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House of Commons Hansard #87 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was cfia.

Topics

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Conservative Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, what is he afraid of? What is he hiding? Why will he not answer simple questions? For the fourth time, we want to know whether this Minister of Transport arranged a meeting between Mr. Duffar of Cossette Communication and Mr. Gagliano. This question centres on the very integrity of this minister. We want an answer from this minister.

Did he arrange this meeting or not?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Don Valley West Ontario

Liberal

John Godfrey LiberalMinister of State (Infrastructure and Communities)

Mr. Speaker, again, the minister's response yesterday was very clear. We have a registrar of lobbyists to take complaints and conduct investigations.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Conservative Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, Maurice Strong, long time Liberal, long time mentor of the Prime Minister, long time business associate of the Prime Minister and companies such as Canada Steamship Lines and Cordex, has suddenly resigned his post at the United Nations.

To date the government has refused to stand up and answer questions about the Iraqi oil for food scandal at the United Nations.

Canadians are wondering why the Prime Minister will not just stand up in his place and state categorically that there has been no implication of Canadians or Canadian companies in the UN oil for food program.

Where does this all end? Why will he not just stand up?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we note Mr. Strong's very public statements about the nature of his dealings with Tongsun Park which he notes were related to Mr. Strong's work in North Korea for the United Nations secretary general.

Mr. Strong said that he had no involvement in the oil for food program but he has indicated that he would defer further work on his Korean assignment until the situation is clarified.

We have no independent information on this issue that would cause us to form a separate opinion on the case.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Conservative Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canada's international reputation is a source of pride to Canadians. At a time when the possibility of a Canadian connection to the oil for food scandal is being raised, Maurice Strong, long-time friend and adviser to the Prime Minister, and co-investor in certain companies, has suddenly resigned from his position with the UN.

Can the Prime Minister assure us that Canadians are not involved in the scandal surrounding the UN's oil for food program, yes or no?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, clearly the answer is no, they are not. We have noted the public statements by Mr. Strong concerning the nature of his dealings with Tongsun Park, in which he indicated that these were connected to his work relating to North Korea on behalf of the Secretary General of the UN. Mr. Strong said that he had had no connection with the oil for food program. He did, however, indicate that he was suspending his work in Korea until the situation is clarified. We do not have any independent information that would enable us to have a different opinion on this matter.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Bloc Charlesbourg, QC

Mr. Speaker, what Benoît Corbeil has had to say about judge appointments is disconcerting. According to him, the Liberal network controlled everything, and a person interested in an appointment to the judiciary needed to have connections with that network.

Does the Minister of Justice not find it troubling that the appointment of judges in this country could depend on the Liberal network that is behind all the Liberal mess?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Corbeil himself has said that he had no proof to back up these claims. If there are any serious allegations concerning judges, then this is something that falls within the mandate of the Gomery inquiry as part of a legal process. It is very important to make it clear to this House that judges are appointed solely on merit.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Bloc Charlesbourg, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to Mr. Corbeil, Claudette Tessier-Couture, who has since been appointed a judge, co-chaired the electoral commission of the Quebec wing of the Liberal Party of Canada with Alfonso Gagliano. He added that she knew the so-called volunteers were paid with dirty sponsorship money from Jean Brault of Groupaction.

In light of these disturbing revelations, does the Minister of Public Safety intend to ask the RCMP to launch an investigation into the alleged behaviour of Judge Tessier-Couture?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member has any information that leads him to believe that there has been criminal wrongdoing, he should provide that information to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or to the Sûreté du Québec.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Belinda Stronach Conservative Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, when a protectionist American cattle group filed an injunction to keep the U.S. border closed to Canadian beef, Canada only filed in a limited way as a friend of the court which the U.S. judge turned down the very next day and to which Canada has not even appealed.

The Canadian food safety system is on trial and the Government of Canada has not even requested the opportunity to defend it.

Why has Canada not applied for intervenor status to be present in the Montana courtroom to directly defend Canada's interests?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Malpeque P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (Rural Development)

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that Canada has been defending Canadian beef producers' interests. We have taken strong action with the Americans. We have taken strong action in the defence of producers in terms of helping them in their financial trouble as a result of the border closure. We have listened to the expert advice of Canadian lawyers and American lawyers and we put forward an amicus brief to the court.

We have been taking action, not playing politics as members are trying to do on that side.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Finley Conservative Haldimand—Norfolk, ON

Mr. Speaker, an amicus brief status these days is like issuing a news release and is just as effective.

It has been 701 days since the U.S. border was closed to Canadian livestock. Since then the Liberal government has failed to apply for intervenor status, not amicus status, in the courtroom where a Montana judge has put the Canadian food safety system on trial.

Why is the government leaving it to the U.S. protectionist lobbies to explain our food safety system to a U.S. judge?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Malpeque P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (Rural Development)

Mr. Speaker, it is clearly our position to get the border open as soon as possible and not play legal games like the party opposite wants to do.

