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House of Commons Hansard #32 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was sentence.

Topics

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, transparency is essential to good public administration. The government must go through an open tendering process every time it wishes to buy, rent or build government buildings. The people of Canada and the House of Commons have the right to be informed of all of these expenses, and only a public competitive process will ensure that this principle is respected.

How did the Conservative government manage to skip over the competitive process inherent in a public tender? Why did it forget about transparency?

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, we followed the regular procedures and the standards applied by the Liberal government when it was in power. All of the standards were applied. I must inform the member and the House that the process is not yet completed. Until it is, we cannot discuss it because the process must be respected.

National RevenueOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, we asked the Minister of National Revenue whether the federal government would follow the example of Quebec, which just relinquished $24 million in taxes owed by Vincent Lacroix of Norbourg. Judging by her answer, the minister clearly did not understand the question.

I ask her again: will the government follow Quebec's lead and redistribute the $12 million Vincent Lacroix owes the government to the people he defrauded?

National RevenueOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar Saskatchewan

Conservative

Carol Skelton ConservativeMinister of National Revenue and Minister of Western Economic Diversification

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, confidentiality provisions in the Income Tax Act prevent me from discussing specific cases or any action that may be taken by our government.

Marine IndustryOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, after suffering the indifference of the federal government, the Lévis shipyard should be able to survive thanks to Teco Management, a Norwegian group that is purchasing the shipyard.

However, to avoid having this turn into only a short-term recovery, can the Minister of Industry assure us that he will reactivate the structured funding mechanism that was put in place in response to the Bloc Québécois initiative, in order to stimulate shipbuilding?

Marine IndustryOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to tell my hon. colleague, whom I thank for his question, that the Lévis shipyard is up and running thanks to the private sector and free enterprise. As you know, we believe in creating wealth through free enterprise, and if we receive a request for additional government funding, we will consider it in due course.

FisheriesOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Liberal Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

Mr. Speaker, last week at a summit on fisheries in Newfoundland and Labrador, hosted by our premier, the vast majority of stakeholders, including local plant workers and of course the leadership of the FFAW, all called for an early retirement program for our aging workforce.

The Conservatives say they want to study the option more, but the studies have been done. Great suggestions have been made.

Meanwhile, the province says yes and the Conservatives continue to say no to our fishermen.

FisheriesOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

St. John's South—Mount Pearl Newfoundland & Labrador

Conservative

Loyola Hearn ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure if there is a question, but I think I know what the hon. gentleman is saying.

I will just let him know from the position where I sit that we had a program for taking older workers out of the fishery. Many of the fishermen could not retire because they would lose their investment due to no break in capital gains.

We brought in a program that his government did not. The funny thing about it is that older fishermen can now retire, sell off their enterprises and not have a clawback by government.

The question I would ask is this: why did the hon. gentleman not support it?

VeteransOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Mike Allen Conservative Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, veterans and civilians who were subject to the spraying of agent orange and other chemicals at Gagetown, New Brunswick, know that, unlike the previous government, this government is committed to resolving this issue.

I know that many veterans and civilians in my riding of Tobique--Mactaquac are very concerned about the outcome of this case. While reports out this week examine what may have happened, we know there is still work to be done. Can the Minister of Veterans Affairs update the House on the issue of agent orange in Gagetown?

VeteransOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo B.C.

Conservative

Betty Hinton ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, unlike the successive Liberal governments that have swept this issue under the rug, our government is taking action. The Prime Minister has made it clear that he wants a resolution. It is going to be a knowledge based solution. That is why we are doing the kinds of reports that were released on Thursday, June 1 in the House.

Veterans Affairs Canada is working closely with DND to develop compensation options. Our government remains firmly dedicated to addressing the concerns raised by Canadian Forces members, veterans, civilians and area residents about herbicide use at the New Brunswick training base.

Federal Accountability ActOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, we are in the process of debating the federal accountability act, part of which deals with measures to protect whistleblowers.

Joanna Gualtieri is one of those public servants who, through her disclosure of gross mismanagement of funds, has saved taxpayers millions of dollars, yet she continues to be harassed through the courts, causing her serious financial hardship and emotional distress.

I would like to ask the President of the Treasury Board again to give his assurance that the government's court action against Joanna will be dropped immediately.

Federal Accountability ActOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his hard work on behalf of whistleblowers and public servants.

In fact, the corruption that Ms. Gualtieri exposed was corruption of the previous Liberal government and the litigation in which she is now involved is also litigation of a previous government. That litigation is currently under review.

Luckily we now have an accountability act before committee that is the toughest anti-corruption law in Canadian history. It will protect whistleblowers and it will make it a criminal offence, punishable by jail time, for those people who punish whistleblowers in the way that the Liberals consistently bullied our public servants.

Federal Accountability ActOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it was on May 5 that I asked the Treasury Board president if he was prepared to give his assurances that the government will drop all court cases against past whistleblowers and compensate those who are proven to be correct.

I would like to ask for a timeframe that Ms. Gualtieri can expect so she can get her life back. This is not so much to ask from someone who simply acted ethically and did the right thing in disclosing the waste of millions of dollars at taxpayers' expense.

Federal Accountability ActOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, the member is correct that Ms. Gualtieri did expose millions of dollars' worth of Liberal corruption. The litigation in which she is now engaged is litigation of that previous government. That litigation is now under review.

