House of Commons Hansard #64 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebec.

Topics

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Rob Anders Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, all the training in the world does not help when we are ordered to break the rules. Even the minister's own officials are saying that they were forced to break the rules.

This minister and her predecessor mismanaged millions of taxpayer dollars. Now we find out that much of it was done illegally. HRDC officials were told by their political masters to break the law.

Why do the Liberals think they are—

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The question is out of order.

The hon. member for Témiscamingue.

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Labour and deputy chair of the team in charge of organizing the next election, established yesterday by the Prime Minister, expressed her opinion on the current increases gasoline prices. She has adopted the idea already proposed by the Bloc Quebecois of suspending the excise tax of 10 cents a litre on gasoline and of 4 cents a litre on diesel fuel.

My question is for the Prime Minister. Could he tell us whether the federal government intends to do its share to give relief to taxpayers by suspending excise taxes on gasoline?

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, just to clarify the record, the Minister of Labour communicated with the Minister of Finance with respect to raising the fiscal question.

I should point out to the hon. gentleman that the excise tax on gasoline is about 10 cents a litre. The excise tax on diesel is about 4 cents a litre, and particularly with diesel where the concern is concentrated, that tax has not changed since we have been in government.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Hubbard Miramichi, NB

Mr. Speaker, as a nation we are one of the largest exporters of fish products in the world and export to about 100 different countries. Last week in Boston, the famous Boston seafood show was attended by our minister and by representatives of our various provinces and Canadian companies.

Would the minister please update the House on how we are doing on exporting fish?

The side over there needs a lot of fish products. It would be good for them and would develop some of their brains too.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby
B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for Miramichi for taking an interest in the subject.

I had the opportunity to visit the International Boston Seafood Show which, by the way, was started by Canadian companies and is now world renown.

At the International Boston Seafood Show I had the opportunity to announce our export figures. We have broken all records for our fish and seafood products which are at $3.7 billion, a $500 million increase over last year.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Ted White North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister cannot hide from the fact that her own departmental briefing notes, the very papers that she uses for her departmental officials state: “We were told to be flexible. Now we are being told to obey the Financial Administration Act and Treasury Board guidelines. Why doesn't management make up its mind?”

In other words, officials were told that it was okay to break the rules and only after she got caught did the minister slam on the brakes. If the audit had not caught the minister red-handed, would she have ever stopped the rule breaking?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, again the hon. member is incorrect in his assertions. I know him to be a proponent of strong public administration. That is why I am surprised he would not be supporting us to continue to have a system of service delivery that speaks directly to communities and individuals, and to work together to build a system of modern comptrollership that allows us to be even more accountable to Canadian taxpayers.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Ted White North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister still will not acknowledge what is in her own departmental questions and answers.

It is clear there was no intention to have HRDC officials abide by the rules. To have done so would have made it impossible to channel all these loans into Liberal ridings.

To quote the question and answer sheet again, “the rules are not new, they are just being enforced” from now on.

The minister obviously changed her mind about the rule breaking after she got caught. I will ask again, if she had not been caught red-handed, would she have ever changed the rules?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, again the assertion is absolutely incorrect. The facts are these. We have agreed within the department that we are going to build a strong system of modern comptrollership to strengthen our management of grants and contributions. The plan is already at work. We are improving our system in order to better serve Canadians.

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, on November 17 Alberta made its plan known for privatization of health care. The Minister of Health at that time said “We are looking at it”. On December 13 the Alberta health minister confirmed its intentions. The Minister of Health stood in the House and said “We are studying that matter”. On March 2 Bill 11 was tabled. The minister said “We are studying it”. On March 13 the minister said “We are still studying the matter”.

On the most important issue facing Canadians, Canadians deserve an answer today from the minister. Does Alberta's Bill 11 violate the Canada Health Act, yes or no?

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should rest assured that the government will do whatever it takes to protect the principles of the Canada Health Act.

With respect to Bill 11, I invite the hon. member to observe that the premier of Alberta himself is still talking about possible amendments to that bill. It has yet to receive second reading in the legislature. We have yet to see regulations which are referred to extensively in the bill.

If the hon. member has a legal opinion with respect to it now, I wish she would share that with the House.

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is the minister who said he would act if Bill 11 violated the spirit and the letter of the law. It is absolutely clear. Bill 11 violates the spirit of the Canada Health Act.

Canadians want an answer. Since the minister is spending more time developing slogans than on actually developing a response to save medicare, will he act today? Will he give Canadians a timetable for when he will have completed his analysis? Will he state clearly that medicare is a program that will be preserved at all costs? Will he say no to Ralph Klein?

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we will do what is required to protect the Canada Health Act.

Let me remind the hon. member that she can make a real contribution to preserving medicare by working with us to renew it for the 21st century rather than aligning herself with the forces on the right who would destroy medicare. I wish the New Democratic Party would work with us toward making the long term changes that are necessary, rather than playing into the hands of the Reform Party and others who would destroy medicare in the country.

René Fugère
Oral Question Period

March 15th, 2000 / 2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Jean Dubé Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, René Fugère had a close working relationship with the Prime Minister. He represented the Prime Minister at events. Yet the Prime Minister would like us to believe that he does not know this unregistered lobbyist.

Would the Prime Minister come clean and admit that he knows Mr. Fugère and that he has been using the Prime Minister's name to advance his business career?