House of Commons Hansard #129 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was defence.

Topics

Public Funds
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, the most recent Public Accounts of Canada attest, once again, to the mismanagement of public funds by this Liberal government. Theft, vandalism and accidental damages within federal departments have cost Canadian taxpayers over $31 million this year.

This is a 345% increase over last year.

The RCMP alone suffered over $1 million in damages to its fleet.

What does the Minister of Public Works and Government Services intend to do to curb such squandering of public funds? How does the government intend to recover these amounts? Will Canadian taxpayers once again pay the price of this Liberal government's mismanagement?

Firefighters
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, a few weeks ago, the fire brigade in Saint-Jacques, New Brunswick, celebrated its 50th anniversary of loyal service to the community.

Today, I want to recognize the brave work of firefighters in Saint-Jacques, and all firefighters in my riding and across Canada. They keep our communities safe through their actions and they do not hesitate to put their own life on the line to save the life of someone else.

Without our firefighters, our communities would not be as safe. We must not forget the work our firefighters do in our schools and communities to promote prevention. In short, these people dedicate themselves wholeheartedly to their communities.

I encourage all my constituents to recognize what our firefighters do and, once again, I want to thank the Saint-Jacques fire brigade for 50 years of service.

Sisters in Spirit Campaign
Statements By Members

September 30th, 2005 / 11:15 a.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, in May of this year, the Liberal government promised $5 million over the next five years to the Sisters in Spirit campaign, an initiative of the Native Women's Association of Canada. Their campaign is intended to raise awareness of the prevalence of violence against aboriginal women in Canada.

Government statistics show aboriginal women with status are five times more likely to die as a result of violence than any other group of Canadian women. However, since May no money has flowed to the Sisters in Spirit campaign and in those five months five more aboriginal women have been reported missing. Who knows how many are missing but not reported. This is just another example of Liberal funding announcements and no action.

The families of these missing women and girls deserve better. I call upon the Liberal government to immediately release the money that has been promised so the Sisters in Spirit campaign can begin in earnest.

Softwood Lumber
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the softwood lumber dispute has been going on for 40 months now. The industry is at the end of its rope, and an aid package is urgently needed.

Technically, the dispute ended on August 10, 2005, when the NAFTA panel ruled that there was no threat to the U.S. industry and that the countervailing and anti-dumping duties should be revoked and refunded.

Unfortunately, for the first time since the free trade agreement was entered into 17 years ago, the United States refused to comply with a panel decision. This choice the Americans made has very serious implications and threatens the integrity of NAFTA, whose decisions are supposed to be binding.

Now the industry has to go before American courts again to obtain justice, which is practically setting them back 20 years.

The Prime Minister and the government ought to show determination and implement the solutions put forward by the Bloc Québécois three years ago now.

The time for talk is over; it is now time to act.

David Dingwall
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, there are no rules nor guidelines on how much severance David Dingwall will ding the Canadian taxpayer for. We know that he milks the mint with his expenses. We know the Canadian taxpayer was nickeled and dimed during his time there, even charging for a pack of chewing gum.

The Prime Minister's defence of this decadent behaviour speaks volumes as to the arrogance and sense of entitlement that the government exhibits every day.

André Ouellet, another serial expense account abuser, did not receive a cent, a package, when he resigned in disgrace from Canada Post.

Why is a severance package even being contemplated or discussed with David Dingwall?

David Dingwall
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Markham—Unionville
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, one is innocent until proven guilty. There is absolutely no evidence that Mr. Dingwall broke the rules in terms of his expenses. They were all verified by the chief financial officer and subsequently approved by the board. For greater certainty, the board will appoint two eminent outside Canadians to have a second check on this.

In terms of severance, privacy laws prevent me commenting on an individual but I can comment on myself. When I left the Royal Bank voluntarily to enter into politics, I received a severance package. It is normal.

David Dingwall
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is not normal to charge chewing gum to the Canadian taxpayer.

Former minister David Dingwall resigned following an orgy of reckless spending at taxpayers' expense and after a cloud of suspicion surrounded his past lobbying efforts.

My question is simple. Why should the taxpayers give more money to David Dingwall? Why offer him a golden parachute? Is it to buy his silence?

David Dingwall
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Markham—Unionville
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, as I just said, there is no evidence that Mr. Dingwall broke the rules. The expenses were all verified by the board, which will appoint two outside parties to do a second check on this. One therefore has to conclude that he did not break the rules.

As I just said also, upon leaving such a position, it is normal to get a severance package, just as one would in the private sector.

David Dingwall
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Central Nova, NS

Liberals declaring Liberals innocent, what a surprise, Mr. Speaker.

When ad scam administrator, Chuck Guité, was being interviewed for the job, the then public works minister, David Dingwall, said, “Welcome aboard. You won't rat on them, you won't rat on us”. Apparently the code among Liberals in Ottawa is always put your party ahead of the country.

Testimony at the Gomery inquiry and public accounts committee showed that Mr. Dingwall and the the Prime Minister, then finance minister, worked hand in glove, maybe hand in pocket, on a number of contracting issues.

Is the severance package for Mr. Dingwall the Prime Minister's payoff to keep him from ratting? Just what does David Dingwall know that the government wants to keep quiet?

David Dingwall
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, that allegation is so beneath contempt it does not deserve an answer.

David Dingwall
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Brian Pallister Portage—Lisgar, MB

Not to mention that response, Mr. Speaker.

Through access to information we have gathered together, the Conservative Party has documents that verify that there is no severance package obligation on the part of the government toward Mr. Dingwall. In other words, this is the Prime Minister's call. This is at his discretion. He has to decide whether he wants to reward the unbecoming conduct of an old crony or protect the interests of Canadian taxpayers.

I am interested in having someone from the government stand up and tell us which it will be.

David Dingwall
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Markham—Unionville
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, as I said before, the privacy law prevents me from commenting on any individual but myself.

In my own particular case, when I voluntarily left my job with the Royal Bank to enter politics, as was normal practice I received a severance package.

In this particular case, I can tell the hon. member that the Privy Council Office is considering this in line with standard practices.

I cannot really comment further except to say that my own example indicates that this is normal under such conditions.

David Dingwall
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Brian Pallister Portage—Lisgar, MB

Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, what is also normal under the government's mismanagement is globe-trotting, golfing, gluttony and gum at taxpayer expense.

This is the Prime Minister's scandal, the Prime Minister's dirty laundry and the Prime Minister's call. He can further hurt the Canadian taxpayers' interests by rewarding, under no reasonable grounds, a crony, or he can stand up for Canadians.

For a change, will he finally stand up and protect the interests of Canadian taxpayers and citizens?

David Dingwall
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Winnipeg South
Manitoba

Liberal

Reg Alcock President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, this Prime Minister has been standing up and protecting the interests of Canadians throughout his entire political career. It is this Prime Minister who initiated the review of crown corporation governance that led to 31 recommendations. It is this Prime Minister who opened the crowns to audit. It is this Prime Minister who brought in the strategic management overview that hardened the financial audit committees.

The Leader of the Opposition said, “Why don't you ask the Auditor General to come in”. The Auditor General is the auditor of the Mint, and not only that, in her most recent audit report of June of this year she said--

David Dingwall
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Rivière-du-Nord.