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House of Commons Hansard #100 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was ndp.

Topics

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, it is really shocking that those members would take what the Auditor General has said and try to twist it into some sort of argument to support their narrow partisan perspective on this issue.

The fact is that there are allegations against other parties before Justice Gomery. The fact is that there are allegations against the Conservatives and against the separatists, yet they are not doing anything about it. They refuse to be accountable for those allegations.

In fact, there is only one party and only one Prime Minister, this Liberal Prime Minister, who is doing the right thing, who is tackling the issue head on, cleaning up the mess, getting to the bottom of this issue for Canadians and doing the right thing.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the only thing they were good at was employing their friends and giving them commissions. This is what happened.

I am asking the government once again. The Auditor General, a credible person, has said that it was unbelievable that Groupaction kept its contract, benefiting from missing calls for tender and renewal month after month. What is the government's explanation for this, when Jean Brault, of Groupaction, declared that he had to pay $50,000 to the bagman—

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Public Works and Government Services.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

First of all, Mr. Speaker, these are very serious allegations. We consider them serious and important. They are ones that we need to address and are addressing, and we are doing the right thing to solve them.

Unlike the separatists, who refuse to face the allegations against their own and who refuse to do anything about them, we are actually doing something about it. We are not just attacking and tackling this issue from a Liberal Party perspective. We are changing a culture of government. That will benefit Canadians for generations.

If government culture can be changed, the short term pain will be worth the final gain.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, ministers of the Crown hold the rights of millions of individual Canadians in their hands. This is because ministers have access to confidential personal information given in trust that privacy will not be violated.

Sadly, the immigration minister failed to protect the legal rights of a woman whose immigration file was under his care and control. Her family troubles were broadcast on national TV. She can never regain her privacy. The minister failed in a fundamental duty to the nation. Why has he not been removed?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated yesterday, neither I nor anyone in my office is associated with the release of any information, much less any documents that are involved in any particular case in the Department of Citizenship and Immigration. I think she should accept that.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister's own office confirmed that the leak came from the Liberals. It was under this minister's watch that highly confidential information, which he has sworn to protect both as a minister and as a privy councillor, was leaked to the media. Whose file will be publicized next?

Will the minister responsible for this betrayal of the public trust be removed?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday, I would have hoped that the hon. member and all of us in this House would have learned something from the situation that the hon. member for York West was put through.

In fact, again the hon. member is asserting certain things as facts and making sweeping allegations in relation to what may or may not have happened. I would hope that in this House we would be able to ask respectful questions, receive respectful answers and stop this attempt to destroy people's reputations without foundation.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Conservative Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday and today the Deputy Prime Minister tried to defend the immigration minister's latest mess. There is no defence. Highly confidential information that he was sworn to protect both as a minister and as a privy councillor was leaked to the media. Liberals have confirmed that one of their own leaked this information.

When will the minister take responsibility for this massive failure of his department and resign?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the correct answer can only be repeated over and over again for those who are willing to listen. The answer is that I received information that I had to pass on to the appropriate authorities. I even took the member aside and gave him an indication that this would happen. He was comfortable with that, and so things have happened, but what has happened is that I handed over material that came into my possession. I handed it over to the proper authorities. I did not leak anything and neither did my office.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Conservative Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, there has been a serious breach of the public trust by some unnamed Liberal with access to immigration department files. The minister's staff has admitted as much.

The protection of Canadians' confidential information has been compromised for apparent political gain. Why will the immigration minister not take responsibility for this leak and resign?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, once again, I discharged my duties according to my responsibilities and did so according to the procedures that are in place for me to follow. I followed them rigorously. I welcome anybody else to do the same thing.

InfrastructureOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Susan Kadis Liberal Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, a vote on the budget is scheduled for Thursday. It includes $5 billion for cities and communities. The government has already signed agreements with British Columbia and Alberta to transfer $1.1 billion to municipalities for local infrastructure. It is my hope that soon there will also be an agreement with Ontario.

I understand that there is some skepticism about whether the Conservatives really intend to honour these signed commitments. Could the Minister of State for Infrastructure and Communities please comment on this?

InfrastructureOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Don Valley West Ontario

Liberal

John Godfrey LiberalMinister of State (Infrastructure and Communities)

Mr. Speaker, it is certainly difficult to take that party's statements at face value when its own finance critic has said that the public is perhaps “mistaken about the degree to which we are supportive of some of this spending”.

