House of Commons Hansard #71 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Budget
Government Orders

4:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Roy H. Bailey Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, I would like to say that one reason why the provincial governments put money into local governments is because there is a program, there is a legal system intact for them. That is part of our history. We have billions of dollars going out to our first nations and other people where we have not been gracious enough to provide them with the same machinery so they can have complete and total accountability. Until we do that, not just for them but for business or anyone else and until we have that accountability then we will not have a culture of accountability.

Let us move, as somebody described it, from a culture of corruption to a culture of accountability. I think it is possible and I think my hon. colleague believes that it is possible as well. However the recipients must have the machinery, the equality and the guidelines by which they can be accountable.

Budget
Government Orders

4:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Peter Goldring Edmonton Centre-East, AB

Mr. Speaker, I too would like to ask a question with regard to the accountability. We all know the problematic files, from firearms to GST to HRDC to Groupaction, and the list goes on and on. We also have the homeless file, where $753 million has been put in over the last three years supposedly to help the homeless. The three years is up this year. The homeless count is up 60%. The shelters are full. There are people sleeping on the street and sleeping in the LRT stations for emergency shelter. The question really becomes, “Where did the money go?” That comes around to the accountability of it.

I would like my colleague's opinion on the importance of accountability and proving the accountability of past money before we put new money into it.

Budget
Government Orders

4:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Roy H. Bailey Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, it goes back to the point that I made. If a department is in charge of so much funding and this funding is for housing, then it has to be accountable not only to the House but to the taxpayers across Canada as to how this money is spent. This is exactly why the Auditor General has twice repeated that the government has broken every rule in the book. We must get back to accountability. It is a question of the desire of the government to move from where we are now into a clear slate of accountability in every department.

Budget
Government Orders

4:20 p.m.

An hon. member

And do it.

Budget
Government Orders

4:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Roy H. Bailey Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

And do it, yes.

Budget
Government Orders

4:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gerry Ritz Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, in the vein of accountability, roughly a year ago we saw the Prime Minister order two brand new Challenger jets, taking the money basically out of DND and deciding that on his farewell tour he needed some better flying accommodations. In this last two weeks, when we were at home, the announcement came out that those jets were now in the air and the Prime Minister and the ministers, who travel on them, had lobster tastes. The meals and so on to be served on them will run into hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

Did the member hear from his constituents on that type of accountability?

Budget
Government Orders

4:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Roy H. Bailey Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, I do not think I heard about the lobsters but I have heard lots of opinions about money into the new aircraft.

As the official opposition critic for veterans affairs, again we come across an element of accountability in representing the vets across Canada. We have been lax in that area.

A prime example of accountability is that 50 years ago we had promised our vets, who had just come back, that they would have a new war museum. As the last of all the allies, we still do not have it and most vets will never live to see it. That kind of accountability hurts me.

Budget
Government Orders

4:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deepak Obhrai Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise and speak in this debate on the budget.

There has been a substantial increase in foreign aid contributions contained in this budget. As the senior critic for the Canadian Alliance on international co-operation and foreign aid, I feel it is necessary to lay out our point of view on those increases and where we will go with them.

Before I start, I would like to make it very clear where the Canadian Alliance stands in regard to foreign aid and international co-operation. My good friends in the NDP and many members on the Liberal side have their heads in the sand. They stand up and scream wolf whenever the Alliance talks about international development. I want them to listen very carefully to what the Canadian Alliance policy is on international co-operation.

We believe international development assistance is an important part of Canada's contribution to the world community to alleviate poverty and disease, to promote education and good governance and to assist in economic development. That is the Canadian Alliance policy. However we believe in effective delivery of foreign aid.

As I have said many times in this chamber, I grew up in Tanzania in Africa. That country was a recipient of foreign aid. At that time there were good intentions from all sides, including Canada. Huge amounts of money have been poured into that country and into other countries in Africa as well as other countries in Asia and Latin America. After 25 years of such outpouring of aid, we now stand again on the threshold looking for ways to alleviate poverty. Why?

The new minister responsible for CIDA has a new document out. She will be in front of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade on Thursday to talk about this new document. Interestingly, this document talks about delivering effective aid.

The government has been in power since 1993 and 10 years later it produces a document dealing with the delivery of effective aid. What has it been doing for the last nine years? It has been consulting. CIDA is a huge bureaucracy with expertise in that so-called department, yet after 10 years of this government's ruling, it now comes up with this document to deliver effective aid.

