House of Commons Hansard #93 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebec.

Topics

Acoa
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Gander—Grand Falls
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

George Baker Minister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member claims that this government has spent money under the ACOA business program and under ACOA assistance on golf courses.

We have had a policy for years that not only are there no loans given for the capital costs of golf courses, neither are there loans or grants. There has been assistance for golf courses under the infrastructure program and under federal-provincial programs. The hon. gentleman has bogeyed again.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government spokesperson for human resources development just told us that the action was justified, since Paris Star had gone bankrupt.

Three minutes ago, Paris Star was still in business. We phoned Economic Development Canada. Everyone is assuring us that Paris Star never went bankrupt.

I have a question for the parliamentary secretary. What does she have to say to justify the $700,000 in grants? I have here with me a document entitled “Letter to Reassure Employees”. That letter, which is dated March 25, 1997, and signed by the president of Paris Star, confirms what we are saying.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Oakville
Ontario

Liberal

Bonnie Brown Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I qualified that statement by saying that it was my understanding that the company went bankrupt. Perhaps it was that those workers were laid off. What I do know is that they were unemployed and the other company hired them.

It is always our intention to bring jobs to Quebec. If that party opposite is not interested in that and is interested in overturning logs to look for trouble, then that is its business. We want to put people back to work and 162 people are working because of this company.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, instead of justifying the use of $700,000 like it should, the government is accusing us of not wanting jobs. This is ridiculous.

What does the government have to say to justify the $700,000?

The same letter says “Each employee and supervisor will have the same job at the new location. Your paycheck will be under the name of the new partnership and will be paid as usual with the indication Paris Star. You will remain under the authority of the joint board. Your seniority at Paris Star will be transferred to the new partnership”.

And we are told—

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources Development.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Oakville
Ontario

Liberal

Bonnie Brown Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, for days now these people have been dropping allegations about this file. They have been invited on many occasions, as a matter of fact they have been urged to bring forward information to the House. The reading of that letter shows that they have information which they have not shared. They are not serving the House well by hiding information and simply exposing it at Oral Question Period instead of bringing it to the authorities who can investigate.

Export Development Corporation
Oral Question Period

May 9th, 2000 / 2:35 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, it looks like the Liberal government has been hit by the love bug. You know what the love bug is. It is when the Liberals love to give untendered contracts to close friends.

The Export Development Corporation struck an exclusive, untendered, multimillion dollar deal with London Guarantee to offer export insurance to Canadian customers. It turns out that London Guarantee is owned by Power Corp. of Montreal. Need I say more? Furthermore, the EDC's board is dominated by Liberals, including a political organizer, Liberal donor and close friend of the Prime Minister.

Why is it that the Liberals love to give untendered contracts to their friends but hate playing by treasury board guidelines?

Export Development Corporation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I am glad to see that the opposition has finally reacted to the March 29 communique in which EDC announced this strategic alliance with London Guarantee.

EDC stated very clearly that it had established 10 criteria and studied all potential candidates. KPMG provided an independent assessment of the criteria. In EDC's opinion, London Guarantee was by far the best candidate for this strategic alliance.

Export Development Corporation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, that is no surprise, considering that it was never put out to tender and other insurance companies wanted to have a try at it.

It is interesting that the spokesperson said “The most critical element in putting together this deal was to find a firm with a compatible culture. That is not something which can be put out to tender”.

What kind of compatible culture is this spokesperson talking about? Is it the culture of “You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours”? Is it the culture of “Give early, give often and the cheque is in the mail”? Or, is it merely the culture that says “Hey friend, have I got a deal for you”?

Why is it that there are so many untendered contracts that go to the friends of the Prime Minister?

Export Development Corporation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, we are talking about a strategic alliance. We are talking about a firm that was selected on the advice of KPMG because it was compatible to do the task. This has been in the air for six weeks. It was in the March 29 press release of the EDC.

I knew that Conrad Black owned a lot of newspapers in this country. I can tell now that he owns his own political party as a mouthpiece.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, really, there are some limits.

The government representative says things are being concealed. Information on social insurance numbers and names comes from access to information, files held by her own department. If they started doing their work, perhaps they would begin to understand things.

The two letters: the president of one company and the president of the other. I want to know who is hiding what here? Who is hiding invoices here? Who is hiding the truth? Why is there this smell of corruption from the other side?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Oakville
Ontario

Liberal

Bonnie Brown Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the fact of the matter is that the party opposite is reading part of a letter to which I am not privy. If in fact they have had that letter over time, they are withholding information that we have been urging them to bring forward.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the letters were made public yesterday. There is always someone from the government that takes them at our press conferences. They should wake up.

Should the Prime Minister not be a bit worried, because this is the same strategy as the company moving from Rosemont to his riding, with the help of intermediaries who are funding the Liberal Party, who found the perfect name for their dubious project: Golf and Grants? Does golf and grants not ring a bell with the Prime Minister? He should know about that; it is close to home.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Oakville
Ontario

Liberal

Bonnie Brown Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, once again I would urge the party opposite that if it has any evidence of impropriety it should bring it forward so that we can investigate.