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House of Commons Hansard #135 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was human.

Topics

Liberal GovernmentStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Casson Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, throughout our history, minority governments have proven to be quite precarious and the present one is no different, but what is different is the lengths to which the government will go to hold on to power. “Retain power at all costs” is its rallying cry.

Because it does not have the confidence of this House or of Canadians as a whole, the government finds it necessary to continually abuse the democratic process, a process it pathetically claims to uphold. It waves the lure and privileges of cabinet posts around. It uses billions of taxpayer dollars to buy the support of an entire party, and now it has used dictatorial manoeuvres to eliminate opposition supply days, all in its unrelenting quest to hold on to power.

If this continues, I have deep concern for the future of our great country.

Liberal neglect and mismanagement is holding back eastern Canada. Liberal corruption in Quebec has caused a resurgence in separatism, and Liberal arrogance continues to fuel western alienation.

Before it is too late, let us reverse these alarming trends. Let us stand up for Canada and let us get rid of the Liberal government.

Co-op WeekStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, this is Co-op Week and I am pleased to recognize the importance of co-operatives to the economic and social fabric of Canada and, indeed, the world.

An important part of the social economy, co-ops provide essential services in rural and remote communities, as well as other vital services such as affordable housing and child care. The 9,200 co-operatives in Canada contribute to local economic development and job creation with 70,000 volunteers and employing 155,000 people.

The co-operative development Initiative was launched in 2003 to help develop the co-operative sector. I am pleased to report that 87 innovation and research projects worth over $4.3 million have been approved under this initiative, as well as a further $5 million for co-op advisory services.

The Government of Canada looks forward to a continued fruitful partnership with co-ops and I encourage all members to be supportive of the co-op movement.

George HislopStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to George Hislop, a leader and activist in the gay community who passed away on October 8. I was blessed to be able to be with him hours before he went on his next journey.

George Hislop was a friend and mentor to many people in the gay community. George was a founder of the Community Homophile Association of Toronto in 1971, one of Canada's first gay rights organizations. In 1980, George was the first openly gay candidate for elected office in Canada when he ran for Toronto city council. Although he was not successful, George inspired gay and lesbian political activists across the country.

George was a key figure in the protests surrounding the Toronto bath raids of 1981. After the death of his partner, Ron Shearer, George led the ongoing fight for equal CPP survivor benefits for gay and lesbian couples.

I will miss George enormously. George first taught me about the lesbian and gay community. He explained the issues, introduced me to the people in the community and offered his insight, as he did to so many. His strength, humour and dedication to the fight for equality have been inspirational to me and all of us.

Canada has lost a leader in the passing of George Hislop.

Minister of Citizenship and ImmigrationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Rahim Jaffer Conservative Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, Pepperoni, meatlovers, vegetarian or Greek, Stuffed full of pizza the immigration minister is too busy eating to speak.

He's had so much fun stiffing Canadians with his bills,I had to see for myself, why so much overeating hasn't made him ill.

For example, at Cammara's where he's known as Pizza Joe. To see for myself, to his favourite joint I had to go.

I invited three friends to join me to dine.We ordered two pizzas, salads and some wine.

Attending were MPs for Simcoe—Grey, Edmonton—Leduc and Calgary Southeast.It cost us only $134 for the entire feast.

Even with four we paid less than Pizza Joe did for two.With a doggie bag in hand, how he spent so much...we haven't a clue.

We paid our own bill because that was our choice, Unlike the minister who stiffed Canadians, with his invoice.

Is overindulging the life of this minister? Or with the Liberals in government could it be something more sinister?

World March of WomenStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, the World March of Women will complete its relay of the women's global charter for humanity.

The relay will end in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, one of the poorest countries in the world. The women of this country will unite to remind the world that women are calling for the eradication of poverty and violence against women. Together, they will call for a world based on equality, freedom, solidarity, justice and peace.

The public is invited to take part in activities being held throughout Quebec and show its support for these five values.

