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House of Commons Hansard #196 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was wildlife.

Topics

Government GrantsOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Crowfoot.

Government GrantsOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Canadian Alliance Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, not only is the solicitor general guilty of conflict of interest in lobbying on behalf of his brother, he is also guilty of breaching one of the most fundamental responsibilities of a minister of the crown, to act in the best interest of all Canadians regardless of what part of the country they come from.

Canadians have lost confidence in the solicitor general. Surely the Prime Minister cannot condone that kind of behaviour. Will the Prime Minister demand the solicitor general's resignation today?

Government GrantsOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I think Canadians are able to make their own judgments on this.

That party claims that passing on an application for a public institution, not just Holland College but Sheridan College and the University of Moncton together, is somehow offensive whereas going to court to try to hide the names of contributors to election campaigns is okay.

I think the Canadian people are quite capable of smelling what is going on over there, and it is not nice.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Marcel Gagnon Bloc Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister wants the public to ignore the scandals that are undermining his government. But reality is catching up with him, because Gosselin Relations Publiques, a branch of Groupaction, was imposed upon the organizers of the Francophonie games by the federal government and pocketed $335,000 for the year 2001-2002. This was all totally pointless because it did nothing to help the organizing committee find partners.

Is the Deputy Prime Minister going to keep on denying the need for a public inquiry?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the cultural nature of that particular initiative, the Francophonie games, fit well within the parameters of sponsorship activities. I have been advised that all appropriate administrative processes with respect to that matter were fully respected.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Marcel Gagnon Bloc Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, what does not fit is the fact that it was money for nothing. According to Le Droit , it would appear that other events in this region, such as Winterlude and the Tulip Festival, were victims of the same manoeuvre.

Is the Deputy Prime Minister going to finally admit that nothing but a public inquiry is going to cast light on the way the Liberal network operates?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the issue that the hon. gentleman is raising is essentially the question of what value was received for the money invested. Surely it is the Auditor General of Canada who is in the best position to answer that question, and she is doing a government wide inquiry.

Government GrantsOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Canadian Alliance West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, the solicitor general claimed that he was simply the messenger for Holland College. Now we learn that he was also the school bully pressing Lucie McClung to cave in and grant the grant to his brother's college.

On May 14 the solicitor general lobbied the correctional service commissioner four months after the college grant application was denied. This is clearly a conflict of interest.

The facts are that he and his political aides used political pressure to assist family members. When will the minister come clean and admit that he broke every rule in the book to help his brother?

Government GrantsOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, as we have said repeatedly in the House on this issue, Holland College is not a private institution. It does not belong to somebody's brother. It is a public institution. It is publicly funded. It made an application in consort with two other public institutions, Sheridan College and the University of Moncton.

To pass on that application to the appropriate agencies was something the minister was perfectly entitled to do.

I think what we are seeing here is a failure on the part of the Alliance Party to understand just how good things can be in the Atlantic provinces and how good Atlantic Canadians are at the things they do.

Government GrantsOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Canadian Alliance West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, they are good if they are a Liberal.

Canadians provide the solicitor general resources to serve as their solicitor general. He represents Canada. No one pays him to be a political minister for Prince Edward Island, yet he hides behind this phantom title.

He understood that by raising the issue of Holland College with the RCMP commissioner and the commissioner of correctional service he was in a conflict of interest, and yet he proceeded to do so.

Is it not time that the Prime Minister expels the count of Cardigan from P.E.I., and when will he do so?

Government GrantsOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I have late breaking news for the hon. member. Premier Binns is not a Liberal and he came out publicly to support Holland College and the minister in the efforts he made on behalf of a public institution in that province, one for which the province and region is proud.

When will members on that side start being transparent and open? They run down Atlantic Canadians. They say that our problem with the United States is that we are not cozy enough. Yet they will not disclose who the contributors are to their leadership candidates. They go to court to try to hide the money that is being spent in election campaigns. That is wrong.

La Soirée du hockeyOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Hélène Scherrer Liberal Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the co-chair of the Standing Joint Committee on Official Languages.

The media are alluding to the possibility that Radio-Canada officials may appear before the committee to explain the decision not to broadcast the Montreal Canadiens' hockey games during La Soirée du hockey , as has been the case for 50 years already.

Can the co-chair confirm that Radio-Canada officials will soon appear before the Standing Joint Committee on Official Languages?

La Soirée du hockeyOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, I can confirm that, as part of its proceedings on part 7 of the Official Languages Act, the Standing Joint Committee on Official Languages will hear officials from Société Radio-Canada on Tuesday, June 4, at 3.30 p.m., in the room adjacent to this chamber, namely room 253-D.

