House of Commons Hansard #117 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of State for Northern Development.

Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Western Arctic
Northwest Territories

Liberal

Ethel Blondin-Andrew Minister of State (Northern Development)

Mr. Speaker, I would have assumed a much higher level of professionalism from the member opposite.

I am confident that Mr. Burlingame is ensuring that the board is operating in its usual professional capacity and that all business is being addressed in a timely and expeditious manner. There are no delays to ongoing development projects.

Government Appointments
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, last year during his “mad as hell tour”, the Prime Minister promised to condemn to history the politics of cronyism and patronage.

Now we learn that the industry minister's official agent in the last election campaign, Mr. Bracken-Horrocks, has been appointed to the board of directors of the Business Development Bank of Canada. Why did the Prime Minister break his promise to end patronage and cronyism?

Government Appointments
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway
B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, this is a classic example of where an appointment that is made purely on the basis of merit is brought into disrepute.

Mr. Bracken-Horrocks is one of the top accountants in this country. He has never been a federal Liberal. He is regarded by the chairman of the board and the board of directors of BDC as one of the best appointments made to that board.

Government Appointments
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Edmonton—Leduc, AB

It is unbelievable, Mr. Speaker. The fact is that this appointment clearly demonstrates that the Prime Minister broke his promise. The industry minister appointed his own official agent, according to Elections Canada, his top volunteer, the person who signs off on his election returns, to the Business Development Bank of Canada, a government bank that reports to the minister himself.

Does the minister not see anything wrong with appointing his own official agent to a bank for which he himself has responsibility?

Government Appointments
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway
B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, some of the members opposite could learn a few lessons from the practices that we have applied here. We brought in one of the top accountants in this country, an accountant I met through my professional associations on boards of directors, an experience, I am sure, that none of the members opposite have had.

We brought pure competence into the political process to make sure it had integrity.

Natural Resources
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are impressed by the leadership that the Prime Minister is showing to avoid the water diversion from Devils Lake to the Red River and the Lake Winnipeg watershed without a proper environmental assessment.

My question is for the Minister of the Environment. Could he tell the House what support he has received from outside the border on this issue?

Natural Resources
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, first let me acknowledge the support given on this issue by both the House of Commons and the Senate's standing committee on the environment.

Indeed, we have a lot of support from our American friends who share our view that Lake Winnipeg must be protected, along with the Sheyenne River and the Red River. I want to mention especially, in addition to various environmental and aboriginal groups, senators from Minnesota, Ohio and Indiana, governors from Missouri, Minnesota and Ohio, the mayors of the Great Lakes, including the mayor of Chicago, and various U.S. house representatives.

Marriage
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, today the justice minister is saying that Bill C-38 will not make it through. I would like to ask a question of the government House leader. This debate on equal marriage has been going on now for almost three years. Last June the Prime Minister promised, “Your fundamental rights don't belong to a political party. They belong to Canada and we're going to protect them”.

Why is the government selling out on human rights? Where is the commitment to pass Bill C-38?

Marriage
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek
Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, it is unfortunate that the hon. member begins to play politics with such an important piece of legislation. Our approach on this bill has been consistent right from the beginning. Our commitment is to get the budget bills passed and pass as many other pieces of legislation as possible, like Bill C-38. We have demonstrated our commitment by extending the sitting hours to midnight so that we can have more legislation debated in the House.

It is the Conservatives who do not want to allow Bill C-38 to come to this House and who will not allow for the democratic process to proceed.

Marriage
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, whether--

Marriage
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Marriage
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. We cannot possibly hear the member for Vancouver East with all the noise. I know that all hon. members want to hear her question. The hon. member for Vancouver East has the floor.

Marriage
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government House leader cannot hide behind politics. A majority of MPs support equality. A majority of citizens support equality. Eight courts have ruled.

The Prime Minister does not have to duck and hide on this one. His responsibility is not to Liberal MPs who want to act like the Conservatives. His responsibility is to human rights.

I ask again, where is the leadership and the commitment to get this bill through? It has been around long enough. Where is the commitment?

Marriage
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek
Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I need not take any lessons from the hon. member. Our commitment and responsibility are to Canadians. That is why we are in the House. That is why we put forward legislation. That is why we debate legislation.

The real question is why the Leader of the Opposition continues to delay the debate on Bill C-38, and why the Leader of the Opposition continues to put forward procedural motions instead of debating budget bills and debating other issues that are important to Canadians.