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House of Commons Hansard #197 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-15b.

Topics

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-De- Beaupré—Île-D'Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, is it not a bit easier to understand the Prime Minister's refusal to authorize a public inquiry into the awarding of government contracts now that we know that the Prime Minister considers the theft of a few million dollars as trivial, as long as it serves his cause?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

I never said that, Mr. Speaker. However, I did say that now that there is political stability in Quebec, the country is benefiting greatly. This is why Moody's in New York has given us the highest credit rating we have had in years, because of our very strong economic performance, they said. As well, there is now political stability in Quebec, like in Canada.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Canadian Alliance Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, by firing the finance minister, the Prime Minister has thrown his government into ever deeper disarray and thrown into uncertainty the direction of the government's fiscal policy. Today leading economists are predicting that the new finance minister will not table an economic update this spring.

My question for the new finance minister is this. Will he present the government's economic update on June 11 as planned or will he let the Prime Minister's game of musical chairs in the cabinet mean that Canadians will not get an update on their nation's finances until this fall?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have observed very carefully the pattern over the last number of years that my predecessor followed. I am sure the member will recall that he presented his annual update in the fall. I can assure him that he will have it by that time.

I am sure he is also happy, as I am, that today the markets are very stable. As of 1 o'clock the dollar was up somewhat. The response of the marketplace generally has been very stable.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Canadian Alliance Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, there has been no regular pattern but there was an update scheduled for June 11, which now sounds like it is off.

The new finance minister said yesterday that he has been closely associated with the government's fiscal policies. Does that mean that he agrees with the 10% increase in spending in last year's budget? Does he agree with the former finance minister's decision not to reallocate one penny from low priority areas like corporate welfare to high priority areas like national defence and health care?

Will this finance minister commit to controlling spending and to restoring fiscal responsibility to the government's fiscal plans?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, first I was very pleased to point out to the international conference of bankers today that Canada was leading the G-7 in its financial performance and its fiscal performance.

The member asked if I am pleased to be associated with the policies of the government on the economic side, the policies that gave us a 6% growth rate in the first quarter of the year, the policies that have seen unemployment fall continuously, the policies that have seen us generate surpluses. Yes, I am very pleased to be associated with those policies and they will continue.

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Wood Liberal Nipissing, ON

Mr. Speaker, this Thursday we commemorate D-Day, the day that the Canadian forces landed on Juno Beach as part of the allied force during the second world war.

Will the Minister of Veterans Affairs tell the House this afternoon how the government is ensuring that future generations learn about Canada's sacrifices in the second world war?

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Winnipeg North—St. Paul Manitoba

Liberal

Rey D. Pagtakhan LiberalMinister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Science

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada is very proud of and will continue to perpetuate our memory of this war, particularly the landing on D-Day.

I applaud the member who posed the question on this subject. We can all be proud that our government has been able to announce funding of $1 million toward this project making a total of $1.25 million. Youth will be involved.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I have a question about refugees who are often forced into hiding for their own safety. Now that the immigration minister has had some experience of his own in hiding, perhaps he is prepared to reconsider a very serious matter.

The minister has dropped the refugee appeal procedure from the new Immigration and Refugee Act and says he might put it back in a year. Will the minister rethink the wisdom of this decision and at least give parliament a definite date when the appeal process will be implemented? When exactly will refugees be able to access the protections guaranteed by parliament under the new act?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for her serious question.

I reiterate that the implementation of the refugee appeal division is an important task. We will implement the new legislation by June 28. I made the decision, based on resources, to speak to the Canadian Council for Refugees to say that we would take the proper steps to make it happen.

I want to make the system work. It is a living paper, it is an ongoing issue and is important for Canadians.

InfrastructureOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, cities in Canada have been abandoned by the federal government and left to themselves to deal with affordable housing, transportation and infrastructure challenges. The former minister of finance, the current transport minister and the industry minister have all finally acknowledged that there is a crisis in our cities.

My question is for the Minister of Finance. Talk is cheap. When will we see actual allocated resources in the hands of all municipal governments for infrastructure, housing and urban transit?

InfrastructureOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I think the new member should recognize the important contributions we have made in many of those areas very recently. These include the over $2 billion we have put into infrastructure programs, much of which will flow to municipalities, plus $600 million flowing to border locations for infrastructure, and $680 million into housing. The Prime Minister's task force on urban issues has made a useful set of recommendations to the government which we will follow up on.

