House of Commons Hansard #51 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was harbours.

Topics

Transport
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I understand that all governments have expressed their preferences about various decisions, but what matters ultimately is that this was a decision for the port board of directors to make. The port made its decision, and the government accepts and supports it.

Transport
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the meddling consists just in going before a board of directors and not in whether it was successful or not. The government is starting to make a systematic practice of this. Breaking-and-entering is a crime regardless of whether it was successful or not.

Is meeting with a board of directors to inform them of the government’s preferences not just like the kind of meddling that the Liberals used to do? Maybe the Conservatives are just not as successful as the Liberals were in these kinds of operations.

Transport
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Fort McMurray—Athabasca
Alberta

Conservative

Brian Jean Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the decision was made by the board of directors of the Montreal Port Authority and not by the Government of Canada.

Government Contracts
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Laforest Saint-Maurice—Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, a study of recent procurement shows that Treasury Board, the Privy Council, the Department of Finance and the Department of Public Works and Government Services award a disproportionate share of contracts that, strangely enough, are just under the $25,000 mark, the point at which it becomes obligatory to call for tenders.

Even worse, how can the President of Treasury Board explain the fact that, on at least five occasions, Treasury Board awarded to a sole supplier two contracts of the same value for the same work on the same day, unless this was a strategy for circumventing the rule—

Government Contracts
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The President of Treasury Board has the floor.

Government Contracts
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, the contracts mentioned in the media were routine contracts administered by departmental officials with no input or direction from the minister or political staff.

All of the Treasury Board Secretariat's contracting is done within Treasury Board guidelines. No rules have been broken at any time and no one is even claiming that any rules were broken.

The work was awarded to qualified providers who performed on time and on budget.

Political Financing
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative ethics spokesperson has confirmed that his party is keeping its options open so that in the next election it can use the same tactic that was criticized by Elections Canada, whereby the Conservative Party was able to spend $1.2 million in 2006, in violation of the law.

Is this refusal to promise not to cheat again in the next election not proof of the culture of wheeling and dealing of the Conservative Party and the Conservative government?

Political Financing
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, all our election financing practices are legal and above board. The same cannot be said for the Parti Québécois. I remember the inquiry conducted by Justice Moisan, who concluded that the Parti Québécois had knowingly and illegally received $96,400 from Groupaction between 1995 and 2000, through an organized system of disguised contributions for past or future favours.

Health
Oral Questions

February 14th, 2008 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, sadly, over 5,000 Canadian families will lose a loved one this year due to breast cancer, while 22,000 more women will be diagnosed.

We as a country have to do everything we can and use all the tools at our disposal to make cancer history. The current government is weakening women's capacity to fight back by callous cuts to the Canadian Breast Cancer Network, cuts that were started by the previous government.

Can the Prime Minister explain how starving the Canadian Breast Cancer Network of desperately needed funding is going to assist women and their families to fight breast cancer?

Health
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am told we are not terminating any such funding. On the contrary, this government has introduced a national cancer strategy led by the Minister of Health in collaboration with partners around the country.

This is a very serious problem that touches virtually every Canadian family. This government wants to work with the provinces and with providers to make sure we do everything to minimize the occurrence of this tragic disease in the future.

Health
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, the government cannot be trusted on this, and let me tell the House why.

During the past campaign the Conservative Party told the Canadian Breast Cancer Network that if the Conservative Party formed government, it would, and I am quoting now, “ensure that”--the network--“is able to continue helping Canadian families meet the challenges of breast cancer with grace and dignity”. Instead, the government is cutting its funding. The network's offices are faced with having to close. These are the kinds of networks that can help women to fight back.

Can the Prime Minister explain to the thousands of women battling breast cancer why he comes up with corporate tax cuts but--

Health
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Health.

Health
Oral Questions

2:25 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 am sure the House realizes that nothing could be further from the truth.

The Canadian Breast Cancer Network did approach us because it had concerns about the funding arrangement that had been agreed to with the previous Liberal government in 2004. We on this side of the House have committed to continue to fund the Canadian Breast Cancer Network.

As the Prime Minister indicated, we have created a world leading approach to fighting cancer with the provinces and territories, with oncologists, and with cancer survivors. That is our commitment: to fight cancer across this country.

Government Contracts
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister is a walking ATM, dispensing cash to his political friends.

His untendered contract for $122,000 is just the tip of the iceberg. The finance minister has also handed out over 100 contracts to other cronies at just under $25,000, also to dodge the tendering rules.

Why is the finance minister using taxpayers' dollars to pay off IOUs from his failed leadership bid in Ontario?

Government Contracts
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite refers to me as a “walking ATM”. I am at best a fire hydrant, I would think. I would like to be an ATM. Someday I look forward to growing into an ATM.

We have been open and transparent about these contracts. They are listed on the finance website as part of proactive disclosure for anyone to see.

The people who were hired on contract were skilled professionals who did good quality work for the money. These people worked on highly confidential documents, budget documents. They were people I could trust.