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House of Commons Hansard #117 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Vietnam requires its children to be protected by an international treaty with the legal effect of international law. We must respect that reality.

We do, of course, respect Quebec's jurisdiction over adoption, but we have succeeded in reaching agreement with all the provinces and territories of this country. We will also be successful with Quebec, for the sake of the adopting families in this country and the children in Vietnam who need to be adopted.

Mackenzie Valley Land and Water BoardOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Prentice Conservative Calgary North Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, on February 9 the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development appointed Mr. Todd Burlingame to the position of chair of the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board. The board is critical to the approval of the Mackenzie Valley pipeline. Internal board correspondence in my possession confirms that this board is now in crisis.

Specifically, the new chairman is engaged in personal vendettas, board business has been unilaterally suspended, and other members say the board chair has subverted the fairness, independence and transparency of the board. Will the Deputy Prime Minister intervene and remove this individual?

Mackenzie Valley Land and Water BoardOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Western Arctic Northwest Territories

Liberal

Ethel Blondin-Andrew LiberalMinister of State (Northern Development)

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Burlingame's appointment is based on merit. He is absolutely the right person for the job. Reports today say that the board has had unanimous approval from its members to go forward with an integrated resource management strategy which will be needed for the Mackenzie Valley pipeline.

Further to that, no approvals on permitting and licensing have been delayed as the member opposite indicated. Everything is going--

Mackenzie Valley Land and Water BoardOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Calgary Centre-North.

Mackenzie Valley Land and Water BoardOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Prentice Conservative Calgary North Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, that would be bull feathers.

This appointment has inspired anger across the north. This individual was not recommended by the board following a public nomination process. He was not recommended by the department. He did not even make the short list of candidates. The Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs, who appointed him, has said he did not even know who he was.

The view in the north is that this person was appointed for one reason only, because he is a friend of the junior minister, the Minister of State for Northern Development.

Will the Prime Minister explain why he allowed the junior minister to circumvent the government's own--

Mackenzie Valley Land and Water BoardOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of State for Northern Development.

Mackenzie Valley Land and Water BoardOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Western Arctic Northwest Territories

Liberal

Ethel Blondin-Andrew LiberalMinister of State (Northern Development)

Mr. Speaker, I would have assumed a much higher level of professionalism from the member opposite.

I am confident that Mr. Burlingame is ensuring that the board is operating in its usual professional capacity and that all business is being addressed in a timely and expeditious manner. There are no delays to ongoing development projects.

Government AppointmentsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Conservative Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, last year during his “mad as hell tour”, the Prime Minister promised to condemn to history the politics of cronyism and patronage.

Now we learn that the industry minister's official agent in the last election campaign, Mr. Bracken-Horrocks, has been appointed to the board of directors of the Business Development Bank of Canada. Why did the Prime Minister break his promise to end patronage and cronyism?

Government AppointmentsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, this is a classic example of where an appointment that is made purely on the basis of merit is brought into disrepute.

Mr. Bracken-Horrocks is one of the top accountants in this country. He has never been a federal Liberal. He is regarded by the chairman of the board and the board of directors of BDC as one of the best appointments made to that board.

Government AppointmentsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Conservative Edmonton—Leduc, AB

It is unbelievable, Mr. Speaker. The fact is that this appointment clearly demonstrates that the Prime Minister broke his promise. The industry minister appointed his own official agent, according to Elections Canada, his top volunteer, the person who signs off on his election returns, to the Business Development Bank of Canada, a government bank that reports to the minister himself.

Does the minister not see anything wrong with appointing his own official agent to a bank for which he himself has responsibility?

Government AppointmentsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, some of the members opposite could learn a few lessons from the practices that we have applied here. We brought in one of the top accountants in this country, an accountant I met through my professional associations on boards of directors, an experience, I am sure, that none of the members opposite have had.

We brought pure competence into the political process to make sure it had integrity.

