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House of Commons Hansard #114 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was information.

Topics

Child CareOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Conservative Edmonton—Spruce Grove, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are now intent on creating a two tier child care system. In contrast, the Conservative Party plan is universal. We will financially empower all parents equally. We will give cash subsidies directly to parents so that they can make their own child care choices.

When will the government understand that all children deserve equal support and all parents deserve to have their choices respected?

Child CareOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Ken Dryden LiberalMinister of Social Development

Mr. Speaker, as I have reminded the hon. member and as I have reminded the House, what we need to do is to go back 13 months to where we were in terms of early learning and child care in this country and what has happened since that time, the $5 billion over five year commitment and ongoing support. All that we heard 13 months ago during an election campaign was a promise that would deliver $320 to low income families. That is all we have heard up until now. We will await further word.

Child CareOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Conservative Edmonton—Spruce Grove, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Social Development has admitted that he does not know if his child care plan is universal, and I can tell him that it is not.

We know almost 100% of working parents have said that if they could afford it, they would stay home part time with their children. We also know that not one red cent of the Liberal day care plan would support that choice for parents. We know that almost 100% of working parents are left out of the Liberal plan.

When will the government start listening to what parents want?

Child CareOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Ken Dryden LiberalMinister of Social Development

Mr. Speaker, as I reminded the hon. member a few months ago, I would suggest that she do the math. That math is very powerful. Seventy per cent of parents in this country with children under the age of six are both in the workplace, and $5 billion over five years offers a significant boost to those particular parents. It is a lot more of a boost than has been heard in any concrete form from that side of the House.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, on May 31, the Minister of Public Works and Government Services gave the following answer in the House to a question by a Conservative MP:

Mr. Speaker, once again the hon. member's question and assertion are totally false. There was no deal—

However, at the same time, the government and Jean Chrétien's lawyers had signed a letter.

Why then did the Minister of Public Works and Government Services hide this information from the House by pretending that this letter was not a deal, not an agreement? Was it not his duty to clarify the situation, as we had asked him to do here in the House?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the situation is clarified when I state repeatedly that there was no agreement. The fact is the letter simply states that Mr. Chrétien has the right before the law as an individual to pursue a course of action. Let us be clear. The government made a decision in response to Mr. Chrétien's action to support the work of Justice Gomery and will continue to do so. There is no contradiction. We are doing the right thing and we are supporting the work of Justice Gomery.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Public Works and Government Services failed to tell the House that this letter of agreement between the government and Jean Chrétien's lawyers did, in fact, exist, and all he told the MP was that her statements were false.

I ask the minister, is failing to mention an agreement that did exist, that had been signed the day before, that dealt precisely with the member's question and that referred to a relationship, an agreement between the government and Jean Chrétien, not wilfully misleading the House?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I will say to that hon. member that he is wrong as well. There is no agreement. There never was an agreement. The fact is there is a letter between lawyers that confirms that Mr. Chrétien has the right as an individual before the law to pursue a course of action in defence of himself before a judicial inquiry. Our actions as a government speak louder than any words by the fact that we consistently have supported and will support the work of Justice Gomery.

Member for Newton—North DeltaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, from his seat here in the House of Commons, the Prime Minister has stated that a Conservative MP had solicited an offer. This is an offence under section 119 of the Criminal Code. That statement by the Prime Minister concerning the solicitation of an offer can be found in the official report of the Debates of the House of Commons .

When was the Prime Minister informed of this approach by the member? Was it during the negotiations or after they were all over?

Member for Newton—North DeltaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, as has been said often in the House, the Prime Minister said he was informed that the member for Newton—North Delta wanted to cross the floor. The Prime Minister said no offer was to be made. No offer was made.

I understand that the Bloc has contacted the RCMP regarding this matter. If the member has any further information, she should provide it to the RCMP.

Member for Newton—North DeltaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, why is the Prime Minister refusing to answer this simple question? Is it to save the skin of his chief of staff or is it more simply to save his own skin, since he would appear to have participated in the commission of a crime?

Member for Newton—North DeltaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I fail to understand why the hon. member and her party continue to ask these questions when they have asked the RCMP themselves to see whether an investigation is warranted.

