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House of Commons Hansard #139 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was information.

Topics

Auditor General of CanadaOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General reports to this House every three months. She can report to this House on any day. She could report to this House tomorrow or any other day. The Auditor General is perfectly entitled to do that. The hon. member knows this quite well. This fabrication of a story does not make reality.

Auditor General of CanadaOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

John Herron Progressive Conservative Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, there is only one reason that the Prime Minister will not bring an amendment forward. He does not want to be held accountable.

The Prime Minister could give himself a pay raise and buy new jets in record time. Why can we not see an amendment to enable the Auditor General to table her report early?

Auditor General of CanadaOral Question Period

2:40 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 hate to inform the hon. member about the rules and about the act but the Auditor General could bring that report tomorrow if that was what the Auditor General wished and if her report was ready. In fact there is no legal requirement to change anything to permit the Auditor General to report so-called early. She is entitled to do that already. Most of us already know this.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, as the Minister of Industry will know, his department is currently dealing with the Irving corporation on closing the Saint John shipyard with a secret $55 million deal contingent on the workers giving up their union.

Yes, this is the same Irving corporation that thinks it owns New Brunswick and treated the minister to a free vacation that he forgot to tell everyone about.

Will the Minister demonstrate that he is capable of standing up to the Irvings and make public his secret deal today?

EthicsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, there is no secret deal. The case was handled by other members of the government.

I sought, received and followed advice from the ethics counsellor. I was not involved in reaching the decision in this case, but I am convinced there is no secret deal. I will leave it up to the others to answer questions on the deal. I personally was not involved in it.

Canada Health and Social TransferOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the former finance minister's elimination of the Canada assistance plan has paved the way for the B.C. government to be the first province to impose time limits on social assistance. The 24-month rule will force tens of thousands into destitution and is being challenged today in B.C.

There is a clear federal responsibility here through transfer payments and under the Constitution to provide essential services to all Canadians.

Will the finance minister make it clear to the B.C. government that these changes are unlawful and unjust and must be stopped now?

Canada Health and Social TransferOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I believe that the matter which the hon. member has raised is something that lies within the exclusive jurisdiction of the province.

I think that, as we have seen over the last number of years, support to the provinces under the CHST for health care as well as for those other areas of provincial spending that are covered by the CHST have increased. I expect that federal funding will continue to increase to the provinces for those purposes.

Disaster AssistanceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Canadian Alliance West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, my riding in British Columbia has suffered loss of life and millions in damage due to flooding. Liberal neglect, indifference and refusal to allow dredging of rivers, streams and creeks that are now in flood gets much of the blame.

The mayor of Pemberton just told me they need help now to open the Hurley Road. They need help now to build Bailey bridges. They need help now to carry people to safety and food to those who are in need.

Is the military on standby orders for emergency disaster relief efforts in British Columbia?

Disaster AssistanceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the military has shown that it is always on standby for disasters that may happen anywhere across the country.

We had up to 1,000 military personnel helping after the hurricane in Nova Scotia. We had up to 2,000 military in British Columbia helping to fight forest fires.

If the need should arise in the current situation in British Columbia, I have no doubt that the chief of defence staff will once more accede to the request from the provincial government.

Disaster AssistanceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Canadian Alliance West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, the people of British Columbia are in need of help. People have already died in British Columbia because of this disaster.

The people in that area, the mayor and others, are busy saving lives. It is now raining again in British Columbia, with a possible crisis, due a lot as I have said because of an environment minister who will not let rivers or creeks be dredged. This could have been avoided.

I want to know from the minister, is the government ready to be there now to help the people when they need the help?

Disaster AssistanceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I agree with the hon. member that this is a very serious situation.

I was in Kelowna the night the houses were burning. I saw with my own eyes the extreme gravity that natural disasters can bring to the people of British Columbia and Canada.

I was there when our soldiers were there. We are working to advance payments. Should the need arise in this current state, I can assure the member that, as in past crises, the government will be there to help when it is needed.

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance is holding prebudget consultations in preparation for the next government budget. In the circles of the hon. member for LaSalle—Émard, it is said openly that there will be major cuts in all government departments' budgets.

My question to the Minister of Finance is the following: Are his current prebudget consultations not mere window dressing, since the real decisions are being made outside, beyond Parliament's reach?

