House of Commons Hansard #131 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was billion.

Topics

Government Of Canada
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is quite the coincidence. Here is another example of how the government is controlling information.

The Bloc Quebecois has been trying for months to get information through the access to information process. In spite of repeated requests, complaints and questions in the House, we had to wait for the release of the auditor general's report to know what is really going on.

Does the minister feel that it is not in the public's interest to shed more light on this case of patronage?

Government Of Canada
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Beaches—East York
Ontario

Liberal

Maria Minna Minister for International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, I do not know from where the member gets his information. First, all the access to information requests are dealt with as expeditiously as possible.

Second, CIDA has a competitive system which we introduced in 1996 which was not in existence prior to our government coming to power. According to the auditor general, CIDA has made efforts to make its selection process for competitive contracts more fair and transparent under our government.

Government Of Canada
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that the Liberal record on HRDC is completely shameful. When the Liberals took office in 1993 they knew there were deep management problems in that department. A new audit in 1994 confirmed that. Just yesterday the Auditor General of Canada found more of the same, and I quote: “We found widespread problems. We found that controls had broken down”. He said that public money had been put at risk.

How can Canadians trust a Liberal government that let this mess get worse year after year?

Government Of Canada
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I must use this question to clarify something very important.

Time and again the leader of the Alliance Party has said that $3 billion has been wasted and that has been repeated by his party's members. I want the House to understand that when he says that he is saying that the $15 million we invest every year for the Canada student loans program is a waste. He is saying that the $1 billion we transfer to the provinces every year for labour market training is a waste. He is saying that the $100 million we invest in communities across the country for homelessness is a waste.

Members of that party will either stand up and say that they will cut these programs or they will come clean and say they do not know what they are talking about.

Government Of Canada
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, is that not interesting? The auditor general yesterday had something to say about that kind of answer. He said “The government has continued to understate the problem”. He confirmed that his findings of widespread mismanagement went beyond the problems we already knew about. Are misleading, hiding the truth, and grossly mismanaging public funds the real Liberal values?

Government Of Canada
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, what the auditor general did say is that the actions and plans address the deficiencies that we found in our audit. He writes that the “commitments in the action plan are being met” and that “corrective actions go beyond the six point plan”. He said that HRDC has corrective actions planned and being implemented in response to the problems identified in its 1999 internal audit and “the actions and plans also address the deficiencies we found in our audit”.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

October 18th, 2000 / 2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government is trying to take advantage of Bill C-44 amending the employment insurance program to slip by us a clause that would enable the government to divert for its own purposes the employment insurance fund surplus which does not belong to it.

Can the Prime Minister explain to the House how he can justify to employees and employers this attempt to legalize a hold-up of the employment insurance fund?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member feels so strongly, as do we, about the issues involved in Bill C-44, he would join with us and pass the bill as quickly as possible.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister and the Prime Minister would like to see Bill C-44 passed quickly. We have no problem with that if the purpose is to do the right thing for the unemployed.

My question is a simple one: Are they prepared to withdraw this clause which will enable them to get their hands on the employment insurance surplus so that we can get this bill through quickly, in a single day if need be?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the Standing Committee on Finance and the auditor general have asked us to clarify how premiums are calculated. In the bill we have committed to do just that. In the interim, to ensure stability, we have identified the premium reduction for this year and the governor in council will do it next year.

Economic Statement
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

John Williams St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance has gone back to his creative accounting tricks but was caught yesterday by the auditor general. The auditor general said that the five year tax reduction plan announced in the last budget was overstated by $7 billion. The tax reduction is just not there.

My question is for the Minister of Finance. If the auditor general says the numbers do not add up, why should Canadians think that the numbers that will be presented this afternoon will add up?

Economic Statement
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, I am sure if the auditor general had the opportunity to look at the economic statement put out by the official opposition, he would have verified that there is about a $25 billion black hole there which is totally unaccounted for.

I would suggest that hon. members wait for about 65 minutes. In a few minutes we will be hearing directly from the minister on this very important announcement affecting all Canadians.

Economic Statement
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

John Williams St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, the auditor general said yesterday there was a $7 billion overstatement in the tax reduction and the way that he presents his numbers are suspect. The auditor general said “In our opinion, this results in misleading financial disclosure”. It is a serious indictment. Why should taxpayers believe the numbers this afternoon, when the auditor general said that the last ones do not add up?

Economic Statement
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, the minister will be tabling an economic statement which will, unlike the opposition, show timing, show exact numbers. They will all be there respecting Canadians' right to see what is open and what is evident. Unlike the opposition we are not going to hide and we are not going to fudge on the figures.

Shipbuilding
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Antoine Dubé Lévis, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are seeing the end of the Liberal regime at this time.

The government has had seven years to meet its commitments. Among those it has not met is one it has neglected right from the very beginning of its mandate toward the shipyards.

Has the Prime Minister asked his Minister of Finance to include in the mini-budget he will be bringing down this afternoon the appropriate measures which Canada's shipbuilding industry has been awaiting for years now?