March 29, 2004

LIB

Joe Volpe

Liberal

Hon. Joseph Volpe (Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member opposite knows very well, the government is investing nearly $3 billion per year to help seasonal workers. For example, with the recent changes in the Employment Insurance Act, over the last three years, the government has invested nearly $500 million per year.

We are aware of the problems being experienced by seasonal workers. We are ready to find long-term solutions to better manage the challenges facing seasonal workers.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Older Workers
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BQ

Suzanne Tremblay

Bloc Québécois

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

Mr. Speaker, the government can tell us that it will take care of things all it wants, but the time for action is now. I did not ask him about seasonal workers, but about older workers.

If the government wanted to show its real concern for the older workers who are victims of job cuts, why did it not include the extension of this pilot project in its recent budget? I am talking about seniors, Mr. Minister.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Older Workers
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LIB

Joe Volpe

Liberal

Hon. Joseph Volpe (Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, we are now going into the facts rather than into rhetoric. There are solutions, but there are no effective short-term solutions. We are working to find long-term solutions. In order to find these solutions, we must work with the provincial and regional jurisdictions.

I am now working to finalize a package of measures that will, in the coming weeks, help both seasonal workers and older workers.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Older Workers
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CA

Monte Solberg

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Monte Solberg (Medicine Hat, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are fed up with the Liberals parsing their words regarding the sponsorship scandal. The Prime Minister has carefully denied any connection between the ministers in his cabinet and the sponsorship issue, but we know that is simply not correct.

Was the Prime Minister ever advised of the sponsorship relationship between Pierre Tremblay and his current President of the Privy Council Office?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Sponsorship Program
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LIB

Jacques Saada

Liberal

Hon. Jacques Saada (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, we have been hearing for weeks now questions from the opposition without any regard for facts, without any regard for concern for the honesty and integrity of the process, casting aspersions on a minister of this government without any proof whatsoever, notwithstanding the hurt that it creates for the minister, for his family, for his children, totally irrelevant of any concern for the human dimension of the problem. It is not acceptable, not acceptable.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Sponsorship Program
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CA

Monte Solberg

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Monte Solberg (Medicine Hat, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, we are looking for facts and the truth. The Privy Council president has already admitted meeting with Pierre Tremblay.

My question was actually directed to the Prime Minister. If he wants to be a spectator, there is lots of room in the gallery. I invite him to actually stand up and answer a question.

The question I am posing to the Prime Minister is, why is he covering up the nature of the relationship between Pierre Tremblay and the Privy Council president? Why did he not come clean when he was asked about this before?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Sponsorship Program
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LIB

Jacques Saada

Liberal

Hon. Jacques Saada (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, there is one common point in the statement I just heard by the opposition which is, we want to have the truth. Why do we simply not do away with all the politicking that is going on and get to the facts? If they want to summon the witness, they can call him. They have the authority to do it.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Sponsorship Program
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CA

Kevin Sorenson

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Kevin Sorenson (Crowfoot, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, Alfonso Gagliano said that he believed there was no political interference with the sponsorship program, but the Prime Minister contradicted him and said that there was political direction given. Did that interference come from the President of the Privy Council?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Sponsorship Program
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LIB

Stephen Owen

Liberal

Hon. Stephen Owen (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the role of the public accounts committee is to get to some findings of fact on the issues before it. Where it gets discrepancies between one witness and another, then it should test it, ask questions, come to a conclusion and then report it to the House.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Sponsorship Program
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CA

Kevin Sorenson

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Kevin Sorenson (Crowfoot, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the current Prime Minister stated that all cabinet ministers interviewed were asked to come clean with any potential conflicts before they were given their cabinet postings.

The current President of the Privy Council once failed a polygraph test in regard to Groupe Everest and his stay at chateau Boulay. The court said that the President of the Privy Council misled Parliament and Canadians about immigration backlogs.

My question is for the Prime Minister. Did the President of the Privy Council tell the Prime Minister or his officials about his involvement with Pierre Tremblay?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Sponsorship Program
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LIB

Jacques Saada

Liberal

Hon. Jacques Saada (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, it seems quite clear to me that the minister did say that he spoke with Mr. Tremblay when he was responsible for amateur sports. What is wrong with that?

We are witnessing at the present time the witch hunt of Salem revisited. It is machiavellianism at its worst. It is enough.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Sponsorship Program
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LIB

Sarkis Assadourian

Liberal

Mr. Sarkis Assadourian (Brampton Centre, Lib.)

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

Tragically last week an innocent young woman in Brampton, Ms. Amretta Singh, died after she was gunned down on her doorstep. Unfortunately, crimes committed with firearms are increasing all over the GTA.

The use of a firearm in the commission of a crime is a serious offence. Can the minister tell the House what steps are being taken by the department to ensure that the incidence of gun crimes will be reduced and punished accordingly?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Justice
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LIB

Sue Barnes

Liberal

Hon. Sue Barnes (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I know that the member and his colleagues are not only very conscious of the crimes in their city, but they are working actively with the minister and the department for change and better work in this area.

Our response to crimes with guns has to be comprehensive, including not only crime prevention, social interventions, efficient and responsive police work, but also effective gun control, even those gun controls included at the U.S.-Canada border, and targeted enhancements to our sentencing regime for these types of crimes.

There are 10 serious firearm--

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Justice
Permalink
?

The Speaker

The hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Justice
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NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis

New Democratic Party

Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North Centre, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the finance minister.

From Kyoto to Romanow to Bono, if there was a good idea out there, the minister found a way to ignore it in the budget. The Liberal budget did not include one cent for the global fund. So much for change; the Liberal budget simply repeated Jean Chrétien's old promise on foreign aid which will mean we are giving less in foreign aid in 2010 than we did when the Liberals took power.

What is the point of singing with Bono if the Liberal budget is going to dance to a completely different tune?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   International Aid
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LIB

Ralph Goodale

Liberal

Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, we have in fact honoured the commitments that we have made. There are more commitments outstanding. We stand with the poor countries of the world as our record shows and will continue to do so. That is a commitment we fully intend to keep over the course of this coming decade.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   International Aid
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NDP

Joe Comartin

New Democratic Party

Mr. Joe Comartin (Windsor—St. Clair, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the environment minister.

After 11 years of endless Liberal rhetoric, let us look at the results. One, greenhouse gas emissions are up 18%. Two, there is no renewable energy plan. Three, there is no mandatory plan for vehicle fuel efficiency. Four, there is no energy retrofit plan of any consequence for federal buildings. Five, Kyoto was not even mentioned in the budget or throne speech.

Can the minister tell the House why the Liberals are abandoning the Kyoto protocol?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   The Environment
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LIB

David Anderson

Liberal

Hon. David Anderson (Minister of the Environment, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the essence of those many statements made by the hon. member is that there was not money in the budget for Kyoto. What he forgets is that the Kyoto financing cycle is about every two years, the 2001 budget and the 2003 budget.

There remains some $690 million unspent from the 2003 budget. We will deal with that in due course. I am quite sure the Minister of Finance in due course will make sure that we have enough to continue the programs.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   The Environment
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CA

Leon Benoit

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Leon Benoit (Lakeland, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister carefully denied any relationship between his cabinet ministers and the sponsorship issue. We know this is not correct.

Was the Prime Minister ever advised of the sponsorship relationship between Pierre Tremblay and the current President of the Privy Council?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Sponsorship Program
Permalink
LIB

Jacques Saada

Liberal

Hon. Jacques Saada (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, if for once members opposite would prepare the questions after listening to the answers, they might avoid having a second time in a row the same question to which the answer is still the same.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Sponsorship Program
Permalink

March 29, 2004