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House of Commons Hansard #195 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-55.

Topics

Building ContractsOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

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

Everyone recognizes the importance of ensuring the Prime Minister's safety and this is true for the secondary residence as well. What is surprising is that the work in question was done without going to tender.

How can the Prime Minister's safety be used to justify circumventing the tender process? Are we to understand that all the security features of the renovation of the Parliament Buildings, for example, could be sole sourced because the Prime Minister's safety was involved?

Building ContractsOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister built a new home and he paid for it. Also, he had his own private driveway. That is a private matter.

The RCMP is responsible for the security of the Prime Minister. It requested that this firm be hired because it was in the area and for security reasons.

Building ContractsOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are talking about a road and a sentry box, not sophisticated security equipment such as an alarm system.

What security reason is there for sole sourcing the construction of a length of road or a shelter for police officers?

Building ContractsOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, sole source contracting is acceptable for security reasons.

As I indicated, the RCMP requested that this road be built. As I also indicated, the Prime Minister had another private road of his own. He did not need it but the RCMP requested that this road be built.

JusticeOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Reform Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government has allowed another sex offender to go unpunished.

Paul Gervais was convicted of sexually assaulting nine boys. He was tried, confessed and convicted. Because of a legal loophole called conditional sentencing, Gervais left the court house yesterday and went home.

How can the minister continue to defend this Liberal loophole that lets sexual predators go free?

JusticeOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Ahuntsic Québec

Liberal

Eleni Bakopanos LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I cannot comment on the particulars of this case. I will tell the hon. member what we have already done in terms of conditional sentences.

The minister has referred the matter to the justice committee. There are cases pending before the supreme court and she awaits those decisions. She has stated in the House that if necessary she will change the law.

JusticeOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Reform Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, it was this Liberal government under Bill C-41 that brought in this law. The Reform Party told it repeatedly to change it then, to amend it then. It would not listen.

When it comes to the use of conditional sentencing, the B.C. court of appeal has stated: “If parliament had intended to exclude certain offences from consideration, it should have done so in clear language”.

I want the parliamentary secretary to clearly answer, yes or no. Will she attempt to convince her minister that the sentencing act should be changed immediately so that violent criminals like Paul Gervais spend time in jail instead of at home?

JusticeOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Ahuntsic Québec

Liberal

Eleni Bakopanos LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, this is another perfect example of where process is not necessary for the opposition.

We have a process. The minister has already stated in the House that she will take up the matter. The justice committee has always agreed to study it. The Supreme Court of Canada is rendering a decision. The minister has stated again and again that if necessary she will make the necessary changes.

Construction ContractsOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Odina Desrochers Bloc Lotbinière, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Public Works and Government Services has behaved imprudently to say the least in awarding a contract without tender to a contractor hired privately by the Prime Minister to construct a second residence.

My question is for the Deputy Prime Minister. By giving the Prime Minister's private contractor the benefit of an untendered contract, has the Minister of Public Works and Government Services not put the Prime Minister in a situation that is awkward and embarrassing to say the least?

Construction ContractsOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, in this case the department of public works received a request from the RCMP that this contractor be hired because of security reasons and because he was in the area.

Also it is important to note that this was a second road for the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister had his own private road. He did not need this road. It was the decision of the RCMP for security reasons that this road be put in.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

March 12th, 1999 / 11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Lynn Myers Liberal Waterloo—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.

Concerns have been raised over the state of on reserve aboriginal housing. Poor living conditions and overcrowding problems are occurring on reserves in many parts of the country.

Will the government commit to improving the lives of aboriginal Canadians by ensuring that they have the resources necessary to meet their serious housing needs?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Liberal

David Iftody LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his interest in this very important and critical issue to all Canadians.

I am pleased to report to the House that on March 10, with national Chief Phil Fontaine, the Government of Canada, through my minister, made a announcement of an additional $20 million for housing for aboriginal people on reserve.

This responds to our ongoing commitment, our concern for our first nations people on reserve. It gives them the opportunity to live in housing conditions that are acceptable to all Canadians.

Forest IndustryOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Reform

John Duncan Reform Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, one of the Canadian forest industry's most valued customers is the Home Depot chain of North American stores.

On March 17 Rainforest Action Network is co-ordinating a massive protest at Home Depot stores across Canada and the U.S. to urge people not to buy our old growth forest products. By definition most of the forests harvested in Canada are old growth.

Why is the minister sitting in silence while foreign lobbyists denigrate our forest products?

