House of Commons Hansard #42 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was date.

Topics

National Unity FundOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as soon as the compilation is complete, the House will be informed of it, of course.

What I can say is this. When we fund organizations like Katimavik, we are doing a service for a very large number of young Canadians, including many young Quebeckers, who have benefited from this opportunity for magnificent experiences all over the world. We have helped make a very large number of solid investments in our communities throughout the country.

So, rather than discredit all Canadian government contributions, they ought to note the help that has been given to a very large number of Canadians.

General ElectionOral Question Period

April 27th, 2004 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the right hon. Prime Minister. Does the Prime Minister not find it unseemly and contrary to his obvious concern about the democratic deficit to keep the country and Parliament dangling as to when the election will be called?

Does the Prime Minister not think he owes it to the country to tell us either when the election will be or agree to the motion to have fixed dates for elections so this kind of charade never ever happens again?

General ElectionOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government's main concentration, objective, at the present time is the good governance of Canada. It is within that context that I want to congratulate the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness for the very important national security document she submitted today.

That is what governing is all about. It is about facing up to the fundamental challenges which the country faces. It is about coming up with a policy that is thorough and comprehensive, which is actually what the Deputy Prime Minister did today.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I do not know whether that means the Prime Minister has made up his mind between governing and campaigning because he has not really seemed to have been able to do that lately.

However, he referred to the document released today. In that document it just so happens that Canada's “longstanding opposition to the weaponization of space” is reaffirmed.

When the Prime Minister meets with President Bush in a very short period of time from now, will he be reiterating Canada's opposition to the weaponization of space and therefore our opposition to the national missile defence system proposed by the United States?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Canada's position is unequivocal, and I will repeat it wherever I happen to be. Canada is opposed to the weaponization of space.

Public ServiceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Paul Forseth Canadian Alliance New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the President of the Treasury Board. Before he was minister, he was very critical of the performance pay scheme. He previously said that doling out the so-called bonuses to nearly everyone just perpetuated mediocrity.

What happened since he became minister? Why has there been no change to the system?

Public ServiceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Winnipeg South Manitoba

Liberal

Reg Alcock LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Well, Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question because the member has been deeply interested in the machinery of government. However, I can assure him that, once I became President of the Treasury Board, we launched nine studies of the operations of government, the most comprehensive review of the operations of government, I think, maybe in the history of the government.

Compensation is one of these. We are looking at all aspects of it. We will come forward, including coming forward to the committee of which he is a member, with some facts. On those facts, we can make sound policy choices.

Public ServiceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Paul Forseth Canadian Alliance New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, performance bonuses should be a reward for improved management. The present system has deteriorated into things like ad scam, HRDC, public works and so on.

Could the minister promise that he will put real evaluation in place so that the results show that pay is truly earned instead of granted, and where we have real incentives instead of just expected reward?

Public ServiceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, we have to clear here. First, if we look, the government implemented the performance management program for executives as a management best practice, on the advice of an independent advisory group.

When we look at what is going on in the private sector, this is exactly the same thing. It is 93.4% in the public service and it is 93% in the private sector. Therefore, we have to be very careful. We are proud of our bureaucrats. They are doing a tremendous job, and it is based on an independent advisory group.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Canadian Alliance Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Toronto Star today reveals that the government is spending $6.5 billion on outside consultants.

We know there is a revolving door between the PMO and the consulting and lobbying world. Indeed, the Prime Minister's staff is groaning under the weight of so many lobbyists and consultants.

Will the Prime Minister explain to Canadians just how much of the $6.5 billion being spent by his government on consultants is ending up in the deep pockets of his good friends over at the Earnscliffe lobby group?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, as the Prime Minister said last week, all the contracts that have been awarded to Earnscliffe or any company providing services to the government are either already in the public domain or accessible for review.

I would suggest that the hon. member check with www.contractscanada.gc.ca, type in Earnscliffe and he will have all the information for which he is looking.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Canadian Alliance Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, that is what the Prime Minister said about the handouts to his shipping empire and he fudged the numbers on that. That is what the President of the Treasury Board said about the unity fund. He said that it was in the public accounts but he still has not been able to furnish the numbers. In fact, the minister made up a $13 million accounting study that did not exist.

