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House of Commons Hansard #22 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was pornography.

Topics

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Canadian Alliance Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, we are all assured the money will be repaid, so when that happens everything will be straight.

The Prime Minister has said that he asked all of his cabinet colleagues whether or not they knew about the ad scam: the Deputy Prime Minister, the current finance minister, the environment minister, all members of this cabinet communications committee. Why did the Prime Minister hide, deny and cover up what he knew about the ad scam?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I can hardly imagine how anyone could suggest that anyone on this side of the House is hiding anything when we have the most extraordinary list of processes to bring light to this subject: the public inquiry, public accounts, RCMP investigations, and a special counsel to recover funds. Nothing could be more open. There is also the tabling of cabinet documents. If the public inquiry wants any confidential cabinet documents related to this issue, the Prime Minister has said that we will produce them. Nothing could be more open.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Canadian Alliance Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister says he can hardly understand. I would invite him to talk to Denis Desautels and I would invite him to talk to Sheila Fraser and perhaps read the report, and maybe he will understand why Canadians do not believe that the government is cleaning up its messes.

The minister also says that the government has nothing to hide. Then why is it that the Prime Minister says to pass a motion, that we will get the information if we pass a motion?

We want leadership from the Prime Minister in being fully open. We want him to go the extra mile and be fully open with all the information rather than hiding it. Why is the Prime Minister failing to show that leadership?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I am sure the hon. member is not suggesting that good governance can take place with throwing the doors open to cabinet documents without properly defining them on this issue.

On this issue, the public accounts committee passed a motion asking for specific documents and they have been tabled; ask for other documents related to the Auditor General's report on these subjects and they will be made available. If there is a request from the public inquiry for any documents, the Prime Minister has said they will be made available.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Roy Bloc Matapédia—Matane, QC

Mr. Speaker, fishers have had to deal with reduced quotas and a moratorium, and, because of this government's incompetence, they were kept in the dark about specific employment insurance programs that were meant for them.

How does the government explain its negligence in denying several hundred fishers from the North Shore benefits they desperately needed?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, it is not a matter of denying workers money they are owed. I answered a similar question yesterday. Necessary measures have been taken to ensure that those whose benefits were cut or those who did not receive the benefits they were entitled to did in fact receive them. Measures have already been taken to give them what they were owed.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Roy Bloc Matapédia—Matane, QC

Mr. Speaker, it was in 1997, 1998 and 1999 that they needed it the most. Hundreds of families suffered extreme losses, while the Bloc Quebecois alerted the government many times about the desperate situation of North Shore fishers.

Does the minister realize that the government's decision to centralize in Ottawa a program designed for the regions caused serious hardship to hundreds of fishers and their families?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we are always aware of life's difficulties. In this case, there was a problem and it was corrected. We are currently implementing measures to prevent similar problems in the future. What exactly is the problem the member wishes to address? Everything has been corrected.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Bloc Rimouski-Neigette-Et-La Mitis, QC

Mr. Speaker, by taking billions of dollars from the employment insurance fund, the federal government has significantly reduced benefits and forced many seasonal workers to face the spring gap.

How can the Prime Minister remain indifferent to the spring gap that is affecting seasonal workers in the regions when, on June 11, in Baie-Saint-Paul, he solemnly pledged to the Sans-Chemise coalition that he would deal with this issue when he became Prime Minister?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, as we indicated in the past, some programs are already in place to deal with issues such as the one that the hon. member just raised.

Also, I would like to point out to the hon. member that regional authorities, provincial authorities and the partners involved in the labour market are trying to find the necessary long term solutions.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Bloc Rimouski-Neigette-Et-La Mitis, QC

Mr. Speaker, in February, on the French CBC program Le Point , the Prime Minister said, in reply to a Tadoussac resident, Marc Loiselle, who is a seasonal worker affected by the spring gap, that the employment insurance reform had been completed.

How can the Prime Minister state that the reform has been completed, considering that he has taken billions of dollars from the employment insurance fund, thus forcing thousands of seasonal workers to face the spring gap?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, nothing could be further from the truth. We already have in place many funds to help seasonal workers.

