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House of Commons Hansard #18 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was co-operatives.

Topics

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Reform Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have a copy of a leaked confidential memo written by the Director General of Audits and sent to the Deputy Minister of Public Works. This memo describes the doctoring of documents and instances where appropriate ministerial approval was bypassed.

How can the minister reassure Canadians that contracting procedures are being followed by the Liberal government when his own Director General of Audits condemns the practices that he has initiated?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, we have a third party review in place. Whenever there is a contract that has not been following procedure we know about it. We make sure the rules are followed.

Again the hon. member, instead of throwing into the air the usual innuendo the Reform Party is used to, should come forward with specific facts and then we can look at them.

Right now the auditor general report states very clearly that we have a good system. Every day and every year we are improving it.

Franco-Quebec Accord On Child SupportOral Question Period

October 22nd, 1997 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Quebec is under no obligation, by tradition or otherwise, to have Ottawa approve an agreement on a matter within its jurisdiction signed with another government, in this instance to enforce child support with the French government.

How can the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs claim today that Quebec should have this agreement, which is within its exclusive provincial jurisdiction, approved by Ottawa?

Franco-Quebec Accord On Child SupportOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, first of all, I would like to quote, for the benefit of the hon. leader of the Bloc Quebecois, the statement made by the French government.

It reads “The prior agreement of the federal government to the signature of an agreement on mutual legal assistance with Quebec is a necessary condition to the approval—by the French parliament—Without this agreement, the Franco-Quebec accord would not be valid in France”.

Franco-Quebec Accord On Child SupportOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is fantastic. The minister is now saying precisely what we were saying yesterday and the exact opposite of what he said yesterday.

Yesterday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs stated that France had voluntarily supplied the federal government with the text of the agreement, claiming there was a problem and that it did not have to, when the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs should have known.

How could they claim that France, given its legal tradition, its legal framework, should not supply Ottawa directly with this agreement signed with Quebec?—

Franco-Quebec Accord On Child SupportOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Franco-Quebec Accord On Child SupportOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this statement is wrong, very wrong.

The fact of the matter is that we have signed with France a treaty which applies to all provinces. Unfortunately, Quebec refused to join the Canadian and French governments in signing this treaty. That is Quebec's problem.

Franco-Quebec Accord On Child SupportOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

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

Franco-Quebec Accord On Child SupportOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Franco-Quebec Accord On Child SupportOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

The agreement between Quebec and Paris is an international agreement having to do with the collection of support payments and the government seems to want to stretch its tentacles into provincial areas of jurisdiction.

Is the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs prepared to admit that, by requiring that the agreement come under Canada's umbrella agreement, the federal government is denying—

Franco-Quebec Accord On Child SupportOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.

Franco-Quebec Accord On Child SupportOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Quebecois is contradicting itself. The Minister of Foreign Affairs has just explained that the French government cannot sign this agreement without the assurance that the Canadian government is in agreement. That is the fundamental issue.

I will not accuse the hon. member of lying, as the leader of the Bloc Quebecois is forever doing. I merely point out to him that he is mistaken.

Franco-Quebec Accord On Child SupportOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Franco-Quebec Accord On Child SupportOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

I ask all members to be very judicious in their choice of words. I do not want the members to use the word “lying” in the House, even in the manner it was used today.

The hon. member for Beauharnois—Salaberry has the floor.

Franco-Quebec Accord On Child SupportOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

He should withdraw what he said.

Franco-Quebec Accord On Child SupportOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

An hon. member

Tell him he lied.

Franco-Quebec Accord On Child SupportOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

The Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs lied.

Franco-Quebec Accord On Child SupportOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Franco-Quebec Accord On Child SupportOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

Colleagues, when we use words that even come close to being unparliamentary I always ask you to please be judicious in your words.

However, when words are used that are clearly unparliamentary you leave your Speaker with very little choice. I will deal with this matter at the end of question period.

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the disastrous effects of the finance minister's mistake in slashing $1.2 billion out of health care this year becomes more and more evident.

Canadians are shocked to learn that the federal government is now the lowest contributor among major health care funders. The latest figures reveal that the federal government used to pay 35% of health care costs with individuals paying 24%. Today as a result of Liberal cuts those numbers are reversed with individuals forced to pay over 31%.

When will the finance minister admit that his excessive cuts are leading us directly to two tier American style health care?

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the House will be well aware that the government is already committed to establishing a $12.5 billion floor for the cash transfer to the provinces beginning next year. In doing so we are acting on the recommendation of the National Forum on Health that spent two years looking into the needs of the Canadian health care system.

As we look across the country we see many provinces that have surpluses, that have money in the bank. If they see the need for further investment in health care, it is entirely open to those provinces to make those investments.

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the National Forum on Health said that cuts were coming too far and too fast.

Canadians are paying a terrible price for the finance minister's cuts to health care. They are paying with their health and they are paying with their pocketbooks. Canadians are right to be worried that health care will not be there for them when they need it.

Will the finance minister agree to correct his mistake and cancel this year's reckless and irresponsible cut of another $1.2 billion out of health care for Canadians?

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as the Minister of Health outlined very clearly, the fact is that the way the set-up was occurring and because of the increase in tax points to the provinces the cash was going down. It was going down far below $12.5 billion, far below $11 billion, far below $8 billion and far below $6 billion.

As a result of the actions of the government it has been frozen at $12.5 billion. That is not a ceiling; that is a floor. It is an absolute guarantee to every single province and to every single Canadian citizen that the federal government stands behind the principles of the Canada Health Act.

EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Jean Charest Progressive Conservative Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of the Environment and is on the issue of climate change.

The minister will know that for Canada this is an extremely serious issue not only for our ecosystem but economically, especially given the fact that our economy is export oriented.

Would the minister confirm and guarantee to the House of Commons today, as we did at the earth summit in Rio in 1992 where she was a member of the delegation, and given the seriousness of the issue and the interlap in jurisdiction, that provincial governments will be full-fledged members of the Canadian delegation at the Kyoto summit?

EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Northumberland Ontario

Liberal

Christine Stewart LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned earlier, I had a meeting with all my provincial counterparts a few moments ago. I had agreed with them some weeks ago that they would be members of the delegation. The provincial counterparts will determine who will fill the two to three positions.