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House of Commons Hansard #199 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was liberal.

Topics

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Bélisle Bloc La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, given that 12 per cent of all senior officials see nothing wrong with altering contract specifications to give a certain tenderer the edge, a very serious act, will the Deputy Prime Minister acknowledge that the government hierarchy is riddled with problems with ethics and that, unfortunately, the example comes from on high?

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, many of the people who were sampled, as I indicated before, are not in a position to make those kinds of decisions.

Nevertheless, the ethics standards are important for all people in the public service to be aware of. The government, as I have said already in answering the question, is making every move to comply with what the auditor general has said. We have no disagreement with the auditor general whatsoever and are already taking steps to ensure that is implemented.

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Ken Epp Reform Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, in news reports released today the auditor general disclosed that 12 per cent of senior managers believe it is appropriate to undermine competition for a contract at the request of a supervisor. Furthermore one in three public servants would not intervene to stop it. Nor would they report it.

My question is for the President of the Treasury Board. How widespread is the undermining of the open bidding process? What checks are in place, if any, to prevent such unethical behaviour?

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, I hope that the opposition, particularly the Reform Party, realizes that it has several people asking the same question.

As I have indicated before, there are systems in place. There is an open bidding system. There are in fact contract review boards. There are codes of behaviour which are known to all of our employers. The vast majority recognize the good ethical standards which need to be followed.

The system is working well. There is always room for improvement. We certainly agree with the auditor general. However, the auditor general also said that in terms of comparison with the private sector or with other governments, the ethics standards of this government and its public service are very high indeed.

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Ken Epp Reform Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, I think it is despicable that any senior manager would even consider undermining the competitive process. But then whose example are they following? We have the backroom José Perez deals, the Power Corp. deals, the Canada Communication Group deals, the Seagram MCA takeover.

Ministers and deputies should lead by example. The best way to assure that they are would be to make the ethics counsellor directly responsible to Parliament and not to the Prime Minister.

My question is for the Deputy Prime Minister: For the umpteenth time, will the Prime Minister honour the explicit red book promise and make the position of the ethics counsellor report directly to Parliament?

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, this subject has been discussed previously on numerous occasions.

We have shown leadership by example in terms of the ethics counsellor, in terms of the Lobbyists Registration Act, the lobbyist certification of contracts, the code of conflict of interest and the code of post-employment. All of these things, led by the Prime Minister, have helped to establish a very high ethical standard for the government.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

May 11th, 1995 / 2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Bloc Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.

In a letter to his Quebec counterpart, the minister rejected rather casually the $333 million in claims submitted by Quebec to the federal government. These claims include reimbursement of the costs incurred during the Oka crisis, the federal contribution to the education of aboriginal peoples in northern Quebec, and stabilization payments.

Can the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs assure us that, when he meets with his Quebec counterpart next Monday, he will be more open to Quebec's claims than he was in the letter he made public yesterday?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, the claims mentioned in the letter to Minister Beaudoin were submitted a while ago and dealt with under a totally proper and standard procedure.

In the case of the Kanesatake claims, the federal government has already paid a certain amount, and the remaining bills are being audited by the auditor general, who will report back to us within a few months. This equitable, normal procedure will allow us to resolve the problems in this matter according to the usual standards governing relations between the federal government and the provinces.

The two other cases are similar, and we also expect the process to achieve equitable results. Therefore, the letter referred to by the opposition is totally proper and in line with good federal-provincial relations.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Bloc Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the claim relating to the education of aboriginal peoples in northern Quebec, how can the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs wriggle out of his responsibilities under the James Bay Agreement and argue that the matter is progressing normally, when the first claims in this matter were submitted in 1986-87? Is a ten year delay normal?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, the facts are not as presented by the hon. member. In fact, the federal government has so far spent some $450 million on native education.

In this matter, the Province of Quebec refuses to implement the provisions of the agreement and to submit the various budgets to joint approval. That is why the federal government paid an amount equal to estimated costs. We asked Quebec to present us with its bill so that we could pay the balance.

Again, this is proper procedure, and unfortunately in this case the Parti Quebecois is preventing us from settling this matter once and for all.

Arts And CultureOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Jan Brown Reform Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Canadian Heritage does not understand our fiscal situation or he does not care. Instead, he is siphoning funds out of his programs into his ministerial slush fund, the cultural initiatives program. He has funded the Bronfman Foundation, Harbourfront, projects in ridings of his cabinet colleagues and who knows what else. The minister is using departmental funds to keep his Liberal friends happy.

Will the Minister of Canadian Heritage stop abusing his funding powers and cancel the wasteful cultural initiatives program?

Arts And CultureOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Laval West Québec

Liberal

Michel Dupuy LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I would rather our hon. colleague specify which programs she finds so despicable. Some of these programs are carried out in Ontario, a part of the country which is represented by Liberals. In addition, some of the projects my department contributes to are funded jointly by the federal government and the provincial government, which, in this case, cannot be mistaken for a Liberal government.

