House of Commons Hansard #124 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was billion.

Topics

Human Resources Development Canada
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, it really should be no surprise that I welcome the report of the auditor general because today what she indicated was that the department has indeed made good on its commitments.

We indicated that we could do a better job in managing our grants and contributions. We committed to ensuring we did do a better job. Today the auditor general has said quite clearly that she is very pleased at the undertakings.

Human Resources Development Canada
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the minister's six point plan covers only the period after 1999. Yet this government has been responsible for mismanagement at HRDC since 1993, or six years prior to the proposed corrective plan.

Why is the minister refusing to cast light on the mismanagement of public funds during that six year long blackout period, a period during which her government wasted the money of the taxpayers listening to us today? Why?

Human Resources Development Canada
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I do not know where the hon. member was last year, but we certainly made it absolutely clear that we felt we could do a better job at administering our grants and contributions. We provided 10,000 pages of detailed information to every member in the House. We have been working tirelessly to implement a strategy of improvements that the auditor general says today are precisely the kinds of mechanisms that were needed in the department.

Canada Customs and Revenue Agency
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the minister in charge of customs said in the House that the government is striving “to keep the border open through greater reliance on technology”.

Could the minister tell the House what measures have in fact been put in place to reflect this, or is his idea of reliance on technology high tech U.S. helicopters?

Canada Customs and Revenue Agency
Oral Question Period

2:40 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, the decision taken by the United States to put national guards at the border is, as far as I am concerned, normal considering the fact that on the Canadian side we have more customs officers by far.

Let us take, for example, the fact that we have more than 2,000 customs officers on our side. The Americans have something like 1,000. Therefore, to give those customs officers, who have been working hard since September 11, a hand is just normal.

Having said that, we on this side of the House have said that we want to make sure that we keep the border open to trade and that we use more technology to proceed with a much better risk assessment. Indeed, this is what we will do. I have been talking with the secretary treasurer, as have my colleagues. It is going well. We will—

Canada Customs and Revenue Agency
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Edmonton--Strathcona.

Canada Customs and Revenue Agency
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate those customs officials who have been working so hard on behalf of Canadians to protect Canadians where this minister has failed, especially to provide the technology required.

The revenue minister talks a lot about technology at our borders and how changes in Bill S-23 would improve security, yet the auditor general says that the technology is inadequate.

How can the minister stand in this House and say that he is using technology to protect Canadians when the auditor general says that it just will not do the job?

Canada Customs and Revenue Agency
Oral Question Period

2:40 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, in her report, the auditor general said that when she had a look at the customs action plan we were indeed going in the right direction.

Speaking about the customs officers who have been working hard since September 11, of course I believe we should thank all the Canadian customs officers who have been working hard to protect our society.

Speaking about technology, Nexus is fantastic technology. The customs self assessment, which we will announce shortly, is fantastic technology as well. The Canpass at airports, which we would like to announce shortly, is fantastic technology. We are moving ahead in the right direction.

Dairy Industry
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Claude Duplain Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Monday, the appellate body of the World Trade Organization reached the decision that the United States and New Zealand had not successfully proved that Canada's dairy product export mechanisms were contrary to the WTO rules.

Can the minister tell the House what this decision means for Canadian dairy product exporters?

Dairy Industry
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, we are of course all very pleased with yesterday's WTO decision on Canadian dairy products.

I wish to thank all the stakeholders with whom we worked very closely on this: the industry, the provinces, Quebec in particular, the staff of the various departments involved, including Agriculture Canada. This is the first time in WTO history that a ruling has been overturned on appeal.

The sceptics notwithstanding, we persevered. We worked from beginning to end, defending our case doggedly and with the greatest attention to detail. As a result, our dairy producers will be able to continue to export.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

December 4th, 2001 / 2:40 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, more than 8,000 employees from the tourism and hospitality industry in Toronto will lose their jobs as a result of the fallout of the September 11 disaster. Of those employees being laid off, 80% will not receive unemployment benefits.

My question is for the Minister of Human Resources Development. At this time I want an honest answer and no blah, blah, blah. Will the minister modify the employment insurance program so these employees can qualify and receive their share of a program that they have paid into?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I do not understand blah, blah, blah.

Let me reiterate for the hon. member that it is precisely because of the approach of this government, a balanced approach of continuing to reduce premiums and expand the benefits to Canadians, that we have a program which is there to serve Canadians when they need it.

I would remind the hon. member that in Bill C-2 we repealed the intensity regulation, something for which he and his party asked. We made changes to the clawback rule, something for which he and his party asked. We have doubled parental benefits, and that is very good for Canadian families.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin Windsor—St. Clair, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we had various announcements about how we were strengthening the Canada-U.S. border. However we have heard nothing from the Minister of National Revenue in terms of permanent positions and permanent solutions. In fact, did we get any assurance at all of any new personnel from the U.S. side or the Canadian side, or any new technology?

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Question Period

2:45 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 really do not know where the hon. member was over the past few months.

We announced last year, last June and a few weeks ago more human resources for the customs organization. This will take place at the beginning of next year.

At the same time, along with my colleagues, the solicitor general and the Minister of Transport, we have announced more technology for airports and international seaports.

We are moving in the right direction. As I said earlier, for commercial shipments we will announce shortly what we--

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for New Brunswick Southwest.