October 24, 2005

LIB

Lucienne Robillard

Liberal

Hon. Lucienne Robillard (President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Bloc is still trying to dupe Quebeckers and spread confusion, while his head office in Quebec City is itself more clear. It is no longer a proponent of any type of partnership.

The leader of the Bloc wants us to believe that separation would be painless. Unless after 15 years in Ottawa he has seen the merits of a real partnership called Canadian federalism.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Intergovernmental Affairs
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NDP

Jack Layton

New Democratic Party

Hon. Jack Layton (Toronto—Danforth, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that across this country we find workers who have been out of work in the softwood industry for months. We have whole communities that are virtually shut down, yet all we get from the government is words, statements, silence, absolutely no action whatsoever.

Is the government finally willing to consider the NDP's suggestion that we should look at the possibility of export charges on our oil and gas so that the U.S. administration will know that we are serious?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Softwood Lumber
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LIB

Jerry Pickard

Liberal

Hon. Jerry Pickard (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, there is absolutely no question that this government takes all actions that happen in this country very seriously. Softwood lumber is a critical issue for communities, for people who work in the industry and for the industry itself.

The Prime Minister has made it extremely clear that nothing short of a settlement that has been awarded will be settled for. There is no question about that.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Softwood Lumber
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NDP

Jack Layton

New Democratic Party

Hon. Jack Layton (Toronto—Danforth, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that the American administration is playing hardball with Canada. There is no spine on the government benches when it comes to standing up for Canadian workers and communities.

When are we going to use the tools that are available to us, the kinds of tools that the American administration is using against us? It is holding $5 billion of our money in its bank accounts and we are doing nothing to recover it, including even considering the possibility of recovery.

When will the government take some action and look at the possibility of export charges?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Softwood Lumber
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LIB

Anne McLellan

Liberal

Hon. Anne McLellan (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker—

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Softwood Lumber
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?

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Softwood Lumber
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The Speaker

Order. I am aware that the official opposition did not ask the last question, but the Deputy Prime Minister has risen to answer it. Everyone is going to want to hear the answer.

The Deputy Prime Minister has the floor.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Softwood Lumber
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LIB

Anne McLellan

Liberal

Hon. Anne McLellan

Mr. Speaker, let me be absolutely clear here. There should be no misunderstanding that the $3.5 billion that has been finally adjudicated, we have been clear we will settle for nothing less than the $3.5 billion back. When the $1.5 billion is finally adjudicated, we anticipate that we will win that adjudication once and for all and we will get that $1.5 billion back.

The Prime Minister has been absolutely clear—

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Softwood Lumber
Permalink
?

The Speaker

The hon. member for Portage—Lisgar.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Softwood Lumber
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CPC

Brian Pallister

Conservative

Mr. Brian Pallister (Portage—Lisgar, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, last year's Deloitte & Touche audit of Canada Post revealed that Andre Ouellette had paid himself enormous sums of money as pork-master general and he did not even bother to provide receipts. David Dingwall may be the prince of pork, but André Ouellet is still the king.

The government promised a complete audit of the office of André Ouellet more than a year ago. It begs the question, what is the government hiding here? If the Liberal government can come up with a whitewashed Dingwall audit in three weeks, why does it need more than a year for the André Ouellet audit?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Post
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LIB

John McCallum

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, on the subject of audits, I understand that the hon. member is carrying out his own audit of Mr. Dingwall, so there are now three.

We have two other audits going on. We have the Auditor General who wrote four months ago that the systems and practices of the Mint are designed and operated in a fashion which provide reasonable assurances that assets are safeguarded and controlled. We have a third auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers, which will be reporting.

So I ask, who is more credible, the Auditor General, PricewaterhouseCoopers, or that gentleman over there?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Post
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CPC

Brian Pallister

Conservative

Mr. Brian Pallister (Portage—Lisgar, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, it is too bad the revenue minister cannot impersonate the revenue minister as well as our leader can.

The revenue minister is responsible for overseeing a tax system that should apply to all Canadians equally, but no other Canadian, not one, would get away with what André Ouellet has gotten away with. Government documents reveal that the revenue minister has known for over four months that André Ouellet will not provide receipts. He has done absolutely nothing about it. It is shameful. I want to ask him one question. Why?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Post
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LIB

John McCallum

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the statements of the hon. member are false, but since he mentioned the Leader of the Opposition, let me just suggest that in view of his performance on Saturday, when eventually he steps down from his present position, perhaps in a decade or two, and when he speaks to his young grandchildren 20 years hence as to his greatest achievement in politics, my guess is he will say, “My greatest achievement was imitating John McCallum in question period”.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Post
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The Speaker

I think the minister meant, of course, the Minister of National Revenue.

The hon. member for Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Post
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CPC

Guy Lauzon

Conservative

Mr. Guy Lauzon (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, throughout this Parliament we have seen a steady parade of shocking abuses of taxpayers' money. Today there is another scandal. Managers of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation have held lavish receptions, racked up exorbitant travel and dining expenses, and taken boat cruises, all paid for by the Canadian taxpayer.

CMHC is supposed to provide affordable housing for low income Canadians, not lavish entertainment for its own managers. When will the government stop helping itself to taxpayers' money and start helping Canadians in need?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
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LIB

Joe Fontana

Liberal

Hon. Joe Fontana (Minister of Labour and Housing, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I think I addressed this question earlier.

I appreciate the concern of the member. All crowns need to make sure that they act with care and frugality. Even though there are rules, regulations and guidelines provided to all board members of all crown corporations, including CMHC, I indicate to all of them that we have a higher standard to abide by, and that is the standard of the public and the Canadian taxpayer. We have made that known to them.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
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CPC

Guy Lauzon

Conservative

Mr. Guy Lauzon (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, CPC)

Here we go again, Mr. Speaker.

Liberal mismanagement now extends to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation: lavish receptions, expensive meals and even boat cruises, and all at the taxpayers' expense. In Canada, two million families cannot find decent housing. This government continues to put its own interests ahead of those of needy families.

How does the Prime Minister explain these extravagant expenses this time?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
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LIB

Joe Fontana

Liberal

Hon. Joe Fontana (Minister of Labour and Housing, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, this government has a very comprehensive housing policy, unlike that party. Since 1999 we have put $1 billion toward our homelessness initiative which we will renew, $2 billion in commitments made to affordable housing across the country, and an additional $1.6 billion with regard to new initiatives on affordable housing and social housing.

CMHC is doing the work of this government. That is to make sure that we listen to people, provide housing and move, unlike that party that has no—

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
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The Speaker

The hon. member for Richmond—Arthabaska.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
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BQ

André Bellavance

Bloc Québécois

Mr. André Bellavance (Richmond—Arthabaska, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, yesterday more than 1,000 farmers and their supporters, a number of Bloc Québécois members among them, held a demonstration in Montreal. This was an initiative by the GO5 coalition, aimed at getting the federal government to take a firm position in favour of supply management mere weeks away from the WTO meeting in Hong Kong.

Can the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food state categorically that the supply management system is non-negotiable as far as Canada is concerned, and that no concessions whatsoever will be made during the WTO negotiations, as called for by the House with its unanimous passage of Motion M-163 on April 15?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Agriculture
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October 24, 2005