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House of Commons Hansard #8 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was servants.

Topics

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

John Williams Conservative Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, they pump up the Gomery commission, but they shut down the public accounts committee.

My question is for the Minister of Public Works. Can the public accounts committee expect the same treatment afforded to the Gomery commission? Will the government provide the 10 million pages of documents to Parliament that it gave to the Gomery commission so we can truly get to the bottom of the sponsorship scandal?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the answer is absolutely yes to the hon. member's question.

The government has made a tremendous amount of information available to both the public accounts committee and to the Gomery commission. Millions of pages of documents have been provided based on the questions asked by both public accounts and the Gomery commission.

Beyond that, we have made cabinet documents available back to 1994, which is a remarkable statement of transparency and openness. We are committed to getting to the truth on this side of the House, and I hope the hon. member is as well.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Conservative Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, today we read reports that Serge Savard hosted a cocktail party that raised a million dollars for the current Prime Minister's leadership campaign. This happened just after the Prime Minister's staffers contacted the sponsorship program to get $600,000 for Serge Savard's organization.

Why will the Liberals not just admit that the reason they called an early election was to hide the fact that the sponsorship scandal documents were leading right to the Prime Minister's door?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should recognize that the fact that he can stand in this House and ask a question on testimony before the Gomery commission exists only because it was the Prime Minister who called the Gomery commission to get to the bottom of this.

We are not afraid of getting to the bottom of this issue. The Prime Minister has demonstrated tremendous openness, accountability and honesty in dealing with this.

I do not know why the hon. member would not allow Justice Gomery to continue doing his work without prejudgment on a day to day basis.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Conservative Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, if the minister wants to get to the bottom of this issue, perhaps he could start by maybe answering just one question in the House. That would be helpful.

We know that the Prime Minister withheld documents from the Standing Committee on Public Accounts and was in support of funding for his friends. The Prime Minister promised to shed full light on this situation before the election call.

Will the Prime Minister at last admit that he called an early election as a diversionary tactic?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, members of other parties in the House called for a judicial inquiry. The government has actually moved on this initiative and the Prime Minister has demonstrated the courage to do that.

Therefore, I would urge the hon. members opposite to support the Prime Minister and the government in getting to the bottom of this issue and not prejudge the work of Justice Gomery, a noted legalist who is doing a good job. We cannot provide commentary on a day to day, play by play basis of the testimony before the inquiry and expect to get any semblance of the truth.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, 25 scientists, political observers, and defence experts, including the former Liberal minister, Lloyd Axworthy, are urging the Canadian government to refuse to take part in the U.S. missile defence system. These experts say that the cost, objectives and effectiveness of the system are unknown and that it will start another arms race and thus reduce global security.

The government has already gone too far. How can it continue in this direction today, when these experts are adding their voices to the strong protest movement, as in Quebec for example?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the missile defence shield is an extremely important issue for all Canadians, and certainly for Quebeckers as well. We are in North America, and obviously the security, future and defence of our continent concern us.

Our government has been in discussions with the United States as to whether this defence shield is the solution of the future. We have always discussed the security of our continent in NORAD with the United States.

Changes are happening in the United States. They want to move in a certain direction. We are sitting down with the Americans. We have established very specific criteria for Canada's participation. The government will make its decision in due time.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, there are differences of opinion, including among government members.

Does the government not agree then, before any decision is made, that there should be not only a debate in Parliament—a real debate—but also a vote on this important issue?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the leaders are talking about that as we speak. An amendment was moved by the Conservative Party on this. We will look at the results of the leaders' discussions. We are certainly going to see where their discussions will take us by October 18.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Bloc Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, during the first leaders debate, the Prime Minister announced that he intended to eliminate the discriminatory provision that applies to young people making their first EI claim.

When the leader of the Bloc Quebecois asked him, “Are you going to change that, the 910 hours?” the Prime Minister replied, “The answer is yes, and I have said so publicly”.