The concerns of our cities are important to all of us and we are acting on them.

The EconomyOral Question Period

June 3rd, 2002 / 2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Scott Brison Progressive Conservative Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's selection of the new finance minister was obviously based on their shared economic expertise. The new finance minister when industry minister said:

High taxes, if anything, should increase productivity because it would drive innovation in order to lower other costs.

Does the new finance minister still believe that high taxes help improve productivity by making Canadians work harder and will this be the official government policy now?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have never believed that. What I can say is that we do know that tax rates have been sharply decreased in Canada. Again, I was very happy in the speech today to be able to underline the comparative advantage that our tax rates give us in relation to those rates that exist in the United States, both capital gains rates and corporate tax rates, as well as personal tax rates.

We now have a competitive advantage in Canada. That will continue.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

André Bachand Progressive Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Yesterday, Mr. Speaker, we learned that contracts for the Francophonie Games had been negotiated directly between the former minister of public works, the leader of the government in the House, and Everest and other firms.

It has also been confirmed that not one of these contracts went through the tenders process. Yet on Friday the present minister of public works was questioned about the method used by the government to negotiate its Francophonie Games contracts. His response was:

I have been advised that all appropriate administrative processes with respect to that matter were fully respected.

Can the minister explain to us why the contracts did not follow the set administrative process to which he referred on Friday?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, there is nothing in the information before me at the present time that would substantiate the allegation made by the hon. gentleman. Obviously I will make what inquiries may be appropriate in the circumstances, but at the present time there is nothing to support the allegation he is making.

Government LoansOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Canadian Alliance Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, on December 8, 2000 Cascade Data Service was incorporated, yet only three months later on March 9, 2001 in a shroud of secrecy Technology Partnerships Canada awarded it an $87 million loan. No announcement was made; no press release was issued.

On February 22 the official opposition requested information about this project from the Minister of Industry. The government did not have any information but promised an answer within the week. After more than three months we are still waiting.

I ask the Minister of Industry again, what is Cascade Data Service and on what basis was the company awarded an $87 million loan after only three months in existence?

Government LoansOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, Cascade Data Service is a subsidiary of MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates, which is one of Canada's best known innovative aerospace and communications companies. Cascade Data Services is developing a first in the world technology to transmit data by satellite in large volume.

This investment by the Government of Canada in this leading edge, world first technology offers one of our great corporations a chance to truly lead world markets in this new approach to communicating information.

Government LoansOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Canadian Alliance Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is rather interesting that the three board directors of Cascade Data Service are the president, chief financial officer and comptroller of MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates, and the minister did not mention the fact that the company has contributed more than $50,000 to the Liberal Party over the last three years.

Let me tell members more about Cascade Data Service. It has no public telephone number, no website and the property manager has no record of ever having leased property to this company at the address to which it was registered.

We have waited over three months for an answer. When will the minister come clean on this $87 million loan?

Government LoansOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, first, it is not a loan, it is an investment. Second, the fact is that this company--

Government LoansOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Government LoansOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

Order. Even though the minister is sitting very close to the Chair, there are so many questions being sent to him at once that I cannot hear. We have to be able to hear the answers as well as the questions. Since the Minister of Industry has the floor and only he has the floor, perhaps we could hear the answer.

Government LoansOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Allan Rock Liberal Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is an investment which the Government of Canada expects will be returned with the success of this venture.

Let me also say that although the TPC investment was approved some time ago, no money was to flow until all of the conditions were satisfied, including establishing the subsidiary and complying with all the other requirements that were imposed by the officials who approved this investment.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister thinks he will silence criticism by proposing an eight point plan to restore ethics within his government.

This is the same Prime Minister who finds it normal that millions of dollars may have been stolen. He is not even concerned about it. Talk about an ethical standard.

How can we expect a higher level of ethics within the government when the Prime Minister himself believes that the theft of millions of dollars is justifiable for what he feels is a just cause?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, frankly, I have said about 20 times that if money was stolen by those who got money, the guilty will have to face the courts. Can we ask for more than that? If people stole money, they will be taken to court. They will pay fines or go to jail.

It is very clear. The auditor general is working on this, and so is the police. If money was stolen, the guilty parties will pay for what they have done.