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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

MunicipalitiesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Don Valley West Ontario

Liberal

John Godfrey LiberalMinister of State (Infrastructure and Communities)

Mr. Speaker, our involvement in the infrastructure initiative is based on dividing up priorities into three groups, namely national, provincial and municipal priorities, in an attempt to find a common ground and to work together by uniting our efforts to achieve the same goal and the same objective.

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister, who once again last week showed us that he cannot face up to a problem without posturing. How Ralph Klein is responsible for the trade wars that George Bush has launched against our country is completely beyond me.

The Prime Minister has picked a fight with Ralph Klein before; it was on protecting public medicare. In fact, the Prime Minister called it the fight of his life.

Let us see if he meant it. What new conditions are Premier Klein and the other premiers now having to face to stop the privatization of our health care system?

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that the additional $41.3 billion that is going to the provinces over the next 10 years is going through the Canada Health Act.

Our differences are not with the NDP. The enemies of health care are across from us. Every one of their three leaders, including the current leader, has said they would gut the Canada Health Act and they would privatize health care.

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is an odd way to conduct a fight, have somebody else stand up when it is the fight of your life.

The Prime Minister promised. He said he would fix the wait times, that he would stop the privatization of health care, yet both are taking place at this very moment. In fact, he allowed the provinces to leave with $41 billion without a single string attached, without a single condition to stop the privatization of health care.

Will the minister now agree with the NDP that it is time for some new rules?

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is wrong again. All of the conditions of the Canada Health Act apply to the $41.3 billion over the next 10 years.

What I really want to say is our difference is not with them. We share the same objective of actually strengthening the public health care system. The wait times are being reduced in every province across the country. That money is being utilized. We will have benchmarks by December 31, 2005.

David DingwallOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Pallister Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, we have learned that the Prime Minister's Office spoke with David Dingwall before he submitted his letter of resignation. We also know that the Prime Minister knew that Dingwall's remuneration agreement did not include severance. Therefore, severance pay would be entirely at the discretion of the Prime Minister.

I would like to ask, when the Prime Minister spoke with David Dingwall who raised the issue of severance pay? Was it Mr. Dingwall or him?

David DingwallOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Markham—Unionville Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the government will pay to Mr. Dingwall only what legal counsel says is required.

Moreover, a review is under way by PriceWaterhouseCoopers in terms of the expenses. The report will be made public on Wednesday of this week. We shall have a full accounting as to whether his expenditures were appropriate. Were they not appropriate, then those that are inappropriate would be deducted from any severance payments that he might receive.

David DingwallOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Pallister Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister began claiming that severance was an obligatory aspect of the government's obligations and that it be paid immediately following David Dingwall's resignation. Yet the Prime Minister could not provide us with a single legitimate reason, no contractual obligation, no legislation, no legal opinion.

The only possible reason for the Prime Minister to pay Mr. Dingwall severance is that he promised to pay Mr. Dingwall severance. Why did the Prime Minister promise David Dingwall severance pay?

David DingwallOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Markham—Unionville Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, sometime ago I said there would be two reviews conducted by the Mint. The first is the audit which I just mentioned a few moments ago. In addition, there is a review to examine the processes of the Mint with the possibility of improvements being recommended.

I am pleased to announce that the Mint has engaged Peter Dey, a well-known expert in corporate governance from the firm Osler Hoskin & Harcourt to undertake this review.

Campaign FinancingOral Questions

October 17th, 2005 / 2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, the multiculturalism minister was accompanied on a Team Canada mission to China last January by Michael Lo and Queenie Tin, shareholders in the Kingston Education Group. Mr. Lo and Queenie Tin also appear to be investors in Grand Canadian Academy, the minister's own education company in China.

Is it not therefore the case that the minister has been using official Team Canada trade missions to promote deals which benefit his investment partners?

Campaign FinancingOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa—Vanier Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger LiberalMinister for Internal Trade

Mr. Speaker, as is the case with all ministers when they are sworn into the cabinet, they submit their situation for the advice of the Ethics Commissioner. In this case the minister did that. The Ethics Commissioner recommended that he divest himself of any shares that he had and the minister did just that in December 2004.

No, the minister is not in any conflict of interest.

Campaign FinancingOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, according to the Vancouver Sun , the minister failed to disclose to the Ethics Commissioner who owned the other 30% of his school at the time and the question is the interest of his partners.

The minister having failed to file a complete report leaves questions in our minds. The missing information which would either confirm that he has been using the trade missions inappropriately or clear his name could be presented to the House.

Will the minister tell this House whether or not investors in his own company have benefited from his recent trade trip to China?

Campaign FinancingOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa—Vanier Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger LiberalMinister for Internal Trade

Mr. Speaker, the member might be well advised to consult with the Ethics Commissioner instead of the Vancouver Sun .

