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House of Commons Hansard #9 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was industry.

Topics

EthicsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian Alliance Calgary Southwest, AB

No, he was not.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Liberal Saint-Maurice, QC

Yes, he was, by the leader of the opposition of the day. We consulted with the opposition before he was named. Now they want to dismiss that. We will let him do his job. When he reports, we use it.

In terms of the conflict of interest for members of Parliament, we are acting on a report from a senator and the Speaker of the House that was prepared some years ago. I said yesterday it would go to a committee. The members will be able to argue and eventually a piece of legislation will be passed. We are preoccupied with that. We wanted to implement the report.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

October 10th, 2002 / 2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Canadian Alliance Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, the plot thickens. We now know that Mr. Nicholson was a member of the Solicitor General's staff shortly before the contract was made with Mr. Roche's firm. Mr. Nicholson went from ministerial employee to being under contract with the minister's political pal's firm.

My question is for the Solicitor General. Was this transfer solely made to launder government funds through the firm of Mr. Roche, through the firm of this minister's political pal?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated a number of times in the House, Mr. Wilson is evaluating and reviewing the whole situation, and we are looking forward to his report.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Canadian Alliance Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Solicitor General continually refuses to answer questions from the opposition. He refuses to face the media. Now he even refuses to answer questions from his very own backbench. Canadians are demanding answers.

Will the Solicitor General have the courage today to exit through the front doors and face the music or is he going to continue to slither out the back way?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the opposition has an awful interest in my mode of transportation. The fact of the matter is, I have been dealing with the media more than probably any member of the House of Commons in the last week.

Last Friday I issued a statement to indicate exactly what took place. My hon. colleague is well aware, if he would just listen, that all was done under Treasury Board guidelines. It was publicly posted. We all know that.

Mr. Wilson is reviewing the facts. We should let him do his job.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, instead of acknowledging the obvious, the Prime Minister denies the existence of the fiscal imbalance and wrongly claims that the federal government is a better manager than the Government of Quebec.

Will the Prime Minister tell us what best illustrates his government's so-called good management? Is it the multiplication of social insurance numbers, funneling money from the employment insurance fund, the cuts that have been made on the backs of people with disabilities and seniors, or the sponsorships scandal?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud that we have gone from a $42 billion deficit to successfully posting five surpluses in a row since.

The provincial governments have the same taxation powers as we do. What the Parti Quebecois and the Bloc Quebecois want is for us to collect the taxes, and for them to hand out the cheques.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is a Prime Minister who is proud that his government has reduced its contribution to health care to 14 cents from the 22 cents it was at when he came to power.

Is this the federal government's good management? Are cuts on the backs of the sick good management? He wants Quebec to make others pay for his problems, when he was the one, as Minister of Finance, who ran up appalling deficits in Canada.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, if the member were to look at the situation calmly, he would realize that the Government of Quebec spends less of its own money on health care than all the other provinces. Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Manitoba all spend more money per capita than the Parti Quebecois government.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Prime Minister tried to hold himself up to the Quebec government as an example of a good manager of public funds. Since 1995, his government—

TaxationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. members' enthusiasm is great, but we must be able to hear what the hon. member for Joliette is saying; he has the floor.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, I was saying that, yesterday, the Prime Minister tried to hold himself up as an example. Since 1995—

TaxationOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

Preambles are always difficult to get in. The hon. member for Joliette. Perhaps he could put his question immediately.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Prime Minister tried to hold himself as an example, but chose a poor one. Since 1995, his government has helped itself to $42 billion in the employment insurance account. This is $42 billion that belongs to the unemployed.

Does the Prime Minister call that good management? Is that what he expects from the provinces?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the employment insurance program is a plan into which workers pay, as do the government and employers as well.

When, under the Conservatives, the unemployment insurance program ran a deficit, the taxpayers were replenishing the UI account. Now that the economy is doing much better, there are surpluses, and a balance is being achieved. What the government paid in the past came out of the consolidated revenue fund.

So, the so-called EI surpluses belong in fact to the consolidated revenue fund.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister just gave us an example of poor management. He should know that the federal government has not put a cent into the employment insurance account for quite some time now.

Is the example the same when it comes to the mismanagement of SIN cards? Is that what he calls good management?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, obviously, we no longer need to pay into the account because unemployment has decreased. When unemployment was 11.5%, we did. Now that it is down to 7%, we do not anymore, and I hope we will not have to start paying again. That is why we continue to work for good economic conditions across the country.

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister as well.

Ten days from now federal and provincial environment ministers will meet in Halifax to map out Canada's Kyoto commitments. The government is the biggest landlord and operates the largest fleet of vehicles in the land. If the government were offering an ounce of leadership in Kyoto it would raise gas emission standards and retrofit its 68,000 buildings to make them more energy efficient. Those measures alone would deliver 20% on Canada's Kyoto commitments.

Why does it not lead by example? Why does it not become an energy efficient government? That would be leadership on Kyoto.

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to inform the leader of the NDP that we have had a government priority initiative underway for years. We are already at 1990 minus 20% and we are headed toward 1990 minus 30% within the Government of Canada.

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—St. Clair, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have to say to the minister that if he knew his figures he would know that does not even cover 1/1,000 of the public buildings right now. The government has not even retrofitted those.

I want to go back to the Prime Minister. Unions representing workers across the country directly affected by the implementation of Kyoto, looking both at the automotive and the energy sectors, have developed a transition plan for a green economy. Almost 2.5 million Canadian workers are committed to making Kyoto work and they are ready to do it now.

Why is the Prime Minister and his government not ready now? Why will they not commit to government-wide energy efficiencies and do it now, not 10 years from now?

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what the minister said a minute ago. We are ahead and we are improving our own fleet so we can make a positive contribution to this problem.

I am very happy to see that the unions want to collaborate. I know the provinces will want to collaborate. I know that if all sectors of Canadian society want to collaborate we will attain the Kyoto goal of 2012 by having everybody committed to reducing the problem of CO

2

and climate change.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Solicitor General wanted his pet project, the Greenwich Interpretative Centre, completed by the spring of 2001. Contract difficulties between the government and the minister's Liberal friend, Tim Banks, threatened to delay that opening.

Banks has admitted to speaking personally with the minister over the problems and Parks Canada ended up paying an additional $235,000 to Banks to ensure the centre opened on time. This is on top of the $30 million that Banks stands to make on the deal.

Did the minister interfere in the process to help his friend, Banks, sweeten that sweetheart deal?