House of Commons Hansard #24 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was space.

Topics

Audiovisual Productions
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government clearly wants to hush the matter up.

It is refusing systematically to answer the many questions put to it. It gives short shrift to information that the RCMP is investigating only one firm, when the problem is much greater. It is holding off following SODEC's example and calling on Revenue Canada to look into this matter.

Why is this government refusing to investigate this entire matter? Could it be because many friends of the Liberal Party are involved?

Audiovisual Productions
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa—Vanier
Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, it is really deplorable to be hearing the allegations we are hearing this morning.

Allegations have been made. An investigation has been called for. It is not for us to tell the RCMP how to carry out its investigation. I hope that the member opposite realizes that.

I have already said that the government is responsible for the way its grant programs are administered, and it intends to see to it that its responsibilities are properly discharged.

Audiovisual Productions
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, Micheline Charest has been involved in Liberal Party funding operations and was appointed by the Prime Minister to the board of the millennium scholarship fund.

The Minister of National Revenue who, until recently, practiced in a firm of lawyers specializing in copyright, is refusing to initiate an investigation by his department, unlike what has been done in Quebec.

Given the scope of the problem and the troubling facts undermining the government's credibility, is there no way to initiate a cross-Canada investigation into the matter?

Audiovisual Productions
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa—Vanier
Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I repeat, an RCMP inquiry is under way. I invite the member opposite to pass on all relevant information he may have to the RCMP. In addition, the government has always ensured that its programs were well and honestly administered, and we have every intention of ensuring that this continues to be the case.

Child Poverty
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, a Statistics Canada report shows that poor families with children are $1,500 per year worse off than when the Liberals took office. Three-quarters of that drop is due to the government's vicious cuts to unemployment insurance. Mr. Speaker, $1,500 can mean a lot to a poor kid: decent breakfasts, warm boots, maybe a special toy at Christmastime.

Why is the government taking this money from poor kids?

Child Poverty
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, this question gives me a chance to reiterate the commitment that this government has to children and to child poverty.

I would remind the hon. member that we invest $5 billion a year through the Canada child tax benefit and another $2 billion a year through the national child benefit. We invest $9 billion in programs like Cap C and prenatal nutrition, in Inuit and aboriginal community child care programs.

Not only do we have a commitment to continue that investment but through the Speech from the Throne there will be significant additional investments in children.

Child Poverty
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, 1.4 million children are living in poverty. That is the Liberal legacy, 1.4 million poor kids.

The minister knows perfectly well that the child tax benefit is being clawed back from 64% of the poorest families in this country. Where is the clapping? Where is the cheering?

Why will the government not set targets and timetables to eliminate child poverty come hell or high water?

Child Poverty
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, let me try to explain what indeed is happening with the national child benefit. In fact, the federal government gives assistance to poor families through $1.7 billion, soon to be $2 billion in income support. That allows the provinces to take moneys and build a platform of services to support of our children in low income families.

The big challenge that we have is giving opportunities to low income families, many of whom are on social assistance. Rather than facing the moral dilemma of leaving behind the services that their children receive through that program to take work to get into the economy and make a contribution and provide food for their families—

Child Poverty
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for St. John's West.

Millennium Partnership Program
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Charlie Power St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Deputy Prime Minister, the minister responsible for the millennium partnership program.

The Liberal minister of tourism in Newfoundland and Labrador has charged that Newfoundland is getting shortchanged in this program. In fact to date we have received less than 1% of approved funding. It appears that projects are being approved in one province, while similar projects are being rejected in Newfoundland and Labrador. The Liberal minister stated “This is absolutely ridiculous, uncalled for and discriminatory”.

Will the minister give the assurance to the House and the people of Newfoundland that Newfoundland applications are not being discriminated against?

Millennium Partnership Program
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I can give that assurance.

They are being looked at on their merits. We have already approved projects with support of almost $1.5 million. I have conveyed this information to the Newfoundland minister who has gone back to the drawing board to check further into the basis for his allegations.

I also want to say that we are striving for an overall balance over the total length of the program. I should say that this is not a per capita program. It is application driven and we respond to applications.

I believe that over the life of the program Newfoundland will be found—

Millennium Partnership Program
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for St. John's West.

Millennium Partnership Program
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Charlie Power St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for his answer and I would like to ask one more question.

The final phase of applications for the millennium partnership program has been announced. Will the minister also give his commitment that all applications submitted from Newfoundland and Labrador will be given a fair assessment and that applications already rejected, such as the excellent ones from the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra and the Grand Concourse Authority, will be reviewed to make absolutely certain that no discrimination was involved?

Millennium Partnership Program
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I assure my hon. friend that none of the applications from Newfoundland, or anywhere else in our country, have been dealt with on the basis of discriminatory practices.

We look at all applications in light of the criteria in a fair and equitable way, and we will continue to do so with respect to Newfoundland applications.

As far as my hon. friend's other comments are concerned, I will take them as a representation.

Health
Oral Question Period

November 19th, 1999 / 11:30 a.m.

Reform

Keith Martin Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, Premier Klein recognizes that the Canada Health Act system is failing Canadians, particularly poor and middle class Canadians. Now the Premier of Ontario has written to the Prime Minister saying “Provincial governments have not cut health care funding; the federal government has”.

My question is for the health minister. If the health minister truly believes that putting more money into the health care system will fix the system, will he restore the $21 billion the government has taken out of health care?