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House of Commons Hansard #105 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was taiwan.

Topics

HealthOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Yellowhead.

HealthOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Canadian Alliance Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, today the WHO designated Toronto a SARS-infected area once again. Despite its recommendations, there are still no compulsory screenings, no personal interviews, and no third party screenings.

I assume the health minister spoke to the WHO this morning. Did she tell the WHO that we are complying, or did she come clean and say not yet?

HealthOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we have been in constant contact with the WHO since the announcement last week by Ontario public health officials in relation to this latest cluster.

I would like to point out to the hon. member that as of this morning the WHO is fully aware of not only the number of probable cases identified by public health officials in Ontario but of our screening procedures and, as the WHO has stated throughout, it has no problem with them.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the sponsorship scandal is expanding. An internal Public Works report informs us that certain advertising agencies, having pocketed generous commissions, helped themselves again, and often without any bidding process, by awarding subcontracts to subsidiary companies, companies owned by family members, or friends of the Liberal regime.

Since the internal report speaks of a whole web of companies, and the strands of that web are so tightly woven with the Liberal Party, will the Prime Minister admit that a public and independent inquiry is needed to shed light on the sponsorship scandal?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, indeed, the matters that were discussed in the newspaper today were first brought to light by the internal work of my own department in a report that was published in October of last year. This material is a follow-up to that.

In every case, the allegations are being pursued meticulously, on the one hand, to recover funds on behalf of the Government of Canada if that is appropriate, and of course, the RCMP will determine what other action it ought to take in cases of violation of the law.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Speaking of the RCMP, Mr. Speaker, in the sponsorship scandal, RCMP Commissioner Guiliano Zaccardelli refuses to say how many files have been turned over to the federal police; he refuses to say how many investigations are under way; he refuses to say if there have been any charges; the same goes for the Solicitor General.

By refusing a public inquiry, is the Prime Minister not using the federal police to cover up a scandal that shows his government and his party in a bad light?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, that would seem to me pretty rudimentary. If we wish to pursue a successful police investigation and ultimate prosecution, we would not discuss it publicly on the floor of the House of Commons.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Lanctôt Bloc Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, a small Montreal company located in a residential basement and headed by Mr. Renaud donated $63,000 to the Liberal Party of Canada, which puts the company at number seven of the top ten contributors to the Liberals.

How can the Prime Minister justify the fact that another small company located in the same building as the first and headed by Mr. Renaud's brother just so happened, a few months later, to end up with a $390,000 contract with the federal government through Groupe Everest, without there being any call for tenders at any step in the contracting process?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, with respect to any of these allegations, both the Prime Minister and I have made it absolutely clear that we will not defend the indefensible. Where there are matters to be prosecuted, they will be prosecuted by the proper authorities and the ultimate result will flow through the courts.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Lanctôt Bloc Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is why we are calling for a public inquiry.

How is it that federal officials were able to negotiate the details of a subcontract for promotional materials with the company belonging to Mr. Renaud's brother on April 16, 1999, when the main contract was not authorized until May 3, 1999, some 18 days later?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, again I think it is very appropriate that the good work of officials within the Department of Public Works has brought these matters to light in the ongoing investigations that have been done. Where the consequences ought to fall, they will be identified through two ongoing investigative processes: one is being undertaken right now by the Auditor General of Canada and the other, wherever appropriate, by the RCMP. They will get to the bottom of all of this.

Auberge Grand-MèreOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question is about another intervention by the Prime Minister in the Business Development Bank.

In 1997, Pierre Thibault, a former owner of the Auberge des Gouverneurs in Shawinigan received a mortgage loan from the BDC valued at almost a million dollars. He has now pleaded guilty to fraud charges in a Montreal court.

Can the Prime Minister confirm whether he contacted, directly or indirectly, the then president of the Business Development Bank, François Beaudoin, to secure this loan for the Auberge des Gouverneurs?

Auberge Grand-MèreOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the member is going back over ground that has been covered in the past by raising questions, the answers to which are on the record. There is nothing to add to the relevant facts that are already well known and in the public domain.

Liberal Leadership CampaignOral Question Period

May 26th, 2003 / 2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister certainly has nothing to add.

While the member for LaSalle—Émard was finance minister, money was being collected on his behalf to finance a leadership campaign. The former minister has refused to divulge the names of those secret contributors because he says that the Prime Minister would take vengeance on them.

