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House of Commons Hansard #125 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was farmers.

Topics

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Judy Sgro LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned last week, any time issues of wrongdoing are raised the department and the minister look at it. They reviewed it and re-tendered the contract.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Canadian Alliance Lakeland, AB

Well, Mr. Speaker, the government should get somebody up answering these things who knows something about them.

The minister had no problem with the Royal LePage contract until he found out that a relative of André Ouelett, a former Liberal cabinet minister, had lost out on the contract.

Corruption should be dealt with no matter who is involved.

Why did the minister only see fit to deal with this scandal when he saw that a Liberal friend was on the losing end of this contract?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Judy Sgro LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I suggest the member might want to check to make sure this is working effectively on that side of the House.

As I indicated earlier, we take anybody who raises an issue of any kind of conflict or issues regarding any contract very seriously. We looked into the issue and we re-tendered the contract.

HousingOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Judi Longfield Liberal Whitby—Ajax, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada has signed $680 million worth of agreements with the provinces to provide Canadians with affordable housing.

Would the secretary of state responsible for Canada Mortgage and House Corporation advise the House if the provinces have made any headway. Is any progress being made on the delivery of this much needed housing?

HousingOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Mississauga West Ontario

Liberal

Steve Mahoney LiberalSecretary of State (Selected Crown Corporations)

Mr. Speaker, over the summer I had the opportunity to meet with housing ministers from provinces across Canada, mayors and other stakeholders, to discuss their progress.

We have committed $1 billion in two tranches of money, money that should be matched by the provincial governments to create 40,000 new affordable homes.

I am pleased to tell the member and all members in the House that it is working across the country just about everywhere. It is working in the west, in the east and in the north where homes are being built and planned as we speak. However it is not working in Ontario and, hopefully, that will change very soon.

Member for LaSalle—ÉmardOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, in February 2002 the then minister of finance formally declared that through Sheilamart Enterprises he owned 438,210 preferred shares of Passage Holdings which owned Canada Steamship Lines. Now he has told the ethics counsellor that he has cut all formal ties with CSL, yet his lawyer's letter to the ethics counsellor makes no reference to Sheilamart Enterprises.

Would the government inquire of the ethics counsellor and then report to the House what happened to the shares in Sheilamart Enterprises? Were they cashed out in Canada or abroad? Were they transferred in some unrecorded transaction? Where did they go?

Member for LaSalle—ÉmardOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we have answered these types of questions over the past months which, obviously, are intended to malign the reputation of a very distinguished member of the House.

The fact is that the former minister of finance followed all the ethics guidelines and that was substantiated by the ethics counsellor himself.

Member for LaSalle—ÉmardOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, the redemption value of those retractable preferred shares in Passage Holdings is $100 per share. That works out to an aggregate redemption value of $43,821,000, yet the former minister's lawyer told the ethics counsellor “The Passage shares have an aggregate redemption value of $829,000”. That is a $43 million difference.

Would the government inquire of the ethics counsellor and report to the House what happened to the $43 million? Was there some cashing out, transfer or other transaction that was not--

Member for LaSalle—ÉmardOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Transport.

Member for LaSalle—ÉmardOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I might advise the hon. member that the ethics counsellor exists for all members of the House and if members have a question for the ethics counsellor dealing with their own conduct or another member's conduct they are free to raise that matter with him.

However it has been quite evident for some months now that the ethics counsellor has stated categorically that the former minister of finance followed all the ethics guidelines.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, Canadians seek assurances that the government will not support any resolution at the UN that puts multinational forces in Iraq under U.S. command or fails to provide a transition of power with reasonable timetables that put Iraqis in charge of their country, not Bush and his cronies.

Could the acting prime minister assure us that Canada, even after a change of Prime Minister, will stand firm for multilateralism and not allow the UN to be subjugated to Bush's unilateral dictates, clearly proven to be disastrous?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Barrie—Simcoe—Bradford Ontario

Liberal

Aileen Carroll LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister, as we know, is at the United Nations. His speech while he is there, and in all he has said before, reinforces this country's very strong belief in the processes at the United Nations.

