This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #138 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was firefighters.

Topics

David DingwallOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, in Liberal Ottawa the truth is the first casualty when the government feels it is in danger of being held accountable or defeated.

Now the latest example is the Liberals' denial that there were severance discussions with Mr. Dingwall and yet Mr. Dingwall told us yesterday that while he did not have discussions with the PMO or the PCO specifically about severance, there were discussions about entitlement to entitlements. One man's entitlement is another man's severance.

Will the Prime Minister show some leadership, get out of his chair, come clean and finally admit that his government did indeed have severance relations with that man, Mr. Dingwall?

David DingwallOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Markham—Unionville Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, my conversation with Mr. Dingwall was limited to the fact that he stated that he would resign. The main reason given was that he thought it was best for the Mint, and I did not disagree with that.

Any discussions regarding legal obligations are matters for lawyers and those discussions no doubt are taking place in the Privy Council Office, which is where such discussions normally take place in our system.

David DingwallOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, it seems that all roads from Dingwall lead to the Prime Minister. They were cabinet colleagues, partners in ad scam and cooperators at the Mint. He is a bit like gum in the Prime Minister's hair or maybe the Prime Minister has gum in his pants because he cannot get out of his chair.

In praising and defending Mr. Dingwall, the Prime Minister said that under his tutelage the Mint returned a profit. He boasted of this and yet at the Mint this profit occurred while there was a contract in place with, wait for it, the Department of Finance.

Will the Prime Minister admit that the Department of Finance during his time was covering the operating costs of much of the Mint's expenses that boosted its bottom line?

David DingwallOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Markham—Unionville Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, that is absolute nonsense. It is total grasping at straws. The fact is that the Mint melted down old coins to make new coins and the cost of that was paid by the Department of Finance, a totally normal transaction offering only the costs to the Mint. The opposition is getting very desperate.

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Questions

October 20th, 2005 / 2:25 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Conservative Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday David Dingwall denied he was paid any contingency fee to secure a grant from the federal government. However we know that Technology Partnerships Canada threatened to stop all payments to Bioniche if it did not repay the money paid to Dingwall. Dingwall says that he is not guilty but TPC says that he is.

I ask the Minister of Industry, who is right here? Why was Bioniche forced to pay back Dingwall's $350,000 success fee if in fact he did nothing wrong?

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada had a contract with Bioniche. We got back all the money that went out in contingency fees. It was Bioniche that was in breach of its contract. That breach was remedied and the money was returned.

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Conservative Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, the industry minister did not even try to answer the question. The facts are these. David Dingwall registered to lobby TPC for Bioniche. He openly declared that he would be receiving a contingency fee which is prohibited under the program's guidelines. The company in question was forced by the government to pay back the contingency fee but yesterday Dingwall insisted that he did not receive a contingency fee.

There is a direct contradiction here. Either the government has wrongly forced a company to repay over $460,000 or Dingwall did not tell the truth to a standing committee of the House. Which is it?

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we did find Bioniche in breach of its contract. We did recover all of the money that went out in contingency fees. The matter has now been dealt with.

Child CareOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Guy Côté Bloc Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, Bill C-43, passed by the federal government, establishes four conditions that child care centres must meet in order to fulfill Ottawa's requirements.

Can the federal government tell us if it is claiming that it has the jurisdiction to assess whether these mandatory conditions have been met? In other words, does the federal government believe that it gets to be the judge here?

Child CareOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ahuntsic Québec

Liberal

Eleni Bakopanos LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Social Development (Social Economy)

Mr. Speaker, as the Prime Minister, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and the minister said, negotiations are currently underway. We are not negotiating with the Bloc, but with the legitimate Government of Quebec.

The minister is currently in a meeting on the conditions and the political will for a better child care system for children in Canada and Quebec.

Child CareOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Guy Côté Bloc Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, the establishment of conditions for Quebec's child care system, conditions that the federal government then gets to assess, leaves Ottawa with the role of judging and Quebec with the role of implementing.

By proceeding in this manner, does the federal government not understand that, in the area of child care, those without the expertise—Ottawa—are judging the work of those with the expertise—Quebec? Once again, the federal government, which knows nothing, is acting like it knows everything.

Child CareOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ahuntsic Québec

Liberal

Eleni Bakopanos LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Social Development (Social Economy)

Mr. Speaker, it is not about knowing everything. We are the Government of Canada, we are a federation and we want to share the advantageous conditions of the Quebec child care system with the rest of Canada. We are in favour of sharing.

At this time, we are in negotiations with all the ministers in Canada with regard to our programs and promises. As I said, both levels of government are demonstrating the political will to resolve this problem.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, because of the American refusal to respect the NAFTA rulings, the softwood lumber industy in Quebec and Canada has turned to the U.S. courts, a process that may take up to two years. In the meantime, businesses here will still have to come up with $2 billion more in countervailing duties, bringing the total to $7 billion.

