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House of Commons Hansard #41 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was sentence.

Topics

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, this is question period, not fantasy time.

We have a task force made up of Liberal members. They have travelled to all regions and tried to obtain realistic facts by talking to local men and women who are dealing with the problem. I am in the process of examining a preliminary report, which ought to provide us with some long term solutions using all possible benefit programs.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Roy Bloc Matapédia—Matane, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government has had 10 years to come up with solutions and they are still not forthcoming. It has settled for a committee. The Prime Minister will never be able to undo the harm he has done to these workers and these regions.

Is he aware that the decision to use EI funds for other purposes has forced a financial burden on the workers in seasonal industries that is heavier than that on anyone else in society, including his well-off friends? That is the outcome of his choices.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, all this show of outrage will not solve the problem. The truth is that the unemployment rate has dropped in the region. It is about 8%, that is all, but even that is too high for us. That is why the task force has presented some very definite proposals that are also very realistic and aimed at resolving long term problems that affect not only seasonal workers but also seasonal industries.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is about to meet with President Bush to discuss a number of very important issues, including the missile defence shield, softwood lumber and mad cow disease.

Does the Prime Minister intend to tell President Bush that Canada will not participate in the missile defence plan, and will he be very clear on that?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister and the government have always been very clear on this issue. We are examining, along with our American counterparts, how we can contribute to North America's security. Our concern is what Canadians want. We are partners in North America. The Prime Minister discussed this issue with Mr. Bush. We will see whether the testing of the missile defence system meets Canadian needs or not. This has yet to be determined. We will examine the plan and ultimately make a decision based on Canada's needs.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, will the Prime Minister rely on the rulings by trade tribunals in favour of Canada regarding the softwood lumber issue, including the most recent one, issued today, which is yet another total victory for Canada?

Will the Prime Minister make it clear to President Bush that he must take strong action with the American industry to ensure a complete return to free trade?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalMinister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, this is precisely our goal, free trade for softwood lumber. Our approach will continue to be twofold in that we will pursue legal discussions while also trying to achieve some results through negotiations.

National DefenceOral Question Period

April 26th, 2004 / 2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Canadian Alliance Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, by delaying the purchase of military replacement equipment that would put us in sync with our NATO partners, scarce defence department dollars are wasted maintaining obsolete equipment and systems. The money would be better invested now.

Why does the Prime Minister insist on pledging troops overseas with no long term commitment to modern equipment?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Liberal

David Pratt LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we have a very clear commitment to modernize the equipment of the Canadian Forces. It is contained within the strategic capability investment plan which provides for a total expenditure of approximately $27.5 billion over the next 15 years.

In the first four months of this government, we took action to move forward on $7 billion worth of procurement items for the Canadian Forces. I think the record speaks for itself.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Canadian Alliance Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, military spouses are asking what good is a tax exemption if their spouses do not come home from overseas. The Minister of National Defence is afraid to sign off on the strategic capability investment plan because that will confirm Liberal policy of shortchanging our military.

Will he at least authorize those purchases that will ensure the safety of our troops?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Liberal

David Pratt LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, there is some confusion with respect to whether or not my signature is required on this particular document. In fact, it is not required. It is an internal planning document of the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces.

As I indicated earlier, decisions have already been made to move forward on a number of capital items and we will continue to work from the basis of that plan which continues to evolve.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Myron Thompson Canadian Alliance Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, the latest attempt by the defence department to outline its basic needs has been sitting on this minister's desk for the past four months. All it needs is his signature to get moving.

Apparently the Liberals are delaying for a possible election call this spring or summer. Why are the Liberals using our military as a campaign announcement?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Liberal

David Pratt LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, clearly the hon. member was not listening to the answer I gave to the previous question.

This document does not need my signature to give it effect. It is a planning document. It is an internal document of the Canadian Forces and the Department of National Defence.

If the hon. members want a copy of the document, it is available in the reading room of the Department of National Defence library. It is all there for them to see.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Myron Thompson Canadian Alliance Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, the strategic capability investment plan does not require more military spending. It simply reallocates current resources from lower to higher priorities. It has been ready since November.

