House of Commons Hansard #42 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was date.

Topics

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member might want to take a look at some of the speeches he made in the House and some of the policies that he endorsed in the Reform Party, in terms of the drastic scorched earth policies he recommended in health care and scorched earth policies in our transfers to the provinces. If it were up to that member, we would have withdrawn from the entire Canada health policy. That is what he is doing.

In terms of his question, this is one of the areas at which the President of the Treasury Board is looking. We are on top of the situation.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Canadians will understand that the Prime Minister attacks me because he cannot defend his own record.

We have a government mired in scandal and corruption, yet still unable to follow even the most basic ethical guidelines. Cabinet ministers and parliamentary secretaries had 120 days after being appointed to file asset declarations, yet six ministers and nine parliamentary secretaries failed to comply with conflict of interest guidelines.

Why is the Prime Minister unable to enforce even his most minimum ethical standards on his own cabinet?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the hon. member that every member of our cabinet and every parliamentary secretary is very conscious of the need to follow the highest ethical standards.

The reason that I attack the hon. member's record is because he is desperately trying to hide it. The fact is it is a matter of public record. It is in Hansard . Canadians will certainly know about it if they do not know about it now.

Public Service
Oral Question Period

April 27th, 2004 / 2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Canadians will also be looking for those asset declarations conforming with conflict of interest guidelines, if they actually exist, for this cabinet.

We have a government notable for widespread mismanagement and incompetence, yet nothing changes. The President of the Treasury Board said last year, “My God, if 96% of executives are getting merit pay to reward superior performance, then obviously something is wrong”. Yet this year the government rewarded 93% of executives with bonuses. Nothing has changed.

Does the Prime Minister really think this is the way to clean up his mess?

Public Service
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Bourassa
Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, now it is bureaucrat bashing. They are doing a tremendous job. We have one of the toughest, and we should be proud of our bureaucrats.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, that is a far cry from the rogue bureaucrat label the Prime Minister thrust upon us.

The Prime Minister can make all kinds of wild allegations about what people said when they were in opposition. This Prime Minister has been there for a decade. During that time as finance minister, he hammered health care, he cut defence, he opposed student debt initiatives and waffled on parliamentary reform, all the while his government had consulting contracts that hit a whopping $6.5 billion.

Does this not show that the Prime Minister's real priorities are to funnel money to Liberal friendly firms, not to meet the needs of average Canadians?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Winnipeg South
Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question. The reality is that this side of the House does not make accusations or decisions absence evidence. Ever since my assuming the role of President of the Treasury Board, we have been examining each one of these. We have announced a series of reviews in the budget, looking at each one of these elements. We will come forward with evidence upon which we will make responsible policy choices.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Allegations, Mr. Speaker, this coming from the minister who made something up on national television. It is a virtual black hole on that side of the House when it comes to fiscal management.

At the end of the week, Canadians are going to have to file their income tax--

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I am sure the hon. member for Pictou--Antigonish--Guysborough appreciates all the help with his question, but we do have to be able to hear what he has to say. He has the floor.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, at the end of this week, Canadians are going to have to file their income tax, and at the same time they can watch members live at the public accounts committee trying to explain how over $100 million of their hard-earned tax money has gone missing.

The government is consulting firms at the rate of $6.5 billion a year. The government is looking for a fourth mandate. Why all the waste?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Winnipeg South
Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, as I said, if the member for incomplete documents would have examined those consulting contracts, he would have found things like the service contracts for doctors who serve children in the north. He would have found contracts with engineers who look at rebuilding infrastructure across the country. He would have found contracts for information technology. These are good solid service contracts going to Canadians to provide services to Canadians.

National Unity Fund
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, thanks to the media but no thanks to the government's bad faith, the amounts granted and the events funded by the national unity fund since 2000, to the tune of $300 million, are now public knowledge. Unfortunately, we still do not know how much money was spent between 1992 and 2000, including during the referendum period.

Since all the information after 2000 is contained on a single sheet of paper, what is the Prime Minister waiting for to make the other pages public, if transparency truly is his goal?

National Unity Fund
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government has already said that it is certainly prepared to make public all this information as soon as the list is complete. We simply do not want to give information bit by bit. We want the information to be complete. When it is, it will be made public.

National Unity Fund
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is complete, the figures for six years are on a single page, and the same goes for the rest of it too. That is why the Bloc did not take any chances when told that this information was going to be made public within 48 hours. We applied for access to information on March 25, and were told by the Privy Council yesterday that further consultations needed to be held for another month before documents that already exist could be made public.

Instead of inventing reasons to delay, could the government at least be honest enough to admit that its true intention is to disclose nothing at all? That is the truth.