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 #47 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was billion.

Topics

International CooperationOral Question Period

February 1st, 2005 / 2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Ted Menzies Conservative Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, when most of us saw reports of the tsunami crisis we asked, “What can I do to help?”

Sitting at home in Barrie, the Minister of International Cooperation asked, “Can I make it to the airport before the Prime Minister cancels my holiday?”

Despite the absence of leadership from this minister, individual Canadians gave generously to the relief effort. My question is, does the minister not realize that Canadians expect ministers to stay home and do their jobs rather than phoning in from the beach?

International CooperationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Barrie Ontario

Liberal

Aileen Carroll LiberalMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, it delights me to respond to this gentleman face to face instead of through the papers. I did indeed leave the country on Sunday night. I managed the situation in conjunction with my department by phone for two days. The morning of the third day, I booked to return.

Every decision taken was the right decision. I did that in concert with my colleagues. I am very proud of what Canada did on day one, day two and day three and right where we stand as a government with Canadians today.

Transportation Safety BoardOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, Jim Walsh lost his cabinet post in Newfoundland after taking a paper bag of $4,500 from a company seeking a $2 million government contract. Now he has shattered ethics codes on partisanship when he attended a Liberal fundraising bash.

What is Walsh's punishment? He gets to keep his six-figure salary on the Transportation Safety Board. Why is the Prime Minister continuing to protect him? Is it because of who he knows in the PMO?

Transportation Safety BoardOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, this individual was appointed because he had the skills required for the job. We have since learned that he attended partisan meetings. One can question such conduct. Our understanding is that the matter was referred to the Ethics Commissioner to clarify the code regarding any person appointed by the governor in council.

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, the mayors of nine Quebec cities affected by the closure of the RCMP detachments have written the members of this House pointing out that the report by the members of the Standing Committee on Justice, Human Rights, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness recommends that they be retained and given additional staff. Not only has the RCMP not respected the committee report, it has already put its detachments up for sale.

Why is this government, with all its boasting about eliminating the democratic deficit, refusing to heed the mayors of these nine cities, as well as the members of the Standing Committee on Justice, Human Rights, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, who say the RCMP's decision is a mistake?

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, I am sure that the RCMP has taken into consideration the views of the mayors of the affected areas.

As I have said before in this House, I do not involve myself, nor does this government, in the operational details of the running of the RCMP. Redeployment of officers is an ongoing and regular exercise in the force. In fact, redeployment takes place to ensure that the force is more efficient and more effective. I underscore the fact the redeployment was undertaken in consultation with the Sûreté du Québec, which is in fact the provincial police force in the province of Quebec.

HealthOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of State for Public Health. Could the minister advise us of what the Government of Canada is doing to assure the safety of Canada's blood supply?

HealthOral Question Period

3 p.m.

St. Paul's Ontario

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett LiberalMinister of State (Public Health)

Mr. Speaker, it was yesterday that the Canadian Hemophilia Society released its third report since the Krever commission in which it has congratulated Canada on the huge strides that have been made in making our blood system one of the safest in the world. This is done by a strict regulatory environment, with inspection guidelines, good manufacturing practices and the issuing of establishment licences.

Canadian Blood Services and Héma-Québec have instituted the new tests for West Nile virus and hepatitis B, as well as enhanced pre-screening information on CJD, to really make sure that it is the safest system in the world.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Independent

Carolyn Parrish Independent Mississauga—Erindale, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Gomery commission's budget has been doubled to $60 million after three short months. Legal fees are a substantive part of this apparently limitless spending. The website of Ogilvy Renault, firm of chief counsel to the commission Bernard Roy, lists one Sally Gomery as a partner, a partner who benefits from every dollar paid to the firm.

Is Sally Gomery related to Judge John Gomery, and if so, was this relationship declared and does it create a conflict of interest under the current government guidelines?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I would like to say that the Gomery commission costs are in fact reasonable when we consider the importance of his mandate in getting to the bottom of this issue.

Furthermore, Justice Gomery is working to provide prescriptives that can help prevent this kind of activity in the future. As such, it will pay, for decades, benefits to the Canadian taxpayer. Even the Conservative Party leader has said that in fact the costs of the Gomery commission are reasonable when we consider the benefits. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has in fact today said that the Gomery costs are reasonable.

We are committed to--

Presence in GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I would like to draw the attention of hon. members to the presence in the gallery of Her Excellency Ene Ergma, President of the Riigikogu of the Republic of Estonia.

Presence in GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Presence in GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

I would also like draw to the attention of hon. members to the presence in the gallery of Hon. Chris d'Entremont, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries and Minister of Acadian Affairs for Nova Scotia.

Presence in GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Points of OrderOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

The Chair has notice of a couple of points of order arising from question period. The Right Hon. Prime Minister.

Points of OrderOral Question Period

3 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the opposition critic for foreign affairs made a reference to a supposed document in which the government said that it would not raise human rights issues. That is simply not true.

The fact is that the government has raised human rights issues and raised them extensively in China. I would ask perhaps if the hon. member would be so kind as to table the document that he was referring to.

Points of OrderOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Conservative Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Absolutely, I will table it, Mr. Speaker. It indicates very clearly and it talks about a different level of relationship with China. It says that Canada will not interfere and I used words very carefully in my question to the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister was signalling to China that he would not publicly raise these issues. By his behaviour, he is showing that he has not publicly raised them and I will table this document.

Points of OrderOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

Does the hon. member for Okanagan—Coquihalla have the unanimous consent of the House to table the document?

Points of OrderOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Points of OrderOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Repentigny also on a point of order.

Points of OrderOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Bloc Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, during oral question period again today, and unfortunately more than once, we heard the member for Random—Burin—St. George's shouting “Go back to France, you bunch of separatists!”

What I would like to know is how the government would react to such a distasteful remark if it were addressed to Italians or Africans in this House.

I would therefore ask the member to withdraw his words and would also ask the Prime Minister to set him straight so that he will stop making such racist comments about us for once and for all.

Points of OrderOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bill Matthews Liberal Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, in question period, with reference to the parental leave costs to Quebec, which was somewhere around $265 million I believe, the question I asked was: how many francs did that equate to? I was reminded by one of my colleagues that I should have asked how many Euros would that be? It had nothing to do with anything else and the member is absolutely exaggerating what I said. I asked how many francs would there be in $265 million?

Points of OrderOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

We will leave the matter there for the time being. The Chair has notice of another point of order. The hon. member for Ahuntsic.

Points of OrderOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Ahuntsic Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, during question period the hon. member for Edmonton—Spruce Grove made a comment, malhonnête, which I believe you pointed out to the new member in this House. She should get the rules of the House early in her political career. She did not withdraw the comment. I would ask you, Mr. Speaker, to ask her to withdraw the comment that is unparliamentary language under the rules of the House.

Points of OrderOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

I certainly indicated to the hon. member that it was wrong for her to use that word. Perhaps she would oblige and withdraw it. I believe she used it in reference to a member, but I do not have the text before me. I believe she did. Perhaps she would withdraw the use of that word.