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

Topics

HealthOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Liberal Papineau—Saint-Denis, QC

It seems to me that the Bloc prefers to howl, as usual, instead of listening to real answers.

HealthOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Health represent Montreal ridings. It seems to me that they should be better able to understand the health problems of this population.

How can the Prime Minister blackmail the Quebec government by making his share of health care funding conditional on Quebec agreeing to allow the federal government to dictate how care is delivered from now on? Is it not disgraceful for Quebec to have to put up with this sort of blackmail in order to obtain funding for health?

HealthOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, absolutely not. What our government is determined to do is ensure the long—

HealthOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

HealthOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Liberal Papineau—Saint-Denis, QC

I know that the Bloc loves to howl, but what interests Canadians now is knowing that this government will work with the provinces. We are going to work with the provinces. I had the opportunity to work with Minister Couillard again on Friday, and I saw him again this morning in Toronto.

The members opposite really do not like this, because we want to work with the provinces to renew the health care system for future generations.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

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

Mr. Speaker, in response to a memo from Warren Kinsella, Mr. Guité specifically said that the process for awarding a contract worth more than $200,000 to Earnscliffe had been rigged. He said, and I quote: “The scope was biased to one firm, so why waste time and money on a bid that had no chance of winning?”

How can Canadians trust this Prime Minister when he himself is at the centre of this scandal?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, again, it is very unclear what specific reference the hon. member is making. From the documents that are before the House and before the committee, the memoranda from the office of the former minister of finance, those documents indicate very clearly that the minister's office was arguing for more competition and arguing for that competition sooner, and eventually that argument in fact prevailed.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

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

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister knows the facts. In a memo to Warren Kinsella, Mr. Guité specifically said that the process of awarding a contract in excess of $200,000 to Earnscliffe was rigged. He said that “the scope was...bias[ed] to one firm, so why waste time and money on a bid that...had no chance of winning”.

This is clear, direct evidence and the Prime Minister knows what we are talking about. The Prime Minister was involved in the scandal. How can Canadians have any faith that this Prime Minister will clean up this mess when it was this Prime Minister himself who was involved in this scandal?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, there is in fact no evidence before the House or before the committee that would indicate that any contracting procedure was either wired or rigged, which the hon. gentleman alleges.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Canadian Alliance Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, the record is clear about this Prime Minister's involvement in sole sourcing contracts to his friends at Earnscliffe. In the memo to Warren Kinsella, Chuck Guité properly assigned blame where it belonged. Quoting from the guidelines, he said that if a department or agency fails to follow the contracting policy, the responsibility lies with the minister.

The Prime Minister clearly breached the rules. Why is he not accountable and responsible to Canadians for doing that?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, indeed he is, and as the evidence before the House indicates, the consistent arguments made by his staff were in favour of competition and competition as quickly as possible. In August 1994, the finance department requested the full competition. In October 1994, a request for proposals was issued. In December 1994, Earnscliffe won the bid in an open competition.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Canadian Alliance Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister knows the evidence that we are talking about and this is all about accountability and responsibility. The Prime Minister has been attempting to explain away his conduct, conduct that goes back nine years. He cannot explain it away.

I ask the Prime Minister to give Canadians the whole story. Why will he not admit that not only did he know about the breach of the rules, but in fact he was involved in breaking those rules?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, never has a particular transaction been more thoroughly ventilated than this one, and not just now in the last number of days or weeks, but indeed back in 1994 and 1995, at the time. At that time, it was abundantly clear that the rules were appropriately applied and that every argument made by the then minister of finance was in favour of more competition and more openness in the process, an argument on his part which eventually prevailed.

International AidOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Roy Cullen Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, today the government tabled its amendments to Bill C-9, the Jean Chrétien pledge to Africa act. This legislation will enable the flow of inexpensive drugs to African countries to combat HIV-AIDS and other life threatening illnesses.

While the original legislation tabled last fall demonstrated Canada's leadership on this issue, it was the first legislation of this kind introduced anywhere in the world. I would like to ask the Prime Minister to describe the key changes that were necessary to improve this critically needed legislation.

International AidOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this was and is indeed a groundbreaking piece of legislation. However, because it contained the right of first refusal, it meant in fact that the export of inexpensive drugs to the poorest of the poor would have been impeded and in fact the guarantees of security in terms of new supply also would have been impeded.

As a result, what the government has decided to do, in conjunction with the parliamentarians on the committee, is to in fact eliminate that right of first refusal. As a result, not only will inexpensive drugs now be sent to these poor countries, but what is even more important is that Canada has taken the lead. We have established--

International AidOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Churchill.

HealthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Bev Desjarlais NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, this Prime Minister--

HealthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

Order. I know hon. members are always enthusiastic when the Prime Minister answers a question, but he has finished. We are now dealing with a question from the hon. member for Churchill and we will have a little order.

HealthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Bev Desjarlais NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, this Prime Minister and the Liberal government have spent the last 10 years working to destroy the health care system in Canada.

Now they continue their destruction with yet another plan that will allow even more for profit health care services in Canada.

If the government is truly committed to the public health system Canadians want, will the minister stand today and tell Canadians that the government will not use taxpayers' dollars to fund for profit health care services?

HealthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I was very pleased this morning, in Toronto, to explain to Canadians the very plan to which this Prime Minister is totally committed.

We will have, with the first ministers' meeting next summer and following the work of the health and finance ministers, a solid 10 year plan that really ensures that Canadians will have their health care system long into the future.

National DefenceOral Question Period

April 20th, 2004 / 2:40 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, when the defence minister was the chair of the Standing Committee on National Defence and Veterans Affairs, he supported an all-party recommendation that stated very clearly that any new or replacement vessels for Canada's navy will be built in Canada's shipyards.

Now, as the defence minister and a member of the cabinet, can he assure the House and all Canadians, and especially those people in the shipyard industry, that those new vessels for the Canadian navy will indeed be built in Canada?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Liberal

David Pratt LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the announcement that was made last week and the details which I provided in Esquimalt last Friday are I think important to people on both coasts in terms of the shipbuilding capabilities that we have.

These state of the art ships will be built in accordance with the current shipbuilding policy which states that if the competitive environment exists in this country, they will be built in this country.

It is important to keep in mind as well that, in fact, these will be the largest ships ever designed and constructed--

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Calgary Southeast.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Canadian Alliance Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's credibility gap is growing by the day. First, he was shocked to hear about corruption in the Liberal government. Now he is shocked to hear the suggestion that he broke the rules to funnel tax dollars to his cronies at Earnscliffe.

I have here a 1995 memo from one Chuck Guité which says that:

--it is felt that immediate action must be taken to correct the situation...it could become embarrassing to the government and certainly our Minister who is, according to the policy, the only contracting authority for Public Opinion Research.

Therefore, I have a simple question. Why did Chuck Guité have higher ethical standards than the Prime Minister?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I would refer the hon. gentleman to the most recent report by the Auditor General. It indicated that, from her examination of the polling activities of the Government of Canada, in fact, those activities were by and large handled quite properly.