Instead of hiding behind the government accounts, why does the government not come clean with Canadians about how many of the 6.5 billion tax dollars being wasted on consultants are going to Liberal friends at the Prime Minister's firm?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member has a specific accusation to make, let him make it. If he is just going on a fishing expedition, I would suggest he go to Contracts Canada's website at www.contractscanada.gc.ca and the information will be there. If then he has a specific question to ask, we would be happy to answer it.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have learned that there will be no discussion of the missile defence shield when the Prime Minister meets President Bush, because, apparently, it is an embarrassing topic.

Can the Prime Minister confirm whether it is true that this important issue will not be discussed during this meeting?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it is clear to the House that we are discussing the concept of the missile defence shield with the Americans in order to provide security for all of North America. This security would be in the best interest of Canada and all Canadians. We will not sign any treaties that do not ensure Canada's safety and are not in Canada's interest.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, when one is prime minister and has important problems like the missile defence shield, the St. Lawrence Seaway, softwood lumber and mad cow, and when one lets it be understood that during a visit to the very important President of the United States we should not expect to see any of these issues settled, one ought not to be surprised that the people are asking just what the Prime Minister is going to Washington for. Is it to have his picture taken with President Bush?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt that the issues of mad cow disease and softwood lumber are two subjects we will discuss in depth and, of course, we will go as far as we can with these topics. At the same time, we will talk about other subjects such as energy and the environment. We will also talk about Canada's role in the war on terrorism and about the very important document tabled by the Deputy Prime Minister.

And I should at least thank the hon. member for having raised the question of—

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Rosemont—Petite-Patrie.

St. Lawrence SeawayOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Liberal candidates have said that the Bloc Quebecois is over-reacting when we voice our concerns about the possible expansion of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Yet, a study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers identifies five possible options.

How can the Prime Minister and his team say that we are being alarmist when three of the five options propose dredging the St. Lawrence Seaway to allow Panamax ships to pass through?

St. Lawrence SeawayOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, as I have said in the past, it is certainly clear that the seaway is aging and the costs of infrastructure are rising. It is important that the seaway remain economically viable. The joint study will assess the ongoing maintenance needs to sustain the existing seaway infrastructure. This study will not, and I emphasize will not, consider major infrastructure modifications such as the expansion of the seaway.

St. Lawrence SeawayOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, if dredging the St. Lawrence is not part of the Prime Minister's plans, will he pledge in this House to so inform President Bush and to tell him that there is no question of the Canadian government approving a plan to dredge the St. Lawrence to allow large Panamax ships to pass through?

St. Lawrence SeawayOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, this joint study essentially deals with the maintenance issues that are required to ensure that the seaway remains economically viable, which is what we need to ensure an effective seaway. It is important economically to this country. It is important to marine trade. It is important to ensure that we can meet our trade obligations on a north-south basis, and that is what this study is about.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Charlie Penson Canadian Alliance Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, when the Prime Minister travels to Washington, Canadians working in the softwood lumber industry will be looking for strong leadership in this longstanding dispute.

The Prime Minister knows that both NAFTA and the World Trade Organization have clear rules in place to settle disputes such as softwood lumber.

Would the Prime Minister pledge to the House that he will not agree to any softwood lumber deal that would make the U.S. Department of Commerce judge and jury over our forest management policy in Canada?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalMinister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question from the hon. member. He asked the same question last week.

What we are doing is working with all the stakeholders here in Canada to get a prevailing view as to what type of counter offer we should make to the United States, including the method of determining changed circumstances in terms of forest practices. At the same time we will pursue our litigious route.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Charlie Penson Canadian Alliance Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister tells us again today what he told us last Friday, that there is no prevailing view in Canada as to what type of negotiated settlement would be acceptable.

Surely the Prime Minister understands that there are basic sovereign rights that cannot be put on the table in this discussion with the United States.

Why can the Prime Minister not stand today and state clearly that giving the Americans veto power over Canadian resource policy is unacceptable and not negotiable?