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House of Commons Hansard #30 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was elections.

Topics

HealthOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Gerry Byrne LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we remain committed to the Canada Health Act. We will remain vigilant to the principles of the Canada Health Act. We will continue to enforce the Canada Health Act and will remain so.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gerry Ritz Canadian Alliance Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister keeps claiming he grilled his recycled cabinet about its knowledge of or involvement in the sponsorship campaign. We now know the President of the Privy Council failed his polygraph test.

Either the Prime Minister, who defends this minister, or the President of the Privy Council himself is misleading Canadians. Which one is it?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, these allegations are quite uncalled for and quite out of keeping with the traditions of the House.

The fact is that the hon. member has in no way misled either the Prime Minister or the House on this matter and allegations to the contrary simply demean the opposition and demean every member of this chamber.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gerry Ritz Canadian Alliance Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, we are all used to the member for Bourassa feigning indignation, but now it is spreading down the front bench. Whenever he gets caught omitting the facts, he just goes over the top. He was screaming wildly last year when he denied he even knew Claude Boulay of Groupe Everest. Then it turned out he lived in Boulay's condo for a while.

Is the President of the Privy Council indignant again because he forgot to mention he was up to his neck in the sponsorship scandal or is he angry again because he got caught?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, it would be helpful if this hon. member stuck a lot closer to the truth. The fact is that the hon. minister in question clearly stated that he had never spoken to Mr. Guité and accusations to the contrary are quite uncalled for and untrue.

Second, he was equally clear that he did in fact speak with Mr. Tremblay, but he was responsible for amateur sport and that was the appropriate thing for the amateur sport minister to do. One can hardly fault the minister for doing his job effectively and doing it in accordance with the rules.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Canadian Alliance Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, after denying that he enjoyed Claude Boulay's hospitality it came out that the President of the Privy Council stayed at chez Boulay of Groupe Everest. Then, after denying he had anything to do with the sponsorship scandal operation, yesterday we found out that he was intervening and exercising political interference to get contracts out of that operation.

I would like to know, did the President of the Privy Council interfere to get contracts that ended up going to the ad scam firm Groupe Everest? I would like to know.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, time after time we have answered questions on this particular point and the fact is that no matter how often opposition members misrepresent the facts in their preambles to their questions, their questions show clearly they do not have a single issue with the government on the issue of the budget or any other aspect for Canadians.

They simply go back to question after question based on preambles which they know are not factual. Why do we not get down to factual issues that are important to Canadians?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Canadian Alliance Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, this minister, like this government, oozes arrogance.

Here are facts. Groupe Everest was involved in the ad scam. Groupe Everest took money from Canadian taxpayers and did not provide anything in return, and this minister, the President of the Privy Council, is a friend of and owes something to the president of Groupe Everest, Claude Boulay.

We would like to know, and maybe he could tell us, whether or not any of the contracts he lobbied for end up in the hands of Groupe Everest, yes or no? Why does he not answer?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we have here once again a skilful mixture of some fact and total fiction in an attempt to smear the reputation of an hon. member of this House. I honestly wish the opposition would recognize how much damage it does to confidence in Canadian democracy by this scurrilous and underhanded approach.

St. Lawrence SeawayOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Tuesday the member for Lévis-et-Chutes-de-la-Chaudière questioned his Liberal colleague, the Minister of Transport, about whether the government was in favour of the widening of the St. Lawrence Seaway. The minister said no.

How can the Minister of Transport deny that the government is seriously considering this project, when Richard Corfe, the president of the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation himself, says exactly the opposite?

St. Lawrence SeawayOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Scarborough—Agincourt Ontario

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the question that my hon. colleague across the way brings forth was discussed in the committee. The answers were given clearly.

St. Lawrence SeawayOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary should read La Presse , because it contains an article in which the president of the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation quite simply states the exact opposite of what he just said.

If the minister refuses to disclose the government's true intentions with regard to the widening of the St. Lawrence Seaway, is it not because of the serious environmental damage this project could do to the river, in addition to seriously compromising Montreal's advantage as a container ship port?

St. Lawrence SeawayOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Scarborough—Agincourt Ontario

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the environment is something I am really concerned about. Not only must we be stewards of the environment today, we must make sure that we are stewards of the environment tomorrow. The hon. member has received the answer time and time again and he goes back to fiction, reinventing the wheel.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

March 26th, 2004 / 11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canada has requested an exemption from the Montreal protocol to protect the ozone layer, in order to continue using one of the most damaging pesticides in this respect, methyl bromide.