Would the Prime Minister agree not to interfere in all ongoing business which these companies might have with the Government of Canada and in that way permit the member for LaSalle—Émard to stop the secrecy and identify the donors who are afraid to give their names?

Liberal Leadership CampaignOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I think that everybody knows that people are making contributions to individuals in leadership campaigns in different parties.

I have never heard any people who gave money to the Tories, the Alliance, the NDP or Bloc Québécois complain that I have tried to do something against them because they did not support my party, or because they supported my party at the same time. It is quite frequent in that business.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Dick Proctor NDP Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, besides health concerns, Canadians see crisses like mad cow and SARS as big time job losses in the country. Our Prime Minister may see crisis as an excuse for dining out, but putting food on the table is a real concern for families even if it is only a photo opportunity for him, particularly for meat plant workers who cannot afford even a temporary loss of work.

The government has ignored the hospitality workers in Toronto with the EI benefit program. I am asking if the Prime Minister will deliver for meat plant workers and waive the waiting period as a result of the mad cow layoffs.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Shefford Québec

Liberal

Diane St-Jacques LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, we are taking the risk of job loss in the beef industry very seriously, and the department will continue to monitor the situation very closely.

If there are layoffs in meat packing plants or in related areas of the beef industry, workers will be eligible for employment insurance and can count on it.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Dick Proctor NDP Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, workers in crisis deserve more than a prime ministerial happy meal. SARS has again hit Toronto, with the hospitality industry already in crisis and reeling from the first one.

The Liberal response: Not a penny in compensation for the hospitality sector, just an ad campaign that apparently does not even mention the word Toronto in the ad.

Why will the Prime Minister spend $100 million to glorify the past when he will not spend one penny to protect hospitality workers as a result of these emergencies?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I think the member of Parliament just made a remark about the fact that I went to have a dinner the other day to show that Canadian beef was good.

I received a letter from Premier Klein, who said:

On behalf of the Government of Alberta and Alberta's cattle producers, I am writing to thank you for your public show of confidence in Alberta's and Canada's beef industry. Your steak lunch in Ottawa on Wednesday received a tremendous amount of coverage across Canada, and it means a great deal to our province...

He kept on and on, congratulating the Minister of Agriculture, so I think I will accept that.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Canadian Alliance Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, these are the facts regarding mad cow disease in Canada.

Exactly one cow has been found to have mad cow disease. That animal never entered the food chain. Not one of the other animals in that herd showed any signs of the disease. A dozen other herds with links to this diseased animal have been quarantined. Not a single animal in any of those herds has shown any signs of mad cow disease.

However despite these facts, the U.S. border remains closed to Canadian beef and cattle.

I assume the minister has been in touch with his counterpart in the U.S. My question is this. What specific criteria does Canada now have to meet in order for the Americans to open up the border again?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I have had at least seven conversations with my counterpart in the United States in the last number of days.

The hon. member is correct in the statistics he gives, except that the trace out being done in those quarantined herds, the tracing ahead of the animals that left that farm and back from where that cow came, is not yet complete.

The work we have done so far definitely proves there is only one cow and, no, it did not get into the food chain. We need to complete that, and that work is ongoing at this time. We are very fortunate that we have the best food surveillance system in the world and when we show--

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Medicine Hat.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Canadian Alliance Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, 2,400 workers in my riding alone, at meat packers, are affected by this. Cattle feeders are on the verge of going bankrupt, and all their suppliers are in deep trouble right now. This is an extraordinarily serious issue.

What I want to know from the minister is this. First, how long will it take for that trace-out to finish up? Second, what criteria have the Americans specified that we need to meet in order for them to open up the border again so we can start to export our beef?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, they have not given a specific criteria other than they say that they want, and I believe them, this border opened as quickly as we do. They know the integration of the beef industry between Canada and the United States. They know there are over half a million head of Canadian cattle in feedlots and in breeding herds in the United States. It is critical to them as well.

What they want is what we want, and that is all the scientific proof we possibly can get that this was only one cow. We are well on the way to doing that. It takes time to do that scientifically. Food safety and safety are number one. We will base it on science and demonstrate that, not only to the United States but the world.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, Alain Renaud, the seventh largest donor to the Liberal Party of Canada in 1998, told Globe and Mail journalists that he did not remember giving $63,000 to the Liberal Party.

How is it that the president of such a small business, which has since gone bankrupt, could have given $63,000 to the Liberal Party of Canada without remembering it? Either he is lying or someone else was using his name.