House of Commons Hansard #41 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was first.

Topics

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, we have raised this with Secretary Powell and other American authorities for years and have had assurance that the federal government in the United States was monitoring this process. The state government has decided to go ahead without federal government oversight.

I can assure the hon. member and members of the House that we have requested the United States--and I will be speaking to Mr. Powell when I see him later this week--to move this matter to the International Joint Commission. This needs a review. It has to be a joint Canada-U.S. review. We have to jointly protect our border waters from pollution from one side or the other.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, seven months ago the government cancelled the $1 billion relocation contract after it found wrongdoing on the part of both Royal LePage and Public Works Canada. After reviewing the new requests for proposals, businesses are claiming that the process is still rigged toward Royal LePage, despite the assurances made by the minister.

Before the government allows Royal LePage to rebid on this contract, will it release the internal investigation into the scandal, which it has been hiding from Canadians?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra
B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, it is true that there was a re-tendering of the relocation contract after one of the unsuccessful parties went to the CITT and made some complaints, as it should do. That is the process.

It has been re-tendered. The CITT had not determined that there was bias or that it was incorrect. It felt that some of the selection criteria should be re-evaluated.

In an overabundance of caution, the Department of Public Works and Government Services decided to re-tender the whole project and that tender has now been made and we will go through the results. Any party--

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Lakeland.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, I did not ask for the history of this whole scandal.

The government has had more than seven months to clean up this contract and the mess surrounding this contract. Because of its corruption and incompetence, the government is facing allegations that the contracting process is rigged to favour Royal LePage over other bidders, the same allegation that was out there seven months ago.

Will the minister either exclude Royal LePage from the process, or release the results of the internal investigation, which now indicate that the wrongdoing it found seven months ago has somehow disappeared?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra
B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure why the hon. member seeks to have something released that he pretends to now have knowledge of. In fact, there has been no corruption suggested by anybody in this case.

A party who did not win the original bid followed its rights and went to the Canadian International Trade Tribunal. There were some suggestions that some of the evaluation criteria should be reconsidered. However, the government went beyond that, in an overabundance of caution, by re-tendering the project to ensure that everything would be open, transparent, accountable and fair.

Government Assistance
Oral Question Period

April 26th, 2004 / 2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, last Friday, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food informed the House that he had sent 54 cheques to British Columbia farmers to cover the cost of poultry inventory that had to be destroyed because of a decision made by the CFIA to contain avian flu.

In a similar situation in Nova Scotia, woodlot owners cannot harvest their trees damaged by hurricane Juan because of the moratorium imposed by CFIA to contain the longhorn beetle.

Would the minister agree to provide exactly the same kind of compensation to Nova Scotia woodlot owners for their inventory as he did with B.C. poultry farmers?

Government Assistance
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk—Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Bob Speller Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is right that the Government of Canada, through the Health of Animals Act, was allowed to compensate British Columbia producers because of avian influenza.

In terms of the longhorn beetle, we are working very closely with both the communities and those who have had trees destroyed by the longhorn beetle.

In terms of Nova Scotia and hurricane Juan, those are different circumstances. I know the Government of Canada has been working very closely with the Government of Nova Scotia on that issue.

Government Assistance
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, the minister said the government is working closely with the people of Nova Scotia, but he is sending cheques to the people in British Columbia. We would just like to have equal treatment.

Other than the fact that one is a flu and the other is a beetle, it is the same situation. In British Columbia the CFIA policy caused farmers to lose their entire inventory and the minister paid. In Nova Scotia they are losing their entire inventory, but the government is not paying.

We want equal treatment. Why the discrepancy?

Government Assistance
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk—Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Bob Speller Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada has been working very closely, both in Nova Scotia and in and around the Toronto area in terms of the eradication of the Asian longhorn beetle.

As the hon. member knows, this pest and a number of other ones, and one other one in Nova Scotia, are creating havoc in forestry areas throughout Ontario. I want to give him my assurance that the Government of Canada will do everything in its power to eradicate it.

In terms of the issue with regard to hurricane Juan and the circumstances that were created because of that, that is a different issue dealing--

Government Assistance
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay.

Oil Industry
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Sébastien Gagnon Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay, QC

Mr. Speaker, in an electorally motivated move, the federal Liberal Party candidate in the riding of Jonquière—Alma has denounced the federal government and the Minister of Natural Resources because they refuse to establish the petroleum monitoring agency recommended by the Standing Committee on Industry.

Does the Prime Minister not realize that even the Liberal candidates agree with the Bloc Quebecois on the creation of a petroleum monitoring agency? When faced with such facts, does that not mean it is time for action?

Oil Industry
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

R. John Efford Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I do not know what it takes to get through to the hon. members opposite on this issue. I have said it time and time again, and the answer will not be any different than the answer I gave last week. We have not made any decision on setting up a monitoring agency for gasoline prices.

In Quebec, P.E.I., and Newfoundland and Labrador, it is presently set up by the provinces. It will not work the way the hon. member says it will work.

Oil Industry
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Sébastien Gagnon Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister complains about the democratic deficit. He does not even respect the recommendations of a committee of the House. He refuses to listen to the elected members and prefers to protect the oil companies.

Is the Prime Minister not, by his attitude, demonstrating that he prefers to defend the oil companies rather than consumers?

Oil Industry
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

R. John Efford Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, it is not accurate for the hon. member opposite to say that we want to protect the big oil companies.

In Newfoundland and Labrador three years ago there was a monitoring agency set up to monitor gasoline prices. Today in Newfoundland and Labrador the cheapest gas we can buy is 89.9¢ per litre. That is with an agency set up.

If there are unfair practices with oil pricing or any other pricing structure in Canada, the hon. member should go to the Competition Bureau and lodge a complaint.