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are impressed by the leadership that the Prime Minister is showing to avoid the water diversion from Devils Lake to the Red River and the Lake Winnipeg watershed without a proper environmental assessment.

My question is for the Minister of the Environment. Could he tell the House what support he has received from outside the border on this issue?

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, first let me acknowledge the support given on this issue by both the House of Commons and the Senate's standing committee on the environment.

Indeed, we have a lot of support from our American friends who share our view that Lake Winnipeg must be protected, along with the Sheyenne River and the Red River. I want to mention especially, in addition to various environmental and aboriginal groups, senators from Minnesota, Ohio and Indiana, governors from Missouri, Minnesota and Ohio, the mayors of the Great Lakes, including the mayor of Chicago, and various U.S. house representatives.

MarriageOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, today the justice minister is saying that Bill C-38 will not make it through. I would like to ask a question of the government House leader. This debate on equal marriage has been going on now for almost three years. Last June the Prime Minister promised, “Your fundamental rights don't belong to a political party. They belong to Canada and we're going to protect them”.

Why is the government selling out on human rights? Where is the commitment to pass Bill C-38?

MarriageOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, it is unfortunate that the hon. member begins to play politics with such an important piece of legislation. Our approach on this bill has been consistent right from the beginning. Our commitment is to get the budget bills passed and pass as many other pieces of legislation as possible, like Bill C-38. We have demonstrated our commitment by extending the sitting hours to midnight so that we can have more legislation debated in the House.

It is the Conservatives who do not want to allow Bill C-38 to come to this House and who will not allow for the democratic process to proceed.

MarriageOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, whether--

MarriageOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

MarriageOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. We cannot possibly hear the member for Vancouver East with all the noise. I know that all hon. members want to hear her question. The hon. member for Vancouver East has the floor.

MarriageOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government House leader cannot hide behind politics. A majority of MPs support equality. A majority of citizens support equality. Eight courts have ruled.

The Prime Minister does not have to duck and hide on this one. His responsibility is not to Liberal MPs who want to act like the Conservatives. His responsibility is to human rights.

I ask again, where is the leadership and the commitment to get this bill through? It has been around long enough. Where is the commitment?

MarriageOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I need not take any lessons from the hon. member. Our commitment and responsibility are to Canadians. That is why we are in the House. That is why we put forward legislation. That is why we debate legislation.

The real question is why the Leader of the Opposition continues to delay the debate on Bill C-38, and why the Leader of the Opposition continues to put forward procedural motions instead of debating budget bills and debating other issues that are important to Canadians.

Whistleblower LegislationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Conservative Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, as it stands, the Liberals' whistleblower legislation does more to discourage than to protect whistleblowers.

Without an independent commissioner to hear their disclosures, whistleblowers have no protection.

The Conservative Party has a challenge for the Liberals. Give us an independent body to protect civil servants, or the bill will die in committee. Will the minister choose independence or death?

Whistleblower LegislationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Winnipeg South Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, if the member will be patient for another 40 minutes he will have his answer. He knows full well that I will be going before the committee to discuss that very issue.

Whistleblower LegislationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Conservative Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative Party, along with every stakeholder and expert, has consistently demanded an independent office to protect whistleblowers and investigate their disclosures.

The dithering has to end now. I have an ultimatum for the minister: either he amends his bill to create an independent commissioner who reports directly to Parliament, or the Conservative Party will make sure the bill dies in committee. Independence or death, which will it be?

Whistleblower LegislationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Winnipeg South Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, that is exactly how those who would govern conduct themselves. The reality is that the other parties in this House have struggled hard to make a bill that is the best possible protection for public servants while that party has played games. We will talk at the committee.

HealthOral Question Period

June 16th, 2005 / 2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Colin Carrie Conservative Oshawa, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we learned that 120,000 Quebeckers are on surgical waiting lists and 43,000 of them have waited longer than is medically acceptable.

What concrete measures is the government going to provide to resolve the waiting list problem highlighted by the Supreme Court?