House of Commons Hansard #153 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was seniors.

Topics

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Mount Royal
Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I said, the government is in the process of reviewing this decision. Following the court's judgment, everything was referred to cabinet. We will do as the court indicated and examine the decision.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, the person who partially controlled the political direction in the sponsorship scandal was harshly blamed by Justice Gomery for his infringements and omissions and the fact that he “arrogated to himself the direction of a virtually secret program of discretionary spending”.

Given Justice Gomery's very harsh criticism, is that not more than enough grounds to uphold Jean Pelletier's dismissal?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Mount Royal
Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the court has ruled and we will respect that ruling. The cabinet will examine the process and the ruling, as the court has recommended.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, how can the government continue to defend Jean Pelletier, who denies any responsibility in the sponsorship affair and still does not accept the blame assigned by Justice Gomery?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Mount Royal
Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I will repeat what I said. It is not a question of defending Mr. Pelletier, but of respecting the court ruling. That is what we are going to do.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday evening, the Standing Committee on National Defence and Veterans Affairs heard very compelling evidence from the Agent Orange Association of Canada; the MLA from New Brunswick, Jody Carr; and many others about the extent to which Canadian armed forces personnel, civilian personnel on the base and other civilians who worked on the base in various capacities over the years were sprayed over a period of 20 years with cancer causing chemicals and herbicides.

I wonder whether the Minister of National Defence would now agree to call the public inquiry that many have called for, while at the same time taking seriously the recommendations for how they could deal better with the situation in the meantime.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Toronto Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we do take very seriously both the committee work that was done last night and the recommendations, and we will be looking at these.

The evidence last night at the committee demonstrated precisely the amplitude and the nature of the complexity of this task, which is why we put Dr. Furlong in place to do a study. This gentleman has impeccable credentials. He has had both political and medical experience. I think we should allow him to deal with this and work with it so we can get the right answer, both for the victims and the Canadian public.

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, if anything, the evidence last night demonstrated that the problem is far more extensive than the government has been willing to admit.

However I want to ask the Minister of National Defence another question with respect to those who were deemed not to have served in the second world war by order in council. The department now seems to admit that perhaps as many as half of the 14,000 or so who were deemed not to have served did in fact serve with distinction and were not deserters.

Having acknowledged this now, I wonder if the minister could tell us what the department intends to do about that. Will it be moving another order in council to make these kinds of benefits available to those who are still alive?

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Toronto Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I am glad the hon. member phrased his question the way he did because he clearly indicated that this is a complicated issue. The fact is that of those who were deemed not to have served included those who had gone AWOL, those who had deserted and those who had deliberately chosen not to be engaged.

Unfortunately, others, for personal reasons or bureaucratic reasons, did not file the necessary papers. What the order in council of the day sought to do was to turn a page on the issue.

There are those who believe they were unjustly treated. The way to deal with this injustice is to let them apply and we will deal with it on a case by case basis, and we will rectify the injustice.

Government Contracts
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government seems to have trouble figuring out where the government ends and where the Liberal Party begins.

Liberal Party campaign manager, David Herle, received an untendered contract to write the Liberal Party platform that was then tarted up and called an economic update. Talk about gall, Mr. Speaker.

How can we believe the Prime Minister is serious about getting past the culture of entitlement, the sponsorship scandal, when he continues to be a sugar daddy for Liberal friends?

Government Contracts
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentlemen's allegation is outrageous. Mr. Herle did not write the document. The contract in the case here was with and by the department. It was fully within all the rules and guidelines.

It was indeed disclosed and published on the Internet. With respect to public opinion polling generally, that matter was reviewed by the Auditor General and she concluded that it was properly handled.

Government Contracts
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, the truth is that the rules were written so Liberal insiders could take advantage of them. That is what has happened here.

The Prime Minister and the Liberal government claim to be outraged at the sponsorship program and then they turn around and funnel money to their friends, right in the wake of everything that Justice Gomery has said. It is just like they cannot help themselves.

Will the finance minister promise Canadians right now, while he has a chance, that the money that went to David Herle will not in some way find its way back into Liberal coffers?

Government Contracts
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, that allegation is quite beneath contempt. There is absolutely no basis, no substance and no foundation to that whatsoever.

The fact is that in the interest of transparency and disclosure, the government followed, in this case as it follows in all cases, the rules that require the disclosure of all contracts over $10,000 publically on the Internet. That is a new rule in the public interest and it is being followed assiduously.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

November 18th, 2005 / 11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Helena Guergis Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, recently we learned that aboriginal women in northern Quebec are 37 times more likely to be victims of violence. The Minister of Indian Affairs claimed that the issue was on the agenda for the first ministers' meeting in Kelowna. We now know that it is not true and it is not on the agenda.

Was the minister just making it up or is he incompetent?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Jeanne-Le Ber
Québec

Liberal

Liza Frulla Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, as Minister of Canadian Heritage, I am pleased with our government announcement of the $5 million to the Native Women's Association for the response of Sisters in Spirit. Indian and Northern Affairs Canada also provides $70 million a year to the family violence prevention program for community based projects and operational funding for 30 shelters across Canada.

We were supposed to have a federal-provincial meeting to put all our needs together to answer this problem of violence against women but, of course, it is in January and those irresponsible people over there are probably bringing us to an election.