I say again, if the hon. member does have information, she should provide it to the RCMP so the RCMP can decide whether an investigation is warranted.

Child CareOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Carol Skelton Conservative Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Social Development has admitted he has no idea what he is doing or where he is going. He has finally admitted his child care plan will not be universal, costs are not calculated and children will be funded differently based on where they live.

Why is the minister abandoning low income families, shift workers and rural Canadians while misleading them with stories of inclusion?

Child CareOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Ken Dryden LiberalMinister of Social Development

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is just plain wrong. She is wrong in just about everything that she has said.

In terms of the national early learning and child care system, it is available across the country. It is there for those who live in urban areas and for those who live in rural areas.

The first five agreements have been signed. An agreement has been signed with the province of Saskatchewan which has a pretty significant rural population. In the third year it will represent a 95% increase on what is provided in early learning and child care. That is a lot of support for people who live rural areas.

Child CareOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Carol Skelton Conservative Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, the minister has admitted that he is willing to gamble $5 billion. Parents do not want expensive social experiments. They want choice. They want to be able to choose the child care arrangement that best meets their own family's needs, not one made by the minister.

Why will the minister not simply transfer direct assistance to parents so that they can make the best decisions for their children?

Child CareOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Ken Dryden LiberalMinister of Social Development

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member and her party embarrassed themselves 12 months ago in the election campaign by offering a commitment to early learning and child care. As they would suggest, it would represent $320 for a low income family. The average cost of child care in this country is over $8,000. That represents no choice at all.

Access to InformationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Russ Hiebert Conservative South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale, BC

Mr. Speaker, last week the Information Commissioner made it clear the Liberal government is “seized with a culture of distrust and secrecy”. He slammed the justice minister's attempt to create a law that, had it been in place just a few years ago, would have prevented the sponsorship scandal from ever becoming public.

All three opposition parties want to reappoint official whistleblower John Reid. Will the Prime Minister admit that in refusing to reappoint Mr. Reid, he is breaking his commitment to “openness and transparency”?

Access to InformationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Winnipeg South Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, of course, I reject the preamble that was made. In fact the powers that the individual is talking about--

Access to InformationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Access to InformationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

Order. I am sure the hon. President of the Treasury Board appreciates the enthusiastic response this question is generating in the House, but we have to be able to hear the answer. With the problems that seem to be caused by his answer, we will want to hear it.

I would urge hon. members to constrain themselves and listen very attentively to what the President of the Treasury Board has to say.

Access to InformationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Reg Alcock Liberal Winnipeg South, MB

Mr. Speaker, thank you for that very important advice.

The item that is referenced, the powers that are referenced in the bill, are exactly the same powers given to every other investigative body. They are done to make the whistleblowing bill stronger and the protection of public servants better.

Access to InformationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Russ Hiebert Conservative South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister clearly does not understand what he is talking about.

The Prime Minister told us a year ago, “the change in culture, in the way things are done, will be the yardstick against which our success will be measured”. Yet, according to the Information Commissioner, there has never been “an organization that has been so viciously attacked” as his office by the Liberal administration.

Using the Prime Minister's own yardstick, it is clear that he has been measured and has been found wanting. Will he measure up and reappoint John Reid?

Access to InformationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Winnipeg South Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, that same Information Commissioner went on at some length about the very proactive decisions that had been made at Treasury Board under the guidance of the Prime Minister, the proactive disclosure policy which puts information online so all Canadians can judge our actions.

In fact, the government is actively and aggressively opening up, not the opposite.

Candu ReactorOral Question Period

June 13th, 2005 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Godbout Liberal Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, given Atomic Energy of Canada's envious record of performance in the past for its Candu technology, can the Minister of Natural Resources assure the House that the technology will remain competitive in the global market and remain the best reactor available in the world?

Candu ReactorOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Avalon Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

R. John Efford LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, in spite of what was in the Globe and Mail today, I can answer without a doubt that the Candu reactor that is presently in China is outperforming all of its competition in the world.

The new advanced Candu reactor that is coming on stream in 2010 will be equal to and/or better than its competition in the world. Actually, the reactor that was bid on in that country just recently had nothing to do with the Candu reactor from Canada. It was a particular reactor on which bids were called. AECL could not participate in the bid.