House of Commons Hansard #100 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Agriculture
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Garry Breitkreuz Yorkton—Melville, SK

Madam Speaker, I would like to draw to the attention of the House the serious implications of the crisis in agriculture. Lives and families are being devastated. We have just had more funerals for farmers who have committed suicide in southern Saskatchewan. These are farmers desperate for a solution. These are agriculture producers failed by the government.

The Liberals have wasted nearly two years waiting for another country to solve a problem affecting the livelihood of Canadian agricultural producers. Support lines, like the farm stress line in Saskatchewan, have been inundated with calls from farmers on the edge. Not only is this a battle for financial survival; for some it is a battle for survival.

The enormity of the agriculture crisis is affecting more than just pocketbooks. Many farmers see no hope under the present circumstances. My sincere hope is that this cry for help within the agricultural community will finally reach the ears of the Liberals. Lives are hanging in the balance. Why does the government not do something?

Sudan
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Madam Speaker, the Darfur region in western Sudan is experiencing one of the world's worst humanitarian emergencies. Over one million people have fled their homes because of the ongoing conflict and sought refuge in makeshift camps in Sudan and Chad.

In September 2004 the Liberal government supported Canadian Red Cross efforts in Sudan with a $1 million contribution. The money has been designated to help fund two mobile health units which will deliver primary health care to people in remote villages and internally displaced persons settlements. These mobile clinics will also transport the critically ill to other established health facilities.

I encourage our government to continue its commitment in this region and others in Africa that are so desperately in need.

British Columbia
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, this is an interesting day in Canadian politics, not just here in Ottawa but also in British Columbia. Today British Columbians go to the polls to show their opinion of the direction B.C. has gone over the last four years.

Since the last election many issues have faced British Columbians, including the reductions in social programs that have cut deep and hard. Transition houses have closed in communities around the province. More than 8,000 health workers lost their jobs. Resource communities were betrayed by increased raw log exports.

However, it was not just spending cuts that caused dismay among British Columbians. There was also a referendum on treaty negotiations, ignoring decades of work. There was a plan pushed forward to allow offshore drilling for gas and oil in Haida Gwaii against the wishes of the majority of British Columbians. A deal was struck to build new B.C. ferries in Germany instead of Victoria shipyards. More and more open net salmon cages were allowed in waters that vulnerable wild salmon runs use, ignoring scientific evidence of the dangers involved.

Over 700,000 more British Columbians have registered to vote in this election than in the last provincial election. Many commentators have decided this increased interest in voting can be attributed to the fixed voting date or the chance to change how elections are run in B.C., but British Columbians--

British Columbia
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for St. John's South--Mount Pearl.

Natural Resources
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Loyola Hearn St. John's South, NL

Mr. Speaker, during the last federal election the Conservatives committed to give Newfoundland and Labrador 100% of its share of offshore revenues. The Prime Minister was forced to make the same commitment.

After the election, he reneged on his promise and it was only the pressure of the Conservatives and the work of Premier Williams that eventually forced an agreement. Then he stalled in bringing forth legislation. When he did, he lumped it in an omnibus bill with 23 other bills. He refused to bring forth stand-alone legislation.

He refused, despite the unanimous consent from the total opposition, to split the bill. Now he is making sure the opposition supports the budget by putting pressure on it, all in an attempt not to help the provinces but to help keep himself in power.

The Liberal Government
Statements By Members

May 17th, 2005 / 2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Tuesday, the Liberal government went down for the count. Poor sports that they are, the Liberal team stops at nothing, refuses to admit defeat and is clinging desperately to power. Yet, the Liberal team suffered a knockout after 153 opposition members indicated their lack of confidence in this government.

The referee will have to make the call. He will decide the ultimate fate of this government branded by corruption.

The Liberal government no longer has the authority and the confidence it needs to carry out its duties, and its stubborn refusal to step down is a slap in the face of democracy.

The Liberal government should have the humility to admit its defeat and accept the decision of the final referee: the voters. That will be the real vote of confidence.

Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, no one can stand the smell of the Liberals any more. Even the member for Honoré-Mercier admits it. Proof of that is his request that voters hold their noses and vote for the Liberals.

The actions of the Liberal Party are causing a stink throughout Canada. Three election campaigns run on tainted money, money laundering, brown envelopes, illicit contracts to Liberal friends, patronage beyond measure and phony volunteers. The member is right on one point: what the Liberals have done smells bad.

Does the hon. member really think the voters will plug their noses and close their eyes to this scandal?

Between corruption and separation, voters know very well there is only one party that can take office and govern a strong and united country transparently and honestly and this party is the Conservative Party.

Conservative Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, as vice-chair of the public accounts committee, I was disturbed yesterday when Conservative and Bloc members refused to show up for work for the third meeting in a row. The committee was to deal with last week's so-called non-confidence motion which was referred to public accounts for direction. A motion that was urgent last week suddenly was not important this week.

It seems the only commitment of the Conservatives is to do nothing, nothing in committee, and in being against the budget, nothing for Atlantic Canada, nothing for cities and communities, nothing for the environment, and nothing for child care.

I am proud to be with a party that is here to work and take action on issues that Canadians care about.

Government Advertising
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, Auditor General Sheila Fraser said that the same disregard for rules that created the sponsorship mess were also evident in the government's overall advertising program, and this one had an $800 million price tag. This has disturbed the Auditor General to the extent that she has now ordered a major follow up audit.

When did the Prime Minister first become aware of these problems, or is he going to make the claim that he knew nothing about it?

Government Advertising
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, we are pleased and welcome the Auditor General's attention to this important file. The fact is that since 2003 the government has implemented major changes in our advertising program and practices to create greater competition, improve value for taxpayers and greater transparency. The changes followed extensive consultation with industry.

I can assure the hon. member that we are absolutely committed to getting the best possible value for the Canadian taxpayer and at the same time ensuring that Canadians, through advertising from the government, receive a clear message as to the intention of our government.

Government Advertising
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, I do not think Canadians are buying that. Under the government we have heard about the billion dollar HRDC boondoggle, the sponsorship fiasco, the billion dollar gun registry sink hole, the Earnscliffe mess, the list goes on and on, and that is not a complete list.

Yesterday we heard about another problem.

Does anyone ever lose his or her job in all these messes? How is it possible that the Prime Minister has gone all these years as a member of the government knowing nothing about it until someone gets caught?

Government Advertising
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I welcome the opportunity to speak to the progress we have made within our advertising program as a government. In fact, we have increased the number of suppliers. We have made changes to the hourly rate of remuneration. There is a new agency of record. We use fairness monitors to ensure transparent, open and fair practices in terms of procurement. We have made changes to the rules regarding Canadian content and the posting of all advertising contracts.

Again, we have been ahead of the curve doing the right thing to ensure the best possible value for the Canadian taxpayer at all times. We are standing up for the taxpayer, not just--

Government Advertising
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Niagara Falls.

Government Advertising
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is a bunch of nonsense. With all these scandals and all these contract irregularities costing Canadians billions of dollars, I wonder if the Prime Minister could just make it simple for Canadians.

In his 18 months as Prime Minister, has he ever come across any contract process where the Liberals have followed all the rules, or would that be just too much to ask?

Government Advertising
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, again I welcome the opportunity to speak to the procurement reform that our department has implemented. I would like to take this opportunity to credit the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works, the member for St. Catharines, who has made tremendous changes. In fact, we have the greatest level of procurement reform and evaluation since the 1960s in terms of Government of Canada procurement that we will be saving over $2.5 billion over the next five years, which is $2.5 billion that we can invest in child care, in health care and in Canadian communities, all of which the Conservatives are opposed.