House of Commons Hansard #103 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was development.

Topics

The Budget
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, naturally, the government is pleased with yesterday's vote, as are all Canadians. I appreciate the question by the leader of the New Democratic Party.

Now this bill is in committee. I can assure you that the government, through its leader, will do everything needed to advance its passage, as the legislative process requires of us.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals repeat daily that they are waiting for the Gomery report before they finally act. At the same time, they are doing everything they can to discredit the work of the commission. They are wrongly intimating that the commission will cost more than planned and question Justice Gomery's impartiality.

Why is this government trying to discredit and put an end to the inquiry by Mr. Justice Gomery into the Liberal scandal?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the statements by the member opposite are completely false. Not only did this government establish the Gomery commission, it is supporting all of the work done by Justice Gomery. The government is prepared to assume all the costs required to put the facts on the table for Canadians before they decide on what went on in the sponsorship file.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, let us deal with the facts. The Liberal government is engaged in another round of smearing reputations and this time it is Judge Gomery.

During yesterday's testimony, Justice Gomery made it clear that he was coming under budget despite leaks from the government complaining about the inquiry costs. In fact, the government exaggerated the cost by $40 million. This is clearly an attempt to hurt the credibility of Justice Gomery.

Why is the government trying to undermine the sponsorship inquiry?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that I am on the record as saying that the cost of Gomery is well worth it for the Canadian taxpayer because we are changing a culture of government. We are able to pay for generations of dividends to Canadians by getting to the truth and making fundamental changes to governance for Canadians.

I support, our Prime Minister, our entire government and our party support the work of Justice Gomery. The fact is that there is about $40 million of additional costs contributed by Public Works, Justice, the Treasury Board and the PCO to cooperate with Justice Gomery, which explains the discrepancy.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, Alfonso Gagliano, the Prime Minister's friend, is now joining forces with the former prime minister to shut down Gomery.

It seems some Liberals are not as anxious as some other Liberals to get to the truth. The Prime Minister has sung the praises of Mr. Gagliano in the past. Will he now ask him to stop this attempted cover-up?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, once again, the government's position has been clear. We want to see Justice Gomery complete his work and reach his conclusions so that Canadians have the truth.

Yesterday's Toronto Star said that Ontarians welcomed the Prime Minster's decision to cancel the sponsorship program, to fire people linked to it and to appoint Gomery. It went on to say:

[The Prime Minister's] budget, too, was well received, even by [the Leader of the Opposition] initially. And Ontarians recoil from the Conservative-Bloc Quebecois alliance....Few beyond politics-mad Ottawa relish an election now. Many just want Parliament to get on with the job of governing, by first passing the budget.

They voted against the interests of Ontario yesterday when they voted against that budget.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, while Canadian and Ontario voters are told that Justice Gomery will get to the bottom of the Liberal scandal, behind the scenes the Prime Minister's friend is making all efforts to silence Gomery, as is the former prime minister.

While the Prime Minister has in the past shown his admiration for his buddy, Alfonso, has he picked up the phone to tell this disgraced minister and the former prime minister to back off?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, it is also important to recognize that this was the Prime Minister who fired Alfonso Gagliano. This also is the Prime Minister who established the Gomery commission and supports, unequivocally, the Gomery commission.

There are allegations against other parties, including the Conservatives, including the Bloc or the separatists in Quebec. Those parties have ignored those allegations and are not taking them seriously.

We are taking these allegations seriously. We are addressing them thoroughly. We will ensure both our government and our party does the right thing while that party simply tries to make cheap political points on the floor of the House of Commons.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Sébastien Gagnon Jonquière—Alma, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Fédération des producteurs de bovins du Québec estimates that Quebec producers have suffered $280 million in uncompensated losses since the mad cow crisis began. Michel Dessureault, the president of the federation, considers that the aid provided by this government does not meet Quebec's needs. Again this week, he stated that federal programs are not working. However, the purchase of the Colbex abattoir by producers would resolve the cull cow problem in Quebec.

When will the minister stop hiding behind the lack of flexibility of his programs in order to avoid doing his part to guarantee a floor price for cull cows?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, as I said in the House yesterday, and which we have conveyed very directly to the UPA and to others in Quebec, should producers purchase the plant and they want to expand the amount of processing they do in that plant, we have programming that would be available to assist them.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Sébastien Gagnon Jonquière—Alma, QC

Mr. Speaker, two years after the American border closed to Canadian beef, we are still waiting for measures that will provide real aid to Quebec producers.

How does the minister explain the fact that the much promised aid has yet to materialize?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that programming has been put in place that has benefited producers in Quebec. In fact, it has benefited producers right across the country. Whether it be the TIS program, which was put in place in March 2004; the FIP program, which was just put in place in March 2005; or the repositioning strategy that we announced in September 2004, all these programs have worked to assist producers and the industry in general, including the industry in Quebec.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

May 20th, 2005 / 11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, with the opening of the conference on the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety in Montreal only a few days away, the Canadian government has denied a visa to Africa's negotiator, Dr. Tewolde, from Ethiopia. This conference is of great interest to Quebec, since Montreal is already home to the secretariat of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity.

In this context, does the government intend to reconsider and grant Dr. Tewolde the visa that was requested?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Thunder Bay—Superior North
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Comuzzi Minister of State (Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario)

Mr. Speaker, as the House knows, visas are very well reviewed at the time of application. In this particular instance the visa was denied.

Our visa officers are very competent and there is a certain discretion that they are allowed. If they in their judgment find that the visa application does not fit the criteria as set down by the regulations and by our guidelines, they have no alternative but to refuse.