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House of Commons Hansard #71 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

IraqOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is well aware that any action by the government is deemed to have the support of the House of Commons. If the opposition wishes to vote for or against, it has opposition days. But when Parliament announces a policy such as this one, the Prime Minister is entitled to assume he has the support of the House of Commons.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

March 17th, 2003 / 2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian Alliance Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, when the industry minister was in charge of the health portfolio he allowed an untendered contract to go to a Winnipeg Ferrari restoration company for work relating to aboriginal health. The work was actually done by Joanne Meyer, someone well-known to the minister. Why was this untendered contract not given directly to JM Enterprises?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, let me clarify that the person named Joanne Meyer no longer works in the Department of Health. In fact, her relationship with the department ended in January 2002. It is my understanding that health officials are reviewing at this time contractual arrangements and they will let me know what their review highlights in the coming weeks.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian Alliance Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, I notice that minister stands up but there is another minister over there who will end up answering these questions, whether in here or outside.

I would like to go through this. JM Enterprises had a contract. That contract was suddenly terminated and given to, get this, a Ferrari restoration company in Winnipeg.

The question stands: Why did that contract not go directly to JM Enterprises? What is the minister trying to hide?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned earlier, Health Canada officials are reviewing this matter and they will be informing me of the outcome of their review in the days ahead.

At this point it would be inappropriate for me to say anything further other than to confirm that the person in question is no longer employed by the Department of Health.

Foreign AidOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Beth Phinney Liberal Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, in the past Canada has been a strong supporter of emergency relief and reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan.

Given the current focus in Iraq, could the Minister for International Cooperation inform the House if the government plans to continue to support the people of Afghanistan?

Foreign AidOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Essex Ontario

Liberal

Susan Whelan LiberalMinister for International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the government I am pleased to announce that Canada has pledged today $250 million in new money over the next two years.

This commitment is the largest single country pledge ever made by CIDA and the funding will go to priority areas that are identified by the Afghan government, including humanitarian assistance, security, agriculture and the government itself.

IraqOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have expressed strong opposition to Bush's illegal war, and the Prime Minister is to be congratulated today for respecting that Canadian position.

Would it not strengthen the message from Canada to have the benefit of the full vote of Parliament? Could the Prime Minister advise us whether he has indicated to George Bush that the position the government has clearly now assumed is that Canada will not support the illegal war on Iraq?

IraqOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, if the opposition really wants to vote it has two opposition days coming this week. It can decide to take one if this is very important.

The government has spoken and when the government speaks it is because it is confident that it has the confidence of the House. I know I have the support of my party on that.

IraqOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister did not indicate whether he has clearly communicated the position to the U.S. president that Canada will not support his illegal war.

In addition to addressing that question, will the Prime Minister also send a clear message to George Bush that the problem of depleted uranium is one that is killing Iraqi citizens today and that it cannot be permitted for the U.S. to inflict further damage by way of depleted uranium on the innocent people of Iraq?

IraqOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I felt that it was my obligation to inform the House of Commons first and the Canadian public. Of course communications were ready to inform the British and the American administrations about our decision.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rick Borotsik Progressive Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, I come from Manitoba. I own a 1957 GMC. I have been to a doctor within the last 12 months. Therefore I would have to assume that I meet all the criteria for an untendered health department contract.

My question is for the Minister of Health. Other than oil changes and political grease jobs, what qualifications did Continental Custom Carriage Ltd, an auto restorer, have to be awarded a $200,000 untendered health department contract? Can we see the terms of reference and can we see the report?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as I have already indicated, my department is looking into this matter. I obviously await its report in relation to this contractual situation.

I can only underscore again for the hon. member that the named individual involved is no longer employed by the Department of Health.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn Progressive Conservative St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, today the all party committee from Newfoundland and Labrador presented the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans with a report containing a list of recommendations on how to achieve stability and sustainability in the cod fishery, a provincial solution for the people of the province presented by the people of the province.

Will the minister assure the House and all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians that in dealing with this crisis he will use the all encompassing approach recommended by the committee?

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

West Nova Nova Scotia

Liberal

Robert Thibault LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the member as well as all other members from Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as the MLAs and the people from the three parties and senators for the excellent work they have done in having a non-partisan discussion on a matter that is of great importance to Canada and to those communities. I can assure them that I will study their document very carefully and work with them in all areas where we can find agreement and hopefully it will be in the majority of the areas.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Canadian Alliance Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, in February the Federal Court found that the immigration minister misled Parliament. When questioned, he told this House that the decision was only a draft. This month the presiding judge chastised the minister in a rare public statement saying the judgment was final and “not considered a draft”.

Why is the minister still handling critical issues when his word cannot be trusted?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

This is a serious matter, Mr. Speaker, so I will not personalize it as the member is doing.

What I am saying is this. First of all when the decision was made, we had already applied the mandamus, so we applied that mandamus for those 102 cases. At the same time we felt that there was room for an appeal based on the content and on the form, so we are going to an appeal.

As a matter of fact I have said since the beginning that under section 74(d) our role is to protect the process. We protect the process. As a matter of fact the same judge certified the question just like we have said. We protect the process but we are respectful of the judicial process too.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Canadian Alliance Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, let the record show that the minister did not answer the question at all.

Also, in February the minister was questioned about proven security threat Ernst Zundel. He told this House that he would not allow our refugee system to be abused, “Just watch me”. Zundel's country of citizenship has said officials would travel to Canada at a moment's notice to fetch Zundel, but the minister's word has proven suspect once again.

Why has he not used his legal authority to put Zundel on a plane out of Canada?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, it may be in the interests of some people to indulge in this kind of publicity, but that is not the case for us here. We respect the process and have said right from the start that not only is the individual in question in Canada, but in detention. Let us allow the process to work; we have confidence in it and it will have a positive outcome.

IraqOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the U.S. administration today served an ultimatum to the Security Council. The Security Council is no longer able to support peaceful disarmament or to try to reach a compromise.

Does the Prime Minister plan on letting the U.S. administration know that he disagrees with the situation in which the United States has placed the Security Council? Either the Security Council says it agrees the U.S. and there is a war, or it disagrees and there is a war anyway.

IraqOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I believe the Prime Minister made Canada's position very clear today in the House. We will not go to war without the support of the United Nations. We will let the American authorities know this and they will draw their own conclusions. I believe that our position is clear and consistent with Canada's longstanding position. That has been the Prime Minister's position from the outset.

IraqOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, of course we are happy with the position that Canada has just taken. However, as an advocate for multilateral institutions, Canada cannot accept having the Security Council lose all of its strength, being forced to kowtow to the United States, or become a meaningless body.

What does the Minister of Foreign Affairs plan to do in response to this situation that is threatening world peace?

IraqOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we will continue to do what we have done since the outset. We will work with all of the other countries in the world to build consensus where possible at the Security Council and come up a solution. Obviously, as the Prime Minister said today, it is very difficult to be optimistic, but that does not mean that we will cease our efforts to find peace through the Security Council.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Canadian Alliance Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General in her report found that the Canadian firearms program was a major crown project and that the Treasury Board reporting requirements for major crown projects were not followed. Now the minister wants $172 million more in funding for a program that continues to keep Parliament in the dark on its costs.

Why were the reporting requirements for major crown corporations not followed in the case of the $1 billion Canadian firearms program?

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, I have already told the House that according to department officials, the program was never officially designated as such. If that were the case, a decision would have to be made by the Treasury Board. However, it was never officially designated as a major crown project.

That said, I believe that the Department of Justice and the Treasury Board Secretariat agree that more information should be reported to Parliament.