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House of Commons Hansard #41 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was plan.

Topics

ImmigrationOral Question Period

December 9th, 2002 / 2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Canadian Alliance Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, another week, another spending cover-up by the Liberals. Months ago they decided on a new $20 million immigration detention centre, but the minister did not breathe a word about his massive new project when he reported to the immigration committee a few days ago. It is not in the government's spending estimates passed just last Thursday. The departmental performance report, released barely a month ago, also hides this initiative. Why the cover-up?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Gatineau Québec

Liberal

Mark Assad LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, there is absolutely no cover-up in this file. The department is proceeding as usual with its obligations. There is no problem whatsoever. I believe that the member is completely adding more confusion to the problem.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Canadian Alliance Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, it was not reported by the minister when he appeared before the committee, it was not in the spending estimates and it was not in the departmental performance review.

To quote the Auditor General, “What's...inexcusable is that Parliament was in the dark”. She said that when the Liberals hid their astronomical cost overruns for the gun registry, but it applies here too.

Canada deserves better than a government that does not tell us what it is up to and hopes no one will dig deep enough to find out.

Why do the Liberals prefer to govern by stealth?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Gatineau Québec

Liberal

Mark Assad LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, what the member has mentioned here is completely false. The department is doing all it can on this issue. There is no cover-up whatsoever in this. It is just in preparation by the department's officials and we will be in a position to answer all those questions.

FrancophonieOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Claude Duplain Liberal Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, it happened in Bamako in the fall of 2000. At the time, Canada had agreed to a resolution intended to spearhead a political initiative to introduce democracy, human rights and good governance to member states of the Francophonie.

Given the situation in numerous countries of the Francophonie, could the Secretary of State for the Francophonie tell us, two years after this agreement was ratified, what concrete actions have come out of Bamako?

FrancophonieOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Brome—Missisquoi Québec

Liberal

Denis Paradis LiberalSecretary of State (Francophonie)

Mr. Speaker, first of all, delegates at the Francophone Summit of Heads of State and Government reiterated the principles in the Bamako declaration.

This week, a ministerial meeting following up on the Francophonie summit is scheduled. We have proposed a mechanism, enabling the implementation of Bamako, which will allow us to quickly apply this declaration where there are problems with specific Francophonie countries.

Whenever the Bamako declaration and its principles are mentioned, I think of Haiti. This is a place where Bamako could be truly meaningful in terms of democracy, human rights and good governance.

HealthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, just a few moments ago the Prime Minister told the House about his fiscal accomplishments and bragged about six years of surpluses.

I want to say to the Prime Minister, on the most critical issue facing Canadians, the health care of this nation, he has been offering platitudes and generalities.

I ask the Prime Minister today, what is his specific plan of action in response to the Romanow commission and is he committed at least to achieving the 25% share of federal financing recommended by Roy Romanow?

HealthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I thought the hon. member would keep on complimenting the government because she started to compliment us on the surpluses.

She should have complimented us for asking Mr. Romanow to table a report that is being studied by us at this time and by all the provinces. There will be a meeting with them at the end of January or early in February. I hope we will make a lot of progress to ensure we maintain a good health care system for all Canadians.

HealthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, time is running out and we are squandering an opportunity.

As we suspected, the government went to the health ministers meeting last Friday with no plan and no strategy. It gave no indication of how it intended to implement the Romanow blueprint.

Does the Prime Minister have a plan in the works and will it be ready for the first ministers conference?

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should know we are working in partnership with the provinces and the territories. They are primarily responsible for the delivery of health care.

On Friday we had a very good first discussion around the Romanow report and other reports, some provincial reports, Senator Kirby's report and then of course culminating in Commissioner Romanow's report. We were able to agree on a list of priority areas where we all know we need to redouble our efforts if we are to renew the health care system.

These discussions will continue. I think Friday's discussion was a very promising start.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

We will all sleep easy tonight, Mr. Speaker.

We know that Liberal largesse extends to the firearms registry. Evidence links the firearms contracts to the government's friends in Groupaction.

One blatant example involves Gilles-André Gosselin billing over $625,000 for 3,673 hours of work, a mathematical impossibility in the same calendar year.

Will the Minister of Justice request the RCMP to extend its investigation into the advertising contracts awarded as part of this firearms fiasco?

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, this particular matter is at this moment the subject of a time verification audit to determine the exact facts.

Depending on the results of that audit the appropriate action will be taken, either of the direct recovery of funds that were overbilled or a reference to the police if that is appropriate.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, the minister must be in a time warp if he does not see the need for an RCMP investigation.

