House of Commons Hansard #43 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebec.

Topics

Dr. Henry De Jong
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Scott Fredericton, NB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to recognize the outstanding efforts of one of my constituents. Dr. Henry de Jong has recently returned to Fredericton, having worked in Nicaragua for CESO. Henry was asked to advise on agricultural co-operation in potato production and marketing. He visited potato growing locations, many of them very difficult to reach, to get a picture of current production. During Henry's assignment the entire potato production chain was analyzed and recommendations were made for improvement.

Henry is typical of CESO's highly skilled volunteers. Last year CESO volunteers provided almost 23,000 days of assistance to developing nations, emerging market economies and Canadian aboriginal communities. CESO is supported by CIDA, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and by hundreds of Canadian corporations and individuals.

I am pleased to congratulate and thank Dr. Henry de Jong for his contribution in this worthwhile effort.

World Anti-Doping Agency
Statements By Members

February 7th, 2000 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Rick Limoges Windsor—St. Clair, ON

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to endorse the recent initiative by the hon. Secretary of State for Amateur Sport to bring to Canada the recently established World Anti-Doping Agency.

We recall the decision taken at the February 1999 conference hosted by the International Olympic Committee to establish the World Anti-Doping Agency in a major effort to eliminate drugs in sport. At its inaugural meeting the IOC announced its intent to conduct an open bidding process to find a permanent home for the new World Anti-Doping Agency.

It would be a distinction for Canada to house the new World Anti-Doping Agency. I offer my best wishes to the member of parliament, the Secretary of State for Amateur Sport, for his efforts in this regard.

Health Care
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, Canada's system of public health care is facing serious pressures which threaten its very survival. Federal cuts to transfer payments have put medicare on a precipice. They have made public health plans vulnerable. They have opened the door to privatization. They have fueled the fire of two tier advocates, with Ralph Klein in the lead. This is the fight of our lives.

Today the Canadian Health Coalition with Tommy Douglas' daughter, Shirley, who is with us today, launched its campaign to stop Klein's privatization plans, to restore health care transfers in the upcoming budget and to strengthen medicare now. They represent all Canadians. They want the government to act now. They expect the government to take immediate action to stop two tier health care.

We know the threats are real. We also know we have a great opportunity to develop the same kind of gutsy solutions that Tommy Douglas and the Saskatchewan CCF launched in the 1960s.

Agriculture
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Howard Hilstrom Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, in December the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food sent the standing committee on a whirlwind tour of western Canada and pretended to consult with farmers. The Liberal dominated committee only held nine meetings to discuss the ongoing farm income crisis.

In spite of efforts by the Reform official opposition, the Liberals, PCs and NDP all refused to extend the meetings into Ontario and B.C. and refused to travel more than one week. This is disgraceful.

The official opposition continues to hold real consultations with farmers. Again, we have held over 55 town hall meetings with farmers across B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario and have seven more meetings scheduled.

In the past, farmers believed that the Liberals did not understand the farm income crisis. Not anymore. Now they know for a fact that the Liberals just do not care.

Farm families have grown tired of announcements that do not have any meaning. How can they believe the minister's promises of new assistance when he has only delivered 25% of the AIDA money he pledged last December?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Canadian taxpayers pay the highest personal income taxes in the western world. No wonder they are angry therefore when they find out that more than a billion of those hard earned taxpayer dollars have been grossly mismanaged by the Minister of Human Resources Development.

If the human resources minister had any respect for Canadian taxpayers and respect for the principle of ministerial accountability, she would rise in her place today and resign from cabinet. Will the minister resign from cabinet?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I would not accept the resignation if it were to be offered because, as usual, the opposition is exaggerating.

An audit was commanded by the department related to $200 million and 459 projects, of which 37 had some problems representing around $30 million. Of these projects, $11.5 million have been cleared in the last few days and the rest will be reported upon very soon.

We are very proud that our department is looking at the management problems. Today, the deputy minister—

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister intervenes not to protect Canadian taxpayers but to protect the discredited minister.

In 1991 the Prime Minister said “When we form government, every minister in the cabinet will have to take full responsibility for what is going on in their department. If there is any bungling in the department, the minister will have to take responsibility”.

When did the Prime Minister abandon the principle of holding cabinet ministers accountable for squandering taxpayers' money?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the minister has taken full responsibility. She is working on the report that was presented. I described that report. She has been in touch with the auditor general who approved all the needed rectifications this morning. If there is money that has been lost, we will collect it back.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, a fish rots from the top down.

We pointed out last year that moneys from the transitional jobs fund were being misused in the Prime Minister's riding. The Prime Minister excused it. He accepted no responsibility. He set the wrong example. Now that little scandal from Shawinigan has become the billion dollar boondoggle in human resources.

Why does the Prime Minister not start accepting responsibility for this gross misuse of taxpayers' money and fire the Minister of Human Resources Development?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I know the hon. member does not care about the people who receive this money.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Saint-Maurice, QC

Listen to them. I know they want to cut the taxes of the rich and do not want to give money to the poor, but I will not change my policy on that.

The administrator of the Alberta branch of the Canadian Paraplegic Association said “The bad press is hurting us as an organization. The money we received was very well spent. We employed 200 people, with various levels of disabilities, all across the province”. I find it very hard to believe—

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Calgary—Nose Hill.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, we have just seen a classic example of the old bait and switch technique: Instead of answering to the issue, you try to pretend the issue is something different. The issue is a billion dollar boondoggle involving public money.

This minister has not proven to be very adept at answering questions and some of the answers she has given are very troubling. For example, on December 16, 1999 she said “No moneys flowed until appropriate approvals were in place”, but her own departmental audit had already informed her that was not the case. In fact, this minister was not candid with the House.

Will she stand in her place and resign?