House of Commons Hansard #68 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was hrdc.

Topics

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, what is clear is that we have two companies that continue to employ citizens in areas of high unemployment. In the case of both Techni-Paint and Placeteco, there are 170 people who are working today thanks to our partnership with headquarters, the Government of Quebec.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, with the grant, there is one job less at Placeteco, and the National Bank of Canada was repaid the $1 million owed to it by Placeteco.

Could it be that if Placeteco did not resubmit a grant application it is because Placeteco's Claude Gauthier, who benefited from a $1.2 million grant from Human Resources Development Canada, is the same Claude Gauthier who bought for $500,000 lots that the Prime Minister had paid one dollar for?

Is there not some kind of hocus-pocus between the Prime Minister's friends and the Department of Human Resources Development?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, for the umpteenth time, I will clarify for the House that we have received invoices from the company which justified its investments in salaries and overheads. These were consistent with the transitional jobs fund program.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, still in connection with the Placeteco matter, Gilles Champagne was the Human Resources Development Canada trustee responsible for protecting the $1.2 million grant. He was, however, at the same time the lawyer of Claude Gauthier, the man who nevertheless benefited from the $1.2 million grant.

Are we to understand that, if Gilles Champagne was able, in total impunity, to act as both trustee for HRDC and counsel for Claude Gauthier, it is because he is such a crony of the Prime Minister and haunted the halls of the Liberal convention all last weekend?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Once again, I would ask hon. members to always stick with administrative matters which are governmental responsibility and not those of a political party.

If the minister wishes to respond, she may.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, let me reiterate the facts. In the early going there were issues and problems at Placeteco. There were 64 people employed there. Over the course of time there were upwards of 135 people working for this company. Today there are 78 people working there and there are prospects for increased opportunity.

Is the hon. member saying that he would have had us take our money away and have this opportunity taken away from those employees?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister also promised 174 jobs at Placeteco.

In the case of the Canadian Institute of Tourism and Electronic Commerce, the Prime Minister was very quick to call for an RCMP investigation, and even boasted of this in the House. In the case of Placeteco, however, despite some worrisome facts, there is still no investigation under way, several weeks after those facts have come to light, not even an administrative inquiry.

Why such a difference in the way the two files are being handled?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, we have looked at these files. I have made reference to the fact that there were incorrect administrative application processes applied. I have made that public in this House on a number of occasions.

Fundamentally, the important point is that we have 78 people working at Placeteco and 170 people working in the two companies.

I remind the hon. member that the Government of Quebec supported us in this undertaking. From our point of view, having people working is the right thing to do.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has given the green light to the health care privatization bill, yet Canadians have grave concerns. They have serious questions. For example, will bill 11 either directly or indirectly erode public medicare? Will bill 11 create a parallel system of private health care? Canadians want answers. When will the government respond?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the first thing is that we should have a law. The bill is before the assembly in Alberta and before a committee and is confronted with amendments. The members of the opposition in the Liberal Party are strongly opposing the bill. I presume that the members of the NDP are also opposing it.

We will wait for the result. I do not know what the result will be, but over the weekend I had my party's full support when I said that the five conditions of medicare would always be respected by everyone.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, while the government dithers, Klein privatizes. First we had the finance minister who managed a measly two cents in health transfers for every dollar in tax cuts. Now we have the health minister who is shadow boxing with Ralph Klein. These are supposed to be the two flowers of the federal cabinet.

Why will the health minister not take a clear stand against Klein's privatization?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Health was in Calgary and he could not have been clearer when he was there. I will be in Calgary on Thursday and I will repeat the same thing: that the five conditions will be respected by every government. On Friday I will meet with Mr. Klein in Edmonton and I will repeat that very clearly.

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

March 21st, 2000 / 2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, for weeks now Canadians have been paying record high prices at the gas pumps. In response, the government has now announced it will spend $750,000 to study fuel prices.

Can the industry minister tell us just how spending over a half a million dollars of taxpayer money will in any way relieve the escalating financial burden on Canadian motorists and truckers?

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, 47 members of parliament from this caucus have worked very hard on understanding what was happening in the gas market and recommended to us that we perform such a study. In taking their recommendation, we have gone to a very respected research organization, an independent research body, once and for all, for the first time in many years, to do a thorough study of the market, the relationship between prices, supply, demand and the different players in the gasoline retailing business.

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, if those members have done their work and made recommendations, why do we need a further study? It is a waste of taxpayer dollars to do yet another study on gasoline prices. It is more of an attempt by the Liberals to appear to be doing something when they are actually doing nothing.

Before the finance minister is sent into exile in the foreign affairs department, will he take some concrete steps to bring about some reduced excise gasoline tax for Canadians?