House of Commons Hansard #91 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was parks.

Topics

Industry
Oral Question Period

May 5th, 2000 / 11:30 a.m.

Reform

Charlie Penson Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, SpaceBridge Networks Corporation, a high tech firm created by industry giants Newbridge and COM DEV International, received a $2 million grant from Industry Canada.

However, a SpaceBridge executive admitted in the Globe and Mail that the real purpose of the government's TPC grant was not so much to fund R and D, but to allow the company to start up without diluting its shareholder equity.

Why does the minister think that taxpayer money should be used as a substitute for the normal practice of raising venture capital in the private sector?

Industry
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the member on putting his first question to me as industry critic.

I would like to point out to him that the technology partnerships program does not give grants, so the premise of his question is totally wrong.

The Economy
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Reform

Ken Epp Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, the government seems to have endless money to spend on mismanaged grants at HRDC, mindless dead rabbit art displays, and endless politically motivated boondoggles.

One of the people in my riding told me that they would much rather have an MRI machine in the hospital than a fountain in the Prime Minister's riding.

When will the government correct its priorities, provide adequate funding for health care, get the debt and interest payments down, and give some real tax relief?

The Economy
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member will know that support for tourism infrastructure is one of the things that the Harris government proposed to do in its budget this past week, making hundreds of millions of dollars available to support locally supported projects such as the fountain in Shawinigan.

If the Alliance party has a problem with that, it may want to contact Mr. Long quickly and let him know that Mr. Harris is on the wrong track.

Transfer Payments
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Odina Desrochers Lotbinière, QC

Mr. Speaker, Tom Kent is a former deputy minister under the government of Lester B. Pearson. His actions are said to have marked Canadian social policies, particularly health policies.

Yesterday, Mr. Kent said before a Senate committee that the main threat to our health system was the federal government itself.

Does the Minister of Health agree with Mr. Kent that this government violated the commitment made by the federal government in the sixties by making drastic cuts to transfer payments, since 1995?

Transfer Payments
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member must know that in each of the last four budgets we have increased transfers to the provinces.

In last year's budget, we increased those payments by $11.5 billion, over a four year period. This year, we increased them again. The increase for the past two years is over 25%.

Transfer Payments
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Transfer Payments
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Paul Martin LaSalle—Émard, QC

Moreover, we invested money in research and development, in transition funds and in the whole information sector. We are in the process of achieving—

Transfer Payments
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Transfer Payments
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

The Speaker

I would ask hon. members to please keep their voices down, because we want to listen to the minister's reply. He has some time left if he wishes to add something. Otherwise, I will hear the hon. member for Lotbinière.

Transfer Payments
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Odina Desrochers Lotbinière, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government is constantly trying to include tax points in the contribution for health to create a smokescreen.

Will the minister finally agree with Mr. Kent that this is a “stupid” argument that it does not make “any sense”?

Transfer Payments
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it is the hon. member who is not making any sense. Again, the transfer of tax points by the Canadian government was at the request of the provinces.

Mr. Miller, who was Ontario's treasurer, asked that the full transfer be in the form of tax points, because he was well aware that these points would increase in value much more than cash transfers.

We went 50-50, because we wanted to accommodate the provinces. But we were well aware that it also takes money to maintain the Canadian government's position and we will continue to maintain that position.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Reform

John Williams St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, with every page we turn it is waste, it is mismanagement and it is incompetence everywhere. According to the auditor general's recent report, the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development is spending up to $65,000 per special needs student and does not even know if the money is being spent on the students.

Why is the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development so incompetent and so poorly managed that it does not care about ripping off the taxpayer and especially does not seem to care about educating the students under its responsibility?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Liberal

David Iftody Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada takes the education of Indian children very seriously. The questions raised by the hon. member are quite inappropriate. The facts speak for themselves.

The truth is that under this administration over the last seven years more first nations people have gone to university than was the case prior to that and we have every intention of keeping that up.

Grain Transportation
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Reform

Lee Morrison Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, it is tough to be at the bottom of the food chain. Just ask a rabbit or a western farmer.

The recently announced increase in grain freight rates will add $1.45 a tonne to farmers' surging costs. The CTA is not at fault. It just crunches the numbers mandated by parliament. The government is to blame for not acting on the recommendations of two very costly reports.

Will the Minister of Transport get his act together before August 1 and implement the revenue cap recommended in the Kroeger report?