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House of Commons Hansard #86 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was pumps.

Topics

Omar KhadrOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. The Minister of Foreign Affairs has the floor. We cannot hear him.

Omar KhadrOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I pointed out to the members, this matter is between Mr. Khadr's lawyers and those of the U.S. government.

Contaminated Water in ShannonOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, an INRS study commissioned by the Department of National Defence has confirmed that the water in Shannon has been contaminated with TCE by the federal government since 1978.

Since it has been proven that contaminants used by DND have been found in municipal wells in Shannon, does the government intend to acknowledge its responsibility and compensate the victims accordingly?

Contaminated Water in ShannonOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, this government, as previous governments, has been engaged in this file for some time. There have been millions of dollars paid to the municipality of Shannon. We continue to be seized with this issue, but it is now a matter before the courts. Thus, it would be inappropriate to comment further.

Contaminated Water in ShannonOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, worse still, Robert Chapuis, a scientist with the École Polytechnique, believes that the speed with which contaminants can move through the groundwater has been underestimated, to such a degree that the residents of Shannon could have been exposed to the TCE used by DND as early as the 1940s. This long-term, constant exposure could explain the high cancer rates in Shannon.

Will the government stop playing cat and mouse, put the cards on the table and release all of the documentation it has on the contamination of Shannon's wells?

Contaminated Water in ShannonOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member would know, many of those same documents would form part of the court case in the ongoing litigation.

With respect to this government and previous governments, the matter is being taken seriously. How else could one justify having spent tens of millions of dollars with respect to the compensation of people in the municipality of Shannon?

In that regard, this government takes this matter very seriously and continues to engage. However, this matter is before the courts and I therefore can comment no further.

Office of the Public Sector Integrity CommissionerOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Siobhan Coady Liberal St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives have failed when it comes to protecting whistleblowers.

Here are the facts. The integrity commissioner has abruptly retired. Almost the entire staff of the office has quit in the last three years. The Public Service Tribunal is not functioning. One hundred and seventy people were brave enough to come forward to disclose wrongdoing, yet all were brushed aside. Thirty-nine months, some $20 million and still there is no progress.

When will the Conservative government get serious about accountability? When can whistleblowers expect protection with a new commissioner?

Office of the Public Sector Integrity CommissionerOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, it was this government that brought in significant protection for public service employees who previously, under the Liberal government, lived in fear of reprisals for the issues they were raising, especially with the sponsorship scandal.

Right now the Auditor General is looking into the concerns and the complaints that have been brought forward. The office of the commissioner, its staff and the mandate that it has is fully engaged, is there to protect those who are concerned and want to bring forward concerns. They will continue to do that. We have confidence in that. We also will be waiting for the report from the Auditor General.

Office of the Public Sector Integrity CommissionerOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Siobhan Coady Liberal St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, we know that whistleblowers brought forward 170 cases of wrongdoing, and all of them have been brushed aside. The process is not working and, as a result, public servants remain unprotected.

“When a government starts trying to cancel dissent or avoid dissent is frankly when it's rapidly losing its moral authority to govern”. Who said that? It was the current Prime Minister.

When will the Prime Minister start living up to his own words?

Office of the Public Sector Integrity CommissionerOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, in response to the absolute travesty of justice or lack of justice that was occurring under the previous Liberal government, we brought in a number of provisions to protect public servants.

That protection continues under this office. It has the mandate, the legislation and the people. The Auditor General is looking into this. The leadership of the office has now been assumed by the deputy commissioner, Mr. Joe Friday, as we announced on Friday.

Office of the Prime MinisterOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are still in the dark about the secret deal struck between the Prime Minister and Nigel Wright.

In less than two weeks, Mr. Wright will have access to the most commercial secret material in Canada. He is on loan from Onex, a company doing business with almost a dozen federal governments. Ethics will require that Nigel Wright not work with any company that does business with the federal government for one year following his employment in the PMO.

Therefore, what is it going to be: a year off cooling period for Nigel Wright or Onex does no business with the federal government for at least 12 months?

Office of the Prime MinisterOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to inform the member for Don Valley East that the Prime Minister and Mr. Wright have no secret deal.

Office of the Prime MinisterOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is not about Mr. Wright's resumé; this is about the Prime Minister's judgment. Conservative MPs at the ethics committee have been ordered to block a motion demanding the release of the secret terms of Nigel Wright's employment.