We continue to support a multilateral approach in the reconstruction of Iraq and we have contributed $300 million to do that.

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

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

It has been over four months since the date that Canadians were promised that the Canada health council would be up and running.

Will the minister now assure Canadians, who are concerned about the lack of accountability and the erosion of medicare through massive funding cuts by the new Liberal leader, and by privatization, that soon there will be a strong, well funded council in place with members committed to the Canada Health Act, to the Romanow commission and to a publicly funded and delivered medicare system?

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to report to the House that federal-provincial-territorial health ministers had a very good meeting a few weeks ago in Halifax. We unanimously agreed to move forward with the creation of the health council.

We are now working on the recommendations of first ministers as to the chair of that council, the 13 government representatives and the 13 non-government representatives.

We are very hopeful that first ministers will sign off on the health council, both its membership as well as its mandate, in or around mid-October.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

September 23rd, 2003 / 2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Duncan Canadian Alliance Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, the worst living conditions in Canada continue to be found on too many native reserves. Meanwhile, the Assembly of First Nations grand chief, Phil Fontaine, has asked Indian affairs for $1.2 million for new offices and renovations. When reserve residents are without basic shelter and water, this demonstrates out of touch leadership.

Why is the minister even considering this outrageous request from the new AFN leadership?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Miramichi New Brunswick

Liberal

Charles Hubbard LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, the matter is under review. A request has been made in terms of a change of leadership among the first nations peoples, and the grand chief will need some changes.

It is certainly a matter for review but, as of this date, no definite amount of money has been set aside for that purpose.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Duncan Canadian Alliance Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, why is this matter under review? This is an outrageous request.

The minister cut the AFN budget by two-thirds based on political disagreements with the previous grand chief. The message the minister is sending by entertaining this outrageous request is that favouritism is more important than the desperate living conditions on some of our reserves. $1.2 million could purchase shelter and infrastructure, not fancy digs in Ottawa.

Why will the minister not just reject this request right now?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Miramichi New Brunswick

Liberal

Charles Hubbard LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, I rather resent the fact that the member opposite has a very unfavourable position in terms of the relationships with the grand chiefs of more than 600 first nations peoples. They have a right to ask for changes within their offices and we, certainly, as a government have a right to consider those changes.

The decision has not been made but it will be made in due course. He certainly should have an office fitting the position he serves in this country

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Bloc Rimouski-Neigette-Et-La Mitis, QC

Mr. Speaker, in 2002, when we questioned the Minister of Human Resources Development on the case of Modes Conili, which had obtained grants for the creation of fictitious jobs, we were told it was a matter for the RCMP. The RCMP does not want to tell us anything and, since then, there has been complete silence.

Is the minister able to tell us the results of the RCMP investigation and whether the company has repaid HRDC for the money it received.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, it is unclear to which file the hon. member is making reference. However, it certainly would be up to the RCMP to advise her if it has answers to her questions.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Bloc Rimouski-Neigette-Et-La Mitis, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am speaking of the company known as Modes Conili. It obtained over $700,000 for fictitious jobs. What I wonder is, if close to two years later, the RCMP has not got any results, perhaps the file should be taken back from the RCMP and a public inquiry held.

Is the minister prepared to give us the results?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is right, this file was referred to the RCMP. I again state that if the hon. member has questions, it would be best for her to put them to the RCMP for response.

Science and TechnologyOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Canadian Alliance Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, IRAP, the industrial research assistance program, provides technology advice and financial assistance to small and medium sized enterprises.

It has come to my attention that there is an internal investigation under way into possible wrongdoing, bribery and fraud within IRAP.

Will the Minister of Industry confirm that there is an investigation, yes or no?

Science and TechnologyOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I was informed yesterday by Dr. Carty that an investigation is ongoing.

I will provide the member and the House with additional details when that is proper and when they are available.

Science and TechnologyOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Canadian Alliance Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, apparently this investigation has been going on for more than a year. It is amazing that the minister does not even know what is going on within his own department.

Canadians deserve answers to the question about possible fraud and bribery within IRAP. These are serious allegations.

When does the minister expect this investigation, which has been going on for over a year, to be concluded, and how many millions of Canadian taxpayer dollars are at risk?