House of Commons Hansard #63 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was yea.

Topics

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Val Meredith South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the department-wide action plan in August dealt with the controlled release of the internal audit if an access to information request was received. Communication plans talked about release strategies and the need to equip the minister with questions and answers, question period cards and media lines.

Does the minister honestly expect us to believe that she only learned about this audit on November 17, as she stated in the House?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, let us review the facts again. This was a draft communications plan. It is normal for the communications officials in a department to prepare communication strategies.

This was being prepared and the audit was not even completed. It was not forwarded to me and, as I have said earlier, I would not have expected it to be.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont, QC

Mr. Speaker, on March 3, the Minister of Human Resources Development received the report she had commissioned from a Toronto firm in the matter of the redirecting of a grant from the riding of Rosemont to the riding of the Prime Minister.

How can the minister, who boasts of her clarity in this matter, continue to refuse to make public this investigation, which was paid for by the public and out of the public purse?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member makes reference to the Rosemont files. As he knows, on Monday last the department issued a press release saying that this had been referred to the RCMP. As such, the questions would be presented to them.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

March 13th, 2000 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Augustine Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The floods in Mozambique have taken their horrific toll in recent weeks and now we have reports that heavy rains and mudslides have displaced land mines in what is already one of the most heavily land mined countries in the world.

What is Canada doing about this threat to the lives of so many distressed people?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Etobicoke—Lakeshore for raising this very crucial issue in the House.

It is absolutely true that added to the enormous suffering which the people of Mozambique have experienced is the new danger caused by the dislodgement of thousands of land mines which had previously been demarcated or carefully mapped. What we now face is an urgent request from the Mozambique Mine Action Centre for help.

I am pleased to announce today, with the co-operation of the Minister of National Defence and the Minister for International Cooperation, that we are the first country to respond by adding half a million dollars to the already $12 million we put into mine action programs in Mozambique.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I quote from a letter from the deputy minister of human resources which says “Since June, when the interim audit report became available, we have devoted intensive and sustained management attention to this file”.

The minister claims that she was completely ignorant about the interim audit, but we have to wonder what she thought everyone in her department was actually doing during this period of “intensive and sustained management attention”. Perhaps there was an extended fire drill. Or, how about a 911 exercise? Maybe there was a crisis management therapy session.

Either the minister did not have a clue what was going on in her department or she has not been telling Canadians the whole story. Which is it?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, when I received the results of the internal audit, without question I took them seriously. I advised the department to strengthen its management report and when the whole audit was completed we made it public.

The six point plan that we are now implementing, which has had the benefit of advice from the auditor general, from outside third parties, is being implemented. I have had the pleasure of going to talk with departmental officials in Calgary and Toronto and in other parts of the country and they are doing their job.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, they may be doing their job, but it is the minister we are asking about.

The communications plan and the strategy were ready to go in August, but the minister waited until January to release the information on the audit and only after she received an access to information request. We have been giving the minister the benefit of the doubt. We thought she was simply not up to the job, but now we see something even worse. It appears she followed a plan down to a t , which was to hunker down, batten down the hatches and hope that no one asked about the audit until it was old news.

Why did she try to hide the fact that she mismanaged $1 billion in her department?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member cared to pay attention he would know that even the data collection for the audit was not completed until the early part of the fall. He would understand in the course of an internal audit that once the data is collected the management team has to prepare the response. He would understand that as minister, when I received this information, I took it seriously and I said that the management response was not strong enough. It was strengthened and when the whole report was completed we chose to make it public.

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is now day 10 since Ralph Klein launched the most concerted and comprehensive attack on medicare in the history of this country and the health minister says he is still studying it. He says that they do not know what they are going to do at this point.

One thing we do know is that this government paved the way for privatization by signing a secret 12 point deal with Alberta in 1996, and went so far as to fire a former health minister for trying to stop the deal.

The minister says he does not know what to do, but today he can start by rescinding the deal and saying no to Ralph Klein. Will he do that?

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we know exactly what to do. It is to work with other governments to renew medicare. That is exactly what we are doing with the NDP governments of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. We are working constructively to do things that will help. We do not believe that private for profit hospitals are going to help. The experience so far is that they have longer waiting lists and higher costs and there are real questions about quality.

I would like to know why will the NDP not join in the effort to renew medicare instead of aligning itself with those who would destroy it?

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, first of all it is unbelievable that the government after 10 days is in no position yet to say no to Ralph Klein and the destruction of medicare. It is unbelievable that he pretends that a deal his government signed in 1996 does not exist when in fact section 11 of that deal is the forerunner to Bill 11 now before the Alberta legislature.

If the government is serious about doing something about medicare, it would rescind its own deal and say absolutely no to Ralph Klein. Will the minister do it?

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, that is unalloyed nonsense. There is no deal between governments. There are principles that the Alberta government proclaimed. They will not stand in the way of the enforcement of the Canada Health Act.

The real issue is why is the NDP the defender of the status quo? We want to work to renew medicare. It thinks that simply pouring billions into the old system will work. It will not. Why does it not join with us toward constructive change?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rick Borotsik Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, spring is just around the corner and right now many farmers are trying to find cash to put the crop in. Many of them are not being very successful.

The AIDA program has been like a mirage to a dying person. Right now, today, only $500 million of that money has been distributed and put into farmers' pockets.

Will the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food stand today and admit that he has failed Canadian farmers for the 2000 crop year?