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

Topics

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Roy Matapédia—Matane, QC

Mr. Speaker, for 10 years now, groundfish fishers have been suffering from the effects of the cod moratorium and the decrease in quotas for other species such as turbot. These fishers held a demonstration this morning in front of the offices of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in Sainte-Anne-des-Monts.

The Prime Minister recently went to Sainte-Anne-des-Monts. Is he finally going to listen to the groundfish fishers and ensure that they have a decent income?

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Halifax West
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, again I would like to thank my colleague for his question and for his concern regarding this matter. I must say that we have had numerous programs to address the situation of groundfish fishers. These programs have ended. We are aware of the fact that this is a matter of great importance for these people. We are going to continue to monitor this problem.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister is spending a lot of time trying to protect the Prime Minister. However, he should be protecting himself.

In that secret letter in 1995 from public works minister Dingwall to the minister of agriculture, who is now the finance minister, he laid out the violations of contracting policies carried out by Agriculture Canada. This included issuing contracts through Agriculture Canada instead of having them go through public works as the policy required.

My question is for the Prime Minister. Why should Canadians trust a Prime Minister who employed a minister like that in his cabinet?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to answer the question. First of all, the Minister of Finance has answered in terms of the approvals that were given.

If the hon. member wants to know why this member should be in place, it is because he was an outstanding minister of agriculture. He was an outstanding minister of public works who began the clean-up. He is an outstanding Minister of Finance who brought down a budget that the opposition did not have the courage to ask one single question about. That is why.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister defends him, but listen to this. The contracting policy clearly stated:

Departments and agencies must use Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) to contract for all public opinion research or advertising services.

The rules were clear. However, the present Minister of Finance when he was agriculture minister broke the contracting rules.

Did the Prime Minister appoint him to his cabinet because he had the same expertise as the Prime Minister in breaking contracting rules?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the opposition may well think that standing here and repeating specious innuendo is what this House is all about. But what it really is all about is proper public policy so that this country can push ahead.

The fact is that the minister brought down an outstanding budget and that opposition members did not have the guts to ask one question about it. The fact is that the former minister of public works began the clean-up.

The Minister of Finance, when he was the agriculture minister, was an outstanding minister. He worked with the current Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food to bring down one of the most important agricultural packages ever and the opposition is afraid to talk about it.

Status of Women
Oral Question Period

April 20th, 2004 / 2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, despite many advances, women still have a long way to go before they reach true equality.

I would like to ask the Minister of State for the Status of Women, what is our government doing to advance gender equality in Canada?

Status of Women
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Jean Augustine Minister of State (Multiculturalism and Status of Women)

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada has undertaken many initiatives to address our commitment to gender equality. Let me speak about a few.

Status of Women Canada provided over $10 million in funding to women and other organizations to ensure technical assistance to their work to advance women's equality.

As part of our commitment to end violence against women, we have pledged $1 million over the next four years to aboriginal women's issues.

We also gave an additional investment of $15 million--

Status of Women
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for St. John's West.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, in 1995, the then agriculture minister, now the Minister of Finance, got his knuckles rapped for allowing his department to continuously break the rules of awarding contracts.

The minister tried to sole source contracts to the Prime Minister's good friends. His officials limited who could bid on the contracts. He funded contracts through contributions instead of the tendering process required by Public Works.

How could the Prime Minister appoint such a finance minister? He says he was outstanding. Does it mean he did an outstanding job in awarding contracts to his friends?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, what we are now dealing with is the quality of question period and whether in fact the public interest is being advanced.

Let me just take a look. What opposition members have done is to repeat the same question time and time again because they cannot ask any other questions.

Let us take a look at what happened yesterday. The opposition objected to government spending. It objected to government spending on a water treatment system in Killarney. It objected to government spending on a water system in Warren, Ontario. Opposition members stood and objected to contributions to 23 projects in Montreal to combat homelessness.

The fact is, the opposition is opposed to everything that is in the public interest.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, we would not have to repeat our questions if we would just get one honest answer to our questions.

Forget about us. Let me quote David Dingwall, the former minister of supply and services, when he said to the now Minister of Finance that “Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada officials have demonstrated a pattern of non-compliance and avoidance during the year the regulations have been in place. Contracting has been undertaken by Agriculture Canada instead of by Public Works--”

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The right hon. Prime Minister.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, again, the Minister of Finance has answered that question time and time again.

Let us again look at what happened in this question period. Five minutes ago I stood, on behalf of all parliamentarians, and announced that we had eliminated the right of first refusal so that cheap drugs could be sent to Africa and other poor countries relieving people of HIV-AIDS.

What did opposition members do? They bayed like a bunch of hounds in heat. That is what they did. They refuse to accept that this country is in the lead. They refuse to accept, in fact, what all other parliamentarians in this House are in the process of doing. They are making this a mockery of what Parliament ought to be.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Cardin Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the Minister of the Environment was asked yesterday whether Canada would soon be defining its position on chrysotile, he treated us to such a confused answer that it is impossible to know with any certainty whether Canada plans to include or exclude chrysotile asbestos from the list of products banned under the Rotterdam Convention.

Can the minister give us a clear reply to confirm that there is no question of Canada supporting any kind of chrysotile ban under the Rotterdam Convention?