Why are the Conservatives so scared of releasing the terms of this secret deal? What do they have to hide?

Office of the Prime MinisterOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I understand that Mr. Wright may have the opportunity to discuss these issues when he is before a parliamentary committee.

It is so amazing that such a talented Canadian is willing to put aside a lucrative career and come to Canada's national capital to make a contribution to public life. This is something that all Canadians should celebrate.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Phil McColeman Conservative Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, as Canada prepares once again to thank our veterans and active military at nationwide Remembrance Day ceremonies, I understand our Minister of State for Transport was out this morning to communicate the meaning of remembrance to Canadians and to inspire them to reflect on the sacrifices of our brave veterans and soldiers.

Would the Minister of State for Transport please tell the House about the newest circulation coin which was unveiled today?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Yellowhead Alberta

Conservative

Rob Merrifield ConservativeMinister of State (Transport)

Mr. Speaker, this gives me an opportunity, as minister in charge of the Mint, to remind people how thankful and honoured I was this morning to unveil the 25¢ poppy coin. This coin will be a pointed reminder of the thanks that we owe our service men and women for defending our Canadian values.

Furthermore, the Mint has created a Remembrance Day collector card and all of the proceeds from the sale of these cards will go directly to support our military families.

As we approach the Day of Remembrance, I know that Canadians thank our veterans and our service people for their sacrifice.

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

October 25th, 2010 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, nobody should be able to buy a government contract in this country but yet, days before the closing of the West Block contract, Public Works amended the tender to give special favour to one rinky-dink contractor who, by some happy coincidence, gave $140,000 to a well-connected Conservative lobbyist. Now the current government seems open for business but only if one pays to play.

Who specifically ordered the West Block renovation contract to be rigged in favour of Sauvé construction and what Conservative minister ordered him or her to do so?

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, the Government of Canada has contracting laws, regulations and policies that must be followed. Public servants are responsible for and manage this entire process, including the contract award. If any wrongdoing is found with individuals or contractors, they will face prosecution to the full extent of the law, including under the Federal Accountability Act, and we will expect that taxpayer money will be recouped.

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, they changed the criteria to allow an ineligible company, which has since gone bankrupt, to obtain a huge contract, but no one is responsible. They appointed their campaign manager to the board that supervises government contracts, but that was a coincidence. All of the contractors doing business with them are involved in fundraising activities, but that has nothing to do with it.

When will the minister stop taking us for fools and acknowledge his responsibility?

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada has laws, regulations and policies in place governing all contracting and public servants are responsible for and manage this entire process, including the award of this contract. If any wrongdoing with individuals or contractors are found, they will face prosecution to the full extent of the law, including under the Federal Accountability Act, and we expect that taxpayer money will be recouped.

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Bloc Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, a Quebec coalition led by the FTQ is calling for improvement to the guaranteed income supplement in order to provide immediate help to our least fortunate seniors. The president of the Fédération des femmes du Québec points out that many women work in unstable jobs without a pension plan and that improving the GIS would help them directly.

Will the government finally decide to improve the monthly guaranteed income supplement benefits?

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, that is something we did in the budget a few years ago. The hon. member may not have noticed, but we have done a number of things to help seniors.

In fact, we have increased the GIS credit from $500 to $3,500. That was to help seniors, especially those living in conditions like those described by the hon. member. He should have supported that measure.

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Bloc Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister's response rings hollow because more than 40,000 seniors in Quebec are still not getting the guaranteed income supplement even though they are entitled to it.

The Conservative government should be ashamed of robbing 40,000 seniors of these last-resort benefits.

What is the government waiting for to automatically register seniors for the guaranteed income supplement?

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we are the ones who want to help seniors living in poverty. That is why we have made it much easier to register for GIS benefits. For example, when people turn 65, they need to apply only once and as long as they file a tax return every year, their claim will automatically be assessed. That is something we are very proud of.

Potash IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has long been infatuated with the former right-wing leader of Australia, John Howard, even going so far as to plagiarize his speeches. Through family, business and politics, Mr. Howard is linked to BHP Billiton, the foreign company that is trying to take over the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan.

Last week. the Prime Minister gave PotashCorp the back of his hand, clearly showing bias in Canada's foreign investment review process. Is that because he is doing the bidding of his old friend, John Howard?