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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

Ontario ElectionStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Brenda Chamberlain Liberal Guelph—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, Ontarians are feeling it must be 1993 all over again. A Liberal leader has recently presented a red book which offers a clear vision of what can be expected from a Liberal government along with a timeframe for a plan of action, more than the party on the other side.

As in 1993, there is a strong Liberal leader with a great Liberal team. Lyn McLeod has offered the voters of Ontario a platform which reduces the deficit, offers hope and will make Ontario strong again.

Lyn McLeod is working hard to become premier and all Liberals are earning the trust of the people of Ontario. Liberals know we need more than empty promises from parties offering doom and gloom, destined for opposition like the Reform Party.

Like in 1993, a strong leader and the red book will paint this province red.

Ontario ElectionStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Eugène Bellemare Liberal Carleton—Gloucester, ON

Mr. Speaker, I welcome Lyn McLeod, leader of the Ontario Liberal Party, to the national capital region. Lyn McLeod will be in Ottawa tonight to support local Liberal candidates in the provincial campaign.

The provincial Liberals unveiled their action plan recently which contains the basis of their platform. This action plan follows a trend set by federal Liberal red book promises which will be kept.

The provincial Liberals have made it clear to Ontarians how they intend to get the province back on its feet and clean up the mess left behind by the NDP government.

I encourage all Ontarians to support Lyn McLeod and all her supporting team in forming the next Government of Ontario.

Research And DevelopmentStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Tony Ianno Liberal Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, I bring to the attention of the House two research achievements developed in my riding and in the riding of Rosedale at the University of Toronto.

The first involves a computer interface design called EID by industrial engineering Professor Kim Vicente. This innovation could lead to improved safety and reduced human error in the running of nuclear power plants of the future.

The second involves work done by a team at Mount Sinai Hospital headed by Dr. Joseph Fisher. They have discovered that the main airway, the trachea, can constrict and dilate significantly during breathing, a discovery that could help in the understanding of asthma.

I congratulate these individuals for their work. These examples continue to prove our investment in research and development produces tangible results.

As we mentioned in the red book, a technologically centred industrial policy is the key to create a new economy and accelerate growth, thus creating badly needed long term and permanent jobs.

Gun ControlStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Jack Ramsay Reform Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, have officials from the Minister of Justice's office called the James Bay Cree or the Council for Yukon Indians on this gun control thing? Has the minister attempted to respond to their letters? The Cree say no. The Yukon Indians say no.

Have justice officials been speaking with their counterparts in Alberta, Saskatchewan or Yukon? Has the minister attempted to resolve the impasse between those provinces and the federal government? The attorneys general say no.

Has the Minister of Justice met with Canadians from all across the country in public, open meetings? Has the minister attempted to address the thousands of Canadians who have reservations about this legislation? The people of Dauphin, Manitoba say absolutely not.

During the Manitoba election just held the voters of Manitoba said no to both the Liberals and the justice minister's legislation.

The final no ought to be said on this issue here in the House.

Thunder BayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Stan Dromisky Liberal Thunder Bay—Atikokan, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I rise today to inform the House of the outstanding successes from the hockey capital of Canada, Thunder Bay.

The Thunder Bay Flyers were crowned Ontario Junior A hockey champions. Not to be outdone, the Thunder Bay Senators fought tooth and nail to capture their second straight Colonial Cup.

Lo and behold, more victories were still to come. Shortly thereafter, the Thunder Bay Midget Kings battled on to win the Air Canada Cup.

Following these three successes, Thunder Bay went on to enjoy a fourth victory when it was once again acclaimed Canada's number one hockey town.

One cannot imagine a more successful city at the country's most favourite pastime. I salute the fine efforts of Thunder Bay's hockey warriors. These athletes have outdone themselves and stamped their mark on Canadian hockey for years to come.

Tainted BloodOral Question Period

May 11th, 1995 / 2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of Health. When the Commission of Inquiry on the Blood System in Canada started its proceedings, Commissioner Krever announced that he did not intend to start a witch hunt by identifying the people responsible for this situation but would suggest ways to correct the deficiencies in the blood supply system.

Considering the very serious revelations made yesterday in Toronto, does the minister intend to intervene and ask Commissioner Krever to make recommendations for possible legal action against those responsible for the tainted blood scandal at the conclusion of his inquiry?

Tainted BloodOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Sudbury Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we must let Justice Krever continue his inquiry and finish his work. I do not intend to interfere.

Tainted BloodOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, you must admit we have a problem. We have blood purchased from prisons in the U.S. that contaminated the Canadian blood supply system and, in the process, dozens and dozens of Canadians. We have a commissioner who announced at the outset that he was not there to look for the guilty parties, and we have a minister who does not intend to take her duties seriously. We have a problem.

Would the Minister of Health agree that she has the authority to ask cabinet to take action and ask Justice Krever to change his position and ensure that charges are laid in connection with what happened, when the commission finishes its work? Does she agree that is the case?

Tainted BloodOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Sudbury Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the purpose of this inquiry is to find out what happened in the eighties and make sure that everything has been done to ensure this does not happen again. That is the purpose of the inquiry.

We asked Justice Krever to continue this inquiry. We support this inquiry, we provided $12 million in funding, and we must let Justice Krever do his job.

