House of Commons Hansard #45 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was parks.

Topics

Public Service
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, although the Supreme Court has recognized the right of public servants to engage in legitimate political activities, Canadian Heritage has just dismissed Édith Gendron. The Vice-President of the Public Service Alliance of Canada has described this dismissal as a political trial, particularly since a number of managers at Heritage are actively involved in the Liberal Party and their activities are unrestricted.

What will it take for the Minister of Canadian Heritage to call her departmental employees to order, speak out against the injustice done to Ms. Gendron, and take the necessary steps to reinstate her in her position as soon as possible?

Public Service
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bourassa
Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I would like to say again what I have been saying from the outset: this is an internal matter involving the Department of Canadian Heritage.

To set the record straight, what the member is referring to is the June 1991 Osborne decision. In it the court pointed out that there was a convention under the Constitution recognizing the neutrality of public servants as essential to the principles of responsible government.

When a conflict arises between personal interests and public interest, the resolution should give precedence to the public interest.

Public Service
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister's inaction smacks of a double standard. The Minister of Canadian Heritage cannot allow such a double standard; she must ensure that her departmental employees are treated fairly and equally.

Does the minister intend to intervene forcefully with her departmental staff so that not only common sense but also the rights recognized by the Charter of Rights and the Supreme Court prevail?

Public Service
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Brossard—La Prairie
Québec

Liberal

Jacques Saada Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, on a number of occasions, the minister concerned as well as the minister answering today have repeated that this is an internal matter and is the responsibility of human resources at Canadian Heritage. That said, Ms. Gendron has recourses available to her. These are readily accessible and I assume she will avail herself of them.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

April 30th, 2004 / 11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Prime Minister expressed his openness to an amendment to NORAD, a prerequisite to Canada's taking part in the missile defence shield. The decision to support this amendment must be made in June, after the election, but in time for deployment this fall.

Is this not more proof that the PM has already decided that Canada will take part in the missile defence shield and that he does not want that decision known before the election?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Liberal

David Pratt Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has indicated very clearly that there are two key decision points here. One is in relation to the possible amendment to Norad and the other is a final decision on missile defence, which will be taken this fall.

The potential amendment to Norad does not in any way prejudge the final outcome of this decision.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, does the government recognize that, in this case, the authorization last October by Lieutenant General Findley for Canadian soldiers to take part in a two-week military exercise related to the missile defence shield is still more proof that Canada's participation in this plan is already a given?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Liberal

David Pratt Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, there were two elements to the so-called training that occurred last October. One was a simulation exercise on missile defence, the likes of which has been conducted on a regular basis going back a number of years because that is one of the things that Norad does.

The other, as I indicated to my hon. colleague from the NDP, was a table top exercise for decision makers so they could understand the potential impact of ballistic missile defence on Norad.

They were not operational training.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, on Tuesday the Minister of Public Works and Government Services said “all the contracts that have been awarded to Earnscliffe or any company...are either already in the public domain or accessible for review”. Yesterday he admitted that was not the case but that the information could be obtained elsewhere by calling the 1-800 number. That is not true either.

What is the minister trying to cover up by providing incorrect information to the House?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Vancouver Quadra
B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, first, I did not correct myself yesterday. I explained by providing clarification because the day before yesterday an hon. member from the other side misquoted my answer on Tuesday, which this member has properly referred to.

I said that the services they are providing to the government are either already in the public domain or are accessible for review, and they are. We have access to information. We have direct inquires to my department. We have access to the Canada Contracts website. If the member has a specific question, give it--

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for St. John's West.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, according to the minister, the site he talked about provides an information number that one can call “for additional information, such as for contracts prior to three years...or perhaps by some other department”.

We called the number. They made it clear that they cannot provide any extra information on Earnscliffe.

Will the minister table a list of contracts and subcontracts that have been awarded to Earnscliffe since 1993?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Vancouver Quadra
B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I gather that question is already on the Order Paper, but I see no problem with providing that.

The member must understand that we may go back up to 10 years. Contracts and other documents are usually not kept for more than six years but we are making every effort to get that information.

Nothing is being hidden. There are various ways to receive it. Members just have to ask the specific question and we will make every effort to get it.

Health
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, this week is the sixth anniversary of the Liberals' decision to deny compensation for all hepatitis C victims of tainted blood.

We now know that in 1981, Health Canada knew of the risk of hepatitis C to the blood supply and yet the government said that it would only be liable from 1986 to 1990.

Now there is an opportunity for the Liberals to right that wrong. Will the government finally extend that compensation to all victims of the tainted blood and hepatitis C?

Health
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the government has tried to be very sensitive on this issue because the people living with hepatitis C deserve that kind of conscientious attention and not just political hyperbole.

We have put together assistance measures that total some $525 million. In the administration of that program, the Minister of Health and previous ministers of health have tried to be as responsive and as conscientious as possible.