House of Commons Hansard #66 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was health.

Topics

St. Patrick's Day
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, this is St. Paddy's Day and it is a very special day. I come from the most Irish city there is in Canada. That is why I am wearing the green.

St. Patrick's Day
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, St. Patrick's Day is a time to remember that many Irish people left their country over 150 years ago to escape famine.

After a long and difficult voyage across the Atlantic ocean, during which several of them died, these courageous men and women found in our country a generous new land where they settled, and a friendly new community which they joined.

Far from being indifferent to the debates that were taking place in their new community, the Irish generally espoused the political aspirations of that community, as witnessed by the participation of a number of them in the noble cause of the Patriotes, in 1837-38.

While maintaining a very strong emotional link with the land of their ancestors, that far away Ireland that achieved political independence or that is still on the way to emancipation, Quebecers of Irish origin, and I am one of them, have developed very deep roots in America.

Because of history, these people are now in a unique position to see how similar the situations of the Irish and Quebec people are.

St. Patrick's Day
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

The Speaker

Yesterday we had a Standing Order 31 and today we had a Standing Order 31 by the member for Macleod. I understand that there has been at least some cursory questions about the next standing order that we are going to hear, at which time I will take an action that for us is not regular, but I know that all members will want to hear this standing order.

Highway Accident In Saint-Jean-Baptiste-De-Nicolet
Statements By Members

March 17th, 2000 / 11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is with great sadness that I pay tribute to the seven young children who died yesterday morning in a tragic traffic accident, in Saint-Jean-Baptiste-de-Nicolet, a small town on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River, across from Trois-Rivières.

Two other children are still at the Centre hospitalier in Trois-Rivières, and one of them is in critical condition. We wish to offer our sincere condolences to the families struck by that terrible tragedy. Our prayers are with them in this time of great suffering.

I now ask the members of this House to observe one minute of silence, out of respect for these seven young victims.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, for five weeks we have been repeatedly asking the Minister of Human Resources Development to justify her billion dollar boondoggle. For five weeks she has stonewalled with non-answers, conflicting lists and image consultants.

There are now 19 police investigations, three in the Prime Minister's riding, that we know about. She has dodged this before, but let us try again. How many cases, as of today, have been referred to the police for further investigation?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Gander—Grand Falls
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

George Baker Minister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

Mr. Speaker, the majority of the so-called 19 investigations concern ACOA. Four of them involve investigations when grants were given by the Tories when they were in power.

Three of them involve only provincial government shares in those particular grants. Only two of them involve money that was only from ACOA. In both those cases no money was disbursed. The question is in the application, so the opposition questions are full of sound and fury but the racket signifies nothing.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, I note the new minister of human resources development did not mention the fact that he has failed to call in the police about the violation of the Financial Administration Act.

Departmental Q and As and briefing notes refer to widespread disregard of this law. Let me quote from one of them: “It would appear that this section of the FAA was not respected”. In other words, the minister's department thought that the law had been broken.

Was it the fact that the Prime Minister was involved that kept the police from being called?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member makes reference to something that we have discussed in the House on a number of occasions. I talked about the trust funds on November 4 and 5 and on several other days subsequent to that.

I repeat again that it was an administrative error which was made in establishing the trust funds. It was an error done in good faith by an employee. In such a case the appropriate remedy is to correct the mistake, and that is what we have done.

If the hon. member thinks that the employee was acting in bad faith, that it was corrupt, that somehow there was fraud involved, then let him bring forward that information.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, I think the minister should be held responsible for the actions of her department.

The Prime Minister's riding got more money from this minister than whole provinces with populations 32 times the size of Shawinigan. Fully one-third or 33% of the recipients donated to his campaign. This is all about political interference.

If she does not believe me she could listen to her own employees' radio ads. I ask again was it her boss' interference that kept her from calling the cops.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, these questions are absolutely incredible. If there was political interference then why did we invest $77 million in the riding of Saskatoon—Humboldt? Why were there $57 million of grants and contributions in the riding of Prince George—Peace River? Why were there $52 million in Nanaimo—Cowichan?

As I have said time and again in the House, the grants and contributions from the Department of Human Resources Development Canada are invested in ridings of all members of the House. They are there to support Canadian individuals who have disabilities, young people, those who want—

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

The Speaker

Sometimes when members are standing either to ask a question or give an answer the microphones are on at the next desk and are sometimes are picking up your voices.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Reform

Grant McNally Dewdney—Alouette, BC

Mr. Speaker, what is amazing and surprising is that the minister defends good faith errors instead of lifting a finger to do something about that kind of incompetence. There are very few places where that kind of incompetence is applauded. I am sure she will get—

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. We will hear the question from the member.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Reform

Grant McNally Dewdney—Alouette, BC

Mr. Speaker, there are very few places where incompetence will get applause but there will be a lot of it this weekend, I am sure, for the minister at the Liberal convention.

Her own employees have taken out radio ads to distance themselves from the minister's incompetence. They warned against illegal trust funds in the Prime Minister's riding because, as they said, it would appear the Financial Administration Act was not respected.

If the minister were really concerned about rule breaking in her department, why did she not call the police when she found out about these trust funds?