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, once the government has a budget ready, it will be presented here, in Parliament, and be adopted or not by Parliament. It is a bit too early to tell what exactly will be included in the next budget. I think now is the time to consult the public across Canada, to gather information and input. That is what I am doing, and so is the finance committee of this place.

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, this goes to show how preposterous this whole situation is, with one person drafting, and receiving recommendations, and another making decisions and providing direction.

What people want to know is whether the budgets for employment insurance, old age pensions, health, education and the Kyoto protocol will be affected by this government's next budget. That is what people want to know.

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I think it is worth waiting for the next budget. In February, we brought down a budget, which was adopted in this House. This is a process that started on February 19. The preparations for the next budget are ongoing, and it will be brought down when it is brought down.

Member for LaSalle--ÉmardOral Question Period

October 20th, 2003 / 2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Canadian Alliance Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is not only the industry minister who is having ethical problems these days.

Last Friday the ethics counsellor failed to deliver his report on the new Liberal leader's omission of Lansdowne Technologies from his declaration of assets. It sounds like the ethics counsellor is having a little trouble putting lipstick on that pig. Lansdowne received at least $12 million in government contracts.

My question is, why does the government not admit that the new Liberal leader signed a false declaration of assets and put himself potentially in a $12 million conflict of interest?

Member for LaSalle--ÉmardOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we have been through this in the House before. In fact, it does appear that there was an administrative error in connection with a report.

However, it is clear that Lansdowne Technologies was wholly owned by a company that was included in the declaration. It was therefore covered by the declaration.

In fact, it is tiresome to hear the member for Medicine Hat get up day after day and simply throw mud at someone who has more than complied with all the rules since 1988.

Member for LaSalle--ÉmardOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Canadian Alliance Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, apparently the ethics counsellor does not see it that way or he would not be investigating.

The new Liberal leader clearly owned this company. He repeatedly failed to include this company in his declaration of assets.

My question is, when will the government admit that the new Liberal leader personally profited when Lansdowne picked up $12 million in federal contracts? Does he not see that as a problem?

Member for LaSalle--ÉmardOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I see in today's Hill Times that the hon. member describes himself “giddy as a schoolgirl”. I do not know what that says about his question, but I think he should restrain his giddiness and tendency to throw mud at hon. members.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Canadian Alliance Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, on November 1 many families residing in private married quarters provided by the Canadian Forces housing authority will be slapped with yet another rent increase.

Rents will increase by as much as 25% on some bases. Civilians are protected from drastic rent increases by provincial law; however, these laws do not apply to federal property.

Why is the defence minister gouging Canadian Forces families with unreasonable rent increases?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I would like to point out that quality of life is a primary objective of the Department of National Defence.

On the question of housing, since 1996 the government has invested $300 million in improvements to the quality of housing for our military people. At the same time, less than 25% of our military personnel live in government provided houses.

It is necessary to provide fairness across the board so there has to be equity in rents paid to the private sector and the government. There are strict limits on the rent increase that is allowable in any given year.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Canadian Alliance Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, we will leave it to our armed forces personnel to decide whether the minister's definition of fairness is adequate and proper.

Tenant protection acts guard against drastic and unfair rent increases; however, provincial laws do not protect military families from massive rent increases at the hands of the minister and the Liberal government. To add insult to injury, the living standards of many of these housing units are quite simply deplorable and do not even meet provincial housing standards.

Why does the Minister of National Defence think that he can get away with things that even slum lords would be held accountable for?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, over the last five years, the top priority of the Department of National Defence has been to improve the quality of life.

I have mentioned $300 million in housing, substantial salary increases, substantial improvements in the health care system and the treatment of PTSD, and substantial improvements in family resource centres.

We are extremely mindful of the contribution that our members make. This has become all too clear over the last couple of weeks. The well-being, welfare and good quality of life of members of the Canadian Forces remains a top priority for the government.

Canadian Grand PrixOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, while Normand Legault, the promoter of the Grand Prix, is working to save the event, the government is negotiating with Molson behind the scenes and may derail the whole process.

Instead of all these parallel approaches, would it not be better for the government to send a clear message to the private sector by making a public commitment to a financial contribution that would save the Grand Prix in the end?

Canadian Grand PrixOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, discussions involving the Government of Canada, the Government of Quebec and the City of Montreal are ongoing, in an attempt to find a solution. We hope to find a solution so that Formula 1 racing in Canada can continue.