The Bloc Québécois wants to pay tribute to the women behind the World March of Women for their determination to build a more egalitarian world for humanity.

Natural DisastersStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, on Saturday, October 8, Pakistan was the centre of a devastating 7.6 magnitude earthquake. India and Afghanistan were also affected. Reports put the death toll are at over 50,000 lives lost, with Pakistan bearing the brunt of the disaster.

I was saddened to hear the government's initial reaction. It was only after pressure from Canadians, in particular, in communities affected by the earthquake, did the government increase its contribution.

All this highlights the need for Canada to be better prepared when it comes to reacting to natural disasters worldwide.

I was heartened by the tremendous outpouring of assistance by Canadians from coast to coast in coming to the aid of the people affected.

On behalf of my colleagues and myself in the Conservative Party, I send my deepest condolences to the people of Pakistan, India and Afghanistan for the loss of life in this tragedy.

Women's History MonthStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Françoise Boivin Liberal Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, October is Women's History Month and an opportunity to pay tribute to the contributions of women in the development of our great country. This year, the theme is Women and War: Contributions and Consequences.

The role of Canadian women during wartime has changed considerably over the years. In 1885, women cared for the wounded; in 1991, during the Gulf war, women served in combat units. Today, women are an integral part of an army that recognizes the true value of their role.

Women have also held other important roles in times of war, such as maintaining production in factories, running the family farm or business, and raising their children alone. These women also endured terrible trials, including the loss of their loved ones.

We must never forget the extraordinary efforts of women during wartime. I invite all the hon. members to join with me in recognizing that their role has been priceless and their contributions quite simply exceptional.

International Day for the Eradication of PovertyStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, in a report released this past summer, the United Nations singled out Canada as one of the developed countries in which the gap between rich and poor is widening at a rate that is cause for alarm.

Social development is often impacted negatively by international competition, because the decisions and actions required to enhance social policies are too often perceived as needlessly costly.

In addition, the hypothesis that increasing world wealth means decreasing poverty and inequality is not correct, according to the analysts, and they call upon the states to focus more on social development.

On this, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, the Bloc Québécois urges the federal government to heed the UN report, to have its heart in the right place and restore the transfer payments to Quebec and the provinces to enable them to continue their fight to eradicate poverty.

Indian and Northern Affairs CanadaOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, reports today indicate that ethics in government now rivals health care as a public concern. I guess this is not surprising, since there are growing waiting lists for both.

As an example, in February of this year, the Indian affairs department awarded a contract to a company with instructions that there be no traceability for the work done. Why, nearly two years after the Auditor General condemned this practice in the sponsorship scandal, does the government still award contracts with no proper audit paper trail?

Indian and Northern Affairs CanadaOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, INAC's audit evaluation branch is reviewing its operation. Some part of this review involves sensitive personnel information. We asked that the information be kept sensitive. In the vast majority of the report, there is a trail involved. The work that was asked to be done was done.

David DingwallOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government and the minister have had 12 years to complete these reviews. Their time is up.

For the second example, despite the misuse of money at the Mint and Technology Partnerships Canada, the Prime Minister is still negotiating a severance package with David Dingwall, this in spite of the fact that not a single expert has come forward to say that there is an entitlement to severance when one quits a job.

I ask the Prime Minister, why is it that Liberal insiders continue to get generous severance packages even when they are not entitled to them?

David DingwallOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Markham—Unionville Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the government will pay Mr. Dingwall only what legal counsel advises us that we must. There is currently an independent audit re-examining his expenses. I am pleased to inform the House that the results of the audit will be released by Wednesday of this week.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, if the Prime Minister wants to pay severance to David Dingwall, he should be able to stand up and defend it himself.

In a third example, a newly released audit of travel expenses at the federal fisheries department has uncovered yet more horror stories. Unauthorized claims, vacations on the public dollar and luxury flight bookings are only some of the examples.

