Gabrielle BERTRAND

BERTRAND, Gabrielle

Personal Data

Progressive Conservative
Brome--Missisquoi (Quebec)
Birth Date
May 15, 1923
Deceased Date
September 10, 1999
administrator, homemaker

Parliamentary Career

September 4, 1984 - October 1, 1988
  Brome--Missisquoi (Quebec)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Health and Welfare (November 1, 1984 - October 14, 1986)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs (October 15, 1986 - October 14, 1987)
November 21, 1988 - September 8, 1993
  Brome--Missisquoi (Quebec)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 28)

May 7, 1993

Mrs. Gabrielle Bertrand (Brome-Missisquoi):

Madam Speaker, the media's mandate is to inform Canadians every day, even every hour. Reporters on Parliament Hill, editorialists and political analysts scrutinize what the people's elected representatives do.

Even though these elected people, of which I am one, sometimes find their criticism unfair and severe, the fact remains that the credibility of some of these journalists is well established.

This morning, two of them agree and believe it their duty to do justice to the Prime Minister of Canada who is now touring the great capitals of the world.

Besides Michel Vastel, Lise Bissonnette puts the debate in its proper perspective. She recalls that the Liberal Party, which is making a big fuss over this farewell tour by the Prime Minister, has a very short memory. Indeed, who does not remember "the pretentious peace initiative of their well-loved former leader, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, which failed and is still laughed about in foreign ministries".

May 7, 1993

Oral Questions

Ms. Bissonnette continues: "The tradition in Canadian politics, inherited from the great former Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson-"

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March 12, 1993

Mrs. Gabrielle Bertrand (Brome -Missisquoi):

Madam Speaker, all Canadians take tremendous pride in the outstanding achievements of our figure skaters. It was not luck but a combination of hard work, perseverance and a very legitimate desire to win for their country.

Emotions ran high as we watched remarkable performances by Isabelle Brasseur and Lloyd Eisler, Kurt Browning and Elvis Stojko. Today, our hearts will go out again, this time to Josee Chouinard and Karen Preston, as they too go for the gold.

To all these outstanding athletes we offer our warm congratulations on reaching the top of their discipline and being the best in the world. Their determination, strength of character and courage are an inspiration to Canada's youth. Truly, they are the best ambassadors Canada could have.

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February 9, 1993

Mrs. Gabrielle Bertrand (Brome-Missisquoi):

Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of Justice. As you know, violence is seen and experienced eveiy day on television, in the streets, in schools and even within our own homes. Recently, one of my constituents was sexually assaulted by an inmate who was out on a day pass. The victim asked for a court order that would oblige her attacker to provide a blood sample, in order to determine whether he was HIV positive or had any other sexually transmitted disease. The judge rejected the application on the grounds that he could not legally accept this kind of application. The judge also indicated that it was up to the legislature to fill this legal vacuum.

I would like to ask the Minister of Justice whether he and the Solicitor General would be willing to make certain changes in the existing legislation in order to give more rights to victims of sexual assault.

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February 4, 1993

Mrs. Gabrielle Bertrand (Bronte-Missisquoi):

Madam Speaker, I would like, first of all, to thank the hon. member for Okanagan-Similkameen-Merritt for introducing this motion about the contract awarding system of the federal government or, in other word, its procurement system .

Through the Department of Supply and Services, which awards $8 billion worth of contracts every year, the federal government gives small businesses the opportunity to prove their capabilities and to develop new expertise.

Like the abolition of the manufacturers' sales tax, like the free trade agreement, which was intended to create a larger and freer market for our small and medium-sized businesses, the policies of the Department of Supply and Services are specifically meant to develop a more accessible and more competitive Canadian market.

Like all my colleagues who participated in this debate, I think that the hon. member for Okanagan-Similkameen-Merritt underestimates what this government is doing for our small businesses.

February 4, 1993

My colleague should not consider solely the details of our policies, he should consider the whole consistent package they represent. I will not repeat what others have already said about the importance of the small-business sector for our economy.

Every single member of this House could elaborate on that theme, because small business is really part of everyday life. What is more important is to underline the consistency of our policies taken as a whole.

Supply and Services Canada has restructured its policies to take into account the need to find new prospects for small businesses with the constraints of a more demanding national and international economic environment. The department helps give our small businesses a chance to excel in this country and elsewhere in the world.