The Leader of the Opposition said in 2003 that the federal government should not have a new deal with cities and communities. In 2004, his party campaigned on scrapping three out of the four infrastructure programs. In 2005, those members voted at their party congress against sharing the gas tax. These are not the words and actions of a party that is truly supportive of cities and communities.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Deputy Prime Minister or the Minister of Indian Affairs. We in the NDP are heartened and encouraged by the progress that is being made toward a reconciliation package for survivors of the residential school system, but we also feel, along with a great many people in the aboriginal and first nations communities, that what should accompany this is an unconditional or unqualified apology by the Prime Minister for this tragic chapter in Canadian history.

I wonder if the government could tell us whether that will also be forthcoming.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member raises an important issue, which is the resolution of our residential schools tragedy in this country. I would remind the hon. member that a former colleague and former minister of Indian affairs and northern development acknowledged the tragedy and the horror of the experience of those who were in residential schools.

I also want to reassure the hon. member, and I want to thank members of his party for the very good work they have done on this file, along with government members and some others. Let me say that we take very--

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Timmins--James Bay.

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Question Period

May 17th, 2005 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, four months ago the Minister of Public Works stood up in this House and gave Canadians a promise. He committed that the Liberal government would stop outsourcing the Canadian flag pins to factories in China. In the months following, no action was taken, no tenders were sent out, and more Chinese pins are being shipped to MPs' offices.

Yesterday the tender finally went out, but for a shipment due in June, which makes it virtually impossible for Canadian suppliers to compete. Why did the minister break his promise to this House and to Canadians?

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that we have worked with the Department of Canadian Heritage and with the Board of Internal Economy for the House to ensure that all flag pins purchased for senators and members of Parliament, i.e., for Parliament in general, will be sourced domestically.

We can do that within our trade rules and at the same time we can respect national treatment as part of our trade rules. At the same time, we can ensure that members of Parliament and senators will receive pins manufactured in Canada.

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Loyola Hearn Conservative St. John's South, NL

Mr. Speaker, while in Nova Scotia the Prime Minister said that the future of the Atlantic accord benefits rests solely on the shoulders of Nova Scotia Conservative members of Parliament. In Newfoundland he said it depended solely on Newfoundland Conservative members of Parliament.

Is it not true that the future of Atlantic accord benefits rests solely in the hands of the Prime Minister and he can deliver them any time he wants to?

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Scarborough—Guildwood Ontario

Liberal

John McKay LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Atlantic accords were entered into with the premier of Newfoundland and Labrador and the premier of Nova Scotia. Those accords were reflected in the budget and in the budget implementation bill which is to be voted on in two days.

I appreciate that the hon. member has some electoral difficulties. I feel some sympathy for him. As he has said in times past, one can never turn one's back on one's province on an important issue like this; even if it means one's party says tough, one has to stay seated. I feel some sympathy for the hon. member. However, he has the opportunity to do the right thing on Thursday.

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Norman Doyle Conservative St. John's North, NL

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the government said it could not split the Atlantic accord from the main budget bill because the Bloc would not agree. That is incorrect. All three opposition parties agreed to split the bill. Only the Liberals refused.

Now that the Conservatives, the NDP and the Bloc have agreed to split the bill, will the government stop playing politics with the accord and agree to split it from the bigger budget bill?

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

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 that members opposite listen to Premier Williams who has said, “I'd like to see the budget passed”. That is the budget, not just the Atlantic accord. Yesterday on CBC he said, “A vote for the budget is a vote for Newfoundland and Labrador”.

I would suggest that members from Newfoundland and Labrador reflect the wishes of their constituents and support the budget. Then they will get the Atlantic accord which will strengthen that province and ultimately strengthen Canada.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Finley Conservative Haldimand—Norfolk, ON

Mr. Speaker, R-CALF trade mercenaries in the U.S. are threatening to take measures to slam the U.S. border shut to exports of Canadian boxed beef. These devious attempts to further cripple our livestock industry demand that we consider all options to increase our export markets for Canadian beef and livestock products.

Would the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food finally consider voluntary BSE testing to help access niche markets for Canadian livestock products?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, as a government we have taken a large number of measures to assist the cattle industry. Our repositioning strategy is in part designed to create new alternative markets around the world. That is why we invested $50 million into a beef legacy fund to help with the marketing. As I have said on many occasions, we will consider a whole host of options all of which will be designed to help create additional markets for our beef and cattle around the world.