House of Commons Hansard #204 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was flag.

Topics

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, it would be nice to have an answer from the Prime Minister. He is the only one who knows the answer to the question.

The Prime Minister's fingerprints are all over the latest revelations of waste, mismanagement and even potential fraud flowing from the Canada Jobs Fund.

That same failed company, Les Confections St-Élie, owed $900,000 to the Business Development Bank of Canada. This was taxpayers' money.

How much influence did the Prime Minister personally exert to get that loan okayed?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the record shows that the transactions were dealt with by the BDC entirely in accordance with the standard protocols.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Lebel Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, the scandals that are sullying the government at this time are connected to the abuse of power and the creation of a system of administration involving third parties who get their hands on some very tidy commissions by acting in place of the government.

My question is for the Prime Minister.

I challenge the Prime Minister to inform us as to which of the new ethics rules will stop his ministers from using the sponsorship program as they did before, and from handing it over to be administered by their cronies.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, there is a precise section in the release issued yesterday by the Prime Minister dealing with strengthening public service management and accountability for public funds.

In addition to that, the President of the Treasury Board is developing a new governance system and a new management framework to make sure that the problems of the past are not repeated.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Lebel Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will read the press release.

Since the sponsorship program, according to all the ministers who have answered our questions, complies with all treasury board rules, why has the Prime Minister not changed these rules in any way, when they can allow the worst possible abuses, as we have seen?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the internal audit that was conducted by my department in the year 2000 indicated that there were certain treasury board procedures that had not in previous years been respected. It was the recommendation of that internal audit that those deficiencies be corrected. During the course of the following months, those corrections have been made.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

June 12th, 2002 / 2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Larry Spencer Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, the government continues to waste taxpayer money in an unprecedented fashion. Let us add up the money wasted on just two of the Prime Minister's cronies: $900,000 in the BDC loan, $451,000 in TJF grants and $224,000 in back taxes. That is nearly $1.6 million.

The audit says a visit by an HRDC Shawinigan official resulted in an inquiry whether HRDC ought to seek some recovery of the funds it had provided. How much did the government recover on behalf of Canadian taxpayers?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the RCMP have completed its review. The file is back with us and as always, we will look at it to see if there is a reason for assessing and establishing an overpayment

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Larry Spencer Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, these businesses did not create jobs at all. They actually lost jobs.

Yesterday the minister admitted that another company, Placeteco, also received grants of $1.2 million and is now employing 47 people, another net loss of 123 jobs. If the Prime Minister keeps on helping his cronies, soon no one will be working in Shawinigan, not even the Prime Minister.

Why would the Prime Minister support businesses that were clearly not viable? Was it because they were his political friends?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the whole point of the exercise is recognizing that in some parts of Canada it is more difficult than in others to create jobs.

Perhaps the hon. member would like to ask the 47 employees of Placeteco who are still employed whether they think the investment was a wise one.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, with his ethics rules, the Prime Minister is trying to wipe the slate clean, as if manifesting a few good intentions for the future were sufficient to avoid having to face the music. The government is responsible for the sponsorship scandal, yet no one within this government has yet admitted any responsibility whatsoever.

How can the Prime Minister present new ethics rules for the future while continuing to sanction the behaviour of his ministers involved in wasting public funds, without laying any blame on anyone?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is inviting the government or others to draw conclusions before the police have finished their work, before the auditor general does her work, before departmental reviews are completed, before treasury board finishes its work.

I would indicate that we have launched a whole series of the appropriate examinations to find out exactly what transpired, to make sure that the problems are identified and then properly fixed for the future.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, how can the Prime Minister and the Minister of Public Works and Government Services think, by just focussing on the future, they can make everyone forget the millions of dollars that have been wasted greasing the palms of the Liberal party's cronies, when absolutely no minister, nor the Prime Minister, has yet admitted one iota of responsibility, as if the scandal had nothing at all to do with anyone within government?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, we have indicated that we have found the practices identified in the past to be unacceptable and that we have launched the appropriate inquiries, investigations and corrective procedures to make sure that first, all those problems are thoroughly ventilated and second, that corrective action is taken so that they do not occur again.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, the audit into Les Confections St-Élie inc. had this to say:

Actions taken by Élie...appear to have facilitated what may be misrepresentations made to HRDC required for the approval of grant money--

Misrepresentation is a serious charge.

Canadians want to know, did the Prime Minister know about the failed job creation record of his supporter when he pressured HRDC officials for this grant money?