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House of Commons Hansard #36 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, again the hon. gentleman is simply not dealing with the facts. The evidence that is before the public accounts committee would indeed indicate that the competition was open and overseen by the Department of Public Works, not the Department of Finance.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Canadian Alliance Calgary Southeast, AB

Well, is that not funny, Mr. Speaker, because we now know that the Department of Public Works objected all the way along to the way the finance minister and his office were breaking the rules to benefit his political friends at Earnscliffe. I am sure the minister has heard of a certain Warren Kinsella who said that complaints were received by the Department of Public Works. They were investigated and it was found that many of the complaints about the conduct of the finance minister's office were “well founded”.

Why did the current Prime Minister and former finance minister break the rules to benefit his Liberal buddies at Earnscliffe?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, one very important fact seems to escape the hon. gentleman. The fact is that the contractual relationship between Earnscliffe and the Department of Finance began in September of 1993, before the minister of finance was the minister of finance.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Gérard Binet Liberal Frontenac—Mégantic, QC

Mr. Speaker, between now and September, Canada will have to decide whether or not to add chrysotile asbestos to the PIC procedure of the Rotterdam Convention.

During recent consultations, stakeholders in my region objected to the inclusion of chrysotile asbestos to this procedure.

My question is for the Minister of the Environment. Does Canada intend to yield to the pressures of the European Union and Chili in signing this convention?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, my department, like the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, has now completed its consultation process. I can assure the hon. member that we will now review all the information available, while taking into account our domestic and international policies regarding chrysotile asbestos and our objectives under the Rotterdam Convention.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, in what may be the most expensive pre-election photo op in Canadian history, aboriginal leaders were summoned today and treated to a whole new array of vapid Liberal platitudes; no talk of meaningful sharing of land and resources, only vague promises about who gets to deliver their woefully inadequate social programs.

Will the government admit that all it has offered aboriginal people today is the right to manage their own poverty instead of having INAC manage their poverty for them, and what it really wanted was a pre-election photo with aboriginal leaders providing the backdrop?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Yukon Yukon

Liberal

Larry Bagnell LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, it is so sad that the NDP thinks it has the answer. When the aboriginal people were celebrating this event today with the Prime Minister, aboriginal leader after aboriginal leader said that it was a great opportunity that Canada was asking them for solutions, not the NDP.

This new partnership, for the first time in history, with 70 aboriginal people, will take steps forward in housing, in education and in health care to remove that tragic gap between aboriginal people and the rest of Canadians.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals pride themselves on whisking away $50 billion in EI surpluses but laid off workers cannot pay their rents on a failed program and empty Liberal promises that we have heard today.

Hundreds of workers in B.C. have been laid off as a result of the avian flu but still there is no action and no word from the government to even waive EI so that workers can get the help that they need immediately.

Why has the minister refused to take action so at least the workers can get the money they are entitled to under EI? Why will they not take that action?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Liberal

Paul Bonwick LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development (Student Loans)

Mr. Speaker, quite the contrary. The member knows full well that the minister is fully engaged in this file. Not only is she fully engaged in this file, but the parliamentary secretary and the department have been reviewing the situation on an ongoing basis.

I should inform the hon. member that clearly the departments at the local level have been working with the various stakeholders in British Columbia to address the situations as they come forward. As problems arise, they will be addressed. The member has the commitment of the minister and the department on that.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Canadian Alliance Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, seven months ago the government said that it had cancelled the billion dollar relocation contract with Royal LePage because, like the sponsorship contracts, proper procedure had not been followed.

Now the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works tells the House that the contract has been re-tendered and that new bids have been received and are being re-evaluated. This is simply not true.

New bids have not been received and in fact the request for proposals has not even gone out yet.

Is the government intentionally misleading Canadians about this contract or is it that it has simply lost another billion dollars of taxpayer money?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the member is correct. The new tenders have not gone out yet but they are about to go out. The reason they are being re-tendered is that one of the previous competitors in the open process made a complaint to the CITT which found some fault with or some question about the process. In an overabundance of caution, the government decided to re-tender the contract.

Those requests for tenders will be issued shortly.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Canadian Alliance Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Public Works has admitted that what the parliamentary secretary told the House and Canadians on April 2 was not true.

Why did the parliamentary secretary mislead the House and Canadians on this issue?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, what has happened here is very straightforward. It is as a result of the competitive, transparent processes with rights to appeal that exist in the contract tendering process.

