September 23, 2003

NDP

Alexa McDonough

New Democratic Party

Ms. Alexa McDonough (Halifax, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, Canadians seek assurances that the government will not support any resolution at the UN that puts multinational forces in Iraq under U.S. command or fails to provide a transition of power with reasonable timetables that put Iraqis in charge of their country, not Bush and his cronies.

Could the acting prime minister assure us that Canada, even after a change of Prime Minister, will stand firm for multilateralism and not allow the UN to be subjugated to Bush's unilateral dictates, clearly proven to be disastrous?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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LIB

Aileen Carroll

Liberal

Ms. Aileen Carroll (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister, as we know, is at the United Nations. His speech while he is there, and in all he has said before, reinforces this country's very strong belief in the processes at the United Nations.

We continue to support a multilateral approach in the reconstruction of Iraq and we have contributed $300 million to do that.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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NDP

Svend Robinson

New Democratic Party

Mr. Svend Robinson (Burnaby—Douglas, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health.

It has been over four months since the date that Canadians were promised that the Canada health council would be up and running.

Will the minister now assure Canadians, who are concerned about the lack of accountability and the erosion of medicare through massive funding cuts by the new Liberal leader, and by privatization, that soon there will be a strong, well funded council in place with members committed to the Canada Health Act, to the Romanow commission and to a publicly funded and delivered medicare system?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Health
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LIB

Anne McLellan

Liberal

Hon. Anne McLellan (Minister of Health, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to report to the House that federal-provincial-territorial health ministers had a very good meeting a few weeks ago in Halifax. We unanimously agreed to move forward with the creation of the health council.

We are now working on the recommendations of first ministers as to the chair of that council, the 13 government representatives and the 13 non-government representatives.

We are very hopeful that first ministers will sign off on the health council, both its membership as well as its mandate, in or around mid-October.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Health
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CA

John Duncan

Canadian Alliance

Mr. John Duncan (Vancouver Island North, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, the worst living conditions in Canada continue to be found on too many native reserves. Meanwhile, the Assembly of First Nations grand chief, Phil Fontaine, has asked Indian affairs for $1.2 million for new offices and renovations. When reserve residents are without basic shelter and water, this demonstrates out of touch leadership.

Why is the minister even considering this outrageous request from the new AFN leadership?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Aboriginal Affairs
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LIB

Charles Hubbard

Liberal

Mr. Charles Hubbard (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the matter is under review. A request has been made in terms of a change of leadership among the first nations peoples, and the grand chief will need some changes.

It is certainly a matter for review but, as of this date, no definite amount of money has been set aside for that purpose.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Aboriginal Affairs
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CA

John Duncan

Canadian Alliance

Mr. John Duncan (Vancouver Island North, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, why is this matter under review? This is an outrageous request.

The minister cut the AFN budget by two-thirds based on political disagreements with the previous grand chief. The message the minister is sending by entertaining this outrageous request is that favouritism is more important than the desperate living conditions on some of our reserves. $1.2 million could purchase shelter and infrastructure, not fancy digs in Ottawa.

Why will the minister not just reject this request right now?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Aboriginal Affairs
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LIB

Charles Hubbard

Liberal

Mr. Charles Hubbard (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I rather resent the fact that the member opposite has a very unfavourable position in terms of the relationships with the grand chiefs of more than 600 first nations peoples. They have a right to ask for changes within their offices and we, certainly, as a government have a right to consider those changes.

The decision has not been made but it will be made in due course. He certainly should have an office fitting the position he serves in this country

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Aboriginal Affairs
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BQ

Suzanne Tremblay

Bloc Québécois

Mrs. Suzanne Tremblay (Rimouski—Neigette-et-la Mitis, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, in 2002, when we questioned the Minister of Human Resources Development on the case of Modes Conili, which had obtained grants for the creation of fictitious jobs, we were told it was a matter for the RCMP. The RCMP does not want to tell us anything and, since then, there has been complete silence.

