House of Commons Hansard #82 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was family.

Topics

World Curling Championships
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Ted McWhinney Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, two rinks from British Columbia have taken gold in both the men's and women's World Curling Championships in Glasgow, Scotland.

The men's squad from New Westminster's Royal City Curling Club, made up of Jody Sveistrup, Bryan Miki, Brent Pierce and skip Greg McAulay, needed just nine ends to defeat Team Sweden 9-4. The women's squad from the Richmond Winter Club, made up of Julie Skinner, Georgina Wheatcroft, Diane Nelson and skip Kelley Law, won gold in a nail-biter against the Swiss team, 7-6.

And that is not all. Thanks to an overtime goal by Nancy Drolet, Canada won the world women's hockey championship beating out the American team.

Congratulations to three remarkable teams.

Atlantic Fisheries
Statements By Members

April 10th, 2000 / 2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Mark Muise West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, when the federal government announced in 1995 that it would be withdrawing from the ownership and operation of regional and local ports, we were all quite leery of the ramifications such a decision would have on local stakeholders.

The transfer of these wharves to private for profit interests has left our fishing industry at the mercy of these companies, which are in a position to substantially increase berthing fees, knowing full well that many fishermen have few options but to tie their vessels at their locations.

In Atlantic Canada some berthing fees have more than doubled since private companies took over. For instance, last year a boat owner at the Digby wharf paid $1,056 in berthing fees. This year the owner is being charged $2,336 for the same service.

The minister might suggest that they move to another wharf; however, let me remind him that a number of wharves in Atlantic Canada were seriously damaged in a January 21 storm and his government has thus far failed to provide any meaningful emergency assistance to help repair them.

The new national marine policy was supposed to ensure affordable, effective and safe marine transportation services. I think the fishing industry would—

Atlantic Fisheries
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore.

Sackville River's Association
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, this week is a famous week in Canada as we celebrate two great weeks: National Volunteerism Week and Canadian Environmental week.

One of the groups I would like to honour is the Sackville River's Association of Nova Scotia. These great volunteers lost a member the other day to illness; however, the member and the association combined volunteerism with environmentalism to protect Atlantic salmon in the Sackville River and throughout Nova Scotia.

These men and women, along with their children, do yeomen's work every weekend and every week night, whenever they can, trying to clean up the river to preserve and protect fish for future generations, as well as promoting environmental activism within the fishing communities throughout Nova Scotia and Atlantic Canada.

I congratulate those involved with the Sackville River's Association, as well as all volunteers across this country.

Option Canada
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton North
Alberta

Reform

Deborah Grey Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the heritage minister has an interesting sense of accountability. The heritage department fast tracked nearly $5 million worth of grants to Option Canada even though the organization had existed only a few weeks. It had no track in handling public funds. When heritage auditors found out that the money went missing the government responded by acknowledging that the money went missing and then closed the case. End of story.

How many millions need to be lost before the heritage minister displays even the slightest hint of respect for taxpayers' dollars?

Option Canada
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, in fact the department, following questions that were raised two years ago on this issue, delivered over 100 pages of documents which were relevant to the actual audit and the follow-up.

Option Canada
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton North
Alberta

Reform

Deborah Grey Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, it is nice to get the documents. Maybe it would have been good if taxpayers had got the cash back.

The grant was about boosting the no side of the referendum, as some people say, but that is not what Option Canada was about. The operations manager said, “Not a penny from the grant was spent on the no side's campaign during the referendum”. Of course that begs the question, what did the money go for? Who knows what the grant was for? Nobody knows where that money went.

For 100 pages of documents, the minister could talk about it but I would like to know why did she not track down the cash?

Option Canada
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, over a period of six months there were dozens of questions on this issue in the House by the members of the Bloc. I am happy that the Reform Party has finally discovered the questions that were asked.

Two years ago there was a very fulsome reply given not only in the House of Commons but also in over 100 pages of documents that were delivered two years ago that I guess the Reform Party/Canadian Alliance discovered this week.

Option Canada
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton North
Alberta

Reform

Deborah Grey Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the 100 pages of documents have not cleared up the crisis. The money is still missing and the minister knows it.

Canadians deserve an answer and to know where in the world the money is. Option Canada officials are still refusing to open their books and the minister is refusing to demand an answer from them on accountability. They refuse to answer how the money was spent.

It is $5 million worth of taxpayers' money that has vanished without a trace. Regardless of 100 pages of documents, the answer has still not come forward. Is it that the minister does not care about getting to the bottom of this or does she not know where the money went and she does not want Canadians to find out where it went?

Option Canada
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, the documents included exactly where the expenditures went.

Millennium Bureau Of Canada
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Val Meredith South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, HRDC, EDC, regional development, the millennium bureau and now Option Canada spent billions of taxpayers' dollars and the Liberals see them all as one big vote-buying slush fund. But it is not just that the Liberals are spending billions of taxpayers' dollars to buy votes, they ignore their own rules in doing so.

With the millennium bureau less than 1% of the grants have been audited. Why does parliament pass laws and regulations to monitor the expenditure of taxpayers' dollars and yet the Liberal government just ignores them?

Millennium Bureau Of Canada
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, some 1,100 projects have been approved for funding but only some 400 projects have been the subject of signed contribution agreements.

Until there are signed contribution agreements, no money is paid out. Even where there are signed agreements, the money is paid out in instalments pursuant to statements of worth according to the terms of the agreements.

I do not know any system where audits are carried out on projects before they even begin and before they are completed. I do not know how we can monitor projects when they are just getting under way.

Millennium Bureau Of Canada
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Val Meredith South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, no matter how much the government tries to spin the mismanagement of public dollars, there is one fact that it cannot avoid. Every dollar that the government spends on one of its vote-buying slush fund projects is a dollar that cannot be spent on health care or education.

Can the Deputy Prime Minister explain to Canadians why the Liberal government feels it is more important to put money into these vote-buying slush funds than into health care and education for Canadian citizens?

Millennium Bureau Of Canada
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have put some $14 billion into health care, in the last two budgets. That is far in excess of the amount put into the Canadian millennium partnership fund.

Furthermore, my hon. friend in her comments is insulting groups like the Trans Canada Trail Foundation which is being supported by Canadians from coast to coast to coast, two-thirds of the funding for which comes from the private sector and other community organizations. If she wants to insult Canadians as being subject to vote buying, I do not think the rest of Canadians would agree with her. She should get up and express an apology—

Millennium Bureau Of Canada
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie.