House of Commons Hansard #133 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was barbados.

Topics

Infrastructure
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Merv Tweed Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, it has been 246 days since the government announced its new deal for cities and communities. The government has been signing deals since March and other provinces have been able to move forward with their plans and projects.

My province of Manitoba has lost six months' worth of valuable construction time, an entire season. Manitobans deserve their fair share. The only ones who seem to get the cash when they want it are the government's cronies who do not have to wait for approval, they just put it on their expense accounts.

It is within the government's power to make this deal happen. The Prime Minister must stop dithering and instruct Manitoba's lead minister to start rowing or get out of the boat. Maybe someone else can get this deal done for the benefit of all Manitoba communities. I urge the government to act today.

Community Leadership
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to offer congratulations to the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce. The local chamber, in conjunction with the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, recently earned national acclaim with the silver award for the best community leadership project in Canada.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce recognized the local chamber for its efforts in helping to establish the Prosperity Council of Waterloo Region. The prosperity council includes Communitech, a local technology association, and Canada's Technology Triangle Inc., the economic component of the region's local government.

I invite the House to join me in extending congratulations to the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce on its outstanding leadership and this achievement.

Gasoline Prices
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, since this House returned two weeks ago, Canadians have seen how out of touch the government is with the use of taxpayers' money. I am going to give a few examples.

The first example, today we find the government actually does favour a break on the high price of gas, but only if one is a politician or a civil servant. This does nothing for ordinary Canadians, except cost them money. Not only do they have to pay more for their own gas, now they have to pay more for the gas the government uses.

Will the government show some respect for taxpayers by cutting gas taxes and by cancelling this mileage bonus for civil servants and politicians?

Gasoline Prices
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Winnipeg South
Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the setting of mileage rates for civil servants is done through a consultation process with the unions under the contractual agreements we have with them. I have instructed my staff to go back to the NJC and ask them to reconsider this particular decision.

As for the setting out for politicians, that is handled by the Board of Internal Economy of this chamber. The member is quite free to have the conversation with the Board of Internal Economy.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we will have that conversation with the Board of Internal Economy and we will look for the government's support to have that rolled back.

The second example, the Prime Minister is flying down to New York on a public relations exercise. This trip will cost Canadians thousands of dollars, but the Prime Minister on softwood lumber has not yet laid out any plan of action for Canadians and he has not yet even bothered to speak with the President.

Why does the Prime Minister think it is appropriate to spend thousands of dollars of Canadian taxpayers' money when he cannot even bother to pick up the phone at a few cents a minute and call the President?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member said that we do not have a plan in place in order to deal with softwood lumber. That is utter nonsense.

Our number one priority here is that the terms of the NAFTA must be respected. This is why we have taken litigation in the U.S. Court of International Trade, in order to have the duties come back to Canada, in order to have those orders repealed. This is why we are taking measures for retaliation. This is why we have stepped up our advocacy. I am delighted that President Fox knows, along with us and Canadians, that the NAFTA must be respected.

David Dingwall
Oral Questions

October 6th, 2005 / 2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, trite rhetoric, but the industry communities and workers are still looking for an action plan from the government.

The final example, the government keeps trying to justify a half a million dollar severance package for David Dingwall against the growing opposition of even members of the Liberal caucus. The government's own labour minister said, “If he thinks he deserves a severance package after having quit, then he should sue for it. I don't think he should be entitled to it”.

How could the government continue to make the case for severance when its own minister responsible for severance legislation thinks the idea is ridiculous?

David Dingwall
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Markham—Unionville
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, we will pay Mr. Dingwall only what legal counsel advises us we must. There is currently an independent audit re-examining his expenses under way. Further, should any discrepancies be uncovered by the audit, the government will insist upon a dollar for dollar repayment to the treasury.

David Dingwall
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, while the NHL is back with new rules against obstruction, the government continues to rag the puck, clutching and grabbing taxpayers over the Dingwall affair.

It appears that the Liberal B team is divided though. The revenue minister says he was given verbal advice to justify this appalling payoff. The minister cannot point to a contract or a specific clause in government law that would require such a galling giveaway because they do not exist. The Liberal member for Gatineau, a labour lawyer, says the government needs more than flimsy verbal opinions.

Will the minister take the advice of some of his own colleagues and show Canadians some real substantive legal opinions to somehow justify this Liberal severance for silence?

David Dingwall
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Markham—Unionville
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, we will pay Mr. Dingwall only what legal counsel advises us we must. There is currently an independent audit re-examining his expenses under way. Further, should any discrepancies be uncovered by the audit, the government will insist upon a dollar for dollar repayment to the treasury.

David Dingwall
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, from Dingwall to stonewall; the minister should flip the tape.

Let us recap the Ding-gate affair: ex-Liberal cabinet minister, illegal lobbyist, architect of the sponsorship program, expense account abuser, quit a patronage appointment at the Mint in disgrace. For this the government says that he deserves a big fat payoff, courtesy of hardworking taxpayers. His Liberal colleagues are scattering like headless turkeys before Thanksgiving, but even most Liberals are now demanding that the reward for quitting be abandoned. The member for Parkdale--High Park says it destroys their credibility.

Just who is insisting on the payoff? Is it Dingwall himself, or a nervous Prime Minister who sat with him in cabinet when they designed the sponsorship program?

David Dingwall
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

David Dingwall
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. minister has the floor to give his answer. Order.

David Dingwall
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Markham—Unionville
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, we will pay Mr. Dingwall only what legal counsel advises us we must. There is currently an independent audit re-examining his expenses under way. Further, should any discrepancies be uncovered by the audit, the government will insist upon a dollar for dollar repayment to the treasury.

Gasoline Prices
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Treasury Board increased the per kilometre travel allowance for parliamentarians and public servants in order to offset the impact of the gas crisis. But clearly, many people were left out of the aid package announced by the federal government, such as taxi drivers who are also hard hit by this crisis.

Does the Prime Minister intend to help taxi drivers, as he did parliamentarians and federal public servants?