I have been in the position of senior critic for international co-operation for only one and a half years. In that little time I have produced a document which talks about restructuring CIDA and utilizing effective dollars. What is wrong? Why did it take so long for the government, with all of its bureaucrats, to come up with that document? When I looked at the document, it contained the same recommendations which I talked about, yet it took the government 10 years to get to this.

This department has close to $2 billion of taxpayer money to spend. Where has the department been spending this money?

This came as a surprise to me as the critic for international co-operation. I travel many times. There seems to be a culture of secrecy in CIDA. When I met the president of CIDA, Len Good, he did not even know that I was the critic for international co-operation. He does not care about a counterpart.

I visited India. I visited Morocco as recently as January. I talked to CIDA officials over there. The moment they find out that I am an opposition critic for CIDA, it is boom, gone, and they do not want to talk to me. They do not want to tell me what they are doing. They are afraid of something. Afraid of what? These are taxpayers' dollars. Why is there a culture of secrecy in this department called CIDA? They should be out there proudly flying the Canadian flag and saying Canadians are compassionate and would like to help. It is no wonder that where I go, and I find it interesting, there is criticism based on CIDA, whether it is the NGOs, which also have excellent expertise, can very well deliver, can become good partners and on many occasions are good partners. There is expertise there. There is expertise in Canada to give effective aid dollars.

In my point of view, this cultural secrecy in CIDA needs to stop in order for them to do effective delivery. We can do very well with small dollars, but effectively, rather than pouring in dollar after dollar and throwing in money without knowing where we are going and what our idea is. Just flying the Canadian flag out there is not going to solve the problem.

Now the Prime Minister has committed Canada until the year 2010, when he is no longer going to be in power, not after next year, to an annual increase of 8%, which will take the foreign aid budget to $4.6 billion by the year 2010. Imagine, Mr. Speaker, that you want to increase this to $4.6 billion and you are not even in power. How does that work? Of course it is a racket. Sure, the Prime Minister stood up in the G-8 conference and said that we need to help Africa. Of course we need to help Africa when we see the devastation there because of AIDS and by a collapse of infrastructure and the education system. Yes, we do, but we really need to take a step back and see what we are doing.

We continue giving aid to countries that I would say are on the threshold of joining the developed nations of the world. I mean India and China. They are on the threshold of becoming developed nations of the world. Proudly the Indian prime minister says that by the year 2020 India will become a developed nation. I hope it happens. I wish it the best of luck. It should go ahead and do that, but let us see where we, as Canada, are going to use our effective dollars, our taxpayers' dollars. We need to use them effectively, so can we not re-prioritize?

I see that CIDA is now talking about it giving money to eight or nine African countries and one Asian country, narrowing down its focus. Yes, I have no dispute with that kind of thinking, because now we are focusing and strategizing where we are going to put our money. That should have been the focus.

Nevertheless, over the whole situation, with that money CIDA is still looking after geographical interests. It is not narrowing down its focus. It has identified these countries but, nevertheless, the minister has stated time after time that she is going to give money to China and India because there are poor people living there and the commitment of the Prime Minister is to alleviate poverty.

Excuse me, but somebody else also has the responsibility. The governments of those nations have the responsibility. Since when did we start taking responsibility away from them? The Government of China has the responsibility. Instead of sending a person into space, it has the responsibility to look after its poor. Since when did that happen?

I see, Mr. Speaker, that my time is up. Of course this is a subject that is very passionate. Canadians love it. Canadians want to help out. We would like to see the effective use of Canadian taxpayers' dollars.

Business of the House
Government Orders

March 17th, 2003 / 4:30 p.m.

Simcoe North
Ontario

Liberal

Paul Devillers Secretary of State (Amateur Sport) and Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I believe you would find unanimous consent for the following motion:

That when the House begins proceedings under the provisions of Standing Order 52 later this day, no quorum calls nor dilatory motions be entertained by the Speaker after 8:00 p.m.

Business of the House
Government Orders

4:30 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

Is there unanimous consent to table the motion?

Business of the House
Government Orders

4:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Business of the House
Government Orders

4:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Business of the House
Government Orders

4:30 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I think if you ask the hon. minister to ask that question again of the House, he will receive unanimous consent from all parties.

Business of the House
Government Orders

4:30 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

I will ask the Secretary of State for Amateur Sport to read the motion once more.

Business of the House
Government Orders

4:30 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Devillers Simcoe North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I believe that you will now find unanimous consent for the following motion:

That when the House begins proceedings under the provisions of Standing Order 52 later this day, no quorum calls nor dilatory motions shall be entertained by the Speaker after 8 p.m.