Forest IndustryOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, Home Depot has made it clear that the company wishes to support the well managed, scientifically based certification process. In fact this is a new process that the industry is going through. This being the case, Canadian companies are well placed to continue to compete effectively in the U.S. market.

Forest IndustryOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Reform

John Duncan Reform Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government is not taking this issue seriously. We have heard all this before. The government cannot just cross its fingers and muddle its way through. This is an organized campaign directed specifically at Canadian forest products.

Why is the minister sitting in silence while an orchestrated campaign against our number one export earner is gearing up?

Forest IndustryOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the minister is not sitting in silence. The minister and the Minister for International Trade are watching these developments quite closely. They want to make sure that our products continue to have that kind of access into the United States.

This certification process is one that is new to the industry. It is one that will benefit the industry overall. We will continue to have access into that market.

Construction ContractsOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

NDP

John Solomon NDP Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, the public contracts awarded to Renald Cloutier, the Prime Minister's personal contractor, not only were untendered, they did not follow other normal rules either.

For example, the RCMP guard post was built in November and December 1998, but the municipal building permit shows it was not applied for until after this work was done. As well, there was no environmental assessment of the road construction even though the Prime Minister's neighbours believe it could contaminate their local water supply.

Can the minister explain why these rules were broken when matters relating to the Prime Minister are supposed to bear the closest public scrutiny as his conflict of interest code says?

Construction ContractsOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I want to tell my hon. colleague that no Treasury Board guidelines were broken. Policy was followed.

What I indicated previously is the Prime Minister built a home. He had his own private driveway. He did not need this driveway. The RCMP requested the driveway be built. The RCMP requested this individual build it for security reasons. That is why it was granted.

Construction ContractsOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

NDP

John Solomon NDP Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government and the ministers continue to insist that Mr. Cloutier was retained for his work since he was on site and met their security criteria. If security was such an important consideration in selecting Mr. Cloutier to work on the Prime Minister's home, then why was Mr. Cloutier allowed to turn around and subcontract the sensitive work to two other companies, Continental Asphalt and Mario Gélinas?

Construction ContractsOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Liberal Cardigan, PE

Mr. Speaker, I do not have the details of all the contracts here. What I can tell my hon. colleague is what I told him previously on what the RCMP's responsibility is. It is for the security of the Prime Minister of Canada. That is why the road was built. They requested that this individual for security reasons be hired. He was and we followed government guidelines.

Swissair Flight 111Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Progressive Conservative Cumberland—Colchester, NS

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

The cost of the Swissair 111 investigation has now reached $62 million and is rising. The costs are totally absorbed by the coast guard, the RCMP and the military. As a result, the operations for the RCMP, the military and the coast guard are being reduced. Also they have been denied new equipment because of this, they are told. It has not affected the construction of the Prime Minister's private driveway.

Is the government asking the manufacturers of the aircraft, the airline and the other governments involved to help cover these costs?

Swissair Flight 111Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Thunder Bay—Atikokan Ontario

Liberal

Stan Dromisky LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the interesting question.

I would like to point out to the listening public that Canada has an international agreement. We are totally responsible for the costs that are incurred for any safety transportation investigation within the parameters of our domain.

As a result, yes, a tremendous amount of dollars has been devoted to this investigation and there will probably be more. This government has committed itself to keep on, within the realms of human ability and technology, to determine the cause of this terrible tragedy.

Swissair Flight 111Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Progressive Conservative Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, that brings up a couple of other questions we should think about.

If there are a series of crashes, what happens to the budgets of the RCMP, the military and the coast guard? If we are not asking the other parties to pay, will the government assure the coast guard, the military and the RCMP that their budgets will not suffer as a result of this crash? Will the government also treat it like the Saguenay flood or the Quebec ice storm and provide the funding for these operations so their services are not compromised?

Swissair Flight 111Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Thunder Bay—Atikokan Ontario

Liberal

Stan Dromisky LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I think we can jump to conclusions here and stipulate that as a member of a team, everyone will contribute in their own way.

I would like to point out that Swissair has been most generous with many of the families of the victims. It has contributed quite a few million dollars to this entire enterprise.

As far as the United States is concerned, we do not have any final decisions yet regarding its contribution toward the rental of vast amounts of equipment and technology.

Endangered SpeciesOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Derek Lee Liberal Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

Mr. Speaker, environmental groups across the country this week organized endangered species action days to draw attention to the fact that Canada still does not have an effective endangered species law.

We know that this area involves provincial jurisdictions, but I want to ask the Minister of the Environment what the Government of Canada is doing to protect our wildlife species which are now at risk.