House of Commons Hansard #43 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was health.

Topics

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

April 28th, 2004 / 2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the public works minister said that we can “check with www.contractscanada.gc.ca, type in Earnscliffe” and we will have all the contract information we are looking for. If only that were true.

We know that Earnscliffe received a $1.2 million contract for a brand Canada pilot project, but we will not find it on that website the minister referred to. Why is the government withholding information? How much money has the government funnelled toward the Prime Minister's friends at Earnscliffe? That is the question.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra
B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, consulting contracts, like any other procurement contract with the Government of Canada, are handled in a transparent, competitive and accountable way. With the exception of smaller contracts, these are posted on the Contracts Canada website. If the hon. member has a specific question about a specific contract, I will be happy to get that information for him.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, maybe I will have to talk a little slower, then, because I have a very specific request. What we want to know is, how much money in contracts have this Prime Minister and the government funnelled toward their friends at Earnscliffe?

We understand that registries are not the government's forte. We know that. My question is directly to the minister, how much money in contracts for Earnscliffe? That is the question.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra
B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the contracts awarded by the government under competitive transparent processes are a matter of public record. They are on the Contracts Canada website.

However, if there is a specific issue or a specific contract that the member has a question about, please put it to me and I will ensure that he gets the answer.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, we know that this government spends billions of dollars on contracts that benefit its friends. When we put clear questions to the government, it refers us to its website. However, we have uncovered a contract of over $1 million to the Prime Minister's friends at Earnscliffe which is not mentioned on the website.

When will the Prime Minister stop this secrecy and tell Canadians the exact amount that his government has given to his cronies at Earnscliffe?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra
B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the member of the opposition says he has discovered a contract that he cannot otherwise find. I am not sure where he found it, but if he would like to give me a copy, we will provide a full explanation of the competitive process that led to the awarding of that contract.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the minister told me to go and check his website. We went there and all the contracts for Earnscliffe on that website total $965,000. It was missing this $1.2 million contract.

We want to know, how many other secret Earnscliffe contracts are not listed on that website and exactly how many tax dollars have been shovelled to the Prime Minister's cronies at the Earnscliffe lobby firm?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra
B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, it hardly seems to be hidden if the hon. member has the contract. If he would like to give me a copy of it, I will provide a full explanation of the process that led to the awarding of that contract.

Parental Leave
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, the issue of parental leave has been at a stalemate for several years because the federal government stubbornly insists on imposing its own program rather than helping to fund the Quebec program, which is much more complete. This is a very important question and I am addressing it to the Prime Minister.

Will the government pledge to reach an agreement with Quebec before an election is called?

Parental Leave
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, as always, Bloc Quebecois members are not informed. I am currently having discussions with my Quebec counterpart. Officials from my department and from Quebec are carrying on discussions that should lead to an agreement. However, we cannot prejudge the outcome of these discussions.

Parental Leave
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have to be careful here. First, the federal government should consider withdrawing its appeal to the Supreme Court on this issue and, second, it should recognize that it is unacceptable and counterproductive that the Quebec government be constantly forced to go before the courts to prevent federal intrusions in provincial jurisdictions.

What we want to offer to Quebeckers is our own business. The federal government should stop interfering, it should stop sticking its nose into this, and it should hand over the money that belongs to Quebec families.

Parental Leave
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the hon. member opposite is living in another world. Canadians living in Quebec were not denied any benefit. The Quebec government has introduced a bill, but it is not in effect yet. Therefore, we did not take anything away from anyone. We are in the process of working out the differences and we have made progress, despite the protests of Bloc Quebecois members, who have nothing to offer.

National Unity Fund
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of Health, the assistant to Jean Lapierre in Quebec, listed a number of events that received grants from the national unity fund.

If the minister wants to be taken seriously when he says he wants to be transparent about this fund, then what is he waiting for, frankly, to table this list that he refers to frequently in this House?

National Unity Fund
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to answer the Bloc Quebecois House Leader who is fully aware that because we want to table a comprehensive list that includes all the information, we have to go back several years. I have been assured that the Treasury Board is doing a painstaking and diligent job. As soon as the list is complete, it will be made public.

National Unity Fund
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the difference between the minister and me is that I know I am the Bloc House Leader, while he did not know he was Jean Lapierre's assistant.

We now know that the list of events for 2000 to 2006 exists. According to the minister, the list of events between 1992 and 2000 is not ready and does not exist. Is the minister prepared to rise and tell me, in all seriousness, that this list does not exist right now?