held by Justice Gomery. That is where we should be putting these questions. The minister has favoured the House with a denial to an earlier question, but clearly these questions belong before the processes that have been set up to answer them.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Another one bites the dust, Mr. Speaker. He will not even answer.

I would like to give another opportunity to the President of the Privy Council, because the Prime Minister tells us that he consulted with all of his ministers, including this one, about their involvement and knowledge of the sponsorship scandal. Today we have testimony, serious testimony, that this minister was interfering in that program while Pierre Tremblay ran the office. Did he or did he not? Will he not stand in this place and admit his involvement in the sponsorship scandal right now?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra
B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen Minister of Public Works and Government Services

First of all, Mr. Speaker, we have allegations, uncorroborated allegations, about something that was said to have happened, and now totally uncorroborated and unsupported by anyone other than this member making up a question.

These processes are set up to answer them. All members of the government are willing to come forward when asked to answer these sorts of questions in the proper way in the proper forum.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

March 25th, 2004 / 2:45 p.m.

West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds House Leader of the Official Opposition in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister vowed only last week to put an end to cronyism and political patronage. Canadians almost believed him when he said he would do it come hell or high water.

David Peterson is floating on heavenly waters today. The former Liberal premier of Ontario is also the brother of a minister in this Liberal government. His law firm has just been awarded a contract extension worth in the neighbourhood of $1 million over the next year. When precisely does the Prime Minister plan to “condemn to history the practice and politics of cronyism”?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, this is absolute nonsense. This individual is dealing with the devolution file, which has to do with territorial, provincial and federal relationships. What better than to have a former premier do it?

This individual negotiated a framework agreement, was successful on this file and is continuing to do it. This individual is a qualified individual awarded the contract according to the rules. The comment of the hon. member over there is absolute and utter nonsense.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds House Leader of the Official Opposition in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, this same Liberal individual went into an election 25 points ahead in the polls too and lost that election because of the same kind of nonsense that is going on right here.

The Prime Minister said that “no longer will the key to Ottawa be who do you know”. Canadians thought he was changing the lock when all he did was tinker with the key. Now it is not what one knows, it is who one knows in the PMO again. When will the Prime Minister keep his word and stop the practice and politics of cronyism?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is keeping his word. May I suggest that rather than the hon. opposition member worrying about political affiliation with somebody, he worry about whether somebody is competent, because that should be the measure. This individual is competent and that is why he has the job.

The Budget
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the budget, the government has stated its intention to go forward with the creation of a Canadian securities commission, even though Quebec and a number of provinces have denounced this encroachment on their jurisdictions.

Behind the fine speeches we can see the same old centralizing tendencies. How can the Minister of Finance announce in his budget that he intends to create this securities commission without the agreement of Quebec and the provinces?

The Budget
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, there was a report by a distinguished group of Canadians some months ago that recommended the process of a single securities regulator for Canada in order to bring our securities regulations in the country into the 21st century.

That is an important innovation to bring into the regulation of capital markets. I am pleased that provincial ministers responsible for this matter are discussing it and seriously at work at it.

I think the hon. gentleman would agree with me and them that it is important for us to have a 21st century system and not one in the 19th century.