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House of Commons Hansard #14 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was liberal.

Topics

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Public Works and Government Services.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I have already answered this question in the House. Yes, the vast majority of contracts awarded by the Government of Canada are awarded by public tendering. A number of other contracts, amounting to approximately 35%, while they do go to tender, are awarded to sole source suppliers. This is done for national security reasons or in an emergency. In each case, the information is made public and everything can be checked.

The hon. member should check and see what the procedure is, in the Government of Canada, for awarding contracts.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, will the minister admit that the fact that more than one third of all contracts are awarded without going to public tender is giving the business community the message that they better make generous donations to the ruling party if they hope to get a share of the pie?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I understand that the hon. member is trying to score political points, but if she looked at the facts, she would see that even the auditor general stated clearly in his reports that my department and this government are making tremendous progress.

When we took office, 50% of government contracts were sole sourced. Now there are only 35%. We are currently putting measures in place, and our objective is to reduce their amount to zero if at all feasible.

FisheriesOral Question Period

October 9th, 1997 / 2:40 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Reform Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, when the Liberal government introduced TAGS four years ago it promised to restructure the Atlantic fishing industry. Last night on national television the fisheries minister admitted that the Liberals “will have to face up to the fact that we still have a restructuring problem”.

Will the minister now admit to the House that the government has failed the Atlantic fishermen who turned to it for help? The Liberal game of TAGS has left fishermen holding the bag.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, in light of the report of the Harris committee, the Cashin report, the Fisheries Resources Conservation Council report and now the auditor general's report, it is perfectly clear there is a continuing problem in Atlantic Canada with respect to the fishery.

We have had a moratorium on the catching of groundfish. We have discovered that stocks are not returning as we had hoped four years ago.

There is still a problem to be addressed. I hope the Reform Party will continue to assist in finding a solution to this serious problem.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Reform Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, four years ago Atlantic fishermen were told that TAGS would help lead them to a new life. Instead TAGS tied them to a government program, destroyed their hopes and betrayed their trust.

Will the Prime Minister show leadership now and apologize to Atlantic Canadians for betraying that trust?

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, let us not exaggerate things here. We are talking about the livelihoods of Canadians that have disappeared, and we care for them. There are already excesses again on this side of the House.

This strategy was put forward in a situation of crisis and urgency, and out of the 40,000 there are 15,000 who have been able to adjust outside of the industry. That is something.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Human Resources Development.

Now that there is a surplus of over $12 billion in the unemployment insurance fund and the auditor general, and I quote, “—urges Human Resources Development Canada to table a distinct report to Parliament with respect to the Employment Insurance Account to ensure its transparency”, does the minister intend to follow up on this urgent recommendation of the auditor general or not?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, we are obviously aware of what the auditor general told us in his report and we have also noticed that he asked us for certain information that already appears in the government's budget each year.

So we were told that they did not know what we were doing with the employment insurance surplus. I wish to take issue with this approach, because this information is clearly indicated in the budget we table each year.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister should know that when it comes to credibility, in my opinion, the auditor general's word is certainly as good as that of the Minister of Human Resources Development right now.

In the present case, when all Canadians are wondering how there can be a $12 billion surplus, when seasonal workers and new entrants to the labour market are being penalized, will the minister finally agree to shed some light on the situation so that we can finally learn where the money workers contribute to the fund, money the government used to reduce the deficit, is going?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I find the remark about my integrity a bit stupid in today's context. Coming from the other side, however, that sort of petty partisan politics does not surprise me.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Liberal Papineau—Saint-Denis, QC

But I would like to tell you that we have inherited an employment insurance system that did not work, that did not meet Canadians' current needs. The new system is supposed to help these people back into the job market, so that they are no longer dependent on it. This was a very important reform, something we are taking care over to ensure that we are measuring its impact everywhere that we said we would. That is what we are doing in the department.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Roy Cullen Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Natural Resources.

As we get closer to the Kyoto conference this December, more and more public attention is being directed at the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. On the one hand, some people think we can carry on as before. On the other hand, some people would have us believe the sky is falling.

How will the minister ensure that Canada takes a balanced position going into the Kyoto conference? Does he believe that voluntary measures will help Canada meet its emission reduction goals?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, there is indeed a vital role for voluntary action on climate change. The members of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers have to date shown a six million tonne improvement in reducing CO2 emissions. Pan-Canadian generated a four fold improvement between 1995 and 1996. The Canadian pipeline industry achieved a 2% reduction between 1994 and 1995. By the year 2000 Consumers Gas will improve by 25%. EPCOR will improve by one million tonnes per year.

The illustrations show that voluntary action can be very helpful. I think the private sector should be applauded for the progress it has made.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Jack Ramsay Reform Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is reprehensible and unacceptable that three rapists of a 17-year old Quebec City girl were sentenced to just two years less a day. What is even more despicable is that the Liberal government has encouraged our courts to grant these lenient sentences through its conditional sentencing laws which have allowed convicted rapists to walk free.

Will the justice minister immediately amend the Criminal Code to deny violent offenders access to conditional sentencing or does she want convicted rapists to walk free?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the case that the hon. member mentions is one involving a provincial court judge in the province of Quebec.

I understand that my provincial counterpart in Quebec, the hon. attorney general, is appealing that case. I suggest that we await the outcome of the appeal.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Jack Ramsay Reform Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, a pregnant 17-year old Quebec City girl was brutally gang raped, suspended by her feet from a balcony, sodomized and confined for 12 hours, and the judge justifies a two year sentence by saying there was no evidence of bruises or physical violence.

This is absolutely appalling and unacceptable. I ask the justice minister what she plans to do to protect women who have been victimized, women who have been so savagely terrorized. What does she plan to do to protect these women?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I agree with the hon. member that the facts of this case are particularly troubling.

I also point out to the hon. member that this is not a case of conditional sentencing and that this is a case the attorney general of Quebec, who has responsibility for this matter, has decided to appeal.

Canada Pension PlanOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Nelson Riis NDP Kamloops, BC

Mr. Speaker, we have heard a lot today about financial skulduggery. My question to the Minister of Finance is about demographic skulduggery.

Yesterday the Minister of Finance ordered that closure be brought against the CPP legislation, which touches the lives of every Canadian family. It has massive financial implications to individuals, to business and to communities.

The minister said we are doing this because we will have extensive debate in committee. Was it the minister who decided this should be referred to a subcommittee of the finance committee, fobbed off to a subcommittee where a number of members will not even have voting rights? Is this his idea of extensive debate?

Canada Pension PlanOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, committees are masters of their own business. To suggest that such decisions are taken by the government is simply incorrect.

The hon. member across knows procedure. He has been a member long enough to know better.

Canada Pension PlanOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Nelson Riis NDP Kamloops, BC

Mr. Speaker, I want to ask a question of the Minister of Finance, who says he is very keen about the democratic system. He wants to do the right thing. He has indicated we want to hear extensive debate on what is the most important social program change in the last 20 years happening in this country.

Will the minister do the right thing and reconsider the decision to fob this off to a subcommittee so that the entire finance committee can hold decent hearings across the country on this very important legislation?

Canada Pension PlanOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as was mentioned, committees make their own decisions. Given that the finance committee hopefully will be involved in the most extensive prebudget consultations that we have ever seen in this country, it makes a lot of sense to refer it to a subcommittee.

I remind the hon. member that there will be the occasion in this House after report stage and at third reading stage to have full and extensive debate.

I also remind the hon. member that there was extensive debate province by province—

Canada Pension PlanOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough.