House of Commons Hansard #36 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was education.

Topics

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, new and disturbing allegations have surfaced in the Health Canada scandal involving the Virginia Fontaine Addictions Foundation. One of the convicted officials claims in a sworn affidavit that at least eight other Health Canada officials were involved but not prosecuted.

From day one, New Democrats have called for an open inquiry to get to the truth but the Liberals, already up to their necks in scandals, always refused.

Will the government now move quickly to get to the bottom of this sorry scandal and sordid chapter in our history?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Health and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, Health Canada is very concerned about any misuse of public funds and we will use every available option at our disposal on behalf of the people of Canada to recover any public funds that are owed to the people of Canada by the Government of Canada.

New information has been brought to light as a result of the RCMP investigation and the resolution of criminal charges and we will move forward with dispatch.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the response from the health minister. I sense that he and his colleagues are taking this very seriously, unlike the previous four health ministers who refused to address this matter.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. member for Winnipeg North has the floor.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians want to get to the bottom of this sordid scandal. Millions of taxpayer dollars were stolen. Two officials have been convicted. Questions and concerns still remain.

I would like to know if the minister is prepared to launch the open public inquiry that his colleagues called for when they were in opposition.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Health and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for her support. There is a lot of mess to clean up after the previous Liberal governments but I intend to move with dispatch.

The hon. member has made an interesting suggestion, which I think she made in good conscience and good faith, and we will be examining all our options.

However, the one critical message I want to send to the people of Canada is that we will get to the bottom of this and we will restore faith in government on this side of the House.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Kelowna accord, as we all know, was signed after an 18-month consultation process. Yesterday, the national chief, Phil Fontaine, stated, “I want to be absolutely clear that there was an agreement”.

On May 10, finance department officials confirmed that the Kelowna dollars were committed last November. The Minister of Indian Affairs now says that the money is not there. Only the Prime Minister or the finance minister can remove money from a sources and uses table.

Will the Prime Minister tell us why the money has gone missing and the Kelowna accord killed?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, false indignation appears to be the garb of choice for the Liberals these days on aboriginal policy. It is a bad fit.

The Liberals ran this country for 13 years and for 13 years they failed aboriginal Canadians on education, on housing, on drinking water, on treaty implementation and on accountability. They have been criticized by the Auditor General, by the United Nations and by Amnesty International.

They can be as indignant as they want but history will record the Liberal era as one of empty promises. What they really wore is shame.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Winnipeg South Centre, MB

It is interesting, Mr. Speaker, who wears the shame.

There is no question that the Kelowna accord money was booked. The former Prime Minister said that it was booked, the former finance minister said that it was booked and even finance department officials admitted that the money was booked.

Canada's aboriginal people now have confirmation that the Prime Minister willingly and knowingly killed the Kelowna accord.

Could the Minister of Indian Affairs assure the House that he will no longer pretend that the money does not exist as a way to deflect attention from the fact?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, the latest iteration we have from the Liberal Party is a private member's bill that has no money either. It is just a continuation of more empty Liberal promises.

We intend to proceed with clear budgets, with accountability, with action, with results and with measurement. We will deal with the issues of aboriginal poverty that the Liberals did not address for 13 years, a 13 year record of shame and incompetence.

Employment
Oral Questions

June 8th, 2006 / 2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, this morning, during a meeting of the Standing Committee on Human Resources and Skills Development, Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities, the hon. Conservative member and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities announced he had a plan for permanently transferring unemployed people from the Atlantic provinces to Alberta. It is totally unacceptable for the government to make such comments, let alone think them.

My question is simple. How can the government justify such a radical policy by members of its caucus?

Employment
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, that is such a complete and utter distortion of truth on what was said in committee that it is hardly worth answering.

The reality is that this government has taken more steps in recent days to help Atlantic Canadians stay in their region, work in their region and to raise families in their region. That is the record of the Conservative government in the short time it has been in office, unlike the record opposite that left Atlantic Canadians with little choice but to seek employment in other regions.

Employment
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, that is absolutely not what we heard. There was a concrete plan. The minister can try to present the facts in a better light, but the fact remains that this is not the first time such radical comments, about the region I represent, have been uttered by hon. members of the government. It is clear that this government does not understand anything about the Atlantic provinces. It is even more obvious that they do not want to understand anything.

The government's objective seems clear: it wants to drive Atlantic Canadians out of their regions. Is that the Prime Minister's hidden agenda for dealing with the Conservatives' defeatist attitude toward the Atlantic provinces?

Employment
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, I represent Atlantic Canadians as well. I grew up and live in that region. What a complete misstatement of fact. That is not a policy, nor was it even an utterance of a government member. That is a complete distortion, a complete myth and a complete misstatement of fact, which is not uncommon or unusual coming from Liberal members opposite.