We have taken the best advice available in the best interests of Canadian producers and we have acted on it. On top of that, we have assisted producers in their time of difficult financial trouble. The government is acting, not playing legal games like members on that side want to do.

Economic DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, in terms of economic development, Atlantic Canada has both significant challenges and very interesting prospects. Budget 2005 includes important elements for ACOA projects.

Would the Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency kindly describe to us the agency's significance to Atlantic Canada and the significance of the measures in budget 2005 to the agency?

Economic DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Egmont P.E.I.

Liberal

Joe McGuire LiberalMinister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, in response to the question from my colleague from the riding of Madawaska—Restigouche, I want to tell him that the great strides made by ACOA over the past five years in Atlantic Canada will certainly be put to a stop, and the budget of $708 million over five years for regional development will certainly not be implemented if the budget bill is lost.

That means the research and development and commercialization money that is contained in the budget will be lost. Our investments in women in business, youth and the business community will also be lost. New Brunswick and Atlantic Canada will certainly be hurt by losing this.

National DefenceOral Question Period

April 21st, 2005 / 3 p.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Conservative Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, the federal government confirmed in the House last week that the Ontario Liberal government is in violation of the Canada Health Act. The Ontario government is charging health premiums administered through the tax system to soldiers and RCMP officers.

When can the soldiers be reimbursed as promised by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence?

National DefenceOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, it is true that the Ontario health tax which is in place taxes every resident of the province and taxes, therefore, members of the armed forces. The members of the armed forces, however, receive their health care from our services, and on occasion go to Ontario hospitals, in which case Ontario is remunerated for these.

I have spoken to the minister of health in the province of Ontario. I have told him that I believe this is not fair treatment of the Canadian government, but our forces, as members of the House should know, are in no way disadvantaged. They receive the health care they need. It is the federal government that is missing out in the fact that we are paying twice for services they receive in Ontario.

TaxationOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Lunn Conservative Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, in the last election the Prime Minister told former JDS employees directly that he would fix their tax debt on money they never earned. Now they have been told that they have to pay 100% of this tax on a phantom income.

The Prime Minister promised he would help. A man of honour keeps his word. When the Prime Minister cries his crocodile tears on national television tonight, how does he expect anyone to believe one word he says when his word means nothing?

TaxationOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Markham—Unionville Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, first of all I thank the hon. member as well as my colleague from Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca for their assistance in this difficult matter. As I have told the member many times, we are indeed pursuing an administrative solution in which each case is examined individually and in which I receive daily reports on each individual case. While I cannot comment on individual cases, I can assure the House that we are pursuing maximum fairness within the confines of the law.

Presence in GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of the Hon. David Alward, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture of New Brunswick.

Presence in GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Presence in GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

It being Thursday, I believe the hon. House leader of the official opposition has a question he would like to ask.

Presence in GalleryBusiness of the House

3 p.m.

Conservative

Jay Hill Conservative Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure, given the actions of the government on Monday night, whether it is really worthwhile for me to stand in this place and ask the government House leader for the business that we can anticipate for the remainder of this week and into the week following the week when members will be returning to their constituencies.

However, I will do that, with special emphasis on when the hon. House Leader can inform us that he intends to restore the opposition motion that we should have been debating yesterday in this House of Commons. When does he intend to restore that opposition day to the Conservative Party of Canada?

Presence in GalleryBusiness of the House

3 p.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, we will continue this afternoon with second reading of Bill C-38, the civil marriage bill. This will be followed by consideration of Senate amendments of Bill C-29, the patent bill, and Bill C-12, the quarantine bill.

We will then return to second reading of Bill C-43, the budget bill, and eventually the third readings of: Bill C-23, the HRDC bill; Bill C-22, the social development bill; Bill C-26, the border services bill; and Bill C-9, the Quebec development bill.

Tomorrow we will begin with Bill C-43. If this is completed, we will then return to the list just given.

Next week is a break week. Since it happens to coincide this year with Passover, I would like to take this opportunity to extend to Canadians of the Jewish faith best wishes on this holiday.

After today there are 35 sitting days for the House before its scheduled adjournment on June 23. The government hopes that the House will be able to complete all stages of Bill C-38 and Bill C-43 by that date, which means that the bills will have to go to and be reported from committees in time for report stage and third reading in that limited time. That is why we have given priority to these bills in order to arrive at the supply votes.

The government is obliged to designate by that date 6 of those 35 days as allotted days or opposition days. Since we do not face the logistical and timing difficulties that I have just described vis-à-vis these two major bills, it seems logical and sensible to ask the House to deal with those second readings before proceeding with business such as opposition days, which are not followed by subsequent legislative stages.

If the members opposite would not be so sneaky in trying to change the Standing Orders, in fact, we could perhaps have the kind of dialogue that the hon. member is suggesting we have.