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House of Commons Hansard #117 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was federal.

Topics

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, last September, in response to an inquiry under the Access to Information Act, the Department of Public Works said that a company owned by Nino Colavecchio had received $115,000 worth of contracts between 1997 and 2002. In reality, the company owned by this friend of Alfonso Gagliano's received $1.7 million in sponsorship contracts for 2001-02 alone.

Can the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, who prides himself on being a model of ethical behaviour, explain to us how his own department, under his watch, could violate the Access to Information Act?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the question refers to an access to information request about sponsorships last year. It was directed by the questioner to the wrong department, but Public Works tried to answer it in any event.

While the department's answer to that specific ATIP request has proven to be incomplete, the information has in fact been in the public domain in any event for about a year as a result of a variety of other ATIP requests. Nothing has been concealed.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, if he has nothing to hide, could Mr. Integrity, the Minister of Public Works, explain to us why, in the House yesterday, he did not inform the public that what TNC Multicom received in sponsorships between 2001 and 2003 was not $115,000 but rather $3.3 million? If he did know, he did not say, this champion of integrity.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the fact remains that yesterday I was not aware of the difficulty with the arithmetic. I repeat for the hon. gentleman that in fact all the information requested was put into the public domain last year, not last week or yesterday, as a result of ATIP requests. If the hon. gentleman would like a consolidated list, I would be happy to table it today.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-De- Beaupré—Île-D'Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Access to Information Act is there to inspire trust in people and ensure access to information of interest to the public, particularly with regard to government departments and agencies.

How can the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, who fancies himself Mr. Integrity, explain that the department for which he is directly responsible violated the Access to Information Act by denying a journalist information to which he was entitled, simply because it would embarrass the government with regard to Mr. Gagliano's friend, Mr. Colavecchio?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman is incorrect in his conclusion. I do not edit ATIP replies. I do not even see them before they go out from my department. I have offered to table the full list today.

I would advise that the officials in my department are investigating what went wrong with this particular ATIP request. They are in conversation with that particular reporter to see what they can do to satisfy his full inquiry.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-De- Beaupré—Île-D'Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, how can the minister, who is so sensitive when it comes to his own integrity, explain that, under his own government, it is no longer possible to have access to this information, with the result that his department is breaking the law to prevent the opposition and the public from finding out what really happened?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I know of nothing that would justify the allegation that the hon. gentleman has made. If he has any information that would establish or even imply that there is some kind of interference in the ATIP process, I would be happy to see it, because none of that evidence has been drawn to my attention.

Liberal Leadership CampaignOral Question Period

June 12th, 2003 / 2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

André Bachand Progressive Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, the ethics counsellor said in a letter that the Deputy Prime Minister “should avoid meeting with personally” companies such as Bell Canada, Bombardier, et cetera, because they gave $25K. What about those who gave $20,000, $15,000 or $10,000?

The finance minister is putting himself in a difficult situation and will not be able to perform his duty correctly. His spokesperson said that we should trust him because he is an honest man. We thought that of cardinal Gagliano and look where he brought us.

When will the Prime Minister ask his finance minister to step down to save what is left--

Liberal Leadership CampaignOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Transport.

Liberal Leadership CampaignOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance has stated publicly that he has no problem in following the suggestions and the instructions of the ethics counsellor. As with all ministers involved, both ministers and the member for LaSalle—Émard on this side, all of the members engaged in the Liberal leadership race have followed all of the guidelines and will continue to do so. I can state categorically on behalf of the Prime Minister and colleagues on this side that we have full and absolute confidence in the Minister of Finance and he will stay as Minister of Finance.

Liberal Leadership CampaignOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

André Bachand Progressive Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the beautiful riding of Témiscamingue, both a lake and a town are named Macamic. In the language of the first peoples, Macamic means “lame beaver.”

Does the “Macamic” Minister of Finance not understand that, with the letter from the ethics counsellor, he is really a “lame beaver” for the cabinet and the government?

Now that “Cardinal” Gagliano has been rejected by Rome, is it not time for the Prime Minister to part company with his “Macamic” Minister of Finance?

Liberal Leadership CampaignOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I have already answered that question. The Minister of Finance has followed all of the ethics counsellor's directives.

