House of Commons Hansard #82 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was security.

Topics

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we recently learned that a certain Jacques Canac-Marquis, who took over managing the contract to renovate the Parliament buildings after the original contractor, Mr. Sauvé, went bankrupt, was also at the cocktail fundraiser attended by the then minister of public works.

Does the minister realize that this is starting to look eerily like a scheme to get political funding in exchange for government contracts?

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, seriously, this government set strict limits on donations to political parties. Companies cannot make political contributions.

It is ridiculous to suggest that a modest donation can influence contract awards.

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, at least five business owners involved in repairing or constructing government buildings funded the Association du Parti conservateur Bourassa in January 2009. Paul Sauvé, Norman Glouberman, Julia Gersovitz, Joseph Broccolini and Jacques Canac-Marquis worked for Public Works and funded the Conservative Party.

Is the Minister of Natural Resources still comfortable with the fact that he attended a cocktail party fundraiser for the Conservative Party alongside his own department's suppliers?

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, it was our government whose first priority was to bring in the Federal Accountability Act.

It was this government that, as a matter of its first priority, eliminated the influence of big money in politics. Union contributions are gone. Corporate contributions are gone. Large contributions from individuals are gone. That is the legacy of this government, and we are very proud of that.

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, the former public works minister sees no issue with passing the hat among government contractors. This is clear proof that he is on equal footing with Alfonso Gagliano in terms of ethics.

Can the Minister of Natural Resources explain how a building contractor who received a contract from his department came to organize a cocktail party for the Conservative Party?

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, on a day when all members of the House stood and applauded actions to reduce the outrageous comments and increase decorum, the member opposite's comments, comparing the Minister of Natural Resources, someone who is an outstanding public servant, someone who has done an outstanding job for his constituency, for Quebec and for Canada, are, quite honestly, outrageous.

Health
Oral Questions

October 19th, 2010 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, an internal government audit comes to an alarming conclusion for all Canadians. It says that the Public Health Agency is not prepared to deal with emergencies that could threaten the health of thousands of Canadians. There is no risk management plan. In fact, the audit calls it “ad hoc and reactive”. There are untrained workers and no capacity to deploy them quickly in the case of an emergency.

Could the Prime Minister explain to the House when the Public Health Agency will be ready to respond to the next national emergency in Canada?

Health
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Nunavut
Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the audit was initiated by the agency as part of our continuous improvement process. We accept the recommendations in the audit and we have begun work to address them.

As well, let me make it very clear that the agency is ready and able to respond to the next emergency just as we did for H1N1, where we coordinated the largest mass vaccination program in Canada's history.

Health
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the most worrisome part of this audit has to do with emergency supplies. It says that the field hospitals are from the 1950s; the system dates back to the Cold War; there is inadequate inventory; there are problems managing the pharmacy; there is a lack of reliable shelf life information; and there is inadequate maintenance of the equipment.

The agency even conducted a previous review, as the minister said, but the audit says that public health officials failed to act on the recommendations. How can this be possible?

Health
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Nunavut
Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I said many times before in the House that we would evaluate how we responded to the public health emergency over the last year. We continue to evaluate the H1N1 response, to identify success in areas for improvements, while applying lessons learned to ongoing planning. As well, a Senate committee is currently reviewing how we responded to H1N1. We will continue to apply improvements where necessary.

Health
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, I realize that the agency has acknowledged the problems, but it does not believe that they are serious. Another independent report showed that things were a complete mess during the H1N1 flu epidemic: vaccine production was too slow, planning was incomplete and there were obvious communication issues.

An internal government audit confirms that no changes have been made to the Public Health Agency since the crisis. Why?

Health
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Nunavut
Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as we did in responding to the SARS situation, we evaluated how we responded to SARS and applied improvements.

I said during this public health emergency that we would evaluate how we responded to H1N1, and we are doing that. In areas where we can apply improvements, we will continue to do that.

In addition, this government has continued to increase transfers to the provinces and territories by 6%, so each province and territory can deliver health care and apply those resources where most needed.

Government Spending
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, this Conservative government is the highest-spending government and has run up the largest deficit in Canadian history. They wasted taxpayers' money when they increased spending by 18% before the recession. They have wasted billions of dollars on frivolous, irresponsible expenditures, such as fake lakes, and now they have the nerve to claim that the recession created the deficit. They ran up a deficit before the recession.

Will the minister admit that he has no idea how to stop this spending spree and that he is no more competent on Parliament Hill than he was at Queen's Park?

Government Spending
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

To the contrary, Mr. Speaker, we have the lowest deficits by far in the G7. Our deficit this year is lower than forecast. During the first three years, we paid down more than $40 billion of public debt and balanced the budget every year. That is why our country was in the best position of any country in the G7 to deal with the recession when it came.

Deal with it we did, better than any other country in the G7.

Government Spending
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is not a minister of finance. It is the minister of debt and deficits. The Conservatives borrow and spend and they borrow and waste, all this while Canadian families are suffering. Yet the minister wants more reckless tax breaks for big corporations. Can he not see that these are unaffordable tax cuts?

He is back to his Queen's Park pattern: borrow money, compromise public services, double the debt and create deficits. Why will he not admit that he does not have the competence to clean up his own financial mess?