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House of Commons Hansard #129 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was defence.

Topics

Canadian Tourism CommissionStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

John Duncan Conservative Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, the U.S. television show Boston Legal has taped an episode that will feature a world class resort in my riding on Vancouver Island.

This is good news. The bad news is that the episode takes aim at salmon farming, a sustainable industry that employs 4,000 British Columbians, many of them in rural or first nations communities.

The premise that salmon farming and tourism are incompatible is not correct. The Canadian Tourism Commission has rashly booked full page advertisements in The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times to promote the show, which will only serve to manufacture polarization.

We have a taxpayer funded commission which is now effectively taking sides at the possible expense of salmon farm workers and their communities. The minister must derail these plans today.

JusticeStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Liberal Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, there have been some serious misrepresentations in the House by the opposition against the government position on some very important judicial matters and in particular the protection of children. It is time to set the record straight.

In protecting children, our government has enacted some of the toughest laws in the world against the exploitation of children, against child pornography and against Internet luring.

Bill C-2, which received royal assent on July 20, criminalizes the sexual exploitation of children, particularly between the ages of 14 and 17. It looks at the age difference. It looks at the age of the young person and the nature of the relationship and whether there is any exploitation.

In reality, the age of consent is actually 18 years of age in our country. We will not criminalize the sexual relations that occur between young people. We have also enacted Bill C-27 and Bill C-51, which go further in supporting and protecting our children.

SeniorsStatements By Members

September 30th, 2005 / 11:10 a.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, since being elected as member of Parliament for Windsor West in 2002, I and my office have had many people in my community looking to us for help with seniors' programs and services. It has become evident to me that we have to take action. Too many people are slipping through the cracks.

Over the past few months I have travelled across this country to meet and speak with seniors and seniors' organizations, associations and advocates and other politicians. Overwhelmingly, people have been supportive of the seniors charter of rights being introduced in the House on my behalf and that of my NDP colleagues.

I cannot think of a more important time to introduce a seniors charter in Canada. Too many seniors are getting the short end of society's stick. I have heard of seniors having to choose between food and medication, seniors who need physiotherapy for their knee problems but who cannot get it because of transportation problems, and seniors living in houses that are not secure and are poorly maintained.

Tomorrow, October 1, is the United Nations International Day of Older Persons. Every year, this day reminds us as a society to recognize the important challenges we need to face and the opportunities we need to grasp with regard to the seniors in our country.

The NDP seniors charter will reinforce government's responsibility to seniors, guiding legislation and public services. At the same time, it will make a vivid statement about the important roles that seniors play in Canadian society. It is about time.

Drinking WaterStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Jim Prentice Conservative Calgary North Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development faulted the government for incompetency because of its inability to provide Canada's aboriginal people with safe drinking water.

Despite expenditures in excess of $2 billion, the first nations are still consuming drinking water that constitutes a high level of risk.

Now the government plans to spend another $2 billion without having put any regulations in place and without even being in a position to inform Parliament as to whether those in need will have access to safe drinking water. This is just a waste of good money.

All Canadians have a fundamental right to safe drinking water. Unfortunately, the government is doing nothing but waste the taxpayers' money while aboriginal Canadians suffer.

Biennale du lin de PortneufStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Guy Côté Bloc Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, the first international Biennale international du lin de Portneuf is nearly over. This is an event showcasing linen through the arts, design, the environment and education.

Activities were held at the Caserne du lin interpretation centre and workshop in Saint-Léonard, at the Marcoux mill in Pont-rouge, the Vieux Presbytère and La Chevrotière mill in Deschambault-Grondines. The international event was attended by artisans and artists from Quebec, France and Belgium.

Colette Matte of Cap-Santé carried off top honours in the textile art category for her work “Mouvement de l'âme”, a light-reflecting pillow of linen and glass.

Congratulations to the partners and members of the organizing committee, in particular: Gilles Girard, chair; Karine Germain, coordinator; Donald Vézina, coordinator of the Association du patrimoine de Deschambault; and Michel Robichaud, designer and spokesperson for the biennale.

Thank you for this first edition, and I am sure that you are enthusiastically working on ideas for the second edition of Portneuf's international biennale in celebration of linen.

