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 land.

Topics

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra
B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, we have had various documents brought forward to our attention in this House. The place where these documents should be taken, so that the opinions expressed in them can be tested against other opinions, is the public accounts committee and the judicial inquiry that will be forthcoming soon.

Instead of raising in the House, and unshared with the public accounts committee, a memo which expresses a particular opinion, it should be put to the public accounts committee and to the author of that document. That is where these questions should be construed.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, I just want to ensure that I heard the minister correctly. He is saying now that he wants the public accounts committee to investigate the Earnscliffe scandal as well, the one that the Prime Minister is directly involved in.

Is that the minister's position?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker--

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

I am sure the Minister of Finance appreciates the ovation but we have to be able to hear the answer and we do not want to waste time. The hon. Minister of Finance has the floor. A little order, please.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman continues down a very confusing path.

What the documents indicate, what the Prime Minister has said, and what others have said, not just today, but over a long period of time, is that there are four contracts being discussed here: one that predated the existence of the government; two that were extensions because a new process was not put in place; and a fourth that was issued under a competitive process.

That is what the evidence indicates and those are the facts.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, here is what the documents really show. Public works investigated and found that the finance minister, the current Prime Minister, had acted contrary to cabinet approved guidelines.

That is what they found in 1995. They said this was simply unacceptable. The truth is starting to come out about how the Prime Minister led the way in breaking and abusing contract rules.

Is it not true that the Prime Minister was very comfortable in--

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Finance.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, let me refer to the very document that the hon. member has in her hand

Contract No. 1 was issued in September 1993, before this government came into office. Contract No. 2 was issued by the Department of Public Works. Contract No. 3 was issued by public works. Contract No. 4 was issued by public works.

The process was administered by the appropriate department.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, that was a good try, but here is what the investigation by public works really found out.

Tenders for finance department work were written with a clear bias to the one firm favoured by the current Prime Minister. Other firms just quit bidding because they figured out it was all rigged. So, in order to give pork to his cronies, the Prime Minister broke all of the accounting rules laid down by the cabinet.

The Prime Minister claims to want to clean up this mess, but how can he do that when he is standing in the rubble of all the rules he broke himself?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, again the hon. member is being a little selective. In the very document she is referring to there is a clear indication that there was considerable confusion with respect to the administration of some of the rules.

Let me just add one quote, “Within our own department”, that would be the department of public works, “we have at least three sectors that can issue contracts for public opinion research and each sector probably has a different definition of what is public opinion research”.

It was that very confusion that we were trying to resolve in favour of competition.

Health
Oral Question Period

April 21st, 2004 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec's Minister of Health, Philippe Couillard, stated yesterday that accepting Canadian standards or being accountable to Ottawa in matters of health was out of the question.

Faced with such clear words, how can the Minister of Health still imagine that it is right to demand accountability from the Government of Quebec in the matter of health care, when it is not the federal government's responsibility to provide health care and when all its interventions only complicate the situation?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I had an opportunity to talk with Minister Couillard after the speech I gave in Toronto yesterday. He was completely comfortable with what I had to say.

I agree completely that it is not our place to impose conditions on the provinces. The way we want to work is to develop a plan with the provinces by setting objectives they would agree to themselves, in a completely transparent way. No government is asking for accountability from another, but the point is to be transparent vis-à-vis our citizens, within our own jurisdictions.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, there was one man who was unhappy with the health minister's actions and that was Jean Charest. He said, “Health is the Quebec government's responsibility. It makes good sense, and for that reason, there is no question about making compromises”.

Does the government realize that the blackmail it is perpetrating with respect to Quebec and the provinces is done at the expense of the ill, and that they are the ones who will pay the price for the federal government's obsession with sticking its nose into other people's business?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, what our government wants is partnership with the provinces. We want to play a supporting role to permit the provinces to carry out the very important responsibilities they have toward Canadians. We intend to work with them.

There is no question of conditions. There is no question of accountability. There is no question of one level of government being accountable to another. It is a question of each level of government being accountable to the public, in a completely transparent way.