House of Commons Hansard #70 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was citizenship.

Topics

Export Development Corporation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, the Reform Party has a very hard time to accept a good news corporation that does good work and has made more than $500 million in profits for Canadian companies and exporters.

I believe honestly that this country is a trading country and that this government will stand on the side of Canadian companies that want to do well in foreign markets. This is what Canadians expect from us.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

March 23rd, 2000 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Human Resources Development seems to consider it normal that the National Bank had a secret deal to give Placeteco $1 million in credit, when the company was under the protection of the Bankruptcy Act.

Will the minister agree that only a formal guarantee from her trustee that her department's grant would be forthcoming could convince the National Bank to take such a risk? What other explanation can there be for the sudden generosity of the National Bank?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, what I will say is what I have been saying in the House. We have received invoices of an appropriate nature that accommodate the expenditures which were made in this particular case.

When it comes to this particular company we now see that we have 170 men and women who are working who otherwise would not be. On this side of the House we view that to be a good investment.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we will get back to the supposed invoices later.

Could the Minister of National Revenue tell us if one of his assistants bothered checking with the HRDC trustee, Gilles Champagne, whether the debt of $255,000 owing to his department would be paid before the grant money was paid out?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon Minister of National Revenue and Secretary of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, according to my information, as far as Placeteco is concerned, we at the economic development agency have never been involved with this company.

As for National Revenue, hon. members know very well that there is a wall between the executive assistants and the political staff, a separation to protect confidentiality. If a specific question is asked on a specific issue, hon. members know very well that I cannot comment on a specific file, because of that confidentiality.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, with proof to back us up, we showed that there was an agreement between the National Bank and Placeteco to have $1 million from Human Resources Development Canada paid directly to the National Bank.

When the minister allowed her trustee, lawyer Gilles Champagne, to secure a loan with the grant, did she not realize that she was shortchanging all the small creditors who were kept in the dark about the grant's existence?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, again it is not for me to make determinations on how a private entity determines and uses its cash flow.

What I can confirm for the House is that an administrative review of this file was completed at the most senior levels in my department back in November. While that review indicated that there were administrative errors which had been made at the time, it also indicated that there was no reason for establishing any overpayment in this case.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, how can the minister sit by, knowing that her trustee in the Placeteco affair is also the legal counsel for Claude Gauthier, the man who directed over $1 million to the National Bank to the detriment of small creditors?

Does she not see this as a serious conflict between the two roles of Gilles Champagne, her trustee?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, again in this undertaking I want to make it clear that it is not up to me to determine how a private sector entity determines how to use its cash flow.

What I can confirm is that an administrative review was undertaken and in this case there is no reason or evidence to establish an overpayment.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the health minister. The last time the federal government cosied up to Ralph Klein on health care it accepted Alberta's plan for health privatization. Let us make no mistake about it. This secret deal paves the way for full blown, two tier health care.

When the Prime Minister meets with the Alberta premier in Calgary will it be a greet and grip photo op, or will the Prime Minister take the opportunity to state unequivocally that the government will repeal the privatization bill?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the NDP talks about a secret deal, about privatization agreements between us and the Klein government.

I am disappointed frankly, although I am not surprised, that the NDP has bought the Tory spin job hook, line and sinker. It is nonsense. Those 12 principles do not constitute an agreement between governments and they will never stand in the way of the Government of Canada enforcing the Canada Health Act.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, as usual the health minister avoids the question. As usual the health minister lawyers the facts. Yet the internal memos show clearly that Health Canada accepted Alberta's privatization principles.

Yesterday the Prime Minister tried to suggest there was no secret deal. My question is very simple. Will the Prime Minister deliver the message to Ralph Klein today that Ottawa rejects Klein's privatization principles?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the NDP would do better, rather than accepting the Tory's spin job, to pay attention to what is happening in the country.

What is happening is that this government has made it clear that private for profit hospitals are not the solution to the problems we face in medicare and that we can find innovations to solve those problems within the principles of the Canada Health Act.

Right now we have the draft bill. We have possible amendments, no regulations. Let us wait to see what the final bill looks like. The member can be assured that this government will be there to stand for the principles of the Canada Health Act.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Jean Dubé Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, today the auditor general informed the HRDC committee that the internal audit resulted in many meetings of departmental staff. Does the minister seriously believe that the deputy minister did not inform her of these findings before the day that she said?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I have answered this question on a number of occasions. Let me say that I was very glad to hear what the auditor general had to say to the standing committee. In fact let me quote. He said “Exceptional circumstances demand exceptional actions. The action plan is exceptional”.