Public FundsStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Conservative Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, the most recent Public Accounts of Canada attest, once again, to the mismanagement of public funds by this Liberal government. Theft, vandalism and accidental damages within federal departments have cost Canadian taxpayers over $31 million this year.

This is a 345% increase over last year.

The RCMP alone suffered over $1 million in damages to its fleet.

What does the Minister of Public Works and Government Services intend to do to curb such squandering of public funds? How does the government intend to recover these amounts? Will Canadian taxpayers once again pay the price of this Liberal government's mismanagement?

FirefightersStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, a few weeks ago, the fire brigade in Saint-Jacques, New Brunswick, celebrated its 50th anniversary of loyal service to the community.

Today, I want to recognize the brave work of firefighters in Saint-Jacques, and all firefighters in my riding and across Canada. They keep our communities safe through their actions and they do not hesitate to put their own life on the line to save the life of someone else.

Without our firefighters, our communities would not be as safe. We must not forget the work our firefighters do in our schools and communities to promote prevention. In short, these people dedicate themselves wholeheartedly to their communities.

I encourage all my constituents to recognize what our firefighters do and, once again, I want to thank the Saint-Jacques fire brigade for 50 years of service.

Sisters in Spirit CampaignStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, in May of this year, the Liberal government promised $5 million over the next five years to the Sisters in Spirit campaign, an initiative of the Native Women's Association of Canada. Their campaign is intended to raise awareness of the prevalence of violence against aboriginal women in Canada.

Government statistics show aboriginal women with status are five times more likely to die as a result of violence than any other group of Canadian women. However, since May no money has flowed to the Sisters in Spirit campaign and in those five months five more aboriginal women have been reported missing. Who knows how many are missing but not reported. This is just another example of Liberal funding announcements and no action.

The families of these missing women and girls deserve better. I call upon the Liberal government to immediately release the money that has been promised so the Sisters in Spirit campaign can begin in earnest.

Softwood LumberStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the softwood lumber dispute has been going on for 40 months now. The industry is at the end of its rope, and an aid package is urgently needed.

Technically, the dispute ended on August 10, 2005, when the NAFTA panel ruled that there was no threat to the U.S. industry and that the countervailing and anti-dumping duties should be revoked and refunded.

Unfortunately, for the first time since the free trade agreement was entered into 17 years ago, the United States refused to comply with a panel decision. This choice the Americans made has very serious implications and threatens the integrity of NAFTA, whose decisions are supposed to be binding.

Now the industry has to go before American courts again to obtain justice, which is practically setting them back 20 years.

The Prime Minister and the government ought to show determination and implement the solutions put forward by the Bloc Québécois three years ago now.

The time for talk is over; it is now time to act.

David DingwallOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, there are no rules nor guidelines on how much severance David Dingwall will ding the Canadian taxpayer for. We know that he milks the mint with his expenses. We know the Canadian taxpayer was nickeled and dimed during his time there, even charging for a pack of chewing gum.

The Prime Minister's defence of this decadent behaviour speaks volumes as to the arrogance and sense of entitlement that the government exhibits every day.

André Ouellet, another serial expense account abuser, did not receive a cent, a package, when he resigned in disgrace from Canada Post.

Why is a severance package even being contemplated or discussed with David Dingwall?

David DingwallOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Markham—Unionville Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, one is innocent until proven guilty. There is absolutely no evidence that Mr. Dingwall broke the rules in terms of his expenses. They were all verified by the chief financial officer and subsequently approved by the board. For greater certainty, the board will appoint two eminent outside Canadians to have a second check on this.

In terms of severance, privacy laws prevent me commenting on an individual but I can comment on myself. When I left the Royal Bank voluntarily to enter into politics, I received a severance package. It is normal.

David DingwallOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is not normal to charge chewing gum to the Canadian taxpayer.

Former minister David Dingwall resigned following an orgy of reckless spending at taxpayers' expense and after a cloud of suspicion surrounded his past lobbying efforts.

My question is simple. Why should the taxpayers give more money to David Dingwall? Why offer him a golden parachute? Is it to buy his silence?

David DingwallOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Markham—Unionville Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, as I just said, there is no evidence that Mr. Dingwall broke the rules. The expenses were all verified by the board, which will appoint two outside parties to do a second check on this. One therefore has to conclude that he did not break the rules.

As I just said also, upon leaving such a position, it is normal to get a severance package, just as one would in the private sector.

David DingwallOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Liberals declaring Liberals innocent, what a surprise, Mr. Speaker.

When ad scam administrator, Chuck Guité, was being interviewed for the job, the then public works minister, David Dingwall, said, “Welcome aboard. You won't rat on them, you won't rat on us”. Apparently the code among Liberals in Ottawa is always put your party ahead of the country.

Testimony at the Gomery inquiry and public accounts committee showed that Mr. Dingwall and the the Prime Minister, then finance minister, worked hand in glove, maybe hand in pocket, on a number of contracting issues.

Is the severance package for Mr. Dingwall the Prime Minister's payoff to keep him from ratting? Just what does David Dingwall know that the government wants to keep quiet?

David DingwallOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, that allegation is so beneath contempt it does not deserve an answer.

David DingwallOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Brian Pallister Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Not to mention that response, Mr. Speaker.

Through access to information we have gathered together, the Conservative Party has documents that verify that there is no severance package obligation on the part of the government toward Mr. Dingwall. In other words, this is the Prime Minister's call. This is at his discretion. He has to decide whether he wants to reward the unbecoming conduct of an old crony or protect the interests of Canadian taxpayers.

I am interested in having someone from the government stand up and tell us which it will be.

David DingwallOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Markham—Unionville Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, as I said before, the privacy law prevents me from commenting on any individual but myself.

In my own particular case, when I voluntarily left my job with the Royal Bank to enter politics, as was normal practice I received a severance package.

In this particular case, I can tell the hon. member that the Privy Council Office is considering this in line with standard practices.

I cannot really comment further except to say that my own example indicates that this is normal under such conditions.

David DingwallOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Brian Pallister Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, what is also normal under the government's mismanagement is globe-trotting, golfing, gluttony and gum at taxpayer expense.

This is the Prime Minister's scandal, the Prime Minister's dirty laundry and the Prime Minister's call. He can further hurt the Canadian taxpayers' interests by rewarding, under no reasonable grounds, a crony, or he can stand up for Canadians.

For a change, will he finally stand up and protect the interests of Canadian taxpayers and citizens?

David DingwallOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Winnipeg South Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, this Prime Minister has been standing up and protecting the interests of Canadians throughout his entire political career. It is this Prime Minister who initiated the review of crown corporation governance that led to 31 recommendations. It is this Prime Minister who opened the crowns to audit. It is this Prime Minister who brought in the strategic management overview that hardened the financial audit committees.

The Leader of the Opposition said, “Why don't you ask the Auditor General to come in”. The Auditor General is the auditor of the Mint, and not only that, in her most recent audit report of June of this year she said--

David DingwallOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Rivière-du-Nord.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the wake of revelations at the Gomery commission, the government has announced that it is upping by $5 million the law suits against the agencies suspected of extra billing. But, we also learned from the commission that the Liberal Party got more money than first thought.

An indepth examination of testimony before the commission indicates that, at the very least, over $5.4 million went to the Liberal Party of Canada. In light of this, does the government intend to demand repayment from this organization too?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Don Valley West Ontario

Liberal

John Godfrey LiberalMinister of State (Infrastructure and Communities)

Mr. Speaker, we are trying to recover payments that were the result of irregularities. As the amounts are discovered, they are added to the total. We are now demanding repayment of $44 million from groups already identified to the House. We will continue to do so.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, where did the taxpayers' money go?

The government is having serious problems recovering the millions of dollars misappropriated by these agencies since, to date, it has recovered only $1.5 million of the $45 million identified.

In order not to lose the funds directed to the Liberal Party of Canada, will the government admit that it must also take action against this organization so as to be able to recover taxpayer money?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Don Valley West Ontario

Liberal

John Godfrey LiberalMinister of State (Infrastructure and Communities)

Mr. Speaker, that is why we are waiting for the Gomery report. In the meantime, we will continue to refine our research regarding the amounts that we believe were subject to irregularities. We our revising our figures, and we have already received $1.5 million. Our search continues.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, hon. members will recall that in the aftermath of the sponsorship scandal, the Liberal Party set up a trust and made a commitment to put $750,000 into it.

Since the government decided to step up its demands on agencies in the aftermath of the Gomery inquiry, does it plan to do the same with the Liberal Party of Canada and check whether the dirty money has indeed been put into the trust fund as it promised?