House of Commons Hansard #45 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was money.

Topics

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

February 9th, 2000 / 2:45 p.m.

Reform

Lee Morrison Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, the HRD minister has been working on a six point plan. She bungled a billion bucks. She spent five months trying to cover up the audit. She stood in this House and pretended that everything was just hunky-dory. She tried to blame her bureaucrats. Now we find that the TJF is some kind of photo-op.

Clearly the next logical step is for her to resign. Where is she now, at step five and a half?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong. I received the report of the internal audit. It said that we had significant problems in the administration of our grants and contributions. I took that seriously. I demanded that we build a strong management plan for implementation. That is now being implemented and we will be reporting to Canadians on a regular basis until the problem is fixed.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

John Duncan Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, the human resources department is the Bre-X of the government. Instead of the ore being salted, the taxpayer has been assaulted.

A small sample audit of one-fifth of the department's activities found 87% of the files unsupervised and 15% with no record of application. If it were a CEO making this announcement the stock would be through the floor and he would be fired.

Why should Canadians tolerate anything less than the minister's resignation?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, forgive me but I do not think anybody on that side of the House has actually read the internal audit.

What it talks about are administrative challenges in the department's paperwork. We are taking it seriously because we have to have the foundation strong to support very important grants and contributions that are invested in ridings in all parts of this country.

We are taking this seriously. Canadians want the problem fixed and we will do that.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, we have all heard of the Book of Kells. The Liberal House leader is the chief scribe of the book of baloney. The Prime Minister knows it is the book of baloney or else he would share it with us, table it and let us have a look at the contents of the book.

I have my own book of facts and my book says that EI cuts took $20 million out of my riding last year, yet we did not qualify for a single penny of transitional jobs fund money.

I ask the Prime Minister, under what kind of perverse set of rules do rich ridings like Edmonton West and Brant qualify for transitional jobs fund money when my own riding qualifies for not one red cent?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member realized yesterday that he did not know his riding had received more than anyone else. He should check that. He knows it is available. Some programs apply in some ridings, other programs apply in others. But in fact, the member's riding did pretty well. He was shocked to know that he did not know what was going on in his riding.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is absolutely horrifying to me that this man who sells himself as the champion of clarity in this country really is the grandmaster of obfuscation. He is the Prime Minister of misinformation and he is hiding behind—

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. Go directly to the question.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is simply this: If the transitional jobs fund is not a Liberal slush fund, then why is it that rich Liberal ridings with far lower unemployment rates than my riding qualify for millions of dollars in benefits? My own riding—

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The Right Hon. Prime Minister.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there are rules that apply to everything. We gave them money. When we look at this fund, more money went to opposition ridings of all the other parties than went into the Liberal ridings, because in Ontario the economy is better than in the maritimes, for example, or in rural Quebec.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Jean Dubé Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, at press conferences held last week, senior officials from the department told us that the minister had been apprised of the problems at HRDC in August, during the transition period.

I personally received a document dated October 5. That document had been completed before the report. Today, the minister is telling us that she was notified only on November 17. There is a great deal of confusion. Who is telling the truth?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the hon. member referred to money given to businesses and to contributions made to the Liberal Party.

I have here a list of projects in his riding that received money from the Canadian government and contributed to his party's campaign.

Perhaps the hon. member should call the police about that.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.