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House of Commons Hansard #115 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was parties.

Topics

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated on various occasions, all matters that merit investigation are in fact being investigated by all the proper authorities. This issue has been properly dealt with in the public arena by this government.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, section 23(4) of the ethics guidelines clearly states that a minister should not hire or contract with companies where members of their immediate family are employed.

The ethics counsellor, after investigating the former Minister of Public Works and the lucrative contract received by his son's contract, did not think to check if there was a direct benefit to the minister's son. In light of new evidence showing this internal credit for Mr. Gagliano Junior, will the Prime Minister order his ethics counsellor to reopen this investigation?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the ethics counsellor takes any case that is referred to him. Many of the cases have been initiated by the opposition. If they want to do something, they can do it.

The problem is he did an inquiry on that at the request of the then Minister Gagliano, and he reported his findings publicly. If hon. members are not happy with his work, why are they regularly sending cases to him?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, I doubt the ambassador is going to order an investigation into himself.

According to reports, the Prime Minister's former Quebec lieutenant and ambassador to Denmark will not be posted to the Vatican. During informal talks, it appears that officials in Rome made it clear that they would veto any such appointment. This is a serious condemnation of the former minister which speaks directly to the credentials he has as a foreign diplomat.

Will the Prime Minister immediately recall him and avoid tarnishing the distinguished reputation of Canada's foreign service, or will he perhaps recall his ethics counsellor as well?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in relation to the appointment, he is not factual. Mr. Gagliano was not refused by anybody. He has been the ambassador in Denmark for a year and a half, and he will keep doing his job.

Emergency AssistanceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is not easy to alienate Toronto and the west all at the same time, but the Prime Minister seems to be making a good job of it these days. Perhaps he wants to do what Brian Mulroney managed to do in his dying days in office.

When will the Prime Minister put his surplus where his mouth is and come to the aid of the beef industry in western Canada and hospitality workers in Toronto? He has a surplus. Will he use it to help Canadians who are in trouble?

Emergency AssistanceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have put forward elaborate programs and changes. Toronto is faced with this very difficult problem. The ministers have been involved on a daily basis on this very difficult file.

On the question of the problem in the west, the Minister of Agriculture has been in touch with them, and I am to talk with the president of the conference of the premiers later on today. I am anxious to speak with him.

Emergency AssistanceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

You could have fooled us, Mr. Speaker, that the Prime Minister is anxious to deal with these problems. Weeks have gone by with respect to SARS. Weeks are now going by with respect to mad cow disease. I say to the Prime Minister, through you Mr. Speaker, that this is a time for national leadership. It is a time for the Prime Minister to show that we are a Canadian family and that when people are in trouble, we help them.

When will the government do something, not just talk, for people in Toronto and for people in the west who are affected by these various crises?

Emergency AssistanceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, he is repeating the same argument that he made the first day. When we do something, they never recognize that we are doing something or we have done something. Rather than trying to find a concrete solution to very difficult problems, they just try to score some little political points.

AgricultureOral Question Period

June 10th, 2003 / 2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Howard Hilstrom Canadian Alliance Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, the scientific investigation turned out as expected. There is no more BSE in Canada. However we do have a trade and economic problem.

The Prime Minister has talked about compensation coming from farm safety net programs, which is really a ridiculous statement. The producers cannot apply for those programs until 2004, and most of the provinces have not signed on to them.

The western premiers are calling for $360 million for a three month emergency plan. Will the government commit to giving that money to those cattlemen in western Canada and across other parts of Canada?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the proposed business risk management program that is before the industry and the provinces could very conceivably pay out considerably more than $360 million because that is what the program will be there for, to cover and help in situations like this.

We are also looking at ways in which we can help the industry cashflow and get through the immediacy of the circumstance as well.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Howard Hilstrom Canadian Alliance Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, the agriculture minister better check with his own bureaucrats because they have said that is not true.

I have a question with regard to opening the U.S. border. Dr. Ron DeHaven, the U.S. deputy administrator of veterinary services, has said that the report is fine and dandy so far but it might take them an awfully long time to review it and get an answer.

What assurances do Canadian farmers, ranchers and feedlot owners have that in fact the minister and the Prime Minister have a commitment from the United States Department of Agriculture that the review will not go on forever?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, we got the conclusion of the science yesterday, and that review is going on. Today officials are discussing the results of that science with the Americans, as is the beef industry itself, the processing industry and the politicians. Everybody is involved in that.

Now that we have the science, then that type of work can take place because we are on good ground. Can I guarantee exactly what the results will be from the United States? No. However I can say one thing. It is just not as simple, unfortunately, as telling them to raise the gate because the cattle cruisers and the reefers are coming through with beef. We have to work it out based on the science and their--

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Roberval.

Government AppointmentsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has just stated that Alfonso Gagliano has not been assigned to the Vatican because he has been assigned to Denmark for some time, and it appears he is going to continue his work there.

How can the Prime Minister tell us this in the House, when the Queen of Denmark's web site announces that there will be an official farewell dinner on June 17 for Alfonso Gagliano, the Canadian ambassador?

Government AppointmentsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker—

Government AppointmentsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Government AppointmentsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Government AppointmentsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bill Graham Liberal Toronto Centre—Rosedale, ON

Mr. Speaker, I can assure you that Mr. Gagliano is listed on our web site as assigned to Copenhagen, and he will continue to be our ambassador in Copenhagen.

Government AppointmentsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have a problem if the Government of Canada does not know that the Queen of Denmark is marking the departure of Alfonso Gagliano. The government is in serious diplomatic trouble.

I would like to ask the Prime Minister this: If Alfonso Gagliano is no longer officially in Denmark, and no longer able to go to Rome for confession, will the Prime Minister ask him to come back to Ottawa for confession? We have some questions for him.

Government AppointmentsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I would offer my hon. colleague across the way some down-to-earth advice. He should not spend his time surfing foreign web sites, but should instead consult the Canadian sites, which would give him reliable information on this diplomat, who is still working in Copenhagen.

Air IndiaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Canadian Alliance Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Solicitor General has hoisted high the SIRC report contending that CSIS acted properly when it erased the wiretap evidence and when it destroyed files regarding the Air India disaster. This report is contradicted by the RCMP assistant commissioner of the Air India task force, Officer Bass.

Who does the Solicitor General believe? The SIRC report or the RCMP?

Air IndiaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Malpeque P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I believe the report that has looked at the most documents. I do not believe in the blame game which the member opposite seems to believe in, where we pull one document out of the air and accept that as if it is all fact.

The fact of the matter is, and I refer to the 1991-92 SIRC report again, it analyzed thousands of pages of documents, numerous interviews, including one with the commissioner of the RCMP at the time, and it laid to rest this issue.

Air IndiaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Canadian Alliance Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, the assistant commissioner of the Air India task force stated, “the gross inaccuracy of the SIRC review report will be immediately evidenced to anyone who reads it”. Perhaps it is the Solicitor General who needs to pick up this report and read it again.

When will the Solicitor General just admit that SIRC's findings are highly questionable and when will he step forward and initiate a full public inquiry into the Air India investigation?

Air IndiaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Malpeque P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, if we were looking at an inquiry, this is about the objectives that we would follow. The SIRC report objectives were first, to learn what information CSIS possessed about any threats of terrorist action against Air India and second, to learn whether CSIS assisted government and law enforcement agencies by providing all information relevant to the criminal investigation of the disaster.

This report did that. The member should read this report. Maybe he would learn something. It laid to rest the issue.