House of Commons Hansard #38 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tlicho.

Topics

Women Voters
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, “for every eight men in Parliament, there are only two women among them”. That quote is from the great website and campaign called YoungWomenVote.ca, initiated here on Parliament Hill by three interns: Chi Nguyen, Crystal Graber and Cloë Rowbotham. Their goal is to get 20,000 young women to pledge to vote and make their voices heard in the upcoming federal election.

We in the NDP applaud their campaign and the energy with which they approach it. This is long overdue, and this House needs to reflect the women of Canada. It is time to put patriarchal politics to rest and close the gap that has seen women so under-represented.

We are proud that in our party affirmative action and equality for women are key priorities of our leader, Jack Layton. We are determined to change the face of politics. It is critical to empower young women to engage in the political process to strengthen democratic and equality seeking goals.

YoungWomenVote.ca is a great initiative. We know they will achieve their goals.

National Volunteer Week
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, during national volunteer week, I want to pay special tribute to the thousands of people of Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot and elsewhere in Quebec who, every day, put their time and skills to use helping their neighbours.

National volunteer week is a chance for the public to better understand just how much volunteers contribute to sports and recreation, community, institutional and cultural affairs. These individuals work tirelessly, and by working with local associations and agencies, they help tens of thousands of people attain a better quality of life, stay in touch with the rest of society and break the isolation and solitude that many suffer.

Volunteers are an essential resource in our society. I want to take this opportunity during this special week to thank all those who devote their time and energy to improving their communities.

Mental Health
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Gérard Binet Frontenac—Mégantic, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to acknowledge the excellent work of five mental health agencies in the Asbestos region. La Croisée, le Havre, l'Intervalle, the Asbestos general hospital and the CLSC-Frontenac received the Most Innovative Mental Illness Awareness Week Event award for 2003.

The Canadian Psychiatric Association awarded this honour to these agencies for the innovative and imaginative documentary called Je t'aime pareil .

I congratulate those who become involved in such innovative community activities to unmask mental illness.

Military Heritage
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Inky Mark Dauphin—Swan River, MB

Mr. Speaker, one would expect that Canada's cultural artifacts are secure in the Canadian Museum of Civilization, as it is the country's depository of history, but on Friday, April 2, a British collector discovered that the Victoria Cross belonging to Filip Konowal, the only Canadian of Ukrainian heritage to earn our country's highest military award, was for sale at an Ontario auction house.

Previously, officials at Canada's War Museum, which is part of the Museum of Civilization, insisted that Konowal's medal was simply misplaced in their collection. It was misplaced in 1973.

At a time when some would question whether a military career was an honour worth pursuing, Canada's response should be a proud showcase of our military heroes, not careless treatment of their artifacts. One has to wonder if the Victoria Cross belonging to Billy Barker, Canada's most decorated soldier from Dauphin--Swan River, remains secure.

Our military heritage must be protected and proudly displayed to remind all of us of how much we owe and value our brave men and women in uniform.

Stan Darling
Statements By Members

April 21st, 2004 / 2:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

John Herron Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to mark the passing of a most exceptional former member of the House of Commons: Stan Darling. He served the residents of Parry Sound--Muskoka with distinction for nearly half a century.

For 30 years, Stan Darling served as a municipal councillor. At the young age of 61, he was first elected to the House of Commons as a Progressive Conservative member of Parliament in 1972, serving the residents of Parry Sound--Muskoka for an additional 21 years, retiring in 1993 at the age of 82.

He was an admired and respected figure within his community and in the House of Commons, yet his greatest legacy can be seen in the lakes, rivers and ponds that we have today. For over 10 years he served as a crusader in raising the issue of acid rain to national prominence. His relentless pursuit resulted in a momentous accord with the United States on acid rain, resulting in dramatic reductions of emissions of sulphur dioxide both north and south of our border.

Canadians and our environment are both better today because of Stan Darling's contribution to public life.

Queen Elizabeth II
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, 78 years ago today, on April 21, 1926, was born in London, England, Princess Elizabeth, the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York, who would eventually become King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

After her father's death on February 6, 1952, she assumed the throne and her coronation was held on June 2, 1953. For 51 years she has been visiting Commonwealth countries continuously in order to meet her subjects in person.

On October 12, 1957, Canada welcomed the Queen for the first of her 20 visits. Millions of Canadians from the four corners of Canada had the opportunity to see and to meet Her Majesty.

On behalf of all Canadians, and I hope on behalf of all members of the House, I would like to wish a happy birthday to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has had 24 hours to study the documents referred to yesterday.

These memos from public works show the Prime Minister repeatedly breaking contracting rules, all set up to benefit his allies at Earnscliffe.

Why did the Prime Minister mislead Canadians with claims of ignorance and innocence, when he knew exactly how the system worked and he worked it?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Actually, Mr. Speaker, the documents show nothing of the kind.

What in fact happened was that the first contract was a contract that the government inherited when we took office. It was a contract that had been awarded to the previous Conservative government and we simply continued with it.

Following that, there were two extensions because public works was going through a new procedure. It said that instead of having open bids, they would be extended. Then, at the end of 1994, there was a competitive bid which was won. That competitive bid was adjudicated and administered by public works.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, contrary to what the Prime Minister said yesterday and today, the memos from Guité and Kinsella were written after the Prime Minister said he ended his rule breaking practices. They show that the contracts were not subject to the kind of open tender that he claims.

Does the Prime Minister still deny the facts laid out in these memos?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I affirm the facts as they in fact were.

The fact is that the contract was bid on in an open tender. It was administered and adjudicated by the Department of Public Works, not the Department of Finance.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

I will read it for the Prime Minister, Mr. Speaker. It said:

--only one bid was submitted which was by Earnscliffe Strategy Group. Unofficial comments were received by...my organization, that the scope was unclear and bias to one firm, so why waste time and money on a bid that they had no chance of winning.

That is what it says here. If these contracting schemes with Earnscliffe were so legitimate, why did the Prime Minister's successor at finance immediately cancel them when he assumed office in 2002?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, again, let us review the chronology of what happened.

The first contract referred to here was in fact issued by the Conservative government. It was clearly within the limits and the rules permissible at that time. That was in September 1993.

Then, in July and September 1994 there were extensions of that previously existing contract because the new contracting process by public works was not yet in place. It was put in place in the fall of 1994. A competitive process was held, and that is when the Earnscliffe firm won on a competitive basis.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's problems with numbers are well documented. He failed to catch the $1 billion boondoggle at HRDC, missed the boat over $1 billion on the gun registry, does not have a clue about the $250 million wasted in a sponsorship scandal, and failed to differentiate between $130,000 and $161 million given to his shipping empire.

Apparently the Prime Minister is bad at math and has a poor memory. Now he claims he does not know how his buddies got these contracts.

Canadians deserve to know, who is running the show, Earnscliffe or the PMO?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in terms of a finance minister, myself at that time, who had some problem with numbers, let us go through some numbers.

We inherited a $42 billion deficit from that party and a debt to GDP ratio that was going through the roof. What is the net result? Today we are the only G-8 country not in deficit. We are the only one in surplus. I understand those numbers.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Here is a figure, Mr. Speaker, $161 million to CSL.

In a note to Chuck Guité, Warren Kinsella expresses his concerns about the improper awarding of contracts to the minister's friends at Earnscliffe. The note in question shows that the Department of Finance, headed by the current Prime Minister, had awarded four contracts in violation of Department of Public Works rules.

And the Prime Minister knew nothing?