Is the minister able to tell us the results of the RCMP investigation and whether the company has repaid HRDC for the money it received.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Government Contracts
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LIB

Jane Stewart

Liberal

Hon. Jane Stewart (Minister of Human Resources Development, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, it is unclear to which file the hon. member is making reference. However, it certainly would be up to the RCMP to advise her if it has answers to her questions.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Government Contracts
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BQ

Suzanne Tremblay

Bloc Québécois

Mrs. Suzanne Tremblay (Rimouski—Neigette-et-la Mitis, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, I am speaking of the company known as Modes Conili. It obtained over $700,000 for fictitious jobs. What I wonder is, if close to two years later, the RCMP has not got any results, perhaps the file should be taken back from the RCMP and a public inquiry held.

Is the minister prepared to give us the results?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Government Contracts
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LIB

Jane Stewart

Liberal

Hon. Jane Stewart (Minister of Human Resources Development, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is right, this file was referred to the RCMP. I again state that if the hon. member has questions, it would be best for her to put them to the RCMP for response.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Government Contracts
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CA

James Rajotte

Canadian Alliance

Mr. James Rajotte (Edmonton Southwest, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, IRAP, the industrial research assistance program, provides technology advice and financial assistance to small and medium sized enterprises.

It has come to my attention that there is an internal investigation under way into possible wrongdoing, bribery and fraud within IRAP.

Will the Minister of Industry confirm that there is an investigation, yes or no?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Science and Technology
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LIB

Allan Rock

Liberal

Hon. Allan Rock (Minister of Industry, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I was informed yesterday by Dr. Carty that an investigation is ongoing.

I will provide the member and the House with additional details when that is proper and when they are available.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Science and Technology
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CA

James Rajotte

Canadian Alliance

Mr. James Rajotte (Edmonton Southwest, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, apparently this investigation has been going on for more than a year. It is amazing that the minister does not even know what is going on within his own department.

Canadians deserve answers to the question about possible fraud and bribery within IRAP. These are serious allegations.

When does the minister expect this investigation, which has been going on for over a year, to be concluded, and how many millions of Canadian taxpayer dollars are at risk?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Science and Technology
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LIB

Allan Rock

Liberal

Hon. Allan Rock (Minister of Industry, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the member obviously gets his exercise by jumping to conclusions. What he ought to do is be responsible about this. He has already said that IRAP is an important and successful program for small and medium sized businesses throughout the country.

Rather than leaping to those conclusions, let the investigation go forward and let it run its course. We will make the details available when they are available and when it is appropriate to do so.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Science and Technology
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LIB

David Price

Liberal

Mr. David Price (Compton—Stanstead, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the supplementary budget estimates were tabled today, and we all know the financial challenges faced by the Department of National Defence.

Could the minister outline how the estimates will remove much of the pressure from the Department of National Defence?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   National Defence
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LIB

John McCallum

Liberal

Hon. John McCallum (Minister of National Defence, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, never has a single number spoken so eloquently to the depth of the government's commitment to the military than the number which appeared in the supplementary estimates today. No less than $1.315 billion has been committed for the single year. Of this total, we have $800 million in new base funding, $393 million for the Afghanistan mission, including $193 million in new money, and more than $100 million in salary increases.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   National Defence
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CA

John Williams

Canadian Alliance

Mr. John Williams (St. Albert, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, last week it was champagne Charles Boyer, and this week it is the Pierre Théberge travelling road show. What is the common theme? Spending taxpayers' money with abandon. I thought that we had rules governing expenses by senior bureaucrats, but now we have $600,000 in lavish expenses for the high-flying director of the National Gallery.

My question is for the Minister of Canadian Heritage. Why did she authorize these massive expenditures of taxpayers' money?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Canadian Heritage
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LIB

Carole-Marie Allard

Liberal

Ms. Carole-Marie Allard (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I find the member's attitude deplorable. He knows that the government is committed to good management of public funds and he also knows that the National Gallery is a crown corporation, responsible for its day to day management and the management of its expenses.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Canadian Heritage
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September 23, 2003