Exactly what should have happened is happening in this case to resolve any doubts over the awarding of the contract. It is about to be re-tendered.

Canada PostOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Canadian Alliance Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, we now have more facts as to how far the Liberal regime of corruption extends into the federal bureaucracy.

Let us take the Prime Minister's former cabinet colleague and Canada Post boss, André Ouellet. His brother-in-law was hired in 1996, a nephew in 1997, a niece in 1998, a son-in-law in 1998, a niece in 2000 and another niece in the year 2000.

Were members of the Ouellet clan the best people for the job or the best Liberals for the job?

Canada PostOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Hamilton West Ontario

Liberal

Stan Keyes LiberalMinister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Sport)

Mr. Speaker, the opposition party obviously just does not get it when it comes to processes.

A process is in place. A complete audit is going on into the sponsorship and advertising programs at Canada Post. I would stress for the hon. member that there is also an audit being done right now on the managerial part of Canada Post.

Once that is done, which is expected to be concluded by the end of May, we will have a report by the independent auditor at Canada Post and we will have a full picture of exactly what went on there.

Canada PostOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Canadian Alliance Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if there is a geneology study being done as well.

The Ouellet clan was not hired because Canada needed a few good letter carriers. They were hired because Liberals had a few good desk jobs. It is nepotism run wild.

Mr. Ouellet has defended his decision to redirect millions to Liberal ad firms and now he defends the practice of hiring his family.

The Prime Minister has promised to root out corruption. Will he start here by putting an end to this blatant nepotism?

Canada PostOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Hamilton West Ontario

Liberal

Stan Keyes LiberalMinister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Sport)

Mr. Speaker, I am just appealing to the hon. member to let due process take its course.

The hon. members in the opposition would like to stand in their places and start pointing fingers and making accusations when it might be just found to be completely irresponsible on their part.

The opposition is obviously mixing, in this particular case, apples with oranges, just like it is trying to mix the Progressive Conservatives with Reform Party members and coming up with the Alliance. It just will not work.

Indian AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec and the Cree Nation signed the peace of the braves, an agreement to settle outstanding disputes once and for all. Now the Cree are ready to sign a similar agreement with Ottawa, but are unhappy with the fact that the federal government is negotiating in bad faith.

What is the minister waiting for to enter into this agreement with the Cree, while respecting the nation-to-nation approach as Quebec has done?

Indian AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Yukon Yukon

Liberal

Larry Bagnell LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, the minister is working very closely with the Cree to come to an agreement on this claim.

Indian AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to Ted Moses, relations between the federal government and the Cree Nation are at an all-time low. The government of Quebec has settled its disputes with the Cree, and today Hydro-Quebec has come to an agreement with them as well.

Why does the Prime Minister not follow the Quebec government's example and negotiate a final agreement with the Cree, based on a nation-to-nation approach?

Indian AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Yukon Yukon

Liberal

Larry Bagnell LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, that is the exact approach the minister is taking. He is working with Chief Moses.

When we come up with a claim agreement, in any claim, and this would explain an answer to a number of claims, there has to be a settlement that is reasonable for the aboriginal people and reasonable for the rest of Canadians in the situation.

RCMP Pension FundOral Question Period

April 19th, 2004 / 2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Canadian Alliance Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, for almost a year the RCMP commissioner knew about the misappropriation of moneys from the RCMP pension funds. In fact, it was that commissioner who shut down the initial probe into the possible fraud and abuse of authority within the force. Only after the scandal was made public in the media was the Ottawa police service called in to investigate.

My question is for the Minister of Public Safety. Are the Ottawa police investigating the commissioner's conduct as well as the misappropriation of funds?

RCMP Pension FundOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, let me reassure everyone in the House that there is no conduct on the part of the commissioner that needs to be investigated.

However the Ottawa police service has been requested by the RCMP to investigate any possible wrongdoing in relation to its pension plan.

I think all hon. members should know that the RCMP did conduct an internal audit into the administration of the plan. In fact there were some irregularities that were highlighted because of that internal audit.

Again, I want to reassure everyone that no funds--

RCMP Pension FundOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Crowfoot.

RCMP Pension FundOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Canadian Alliance Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, the RCMP commissioner's job is to defend and protect past and present members of the force, not to run defence for this scandal plagued government across the way.

The mismanagement of pension funds strongly suggests that the RCMP commissioner has betrayed members of the force and, in so doing, has failed to do his job.

Does the investigation include the conduct of the commissioner of the RCMP?