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House of Commons Hansard #141 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was riding.

Topics

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, with Maher Arar back in Canada, the government hopes this case will go away, but we need a full blown independent inquiry into why a year of Mr. Arar's life was stolen from him and his family.

Canadians, especially our one million Arab and Muslim Canadians, worry that there is nothing to prevent the same thing happening to them. Justice demands that we determine what happened to Maher Arar and how we will protect our citizens at home and abroad in the future.

Will the government today commit to that independent public inquiry?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Malpeque P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we are pleased to see that Mr. Arar is back in Canada. The government has worked strenuously to see that he was returned to Canada.

With respect to the specifics of the member's question, this House and previous Parliaments established such a body for what the member is talking about, that is, the commission for public complaints against the RCMP. If Mr. Arar or any others want to avail themselves of that process if they feel aggrieved, then that option is open to them.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Environment.

Today a meeting was held with people from the Gaspé and northwestern New Brunswick. The Liberal MPs for Gaspé Peninsula, Îles-de-la-Madeleine and Madawaska all agree on the need for an independent environmental assessment.

Will there or will there not be such an independent assessment for the benefit of the people of the Chaleur Bay area?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, as I have explained several times in the House, this problem falls under provincial jurisdiction.

Yesterday, officials of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency received a document from some of the stakeholders, and we are examining it at this time. The hon. member needs to realize, however, that provincial jurisdiction must be respected.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Canadian Alliance Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, the ethics counsellor has said that the labour minister's trip was wrong and she has resigned. The industry minister's trip--

EthicsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

An hon. member

She has apologized.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Canadian Alliance Lakeland, AB

She has apologized.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I am sure the hon. member for Lakeland appreciates the generous assistance being offered in framing his question, but he has the floor and I think he has it right. He will now want to continue.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Canadian Alliance Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, the ethics counsellor has said the labour minister's trip was wrong and she has apologized for that.

The industry minister's trip was wrong and it was far more expensive than the labour minister's trip. Will he do the right thing now and resign?

EthicsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, let me try to simplify this a little bit.

Both ministers asked for the ethics counsellor's advice. Both ministers followed it exactly.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Canadian Alliance Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, the facts are that the labour minister took a trip, the ethics counsellor said it was wrong, and she has apologized for that.

The industry minister took a trip, it was wrong, and it was far more expensive than the other trip.

Will the minister do the right thing and resign?

EthicsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is tripping over the facts.

The facts are that both ministers consulted the ethics counsellor. They received advice and they both followed the advice. That is what is meant by compliance with the ethics counsellor's instructions.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Lanctôt Bloc Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, during the Liberal leadership race, the Prime Minister demanded that all candidates disclose their sources of financing. While taking this hard line with others, the Prime Minister built a secret nest egg of $62,000 for himself, with the help of lawyers at the Business Development Bank.

How can the Prime Minister circumvent rules he imposes on others?

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister and the officials responsible for this fund have discussed this situation with the ethics counsellor. The fact is that all the money in this account came from the Prime Minister's personal funds. There is therefore no problem.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Lanctôt Bloc Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, in his defence, the Prime Minister said these were personal funds. This is so damning and incredible that I would like the Prime Minister to tell me whether he recognizes that he has not only a duty but also a moral obligation to substantiate his claim.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, has this country become a place where people are presumed guilty? I think not.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

October 22nd, 2003 / 2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Canadian Alliance Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, according to an Alliance Order Paper question, the government claims that its new leader's companies only received $137,000 in public money since 1993. The minister has had 24 hours to explain the discrepancy.

What is today's excuse for this $20 million difference between the government's answer and the actual truth?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:55 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 that question was asked a little earlier today. What we have here is a question by the hon. member for Edmonton Southwest.

This was a broad based question involving a number of crown corporations, all of them, I believe, agencies and departments. This morning, I asked officials from the Privy Council Office for a re-examination of the entire question as I indicated about half an hour ago to those who were listening. If there are new facts to be added, I will gladly report them to the House as soon as they are made available to me.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Canadian Alliance Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, these are amazing coincidences.

First, the former finance minister, the new Liberal leader, signed a false declaration of assets. Somehow the ethics counsellor missed that, did not realize it was no longer on there, and the government did not catch it, no one caught it except the official opposition.

Next, we get a false answer from the government on an issue dealing with his assets and how they are intertwined with the government. It is looking more and more like this is a cover-up.

My question is, why the coincidence? Why does this keep happening when it comes down to a sensitive political issue like the new Liberal leader's ties to the government?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the procedural issues related to answering the Order Paper question will be responded to through the process that the House leader has described.

In the meantime, it is important to note that my department, pursuing ongoing transparency, has an agency called Contracts Canada which routinely posts information about government contracts.

In fact, the information that the hon. gentleman was complaining about was contained on that public website.

HousingOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Julian Reed Liberal Halton, ON

Mr. Speaker, now for a change of pace.

With the impact of climate change, we know that reducing our greenhouse gas emissions is important, but what is more important for Canadians is how they can save money in the process.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources tell the House how Canadians can access the EnerGuide for Houses retrofit incentive?

HousingOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Liberal

Nancy Karetak-Lindell LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I wish to thank the hon. member for his question.

We are encouraging Canadians to use the EnerGuide for Houses evaluation to help plan those renovations that make good economic sense. Canadians will save every year on heating costs and also reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

To obtain a grant, homeowners should request a free EnerGuide for Houses retrofit evaluation from a licensed service provider. The list is on our website at energuideforhouses.gc.ca, or by calling 1-800-387-2000.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Pallister Canadian Alliance Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, over the last decade the Liberal government has overcharged working Canadians by $45 billion on their EI premiums, and it has used it as a slush fund.

The finance minister and his predecessor's phony surpluses have come at the expense of the picked pockets of working families. One-third of this year's so called surplus is really EI overcharges.

Will the finance minister admit that he and his predecessor have overcharged working Canadians by tens of billions of dollars on their EI premiums?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to admit today that, for the year ending March 31, 2003, we had a surplus of $7 billion. We are the only G-7 country to still be in a surplus.

That surplus has gone to pay down the debt. Since we moved into surplus, the government has paid down over $52 billion of our accumulated debt. That is good news for all households in Canada and all Canadians deserve to be congratulated for their effort in making this happen.