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House of Commons Hansard #5 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was federal.

Topics

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of National Defence

Naturally, Mr. Speaker, everything having to do with these submarines was reviewed by the navy before recommending their purchase. It was well known that these were submarines already in service in Great Britain, and we wanted to purchase them because it was a good thing to do at the time.

So, this was done based on recommendations by the navy, which was perfectly aware of all aspects of these submarines, from every point of view.

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, we also know that, 10 months ago, a report was produced by the Canadian army in connection with the four submarines, stating that they were fully operational. Clearly, they were not.

Given the present dramatic situation, does the Minister of National Defence not think it would be much wiser to include in his investigation not only HMCS Chicoutimi , but the other three submarines as well?

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the investigation concerning HMCS Chicoutimi will have an impact on the other submarines. The Canadian Forces conduct investigations into any incident that occurs. In due course, they will take corrective action which will apply fleet-wide, to all the equipment involved.

That is how it should be. The security of our personnel is the primary concern of our military leaders, and that will not change.

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Question Period

October 8th, 2004 / 11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, the plan that has recently been announced regarding the RCMP's redeployment in Quebec is producing some odd results.

In order to better protect our border, police officers are being moved farther away from it. In order to better fight organized crime in the remote areas where it moved to escape the close surveillance given it in the big cities, police officers are being removed from those areas. The regional listening posts essential to effective policing have been removed.

Before making the same error that was made in 1997, when police officers were withdrawn from international airports and harbours, which had to be remedied in 2001, does the minister not think there should be a moratorium before—

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

The Speaker

I am sorry to interrupt the hon. member. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Etobicoke North Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, there has been no reduction in strength of the RCMP in that division. Like other organizations, the RCMP regularly examines its programs to ensure the best possible use of its resources.

This is an operational matter for the RCMP. I remind the member opposite that this same review was done in the late 1990s in the province of Ontario.

This is a redeployment. There is no change in the number of RCMP in Quebec. This will make the force more efficient and more effective.

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, the problem is that the number of police officers may be the same but they are not in the right places. This opinion is shared by elected officials at all levels of government and in all parties in this House.

It seems that the RCMP in Quebec is not up to full strength. Would it not be a good idea to have the new standing committee on national security examine this issue, and in the meantime, establish a moratorium?

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Etobicoke North Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, our study includes lengthy consultations with these partners in law enforcement, including the Sûreté du Québec, both internally and externally.

As with all other programs, the RCMP's requirements in Quebec will continue to be reviewed to ensure that its federal law enforcement mandate can be met.

I know that there are members on this side of the House who have brought this matter forward. It is an operational matter for the RCMP. As I said earlier, it increases the effectiveness and the efficiency of the RCMP in that province.

Government AppointmentsOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, when the Prime Minister announced new guidelines for senior appointments to crown corporations, he pledged “This culture of change that we are bringing to Ottawa is not some exercise in political grandstanding”.

He said that positions would be advertised, a recruiting firm hired to screen applicants, and a parliamentary review before any appointment. Then along came the revenue minister with good buddy Gordon Feeney in tow and the rules were vaporized.

Why did the Prime Minister permit his new rules and his word to be so quickly broken?

Government AppointmentsOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Markham—Unionville Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Feeney was appointed for one reason alone and that is his competence. He was judged to be competent by the board of directors of Canada Post in terms of both business acumen and a record of public service, for example, as chair of the public policy forum.

I acceded to that view that he was competent as did the cabinet. If opposition members, through a parliamentary committee, wish to interview him and have evidence of incompetence, let them come forward.

Government AppointmentsOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians expect their Prime Minister to have something to say for himself when it appears that his word to them is no good. They cannot believe a leader would just cravenly hide behind another Liberal when he is caught red-handed breaking his word to them.

He promised genuine change, but then is quietly up to the same old Liberal cronyism. How can he betray his solemn promises to Canadians so badly? Let him speak.

Government AppointmentsOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Government AppointmentsOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. President of the Treasury Board has the floor. Hon. members will want to hear his comments.

Government AppointmentsOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Winnipeg South Manitoba

Liberal

Reg Alcock LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, it is important to point out that the commitment the Prime Minister made was that all of his appointees would be examined by parliamentary committees to which the organization is assigned.

The minister has committed to do that. In fact, I would invite the member to go there and examine the candidate's qualifications. I will be interested to see what concerns the opposition has having done that. The appointment is not finalized until such time as that process has taken place.

Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Bev Oda Conservative Clarington—Scugog—Uxbridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the heritage minister said that her predecessor's speech at the Banff festival was about Banff. This is not the case. Not once in that speech did she even mention the festival. It is not the duty of the heritage minister to give a Liberal stump speech at Banff.

Will the Prime Minister force his party to pay back the $55,000 of taxpayers' dollars used on this trip?

Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Jeanne-Le Ber Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate my opponent and my critic, and tell her that I really look forward to working with her.

Going back to Banff, as she knows, the Banff television festival is, like I said yesterday, one of the major if not the event of Canada in television and new media.

The minister, because she was still a minister even if it was election time, had to go there. She delivered a speech and talked about television, talked about Canadian content, and also talked about the importance of the CRTC. I am sure that all members will agree that--

Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Durham.

Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Bev Oda Conservative Clarington—Scugog—Uxbridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Banff festival is not only Canada's festival, it is an international festival. That is why we are raising questions. It was not government business. It was a Liberal election stop.

Why does the minister's press release about Banff not appear on the heritage department website but only on the Liberal Party website? Can the minister explain that?

Canadian HeritageOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Jeanne-Le Ber Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the minister was in Banff to deliver a speech, like my critic said, at the most important television festival, not only in Canada but also international. Her presence was mandatory. Next year we will go to the Banff festival and deliver a speech saying to all that television and Canadian content, and the CRTC are imperative to promote Canadian culture.

I am sure that all members will agree.

Access to InformationOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Justice. Recently the Information Commissioner tabled his annual report. In this new era of openness and transparency, what did he have to say about the government's record, especially in comparison to previous administrations?

Access to InformationOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question and welcome him to the House.

The Information Commissioner recognized the positive steps that the government has taken in matters of transparency and openness. In fact, he acknowledged that the government has overcome, as he put it, the secrecy addiction of previous governments.

As well, I want to note that the number of complaints relating to delays in matters of access decreased and less than 10% of access results resulted in complaints. Of those complaints investigated by the Information Commissioner, only 1% were not resolved to his satisfaction.

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am glad to see that the Minister of National Defence has backed off the idea that there is no role for parliamentarians in reviewing the sub program because the other day he said it was strictly a matter for military inquiry.

I would ask the Prime Minister if he might also have a change of mind with respect to addressing the democratic deficit.

I say to the right hon. Prime Minister, if he is so convinced that there is no weaponization of space involved in the national missile defence program, why will he not allow members of his caucus to show that they are equally so convinced and allow them to vote on any decision taken by the Prime Minister?

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker,--

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

I didn't ask you a question, I asked the Prime Minister.

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

The Speaker

The Minister of National Defence has the floor.