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House of Commons Hansard #91 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was burma.

Topics

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Public Works and Government Services.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, it is interesting to note the recent approach of opposition members to attack the mandate of Justice Gomery. They were not doing that before. Instead of that, they were sullying his work by commenting on daily testimony. That did not work, so now they are trying a new approach.

I think it is clear that they do not want Justice Gomery to succeed. They want to discredit the work of Justice Gomery because they fear his report will show to Canadians that the Prime Minister has acted honourably in his work.

JusticeOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Conservative

Vic Toews Conservative Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, a senior Quebec Liberal, Mr. Corbeil, has admitted that members of the justice minister's so-called independent panel told him to see about the Liberal credentials of judicial candidates. The Minister of Justice may not believe these serious allegations, but owes it to the independence of the judiciary to refer this matter to the Judicial Council for a full review. It is a prudent thing to do.

Why will he not take the steps to prove these allegations wrong, unless he knows them to be true?

JusticeOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as Minister of Justice I never inquire into the political affiliation of any candidate. I could not care less what the political affiliation is of any candidate. We make merit based appointments and that is it.

JusticeOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Conservative

Vic Toews Conservative Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, the point is this so-called independent panel does the screening for the minister. It checks Liberal credentials before he gets to see them. The minister may say that he has no knowledge of this, but the system has been set up to ensure that it is Liberals who make it to this final panel.

If there is no truth to these allegations, why does he not refer the matter to the Judicial Council for a full hearing? This is a clear way to clean up this cloud on Canadian judges.

JusticeOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, if the Minister of Justice were to refer allegations made by any private citizen at any time for any reason, we would be referring allegations all the time. That would be an assault on the principles of the rule of law in this country.

400th Anniversary of Quebec CityOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Quebec government announced its financial contribution to the celebrations of the 400th anniversary of Quebec City, that is $70 million for the construction of Samuel-de-Champlain Drive, and $40 million for the festivities. Meanwhile, the federal government is slow to announce its intentions.

Now that the Quebec government has confirmed its financial contribution to the celebrations of the 400th anniversary, what is the Minister of Canadian Heritage waiting for to inform us of her government's intentions?

400th Anniversary of Quebec CityOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Jeanne-Le Ber Québec

Liberal

Liza Frulla LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, of course I want to point out that we have a Liberal government in Quebec. The Liberal Government of Canada is moving forward on this issue. We had trilateral meetings with our Quebec Liberal counterparts, with Quebec City officials, and with all the stakeholders. We are making impeccable progress. The Liberal Government of Canada will make its announcements at the appropriate time.

Port InfrastructureOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Louise Thibault Bloc Rimouski—Témiscouata, QC

Mr. Speaker, the port infrastructure under Department of Transport jurisdiction is in a sorry state and is compromising economic development. The deterioration of the wharf at Les Escoumins, used by the Trois-Pistoles—Les Escoumins ferry, will, despite recent federal commitments, mean the loss of 25 jobs and $5 million for at least the next two tourist seasons. Interim compensation measures are required.

Does the Minister of Transport intend to implement some interim support measures to alleviate the situation and to rectify, albeit imperfectly, his past inaction?

Port InfrastructureOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, in my capacity as Minister of Transport, I would point out that negotiations have been ongoing on this particular matter between the municipalities and the various stakeholders for the past nine years. There has been an offer on the table for the past two. So it is certainly not a matter of neglect by the Government of Canada.

As for the facilities, discussions are being held. We have offered up to $100,000 for studies to determine the extent of the damage and the cost of the work. There have been nine years of discussions and negotiations. Nine years ago we were prepared to make an offer, and we still are.

JusticeOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Conservative Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, Benoît Corbeil said recently that a member of the judicial selection committee had called him on a number of occasions to find out whether a lawyer had indeed worked for the party. He said, “He asked me whether a certain lawyer had devoted a lot of time to the party. When it was the case, I said so. A few weeks later I discovered that the lawyer in question had been appointed a judge”.

Why is the justice minister refusing to act on these very serious revelations, which cast doubt on the integrity and the independence of the judicial system?

JusticeOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, because I want to protect the independence of the judiciary.

JusticeOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Conservative Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, what the Minister of Justice refuses to recognize is that these revelations were not made by some observer. They were made by the director general of the Liberal Party of Canada in Quebec who said that he received calls from members of what the minister calls an independent review panel to ask if these people had done sufficiently good work for the party to qualify for the bench.

Canadians have never before heard more serious accusations, questioning the integrity of the judiciary. It is incumbent upon the minister to look into this matter now and to do it seriously. Why will he not act on this?

JusticeOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, because the director general is due to appear before the very Gomery commission process. This House is supposed to respect its proceedings. That is what I intend to do.

Dairy IndustryOral Question Period

May 4th, 2005 / 3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Liberal Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of International Trade.

Dairy IndustryOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Darrel Stinson Conservative North Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

More Liberal bull.

Dairy IndustryOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Liberal Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

I am sorry to interrupt the member because I want to ask something about agriculture which is obviously not important to him. I want to ask the Minister of International Trade about Canada's--

Dairy IndustryOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Dairy IndustryOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. member for Glengarry—Prescott—Russell has the floor and we will want to be able to hear his question.

Dairy IndustryOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Liberal Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, I think that the record will show that the Tories would not allow questions on agriculture today.

Dairy farmers are calling upon the Government of Canada to act on its commitment to supply management. Imports of dairy ingredients are eroding our domestic market and incomes as a result of a trade tribunal decision. The minister has said that he would leave no stone unturned to help the dairy farmers. Does that include article--

Dairy IndustryOral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of International Trade.

Dairy IndustryOral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalMinister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I want to commend the hon. member. This House owes him a debt of gratitude for the work he has done on behalf of our milk producers.

As far as our milk producers are concerned, our number one priority is to ensure that supply management is protected even though it is under attack at the WTO.

We have to consider whether or not measures, such as article XXVIII, would be conducive to a good result in terms of supply management at the WTO. However I can assure the House we know at this time that farmers are under attack.

Presence in GalleryOral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

The Speaker

I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of the Hon. Senator Ian Macdonald, Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation of Australia.

Presence in GalleryOral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

125th Anniversary of HansardOral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

The Speaker

I have the honour of informing the House that we are today celebrating the 125th anniversary of the inauguration of the first official debates reporting service.

As Speaker of the House of Commons, I am cognizant of the importance of accurately recording and reporting debates and committee proceedings to the smooth functioning of the parliamentary process, as are all members of Parliament. Since the Debates are published under the authority of the Speaker, it is reassuring for me to know that I can count on the professionalism of the people who produce them.

In the name of all parliamentarians, I thank the men and women in parliamentary publications at the House of Commons for their hard work and their contribution to the democratic process.

I invite all hon. members and others who might be interested to join me in Room 216N to visit a display of memorabilia commemorating the 125th anniversary of

Hansard.