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House of Commons Hansard #125 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was energy.

Topics

JusticeOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we are committed to introducing every initiative to protecting our streets and innocent victims, not only with regard to conditional sentencing in matters of gun related crime. While we now have more mandatory minimums for gun related crimes than any other crime in the Criminal Code, save for murder, we are still looking at that matter with regard to any initiatives we can introduce in regard to protecting our streets and our victims. We would appreciate the co-operation of the opposition in that regard.

JusticeOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Merrifield Conservative Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, it has now been seven months since the four RCMP officers were killed near Mayerthorpe. The families want changes to the justice system that has failed them miserably.

Today they are calling for a complete review of the justice system. We cannot blame the judges, but legislators must send a clear message to the courts: serious crime deserves serious time.

Will the government commit to minimum sentences for serious drug and crime violations?

JusticeOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, together with the Minister of Health we rescheduled the whole question of crystal meth so we could attack it with enhanced sentencing in that regard. We have legislation before the House with regard to four new offences with enhanced penalties to combat the grow ops across the country. Where it is necessary we will introduce the required penalties in that regard.

JusticeOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Merrifield Conservative Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, raising the maximums on crystal meth does not solve the problem when the minimums are not there.

Last week the RCMP officers raided another Quonset hut in Mayerthorpe and turned up 800 marijuana plants.

Marijuana and crystal meth are ruining lives and harming our communities, while criminals scoff at the law and laugh at our weak sentences. RCMP families see the dangers in the soft approach to marijuana in Bill C-17. They want it scrapped and so do we.

Will the government admit it was wrong and scrap the marijuana bill?

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we introduced the bill. That bill is now before the House and now before the parliamentary committee. We respect the role of the parliamentary committee, and that is where the bill now resides.

Service CanadaOral Questions

September 26th, 2005 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Simard Bloc Beauport, QC

Mr. Speaker, faced with the sponsorship scandal, the federal government is not learning from its mistakes. The Prime Minister just appointed as head of Service Canada the very person who was in charge of the gun registry, another scandal involving nearly $2 billion for which his government will soon have to answer.

How can the Prime Minister explain his choice in appointing such a mediocre manager as the head of Service Canada?

Service CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Newmarket—Aurora Ontario

Liberal

Belinda Stronach LiberalMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister responsible for Democratic Renewal

Mr. Speaker, if anyone looks at the service Canada details, I think it is a fantastic story. It is about better service to more Canadians in more Canadian communities. In fact, we are expanding our points of service in the next couple of years from 300 to 600. Therefore, this is a great news story.

There are many layers of accountability factored in, including an advisory board, an office for client satisfaction and a service charter.

I am very proud to be associated with service Canada. It is a great news story.

Service CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Simard Bloc Beauport, QC

Mr. Speaker, we shall see if the Auditor General is as proud as the minister. She reviewed the administration of the program and concluded that the program was poorly managed. One of those responsible for this mismanagement is the person selected by the Prime Minister to establish Service Canada.

Can the minister justify such a poor choice? Has the minister not learned any lessons from the sponsorship scandal, to be appointing such an individual as the head of Service Canada?

Service CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Newmarket—Aurora Ontario

Liberal

Belinda Stronach LiberalMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister responsible for Democratic Renewal

Mr. Speaker, it is providing better service to more Canadian communities. It is outstanding service delivery organization with a view toward continuous improvement. It has a service charter and an office for client satisfaction, all with a view to creating a culture of one stop service delivery and continuous improvement for Canadian services.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Louise Thibault Bloc Rimouski—Témiscouata, QC

Mr. Speaker, an invitation to tender by PWGSC for the EnerGuide program in Quebec has excluded a number of francophone bidders who relied on the French bid documentation to prepare their bid, when this version is not consistent with the English version that the department, obviously, used to award the contracts.

Does the Minister of Public Works intend to cancel this invitation to tender and relaunch the process so that there is no prejudice against francophone bidders?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, public works is presently reviewing the bid documentation to ensure fairness to all in the evaluation process.

As a result of the recent RFP on this program, the department received 35 bids and issued 13 contracts to deliver the EnerGuide for housing service across the province of Quebec. Each winning bidder has an office in the province of Quebec and each is required to provide the service in the language of the homeowners choice.

