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House of Commons Hansard #33 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was sports.

Topics

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government has made it very clear that we have no intention of participating in star wars. We are against the weaponization of space. That is the government's position and it is one to which we will stick.

Whether it is the troops that we have sent to Haiti in order to maintain the peace, or whether it is the capacity building, the institution building that we are looking at in Haiti and in Afghanistan along with our troops, or whether it is the very active role that we have played in Africa and will continue to play, this government does understand that a country like Canada has very important responsibilities outside of its border.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I repeat that the government and the Prime Minister are completely off track. If he knows anything about star wars, he knows that there are plans already to put 304 interceptors in place. The company behind that is Lockheed Martin, which is doing our census.

Does the Prime Minister think that the former prime minister did the right thing in giving our census to Lockheed Martin, the largest munitions company in the world? If that were the wrong decision, is he willing to cancel that contract and bring it back to Canada?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the census was awarded to Lockheed Martin Canada after a competitive competition with all of the safeguards that would be in place with whichever company was engaged to provide this service.

Members opposite can be assured that the private information of Canadians will be totally secure and that value for money will be received through a competitive process with a Canadian-based company.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Canadian Alliance Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, on March 17 the Prime Minister informed the Quebec City Chamber of Commerce, “And I can promise that any hint of abuse will be swiftly investigated”, yet his judicial inquiry will not get going until September.

His Liberal majority on the parliamentary committee has blocked production of the Gagliano papers. To divert attention from this gross interference with a full investigation, Liberals have now been instructed to attack the committee chair.

Why does the Prime Minister make public promises only to betray them?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the government has taken unprecedented action and put into place processes unknown in Canadian history, from the release of cabinet documents and confidences, to the setting up of a public inquiry, to participating in the public accounts, to appointing a special counsel for financial recovery, to internal audits, to forensic audits, to referrals to the RCMP, and to referrals to the Auditor General.

The only process that is not working, because of the intransigence of members opposite and their chair, is the public accounts committee in refusing to allow the testimony of Chuck Guité to become public.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Canadian Alliance Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals control every committee of the House because they have a majority on every committee of the House. Guess who huddles with the Liberal majority during breaks at the committee studying the sponsorship program? The Prime Minister's own assistants, that is who, giving Liberal members their marching orders. His personal media spokesperson is out in front of the cameras after committee, giving the media the PM's own spin.

Why is the Prime Minister trying to discredit the committee chair, when the truth is the Liberal majority is being orchestrated by the Prime Minister himself?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, no one on this side is discrediting the work of the public accounts committee. People on this side have just simply suggested that if members opposite and members of the public accounts committee, chaired by an hon. member opposite, would like to release the documents, they can with the full respect of this side particularly, and starting with Chuck Guité's in camera testimony.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Canadian Alliance Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, what is unknown in Canadian history is this level of corruption from a government. We want to get to the bottom of it.

How dare the Prime Minister try to use the old Liberal tactic of deflecting, as though the chair of the public accounts committee were guilty of the stolen millions. It was Liberals and Liberal friends.

Why are they trying to smear the chairman of the public accounts committee? Why are they trying to shut down the public accounts inquiry before we get to the bottom of this?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, no one on this side of the House is attempting to smear the chair of the public accounts committee. The word “smear” does come to mind, though, when we hear from the chair of the public accounts committee the other day that he would not be satisfied until he sees people in jail. For the chair of a fact finding process to treat--

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

An hon. member

Without due process.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Stephen Owen Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

For the chair of the public accounts committee or any committee of the House or any process that the House is involved with to prejudge an issue and to then pretend it is still a fact finding exercise--

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Calgary Southeast.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Canadian Alliance Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have news for this minister: Canadians will not be satisfied until they see people taken to jail for stealing from the public treasury.

Why is it that the Liberals on the committee do not want us to have the opportunity to question Chuck Guité in person, live, before going to the polls? We will release his testimony the day he comes before the committee to tell the truth and to answer questions. Why the cover-up? Why do they not want us to get to the bottom of--

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Public Works and Government Services.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, members on this side are very anxious and certainly the government is trying in every way possible to get to the bottom and the truth of this matter, to hold those who are responsible to account, and to ensure that it never happens again. It is an unprecedented series of processes in place to ensure that.

If we are talking about guilt and jail and financial recovery, then let us look to the civil processes that have been set up. Let us look to the RCMP investigations. If there is evidence of wrongdoing that should send one to jail, surely we would want to involve the RCMP.

HealthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is obvious that the federal contribution to health care funding is clearly insufficient. We also know that Ottawa imposes more restrictions on Quebec today than it did when it was paying a larger share of the bill.

Will the Minister of Health admit that the federal government has not only reduced its funding of the health system, but it has also created more bureaucracy by adding more red tape?

HealthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, what Canadians are interested in is knowing what our government is prepared to do, in partnership with the provinces, to find long-term solutions. What we need is a plan.

Yesterday, I heard the Quebec Minister of Finance say that, in fact, it was not just a question of funding for health, but that reforms were needed. That was the Quebec Minister of Finance who said that yesterday, when presenting his own budget.

We agree that we must work together and develop a plan with practical and lasting solutions.

HealthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, what the Liberal health minister of Quebec said in the National Assembly was that there is no new money for health.

My question is for the Minister of Health. Can he give a yes or no answer to the people of Quebec? Does his budget include new money for health? That is not what the Liberal finance minister said in the National Assembly.

HealthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, there was $2 billion for the health care system in the budget presented by the Minister of Finance last week. There was $665 million for the Canada public health agency, including $400 million for better vaccination programs that will be backed up by the provinces.

HealthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

HealthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

An hon. member

Stop your yapping.

HealthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Liberal Papineau—Saint-Denis, QC

We understand very well. The hon. member for Rimouski--Neigette-et-la Mitis explained it very well the other day. She said that the Bloc is a watchdog; it is there to bark. It can bark, but we are working toward practical solutions. We want to avoid having Quebeckers sleeping in the doghouse. We invite the people of Quebec inside the house with the masters of the house.

The BudgetOral Question Period

March 31st, 2004 / 2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the budget brought down by Quebec's Minister of Finance is a convincing illustration of the impact on Quebec's public finances of the fiscal imbalance between the federal government, the provinces and Quebec.

Will the Minister of Finance admit that his recent budget has had a harmful effect on the finances of Quebec and the provinces, as Yves Séguin has said? That is the truth.

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased that Quebec's budget documents show that equalization changes flow not from cuts from the federal government but from the functioning of the existing formula. I am pleased that Quebec has acknowledged federal assistance and flexibility in managing equalization going forward, and I am pleased that Quebec has been able to increase its spending, cut its taxes and declare 2003-04 in balance.

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is true that equalization reform was announced in the recent federal budget, but according to Mr. Séguin—and this is also true—the shortfalls Quebec has been denouncing for 20 years are unfortunately still present.

Is the Minister of Finance aware that the changes unilaterally imposed on the provinces and Quebec will cause further deterioration in the public finances of the provinces and Quebec?