House of Commons Hansard #108 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was housing.

Topics

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Jim Gouk Southern Interior, BC

Mr. Speaker, I previously asked a question in the House regarding the laundering of ad scam money through VIA Rail, where Lafleur Communications Marketing was paid $112,000 to carry a cheque from public works to VIA Rail. It then turned around and donated half the money back to the Liberal Party of Canada.

The question was answered by the then public works minister, now in charge of Canada's finances, who stated that he too was troubled by this file and had referred it to the RCMP. That was three years ago. What results do we have from this three year investigation that so troubled the present finance minister?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

St. Catharines
Ontario

Liberal

Walt Lastewka Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the Gomery commission was appointed by this Prime Minister. The Prime Minister has said that we should let the Gomery commission do its work and it has done its work.

I know that there has been an ongoing parallel investigation here of no value at all, but the Gomery commission has done its work. Justice Gomery has concluded hearing witnesses and we look forward to the time when the Gomery commission reports to the House. I can assure members in this place and Canada as a whole that once Gomery reports, this government will take action.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Jim Gouk Southern Interior, BC

Mr. Speaker, if after three years there are no results of such blatant money laundering it seems that it was only the bad publicity that troubled the minister. The Minister of Finance was at the time in charge of public works and is now in charge of the nation's finances. He should have been more concerned about the operation of public works then and about the theft of taxpayers' money now.

Given this incredible example of the ad scam at its worst, will the government commit to returning its proceeds from this theft of taxpayer money now, today?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

St. Catharines
Ontario

Liberal

Walt Lastewka Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, it is very obvious that the member and the opposition do not understand that there was an inquiry and that Justice Gomery has done his work. He finished the work with witnesses yesterday and is now moving on to his report.

He will report in the fall. He will tell us exactly what happened. He will name names and he will also tell us about responsibility. He will make sure that we understand what needs to be changed, and this government will take action and it will take action immediately.

International Cooperation
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Marc Godbout Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, we have recently learned that new cases of polio have been reported in Yemen and in Indonesia.

Could the Minister of International Cooperation tell this House what steps Canada and its partners are taking to combat this terrible disease?

International Cooperation
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Barrie
Ontario

Liberal

Aileen Carroll Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, I want to assure this House that I will be monitoring very closely the development of new cases of polio. At a time when we were so close to eradicating this terrible disease, it is important that we continue moving in that direction.

Canada has invested nearly $200 million in this fight, and we will continue to support initiatives to eradicate polio from the face of the earth.

Border Security
Oral Question Period

June 3rd, 2005 / 11:45 a.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the security minister. An NDP access to information request just recently answered shows that 48 border badges, 65 border ID cards and 58 border uniforms are missing.

First it was airport security items gone missing and now we have 130 reports over the last five years of border security items also going missing. When is this minister going to protect our borders by fixing the basics instead of spending all her time writing sweeping security laws which we know simply do not work?

Border Security
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, of course I reject the fundamental premise underlying the member's question. Having said that, let me say that the Canada Border Services Agency takes it very seriously, as do I, when uniforms go missing or when any form of ID goes missing as it relates to individual officers. I can assure the hon. member that the CBSA and the management of the CBSA are following up on those concerns.

Clearly what we want to do is ensure that the collective safety and security of Canadians is always foremost, whether it is with the CBSA or other agencies in this country.

Border Security
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is typical of just no responsibility on the part of the government and the minister. She wrote the Draconian security law, which we know does not work. Her department helped deport Maher Arar. She says that the border is secure even though 48 badges, 65 ID cards and 58 uniforms have gone missing.

Then she stands in the House and gives some platitudinous answer. Can she say if she has done anything specific about dealing with these thefts and losses?

Border Security
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, I have made it absolutely plain that the CBSA and the management of the CBSA take these assertions very seriously and are following up on them. I take them very seriously. I do not know what the hon. member does not understand about the fact that we take this situation very seriously and it is being followed up on.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Carleton—Lanark, ON

Mr. Speaker, twice in this House the minister implied that if the budget bill, Bill C-43, were not passed, the military would not get its money. This is false. The Department of Finance advises:

Legislation is not required for many of the spending measures proposed in Budget 2005, such as the funding for National Defence, as parliamentary approval can be achieved through the normal appropriation process.

Why did the minister grandstand and mislead the House with respect to funding for the military?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Toronto Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, surely all members of the House will agree that members of the House would not go through the appropriations process without first having adopted the budget on which those appropriations were based.

We know very well, and every member of this House knows, that the budget has to go through and the appropriations have to be voted before our men and women will get the money they need to transform themselves and make themselves into an effective force for this century to defend Canada and Canadians. That is what we are going to do on this side of the House. Let us try not to get into this sort of insane type of obscurity about how the process is going to work. It will work because we are going to get the budget through.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Carleton—Lanark, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is the other side that is giving us insane obscurity.

Recently, three of Canada's top military officers told our defence committee that they will soon be making recommendations to balance base infrastructure against the priorities detailed in the Liberal defence policy statement.

Infrastructure has been underfunded by the Liberals for years. This puts the military in a precarious situation where it must choose between base infrastructure and operational capability. Without a doubt it will choose operational capability. As a consequence, is the minister prepared to close any military bases?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Toronto Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I certainly would agree with the hon. member, who is knowledgeable about the matter of the forces, that the proportion of base infrastructure spending must be looked at. I have discussed this with my officials. We are making sure this is done in proportion to keep our bases in good shape.

We will always look at our bases to make sure that the footprint we have in this country is that which is necessary for us to do our job and provide security for Canadians. That is how we do it. We will continue to do that job.

Border Crossings
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

John Duncan Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, there is a new state of the art facility at the Lacolle-Champlain crossing, along the border between Quebec and New York State, but on the American side only. Canada is spending nothing on the Quebec side of the border.

Why is the government not contributing to this important gateway between Montreal and the United States?