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House of Commons Hansard #45 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was parks.

Topics

Government ContractsOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for St. John's West.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn Progressive Conservative St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, according to the minister, the site he talked about provides an information number that one can call “for additional information, such as for contracts prior to three years...or perhaps by some other department”.

We called the number. They made it clear that they cannot provide any extra information on Earnscliffe.

Will the minister table a list of contracts and subcontracts that have been awarded to Earnscliffe since 1993?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Vancouver Quadra B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I gather that question is already on the Order Paper, but I see no problem with providing that.

The member must understand that we may go back up to 10 years. Contracts and other documents are usually not kept for more than six years but we are making every effort to get that information.

Nothing is being hidden. There are various ways to receive it. Members just have to ask the specific question and we will make every effort to get it.

HealthOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Canadian Alliance Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, this week is the sixth anniversary of the Liberals' decision to deny compensation for all hepatitis C victims of tainted blood.

We now know that in 1981, Health Canada knew of the risk of hepatitis C to the blood supply and yet the government said that it would only be liable from 1986 to 1990.

Now there is an opportunity for the Liberals to right that wrong. Will the government finally extend that compensation to all victims of the tainted blood and hepatitis C?

HealthOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the government has tried to be very sensitive on this issue because the people living with hepatitis C deserve that kind of conscientious attention and not just political hyperbole.

We have put together assistance measures that total some $525 million. In the administration of that program, the Minister of Health and previous ministers of health have tried to be as responsive and as conscientious as possible.

HealthOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Canadian Alliance Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Krever inquiry called for compensation to all of the victims. Some of the members opposite, including the minister of public health, happen to agree.

There are hundreds of millions of dollars left in that compensation fund, more than enough to go around. In fact, less than one-quarter of that fund has gone to the victims from 1986 to 1990.

What does the government intend to do with the rest of the money?

HealthOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I have pointed out, the government has committed a total of $525 million for individuals infected with hepatitis C.

In terms of the hon. gentleman's suggestion that not all of that funding has been used and his further advice on how it might be used, obviously we will take that as a representation.

Whistleblower ProtectionOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Claude Drouin Liberal Beauce, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada.

We recently learned that the CBC has asked to be removed from legislation protecting people who disclose wrongdoings.

We all know how important it is to ensure proper protection for all employees who disclose wrongdoings in the public service and crown corporations. Can the President of the Privy Council tell us whether he intends to amend his bill to follow up on the CBC's request?

Whistleblower ProtectionOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the bill is very clear with respect to crown corporations. I also learned of this request through the media and I received a copy of the letter. The response is simple. The CBC will not be excluded from the process. It will be fully included in the bill.

HealthOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Wendy Lill NDP Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are wondering where the cabinet ministers went, the ministers who used to protect publicly delivered health care in Canada. There was no new base funding for health care in the budget and no commitment to any of the recommendations of the Romanow report. Now we have a health minister calling public delivery of health care a slogan.

Will the minister now rise and give us a guarantee that the Liberals will provide publicly funded and delivered health care in Canada?

HealthOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, first, let me make the observation that the budget did indeed include funding for health care: the $2 billion that had been committed to the provinces, plus an incremental $500 million approximately to advance our public health care system.

The government believes in a publicly funded, publicly delivered, publicly administered single payer health system.

HealthOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Wendy Lill NDP Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, Canadians know that the Liberal government wants to turn health care over to private industries; after all, the Prime Minister brought an advocate for P3 into his cabinet.

The only difference between the Liberal government's plan for health care and the Conservative plan is how quickly it will hand it over to the big corporations.

Will the minister stand up and tell us exactly what the Liberals consider publicly delivered health care to be? Is it public money paying for private profits?

HealthOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as much as our friends in the NDP try to stretch this point and twist it into a pretzel, they will not be able to achieve it.

I would remind the hon. member that I happen to come from a province called Saskatchewan which invented health care in the first place.

This government is profoundly committed to the principles of the Canada Health Act. We took that experiment in Saskatchewan that was so successful and made it a national reality that is one of the defining characteristics of this country, and we will not see it diminished.

Forest IndustryOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dick Harris Canadian Alliance Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, British Columbia's pine beetle infestation is a natural disaster in every respect, and the crisis is dramatically increasing every day that these Liberals refuse to accept their responsibility to help in the fight against this disaster.

I will ask my question for about the fourth time. Will the Liberal government put aside its historic disdain for British Columbians and live up to its responsibility to help in the fight against these pine beetles?