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

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

The Minister of Health will know that the Liberal government in British Columbia is permitting a comprehensive privatization of day surgeries in that province, turning a great deal of them over to for profit clinics. Roy Romanow was perfectly clear about the superiority of non-profit health care over for profit health care. What does the Minister of Health intend to do about this in order to prevent this erosion of medicare?

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as I have said many times in this House, the question of health delivery is one that is left up to the provinces. In delivering health care they must abide by and respect the five principles of the Canada Health Act.

We are well aware of the situation in British Columbia. My officials are in contact with B.C. officials. We have been in contact with them over other issues in relation to private delivery of health care. We try to make sure that if there are problems, that they are worked out through negotiation and discussion. If that is not possible, then we can take action under the Canada Health Act to withhold transfer payments.

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, this is one more blow to medicare under the watch of the Minister of Health.

I ask the Minister of Health, does she or does she not stand by the conclusion of Commissioner Romanow that non-profit health care is superior to for profit health care? If she does stand by that conclusion, why is she not prepared to do anything about it?

HealthOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I think it is fair to say and I have said in this House on a number of occasions that there is no evidence to suggest that for profit health care provides either better health care or more cost effective health care.

Delivery of health care is a matter for the individual provinces and territories. Our obligation on behalf of all Canadians is to ensure that in the delivery of that health care, they respect the five principles of the Canada Health Act. If they do not, we will take action against them.

Viking Millennium CelebrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Canadian Alliance Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, when the secretary of state for ACOA sent out his made for Vikings family income support plan letter, a copy of which I have here, he claimed he needed money because he would be solely responsible for several community receptions relating to the Viking millennium celebration.

There is no evidence of a single public event ever occurring under the minister's direction, although everyone is now looking for one of those cute Viking hats with the horns and maybe the yellow braids.

Will the government confirm that the minister responsible for ACOA was indeed given the sole responsibility for hosting community events relating to the Viking millennium celebration?

Viking Millennium CelebrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, what the hon. member has not said is that these particular fundraising activities occurred when the hon. member was not a minister of the Crown. The question is out of order. It has nothing to do with the business of government. It has to do with a constituency association and the party across the way does not even want to register party constituency associations. It voted against Bill C-24.

Viking Millennium CelebrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Canadian Alliance Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the member claimed to be representing the federal government at federal government sponsored events. I think that is important.

The arm twisting letter the minister mailed out has no letterhead but there was an invoice included. The invoice asked for $2,000 and the letter promises the victim that by using the invoice, it will help guide the money through the accounting process. But, there was no accounting process, no receipts, no accounting for money spent.

Will the minister confirm whether this money making scheme was sanctioned by the Liberal Party of Canada or will he at least see whether the minister claimed the money and that part of the income tax--

Viking Millennium CelebrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

I am afraid that question is out of order. It does not relate to the administrative responsibility of the government, despite the debate on Bill C-24 that we are now having. We will move on to the next question.

The hon. member for Roberval.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, on the front page of La Presse , we were treated to the story on Mr. Gagliano's friend and the contracts he obtained simply because he knew Mr. Gagliano.

How can the minister, since he is responsible for defending Alfonso Gagliano and since the front page scandal reported erroneous figures provided by his department, expect people to believe that no one informed him prior to question period that it was not $115,000 worth of contracts, but $3 million that were—

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Public Works and Government Services.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the discrepancy in the arithmetic was drawn to my attention later on.

I have indicated to the hon. gentleman that all of the information had in fact been published as a result of ATIP requests a year ago. It was already in the public domain. Therefore, nothing at any moment was concealed.

I regret in the ATIP process within the department that apparently an incomplete return was filed. I have asked my officials to investigate that and to explain to the reporter.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Public Works and Government Services can go to extraordinary lengths to defend Alfonso Gagliano. However, now that his office has noticed that we are not talking about $3 million worth of contracts but $115,000 worth, the minister wants us to believe that he was never informed of what he calls a discrepancy in the arithmetic.

I would ask him this. Does he not find it strange that each time there is a discrepancy in the arithmetic or whatever, the oversight is in the government's favour and covers its tracks?