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House of Commons Hansard #23 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was farmers.

Topics

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Lanctôt Bloc Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Public Works confirmed that the process begins once the contract has been signed. The contract with Everest is dated May 30, 2000, but the Internet site was in operation as early as May 19, which is two weeks before the contract was signed.

Does the Minister of Public Works admit that Everest did work before the contract was signed, which is unacceptable?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I would simply point out that in relation to government contracting, if certain firms undertake, on their own behalf, some work in anticipation of a contract they do so at their own risk and there is no guarantee that they will get it.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Lanctôt Bloc Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, since it is not normal to do work before a contract is signed and since it has been established that the Internet site was already in existence since May 19, 2000, which is two weeks before the contract was signed, could the minister tell us how much money he deducted from the Everest contract for the work done by that firm before the contract was signed, without being authorized to do such work?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I inquired into the procedure here and after a contract is in fact awarded it is up to the client department to decide if any work that may have been done falls within the scope of the contract. If prior work were undertaken I would quite frankly remind all private sector companies that that is a risky practice which they ought not to pursue.

Prairie FarmersOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

David Anderson Canadian Alliance Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, seven days ago the government was eager to lock up prairie farmers because they sold their own grain. They are still in jail. Yet the minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board has been aware for some time that the board is operating illegally by charging the cost of export licences to prairie farmers.

Could he tell us why he locks up prairie farmers but takes no action against the Wheat Board when it breaks the law?

Prairie FarmersOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the hon. member and all hon. members that any conduct inconsistent with a statute of Canada or a regulation of Canada is subject to prosecution. Quite frankly, if the gentleman has any information that ought to be brought to the attention of the law officers of the Crown, rather than grandstanding, I invite him to do it.

Prairie FarmersOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

David Anderson Canadian Alliance Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, the minister received the information two weeks ago. He created the law that jailed these farmers. He insisted that the farmers go to jail. He has kept farmers in jail for the last week. Why is he so eager to jail farmers and so reluctant to enforce the law when it applies to his own department?

Prairie FarmersOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the correspondence that was first referred to in the House by the member for Yorkton—Melville has in fact been referred to officials and law officers to determine if there is any fact there that merits any further inquiry.

I would also point out to the hon. gentleman, in respect of the farmers who were protesting by means of the conduct which he has referred to, that they had options and alternatives. They themselves have said that they chose this option.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

November 6th, 2002 / 2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the contract awarded to Everest for the tour by the former Secretary of State for Amateur Sport, as the heritage minister said repeatedly yesterday, everything was done in accordance with the standards and procedures in place at Canadian Heritage.

I would like her to tell us again whether, at Canadian Heritage, it is the procedure and practice to negotiate contracts directly with suppliers and then have them approved by Public Works Canada? Is that the procedure followed in her department?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Yes, Mr. Speaker.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the heritage minister acknowledged yesterday that she gave credence to everything her officials told her. I remind her that these are the officials who confirmed that the former Secretary of State for Amateur Sport had made representations in favour of Everest.

Could she tell us whether she also gives credence to what her officials tell her when they incriminate the former secretary of state, or does she listen only when it suits her?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, no one in the department has implied anything of the sort.

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian Alliance Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, ever since the Prime Minister's unfortunate Beirut rendezvous with the chief of Hezbollah, the Deputy Prime Minister and the foreign affairs minister have said that the Liberals' soft stance on Hezbollah is the same as Britain's. That is not so. I have obtained the list which shows the 30 prohibited terrorist groups in Great Britain. Hezbollah's military wing is on that list but, at least as of yesterday, Hezbollah's military wing is not on Canada's list of seven banned groups.

Why do these ministers continue to say it is?

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, first, I must remind the hon. member that when the Prime Minister was in the room of which he speaks the American ambassador was sitting virtually right beside the gentleman of whom he speaks. We must bear these things in mind. In terms of international affairs, sophisticated people recognize we must work together to resolve these problems.

Second, I am finally pleased that the hon. member has recognized that the United Kingdom makes a distinction between the military wing of Hezbollah and its social wing, which is what we do in Canada, and finally the hon. member has got the point.