Why can the Prime Minister not get a grip on the pervasive misuse of tax dollars throughout his government?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Halifax West Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, in fact this audit was initiated proactively by my department to improve its management of hospitality and travel. In fact, the department has lowered its expenses in this area of travel and hospitality by almost 20% over the past three years.

This audit is valuable. It shows we have more work to do, but it is under way.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Loyola Hearn Conservative St. John's South, NL

Mr. Speaker, the recent audit of DFO travel and hospitality files has uncovered a litany of abuses involving the expenditures of taxpayers' money. Despite the examples of atrocious abuse that were provided, no individuals are being disciplined or investigated.

Will the minister explain why he continues the Liberal policy of ignoring scandals even though this one happened on the present Prime Minister's watch?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Halifax West Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague is wrong. The first thing he should know, in fact, is that this report covers a period that ended on March 31, 2004, when this administration had been here for only three or four months. More important, let me assure my hon. colleague that where appropriate and required, moneys will be recovered and disciplinary action will be taken.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Loyola Hearn Conservative St. John's South, NL

Mr. Speaker, let me ask a more timely question, then. How can the minister explain his department spending $42 million on travel and hospitality while Coast Guard boats were tied up to wharves around this country because they could not afford fuel?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Halifax West Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague is a member of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, which recently met in St. John's and summoned Mr. Henry Lear from our science department here in Ottawa to appear before it. Is the hon. member saying this kind of travel that he asked for is inappropriate?

Child CareOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, regarding the child care funding agreement, the Prime Minister promised during the heat of an election campaign that Quebec would receive its share of funding with no strings attached. But in an interview, he just said the exact opposite, namely that Quebec would have to account.

How can the Prime Minister justify so blatantly failing to keep his word? Can he explain the discrepancy between what he promised during the last election campaign and what he said just a few days ago?

Child CareOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, first, the Government of Quebec is accountable to its people. All we said was that the provinces would be accountable to their people, as Quebec already is.

Child CareOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, following the Prime Minister's logic, day care centres are of national interest because immigrants and Aboriginal people, among others, attend day care. Immigrants and Aboriginal people attend primary school. Does that make primary school a federal jurisdiction? Some of them get treated in hospitals. Does that make hospitals a federal jurisdiction? Perhaps this is something he does not know, but there are even some living in municipalities. Does that make municipalities a federal jurisdiction?

Does the Prime Minister realize that his logic is absolutely preposterous?

Child CareOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, no one said that child care centres were a federal jurisdiction. We are familiar with the different jurisdictions and we respect them.

Is the hon. member suggesting that our children are not of national interest? They are. They fall under provincial jurisdiction, yet are national interest.

MunicipalitiesOral Questions

October 17th, 2005 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, there is another area regarding which the Prime Minister really did not keep his word, and I am referring to municipalities. Just before the last election, on June 18, 2004, he said he had no intention of interfering in provincial jurisdictions.

How could the Prime Minister allow himself, just before the election, to make such a statement to please voters when, after the election, we are finding out in a document obtained by La Presse , that Ottawa wants to hold summits directly with municipalities? Is the Prime Minister not ashamed to say one thing before the election and to do the opposite after?

MunicipalitiesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Don Valley West Ontario

Liberal

John Godfrey LiberalMinister of State (Infrastructure and Communities)

Mr. Speaker, we have always respected provincial jurisdictions when it comes to municipalities. At the same time, since our cities and communities are the target of our social, environmental and economic efforts, we should work closely with Quebec departments to understand Quebec's priorities at the municipal level and support them in the area of infrastructure, among others.

MunicipalitiesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to the same document, the government wants to avoid setting up merely a banking machine. It wants to have a say about the infrastructure. It also wants to get recognition and visibility.

Did this government not learn any lessons from the sponsorship scandal, which was a visibility scheme? Now, it intends to set up, through municipalities, its own visibility program, thus reneging once again on a promise made before the election.