Forest IndustryOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

R. John Efford LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I cannot believe what the hon. member just said in the House. It is one thing to ask a question but to make a statement that this government has the attitude toward the people of British Columbia as he just said is absolutely wrong. His question does not even deserve an answer.

We are as equally concerned. My department in forestry and research and development is just as interested in solving the problem with the pine beetle in British Columbia as the hon. member is. I have had meetings with the minister in British Columbia and we intend to work toward finding a solution to a very serious problem.

Forest IndustryOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dick Harris Canadian Alliance Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, that is nonsense. The province of British Columbia came to the federal government well over a year ago with a five year plan to fight the beetle infestation. It has been waiting and waiting for the federal government to live up to its responsibility and respect the billions of dollars that have come into its coffers from the forest industry in our province but it has done nothing.

I will ask my question once again. When will the government stop playing politics with the lives of British Columbians and join in the province's five year pine beetle plan? When will it do this?

Forest IndustryOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

R. John Efford LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, only hon. members like the hon. member opposite would make a statement like that and believe that something could happen.

This government is not playing politics with anybody, in particular the people of British Columbia. This minister is not playing politics with anybody in this country, unlike the members opposite who continually stand day after day and play politics and make all kinds of accusations that they know are not true.

LabourOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Pallister Canadian Alliance Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, Manitoba's NDP government is trying to stop non-unionized construction companies from participating in the construction of the Red River diversion around the city of Winnipeg. Now the effect of this ideological misadventure will be to raise the cost of the project, some estimates say by as much as $65 million.

Given that the federal government is a fifty-fifty partner in this project that will cost $700 million, could the minister assure the House today that the federal government will not be party to any exercise in forced unionization of Manitoba construction workers?

LabourOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Winnipeg South Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, this is a big issue in Manitoba right now. I have met with the premier and have had discussions with him about the possible effects of these decisions that were taken after the agreements were signed. I have his assurance that we are working toward a solution. I met with other stakeholders on this and I believe the appointment of an arbiter to work this out will get us to the place we have to be.

LabourOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Pallister Canadian Alliance Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, that will not satisfy anybody. Those are just weasel words. The fact is that on the table right now is a proposal that will require forced unionization of Manitoba workers. Workers should decide whether they are unionized or not without the assistance of the federal and provincial governments.

Some 95% of Manitoba's construction industry is non-unionized. The federal government's silence makes it complicit in the forced unionization of construction workers that is going to increase costs.

It is time for Liberals to get off the fence they seem to be impaled on here and commit to vetoing any attempt to prevent non-unionized companies from participating in the construction of the Red River diversion.

LabourOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Winnipeg South Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I have to say that replacing one hard-edged ideological position with another does not get us to a solution. In fact, the premier and I have had a discussion. A very competent mediator has been appointed. The industry is satisfied. The governments are satisfied. We will let the mediator do his work.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

April 30th, 2004 / 11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, after his initial hesitation about the UN's role in the Iraq conflict, yesterday found the Prime Minister in Washington proposing little informal get-togethers, no less, for the heads of state to privately come up with solutions to world problems.

Is this proposal by the Prime Minister not just another attempt to minimize and trivialize the United Nation's role in conflict resolution?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Pickering—Ajax—Uxbridge Ontario

Liberal

Dan McTeague LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I know that the Bloc Quebecois is trying to suggest that certain things proposed by the Prime Minister are a bit awkward. In reality, and the Bloc Quebecois as well as the members opposite are well aware of this, there is no situation which would lead to our denying the responsibility and importance of the United Nations.

At the same time, it must be emphasized that there are problems requiring an appropriate and immediate response, and that is what is referred to in this instance.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, perhaps my hon. colleague could answer the following: how exactly is it awkward that the Prime Minister has stated his intention to hold little get-togethers between leaders? Could he explain what he meant by that statement? Awkward how? We certainly find it so.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Pickering—Ajax—Uxbridge Ontario

Liberal

Dan McTeague LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Really now, Mr. Speaker, that is not what I said.

Let us make it very clear to the hon. members in the Bloc Quebecois, who like to play with words. There is absolutely no misunderstanding as to the intentions of this government with respect to the United Nations.

We are prepared to say right now, and very clearly and without any equivocation, notwithstanding the interpretation of members of the Bloc Quebecois, it is very clear to us that we understand the importance of the United Nations. We also recognize that there are immediate concerns that have to be addressed on matters of security and on matters of trade, which need to be responded to in a way that is adequate. I know the Bloc Quebecois would like to wait several months for these things to be resolved, but I think Canadians and the world need a faster response.