Instead of making unsubstantiated allegations, I think that she should take a closer look at which programs are approved on their own merits and funded through the grants and contributions allocated to my department.

Arts And CultureOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Jan Brown Reform Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, continuing on this topic of wasteful spending, the minister toured Norway at the taxpayers' expense. He took political staff to lunch in Los Angeles. Now he is going to the movies in France. He is going to help 16 culturecrats spend $350,000 at the Cannes festival. What an expensive night at the movies.

We understand this is the last year for Telefilm to have a booth at Cannes. Given our times of fiscal restraint, when Telefilm is laying off staff, how can the minister justify this last kick at the Cannes?

Arts And CultureOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Laval West Québec

Liberal

Michel Dupuy LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, let me first dispose of the cultural initiative program. I know where the member is coming from. She wants the CBC to be privatized.

Arts And CultureOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Arts And CultureOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Michel Dupuy Liberal Laval West, QC

Mr. Speaker, I see that I had it right.

She also wants to get rid of programs supporting Canadian culture and return it to the private sector in the hopes that one day all of Canada will be under American culture.

As to her allegations concerning trips to Cannes, she does not seem to be aware that the Cannes festival is the greatest marketplace where films are traded. If she is for the private sector, she should be concerned that Canadian products are properly marketed in that most important marketplace.

Prime Minister's Moscow VisitOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Philippe Paré Bloc Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Deputy Prime Minister.

There is some confusion as to why the Prime Minister did not attend the military parade in Moscow. The Prime Minister said he boycotted the parade to protest against the war Russia is currently waging against the Chechens. On the other hand, the Prime Minister's assistants denied repeatedly that he had refused to attend, arguing that the parade had never been on the Prime Minister's agenda.

How can the Deputy Prime Minister explain the discrepancy between the statements made by the Prime Minister, who said he had boycotted the parade, and his assistants, who said that he was never scheduled to attend?

Prime Minister's Moscow VisitOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, his assistants were wrong.

Prime Minister's Moscow VisitOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Philippe Paré Bloc Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank the Deputy Prime Minister for her laconic answer, to say the least.

How can the Government of Canada think that the Russian president would take seriously this symbolic protest against Russia's attitude in the Chechen conflict when in the same breath, in the same interview, the Prime Minister stated that the top priority for the Canadian government was to increase trade with Russia?

Prime Minister's Moscow VisitOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I think that the fact the Prime Minister chose to boycott the military parade along with all the other heads of state does not take anything away from the message to the Russian government.

That said, it is also obvious, as the Prime Minister indicated, that the celebrations marking V-E Day reflected the fact that 27 million Russians lost their lives in World War II. That is why he wanted to be there, with the other heads of state, to celebrate V-E Day, without forgetting what is going on in Chechnya. He took up the matter with the president and that is why he boycotted the parade.

Nuclear Non-Proliferation TreatyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Warren Allmand Liberal Notre-Dame-De-Grâce, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

One hundred and seventy-five nations are now meeting in New York to consider the extension of the 25-year old nuclear non-proliferation treaty. While the non-nuclear states have honoured that treaty and have not acquired nuclear weapons, the nuclear states have not honoured article 6 to reduce and eliminate their nuclear weapons.

In order to assure the extension of this important treaty, could the minister say what is being done to oblige the nuclear states to reduce their nuclear weapons in accordance with article 6?

Nuclear Non-Proliferation TreatyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Parkdale—High Park Ontario

Liberal

Jesse Flis LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question. I also compliment him on the many years that he has been working with other nations on this topic in his membership with the Parliamentarians for Global Action.

Today is a historical day because in New York it was agreed to extend indefinitely the present NPT. The NPT will prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and it is very vital to Canadian security. All hon. members will be pleased to know that it was a Canadian resolution that won the support of more than 100 nations which led to this consensus.

Firearms LegislationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canada's doctors are experts on saving lives. Bill C-68 is designed to do the same. Today the Canadian Medical Association said that it is "unconvinced that the registration provisions in Bill C-68 will be effective in reducing suicides or homicides".

The justice minister says he will consult the experts. Will he listen to Canada's healers?

Firearms LegislationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Medical Association presented an extraordinary brief to the justice committee. It testified today making a solid case for every element in Bill C-68. It is true to say that the Canadian Medical Association representatives were not able to say they supported registration. They said that they did not oppose it.

They took no position. That is interesting. For whatever internal reason within the CMA it made it impossible for the CMA to arrive at the logical conclusion flowing from the facts upon which it relied.

What is also important to note is that before the committee this morning were not only the politicians of the profession but also the practitioners, the emergency room physicians and the experts on suicide. As the hon. member knows because of his presence at the committee this morning, the emergency room physicians and the suicide specialists strongly favour registration as well as every other-

Firearms LegislationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Macleod.