House of Commons Hansard #31 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was year.

Topics

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 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, this is total nonsense. I remind the House that up until last week those members were the ones who were delaying the work of the committee.

They were taking more time than they were required to do so and it took a resolution at the end of last week in order to meet next week. They are talking from both sides of their mouths and they are not very credible either.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister claimed that the 2000 internal public works audit showed merely administrative problems in the sponsorship program. Today, his view, and that of Alfonso Gagliano, was directly contradicted by the man who did that audit. He said that he never claimed they were merely administrative problems, that there were much more serious problems.

I want to ask the Prime Minister, why did he claim they were merely administrative problems when clearly, according to auditor himself, that was not the case?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra
B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, the deputy minister at the time gave evidence before the public accounts committee. He said, “I thought they were serious administrative errors and that there was a strong action plan to fix those”.

In the mind of the most senior public servant with respect to public works at the time of the 2000 audit, they were serious administrative problems and there was a strong action plan to fix them.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

In other words, Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is just using the Gagliano defence which has proven to be fibbing to the public accounts committee over and again.

We know that the public inquiry is not going to start until next fall. We know the public accounts committee has not even begun to scratch the surface of Liberal corruption in this matter.

Why is the Prime Minister trying to force the committee to jam through a so-called interim report to whitewash this Liberal corruption before he calls an election?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Winnipeg South
Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, we also know that the chairman of the public accounts committee has already made up his mind as to the guilt and sentencing of people, as reported in today's

Hill Times.

I think it is an outrageous position for a committee that is supposed to be inquiring into the matter.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister confirmed his intention to invest new funds in health in the future, but only if changes are made to the health care system and if he agrees with those changes.

How can the Prime Minister justify not taking advantage of the federal budget to increase health care funding, when the needs are urgent and the premiers had advised him of the urgency of investing in this area, and to do so with no strings attached?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the premiers agreed with the Prime Minister of Canada to hold a new federal-provincial meeting this summer, preceded by serious work by the health and finance ministers. Everyone agrees that ensuring the long term sustainability of the health care system will certainly require additional funding, but also a serious effort at reform and restructuring, which we want to discuss with all the provinces in the spirit of cooperation.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, by demanding that Quebec and the provinces allow the federal government to interfere in the management of health care as a condition for getting back a share of our own money, which we need to sustain quality services, is the Prime Minister not engaging in despicable blackmail? The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, everyone is well aware that health is obviously our government's top priority. We are determined to work with the provinces. I know that the Bloc does not like it when we say we want to work with the provinces, but that is what our government wants to do and will do.

Everyone agrees, and Canadians are fully aware of this, that money alone will not solve the problems. We need to develop a plan together with the provinces to ensure the long term sustainability of the system.

Older Workers
Oral Question Period

March 29th, 2004 / 2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Rimouski-Neigette-Et-La Mitis, QC

Mr. Speaker, the pilot project to assist older workers will end on March 31—two days from now—and no replacement or extension measures have yet been announced. Among the numerous people who lose their jobs, many are older workers, for whom finding another job is very difficult.

Can the government tell us what its intentions are with respect to this pilot project, and, among other possible solutions, does it plan on making it permanent?

Older Workers
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member opposite knows very well, the government is investing nearly $3 billion per year to help seasonal workers. For example, with the recent changes in the Employment Insurance Act, over the last three years, the government has invested nearly $500 million per year.

We are aware of the problems being experienced by seasonal workers. We are ready to find long-term solutions to better manage the challenges facing seasonal workers.

Older Workers
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Rimouski-Neigette-Et-La Mitis, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government can tell us that it will take care of things all it wants, but the time for action is now. I did not ask him about seasonal workers, but about older workers.

If the government wanted to show its real concern for the older workers who are victims of job cuts, why did it not include the extension of this pilot project in its recent budget? I am talking about seniors, Mr. Minister.

Older Workers
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we are now going into the facts rather than into rhetoric. There are solutions, but there are no effective short-term solutions. We are working to find long-term solutions. In order to find these solutions, we must work with the provincial and regional jurisdictions.

I am now working to finalize a package of measures that will, in the coming weeks, help both seasonal workers and older workers.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are fed up with the Liberals parsing their words regarding the sponsorship scandal. The Prime Minister has carefully denied any connection between the ministers in his cabinet and the sponsorship issue, but we know that is simply not correct.

Was the Prime Minister ever advised of the sponsorship relationship between Pierre Tremblay and his current President of the Privy Council Office?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 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, we have been hearing for weeks now questions from the opposition without any regard for facts, without any regard for concern for the honesty and integrity of the process, casting aspersions on a minister of this government without any proof whatsoever, notwithstanding the hurt that it creates for the minister, for his family, for his children, totally irrelevant of any concern for the human dimension of the problem. It is not acceptable, not acceptable.