House of Commons Hansard #12 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was farmers.

Topics

Political Contributions
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, last night we learned that there is a special government list of companies seeking government funds and that this information gets sent out to the government's regional ministers and the local MPs whose ridings are affected. That means the prime minister must have known about the $600,000 grant proposal by Videon. Then of course Videon made this $5,000 donation to the Liberal Party when it never had done so before.

Let me ask the prime minister this. When he went to cash that $5,000 cheque, did he not smell a conflict of interest?

Political Contributions
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there should be a little respect for the truth. The $600,000 program is going toward the creation of jobs and will be paid when the jobs have been created. Also, the company that is building the hotel is not Videon. A person by the name of Thibault who lives in the riding told the press that he never heard about a company called Videon.

Political Contributions
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister talks about a little respect for the truth. We have to watch him from this side every single day, so we certainly understand what he talks about.

Videon is a parent company of Auberge des Gouverneurs which is building the hotel. We know that. The transitional jobs fund lets people in the riding know what is happening. This means that the prime minister would have been informed. This means that the prime minister as the local MP for that area would be allowed to lobby the minister for that $600,000 grant.

The prime minister is digging himself deeper and deeper. Let me ask him how in the world he is able to plead ignorance on more of these shenanigans in Shawinigan.

Political Contributions
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the member has her facts absolutely wrong. She is not listening. The builder of the hotel is Mr. Thibault. He has a franchise with the hotel chain but the builder and owner have nothing to do with the Auberge des Gouverneurs. Mr. Thibault told the media a few hours ago that he has never heard of the company Videon. This should be enough for the hon. member to shut up.

Political Contributions
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Political Contributions
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

I cannot wait for Wednesday.

Auditor General
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Finance.

The auditor general has just confirmed that the contribution rate for employment insurance was just pulled out of a hat, and is a matter of pure chance.

When will the Minister of Finance put an end to the amateurism he has shown to date in the way he is administering the employment insurance fund and setting the contribution levels?

Auditor General
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is well aware that the contribution level is set according to the economy, the government accounts, and a combination of various data. We are adhering exactly to established procedure.

Auditor General
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, the auditor general states specifically that there is no procedure and that the minister is flying by the seat of his pants, for example by excluding, since January, half the people who would have been entitled to employment insurance and no longer are, thanks to him. That is the situation.

I wish to ask this question of the Minister of Finance. Does the minister realize that his haphazard approach greatly penalizes the companies and workers who make the contributions, and the unemployed, who are truly unemployed, not just sort of unemployed?

Auditor General
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the facts speak for themselves. When we came to power, there was a $6 billion deficit. Today, there is a surplus. When we came to power, the rates of contribution were going up, year after year. Since we came to power, they have gone down from $3.07 to $2.90 and it has been announced that they will drop to $2.80 in November.

Atlantic Groundfish Strategy
Oral Question Period

October 7th, 1997 / 2:35 p.m.

Reform

Rob Anders Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, today the auditor general devoted three chapters of his report to the Atlantic groundfish strategy. TAGS failed in its own stated goals of downsizing fisheries capacity and retraining fishers in response to the Atlantic fisheries crisis. Even the auditor general said that the government was at best naive about the failed results of TAGS.

How can the prime minister defend a program that the auditor general has pronounced to be such a failure?

Atlantic Groundfish Strategy
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Kenora—Rainy River
Ontario

Liberal

Bob Nault Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, let us put this into context for two seconds. TAGS can also be put into the same position as the two major problems we had with the two floods, the one in the Saguenay and the one in the Winnipeg area. When we think of what happened in Manitoba and in the Saguenay and that they were crises, the crisis in the fish community was the same thing. We met that crisis with a program that was put in place to help 40,000 people who had no income. I think that is what a government should do.

Atlantic Groundfish Strategy
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Rob Anders Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, floods are something that are natural disasters that one cannot predict. In 1994 there were too many fishers and there were too few fish and the Liberal government promised a program to end all programs. Today in 1997 there are too many fishers and too few fish and a Liberal government with egg on its face and an Atlantic wipe-out to prove it.

Will the prime minister commit to never again buying the votes of desperate fishers with programs that breed dependency?

Atlantic Groundfish Strategy
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Kenora—Rainy River
Ontario

Liberal

Bob Nault Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, let us put a few facts on the table.

Atlantic Groundfish Strategy
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.