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 c-16.

Topics

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Human Resources Development just said once again that Placeteco's $1.2 million grant was put to good use since the company's bills were paid. How can the minister say such a whopper when an internal memo from her own department, dated April 6, 1999, and obtained under the Access to Information Act, states “The employer, following the bankruptcy, no longer feels legally bound to justify the grant”?

Placeteco refuses to justify the grant, but all is well.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, we do have the invoices that justify the grants and that is what is important here.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, not only does Placeteco refuse to justify the grant, but on page 2 of a report released just today, under the heading “The problem is serious”, the auditor general wrote “Large amounts of public funds were spent without the appropriate controls, making it difficult to know whether the funds were used as intended, spent wisely and produced desired results”.

Is it not time for the minister to tell us what happened to the $1.2 million and to produce her invoices, if she has any?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, we on this side of the House believe it is important to invest in this particular region, the Mauricie in Quebec. We know that the hon. member for Trois-Rivières also feels it is important because he is receiving benefits from these particular projects.

There is another minister who said this about the area.

—is committed like never before to give priority to anything having to do with the Mauricie. Your region is not performing as it should, even though you have everything you need to succeed and to achieve the success that you deserve.

Who was that minister? It was Bernard Landry.

Export Development Corporation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Val Meredith South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, in its first annual report released two months ago, the Amtrak Reform Council reported that Amtrak has not yet used a significant portion of the $2.2 billion subsidy from American taxpayers. Why should it? It is using its $1 billion subsidy from Canadian taxpayers. I am not sure whether it is from the corporate account or the humanitarian account.

Can the government please explain to the Canadian people why the single largest transportation investment that it has made has gone to the American, government owned Amtrak?

Export Development Corporation
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, let me be very clear here that the loan to Amtrak was not on humanitarian grounds. It is part of the corporate account of EDC. I can confirm to the hon. member that the loan to Amtrak was at the commercial interest rate against purchasing some Canadian goods and it is being repaid on schedule. I can also tell the House that the account is very well managed, it is helping Canadian exporters and it is making a profit.

Export Development Corporation
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Export Development Corporation
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Charlie Penson Peace River, AB

They should borrow from the bank like everybody else.

Export Development Corporation
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. member for South Surrey—White Rock—Langley.

Export Development Corporation
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Val Meredith South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, Amtrak has access to over $2 billion of American taxpayer money to run its operations and make capital purchases. It does not need additional capital.

Eighteen months ago, in response to a Canadian transportation committee recommendation, the Minister of Transport refused to restructure VIA Rail, denying it access to more capital.

Why is the priority of the government to improve the American transportation system rather than the Canadian transportation system?

Export Development Corporation
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I will have to repeat again that the EDC is there to promote Canadian exports. It is not there for transportation in this country. My colleague, the Minister of Transport, does a very fine job doing that.

The EDC has said time and again that it is supporting a loan to Amtrak at commercial interest rates in order to help Canadian exporters in that field. I am surprised to see that the Reform Party has now stopped liking profit.

Gasoline Pricing
Oral Question Period

March 23rd, 2000 / 2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, back in 1998, some Liberal MPs looked into the issue of gasoline pricing.

Their report stated that prices would go up if their recommendations were not followed. Yet the Minister of Industry did nothing.

How can the minister today be proposing another task force, when we would surely not be in the position of having to go back to square one two years later, commissioning yet another study to the tune of $600,000, if he had heeded the recommendations of his own colleagues?

Gasoline Pricing
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the preamble to the question is totally erroneous. First of all, I reacted promptly to the committee report, with several precise responses.

Second, we initiated a study as requested by the committee, as soon as was feasible, using a highly credible organization. The Bloc Quebecois claims to want the facts, but apparently does not want to hear them.

Gasoline Pricing
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Gasoline Pricing
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. member for Lambton—Kent—Middlesex.