Does the Prime Minister not think that such a situation fully justifies the creation of a loan guarantee program to help the industry and send a clear message to the Americans: there will be no cut-rate agreement in the softwood lumber sector?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I think the Prime Minister and the government has been tackling the softwood lumber industry issue with the U.S. with more vigour and more aggression than ever before in the history of this dispute.

We will work with the industry. We are developing a forest sector approach for Canadian companies. We will be assisting where appropriate, going forward.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, talking louder is not enough. Yesterday, Carl Grenier, vice-president of the Free Trade Lumber Council said in a speech in Toronto that the $5 billion in duties held up illegally at the border was more than three times the net income for the twelve largest forest companies in Canada for the last 3 years.

Can the Prime Minister explain to us why he does not allow Export Development Canada to treat these illegally collected U.S. countervailing fees as accounts receivable, and thus to provide loan guarantees to companies needing them on that basis?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the battle on softwood lumber does continue. We are working with the industry. We are looking at the recommendations that they are giving to us.

We will ensure that the Canadian softwood lumber industry is enabled to carry on the fight because we are going to win it. We are going to win it against the United States protectionists.

LobbyistsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Chong Conservative Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister upheld Canadian Satellite Radio's licence, despite recommendations from his heritage minister and his Quebec caucus that it be revoked.

It did not stand a chance when PMO insiders, like John Duffy and Richard Mahoney, stepped up to the plate at a Liberal cocktail party fundraiser for the Laurier Club in Regina. These two lobbied to ensure that the licence would not be revoked in complete violation of the rules that they register as lobbyists.

Why will the Prime Minister not honour his commitment to greater ethics and accountability and hold these two accountable for these violations?

LobbyistsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I believe the hon. member knows that the Registrar of Lobbyists does look into these matters. It is completely within his domain of jurisdiction. I do not interfere. Those decisions were made on Canadian Satellite Radio on good, solid public policy grounds, full stop.

LobbyistsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Chong Conservative Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister continually refuses to answer questions in this House about ethics and accountability.

The Sun King started with grand promises to eliminate the democratic deficit by giving his backbench MPs a greater say and to eliminate the cronyism of “who do you know in the PMO”.

His Quebec caucus did not stand a chance against unregistered lobbyists close to the PMO. To them, he now looks more like Marie Antoinette who said, “Let them eat cake”. With friends like Richard Mahoney and John Duffy in the PMO, they have decided so tough luck.

Why is he allowing this conduct to continue, flying in the face of his promises?

LobbyistsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member because it allows me to continue from my list yesterday.

Fact: the government created new policy for proactive disclosure. Fact: the government has given committees a greater role in influencing legislation by referring legislation before second reading. I can point to the whistleblower legislation as an example of where this House improved that legislation to empower members of Parliament, contrary to what the hon. member opposite has said.

Fact: the government re-established the position of comptroller general, who oversees spending in every government department. That is the work of the Prime Minister.

Minister of Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Rahim Jaffer Conservative Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Columbus Centre dining room in Toronto offers many culinary experiences. Their signature and most expensive dish is Red Deer venison with truffle-infused liver pâté for $30. Add appetizers and all beverages and three people would pay about $150. When the immigration minister took his two political hacks there on July 31 he spent a whopping $225. Maybe Rudolph was not the only one leaving the restaurant with a red nose.

How can the minister continue to justify these outrageous restaurant expenses?

Minister of Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated before, I conduct my business after hours, on weekends, et cetera, and I do it all according to the appropriate guidelines, as the member will know as he enjoys reading the Internet.

In fact, as I indicated before, I have invited him to come to some of these meetings and he has declined. I have had to go to Edmonton and speak with the mayor, speak with business and speak with labour to hear what they have to say about immigration because he does not ask any questions about them. I wonder why I should be doing his job.

Minister of Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Rahim Jaffer Conservative Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, let us see about these consultations. The immigration minister has said that he does conduct meetings with stakeholders and other constituents over the course of hours that are beyond the normal working hours in the House.

According to the minister's own documents, he claimed 19 meals during the second quarter of 2005, but his only guests were Government of Canada employees. There were no outside consultations, no constituents and the only people with a steak were his staff.

Why did the minister invent these phony excuses?

Minister of Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the only phoniness is over on the other side. I consult widely with everybody and there are people who work for the Government of Canada who have important and valuable interventions.

I am not like the member and three of his buddies on that other side who spent $1,000 on a return fare to Toronto to go have a couple of slices of pizza.

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Michael John Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, reports about avian flu findings in Asia and Europe have prompted concern in my constituency and across Canada. Our country's level of preparation for a possible pandemic was discussed earlier in this House. We heard the Minister of Health say that Canada will host an international conference next week on this issue.

Could the minister inform the House about the government's expectations for this conference on this critical issue for Canadians?