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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

Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Conservative Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, in her desperate efforts to cover for her predecessor, the current heritage minister has misled the House at least five times.

She said it was a non-partisan speech. Wrong. Anybody can see that by reading it. She said it is posted on the government website. Wrong. It is on the Liberal website. She said she accepted the invitation in January. Variety magazine says it was accepted at the last minute. She said that her predecessor flew in and flew out. Now she knows she stayed overnight in Banff.

Instead of trying to cover for the abuse of tax dollars by her predecessor, why does the minister not stand up and apologize? Why does the Liberal Party not repay the $55,000 that was taken from the taxpayers?

Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Jeanne-Le Ber Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is in no position to lecture us on travel expenses. According to an article in the National Post , the hon. member for Calgary Southeast spent $121,000 of taxpayers' money on airline trips during the Alliance leadership campaign. Shame, shame. As we recall, he did not give back the money.

Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Conservative Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, I happen to live in western Canada and spent the average of Alberta--

Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, order. We are wasting time here. The hon. member for Calgary Southeast has the floor to ask his next supplementary question.

Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Conservative Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, my parliamentary travel was the same as other western MPs and I have never taken a Challenger jet to give a partisan speech.

Has the government not learned any lessons from the last election which was about Liberal law breaking? In this instance her predecessor, the Prime Minister's principal secretary, broke the law. Why does the Liberal Party, instead of apologizing for law breaking, not make up for it, apologize for it and pay back the taxpayers?

Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Jeanne-Le Ber Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, where is the $121,000 of taxpayers' money for airline trips that the hon. member took during the Canadian Alliance leadership campaign? Where is it? Did he give it back?

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Vincent Bloc Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, the RCMP has made a brutal announcement about the closure of nine regional offices located throughout Quebec.

Will the Minister of Public Safety recognize that she should declare a moratorium on these closures to give the Standing Committee on Justice, Human Rights, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness a chance to hear witnesses and to make recommendations on the matter?

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Etobicoke North Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the RCMP is conducting this kind of review on a regular basis to ensure that it is making the best use possible of its resources. A similar review was conducted in Ontario in 1995, which resulted in a strategic deployment of resources. This has improved the RCMP's operational capability and its capacity to achieve divisional and national priorities.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank members on this side of the House for taking up this issue and in particular the member for Brome--Missisquoi. This is an operational decision of the RCMP which will improve its effectiveness.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Russ Powers Liberal Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, I respectfully request the opportunity to direct the following question to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

Currently the United States government is severely restricting the importation of Canadian grown cut flowers at the Windsor and Niagara, Ontario borders. This measure affects producers in my riding alone to the tune of $1 million a week.

What action is the government taking to alleviate this serious disruption in trade?

AgricultureOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Malpeque P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (Rural Development)

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question and for his interest on behalf of the cut flower producers in Canada.

The fact of the matter is that the United States has slowed down the movement of cut flowers across the border because of its perceived concern over origin, which should not be a concern at all. The CFIA and USDA met on October 7 and they will be meeting this Saturday to try to resolve the issue. We are working on it with the objective of resolving it to the satisfaction of the cut flower producers.

RefugeesOral Question Period

3 p.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

Yesterday the Canadian Council for Refugees stated that Canada's private refugee sponsorship program is in serious trouble. Processing delays mean that many refugees are being put at risk as they wait in situations of extreme insecurity, violence and poverty. Canadian sponsors are frustrated because they are ready and willing to welcome them.

Does the minister find it acceptable that many of these vulnerable refugees wait for 28 to 32 months for their applications to be processed?

RefugeesOral Question Period

3 p.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Judy Sgro LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, may I congratulate the hon. member on his election and his appointment as the critic for immigration.

We need to applaud the many Canadians who are sponsoring refugees from around the world. CIC continues to work with international organizations on uniting people in refugee camps with Canadian families who want to sponsor them.

Louise PargeterOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. Discussions have taken place between the representatives of all the parties in this House, and there is consent for the hon. members to rise now.

We will observe a minute of silence to commemorate Louise Pargeter, a parole officer with the Correctional Service of Canada in Yellowknife, who died in the line of duty on October 6, 2004.

[The House stood in silence]

Presence in GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

I wish to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of the Hon. Geoff Plant, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Treaty Negotiations for British Columbia.