The minister did exactly what he was advised to do by the Ethics Commissioner, which was to divest himself of any shares or any interest he might have had in these corporations. He did that in December 2004, way before the trips. No, the minister is not in any way, shape or form in any conflict of interest in this situation.

Budget SurplusesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government has just introduced a bill on the use of federal budget surpluses in the coming years.

How can the Prime Minister contradict himself so by denying the existence of any fiscal imbalance to the federal government's advantage and then confirming the anticipated existence of huge federal surpluses by introducing legislation on their allocation in the future?

Budget SurplusesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Scarborough—Guildwood Ontario

Liberal

John McKay LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the government commissioned Dr. O'Neill to write a report with regard to the surpluses that occur from time to time.

Dr. O'Neill's findings were that the bias is always skewered to the positive and as a consequence, there should be some mechanism for dealing with that positive result that happens, and has happened over the last eight years. The tabling of the report, which is an equal division among tax relief, debt reduction and program initiatives, is our response to that report. I believe it is greatly supported by many Canadians.

Budget SurplusesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec and the provinces have all been complaining about the fiscal imbalance that keeps the money in Ottawa while the needs are in Quebec and the provinces.

Does the Prime Minister, who says it is in national interest each time he interferes in the jurisdictions of Quebec and the provinces, not realize that it is in the best interest of Quebeckers and even Canadians for him to recognize and resolve the sizeable fiscal imbalance, rather than turn the huge budget surpluses in Ottawa into something normal and accepted?

Budget SurplusesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Scarborough—Guildwood Ontario

Liberal

John McKay LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member continues to work on an erroneous presumption. That erroneous presumption is that Quebec and the other provinces do not have access to revenue raising sources. They have as many revenue raising sources as are available to the federal government, and in some instances more.

In this particular instance, there cannot be any fiscal imbalance as each province has exactly the same revenue raising capacity as the federal government.

Budget SurplusesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, by interfering in child care and municipal affairs, and by rejecting the Gérin-Lajoie doctrine on allowing Quebec to represent itself abroad on matters within its jurisdiction, the Prime Minister is saying one thing and doing another.

Did the Minister of Transport not best express the real feelings of the Prime Minister, who is using these surpluses to gain new powers at the expense of Quebec and the provinces? Say what you will, the federal government can do what it wants since it has all the money.

Budget SurplusesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, for more than a year now, we have been signing all sorts of agreements with the Government of Quebec. We have signed an agreement on infrastructure and fuel tax. We have signed an agreement on health and one on older workers. We have reached an agreement on New Horizons for seniors. Then there is housing and the homeless. We can give many examples of the agreements signed with the Government of Quebec in order to meet the needs of Quebeckers, which is our role.

Budget SurplusesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government is causing numerous problems as a result of the fiscal imbalance. Then, it adds insult to injury by talking to us about social cohesion.

Does the Prime Minister not realize that, thanks to the fiscal imbalance, he is responsible for increasing and most certainly exacerbating the social imbalance?

Budget SurplusesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has always said that he would work very closely with all the stakeholders in society and, naturally, with the provinces, while respecting areas of jurisdiction, but also with everyone who plays an important role in Canada, because we are facing huge challenges, given the current global situation. If we all work together, we will succeed in meeting these challenges. That is the context in which we are continuing to work with our partners, the provinces.

Indian and Northern Affairs CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Prentice Conservative Calgary North Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians now see that the virus of Liberal entitlement, rot and corruption has spread into the department of unlimited spending.

The Minister of Indian Affairs has now been caught signing a major contract with an Ottawa consulting firm that demands verbal advice only and specifies that the consultant leave no paper trail for the Auditor General.

Canadians have seen these sorts of liberally sensitive gag order contracts before: the Earnscliffe contracts with the Prime Minister's former office, the Groupaction contracts, and now Indian affairs.

Who instructed the minister to avoid public accountability, to avoid the House, and to avoid the Auditor General?

Indian and Northern Affairs CanadaOral Questions

2:35 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, as I said, as part of an audit exercise within the department and following Treasury Board guidelines, the branch hired experts. The contract called for an oral presentation on the initial findings from confidential employee interviews. It was a small part of the contract. There is a contract. There is a statement of work. There is a clear audit trail which shows the department got what it paid for.

Indian and Northern Affairs CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Prentice Conservative Calgary North Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, that is verbal notice of a dirty Liberal agreement. Two weeks ago, the President of Treasury Board confirmed that he does not know how much the Liberal government is spending on aboriginal programs. What a surprise. Even consultants working for the department are doing so in secret. The Auditor General made this same criticism about the sponsorship scandal and the Earnscliffe contracts.

Why is the minister hiding the truth from Canadians?

Indian and Northern Affairs CanadaOral Questions

2:35 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, clearly the member did not listen to the answer in the first instance. There is a contract. It is very transparent. It shows the department got what it paid for.