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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

2:30 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, not at all. The original problem here was that unfortunately the first question was directed toward the wrong department.

We have worked our way through this. We have found the error. We are correcting it with the reporter.

I would also indicate to the hon. gentleman that at no time was any information concealed because as a result of other ATIP requests, that information was already in the public domain as much as a year ago.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gerry Ritz Canadian Alliance Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, the minister of public works hides behind his lawyer's jargon and says he cannot comment on any investigation.

The minister claims he wants to avoid political interference, but unless his Danish predecessor is actually under investigation, we have to assume it is his political interference that is preventing that investigation.

Has the RCMP ever interviewed Alfonso Gagliano, or do we need to extradite him home from Denmark?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the short answer to that question is I do not know, nor should I. That is up to the RCMP.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gerry Ritz Canadian Alliance Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, there is an “I do not know” to a whole lot of things.

The Prime Minister spirited his Quebec bagman out of the country before the RCMP could get to him. Accusations of patronage at Canada Lands, money laundering through sponsorship grants and insider trading on printing contracts all beg for a public judicial inquiry with Mr. Gagliano as the star witness.

Who is preventing the return of Mr. Gagliano from Denmark to testify?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, what I can comment on is what is within my jurisdiction and undertaking at my instigation. That includes all of the inquiries with respect to the sponsorship program and with respect to advertising where that is appropriate.

I have indicated that we are pursuing these things through forensic investigations as a result of the Financial Administration Act. The Auditor General is conducting a government-wide examination. Wherever a matter has been drawn to my attention or that of my officials that raises a legal question, that has automatically been referred to the RCMP.

Government AppointmentsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, early last week, the Queen of Denmark's official website announced a farewell lunch on June 17 for Alfonso Gagliano. Clearly the Queen of Denmark did not invent the ambassador's departure. Therefore, someone from Canada must have notified her.

Can the Minister of Foreign Affairs tell us when and by whom the Queen of Denmark was informed of Alfonso Gagliano's departure?

Government AppointmentsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I cannot speak on behalf of the Queen of Denmark. With all the authority vested in me by this government, I cannot do it. However, I can assure the House that Mr. Gagliano is and will continue to be our ambassador to Denmark.

Government AppointmentsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Foreign Affairs can try to ridicule the Queen of Denmark. However, a staff member from the Danish embassy told us that the Queen's agenda is no laughing matter. Therefore, when an event is on her agenda, it is serious.

We would like to know who notified Danish officials of Alfonso Gagliano's departure. And if the government refuses to answer, are we to understand that it is prepared to tarnish the reputation of Canada instead of that of Alfonso Gagliano?

Government AppointmentsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I certainly have no intention of ridiculing the Queen of Denmark, but I hope the opposition member does not intend, for his part, to use the Queen of Denmark as a political pawn in this House.

National DefenceOral Question Period

June 12th, 2003 / 2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Canadian Alliance Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, the decision to issue forest green uniforms instead of desert camouflage to Canadian troops bound for Afghanistan was made so they would, in the words of the government, stand out more. The troops were then issued bulletproof vests without the ballistic plates which were supposed to go with them. As is, this may stop a round from a pistol but not an AK-47. This completely contradicts what the minister has said about safety for the soldiers.

Why does this minister insist on jeopardizing the lives of our soldiers in making such inept decisions?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it is a great privilege for me to respond on behalf of the Minister of National Defence today, who is over in Europe working at NATO, exactly for the security of our forces and for the security of our country. He ensures that our forces are the best equipped. He has said that in the House, and he will continue to do so.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Canadian Alliance Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, soldiers are dying in Afghanistan. Hiding behind the rules of engagement will not hide the fact that the soldiers bound for Afghanistan are afraid it will turn into another Somalia because, in the crunch, that minister refuses to stand up for the troops.

Will the Minister of National Defence stand in his place and promise that no Canadian soldier will die because the government is too cheap to provide the equipment that the troops need? Promise.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the minister I completely reject the allegations contained in that question.

As we all know, the hon. member is anxious to spend the government's money in her riding, which might be better used to protect our troops. We should all, when we are trying to face these issues, recognize that the Minister of National Defence is committed to a well equipped army, to a well equipped defence system, and he remains that, as does this government.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, Oh.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

It is becoming increasingly difficult to hear the questions and the answers. Perhaps a little more quiet would be helpful for all hon. members because now we will hear from the member for Peterborough who sits a long way away from the Chair and I need to hear.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have attended regional and national skills competitions and they were wonderful, exciting events. I understand a team will be travelling to Switzerland to represent Canada in the world skills competition.

Would the Minister of Human Resources Development explain the Government of Canada's role in this event and the importance of skilled trades?

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada is a proud sponsor of Skills Canada, and 35 young men and women will be participating in the world skills competition in Switzerland this month. This investment is indeed part of our skills and learning agenda that promotes skilled trades as a first choice career for young Canadians.

I know that all hon. members will want to join me in congratulating these young Canadians.

Good luck. We are proud of everyone of them.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, two years ago Alfonso Gagliano told the House that the Sea King replacements would be delivered in 2005. Two weeks ago the defence minister told the House that the government wants to replace our Sea Kings “as fast as possible”. Yet all the documents for the delivery of the new helicopters clearly prohibit delivery before 2008.

Will the Prime Minister inform the House why we have to wait until 2008, 17 years since the cancellation of the EH-101 contract, for new helicopters?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the procurement process for the helicopters, both the Minister of National Defence and my department have been working together strongly to accelerate this process, to ensure that we get the right helicopter that satisfies the military requirements. We do so at the best price and at the earliest possible timeframe.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, as the Sea King contract delivery schedule is currently written, delivery of the replacement vehicles is prohibited to no sooner than 48 months after the contract is awarded. Yet the industry officials insist that they could deliver within 35 months of the contract being awarded.

Why is the government prepared to wait another full year for delivery? Why is the minister delaying the replacement for another year before he will receive the equipment that is needed, the Sea Kings, when he has said he will have them as fast as possible?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member's representation will certainly be taken into account. As a matter of fact, the documents she is referring to--Elsie, just listen.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

Mr. Speaker, and the Speaker was listening.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

An hon. member

Don't call him Elsie.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member would just listen for a moment, I believe the materials to which she is referring are in fact draft material. No RFP has yet been issued. Therefore, matters have yet to be determined.