I would like to point out to the hon. member that, every year, we put more than $600 million at the disposal of the provincial government to help seasonal workers and others in specific communities and specific industries.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy Progressive Conservative South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, six years ago public works wrote a cheque for $2.3 million for the Bluenose. Yesterday, the Minister of Public Works stated that they were in litigation with Lafleur Communications who received the $2.3 million. Public works knew this money disappeared and did nothing until it was caught this past weekend.

Why did the minister take six years to take legal action?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the government became aware from the Bluenose foundation over these past few days that there was money apparently allocated for it that it did not receive.

I have spoken with the chairman of the Bluenose trust this morning and requested that he bring all information forward, both to the RCMP and to the public inquiry, and to us, so we can follow through on the concerns that have been raised.

That is true of every other situation where money allocated for some reason did not seem to have been fully received. So I put it to all people who are in this situation, bring the information forward.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy Progressive Conservative South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, all you had to do was look in your own department. The media has--

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I do not have a department. The hon. member will want to address his remarks through the Chair.

The hon. member for South Shore has the floor. It would be helpful if there was one question instead of 20 and when the minister is answering, it is helpful if it is a little quiet.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy Progressive Conservative South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, the media has printed that CCRA records filed by the Bluenose trust in 1997-98 claimed only $294,000 in income, yet public works shows three separate Bluenose contracts for $2.3 million, $245,000 and $278,000.

How can the Minister of Public Works justify these discrepancies, or does he just look the other way when high profile Liberals are involved?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, far from looking the other way, I phoned the president of the Bluenose trust this morning to discuss with him the concerns that he has raised. We are looking into it. We are not hiding anything.

In fact, nothing could be more open than this ministry in terms of dealing with these types of problems. So, if anyone has information which suggests impropriety or allocated funds that were not received they should bring it forward and we will deal with it.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Canadian Alliance Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, the President of Bluenose has indicated that $2 million may have disappeared out of the $3 million or more allocated to the Bluenose corporation.

Eighteen criminal investigations are ongoing, but none of them is looking into the role of Lafleur Communications in the Bluenose contracts.

Can the minister explain what it is that justifies investigation in other cases, but not in the case of the Bluenose contracts?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, in fact, I have suggested to the chair of the Bluenose trust that information of misappropriated funds should be brought to the attention of the RCMP, to the inquiry that has been set up, and to us as well. We are awaiting those details. This issue has just arisen.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Canadian Alliance Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, in 1997-98, when the Bluenose contract was issued, only prominent Liberals had access to the Liberal slush fund--a prominent Liberal such as Senator Moore, chair of the Bluenose trust foundation.

Is the real reason that the Bluenose contract is not under criminal investigation because it involves prominent Liberals, such as this senator?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure, but I think I may have heard the hon. member make an accusation of perhaps criminal conduct against a member from the other place.

If he has any evidence of such misconduct, he should bring it forward to the RCMP who are investigating anything to do with these matters. That is what we are doing. That is what the Auditor General has done. That is what the hon. member should do.

Research and DevelopmentOral Question Period

March 9th, 2004 / 2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

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

What is the government doing to ensure that Canadian universities have the means to attract and retain the best researchers and the most gifted students in order to train the highly qualified labour force that our economy needs so much?

Research and DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalMinister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Mr. Speaker, our government has made huge investments in research in recent years. Yesterday, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation announced more than $580 million in 126 projects for 57 universities across the country.

From Okanagan University College in Kelowna to Memorial University of Newfoundland, by way of the Cégep de Saint-Hyacinthe and the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, these investments in research will contribute to the economic and social development of all Canadians.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, this morning the Prime Minister urged the House to pass Bill C-9 to get generic drugs to developing countries.

Why then does he urge the House to pass a bill that would prevent at least 18 UN member states from accessing those drugs? Why is the government preventing countries like Vietnam, Algeria, Iran and Iraq from dealing with the health emergencies in their countries, such as HIV-AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria?

Will the Prime Minister commit to changing the bill and help all developing countries of the world access cheaper drugs and generic medications? What does he have against those UN member nation states?