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House of Commons Hansard #4 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was producers.

Topics

Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Rahim Jaffer Conservative Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, during the election campaign, former Minister of Canadian Heritage Hélène Scherrer flew to the Banff television festival in a Challenger jet, which ended up costing the taxpayer $55,000. During her time in Banff, she gave a speech that had but one purpose: to discredit the leader of the Conservative party. This was a purely partisan expenditure.

Why then was this trip paid for out of public funds?

Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Ms. Scherrer accepted the invitation in early January 2004, or in other words well before the election call. The festival took place in June. Ms. Scherrer gave a speech. No partisan event was held.

Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Rahim Jaffer Conservative Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would invite the Prime Minister to recheck that speech. It was overly partisan and way out of line. Héléne Scherrer and the Liberal Party broke the election financing law by having the taxpayers pay for her election speech in Banff. Now she has a plum patronage job as the Prime Minister's principal secretary. The Liberal Party policy seems to be: break the law and get rewarded.

Will the Prime Minister end this Liberal cycle of corruption immediately and force his party to pay back the expenses of this trip?

Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Jeanne-Le Ber Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the Banff festival is the most important festival for Canadian television and new media. It was the role and duty of the Minister of Canadian Heritage to attend, particularly as she had been invited back on January 9. As far as I know, we are still ministers, even during an election campaign.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, once again, the lives of members of our armed forces have been put in jeopardy, as evidenced by the tragic events that recently unfolded on the submarine HMCS Chicoutimi .

Since there is still potential risk, could the Minister of National Defence tell us about the measures that military authorities intend to take to ensure the safety of the submariners who are still adrift along the coast of Ireland?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, it goes without saying that all the members of this House are concerned about the fate of our brave submariners aboard the HMSC Chicoutimi . I can assure the House that these people are professionals. The British navy is there to help. Our own navy has dispatched another ship to the scene.

I can assure the House that every possible measure has been taken. I hope to soon be able to report that these brave men have made it back safely and that we can determine the causes of this serious accident.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, considering that the four submarines have been experiencing a great many problems since they were bought, will the minister ensure that all necessary corrective measures will be taken before these four submarines are deemed to be operational, even if it means docking them until then?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, this is precisely why, this morning, I asked the head of navy what measures they were taking. He assured me that the other three submarines are operational. Of course, the navy, the air force and the army always try to figure out the causes of every accident, to decide what to do with our equipment. I trust their professionalism. They will find the causes of the accident and we will make sure that it does not happen again.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

HealthOral Question Period

October 7th, 2004 / 2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Fletcher Conservative Charleswood—St. James, MB

Mr. Speaker, I thank everyone for that warm introduction. I have to say, however, that I do not think the government side will be applauding after I ask my first question.

This question is for the Minister of Health. This week the minister said that the Government of Ontario should account for how it spent the additional $83 million funded by the federal government to care for hepatitis C victims. Is that not ironic, the minister providing advice on accountability?

When will the government be accountable for all the victims who were affected by hepatitis C, not just those on the existing list who qualified for compensation?

HealthOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we provided over $1.1 billion which is in a trust fund for the post-1986 and pre-1990 victims. We provided over $300 million to all the different provinces to deal with the pre-1986 and post-1990 victims. The fact is that the government has provided close to $1.6 billion all together in those two programs for all the victims in this particular situation. This is obviously a very difficult situation. Yes, I can tell Ontario and I can tell the other provinces that--

HealthOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia.

HealthOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Fletcher Conservative Charleswood—St. James, MB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind the Minister of Health that people are suffering and this babble is not helping.

According to the original agreement, the provinces do not have to account for this money until next year.

Will the health minister ask the other provincial governments to account for how they spent their share of the money ahead of the scheduled reporting date?

HealthOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, yes, I will ask them for accountability. As per the agreement, the accountability will be some time in 2007.

I have stated my preferences. When there are very serious questions being asked by people who are suffering and people who have suffered injuries, the answers should come now so that their concerns are satisfied and Canadians' concerns are satisfied.

Yes, I am asking them to be accountable.

InfrastructureOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Alan Tonks Liberal York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Speech from the Throne broadly outlined the government's plan for a new deal for cities and communities. The Minister of State for Infrastructure and Communities has pursued an exhaustive consultation with stakeholders, for which he is to be congratulated.

Would the Minister of State for Infrastructure and Communities please provide the House with more detail on the gas tax and when municipalities across the country can expect to see the money flow?

InfrastructureOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Don Valley West Ontario

Liberal

John Godfrey LiberalMinister of State (Infrastructure and Communities)

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the House that during the election campaign, and confirmed in the Speech from the Throne, we indicated that we would provide $5 billion for sustainable infrastructure over the next five years.

The amounts will start to flow with budget 2005. We will begin on a modest ramp but it will spike up in the fifth year to $2 billion. That money will flow to the provinces as soon as we have completed negotiations with the provinces and discussions with the municipalities which will allow us to go forward.

Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Conservative Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister just excused and dismissed the $55,000 Challenger trip of his principal secretary to give an exclusively partisan speech right in the middle of the national campaign because she booked it back in January.

If she was interested in representing the government's cultural policy, she could have done that legitimately as a minister but she did not. She went there as a Liberal attack dog. Every line in that speech was a partisan line.

How can the Prime Minister defend his principal secretary spending $55,000 of tax dollars in violation of the Elections Act--

Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Canadian Heritage.

Canadian HeritageOral 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, I have the invitation right here. It is an invitation dated January 7. It was her role and her duty to be at the festival--

Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The minister is right beside me and I cannot hear her because of all the noise. We are entitled to some silence so the member can hear the answer. The member for Calgary Southeast has to hear the answer for a supplementary.

Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Liza Frulla Liberal Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Banff festival is a most important festival in audio, visual and television. It was her duty to be there.

As for the speech, she gave a speech at the Banff festival pertaining to the Banff festival. It was her duty to be there and she accepted the invitation on January 7.

Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Conservative Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, she has the invitation but I have the speech. It was not her duty to go there and give a partisan screed. That is not the job of a minister of the crown, certainly not at taxpayers' expense.

She had the bad judgment to abuse public funds, to violate the Elections Act and the Prime Minister has had the bad judgment to appoint her as principal secretary.

Will he call that person on the carpet and insist that the Liberal Party repay the public for the $55,000 that was misspent?

Canadian HeritageOral 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, I do have to repeat that Madam Scherrer was Minister of Canadian Heritage. She had the obligation and the duty to be at the Banff film festival, which is a most important film festival in audio-visual in Canada. She gave a speech at the Banff film festival pertaining to the Banff film festival.

She was a minister during the campaign and it was her duty as a minister to be a minister during an electoral campaign.