House of Commons Hansard #83 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-23.

Topics

Revenue Canada
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, within the space of four months in 1994, the agency received 16,000 requests. Nevertheless, the agency was able to handle them all, through a process of analysis, consultation, discussion and appeal.

I must point out that, looking at all of the auditor general's recommendations in his report, it is important to note that we in the agency recognized the need to improve tax credit management, and the report will be of great use in that connection.

Today, however, it is being brought up in the House in order to score some cheap points. Where were they when we were working on improving the system?

Revenue Canada
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

John Williams St. Albert, AB

We certainly agree that they need improvement, Mr. Speaker.

Let us continue on. Would you believe in this same situation that they had already paid the subcontractor tens of millions of dollars for this particular work. When they sold it to the bigger company, they got the same credit all over again and the head office of Revenue Canada multiplied it by two. They were paid three times. The taxpayers paid three times for the same work.

The question is quite simple. Why is it when this government gets into a huge boondoggle it has to multiply it by three?

Revenue Canada
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, I get the impression that I need to say again several times: 16,000 applications in four months. I am proud of the work that was done by the agency staff in very challenging circumstances.

Moreover, the auditor general describes the situation as an administrative nightmare. It was very difficult.

However, I would like to ask the official opposition where they were when an action plan was put forth to try to improve the system? Where were they when a conference was organized in Vancouver to consult the business community? Where were they when meetings were held with the business community in Montreal?

Middle East
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is certainly an honour for Canada to chair the Security Council of the United Nations.

But, how can we reconcile Canada's important responsibilities on the security council with the series of errors committed by the Prime Minister in the Middle East, where political equilibrium is so fragile?

Middle East
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Canada was elected a member of the security council, and it has been recognized that, as a member of this council, Canada is governed by the current Prime Minister, who is in a position to provide good leadership for this country in world councils.

Middle East
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we can see how skilled he is in counsel at the moment in Israel. We wonder how well the Prime Minister was prepared for this trip.

Does the Deputy Prime Minister not think that the Prime Minister, far from continuing the Pearson tradition, is significantly tarnishing Canada's diplomatic reputation internationally?

Middle East
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I think the current Prime Minister walks along the same path as the late Prime Minister Pearson. He is working so that a region in the Middle East—and the world—can be at peace, and I think he is doing a very good job of it.

Middle East
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, should the Prime Minister not realize that, with his comments on Jerusalem and Palestine's unilateral declaration of independence, he has succeeded in upsetting both the Israelis and the Palestinians, doing nothing to improve the climate for the pursuit of peace negotiations, and all in less than 24 hours?

Middle East
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I in no way accept the premise of the hon. member's question.

Middle East
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is an extremely important matter, because that part of the world has suffered too much for someone to jeopardize the slim hope of peace.

How can the Canadian government hope to play a useful role in future negotiations in the Middle East when its Prime Minister seems so oblivious to the impact of his statements?

Middle East
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister and Canada are continuing to work in support of the cause of peace in the Middle East and throughout the world.

Health
Oral Question Period

April 11th, 2000 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, I received a letter from Agatha Corcoran of Mt. Pearl, Newfoundland.

Dear Alexa:

I have been waiting for an MRI since December 1999. I have constant pain and spasms in my neck. I'm off work, have run out of benefits and can do very little. An MRI will determine what is causing the problem but it's not scheduled until July.

Meanwhile, she is staying at home with ice, trying to cope.

I ask the health minister, why must Agatha Corcoran and thousands of Canadians like her wait in pain while this government withholds desperately needed resources?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows full well that over the course of the last 14 months the government has increased by $14 billion the amount of transfers to provinces available for health, that just in the last 14 months the cash portion of the transfer has gone from $12.5 billion to $15.5 billion a year. As the Prime Minister has said, we are prepared to sign on to even more funding long term if there is a sensible plan to address the kinds of difficulties the member has just referred to.

I suggest that governments working together can achieve it.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, yet again the health minister admits that more money is needed but Agatha Corcoran and others will just have to wait—wait, and go on suffering.

Let me ask about another patient who wrote from St. John's. Jody Ann O'Brien was referred to a specialist seven months ago for debilitating arthritis. She still has not seen a specialist despite the best efforts by her family doctor.

Would the minister please explain why his government is spending money on advertisements instead of helping patients like Jody Ann O'Brien?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, Canadians spend $90 billion a year on health care. Money is part of the issue, but a large part of the issue is also how that money is spent and the kind of changes we need to provide services to the people she has referred to.

No less a public personage than Bob Rae, former NDP Premier of Ontario, said that this government has it right: money yes, but connected with a plan to help solve these problems. The NDP Government of British Columbia takes the same position.

Will not the member work with us to make sure that if we spend more money, we spend it to solve problems and not simply to score political points?