Why are we not moving? Why is the minister waiting for an election call to speed up the purchase of badly needed equipment? Let us get with it.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Liberal

David Pratt LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, if I say this three times, maybe they will get it. The important thing about the SCIP is that it is an evolving document. It is a planning document.

The fact that we allocated $1.3 billion in the budget for a new fixed wing search and rescue aircraft is an example of the government's commitment to the Canadian Forces. In fact, that is going to allow us to advance projects that had been in the medium term and move them to the left in terms of being able to acquire more equipment for the Canadian Forces.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Claude Duplain Liberal Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I admit I must take my hat off to the Minister of National Defence.

Since the year 2000, I have been defending the people of Shannon in the issue of the high TCE contamination of the groundwater. Since that time, the government has been seeking a long term solution to this problem. Last Friday, the minister came to make an announcement at Shannon.

Could he tell the House all about this announcement?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Liberal

David Pratt LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the Department of National Defence is very committed to the health and welfare of people living in the vicinity of Canadian Forces bases. We are also very much committed to the principle of sound environmental stewardship.

That is why, on behalf of the government, I announced $19 million for a new water system for the residents of Shannon.

I would like to pay tribute as well to the tireless efforts of the member for Portneuf, without whose efforts this would not have been possible.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

The Liberal member for Mississauga South is Parliament's most vocal opponent of a woman's right to choose. The Liberal member for Scarborough Southwest is Parliament's fiercest opponent of equality for gays and lesbians, with the Liberal members from Pickering and London—Fanshawe close seconds.

The majority of the Prime Minister's newly appointed ministers voted against marriage equality. The Prime Minister himself continues to bob and weave on same sex marriage.

Can the Prime Minister explain why intolerance is bad when it comes from Conservatives, but not bad when it comes from his own Liberals?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I do not understand any reference to imputed intolerance among Liberals with respect to this question and the comments of the hon. member.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, as we speak, bulldozers are at work to divert dirty, polluted water from Devil's Lake, North Dakota into the Red River and Lake Winnipeg. This inter-basin transfer of water poses a serious threat to Manitoba's aquatic ecosystem.

Will the Minister of Foreign Affairs assure the House he will urge the Americans to refer this clear violation of the boundary waters treaty to the International Joint Commission? Will he further urge them to stop construction of this diversion until the IJC can present its findings?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, we have raised this with Secretary Powell and other American authorities for years and have had assurance that the federal government in the United States was monitoring this process. The state government has decided to go ahead without federal government oversight.

I can assure the hon. member and members of the House that we have requested the United States--and I will be speaking to Mr. Powell when I see him later this week--to move this matter to the International Joint Commission. This needs a review. It has to be a joint Canada-U.S. review. We have to jointly protect our border waters from pollution from one side or the other.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Canadian Alliance Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, seven months ago the government cancelled the $1 billion relocation contract after it found wrongdoing on the part of both Royal LePage and Public Works Canada. After reviewing the new requests for proposals, businesses are claiming that the process is still rigged toward Royal LePage, despite the assurances made by the minister.

Before the government allows Royal LePage to rebid on this contract, will it release the internal investigation into the scandal, which it has been hiding from Canadians?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, it is true that there was a re-tendering of the relocation contract after one of the unsuccessful parties went to the CITT and made some complaints, as it should do. That is the process.

It has been re-tendered. The CITT had not determined that there was bias or that it was incorrect. It felt that some of the selection criteria should be re-evaluated.

In an overabundance of caution, the Department of Public Works and Government Services decided to re-tender the whole project and that tender has now been made and we will go through the results. Any party--

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Lakeland.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Canadian Alliance Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, I did not ask for the history of this whole scandal.

The government has had more than seven months to clean up this contract and the mess surrounding this contract. Because of its corruption and incompetence, the government is facing allegations that the contracting process is rigged to favour Royal LePage over other bidders, the same allegation that was out there seven months ago.

Will the minister either exclude Royal LePage from the process, or release the results of the internal investigation, which now indicate that the wrongdoing it found seven months ago has somehow disappeared?