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House of Commons Hansard #192 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was life.

Topics

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I would like to seek clarification of another matter. In an earlier answer, the minister indicated that he would not sign off at the moment on any further sponsorship deals. However, the previous minister indicated to the House that he did not sign off on sponsorship deals; they were awarded through a standing offer list.

I would like to seek clarification. Is the minister saying simply that he will not sign off on any more deals or is he in fact freezing all new sponsorship contracts?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I am still examining the administrative process by which this happens, but as I understand the process, if there are community groups and organizations that have applied for the sponsorship program like, for example, the one in the constituency of the House leader for the opposition, that are recommended by officials for approval, that list is presented to the minister. The minister must give his approval.

What I said earlier in answer to a question is that I intend to give no further approvals unless and until I am satisfied with the criteria of the program and that every--

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Argenteuil--Papineau--Mirabel.

Boat TowingOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday afternoon, some 200 fishing boat and pleasure craft owners demonstrated at Cap-aux-Meules to denounce the coast guard's decision to contract out boat towing to the private sector. This essential service, which has been offered free of charge round the clock since 1982, made up 90% of the vessel trips made by the Magdalen Islands coast guard last year.

Will the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans commit to maintaining the free, 24 hour boat towing service provided by the Magdalen Islands coast guard?

Boat TowingOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

West Nova Nova Scotia

Liberal

Robert Thibault LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the member that the coast guard will be available seven days a week, 24 hours a day to tow any boat in distress or in potential distress.

However, it is not the policy of the coast guard to compete with the private sector. When their price is justified, we will not stand in the way.

La soirée du hockeyOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, on a totally different note, for 50 years already, hundreds of thousands of Canadians have been watching La Soirée du hockey on Saturday evening. The French network shows the Montreal Canadiens, while English network shows other Canadian teams. It appears that, as early as next year, these hockey games will only be shown on RDS. This would mark the end of a tradition.

Does the Minister of Canadian Heritage intend to make representations to the club, the league or even the Radio-Canada to ensure that this 50 year old Canadian tradition can continue?

La soirée du hockeyOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, considering the importance of Hockey Night in Canada , both in French and in English, I think it is important that Canadians make representations not only to the CBC, but also to the National Hockey League and more specifically to Gary Bettman.

I personally intend to directly contact Mr. Bettman if this issue cannot be settled. It goes without saying that the Radio-Canada is the network on which to watch La Soirée du hockey .

Ethics CounsellorOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Canadian Alliance Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister asked the former defence minister to resign after the ethics counsellor ruled that conflict of interest guidelines were violated, yet the contract in question was given in July 2001, the report was presented in November of last year, and the ethics counsellor did absolutely nothing for months. He acted only after the media brought the issue to light and after consulting with the Prime Minister.

This demonstrates how ineffective this unaccountable ethics counsellor is. When will the government finally honour its commitment to appoint an independent ethics commissioner who reports to parliament and has the faith of the Canadian people?

Ethics CounsellorOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations

On the contrary, Mr. Speaker, in fact this case has demonstrated that the ethics counsellor does play an important role. He made a recommendation to the Prime Minister with respect to the code of conduct for public office holders and the Prime Minister acted upon it immediately.

I fail to see what the hon. member is pointing to. In point of fact, that is what the ethics counsellor is supposed to do, to advise the Prime Minister, who under the British system of governance has responsibility for the conduct of his ministers.

Ferry ServicesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, in answer to a question I asked on May 23 regarding the interruption of ferry services between Trois-Pistoles and Les Escoumins, the Minister of Transport replied that he thought he would come up with a solution in June. However a letter from his department on that same date says the opposite and confirms that Transport Canada is unable to authorize the resumption of ferry services from Les Escoumins for the summer 2002 season.

Will the Deputy Prime Minister assure me that the Minister of Transport did not mislead the House on Thursday, and that he will authorize the resumption of ferry services this summer?

Ferry ServicesOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, meetings took place on the weekend with those involved in this matter.

As the Minister of Transport said on Thursday, we hope to sort this situation out soon.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

3 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the final report on the Walkerton tragedy tells us that there are 83 potential Walkertons across Canada as we speak. I refer to the 83 first nations communities that are under boil water notices and have no access to clean, potable water. This situation would never be tolerated if these were white communities.

Instead of spending millions of dollars to promote the first nations governance initiative that nobody wants, let us talk about the basic needs of thousands of first nations families.

Will the minister of Indian affairs commit today that water quality in these communities will be the number one priority of his department?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Kenora—Rainy River Ontario

Liberal

Bob Nault LiberalMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, I want to report to the member, who is pretty high on rhetoric and usually not too much on fact, that the reality is that in 1995, after a major study between Health Canada and the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, we undertook to make those changes because of the report's analysis of the issues related to first nations water quality. We have spent over $500 million above and beyond since 1995.

To answer his question on whether it is a priority of the government, absolutely. Will we be doing something about it? We are doing something about it and we are going to continue to do as much as we possibly can.

Minister of Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the minister of immigration. Why did the minister of immigration say he had not stayed in the Groupe Everest condo and then say he did? He was a minister when he made both statements. Why did he not tell the truth the first time?

Minister of Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations

Mr. Speaker, a member of that experience ought to know that he has no right to pose questions to members about their conduct when they were not ministers and which has nothing to do with their portfolios.

Employment InsuranceRoutine Proceedings

3 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to subsection 3(3) of the Employment Insurance Act, I have the pleasure to submit, in both official languages, two copies of the 2001 annual report monitoring and assessing the EI system.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3 p.m.

Kitchener Centre Ontario

Liberal

Karen Redman LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to two petitions.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the eighth report of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans.

In accordance with its order of reference from the House on February 28, 2002, your committee has considered votes 1, 5 and 10 under Fisheries and Oceans in the main estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2003, and reports the same less the amounts voted in interim supply.

Business of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalMinister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I believe you would find unanimous consent for an issue that we have discussed earlier today among House leaders. I thank my colleague House leaders for the informal conversations that we had earlier today. I move:

That, notwithstanding the provisions of any Standing Order or usual practice, the consideration of the estimates of the Minister of Public Works and Government Services pursuant to Standing Order 81(4)(a) shall be deferred from Tuesday, May 28, 2002, to Tuesday, June 4, 2002.

Business of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

Does the government House leader have unanimous consent of the House to propose the motion?

Business of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Business of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Business of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

(Motion agreed to)

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

May 27th, 2002 / 3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to present in the House a petition on behalf of the member for Manicouagan, who is convalescing.

This petition is signed by almost 2,000 residents of the North Shore, who are strongly opposed to the introduction of the infamous $24 airport tax. North Shore residents often need to use a plane, not just for economic reasons, but especially for essential services, often for health reasons. Understandably, taking the plane is not a luxury for those who live in remote areas.

North Shore residents and inhabitants of the riding of Manicouagan support the member for Manicouagan, who allowed me to table this petition in the House.

They are asking that Sept-Îles and Blanc-Sablon airports not be subject to the $24 tax.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to present a petition on behalf of members of the New Brunswick Federation of Labour, which represents 33,000 workers. They are calling on parliament to reject the proposed amendments to the employment insurance regulations, which will provide for the collection of interest on overpayments, particularly since there is a surplus of $42 billion in the EI fund.