In view of the Prime Minister's firm commitment, can the minister tell us when he will be tabling an amendment to the act?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we will be proposing an amendment once we have received a report that will not only give us an indication as to how to do this, but will also examine the consequences.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Bloc Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, is the minister aware that this is a delaying tactic and that he is preventing the immediate implementation of a firm promise by the Prime Minister?

Are we to understand that the Liberal Party is once again breaking its promises?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the proof that the government keeps its promises lies in the fact that only three days ago we brought 11 bills before the House.

We are beginning with these bills and there may be a few more. Still, we are beginning with these 11 bills that are now before us, and soon we will get to the others.

Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the heritage minister. During the last election campaign, the minister's special assistant took four trips into her riding, costing taxpayers over $3,800.

Could the minister please guarantee that this individual did not take part in any election or campaign related activities while on these trips?

Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Jeanne-Le Ber Québec

Liberal

Liza Frulla LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, the expenses are on the website, so everything is very transparent. I do assume that if those trips were done, they were done within the job.

Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, let us focus on the last trip this individual took. He went to the minister's riding for the election day. He returned to Ottawa the day after the election, again at taxpayers' expense.

Could the minister please explain what ministerial duties this individual performed on election day other than attending an election night party?

Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Jeanne-Le Ber Québec

Liberal

Liza Frulla LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Status of Women

Again, Mr. Speaker, if the hon. opponent knows about the trips, it is because that is posted on the website. If it is posted on the website, it is transparent. If it is transparent, everything is okay and he did it within his job.

Government AppointmentsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Bev Oda Conservative Clarington—Scugog—Uxbridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government promised taxpayers transparency and the end of patronage appointments. During the election, the Prime Minister promised parliamentary review of government appointments.

There are three CRTC commissioners whose terms expire shortly, two of them within 17 days. Could the heritage minister commit to fulfilling the Prime Minister's promise and ensure that appointments to the CRTC will be first presented to this House for review?

Government AppointmentsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Jeanne-Le Ber Québec

Liberal

Liza Frulla LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, as I said to my distinguished opponent, all the nominations will be made in a transparent process. But all the nominations will be made and we will assure ourselves that we will have the best people there to accomplish their jobs at the CRTC, at the broadcasting company and everywhere. We promise.

CHOI-FM Radio StationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Colin Carrie Conservative Oshawa, ON

Mr. Speaker, the CHOI-FM radio station in Quebec City could become the first station in Canada's history to be denied the right to survive.

Did the former or the current minister attempt to influence in that direction any of the members of the CRTC, either before or after the election, yes or no?

CHOI-FM Radio StationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Jeanne-Le Ber Québec

Liberal

Liza Frulla LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, the answer is no.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Question Period

October 14th, 2004 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

John Maloney Liberal Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, constituents and industries in my riding of Welland in the Niagara region know how critical it is that our border with the U.S. remains open to the efficient flow of goods and commerce. That is why I rise today to ask the Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister about today's visit by U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister update the House on what the government is doing to ensure access across the Canada-U.S. border?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke North Ontario

Liberal

Roy Cullen LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Welland for his tenacious work in the area of borders with all levels of government on this issue.

I am pleased to report that the Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary Tom Ridge announced today a variety of initiatives to help make border crossing secure and efficient through new fast lanes, integrated border enforcement and, at the Fort Erie border crossing, the examination of options around pre-screening and pre-clearance. We are making great progress in addressing this critical priority.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, we are all aware that Secretary Tom Ridge was in town today and we would also like to note that Canadians are taking notice of the fact that his Patriot Act is jeopardizing Canadian privacy by allowing public and private information to be accessible to the CIA, the FBI and other unknown government agencies.

Among the security breaches is one related to our financial industry. I would like to ask the finance minister to tell us if he raised this issue during the visit. Does the government support foreign nations having control of our private information? Why has he done nothing to protect our banking industry from rogue privacy invasion?