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 say.

Topics

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health.

Federal neglect and the NAFTA mean that Alberta's retreat into two tier Americanized, privatized health care may soon be forced on all Canadians. Why will the current health minister not stand to be counted, as some previous health ministers are doing?

Why will the current health minister not just oppose Alberta's health privatization law clearly and unequivocally? What is he waiting for?

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as the member knows, we are looking at the legislation—and, indeed, I would like to see the regulations as well—to determine whether it complies with the Canada Health Act.

I was in Alberta last week and took the opportunity to say to Albertans and all Canadians that we do not believe private, for profit hospitals is the way to go. They are no less costly, they have longer waiting lists and there are issues of quality.

We have urged the Alberta government to reconsider. Private, for profit is not the answer to problems facing medicare.

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, this is unbelievable. Rome is burning, health is in crisis, and the minister continues to fiddle.

Canadians do not want a two tier health system. Nor do they want Americans to play doctor with their health. That is clear.

Is the minister going to follow the advice of his predecessors? Is he going to clearly oppose privatization in Alberta?

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, what I find puzzling is why the New Democratic Party will not join with us in the work we are doing to renew medicare within the principles of the Canada Health Act.

What the NDP governments of Saskatchewan, Manitoba and B.C. and the federal NDP are doing instead are playing into the hands of the Reform Party, those on the right who do not want the Canada Health Act.

The real enemies of medicare are over there on the right in the Reform Party. If they think those people are bad, wait until they hear the views of Stockwell Day on the subject.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, for months questions concerning the unprecedented mismanagement of millions of taxpayer dollars have gone unanswered in the House. The minister and Prime Minister have taken pains to minimize the enormous case of fiscal irresponsibility.

Almost daily now we have been advised of more RCMP investigations. We know of at least 19 grants now currently under investigation, three in the Prime Minister's riding, and one where charges have been laid.

Will the minister now restore some faith in her department by disclosing the full number of grants which she is aware of that are under investigation, active, completed or pending?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I have been as transparent as is appropriate to the House with regard to this particular issue.

The hon. member knows that these issues are before the police and therefore the question should be addressed to the police.

Indian Affairs And Northern Development
Oral Question Period

March 13th, 2000 / 2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, the minister is so transparent, we can see right through her.

We know that there is systemic mismanagement present in other government departments, such as CIDA and now Indian Affairs and Northern Development. In 1971 the Prime Minister was the minister of Indian affairs and he stated:

—we cannot spend millions of dollars without developing some criteria and rules for the administration of those moneys.

And yet, in an audit released while parliament was not sitting, as expected, why is the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development still doling out money to native chiefs if they are refusing to account for their spending?

Indian Affairs And Northern Development
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Kenora—Rainy River
Ontario

Liberal

Bob Nault Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, that is not the policy and it is not what we are doing.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, the human resources minister told the House on February 7: “I am not trying to hide anything. I made the report public”.

But new documents show the truth. Last fall the minister deliberately chose not to make the audit public unless she was forced to do so. How can the minister square her claim to transparency with her choice of the so-called reactive strategy?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I counter it with fact.

The fact is, it is our department that made the audit public. The fact is, it is our department that has provided over 10,000 pages of information to members of the House.

We have gone well beyond the most proactive strategy suggested in what the hon. member is referring to. Quite frankly, that was only a draft report.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, the fact of the matter is that this so-called draft report was an extensive plan which showed that in August the department was ready, willing and able to release the audit.

Even the minister admits that she was finally clued in in November, but it was only after an opposition access request in January that the virtues of transparency suddenly became apparent to the minister.

Why did she stick to the strategy of hiding the audit as long as she could?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I reject everything that the hon. member has said. Her thesis is completely wrong.

I had the pleasure of going to Calgary last week and visiting some very important projects which received grants and contributions in the member's own backyard: programs to get young prostitutes off the street, programs to help young people who have not had the chance to get a full time job to get a job.

Perhaps since the hon. member will not go to visit those programs she would come to my riding. She would understand then why Mr. Marshall of Duchess Foods said: “I believe the attack of the Reform Party is strictly based on political considerations and not—”

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Québec.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, Claude Gauthier, the owner of Placeteco, told an official he did not need to account to Human Resources Development Canada on what he did with the $1.2 million grant.

What measures has the minister taken to get Claude Gauthier to account not to the National Bank, not to lawyer Champagne, not to the office of the Prime Minister, but to the Department of Human Resources Development?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, we have reviewed these projects on a number of occasions in the House.

I reiterate that these projects have created employment for people in areas of high unemployment. I reiterate that the Government of Canada is but one partner in these projects and that it was strongly supported by its kissing cousins in the Government of Quebec.