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House of Commons Hansard #103 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was transport.

Topics

Canada Customs And Revenue AgencyOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the government can be trusted with the confidential information of Canadians. We have an excellent record in that regard.

Only a few days ago some other members in the House were accusing the government of not providing Revenue Canada confidential information to people when they thought it was a good idea.

Under section 241 of the act our government does protect, as it always should, that kind of information in the interest of all Canadians and in the interest of our tax system.

Canada Customs And Revenue AgencyOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Howard Hilstrom Reform Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, let us just have a look at this great track record to which the minister is referring.

Winnipeg resident Jackie Courteau was appalled to learn that Revenue Canada had turned over her personal tax information without authorization. Jackie Courteau has been forced to turn to the courts because the government refuses to address the infringement of her privacy.

Why do Canadians have to go to court to protect their privacy from the government that they elected?

Canada Customs And Revenue AgencyOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member opposite knows of all the procedures and all the safeguards that exist at the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency. Obviously I will not disclose publicly a particular case. He would be the first to criticize it. He actually did so in the preamble so I will not do that.

He knows that even members of parliament need waivers before we can have confidential information. He knows about the privacy protection and he knows of the importance of doing so for the integrity of our tax collection system in Canada, and we respect that.

Canada Information OfficeOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Canada Information Office, the propaganda arm of the Liberal Party, as is well known, has spent $2.7 million on all manner of contracts to finance Liberal ministers' travels around Quebec.

The minister made the following statement before the standing committee on government operations, “I can tell you we will continue to arrange such visits, whether some people like it or not”.

How can the Minister of Public Works, who is also the chief organizer of the Liberal Party of Quebec, announce unabashedly that he is going to continue to dig into public funds to organize pre-election tours by the Liberal Party?

Canada Information OfficeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the hon. member that we are going to continue because Quebecers and all Canadians want to receive information from the government.

The ministerial tours in question are specifically for the purpose of informing Quebecers about the programs the Government of Canada has put in place for them, which the Bloc Quebecois members do not promote. The only thing they promote is destruction of the country.

Canada Information OfficeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is true that the credibility of Liberal ministers in Quebec is close to zero. Still, a modicum of decency is in order here.

Administration Leduc et Leblanc received $85,000 in contracts from the CIO and donated $15,000 to the Liberal Party. GPC International and Rémi Bujold received $87,000 in CIO contracts and donated $25,000 to the Liberal Party. Everest received $75,000 in contracts from the CIO and donated $20,000 to the Liberal Party.

Is this going to go on much longer, this scandalous use of public funds, with no bidding process, giving contracts to buddies of the Liberals in order to get funding for the party?

Canada Information OfficeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the Canada Information Office follows Treasury Board guidelines—

Canada Information OfficeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Canada Information OfficeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano Liberal Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

—and all contracts relating to the ministerial tour were tendered.

I understand that the Bloc Quebecois does not take kindly to the ministers' visit to Quebec. It bothers then that Quebecers are made aware of what the Government of Canada is doing for them. That is what makes them uncomfortable.

Yes, we are going to continue, because Quebecers are entitled to have all—

Canada Information OfficeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. whip of the official opposition.

Canada Customs And Revenue AgencyOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Reform Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, the HRDC minister has announced that the big brother database is being dismantled and tax files returned to Revenue Canada in order to secure the privacy of Canadians.

Yet in the Thiessen case in Manitoba the privacy commissioner stated “Personal information was disclosed as a result of negligence on the part of Revenue Canada”. Given this, why should Canadians trust the government with their most personal and private information?

Canada Customs And Revenue AgencyOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, they can trust the government because we respond to their concerns.

When we look at the longitudinal file that was held in my department, I want to remind the hon. member opposite that the privacy commissioner said time and again there had never been any breaches of that file. He commended the department for ensuring that information was held secure.

Canada Customs And Revenue AgencyOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Reform Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, this minister has announced that information is now being transferred to Revenue Canada and it certainly cannot be trusted, given its track record.

When CINAR, a Montreal animation company, was investigated for fraud the RCMP were denied access to CINAR's tax record by the Privacy Act. Yet when the Manitoba Public Insurance Company wants tax information on its clients Revenue Canada freely gives more than it even asks for.

My question is for the revenue minister. Why does his government protect the tax records of federal fund recipients but not those of private citizens?

Canada Customs And Revenue AgencyOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is mixing apples, oranges and bananas together and is not doing a very good job at making a fruit salad.

The Canada Customs and Revenue Agency makes every effort to safeguard the security and confidentiality of all client information. That is what it does.

As a result of our investigation of the allegation of unauthorized release of confidential information to the Manitoba commission an internal investigation was undertaken. The investigation concluded that there in fact was no intent to do any—

Canada Customs And Revenue AgencyOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Jonquière.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

May 30th, 2000 / 2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, the commissioner of the environment said in his annual report that the federal government is having a hard time acting on its commitment to sustainable development. He cited serious problems in connection with smog, climactic change and biodiversity.

How can the Minister of the Environment let us think he wants to act on these issues, when his government offers only fancy words by way of solutions?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member attentive though she is perhaps has missed some of my recent speeches at the Globe in Vancouver, in Toronto and in Seattle. We have stressed time after time—

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

David Anderson Liberal Victoria, BC

On the issue of smog, we have a three pronged process. We are working with the provinces on Canada-wide standards on benzine, ozone, particulate matter and mercury.

We are working with the United States on an ozone annex to the clean air agreement that we have with them. We expect that to be signed in November.

We are working directly with the new CEPA, the Canada Environmental Protection Act, so that we could, as indeed the Minister of Health and I did only last Saturday, put particulate matter 10 microns and below on the list of toxic substances. We have a three pronged approach.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have just heard more words from the Minister of the Environment. Greenhouse gas emissions were already 13% above the 1990 level in 1997. They are forecasted to continue increasing.

What is the minister waiting for in order to develop approaches and strategies for the development of sources of renewable energy?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, once more I thank the hon. member for her pertinent question. We have had an increase in some greenhouse gas emissions since the period she suggested, 1990, and particularly, I might add, since the tremendous burst of economic activity that took place since 1993 when this government took office.

The result however is that we do have a bigger problem to deal with greenhouse gases than we would have had if the party over there had remained in power or that party had taken power, because then the economy would have collapsed and the problem of the environment would have disappeared.

I am suggesting that we will have in place in the next five months a plan to deal with greenhouse gases—

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Peace River.

Atlantic Canada Opportunities AgencyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Charlie Penson Reform Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, three weeks ago the minister insisted that golf courses could not obtain grants from ACOA. In fact his own words were “For the last five years we have been giving only loans that have to be paid back”.

In 1998, ACOA approved a $1 million non-repayable contribution for a golf course in the minister's own riding and, to sweeten the pot just a bit, HRDC gave it another $200,000. When will the minister put an end to this boondoggle spending?

Atlantic Canada Opportunities AgencyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Gander—Grand Falls Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

George Baker LiberalMinister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member thinks he has made a hole in one with this one he has double bogeyed again. ACOA does not fund golf courses. How many times do we have to repeat that?

It did under the Conservative government that was in power prior to the Liberals, but under the Liberals ACOA does not fund golf courses at all, not one penny from the ACOA fund.