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian Alliance Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, we will take accuracy over sophistication any day.

The minister continues to say that the terrorist group Hezbollah, its military wing, is banned in Canada. I now have the list. We have showed it clearly is not. The military wing of Hezbollah is not on the list of banned groups in Canada as it is in Great Britain. Why not?

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the military wing--and finally we are speaking of the correct wing and I appreciate the member's precision in this respect--is listed under the UN regulations. It cannot raise money in Canada; it is banned in Canada.

As the hon. member will know, anyone conducting terrorist activities in Canada is guilty of a criminal offence and repressed under the Criminal Code of Canada.

Crown CorporationsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week, I asked a question on the problem posed by the fact that a number of businesses refuse to accept $100 and $50 bills. Today, I am putting a modified version of my question to the minister responsible for crown corporations.

Is there a policy requiring crown corporations to accept the money printed by the Crown? If so, are agents of crown corporations, such as postal outlets, required to comply with this obligation, and if not, what action will the government take in the coming months to settle the issue?

Crown CorporationsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, Canada Post is required to accept $50 and $100 bills, but the agents of crown corporations do not have the same obligations, because they are private businesses and it is up to them.

I should point out that in Toronto, on Saturday, I paid my Canada Post account in cash with a $50 bill. It is obvious that it is up to the business providing the services.

Social HousingOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government claims to be committed to affordable housing and ending homelessness, yet one year after the housing agreement was signed homeless Canadians are as desperate as ever and no housing is in sight.

The government cannot even get the numbers right, yesterday citing 14,000 people according to the census count when in reality the number is 250,000 homeless Canadians.

How many more frozen bodies do there have to be before the government comes to its senses to end homelessness and house Canadians as it has promised to do repeatedly but has failed to do?

Social HousingOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Liberal

Claudette Bradshaw LiberalMinister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, I am very happy to see that Statistics Canada is providing us with the numbers that we need. We have a lot of community agencies that are already giving us the numbers that we need.

I have to say that under the homelessness file we have built several transitional houses and support houses, and community groups and the private sector are very happy with the way that it is going.

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Wendy Lill NDP Dartmouth, NS

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

November 1 to 7 is Down Syndrome Awareness Week and a chance to look at the challenges facing persons with disabilities, specifically intellectual disabilities. Poverty, cuts to educational and income supports, cuts to the DTC, and lack of training and paid work are daily hurdles facing our most vulnerable citizens.

Will the minister give the social union agreement some real meaning by funding long term job coaches and assisted employment programs so that people can get and keep real jobs in their communities?

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, working with the provinces and territories, we have a plan of action that will increase employability for Canadians with disabilities and focus on income as well as disability supports.

It is my hope that at the next meeting of social services ministers in November this will continue to be on the agenda and that together we will build an active labour market strategy specifically for Canadians with disabilities, responding to the hon. member's question.

Fisheries and OceansOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Progressive Conservative Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, I have a political question for the political minister of Nova Scotia, who also happens to be the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

Recently his department advertised a job opening in Halifax. The job description indicates that if people come from the political minister's own county of Digby, their applications will be considered. However, if people come from my county, Cumberland county, their applications will automatically be rejected even if they are more qualified for the job. My county is closer to the job than his county.

My question is to the political minister: Is this politics?

Fisheries and OceansOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

West Nova Nova Scotia

Liberal

Robert Thibault LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his question. It is relevant to the President of the Treasury Board. I will give her the information and she will respond when she next returns to the House.

Fisheries and OceansOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Progressive Conservative Cumberland—Colchester, NS

On the contrary, Mr. Speaker, it is not relevant to the Treasury Board. This is the government that is supposed to be running the country, not the Public Service Commission and not the Treasury Board.

There is another job that was posted just five days ago. Again if people live in the political minister's county of Digby they can apply, and again if people live in my county their applications will be rejected.

No matter what the reason, will the political minister use his political power and authority to ensure that all Nova Scotians have equal opportunity when it comes to Government of Canada jobs in Nova Scotia?