Since 1989, the minister has tried to give better access to federal contracts, to streamline its policies, to modernize its systems, to encourage competition and to give Canadians the opportunity to question the department's system for awarding contracts.

You can see that it was no easy task, but it was carried out, and small businesses know how to take advantage of it. Recently, for example, I had the opportunity to announce, in my riding-

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February 4, 1993

Mrs. Gabrielle Bertrand (Brome-Missisquoi):

Madam Speaker, when the debate was interrupted, I was about to say that last week, in my riding, I had the pleasure to announce that a contract for $1,974,987 had been awarded by Revenue Canada Taxation to Imprimerie Montreal-Orford in Magog.

This is a reminder that more than 80 per cent of our suppliers are small businesses that can take advantage of these opportunities.

We have already heard detailed descriptions of the open bidding process which is the main component of the department's reform.

I would, however, like to stress two aspects that are a tremendous asset to the process, and I am referring to the Procurement Review Board and the Canadian content policy which some people seem to overlook.

The integrity and fairness of the procurement process must, in the final analysis, be able to stand up to a detailed review by an independent third party.

In the case of contracts covered by the free trade agreement between Canada and the United States, suppliers who feel they have been treated unfairly can bring their case before the Canadian Procurement Review Board. The board has proved to be a quick and inexpensive way to deal with complaints.

If the supplier wins his case the board may award costs and recommend compensation, including payment of a certain amount, or order a repeat of the procurement process on a competitive basis. This is a precedent for Canada.

When we talk about government openness, I think Supply and Services Canada and the Procurement Review Board are a case in point. I would even go so far as to say that it is up to us as members to inform small businesses of these mechanisms.

February 4, 1993

Private Members' Business

Many industrial businesses and associations have said that such a redress mechanism should be made available to Canadian suppliers for more goods and services purchased by the federal government.

Consequently, the government intends to introduce a bill expanding the mandate of the Procurement Review Board. Once passed, this bill will allow the board to review the purchasing of goods, and later the purchasing of services, in order to determine whether access to information was fair and if the evaluation criteria were clearly defined.

I am convinced that hon. members of this House will vote in favour of such a bill.

I want to draw the attention of the hon. member for Okanagan-Similkameen-Merritt to our Canadian content policy. We favour a "Buy Canada" approach, as evidenced by our Canadian-content policy.

For a long time now government procurement in Canada and elsewhere has been considered an instrument for industrial and regional development.

Supply and Services Canada is convinced that these goals will be better served by an open and competitive purchasing process. Competition on the domestic market ensures that Canadian suppliers can make it on the world markets. Government procurement will not be used to favour or support non-competitive suppliers.

Canada has played and continues to play a leading role by applying stricter business practices relating to preferential purchasing on the domestic market.

However, subject to our obligations under GATT and the FTA, Supply and Services clearly favours buying in Canada. This is done by restricting the competition to qualified Canadian suppliers when there are enough of them to insure that there is competition.

In order to take advantage of this preference, suppliers must be able to guarantee that the goods they have to offer are entirely made in Canada or, if they are made up of both imported and Canadian components, that the final product complies with the rules of origin.

Generally it means that a significant proportion of the manufacturing or processing must take place here in Canada in order to make a new product out of these various components.

In the case of services, the value of the work done in Canada by staff located in Canada must generally account for at least 80 per cent of the bid value. For big public projects or large purchases, review committees still make a detailed evaluation of the possible regional and industrial benefits.

I hope that my colleagues opposite will be able to appreciate the impact of the measures I just talked about. Personally, I am convinced that such a policy benefits our small businesses.

I will say again that the government is doing everything it possibly can to help our small businesses.

What I wanted to stress is how coherent, dynamic and innovative our economic policies are. Supply and Services Canada illustrates our commitment to meeting the present and future needs of our small businesses.

Consequently, I cannot but oppose the motion before us today as it contradicts the thrust of our policy on contracting.

Soon, the government will introduce a North American free trade agreement in Parliament.

Here is another example of a policy which, together with all the other existing policies, will provide better opportunities for small Canadian businesses, allowing them to reap the benefits of international trade and to grow and create stable employment for Canadians.

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