Tainted BloodOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, considering the serious revelations made before the Krever Commission and the reply we were given just now by the minister who told us that the purpose of the inquiry was to ensure this would not happen again, does the minister not realize that she is supposed to be responsible for the health of Canadians, that Canadians agree this should not happen again but also want the guilty parties taken to court and punished for needlessly contaminating hundreds of Canadians?

Tainted BloodOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Sudbury Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I will not comment on testimony now before the Krever Commission.

Tainted BloodOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health.

All imported blood products must be systematically inspected and approved by the Department of Health.

How does the Minister of Health explain that blood Connaught imported into Canada from American prisons could have entered the country without being inspected by Health Canada? Could she explain that to us?

Tainted BloodOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Sudbury Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I will repeat it in the other official language of the House.

We have asked Justice Krever to do an official inquiry into the happenings of the early 1980s. We are allowing Justice Krever to continue his work of looking into what happened to make sure it does not happen again.

That work is continuing. We support that work. We await the outcome of his work.

Tainted BloodOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, answers like that from the minister are a disgrace.

Tainted BloodOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Shame!

Tainted BloodOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

In the light of the serious allegations weighing on her department's officials, is the minister prepared to initiate an internal investigation to find out how such things could have happened and whether present officials are involved in this matter?

Tainted BloodOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Sudbury Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, Justice Krever has full authority to examine everything that happened. He has already examined what happened at the provincial level. Now he is talking to the people at the

Red Cross. He is empowered to look into what happened in those years. We support his work and will continue to support it.

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

John Williams Reform St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, according to the auditor general's report our public servants' knowledge of ethics guidelines is mediocre at best.

Today's report estimates that 57 per cent of senior managers are either unaware or could not mention any element of the policy governing the ethical conduct of civil servants. This is hardly a ringing endorsement of the red book promise of restoring public confidence in government.

My question is for the Deputy Prime Minister. How does the government account for the fact that 57 per cent of its senior civil servants are not aware of their own ethics guidelines?

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, a limited and random sample was taken by the auditor general in four departments of the government involving less than 400 people.

There were some statistics as a result of that, but I am very happy to report that 86 per cent of public servants felt the ethics standards were very high. The auditor general said that when it comes to comparisons with other governments or with the private sector there is nobody that surpasses the ethics standards of the Government of Canada.

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

John Williams Reform St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Reform Party recognizes that the ethical conduct of the majority of public servants is beyond reproach. Our concern is with the 25 per cent who would accept goods and services at cost for their own personal use and the 30 per cent who would think it is appropriate to hire their brothers-in-law. Surely the Prime Minister would be relieved to find out that bureaucrats were not asked about sons-in-law.

I have a supplementary question. Given the fact that a notable proportion of the public servants would not report such unethical behaviour, will the government introduce legislation to protect whistleblowers?

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, he points out the 30 per cent. How about the 70 per cent that quite clearly understood the question and gave the appropriate answer?

There are systems in place that properly protect the ethics and the cost efficiency of operations of the government. There is an open bidding system. There are contract review boards to help ensure that it is all properly handled and above board. That is the essence of this. Furthermore training is provided for our employees. It has been subscribed to in even greater numbers over the last few years.

I think we are in good shape and I think that is what the auditor general is also saying.

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

John Williams Reform St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, the President of the Treasury Board talks about the training and the auditor general has proposed that we introduce training, reporting and, more important, leadership from the top down.

The auditor general emphasized that it is the responsibility of the Prime Minister and his cabinet to provide ethical leadership and suggested that ethic counsellors be appointed in every government department.

My question is for the Deputy Prime Minister. Will the government lead by example and implement the auditor general's recommendation for an ethical framework for public servants, including establishing truly independent ethics counsellors starting with the cabinet?

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, we are doing precisely that. We have a framework for ethics, and the red book is a great demonstration of that.

Since we formed the government, through the initiatives of the Prime Minister an ethics counsellor has been put in place. There is a lobbyist certification for all contracts. The Lobbyist Registration Act has been amended. There is a conflict of interest and post-employment code for public office holders.

A great deal has been done to ensure confidence in the integrity of the system. I think the auditor general already recognizes that we are building on a very strong base.

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Bélisle Bloc La Prairie, QC

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

Yesterday, the auditor general released a report-to which my colleague alluded moments ago- regarding ethics in the government, which was based on a survey of 329 federal public servants. It revealed that 46 per cent of those surveyed would not intervene to prevent a member of their family from being hired and that 33 per cent of them feel that they would be putting themselves at risk if they were to point out a conflict of interest implicating their boss.

Will the Deputy Prime Minister admit that these figures are unacceptable and that they are the symptoms of the very serious problem that the public service has with ethics? Is it not the government's responsibility to react quickly to remedy the situation?

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

Yes and the government is acting quickly, Mr. Speaker.

We have certainly brought to the attention of the deputy ministers in all departments that they are to get the proper information to all employees so that the policies of the government are followed.

It is interesting to note that 91 per cent of public servants would report a significant fraud or illegal activity and that 78 per cent of public servants recognize there are very high ethics within their departments and within the operations of the government.

The vast majority understands the code. They read the code. They are given it. They all sign in writing that they have read it and fully understand it.

We will continue to ensure that the code is followed and that the highest ethical standards are followed both in the public service and in the government itself.