House of Commons Hansard #48 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was legislation.

Topics

Government Contracts
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Ruby Dhalla Brampton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, we need an apology because it shows that MacPhie's Industry Canada contracts were to describe the government's strategy on science and technology. That could not have been too much work because if we look at the recent firings and gag orders, one does not have to really believe that the government actually believes in scientific expertise.

The government actually fired Canada's chief science adviser. Will the President of the Treasury Board explain why government rules are being violated, all in an effort to pocket the books of the finance minister's cronies?

Government Contracts
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Colin Carrie Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, to be perfectly clear, no rules were violated.

As fas as Dr. Carty is concerned, he announced that he would be retiring effective March 2008 as science adviser. The government has been supportive of a motion brought before the industry committee. We will be having Mr. Carty before our committee to answer all questions and we await his appearance.

Public Works
Oral Questions

February 11th, 2008 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance awarded an untendered $122,000 contract to a friend to write a speech. The unelected Minister of Public Works, Michael Fortier, awarded a $875,000 contract for the installation of a security fence in Montebello, again without obtaining bids. This clearly contravenes Public Works rules that require the use of the tendering process.

How can the government allow its unelected minister to contravene this rule with impunity?

Public Works
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, that is not true. A contract was awarded to Matériaux Bonhomme Ltée of Gatineau, Quebec, for the installation of a fence to secure the perimeter of Chateau Montebello during the Summit of the Americas. For technical reasons, the RCMP decided that it was the only type of fencing that could meet their needs.

We did our job to provide security and we will do so in future. That is our approach.

Public Works
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government is justifying this expense, at four times the market rate, on the basis that the event was to take place shortly. Yet, they knew for months that the summit would be held in Montebello.

Why does the government hide behind this false pretext to justify its contravention of the basic rule of tendering?

Public Works
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, the rules were followed. The RCMP required the security fence in a timely manner. We did our job. We provided the proper security fence and that is exactly what was required by the RCMP. Rules were followed, the fence was provided, and the summit went forward in a secure manner, just exactly as was required.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence has said that he will release information about the transfer of detainees when transfers are once again taking place and when an operational decision concerning this matter has been made.

It would appear that the transfer of detainees is not yet taking place, so will the minister tell us what he is doing with them in the meantime? Where are they?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, the member is misinformed. I never said that it was the government's decision to make. This is clearly an operational decision. As I said again this weekend, if a decision were to be made about resuming the transfer of detainees or increasing the number of detainees transferred by military personnel, it would be a decision, an announcement or an operational call made by senior officers and leaders on the ground in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week, the Minister of Foreign Affairs told us that he was not involved in building prisons. If he is not involved in building or running prisons, then surely we should ask ourselves where are we putting detainees and what are we doing with them?

Are we subcontracting them to the United States or Great Britain? What are we doing with them? It is high time the government answered these questions. We have been asking about this for weeks now. We would like a clear answer for once.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I said last week, we have an agreement in place. The armed forces are responsible for implementing the agreement on the ground at their discretion.

That being said, we are proud of this agreement. Few NATO countries have an agreement as good as ours. It is in place and it is working very well.

Government Contracts
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, the parade of untendered contracts and waste by the government continues. On the weekend we learned the government overpaid $600,000 for a fence in Montebello. With yet another untendered contract, taxpayers were left on the hook paying four times what the project should have cost. This was a 24 hour fence that cost $875,000. Now that may only be half the cost of a Conservative budget speech, but to everyone else, it is outrageous waste.

Who is being held accountable for this mess?

Government Contracts
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, as it was once so well put, this is not fair. The security fence was required by the RCMP. It was required to have a secure summit. The contract was given to a firm that could provide the only fence that the RCMP said was required for this operation. The fence was provided, the summit went forward, and there were no security concerns. This was a success in terms of security.

Government Contracts
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, a summit with the presidents of the United States and Mexico does not happen on a whim. It is planned months in advance. George Bush does not just show up even for his good pal, Steve.

Certainly there was more than enough time to find a 24 hour fence that was not $600,000 over price. Accountability is not just words one pays someone $100,000 to write a speech, it is about actions taken every day. Day in and day out the government substitutes action for rhetoric, accountability for blame.

I ask again, will the minister hold someone to account, yes or no?

Government Contracts
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, with respect, I will take the word of the RCMP on Canada's security needs over that of the member for Ajax—Pickering. The RCMP said it needed this fence. It needed it in a timeframe that it provided to this government. We provided the fence. The summit went forward in a secure manner and the job was done by this government.

Government Contracts
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I would remind the hon. member for Ajax—Pickering that he would want to be very careful not to refer to other hon. members by name if that is what was happening there.

The hon. member for York West.