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 tax.

Topics

Acoa
Oral Question Period

2:15 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 federation's report today looks somewhat similar to the Reform-Alliance agenda. It wants to cut all regional funding agencies. It agrees with the flat tax. It says that medicare is too expensive. It says that EI should be done away with. In fact, if we asked the federation or the Reform-Alliance to pass judgment on ACOA it would be like asking Count Dracula to manage the blood bank.

Acoa
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton North
Alberta

Reform

Deborah Grey Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, let me make it clear. What we would like to do is end the abuse and let Atlantic Canadians oversee their own situation and not send money to Ottawa. This government confiscates Canadians' money through high taxation. It assigns the money to one department. It transfers it to another department, like the Business Development Bank, then it kicks it out to companies that do not need it and calls it job creation.

Why is this government's job creation limited to bumble, fumble and boondoggle?

Acoa
Oral Question Period

2:15 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 listed off a group of large businesses that received grants under ACOA. This is absolutely correct but it was under the Tory administration when all those grants were given to all the companies listed. I wonder if the Leader of the Reform-Alliance today still wants to unite with the Tory Party when it has a record like that.

Acoa
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton North
Alberta

Reform

Deborah Grey Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, he said that I listed off businesses. I would now like to list off some labour unions. It seems that the federal government would like to spread the cash around. It is not just limited to huge corporations and more government.

How about the Canadian Auto Workers? How about the New Brunswick Federation of Labour? How about the teacher associations and the teamsters. Jimmy Hoffa would be proud of that.

Why is the government handing taxpayer money out to groups that do not need it?

Acoa
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Gander—Grand Falls
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, here they go again. They want to cut out all regional development agencies in rural Canada. They are opposed to any assistance at all to our fishermen. They are opposed to assistance to our farmers in western Canada, not one penny.

This Liberal Party will fight this anti-rural Canada attitude on the part of the Canadian Alliance Party.

Acoa
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Charlie Penson Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, I do not think that minister would know a farm if he saw one.

Yesterday the minister responsible for ACOA told the House that the first thing the Liberal Party did with that agency was to discontinue the practice of giving out grants. Access to information documents show that ACOA handed out 123 grants totalling $12 million between 1996 and 1999; grants, not loans.

Does the minister not know the difference between a grant and a loan? Maybe he should spend more time looking after his department and less time on his drama lessons.

Acoa
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Gander—Grand Falls
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I want to reiterate to the hon. member that when the Liberals took over the first thing we did, on the suggestion of the auditor general, was to change all grants and all forgivable loans to simply loans.

For the last five years we have been giving only loans which have to be paid back. That has been the case for every business, every commercial enterprise. The grants were given under the Tories.

Acoa
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

Charlie Penson Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, that is very interesting. Under access to information, I have a list of 123 grants given out by this government in 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999.

According to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, 72% of the funds disbursed by ACOA were in the form of non-repayable grants and contributions. What is more, 35% of the loans the minister talks about issued by ACOA have been written off over the past 10 years. It only gets worse. In the last two years the default rate has risen to 50%.

Why has the minister continued the abuse of taxpayer money under ACOA under his watch?

Acoa
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Gander—Grand Falls
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, on the write-off question, which the hon. member says is 34%, the actual write-offs contained in the public accounts show that since 1995 the write-off of loans by the Government of Canada is 0.4%. Since 1987 the write-off has been 4.2%.

If the opposition party does not start doing its homework it will be written off in the next election.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

May 9th, 2000 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Human Resources Development said that she had had audits done in the Modes Conili file and that all was perfect.

We have here two letters from the two companies concerned, namely Paris Star and Modes Conili, which prove beyond a doubt that jobs were indeed transferred.

How can the Prime Minister justify his government's wasting $700,000 in public funds for the simple transfer of jobs?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Oakville
Ontario

Liberal

Bonnie Brown Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, we had allegations about this project and it was investigated by officials. As a precaution, payments were halted as we conducted the investigation. Ultimately the allegations were shown to be unfounded, the project continued and 162 people are working today because of this project.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is the same treatment they gave the file of the transfer of a project from the riding of Rosemont to the riding of Saint-Maurice, the Prime Minister's. They said “Those are allegations. We have checked. Everything is fine”.

How can the Prime Minister tolerate ministers saying such things here in the House when there is evidence to the contrary and, inevitably, there is a police investigation, very often in his own riding? What is going on?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Oakville
Ontario

Liberal

Bonnie Brown Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, for two days in a row we have explained what happened within the department on this project. If the hon. member opposite has other information I urge him to bring it forward.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the fact of the matter is that $719,000 was paid out for no reason to the firm Modes Conili Star, since 100 of the 118 employees covered by the job creation grant were transferred to the firm Paris Star.

How can the government once again waste over $700,000 of public funds to subsidize the creation of jobs that do not exist, when a memo from the department shows that the same people were transferred from Paris Star to Modes Conili Star, their names and social insurance numbers being the same?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Oakville
Ontario

Liberal

Bonnie Brown Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, it is my understanding that the Paris Star company went bankrupt and those workers were laid off. Naturally another company will pick up experienced workers rather than have to train others.