House of Commons Hansard #22 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was children.

Topics

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, for 10 years that minister was speaking about the problem. This Prime Minister did nothing about the problem. Why did he do nothing?

His job was to ensure that the proper controls were in place. In fact, he publicly assured Canadians that those controls were in place. Now we know, in fact, that those rules were broken and that the financial controls had broken down. Why should Canadians take the Prime Minister's word that he is going to do something about this after sitting on the problem for 10 years?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Winnipeg South
Manitoba

Liberal

Reg Alcock President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, I think there is a very simple answer to that question. When the current Prime Minister became finance minister he had a very tough job to do then, and he worked exceptionally hard at it, at getting us out of the deficit. It was a tough job. He did it. He has a new tough job and he is doing it.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, I will concede to the minister that it is a tough job laundering money back to the Liberal Party. The Prime Minister--

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam knows better than to suggest that some member is money laundering. If the term is used in relation to a whole crowd of people, he might get away with it, but as for suggesting that some hon. members here are, I know he thinks it is beyond the bounds and he would not want to go that far. Perhaps he could rephrase his question.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, we are all assured the money will be repaid, so when that happens everything will be straight.

The Prime Minister has said that he asked all of his cabinet colleagues whether or not they knew about the ad scam: the Deputy Prime Minister, the current finance minister, the environment minister, all members of this cabinet communications committee. Why did the Prime Minister hide, deny and cover up what he knew about the ad scam?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra
B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I can hardly imagine how anyone could suggest that anyone on this side of the House is hiding anything when we have the most extraordinary list of processes to bring light to this subject: the public inquiry, public accounts, RCMP investigations, and a special counsel to recover funds. Nothing could be more open. There is also the tabling of cabinet documents. If the public inquiry wants any confidential cabinet documents related to this issue, the Prime Minister has said that we will produce them. Nothing could be more open.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister says he can hardly understand. I would invite him to talk to Denis Desautels and I would invite him to talk to Sheila Fraser and perhaps read the report, and maybe he will understand why Canadians do not believe that the government is cleaning up its messes.

The minister also says that the government has nothing to hide. Then why is it that the Prime Minister says to pass a motion, that we will get the information if we pass a motion?

We want leadership from the Prime Minister in being fully open. We want him to go the extra mile and be fully open with all the information rather than hiding it. Why is the Prime Minister failing to show that leadership?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra
B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I am sure the hon. member is not suggesting that good governance can take place with throwing the doors open to cabinet documents without properly defining them on this issue.

On this issue, the public accounts committee passed a motion asking for specific documents and they have been tabled; ask for other documents related to the Auditor General's report on these subjects and they will be made available. If there is a request from the public inquiry for any documents, the Prime Minister has said they will be made available.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

March 9th, 2004 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Roy Matapédia—Matane, QC

Mr. Speaker, fishers have had to deal with reduced quotas and a moratorium, and, because of this government's incompetence, they were kept in the dark about specific employment insurance programs that were meant for them.

How does the government explain its negligence in denying several hundred fishers from the North Shore benefits they desperately needed?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, it is not a matter of denying workers money they are owed. I answered a similar question yesterday. Necessary measures have been taken to ensure that those whose benefits were cut or those who did not receive the benefits they were entitled to did in fact receive them. Measures have already been taken to give them what they were owed.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Roy Matapédia—Matane, QC

Mr. Speaker, it was in 1997, 1998 and 1999 that they needed it the most. Hundreds of families suffered extreme losses, while the Bloc Quebecois alerted the government many times about the desperate situation of North Shore fishers.

Does the minister realize that the government's decision to centralize in Ottawa a program designed for the regions caused serious hardship to hundreds of fishers and their families?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we are always aware of life's difficulties. In this case, there was a problem and it was corrected. We are currently implementing measures to prevent similar problems in the future. What exactly is the problem the member wishes to address? Everything has been corrected.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Rimouski-Neigette-Et-La Mitis, QC

Mr. Speaker, by taking billions of dollars from the employment insurance fund, the federal government has significantly reduced benefits and forced many seasonal workers to face the spring gap.

How can the Prime Minister remain indifferent to the spring gap that is affecting seasonal workers in the regions when, on June 11, in Baie-Saint-Paul, he solemnly pledged to the Sans-Chemise coalition that he would deal with this issue when he became Prime Minister?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, as we indicated in the past, some programs are already in place to deal with issues such as the one that the hon. member just raised.

Also, I would like to point out to the hon. member that regional authorities, provincial authorities and the partners involved in the labour market are trying to find the necessary long term solutions.