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House of Commons Hansard #18 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agreements.

Topics

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa—Vanier Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger LiberalDeputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has never denied knowing that the sponsorship program existed. All members in this House, including many of the hon. member's colleagues opposite, knew about the program. The issue is whether things were going badly with the program or whether it was being mismanaged. As soon as the Auditor General's report was tabled in this House, the Prime Minister called for a commission of inquiry to get to the bottom of this matter. That is what we are doing. We recommend that the hon. members opposite be a little patient and allow the commission to do its work and come to its own conclusions.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Louise Thibault Bloc Rimouski—Témiscouata, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, in response to my question, the Minister of Public Works assured us that his department is now guided by values such as openness, fairness and transparency.

Since he wants to be transparent, I have a very simple question for him. Where is the $620,000 logo?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa—Vanier Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger LiberalDeputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the issue of how the program was administered is now before the commission of inquiry. This commission has all the power to consult anyone it wants and all the documentation it has received. It will then draw its conclusions. It is important that we, in this House, give the commission time to do its job, however long it takes. When we receive the commission's conclusions and recommendations, we will take action.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Louise Thibault Bloc Rimouski—Témiscouata, QC

Nevertheless, Mr. Speaker, department officials seem to be unable to locate the logo, this very expensive logo. May I venture a suggestion to the minister? Perhaps he should look around the shredder. He might have better luck.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa—Vanier Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger LiberalDeputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, we note the member's suggestion. Still, I maintain that there is a commission of inquiry with the mandate and the power to conduct an in-depth investigation in this whole issue of the administration of the program. Let us give the commission a chance to do its job, to hear whomever it wants, and allow these people to testify. The commission will draw its conclusions and made recommendations, and we will take note of that too.

IndustryOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Ed Broadbent NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

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

In today's Globe and Mail , Harry Wu, a leading expert on human rights in China, has revealed that Minmetals, as recently as the 1990s, was exporting metals produced by forced labour from that country.

Is the minister aware of this abominable practice, and if so, will he assure us that Minmetals will not be allowed to take over Noranda until its history is thoroughly investigated?

IndustryOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I am aware of the story. I read the story myself.

In the event, and it is hypothetical at this stage, that we do get an application by Minmetals to take over Noranda, we will review it from all perspectives.

We will ensure that the interests of Canada are protected, short term and long term, and that Canada's record of protecting and promoting human rights remains unassailable.

IndustryOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Ed Broadbent NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, considering that since 1985 over 1,100 takeover bids have been allowed to go through without serious review, and considering that the foreign minister of China himself has announced his intention to take over much more of our resources, will the minister refer the Foreign Investment Review Act to the industry committee for examination and toughening?

Canadians are not abused at work in Canada and do not expect to be associated with the abuse of workers abroad.

IndustryOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I have a hunch that the Foreign Investment Review Act was repealed in 1985 and the act the hon. member is referring to is the Investment Canada Act.

This is all hypothetical. There are an infinite number of hypothetical questions about who might take over whom in Canada.

We will undertake to ensure that reviews are comprehensive. If the industry committee or other parliamentarians have views, we would be very happy to include those views where they are helpful to the cause of Canadians on this file.

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

Rob Moore Conservative Fundy, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's approach to dealing with Atlantic Canada is nothing short of insulting.

Yesterday the Prime Minister's communications director threatened Newfoundland and Labrador and implied that its premier was not telling the truth. When our former Prime Minister's communications director called the U.S. President a moron, our current Prime Minister's supporters demanded that she be fired.

When will the Prime Minister's communications director be fired for insulting and threatening Newfoundlanders?

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, there was no insult and no threat intended toward Newfoundland, the people of Newfoundland or the Premier of Newfoundland. The remark was inappropriate. The remark was withdrawn and apologized for very promptly.

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, if there was no insult, why was there an apology?

The Prime Minister's communications director is on the record insulting a sitting premier. Françoise Ducros' comments of this type resulted in her termination. The Prime Minister's own words at the time were that he found it hard to believe a senior official in the government would say such a thing.

All Canadians are embarrassed and will not tolerate inaction on this issue. Will the Prime Minister's communications director be fired today?

