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House of Commons Hansard #120 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was courts.

Topics

Public ServiceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Paul Forseth Canadian Alliance New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, I had to convince the minister to even get a passing reference to whistleblower protection in Bill C-25. The former finance minister who was responsible for creating the red book in 1993 promised it back then. For 10 years he had the money, he had the cabinet influence and yet all we have today is a memo.

When honest public servants try to report wrongdoing and political interference, will they be left unprotected?

Public ServiceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, first, Dr. Keyserlingk reports on the internal disclosure policy on wrongdoing. I think the member on the opposite side when he brought in an amendment, it was not to a memo, it was to a policy already designed by the government.

I am telling members that we are ready to act on that matter when we receive that report and that parliamentarians also will make recommendations to the government.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

September 16th, 2003 / 2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Lanctôt Bloc Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, with regard to the sponsorship scandal, the police investigation led to the Liberal Party. The Prime Minister's conduct and that of his ministers is not under investigation. The Prime Minister was unable to confirm that none of his ministers were involved.

Is there not just one way to clear his government, namely holding a public inquiry on the role his ministers played in the sponsorship scandal? Perhaps that would satisfy us.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the RCMP, in dealing with this matter, has already indicated that it will follow this issue wherever the trail may lead. It is completely independent. It exercises its own discretion to ensure that justice is properly done.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Lanctôt Bloc Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, the sponsorship scandal did not happen on its own. Decisions were made and someone untied the purse strings and invested dozens of millions of dollars in this scandal.

The Prime Minister should admit that it would be in the public's interest to find out the role of the future Prime Minister, then Minister of Finance, in the sponsorship scandal.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman is obviously engaging in a good deal of smear and innuendo.

The fact of the matter is, if one is really interested in determining what unfolded, who was responsible and so forth, the very best way to do that is to rely upon the RCMP and the Auditor General step by step methodically moving forward ensuring that justice is properly done.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gerry Ritz Canadian Alliance Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government mistakenly believes that it has reopened the border to trade for Canadian livestock. Far from it. Limited trade in muscle cuts will never save our livestock industry. It is really death by a thousand cuts.

Trade of live animals represented more than half of our sales pre-May 20. Now hundreds of thousands of culled and aged animals have little or no value.

When will the minister table his plan to deal with this escalating problem, or does he just not give a damn?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Portneuf Québec

Liberal

Claude Duplain LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I do not understand how the hon. member can say that the border is not open. The border is in fact open and meat can now cross the border. There are still problems to resolve. The border needs to be fully reopened. The minister is currently working on this with his American counterparts.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gerry Ritz Canadian Alliance Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary proved to the world he does not get it. That is the problem.

The borders are open about 20%. We can get parts and pieces of cattle through but not a live one. That is the problem. Aged cattle are piling up in this country and there is no processing to handle them, sir. That is the problem. Farmers and ranchers are going broke here day by day. These guys do not get it.

Why is the minister letting the livestock industry crisis get worse while he plays politics with agriculture aid? What is he doing?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Portneuf Québec

Liberal

Claude Duplain LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the border is open, and work needs to be done to open it fully. Now, the member needs to understand that this is the first time ever that a country has managed within 100 days to open its borders after detecting a case of BSE, and this needs to be said.

If the member is unable to explain this to his constituents, I humbly offer my services to go to his riding to help him explain—

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Hochelaga—Maisonneuve.

The Canadian Grand PrixOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government—

The Canadian Grand PrixOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

The Canadian Grand PrixOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. It is impossible to hear the question. The hon. member for Hochelaga—Maisonneuve has the floor. The noise is coming from both sides of the House.

The hon. member for Hochelaga—Maisonneuve has the floor. I urge order.

The Canadian Grand PrixOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government is expressing a desire to save the Grand Prix, while at the same time rejecting any amendment to the Tobacco Act—with which we agree—but also rejecting the idea of an interim fund.

If the Prime Minister rejects both of these solutions, can he tell us what other strategy he has in mind for saving the Grand Prix?

The Canadian Grand PrixOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as far as the Canadian Grand Prix is concerned, everyone in this House is aware of its economic importance and the spin-offs, not just for Montreal and Quebec, but for all of Canada as well.

That said, the government already deferred the legislation seven years ago. Back then, the time frame allowed was felt to be satisfactory.

On the other hand, are we supposed to use public funds in order to obtain a brand name free race? I think it would, in fact, be highly inappropriate of the government to start using public funds to maintain Formula 1 racing.

That said, there is still a little time left before the racing schedule is published. We will leave no stone unturned in order to keep—

The Canadian Grand PrixOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Hochelaga—Maisonneuve.

The Canadian Grand PrixOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, if Montreal lost the Grand Prix, the fallout would be enormous, as far as employment, the economy and lost tax revenue are concerned.

I am asking the Prime Minister why he is refusing to set up a two-year interim fund that could involve all of the partners, that is the private sector and the public sector, including all three levels of government?

The Canadian Grand PrixOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, how could we propose to this House a transition fund just for Formula 1?

I think that if the Bloc Quebecois wanted to talk about a transition fund, and really examined the situation, fairness would force us to include a whole series of events. Since we want to be fair, we do not believe that at this time we ought to be going ahead with a transition fund, an idea that has already been rejected. What is more, if we Canadians really believe in it, this legislation is about public health.

Obviously the Grand Prix does have economic spinoffs. We still have some room to manoeuvre. Give us some time. We will leave no stone unturned.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian Alliance Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, almost two years ago the whole world learned that British nationals who were arrested along with Bill Sampson had been savagely tortured in Saudi jails. The Brits reported that Mr. Sampson, still in jail, was continuing to be tortured. How did the foreign affairs minister respond to this alarming revelation? I will quote his response:

We received assurances from the Saudi government that this case would be handled with full respect for human rights.

Why did the minister publicly accept these false Saudi assurances when former prisoners had already revealed the torture was going on? Was the minister just naive or was he trying to cover up and protect cozy--

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we acted for the reason we did which was for our desire to get Mr. Sampson home safely, which is what occurred in the circumstances. Let us not lose that from perspective. The House and I believe everyone here well knows that doing the wrong thing at the wrong time in these circumstances could cost the life of a Canadian citizen.

It is very easy for the opposition now to wish to rewrite history. Let us bear in mind our responsibility on this side of the House and a government's responsibility is the protection first of the lives of its citizens. That is what governed our conduct and that will always govern our conduct.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian Alliance Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, it should try doing the right thing any time. The government continues to get nowhere with its weak and belated request for an investigation into the Saudi torture of Bill Sampson, and the reason is simple. As we learned in the tragic case of Ms. Kazemi, soft power doctrine is impotent when we are confronting dictators. Demands must be backed with consequences.

Instead of abandoning Canadians, why will the government not abandon its soft power policy when dealing with dictators and get that apology from the Saudi ambassador, send him home and get an apology and compensation for Mr. Sampson?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member speaks of soft power but let me suggest he has the idea to send the Saudi ambassador home, and perhaps have our ambassador return to Canada, when there are 8,000 Canadians living and working in Saudi Arabia who need diplomatic representation in times of difficulty. This is not soft power. This is useless power. This is political rhetoric for one purpose only, political rhetoric, that is all.