House of Commons Hansard #119 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

National Security
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, in the mid-1990s, CSIS agents estimated that Canada was losing $1 billion a month due to espionage. In the United States, with an economy 10 times our size, it was losing $2 billion a month. The Americans brought in the economic espionage act in 1996. In Canada we can only use theft over $5,000 charges and have done nothing to modernize our laws to protect Canadian corporate interests.

With an estimated 1,000 Chinese spies operating in Canada, our companies are being targeted and our economies are being hurt. What has the Prime Minister done to protect Canada's interests since this shocking information was brought to his attention?

National Security
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is not quite correct. In our anti-terrorism legislation, passed in December 2001, we contained amendments to the Security of Information Act which did indeed create offences and penalties for economic espionage, another example of how we are working to protect all Canadians and their interests.

National Security
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, it has had no impact.

Michael Juneau-Katsuya, a former head of CSIS Asia-Pacific desk, says that other than terrorism the greatest national security threat is economic and industrial espionage.

As far back as 1999, Senator Kelly argued that a special Senate report on security and intelligence said that CSIS did not have a mandate to investigate corporate espionage; spying done against Canadian companies. He warned that our advanced industrial and technological sectors made us attractive and vulnerable to spying.

When will concrete action be taken to protect Canadians from corporate espionage?

National Security
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, as I just indicated, concrete action has been taken, which is why we have new offences and new penalties in the Security of Information Act.

Today my colleague, the Minister of Industry, will be announcing changes to the Investment Canada Act which make national security a paramount concern in decision making around foreign investment in this country.

We continue and will continue to review our laws to determine that which is needed to ensure that we are protecting all interests, including economic, of Canadians.

Technology Partnerships Canada
Oral Question Period

June 20th, 2005 / 2:30 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, Technology Partnerships Canada is again under scrutiny for its misuse of taxpayer dollars.

According to The Canadian Press, Industry Canada has ordered a massive audit into $490 million in handouts to dozens of technology firms. The department has already uncovered four cases where a lobbyist received more than $2 million in forbidden commissions.

Is it not true that this audit is so damning that the industry minister has had to establish a full team of audit control specialists, a damage control team, to try to assuage this audit?

Technology Partnerships Canada
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway
B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as a matter of fact, the payments that were made were part of a routine audit conducted by Industry Canada. It is part of the due diligence that our department does in reviewing Technology Partnerships' contributions. It was uncovered. We did identify $3.7 million in payments to intermediaries that are prohibited under the terms and conditions of Technology Partnerships. We have recovered every cent and we are broadening the audit as a pre-emptive measure to ensure that there are no further instances of improper payments.

Technology Partnerships Canada
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, we expect that audit will be made public then. In fact, Technology Partnerships Canada has spent over $2 billion since 1996. Now we learn through the media that $2 million in forbidden commissions has been received by at least one lobbyist. This revelation has finally prompted an audit of this program, which this party has been calling for for years, yet the investigation remains incomplete and there is no word on when the audit will be completed.

It is starting to look like another sponsorship scandal or firearms registry fiasco. When will Canadians finally get the truth on this program? When will the industry minister finally come clean on this program, that over $2 billion--

Technology Partnerships Canada
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Industry.

Technology Partnerships Canada
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway
B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, since I have been in the House I have heard a lot moaning and groaning and criticism of Technology Partnerships in spite of the fact that it has helped an awful lot of Canadian companies to become success stories, like Research in Motion.

We will complete the audit. I will produce a summary report by late September of this year.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, last weekend, a group of people from the coalition des Sans-chemise demonstrated in the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean region for justice in EI.

How can the Prime Minister, who has on many occasions made formal promises to the Sans-chemise, now continue to reject the proposals by the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills Development, Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities that the unemployed be treated fairly and equitably?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Newmarket—Aurora
Ontario

Liberal

Belinda Stronach Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister responsible for Democratic Renewal

Mr. Speaker, we conduct an annual monitoring and assessment of the EI program in order to ensure that it better meets the needs of Canadian workers.

I would happy to work with my colleague across the floor to look into this situation.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Sans-chemise ask the new minister to honour her previous stand and vote for Bill C-280, which was introduced by the Bloc Québécois to create an independent fund.

Is the minister going to persist in taking the direction she has chosen since becoming a Liberal and will she too betray these people who need her to defend them instead?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Newmarket—Aurora
Ontario

Liberal

Belinda Stronach Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister responsible for Democratic Renewal

Mr. Speaker, in fact I think great steps have been taken in the last budget to strengthen the independence of the EI commission, the way it sets its rates, the independent actuary in the process, and the way it reports that information. I think great steps have been taken in the last budget to address those items.

Canadian Forces
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, once again, with respect to the choice of the Canadian Forces ombudsman, the Prime Minister, having promised greater transparency and more power for MPs, has said one thing and done another.

Will the Prime Minister agree that the screening process involving only representatives of the Privy Council, the PMO and the Department of National Defence is a perfect example of non-transparency and a continuation of the culture of secrecy?

Canadian Forces
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Toronto Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the ombudsman position was advertised and applications were submitted. The selection process was open, transparent, correct and standard. All candidates were considered according to the usual procedures in our system. There was nothing different in our process.

I am confident that Mr. Côté, whom we chose, is an upstanding individual who will work conscientiously for the good of the Canadian Forces. I am certain that the committee will, after reflection, be convinced that this is a good appointment.