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House of Commons Hansard #151 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was trade.

Topics

Parliament of CanadaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister made a commitment to Canadians on national television and he is going to be consistent with that commitment. While the hon. member makes the comments that she does, in fact the opposition members are not operating at all in the public interest. They are operating in their own narrow partisan interests.

Two-thirds of Canadians said they wanted to wait for Justice Gomery's second report. That is the commitment the Prime Minister made to Canadians. He made it on national television. The Prime Minister will ensure that he meets that commitment. If in fact this Parliament does dissolve, it will be 100% the responsibility of the opposition parties.

Parliament of CanadaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Ed Broadbent NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister or the government House leader. Every member of every party in the House knows that we are going to have an election soon. The Conservative Party has compromised. The Bloc Québécois has compromised. We have compromised.

Is it not an example of unmitigated Liberal arrogance to say, “Either it is my way or no way?”

Parliament of CanadaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I would suggest to the hon. member that he check with his new-found partner, the leader of the official opposition. On the one hand they suggest they have no confidence and then on the other hand they suggest that we continue to govern, pass legislation and implement government spending.

How quickly the hon. member and the leader of the official opposition forget what the Leader of the Opposition said on May 10: “the confidence of this chamber...is the only democratic mandate this government has”. We either have the confidence of this chamber or we do not. If we do not, they can put forward a motion and take responsibility--

Parliament of CanadaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands now has the floor.

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Lunn Conservative Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government spent $92 million purchasing the Skyline complex from PowerCorp. The government claims that it is getting the best possible value for Canadian tax dollars. The truth is that this is nothing more than best value for Liberal cronies, their friends, and everyone knows it.

How is spending $92 million on a building, the government was not even in the market to buy, getting best value for the Canadian taxpayer?

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, once again the hon. member is basing his false allegations on an unsubstantiated media story that had its facts wrong.

Yesterday I offered him a briefing from our department that would provide him with the facts. I would reiterate today that the hon. member is more than welcome to entertain that briefing and to learn the facts. He would learn that he was wrong and that best value for the Canadian taxpayer was provided while we achieved reasonable accommodations for Canadian public servants.

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Lunn Conservative Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, there is an access to information that will show PowerCorp solicited the government to make the purchase.

Is there any other company in the country that could just walk into cabinet and ask for $92 million for a building? The truth is that this happens because special access is granted to powerful Liberals and not to anyone else.

Is it not true that this is about best value for powerful Liberals rather than best value for taxpayers?

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, one can only assume that the hon. member does not want the truth to stand in the way of his false allegations.

Once again I will reiterate that he can have a briefing from the department which will show him that best value was achieved. Beyond that, the purchase price was below market value then and today, and the fit-up costs were reasonable to ensure that Canadian public servants were housed reasonably in this building that was purchased in 2003.

David DingwallOral Questions

November 16th, 2005 / 2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Pallister Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, when David Dingwall was thrown out by the people of Cape Breton in 1997, the Liberal patronage machine kicked right into action. Between then and now, Dingwall has received from Canadian taxpayers at least $693,000 in Liberal lobbying contracts and $700,000 for his salary as patronage leader at the Mint. Now Liberal lawyers are negotiating chingwall's severance with other Liberal lawyers.

Why do Liberals insist on defending one another and abusing Canadian taxpayers?

David DingwallOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Markham—Unionville Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, it is quite astounding that the member opposite continues to put out these false numbers when he has been proven wrong so often.

The $700,000 number includes Mr. Dingwall's salary, the salaries of other employees, office expenses, paper and computers. The $1 million cost, to which the hon. member referred before, could only be reached if Mr. Dingwall's salary were counted twice.

The member has no credibility on numbers and he should realize that point.

David DingwallOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Pallister Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, I stand by my numbers and the minister stands by Dingwall.

The Prime Minister does not clean up, he covers up, and that is what the government is doing. Let us take André Ouellet, please. The Liberal porkmaster general felt entitled to pay himself $2 million in lavish expenses. The public was angry. The Prime Minister promised an audit and 14 months later we are still waiting.

What happened to accountability? What happened to cleaning things up? André Ouellet is the poster boy for Liberal entitlement and this is a cover-up.

Will the Prime Minister stand up and admit that he is trying to hide the facts from Canadians until after the next federal election?

David DingwallOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Markham—Unionville Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I do not stand by David Dingwall. I stand by at least rudimentary accuracy in the use of figures and facts in this chamber.

In terms of Mr. Ouellet, as I indicated rather graphically two days ago, the law inhibits me from commenting on that matter.

However I can say that I am honoured and privileged to be in charge of the Canada Revenue Agency because I can attest that the employees of that agency are carrying out their audits and their other tasks with great diligence and great professionalism, which should be recognized on that side of the House.

ImmigrationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Bloc Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act was passed, four years ago, the government had provided for an appeal division to guarantee that the reduction in the number of commissioners would not deny refugee claimants fair and equitable treatment. In committee, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration confirmed that he no longer intended to establish the appeal division, as his government had promised, thereby embarrassing even a number of his Liberal colleagues.

Can the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration explain the reasons for his about-face?

ImmigrationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I said we want a system that allows refugees to integrate into the Canadian system. Our existing system welcomed many more refugees last year than the previous year.

Last year, we accepted 28% more refugees. In my opinion that is evidence that there is indeed justice for those truly seeking asylum here in Canada.

ImmigrationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Bloc Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, four years ago, the government explained that the creation of an appeal division was a matter of fairness and justice for those seeking asylum.

Are we to understand the minister's remarks to mean that, four years later, he no longer considers fairness and justice important?

ImmigrationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the justice lies in the results. Many more refugees were welcomed here last year than in the previous year. That is justice. We voluntarily take in refugees and welcome them to this country.

HousingOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

John Cummins Conservative Delta—Richmond East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the leaky condo disaster is costing homeowners billions of dollars. The government has known for years that the national energy program caused the disaster and that the department of energy ordered a cover-up.

In 1981, CMHC told the deputy minister of energy that his department's energy conservation measures were the main cause of rotting walls in newly constructed homes. The deputy minister's response was to demand a cover-up.

Would the Minister of Natural Resources acknowledge that his department's demand for a cover-up is costing homeowners billions of dollars?

HousingOral Questions

3 p.m.

London North Centre Ontario

Liberal

Joe Fontana LiberalMinister of Labour and Housing

Mr. Speaker, I believe you ruled on a response we provided to Question No. 151 as appropriate, and you did that yesterday. Therefore I am sure the hon. member in this House would not want me to comment on a matter that is before the British Columbia courts.

Human ResourcesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Lynne Yelich Conservative Blackstrap, SK

Mr. Speaker, the compassionate care program was supposed to assist the thousands who perform the physically and emotionally draining task of caring for a terminally ill loved one. However the program is riddled with fundamental flaws and its administration costs far outstrip the benefits.

The minister knows that already, just as her predecessors in the portfolio did for over two years. She said, when asked weeks ago in this House, that changes were “coming very soon”. When terminally ill, soon may not be soon enough.

As there is a failure to present any changes to cabinet, could the minister explain this failure to keep her word to caregivers?

Human ResourcesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Newmarket—Aurora Ontario

Liberal

Belinda Stronach LiberalMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister responsible for Democratic Renewal

Mr. Speaker, this is not a failure. This a new program that was designed with a greater potential uptake than was actually received at the end of the day. We are looking at the program to expand the definition and, quite frankly, if we do have an election, this is one of the programs that may be compromised.

The EconomyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Anthony Rota Liberal Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance.

Some critics have erroneously claimed that Ontario will not benefit from the Liberal government's economic update. Our economic success is no accident. We have had over 200,000 jobs created this year and October's unemployment rate reached its lowest point in three decades. Housing affordability remains near its best level on record and corporate profits are at their highest level in over 20 years.

Could the Minister of Finance please explain further how Ontarians, like my constituents, will benefit from our government's plan for prosperity?

The EconomyOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, our plan for greater competitiveness, productivity and growth will be especially beneficial in Ontario. We will support Ontario's huge business sector with more aggressive trade policy, including further success on the Windsor gateway; more competitive taxes to keep jobs and investment on the Canadian side of the border; more middle and low income students will be able to go to Ontario's excellent universities; more brain power will be developed in this country and in this province; more workers will be able to gain skills; and, more top flight innovation and commercialization. Ontario will be a big winner.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Scheer Conservative Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Liberal finance minister again refused to provide a fair deal for Saskatchewan's oil and gas revenue. He thinks that fixing previous errors that his own department made is good enough. Well, it is not good enough for my province which sees almost 90% clawed back on our natural resource revenues.

Even with his band-aid fixes to previous mistakes, Saskatchewan still loses a billion dollars because of clawbacks.

Could the minister explain to people in Saskatchewan why we should not get the same fair deal as Newfoundland and Labrador, and Nova Scotia?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman is just factually wrong. Since February 2004 there has been no such clawback. Saskatchewan has had the full benefit of its natural resources and its full equalization entitlement, which adds up to $799 million extra to the province of Saskatchewan than it otherwise would have received.

I am very happy that today's fiscal accounts in Saskatchewan have reported that the province this year has a surplus of $873 million more.

National DefenceOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Greg Thompson Conservative St. Croix—Belleisle, NB

Mr. Speaker, following the resignation of the agent orange coordinator, I made a number of recommendations to the government to improve the process, among other things, making the position independent of government with the power to make recommendations in regard to compensation.

Did today's announcement of Dr. Furlong's appointment to this position include any significant changes to address the deficiencies in the original plan?