We know from the feigned wide-eyed innocence of the member for LaSalle—Émard that all the spending on the firearms registry should be frozen until this mess in the justice department has been cleaned up. He said that this weekend. He also claims in a Janus faced position that it is the same position as the Minister of Justice.

Will the Minister of Justice confirm that it is his government's position that all the spending will be frozen on the registry, and if not, why not?

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the member has read the report from the Auditor General, as I have. We have accepted all the recommendations.

Last week I said that there are problems that we recognize and we want to fix them. I announced last week that we have frozen all major spending in the program, which we have done.

We have legislative responsibilities. We are running the program at minimum cost, but of course we will respect our responsibilities.

Having said that, we are all saying the same thing. We want to proceed with the registry. We want to make sure that we offer Canadians a safer society.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Garry Breitkreuz Canadian Alliance Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, it is getting even worse. I have in front of me a report from a former Liberal justice minister, Ron Basford, saying that in 1976 there were 10 million guns in Canada with a quarter of a million guns being added to that stock every year. That means there are 16 million guns in Canada today and only one-third of them have been registered; $1 billion and only one-third of the firearms have been registered. The firearms fiasco is becoming an even bigger boondoggle.

I ask again, how much will it cost to complete the registry?

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, about the costs, let us be clear. If we read the report of the Auditor General, she mentioned that all spending was approved by Parliament. We came back to Parliament and reported through the main estimates and through the supplementary estimates. As I said, if we read the program carefully, all of the numbers have been reported through Justice Canada and all partners involved in the program delivery.

The question now between the Auditor General and the Department of Justice is to what extent we should report. We are working on that. We will report to Canadians because we believe in transparency.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Garry Breitkreuz Canadian Alliance Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, the cover-up continues. The government has not answered the question. Listen to this.

The Auditor General reports that about 90% of licence and registration applications contain errors. The RCMP says that there are so many errors in the gun registry that criminals could be issued firearms licences. This Goliath of a gun registry has been dealt a mortal blow and now the Liberals have put it on life support. Why do they not just pull the plug?

How much more is it going to cost taxpayers?

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we have said many times that the gun registry is indeed a very effective tool. Police forces access the registry online 1,500 times a day.

The member is raising a question about the quality of the data. The RCMP is fully aware of that and has been working on that question. When we are talking about the quality of the data, it is a question of technology. They are working on that.

The difference is that on this side of the House we believe in safety. We will proceed with the registry. Yes, there are problems. We will fix it.

École de médecine vétérinaire de Saint-HyacintheOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Marcel Gagnon Bloc Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week and again today, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food was bragging about what his colleagues, the federal Liberal members from Quebec, had done in connection with the École de médecine vétérinaire de Saint-Hyacinthe.

École de médecine vétérinaire de Saint-HyacintheOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

École de médecine vétérinaire de Saint-HyacintheOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Marcel Gagnon Bloc Champlain, QC

Yet, they have done nothing; they do not deserve commending, they did nothing.

Will the minister admit that the work done by his colleagues on this has been pitiful and has led to his being mistaken regarding the facts and deadlines, thus contradicting the assistant dean of the École de médecine vétérinaire de Saint-Hyacinthe, Mr. Dallaire?

École de médecine vétérinaire de Saint-HyacintheOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I wish to respond, because the member made a statement that I would like to correct.

The first time I heard about this problem was in the Liberal caucus, before Bloc Quebecois members ever raised any questions in the House of Commons.

École de médecine vétérinaire de Saint-HyacintheOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Marcel Gagnon Bloc Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, he may have heard about it in caucus, but nothing has been done for the École de médecine vétérinaire de Saint-Hyacinthe. This is a repetition of what happened with the Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean.

Will the minister admit that if Quebec were sovereign, it would not need to come on bended knee to Ottawa for money and permission for its institutions?

École de médecine vétérinaire de Saint-HyacintheOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, here we go again with stories of humiliation. The members have spoken about the issue here and you will soon see that when they tackle a problem, they get results.

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Bob Mills Canadian Alliance Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, the more we look at the Kyoto fiasco, the worse it gets.

The environment minister claims he will be able to buy emissions credits for $10 Canadian a tonne. Before ratification even happens, the international price has jumped in the last three months from $1 U.S. to $7 U.S. Some even predict that it will go as high as $80 per tonne.

Canadian taxpayers want to know how much Kyoto is going to cost them.