Once again, we are reviewing the bid documentation process to ensure fairness and will be dealing with this appropriately.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, curiously, complaints under the Official Languages Act have been filed, in the past, against two of the companies hired in the Outaouais region.

Is the example of poorly translated documentation at Public Works not proof that, although the Official Languages Act has been in effect for a number of years, it is not a very major concern to that department, and that francophones are paying the price?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, let me assure all members of the House that this is a tremendous priority for our government to ensure that translation services are delivered in a reasonable way, and that in fact accuracy in all our endeavours is guaranteed throughout the process. We are taking this very seriously. I can assure the hon. member and all members of the House that we are dealing with this quickly.

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Conservative Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, today 15 companies in receipt of a Technology Partnerships Canada grant have directly violated the terms of their agreements. They have paid lobbyists large fees to help them secure money through this program. Despite the fact that they clearly violated the contract with the taxpayers of Canada, they still receive the balance of the TPC grant and the lobbyists may still be in possession of the money that they were given.

Why do companies that violate contracts with the Canadian taxpayer continue to receive public funds?

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we have been reviewing TPC for over a year now. We have done some administrative audits. We have discussed it with the Auditor General in terms of our approach. The Auditor General completely agrees with what we are doing and how we are doing it.

We are recovering any moneys that were inappropriately paid out to lobbyists. These are companies that are in breach of their contract. We are acting swiftly, firmly and with zero tolerance to fix the problem.

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Conservative Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, that is not true. The fact is that a company still gets the balance of the money that was given to it and lobbyists may in fact still have the money that was given to them by the company.

This is a program that spent over $2.5 billion but has recovered only 5%. Now we know about companies breaching their contracts and lobbyists receiving illegal payments. When will the minister finally release the audits of this program and state to the House how much money has been received by lobbyists against the contracts of this company, and how much money taxpayers are on the hook for through this program?

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows that over 80% of the companies that benefit from technology partnerships are small and medium sized businesses. The government is not in the business of killing companies. We are in the business of helping them implement technology and where there has been a breach of contract, we want that breach remedied.

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Lunn Conservative Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Coffin stole $1.5 million from Canadians, a theft made possible by the systematic corruption in the Liberal government. The courts sentenced Mr. Coffin to house arrest with a 9 p.m. curfew only on weekdays. That is pathetic enough, but this sentence is a direct result of changes made to the justice system by the Liberal government where it allows criminals to serve jail sentences at home in their living rooms.

Liberal laws and our justice system are failing Canadians every day. When is the government going to change them?

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, this is not an issue of the law. This is a decision made by a judge. The laws are there for the purposes of any kind of penalty that a judge wishes to impose at this time.

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Conservative Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, Paul Coffin defrauded Canadians out of $1.5 million. For this crime, he got a mere two years of house arrest. Even Martha Stewart spent time in jail.

In Canada, our liberal laws have failed Canadians and helped the friends of the Liberal Party. Is this the Liberal concept of justice?

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, this case is now before the courts. The provincial Crown is responsible for taking the necessary action.

International AidOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

David Smith Liberal Pontiac, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canada has always led the way in the international debate on debt relief for the poor countries, particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa. In June, Canada took part in the meeting of the G8 countries at which agreement was reached to wipe out the combined debt of the 18 poorest countries, totalling $40 million. This week, the G8 announced that it would be writing off the debt of at least another 18 poor countries, bringing the total to over $55 billion.

Could the Minister of Finance explain the details of this agreement to us?

International AidOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The Minister of Finance.

International AidOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, international debt relief is an idea that Canada has championed in the world when the Prime Minister was Minister of Finance.

This past weekend the IMF and the World Bank board of governors approved the idea. The principles that they were operating on were principles that were initially defined by Canada. It amounts to debt relief for the poorest countries of the world totalling some $50 billion U.S. I am very pleased to say that a large part of the amount expected from Canada was provisioned in our budget in February. We will be the first out of the gate to respond to this international debt relief.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the CBC lockout has been going on for six weeks and the only thing we have heard from the heritage minister is radio static. This is not about a labour dispute. It is about the government's lack of vision, the government's indifference to a fundamental Canadian institution, and most of all, the minister's unwillingness to stand up and fight for a coherent broadcast policy for Canadians.

My question is simple. Will the minister hold CBC management to account and insist on the delivery of services that Canadians have already paid for?