Why is Canada reneging on its commitments under the Montreal protocol when researchers confirm that the hole in the ozone layer has never been as big and that the use of this pesticide contributes directly to making the situation worse?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, Canada wants the protocol to be respected. Naturally, discussions are underway on the continuing debates, and as anyone who reads a newspaper knows, some countries do not have exactly the same point of view as Canada.

This is not a question of Canada abandoning its principles. Not at all. We know the importance of protecting the atmosphere, as the hon. member has indicated. We agree with him on the importance of this duty.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, by refusing to enforce the Montreal protocol, this government aligns itself with George Bush, who wants to continue and even increase the use of this dangerous pesticide.

Does the Minister of the Environment not agree that following the American example in this matter amounts to wiping out 15 years of efforts by the international community to protect the ozone layer?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for pointing out that it was another country that really created the problem we are now facing.

If he is asking me whether we are going to follow the Americans on principle, I will tell him that we have serious difficulties with the American position. That is why we are having these talks and discussions, to try to protect the environment of our continent and of the entire world.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Fitzpatrick Canadian Alliance Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, because of serious financial irregularities, Nortel Networks has suspended its chief financial officer. This is the standard and the norm for Canadian corporate governance.

In our parliamentary system, the finance minister is our chief financial officer. When internal government audits revealed the extent of Liberal corruption with the sponsorship program, why was the finance minister at the time not held accountable?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we have gone through this time after time. We have set up a committee of the House, the public accounts committee, which is now examining witnesses and which perhaps has been missed by the hon. member. We have an inquiry under a judge, which is taking place over the summer and into fall. We indeed have an individual who will be looking into recovery of money. We have an RCMP inquiry that has been going on for some two years.

These processes will bring us, we trust, to a full understanding of the problems that there are and that is why we have set them in process and why the former finance minister, now the Prime Minister, is so determined to get to the bottom of these things.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Fitzpatrick Canadian Alliance Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, they have not gone through this enough. Trusting a Liberal government to control and audit its own spending is like trusting the arsonist to come back and put out the fires. This is a sad commentary on the state of our democracy. It is the clearest sign that we have a democratic deficit not only with this old, tired Liberal government, but also with its leader and Prime Minister.

I ask the government again, other than the defence of ignorance, how can the Prime Minister escape responsibility for this government's corruption?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has very clearly taken full responsibility for the concern, getting to the bottom of it, and dealing with this issue.

With regard to the comment made by the hon. member that somehow, as I understood, the auditor would not be able to look into this properly, the Auditor General is doing a good job of looking into it independently. She works at arm's length from the government in that regard.

I really cannot see the slightest evidence out there, provided by the opposition or anybody else, that she is somehow working to protect the government.

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian Alliance Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, the nation of Denmark has laid claim to Canadian territory. Its military, from its warship, hoisted its flag on our arctic territory without permission, without warning, and without any fear of being stopped.

This embarrassing situation shows that the Prime Minister was wrong when he was underfunding our national defence while he was finance minister. He was wrong in not stopping the hemorrhaging of hundreds of millions of dollars in scandal and fraud while he was finance minister, and he is wrong today in leaving Canada exposed and embarrassed.

Why will he not do the right thing and immediately announce there will be a restoration of funding for our navy so it can do its job of keeping our true north strong and free?

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Liberal

David Pratt LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, a significant amount of money has been put into the navy over the last number of years. Since this government took over, significant investments have been made in the armed forces overall.

We have had $3.1 billion in terms of the maritime helicopter project. We have had $700 million in terms of the mobile gun system. We have had $1.3 billion in terms of fixed-wing search and rescue aircraft. We are continuing to rebuild the Canadian Forces.

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian Alliance Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, one military expert said yesterday that all we can do is send a dog team to the Arctic this summer.

The scandal and fraud that has paralyzed this collapsing Liberal regime has left it in utter chaos. The government is now incapable of responding to even its most basic responsibility: the protection of our borders.

The government's utter disarray is underlined by the fact that the scandal has led to the recall of our ambassador to Denmark, the very nation that is challenging our sovereignty.

We want to know, is the government so bogged down in its own scandal damage control that it cannot replace Mr. Gagliano? Or is it secretly keeping that spot open for his eventual return?

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Barrie—Simcoe—Bradford Ontario

Liberal

Aileen Carroll LiberalMinister for International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, Canada has consistently defended its interests in the past and it will continue to do so.

Hans Island constitutes part of the national territory of Canada. No assertion by the Danish ambassador or other Danish officials detracts from the absolute sovereignty that Canada enjoys over Hans Island.