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

Topics

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I have said a number of times that this was a social meeting, period.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Okay, Mr. Speaker, it was a social meeting after which Cossette Communication got a $100 million contract.

Let me ask a second question. Was Cossette Communication a client of the Prime Minister's Quebec lieutenant? By client I mean did he ever receive money--he was a radio talk show host--from Cossette Communication?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, if the Leader of the Opposition had read the reports in the newspapers and magazines and so forth, he would have seen that it has always been obvious that I provided research, analysis and strategies to a number of private sector clients over the years, including Cossette Communication.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Conservative Calgary Southeast, AB

The fog is clearing, Mr. Speaker. Now we know that there was a meeting.

We would like to know, did the Minister of Transport, when he was in the private sector, organize a meeting between François Duffar of Cossette Communication and the then minister of public works, Alfonso Gagliano? Did he make the social gathering happen?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the same answer applies.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Conservative Calgary Southeast, AB

But what is the answer, Mr. Speaker? I do not get it. Anyway, I am going to put it very clearly.

Did the Minister of Transport receive money, receive payments, from Cossette Communication, for anything? Did he receive money from that organization and did he organize meetings between Messrs. Duffar and Gagliano? Yes or no?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, same question, same answer.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Cardin Bloc Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Environment has expressed his dream of seeing one hydroelectric transmission line stretching from east to west in Canada.

Can the Minister of the Environment guarantee he will never force Hydro-Québec to sell its electricity to other parts of Canada at a price lower than what it can get on international markets?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I realize the Bloc knows nothing of the Canadian Constitution, but the Government of Canada has no power to force Hydro-Québec to buy or to sell hydroelectricity.

Our plan, however, is based on the concept of partnership. We know that the Government of Quebec, Hydro-Québec and the Government of Ontario are very interested in forming a partnership with the Government of Canada to reduce greenhouse gases and thus honour our international commitment as part of the Kyoto protocol.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Cardin Bloc Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister's line is operating at low voltage.

The point of the exercise is to protect Hydro-Québec against federal meddling in its operations.

Will the government promise that Hydro-Québec will not be obliged to carry electricity in transit across Quebec, without the formal agreement of Quebec?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, with questions like that, the Bloc is demonstrating its total uselessness yet again. We are talking about a partnership with the Government of Quebec. Nobody is imposing anything on anyone. If there is one thing Hydro-Québec can do without, it is the protection of the separatists.

JusticeOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Conservative

Myron Thompson Conservative Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, in 2000 the Liberal government made two commitments to the victims of crime. One was to make more information available to them when it came to transferring offenders, and the others who could not attend parole hearings would receive audio tapes of the hearings. As usual, these two promises made were two promises broken.

How is today's announcement regarding victims any different? Is it not anything more than a public relations exercise prior to an election?

JusticeOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, with the strong advocacy of my colleague from the riding of Nickel Belt, today as soon as question period is over, we will be introducing both amendments to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and announcing changes in relation to the way our corrections system deals with victims, including the two specific items that the hon. member has mentioned.

JusticeOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Conservative Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister should not be so smug. Those parole amendments were recommended five years ago, and the government did nothing but dither.

Perhaps the minister would like to face Montreal police officer Walter Filipas and try to convince him of the virtues of the long overdue legislation. In 1993 Filipas was shot in the head by Claude Forget. This would-be cop killer is scheduled for statutory release in September.

Will the minister personally ensure that Forget's case is properly reviewed before he is pushed back onto the streets by statutory release?

JusticeOral 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 would hope that the hon. member knows, I know that he knows actually, that is a matter that will come before the parole board. If there are extenuating circumstances in this case, obviously the parole board will review it. I will say in addition to that, I today am not only tabling amendments to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, I am also asking the standing committee on justice and human rights to take up a broader review with that act, including the issue of statutory release.

Official LanguagesOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Liberal Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister responsible for Official Languages.

On April 11, the members of the House passed, with a huge majority, Bill S-3, which I sponsored, at second reading. However, now, the Conservative members are turning around and postponing consideration of the bill in committee.

Can the minister help us deal with the Conservative members, who are engaging in petty politics at the expense of francophones living in a minority situation in Canada? Can he help us deal with this?

Official LanguagesOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Ottawa—Vanier Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger LiberalDeputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, 35 years after this country was declared officially bilingual, the official opposition has finally said yes; supposedly, it gave its okay at its convention in March. I say supposedly because, yesterday, we saw clear evidence to the contrary, when a Conservative-Bloc alliance tried to indefinitely postpone this bill, which would improve the lives of official language minority communities in Canada. Its true position is clear.

As for our government and our party, these communities know that they have been able to rely on us in the past, they can rely on us now and they will be able to rely on us in the future.

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Art Hanger Conservative Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, since 1992 the Calgary Airport Authority has paid more than $250 million in airport rent for a facility that was valued at that time at $118 million. The federal government's contribution over that time has been zero. Instead, Calgary's rent will increase by a whopping 125% to $56 million, charges that will undoubtedly be passed on to the travelling public and the beleaguered airline industry.

My question is for the Minister of Transport. For once, will the government support the airline industry and our local airports--

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Transport.

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the Deputy Prime Minister has made so many representations on this topic that I know we are going to have some action. I am working diligently with the Minister of Finance and this issue will be solved.

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Art Hanger Conservative Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, it has been a long time coming and I do not think the minister is paying attention to all the CEOs of the airport authorities.

The government continues to use airports to extract a hidden tax from air travellers and the airline industry. El Al, Israel's national airline, has already warned that if the costs keep rising, it might be forced to drop Canada from its roster. On top of all this, Air Canada and even WestJet are having trouble operating in this overtaxed industry.

Can the Minister of Transport explain to this House how higher airport rents benefit the airline industry in Canada?

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, because of the representations of this caucus and of airport authorities across the country, we will find a more equitable formula before the end of June.

Correctional Service of CanadaOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, in its latest budget, specifically in annex 8, the government proposes changes to the Income Tax Regulations to increase the maximum pension benefit accrual rate from 2% to 2.33% for public safety occupations, including correctional officers. This measure is retroactive to January 1, 2005.

Why, after making this promise in the budget, is the President of the Treasury Board refusing to negotiate with the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers?

Correctional Service of CanadaOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Winnipeg South Manitoba

Liberal

Reg Alcock LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, we are in constant dialogue with the union, the CSN. Staff report that progress is being made. We will reach a conclusion when both sides are satisfied that we have reached an agreement.

InfrastructureOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Alan Tonks Liberal York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of State for Infrastructure and Communities.

Last week the Government of Canada announced the first bilateral agreement in the delivery of the promised new deal for cities and communities in British Columbia.

With agreements reportedly close to being signed with Nova Scotia, Manitoba and Alberta, can the minister inform the House on the status of negotiations with the province of Ontario, where the Government of Canada is committed to delivering $1.9 billion over the next five years to cities and communities across the province?