What is critically important, though, is that whistleblowers be protected as soon as possible. That is why I am so disappointed to see a coalition of the Liberals and the Bloc working to block the passage of the accountability act before summer. The real question is this: why will all members of the House of Commons not begin to work together now so that we can pass whistleblower protection into law immediately?

FisheriesOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Liberal Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

Hopefully with a little more success this time, Mr. Speaker.

When the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans was a member of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, he tabled a report demanding a limited fishery off the northeast coast of Newfoundland.

The rural fishing communities are facing a tough summer, as I am sure he knows, and it is the time for my hon. colleague not to be, once again, a jellyfish on this issue. Now is the time for a 5,000 tonne commercial catch and “yes” to a recreational food fishery for the northeast coast of Newfoundland. When will this happen?

FisheriesOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

St. John's South—Mount Pearl Newfoundland & Labrador

Conservative

Loyola Hearn ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, let me tell the George Baker wannabe who floundered around on his first question that last year we brought the standing committee to Newfoundland to get input from the people so that a sound decision could be made.

That very member walked out of the committee meeting to try to scuttle bringing the committee to the province and to let the Liberal Party send in its goons. The only thing was that one of the goons was a good goon and he supported us. We went to Newfoundland and got the information we needed and we will make the decision at the appropriate time.

AgricultureOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Bev Shipley Conservative Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, agriculture and agrifood is one of the largest industries in Canada. New technologies are emerging that will make this sector even more efficient and environmentally friendly. The industry's successes are a very visible source of national pride.

Can the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food tell us of any recent science and technology investments in agriculture and agrifood?

AgricultureOral Questions

Noon

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, I was pleased to announce our new science strategy earlier this week in Montreal. Not only does this new science and technology strategy ensure that we will have a strong national network of agricultural research stations and world class laboratories, but this new initiative will build partnerships among governments, academia and industry to increase value added options for the agriculture sector.

Whether it is development of new, healthy food products, securing the safety of our food supply, securing access to foreign markets or developing biofuels, our new science strategy is part and parcel of our commitment to increase opportunities and increase income for Canadian farmers.

Canada Elections ActOral Questions

June 2nd, 2006 / noon

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week one of the potential leaders of the Liberal Party of Canada had to give back money he had taken from schoolchildren. What is astounding about this, though, is that the Liberal Party of Canada condones the practice of shaking down kids for their lunch money.

As the father of three youngsters, I am very concerned that one of the leadership candidates lurking out there might try to put the touch on one of my kids for cash. Will the government make a revision to the Canada Elections Act which would guarantee that no potential Liberal leadership candidate will be allowed within 500 metres of a school, a kindergarten or an amusement arcade?

Canada Elections ActOral Questions

Noon

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, now that I have finished applauding the member's question, I would like to try answering it.

We are against the Liberal practice of shaking down kids at lemonade stands. We are pushing for swift passage of the accountability act, which reins in the kind of irresponsible anti-kid approach to raising funds that we have seen from the Liberal Party of Canada.

In fact, I applaud the member and his party for working with the Conservatives to pass swiftly the accountability act. I for one can say that as a member of that committee I will support any amendment to stop this obscene practice of picking on our school kids.

HealthOral Questions

Noon

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the FDA Week announced on January 27 that the FDA Office of Criminal Investigations reportedly questioned some individuals about the data on ruptures of Mentor breast implants.

One of the two employees mentioned that the real rate of rupture of new implants was not reported to the FDA and that Mentor hid leakages by attributing them to various problems such as seal breakage, and so forth.

In view of these allegations, can the minister assure us that there will be an investigation of the special access program to prevent this type of implant from ruining the lives of thousands of women?

HealthOral Questions

Noon

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, Health Canada and this government are committed to ensuring that Canadians have access to accurate, complete and up to date information regarding the potential risks and benefits of medical devices available in Canada.

Health Canada is in the process of creating a feasibility study in regard to a Canadian breast implant registry with an independent external organization. This registry could be a potential benchmark for a surveillance tool. We are committed to evidence based research and to ensuring that Canadians have the best risk-free medical devices available. We are committed to ensuring the safety of all Canadians.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

Noon

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of His Excellency Liu Peng, Minister, General Administration of Sport of the People's Republic of China.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

Noon

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Business of the HouseOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, I know there is a general interest in the House regarding Bill C-15, an act dealing with agricultural cash advances. There have been some consultations about how the legislation might be expedited and perhaps some progress in those consultations, although I know when we get into these kinds of discussions, there are various caveats, conditions and trade-offs that are attached to the deliberations.

Due to the pressing circumstances that many farmers are facing and because the legislation may alleviate some of those pressures, at least in the short run, I wonder if hon. members could agree by unanimous consent, without attaching trade-offs, conditions and other issues that relate to other House business, to proceed with Bill C-15, to deal with it at all stages, and to send it on its way to the Senate for it to be dealt with there.

I do not think there is any dispute about the substance of the legislation, but if we get into the business of attaching conditions about this bill, that bill or the other bill, I think we will be in a hopeless morass.

I wonder if there is a will in the House, in the interests of farmers, to simply dispose of Bill C-15 right now, get it done, get it off to the Senate, and hopefully farmers can benefit from that legislation at the earliest possible date rather than making it conditional on a whole bunch of other things.