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—St. Clair, ON

Mr. Speaker, the member states of the European Union are ratifying the Kyoto protocol today, including G-8 members France, Germany, Italy and the U.K. That means that 70 countries, including 18 developed countries, will have ratified Kyoto. In addition, Japan, Russia and New Zealand are soon to follow.

Canada has long since given up any chance of taking a leadership role on the international stage on this issue but it is not too late to do the right thing. Will the Minister of the Environment today take the opportunity to join all these other countries and commit to ratifying Kyoto once and for all?

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada intends to continue with the plan that was laid out back in 1997, which is of course to consult fully with Canadians, including the provinces and territories, to make sure we have a plan in place for ratification of Kyoto which does not disadvantage any particular region of the country and then to make up our minds on the ratification issue.

I appreciate the hon. member's support for ratification but I think it is appropriate that we continue with the process of consultation and that we come to a decision for Canada which would have the appropriate input from provinces, territories, industries and the general public.

Airport SecurityOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Wendy Lill NDP Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Deputy Prime Minister.

On May 10 the U.S. congress rejected a plan to double the U.S. security fees at airports. On May 14 the European parliament passed legislation to have security costs come from general revenues and not from airports or air travellers. In both cases wisdom prevailed to protect their air and tourist industries.

The Liberal government is penalizing hundreds of thousands of Canadian travellers with this air travel tax, which is the highest in the world and which threatens to cripple our tourist industry. Will the minister listen to reason, follow our U.S. and European allies and change this unfair tax?

Airport SecurityOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Oak Ridges Ontario

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, the government responded after September 11 with a security package for which $7 billion was put forth. Over $2 billion dealt with the airline industry. The minister has indicated very clearly and repeatedly in the House that he will review the charge.

In the meantime, we are seeing an expansion in the airline industry. We are seeing very positive things. Again the minister has said that he will review this charge and come before the House in the fall.

National UnityOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

André Bachand Progressive Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, does the minister of intergovernmental affairs agree with his leader, who said that the millions of dollars saved the country's unity?

Likewise, how does the minister feel, given that, in a way, he has been relegated to playing a supporting role when it comes to national unity? Is this the new formula, millions instead of a minister?

National UnityOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, how does the member feel as a member of a party that served as a political springboard for Lucien Bouchard? How does he feel as a member of a party that was afraid of showing its pride in Canada? How does he feel?

National UnityOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

André Bachand Progressive Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

I feel terrific, Mr. Speaker, because his party was the one that opposed the Meech Lake accord.

I remind the minister that during a famous Liberal Party leadership race, supporters of the current Minister of Finance wore black armbands.

Is the minister proud to belong to a party that was against Quebec, a party that opposed the Meech Lake accord and a party that is against national unity?

National UnityOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the member knows very well that the Prime Minister of Canada was not against Quebec. He has worked all of his life so that we Quebecers can thrive within Canada.

The insults that the member just made only detract from his own stature, but add to that of the Prime Minister of Canada.

Government GrantsOral Question Period

May 31st, 2002 / 11:45 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Carol Skelton Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, the solicitor general abused his power by pressuring the RCMP to show preferential treatment to his brother. At the same time he was pressuring Correctional Service Canada, in both cases after the grant applications had been turned down.

Will the Prime Minister explain why his government is tolerating this abuse of power?

Government GrantsOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, there is no abuse of power. There is a public institution. This application for funding was passed on to the appropriate authorities. The funding was turned down. That is the end of the story.

That is very transparent. We know about that. We do not know very much about fundraising on the other side.

However we do know that the member for Red Deer said that fundraising considerations would be affecting their position on the Kyoto accord. That is why we need to know where their money comes from.

Government GrantsOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Carol Skelton Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, here is what sources said about the minister's plan to rip off taxpayers on behalf of his brother, and I quote:

There was no rationale or financial basis for it. It was just so blatant. They were there to bring back for P.E.I. whatever they could, whether it was good for taxpayers or not.

Will the Prime Minister send a message to his ministers and all Canadian people and fire the solicitor general?

Government GrantsOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I presume the source is the Alliance research department, which gives us very little to work with.

My source is the premier of Prince Edward Island. He says that the justice institute at Holland College has been recognized as a justice training centre for Atlantic Canada for over 20 years. That is the source on which I will rely.

When will that party, though, live up to the standards of transparency that Canadians expect of them? When will they stop this drive-by smear campaign and live with the degree of transparency they want for others?