Mr. Speaker, I want to comment on something the parliamentary secretary to the government House leader said this morning in response to the question of privilege I raised yesterday on the misleading response from the Minister of Natural Resources to my written Question No. 50.
The parliamentary secretary should know that when one is in a hole one should stop digging. I say that because his intervention only added to the records of this House more misleading and conflicting information. It caused more confusion and cast more doubt, if that is even possible, on the integrity of the government he supports to give straight-up, honest answers to inquiries from members of this House.
The parliamentary secretary argued that the funds that were paid to Pembina Institute were grants and not contracts, and since my question asked about contracts, the government was accurate in stating that it had not granted any contracts to Pembina Institute since January 1, 2017.
Mr. Speaker, if you follow the references I cited in my submission yesterday, and I have no idea why the parliamentary secretary did not do that, you will note that the items I referred to yesterday were paid for by Natural Resources Canada to the Pembina Institute and they all had contract dates, contract period start dates, contract period end dates and contract values. For example, the item with reference number C-2019-2020-Q2-00393 is listed as:
Procurement Identification Number: 3000696225 Vendor Name: PEMBINA INSTITUTE Contract Date: 2019-09-19 Economic Object Code: 341 Description of work: Communications research services Contract Period Start Date: 2019-09-19 Contract Period End Date or Delivery Date: 2019-12-13 Contract Value: $33,900.00
The payment for communications research services is not a grant. It is a service.
All of the items I referenced yesterday are listed in the same way. They do not just look like contracts or smell like contracts or sound like contracts, they are reported as contracts.
As I said yesterday, I am prepared to move the appropriate motion and I am now prepared to amend the motion to also refer the misleading statements of the parliamentary secretary to the government House leader to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.