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, what the Government of Canada is doing today, yesterday, tomorrow, through the weekend and next week is working very hard with Nova Scotia and Newfoundland to arrive at a solution that works for them in terms of their offshore resources, so that together we can continue to build a stronger Canada.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

October 29th, 2004 / 11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Conservative Niagara West—Glanbrook, ON

Mr. Speaker, in an open letter from Mr. Gagliano, which has nothing to do with the Gomery inquest but everything to do with the Prime Minister's knowledge of the sponsorship scandal, he said that all ministers supported the strategy and the direction of the sponsorship program, including members of cabinet.

When the Prime Minister was asked why he did nothing to address the problem while he was finance minister, he said he had no idea what was going on here.

The Prime Minister has continued to dodge questions from the opposition. Will he now respond to his own former cabinet colleague?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, once again let me make it very clear, and this has been said many times in the House, there was obviously knowledge on all sides of the House and by members of all parties about the existence of a sponsorship program.

Hon. members opposite say it was not true. Indeed, they made representations to the government to promote projects within the sponsorship program.

The issue here is, did members of Parliament know that there was a program? Yes. Did members of the government know that the rules of the program were being violated? No.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Jeremy Harrison Conservative Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, on February 11, 2004, the Prime Minister told the Ottawa Sun , “I didn't know anything about it” in reference to the sponsorship program. Today we find out, from none other than Alfonso Gagliano, that the PM actually approved the sponsorship program in 1996.

Canadians deserve the truth. When will the PM come clean about what he knew and when he knew it?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, again the hon. gentleman is drawing the wrong conclusion. The Prime Minister has clearly said that yes, members of the government, members of the opposition, and all members of Parliament knew that there was a sponsorship program. It was a public program of the Government of Canada.

Did members of the government, members of the opposition, and members of Parliament know that the rules of that program might have been violated? No. That is the salient point. That is what no one had knowledge of until the audits were made public.

Mirabel AirportOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, on October 31, passenger flights will be transferred from Mirabel to Dorval. This operation, which was estimated to cost $185 million, according to ADM, is now up to $1.1 billion, and the meter is still running.

Now that the government has allowed passenger flights to be transferred to Dorval, can it at least partially correct the error by keeping all options open, for instance maintaining the facilities now at Mirabel in proper operating condition ?

Mirabel AirportOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Ottawa—Vanier Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger LiberalDeputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, we take note of my colleague's question. I will make sure that it is passed on to the Minister of Transport, who will be pleased to reply to the hon. member directly, and that will certainly be done in the coming week.

Mirabel AirportOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, for the benefit of the minister, a promise was made to keep the charter flights at Mirabel, and now they have been transferred to Dorval.

In this context, can the minister guarantee that he is not preparing to also transfer cargo flights to Dorval?

Mirabel AirportOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Markham—Unionville Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I have taken note of the question. I will be in touch with the Minister of Transport, who will I am sure have the information requested.

Aerospace IndustryOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Sébastien Gagnon Bloc Jonquière—Alma, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government has just announced that it will underwrite Air Canada's purchase of 45 regional jets built by Bombardier. However, the company is still waiting for the federal proposal that will enable it to design and manufacture its new generation of aircraft right here, rather than in the United States or the United Kingdom.

Since there are only a few weeks left before Bombardier announces its final decision on the manufacturing location for its newest aircraft, when is the government going to let us know what it proposes? There are thousands of jobs at stake.

Aerospace IndustryOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I am glad to hear that the hon. member does support going forward, on an accelerated basis, with an aerospace strategy for all of Canada. This is more than just Bombardier. It is about a whole industry, a whole sector, and we intend to ensure that the aerospace sector remains one of the leading sectors in the Canadian economy.

Aerospace IndustryOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Sébastien Gagnon Bloc Jonquière—Alma, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government never stops saying how important the aerospace industry is. If it is so important, why is the government so reluctant to develop and make public a coherent policy of support for the entire aerospace industry?

Aerospace IndustryOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I am working with my ministerial counterparts in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario, as well as the industry. We are working directly with Bombardier. We have not missed any deadlines. We will continue to ensure that we build a strong competitive aerospace industry in this country.