House of Commons Hansard #56 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was research.

Topics

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Grant McNally Dewdney—Alouette, BC

Mr. Speaker, CANDO had to refer the matter to the police because the minister would not do a thing about it.

Even when the minister was alerted that the local HRDC office response was to take the money from one account and put it into another to cover the missing cash, there was absolutely no response from the minister.

Again, why did she promise to protect taxpayers and to look into this matter when she did absolutely nothing when asked?

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, let me remind the hon. member that this is a matter about an employee of the company itself. The company has referred the matter to the police and the police are investigating.

Cinar
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government has got us used to the policy of “Not guilty unless caught in the act”.

Now the refrain seems to be instead “Apologies accepted, you are forgiven, provided some money found its way into my coffers, of course”.

My question is for the Minister of Canadian Heritage. Can she tells us whether the government plans to enter into a repayment program with CINAR so that this company will not be faced with legal proceedings later, having acknowledged that it was guilty of fraudulent actions?

Cinar
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon Minister of National Revenue and Secretary of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, obviously, and I think that everyone in this House is well aware of this, one of the fundamental principles of taxation is the confidentiality of records. Under the Income Tax Act, CINAR's files are confidential.

Now, to pick up on what the hon. member was alluding to, there is a program of voluntary disclosure in place, one of which I as Minister of National Revenue am particularly proud, and it is part of the initiative for fairness. It enables us to provide better services to all taxpayers. Access to this voluntary disclosure program requires exactly that: voluntary disclosure.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

John Harvard Charleswood—Assiniboine, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister and the premiers of Manitoba and Saskatchewan today announced additional help for farmers who have been struggling with low returns from their crops. Would the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food tell the House the amount of assistance involved and some of the details?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, everyone in the House knows the struggle that—

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Prince Edward—Hastings, ON

Mr. Speaker, everyone in the House is aware of the low income situation of a number of Canadian farmers, particularly those in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Both levels of government have been working to find means in which to help alleviate that situation. Last month we as a federal government announced another $1 billion over the next two years to assist. Today, after long negotiations with the provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the Prime Minister, the premiers and the government announced that we will make available another $400 million.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, on February 1, CANDO sent the human resources minister an urgent e-mail about the missing money: “We are in jeopardy”. The next day it tried again by fax: “Critical situation. We are seeking your help”.

What help did the minister give? Absolutely nothing, none, while all the while she is telling everyone that she is fixing things. Why were there no steps to recover this money stolen from the taxpayer? Or, was the minister just too busy trying to fix her image?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I remind the hon. member again that this particular issue involved an employee of the company itself. The company referred it to the police and the police are investigating.

On the bigger issue here, we are talking about grants and contributions that have been extraordinarily valuable to organizations and to individuals across the country. The value of these undertakings is understood by this side of the House. Clearly it is not by that side of the House that would scrap all grants and contributions.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, here are the facts. In early February the minister was alerted to the theft of grant money. On February 8 she told the House:

...we can do a much better job in administering our grants—I have taken it seriously. My department has made it a priority.

Today we find out that her words were absolutely hollow. Money was missing. She refused to do anything about it. The only reason the group went to the police is that the minister totally ignored them. What is the minister getting paid for, anyway?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is making reference to one single organization. We have thousands of sponsors making sure that Canadians have the opportunity they need to get jobs, to get opportunities they may not have otherwise.

Is the hon. member suggesting that those sponsors are not using the money wisely? Again I say we know where the cheques have gone.

My job is to build a strong foundation of administration to support the grants and contributions that are so valuable to Canadians.

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

February 24th, 2000 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

John Solomon Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, Canadians continue to ask the federal government to take a leadership role to deal with the energy price crisis.

Yesterday Yukon energy minister Trevor Harding wrote to the federal government saying:

Given the public's concern about increased fuel prices, I believe it is critical for the federal government to play a leadership role, and I urge you to convene a meeting of your provincial and territorial counterparts...to discuss common strategies for addressing this matter.

Other provinces have approached the government as well.

My question is for the Minister of Natural Resources. Will he agree to convene an energy summit of the provinces, the territories, the oil companies and other stakeholders to address the soaring energy prices?

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, first I am pleased to note that to date, higher prices for fuels in Canada have not contributed to higher inflation. Indeed inflation declined during the month of January.

With respect to the hon. gentleman's suggestion, at our last federal-provincial-territorial meeting of energy ministers we discussed the oil pricing issue. I have no doubt that item will be on the agenda for the next meeting as well.

In the meantime I will canvass my territorial and provincial counterparts to seek their views and to determine if they have any plans within their jurisdictions to act on the matter.