House of Commons Hansard #111 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was young.

Topics

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, how can the government claim that the purpose of this measure is to improve the employment insurance program, considering that, as recently as yesterday, it voted against a minor improvement to the program, and that, last month, it rejected all of the 28 recommendations relating to the program that were made by the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills Development, Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Newmarket—Aurora
Ontario

Liberal

Belinda Stronach Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister responsible for Democratic Renewal

Mr. Speaker, the standing committee produced a report with a number of very good recommendations, some of which were taken into consideration in this budget to strengthen the independence of the EI commission, and to strengthen the independence and transparency in the way we set rates.

In addition, there have been a number of pilot programs put in place, including the best 14 weeks, to strike a balance between fairness and the right to work including the incentive to work, and to allow for increased benefit calculations.

Haiti
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, June 5, the Washington Post condemned the failure of the UN and Haiti's interim government, and called for the American government to consider dispatching more marines. Haitian press and observers are also concerned about growing insecurity, while the provisional electoral council could still postpone the elections.

What measures does the minister intend to propose at the Montreal International Conference on Haiti, on June 16 and 17, in order to try to improve the situation in this country that has already suffered too much?

Haiti
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Papineau
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I greatly appreciate the hon. member's interest in the situation in Haiti.

These are extremely difficult times for Haiti, which comes as no surprise. We had expected insecurity to increase as the elections approached.

Our government, like the rest of the international community and the members of the Organization of American States, through the General Assembly, has reiterated its support for the election process, which we hope to keep as scheduled. However, there is work to be done to ensure security, so that the elections can proceed smoothly.

Haiti
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, instead of witnessing the disarming of the “chimères” of former president Aristide, former soldiers in the Haitian army and rebels, Haitians are witnessing an increase in the number and sophistication of weapons.

Does the Minister of Foreign Affairs intend to make it clear to our international partners that effective disarmament—essential to orderly elections—must take place?

Haiti
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Papineau
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, naturally, our government believes that disarmament is absolutely essential. The mandate of MINUSTAH, the UN mission, must be renewed by June 24. and should be reinforced. Canada is pleased to contribute 100 police officers to assist with policing.

MINUSTAH must not only carry out its military obligations but also assist the police. I believe that is a priority for the international community.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the public works minister denied his Liberal government paid $100 million in rent without a signed lease, but his communications director contradicted him, later admitting to the Ottawa Sun that there was no lease. She explained away the broken rules as nothing more than a bureaucratic snafu.

The minister has admitted the Liberal rent for nothing broke the law. One hundred million dollars is at stake here. Could he please define the meaning of snafu?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, snafu would be very easy to define. It is typically defined by the hon. member's questions every day on the floor of the House of Commons.

Yesterday the hon. member said there was no contract. As I told him yesterday, it was an irrevocable contract that was signed in 2001. The contract stated that the anticipated date of the commencement of the lease would be on December 1, 2003. The contractors lived up to their contractual obligations by delivering the building on time and on budget. The government believes in honouring its contracts and paying its bills.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member admitted, when he was caught, having broken the law and then the government just went ahead and cancelled the law. Unfortunately, it did not do so retroactively, meaning that the period of the infraction still has a $200 a day fine for a total of $118,000 owed by a Liberal member.

Will the Liberal government collect that money or will it just continue to say to taxpayers “snafu”?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the Senate code of ethics was approved by this House in 2003.

Yesterday the hon. member referred to the new Senate code of ethics by saying:

Here you have a group of fat-cat unelected politicians who have a job for life and now we find out that they're policing themselves.

That is the same old Reform Party Senate bashing rhetoric that Canadians are sick of.

After decades of work, the Canadian Senate has a code of ethics and an independent Ethics Commissioner, and that is to be congratulated because it is good for the Senate and it is good for Canada.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Lunn Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, we all know what happens when public works fails to follow proper contracting guidelines. Ad scam happens.

On May 16 the Canadian International Trade Tribunal ruled that once again contracting guidelines were not followed for the federal relocation contract worth $563 million awarded last November. Instead of accepting the tribunal's decision, the government's response was to appeal it to the courts.

Why should Canadians believe that the government is cleaning up its act when it will not even respect its own tribunal's rulings?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, after the contracts were awarded a complaint was launched by the unsuccessful bidder. The tribunal rejected two out of the three grounds set out in the complaint. This is a common procedure.

My officials reviewed the CITT ruling and determined that the appropriate course of action would be to file an application for judicial review with the Federal Court of Appeal. We look forward to that running its course.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Lunn Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, once again we just get more spin and convoluted explanations.

The truth is that Canada is earning an international reputation for underhanded deals and contracting corruption. We need to correct this reputation now.

Liberals originally re-tendered the contract based on an earlier tribunal ruling but now that they do not like the findings of this ruling they decide to challenge it in federal court.

How can anyone believe that the government will clean up the mess in public works when political interference continues on the minister's watch on a regular basis?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, once again, these contracts were awarded in a fair, open and transparent process, a process that treated all bidders equally. It was overseen by an independent fairness monitor. The department chose a selection based on a combination of technical merit and price in order to get the best value for Canadian taxpayers while ensuring the delivery of the best possible services to Canadian public servants.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

June 8th, 2005 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Derek Lee Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Monday the House debated Bill C-52, a bill to correct legal defects in the enforcement provisions for the regulation and management of the Ontario fishery and brought to the attention of the House by the Standing Joint Committee for Scrutiny of Regulations.

It now appears that the Conservative opposition is refusing to allow quick passage of this one line bill in a situation where orderly management of the Ontario fishery could be put at risk.

Could the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans advise the House of his position and that of the Ontario government on this situation?