Presence in GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Points of OrderOral Question Period

October 14th, 2004 / 3 p.m.

Conservative

John Reynolds Conservative West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Canadian Heritage, in her answers to colleagues on this side of the House, stated that she was reading, quoting, from a document or a speech. I would ask her to table that document.

Points of OrderOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Jeanne-Le Ber Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, first of all, it is on the website, so it is public. If the member wants us to give him a copy, we will give him a copy.

Points of OrderOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

John Reynolds Conservative West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister was quoting. She had the document in her hands. I would like it tabled now, not later. I would like what she was quoting from tabled immediately.

Points of OrderOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

The minister has indicated she is going to table the document. She will get a full copy and table it in the House, and I think that is a reasonable request.

Points of OrderOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the Gomery commission is an independent commission. We have provided them with all the documentation that they have requested. As well, we provided documents to Parliament through the public accounts committee that they requested last spring. I can assure the hon. member that all requests that are made by the public accounts committee in the future will be responded to fully. To conclude, we are being completely open and transparent to Parliament and to the Gomery commission in these proceedings.

Business of the HouseOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

John Reynolds Conservative West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, before I ask the Thursday question, I would like to be assured by you that the minister, before she leaves the House, will be tabling that document. Those are the rules we live by in the House. I would like to make sure she will do that and I would like an answer before we leave here.

Mr. Speaker, while you are thinking about that, I would like to ask the government House leader if he could advise the House what the business is for the rest of today and tomorrow, whether there are any new bills coming in before next week, and what we will be doing next week in the way of business.

Business of the HouseOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I am sure that the minister will table the document at the first available opportunity.

With respect to the business going forward, this afternoon, tomorrow and Monday, we will continue with second reading of Bill C-5, which is on learning bonds, followed by second reading of Bill C-6, which is establishing the department of public safety; second reading of Bill C-3 which is the Coast Guard bill; second reading of Bill C-7 respecting national parks; second reading of Bill C-8 creating the public service human resources agency; and second reading of Bill C-4, which is the international air protocol bill.

There will, as the House knows, be divisions at 3 p.m. on Monday.

Tuesday and Wednesday will be the last two days of debate on the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne, and Thursday will be an allotted day.

Points of OrderOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Gerald Keddy Conservative South Shore—St. Margaret's, NS

Mr. Speaker, yesterday during question period there was some discussion between the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and myself about the sponsorship program. During that discussion and in answer to a question, the Minister of Public Works mentioned the member from South Shore. What he actually stated when he was talking about the sponsorship program was:

The fact is all MPs were aware of this program. All MPs across Canada from all political parties received support from that program--

The fact is that the sponsorship program, at its beginning stages, was a for Liberals only program. It may have sent money into opposition-held ridings but those moneys were not accessible to members of the opposition because there was no way we could know about the program. It was a secret program in its beginning years.

Furthermore, sponsorship moneys that did come into the South Shore were not accessed through my office. I was not aware that the sponsorship program had been accessed at all until the access for information that brought the Bluenose debacle to light.

For the Minister of Public Works to say that all members of Parliament, including myself, were aware of this program is just patently false and, I feel, misleads Parliament. I am very certain that is not what the Minister responsible for Public Works intended to do.

Again, contrary to what the Minister of Public Works has stated, that “all MPs were aware”, there was no way that I was aware of this program. I would like your intervention, Mr. Speaker, to seek redress on this issue.

The minister was incorrect in his statement in this House and specifically mentioned me. It is only fair and, I believe, in keeping with the parliamentary tradition, that he correct his statement.

Points of OrderOral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for South Shore—St. Margaret's and, in fact, I support the same principle, that when members of Parliament say something in the House that is wrong they should correct it.

However the fact is that I did not say anything that was wrong because yesterday the hon. member raised a point of order saying that I had misled the House. In fact that was not true, and he can check Hansard to verify that.

Today he said that he was not aware of the sponsorship program, which I find curious because I have a letter dated October 30, 2003 to the then minister of public works, and the member is writing on behalf of the South Shore exhibition in my constituency, his constituency in fact, concerning its application to the Canada sponsorship program.

I am really curious how the hon. member can say that he was not aware of the sponsorship program, a program of the Government of Canada, that all members of Parliament doing their work ought to have been aware of, when in fact he was writing letters to the minister of public works seeking support for organizations in his riding.