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House of Commons Hansard #36 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was education.

Topics

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I am very surprised to hear the Bloc Québécois ask this new government to regulate the retail price of gasoline. The Bloc Québécois should know that regulating the price of gas is a provincial responsibility. This new government will respect the areas of jurisdiction in Canada. That is what we promised, and that is what we are going to do. Unlike the Bloc Québécois, which is asking us not to abide by the Constitution, we intend to abide by our Constitution.

Arts and CultureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Maka Kotto Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women does not have time to meet with the Quebec film coalition, which is asking the government to create a $20 million emergency fund to help the Quebec film industry maintain the momentum it has gained over the past few years. Yet she herself recognizes that Quebec needs money to support the rapid development of its film industry.

If the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women recognizes that the Quebec coalition's request is justified, why does she not find the time to meet with them or the money to help them?

Arts and CultureOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, we recognize the importance of the Quebec film industry. In fact, I have done more in four months than the former minister did in all of the last session.

I have met with over 50 representatives of the film industry. We have given options to one particular group that has asked for a meeting and we are waiting for a response as to time and date.

I will be meeting with representatives of the film industry tomorrow.

Arts and CultureOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Maka Kotto Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, there is always someone in worse shape than oneself.

The Quebec film industry is booming and creating a lot of jobs. Without the money the coalition is asking for, this growth will be stifled.

Will the minister improve the Canada feature film fund so that the film industry can get the money the Quebec coalition is asking for?

Arts and CultureOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, the film industry in Quebec has had some success but we want it to become even more successful. We know it has received international recognition as well. The industry is facing challenges today because the previous government did not recognize how the media industry was changing.

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ruby Dhalla Liberal Brampton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, thousands of Canadians are waiting hours to see doctors in emergency rooms and waiting months to see specialists. The Conservative government has absolutely no plan and it has invested no new money to achieve the wait times guarantee.

Now we learn the reason why the minister has been distracted. He has been busy trying to increase the profits of drug companies, like the one in which he has a 25% stake. Another Conservative minister and another conflict of interest.

Will the minister get out of the drug company business and start focusing on his real job, which is to address the health care concerns of Canadians?

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, I must say how disappointed I am in the member raising this particular issue in this manner.

All of my colleagues have made disclosure to the Ethics Commissioner. They have followed the directives. They are in complete compliance.

We do not need any lessons from members of the Liberal Party on ethics or anything else.

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ruby Dhalla Liberal Brampton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, let me remind the hon. member that it was the Liberal government that appointed the Ethics Commissioner who his government is hiding behind.

Double-talk and double standards seem to have become the hallmarks for the government.

The Liberal government was committed to health care, which is why we put $42 billion into health care over 10 years. The Conservative government has not done this. There is no new money.

It is obvious and it is evident that the Minister of Health is distracted from doing his job.

When will the minister do the right thing, step up to the plate and sell his shares so he can continue doing his job on behalf of Canadians to address the concerns of health care?

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, that is a bunch of nonsense. If the member has any allegations that she wants to make, she should make them outside the chamber and in public.

The problem with the Liberals is that they are mad at ministers and members who are in compliance. However, when they were in office, tens of millions of dollars were lost, misplaced, paid to their friends and, until they were caught, they could not find a nickel. That is their record.

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Anthony Rota Liberal Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, let us see if we can get an answer this time.

The Minister of Health has maintained his 25% equity shares in pharmaceutical giant Prudential Chem Inc.

Could the health minister, who is responsible for Canada's drug approval process, explain why he refuses to sell his shares in this company?

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, I can understand why the member had trouble spitting that out. He almost choked on that question.

The minister, like all members of this government, is in complete compliance. We all follow the rules. We are not taking any lessons from the group across that could not follow the rules all those years.

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Anthony Rota Liberal Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, I choked because it is disgusting.

The minister knows that Prudential offers consulting services to other pharmaceutical giants that deal directly with Health Canada for drug review submissions.

How can the minister sit there and deny that he is in a potential conflict of interest situation? Will he do the right thing and sell his stake and will he table in this House the names of all Prudential clients that deal with Health Canada?

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, the minister has done the right thing by complying with all the rules.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Conservative Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, Liberal hypocrisy on Kyoto continues. The Liberals' last environment critic voted against Kyoto. Their current critic has admitted that the Liberal Kyoto plan is flawed and said that Canada would not meet its targets by the 2012 deadline.

While the Liberals continue their partisan spin on Kyoto, this government wants a real plan that will work for Canada.

Could the environment minister comment on the Liberal environment critic's statement and tell us of this government's plan for Canada?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate the hon. member on being part of a government that is actually open and transparent with Canadians when it comes to Kyoto and our environment.

The Liberals were going to buy billions of dollars in international credits from Russia and China when we have our own air and water pollution problems right here at home. This government has taken a stand. We have a made in Canada plan, not a Liberal paid for in Canada plan, and we will make Kyoto work for Canada.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, new and disturbing allegations have surfaced in the Health Canada scandal involving the Virginia Fontaine Addictions Foundation. One of the convicted officials claims in a sworn affidavit that at least eight other Health Canada officials were involved but not prosecuted.

From day one, New Democrats have called for an open inquiry to get to the truth but the Liberals, already up to their necks in scandals, always refused.

Will the government now move quickly to get to the bottom of this sorry scandal and sordid chapter in our history?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, Health Canada is very concerned about any misuse of public funds and we will use every available option at our disposal on behalf of the people of Canada to recover any public funds that are owed to the people of Canada by the Government of Canada.

New information has been brought to light as a result of the RCMP investigation and the resolution of criminal charges and we will move forward with dispatch.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the response from the health minister. I sense that he and his colleagues are taking this very seriously, unlike the previous four health ministers who refused to address this matter.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. member for Winnipeg North has the floor.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians want to get to the bottom of this sordid scandal. Millions of taxpayer dollars were stolen. Two officials have been convicted. Questions and concerns still remain.

I would like to know if the minister is prepared to launch the open public inquiry that his colleagues called for when they were in opposition.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for her support. There is a lot of mess to clean up after the previous Liberal governments but I intend to move with dispatch.

The hon. member has made an interesting suggestion, which I think she made in good conscience and good faith, and we will be examining all our options.

However, the one critical message I want to send to the people of Canada is that we will get to the bottom of this and we will restore faith in government on this side of the House.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Kelowna accord, as we all know, was signed after an 18-month consultation process. Yesterday, the national chief, Phil Fontaine, stated, “I want to be absolutely clear that there was an agreement”.

On May 10, finance department officials confirmed that the Kelowna dollars were committed last November. The Minister of Indian Affairs now says that the money is not there. Only the Prime Minister or the finance minister can remove money from a sources and uses table.

Will the Prime Minister tell us why the money has gone missing and the Kelowna accord killed?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, false indignation appears to be the garb of choice for the Liberals these days on aboriginal policy. It is a bad fit.

The Liberals ran this country for 13 years and for 13 years they failed aboriginal Canadians on education, on housing, on drinking water, on treaty implementation and on accountability. They have been criticized by the Auditor General, by the United Nations and by Amnesty International.

They can be as indignant as they want but history will record the Liberal era as one of empty promises. What they really wore is shame.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

It is interesting, Mr. Speaker, who wears the shame.

There is no question that the Kelowna accord money was booked. The former Prime Minister said that it was booked, the former finance minister said that it was booked and even finance department officials admitted that the money was booked.

Canada's aboriginal people now have confirmation that the Prime Minister willingly and knowingly killed the Kelowna accord.

Could the Minister of Indian Affairs assure the House that he will no longer pretend that the money does not exist as a way to deflect attention from the fact?