House of Commons Hansard #92 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was health.

Topics

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Van Loan York—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, there are criminal charges against everybody except those who directed the operation. Canadians know that the Prime Minister is not believable in supporting the Gomery commission. Last spring the Prime Minister ordered the shutdown of the public accounts committee and called a quick election because he knew that Jean Brault was going to testify and spill the beans.

Liberals are already in court trying to shut down the Gomery commission right now and discredit the justice, so when the Prime Minister declares his support for Gomery, will he just admit that he is not telling Canadians the truth?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, again what the hon. member is saying is false. The fact is that the work of the public accounts committee was going quite well until the chairman decided to go to Mexico. Beyond that, it is absolutely clear that the Prime Minister, who established Justice Gomery, and the Prime Minister, who continues to support Justice Gomery and who provided full access to cabinet documents and other documents going back to 1994 and provided $72 million worth of resources to Justice Gomery, wants to get to the truth as do Canadians.

It is interesting that only recently they started attacking Justice Gomery's mandate because they fear that Justice Gomery's report will show that the Prime Minister acted honourably.

Commercial Bankruptcies
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Russ Powers Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am going to change the focus on the questioning today.

The current process for workers to recover lost wages from their bankrupt employers is both lengthy and unreliable. Many workers do not get close to what they are owed in the aftermath of employer bankruptcy. This impacts all workers, but especially the most vulnerable, those who live from paycheque to paycheque.

Could the Minister of Labour and Housing please advise the House if the government is proposing to address this issue?

Commercial Bankruptcies
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

London North Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Fontana Minister of Labour and Housing

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member, the caucus and the government for caring about the vulnerable workers, men and women across this country. It gives me pride today to be able to announce that we will introduce a wage earner protection program that will help people who have lost their jobs through bankruptcy get all of the money that is due to them, unlike the Conservatives who, I just heard a half hour ago, would introduce a payroll tax to help those people recover their wages. That is absolutely shameful.

On this side of the House we believe in protecting men and women who work hard each and every day. We have listened to them. Labour leaders want this and we will deliver today.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Labour should remember that it was a proposal of the NDP that he just talked about.

I come from a riding where it is very hard to find work, from a riding where the people are loyal and want to keep their work. The Liberal government slashed EI in the 1990s after it promised that it would not do that. Before each election, in 1997, in 2000 and in 2004 the Liberals promised they would fix it and they did not fix it.

My question for the minister is, will they keep their promise and fix the EI problem for the workers?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, first, the program my colleague has just announced was established in cooperation with the country's unions.

Second, the employment insurance program has been improved each year in order to meet workers' needs. Again this year, we made improvements through the budget currently before this House. We try to meet workers' needs regularly, and do so in cooperation with all partners in the community, including employers.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, I think enough is enough, and this is enough chit chat. Had this government not spent taxpayers' money on sponsorships in Quebec, workers would have had some changes to employment insurance.

My question is for the Prime Minister. Is he prepared to give Canadian workers the 12 best weeks? Yes or no? Or is he going to invest in sponsorships again?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, we have received the recommendations of the committee of this House and of the Liberal caucus group. We have made significant improvements—especially the 14 best weeks.

In New Brunswick, in fact, workers and employers celebrated this decision by the government.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

Order. Perhaps the members discussing at the other end of the House could continue their discussions in the lobby. They would be better doing it there, and it would be much easier for those of us here who want to take part in question period.

The hon. member for Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam has the floor, and everyone would like to hear him.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

May 5th, 2005 / 2:50 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians know that the Prime Minister is not believable in cleaning up government. The Prime Minister knows that the transport minister arranged meetings among members of Parliament and his friend François Duffar of Cossette Communication in violation of Canada's lobbying laws because he did not register as a lobbyist.

How can Canadians believe that the Prime Minister is serious about cleaning up corruption when he does not even hold his own ministers accountable for violating our laws?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I can repeat, for the benefit of the hon. member, that I never billed anything for any meeting. Therefore, the answer is clear.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians know that the Prime Minister is not believable in cleaning up government. When Jean Chrétien's defence minister, Art Eggleton, was caught giving an untendered contract to his girlfriend/researcher, Jean Chrétien threw him out of cabinet. What did this Prime Minister do when he was sworn in as Prime Minister? He awarded him a Senate seat as a reward for being a good Liberal.

How are Canadians supposed to believe that this Prime Minister is serious about cleaning up corruption when he rewards Art Eggleton with a Senate seat rather than doing the appropriate thing, which is saying that behaviour is not tolerable in this country?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway
B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, this Prime Minister has done more to clean up Parliament and clean up government than any prime minister in the last 30 or 40 years.

I want to say that if the Conservatives have a complaint about the hon. Minister of Transport, we have, thanks to this Prime Minister, established an independent registrar of lobbyists who reports to Parliament. They should complain to the registrar of lobbyists and deal with this in the proper way.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, if that is a clean government, I would hate to see what a dirty one looks like.

The Prime Minister has a problem with the truth.