House of Commons Hansard #125 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was oil.

Topics

Service Canada
Oral Questions

September 26th, 2005 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Simard Beauport, QC

Mr. Speaker, faced with the sponsorship scandal, the federal government is not learning from its mistakes. The Prime Minister just appointed as head of Service Canada the very person who was in charge of the gun registry, another scandal involving nearly $2 billion for which his government will soon have to answer.

How can the Prime Minister explain his choice in appointing such a mediocre manager as the head of Service Canada?

Service Canada
Oral Questions

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, if anyone looks at the service Canada details, I think it is a fantastic story. It is about better service to more Canadians in more Canadian communities. In fact, we are expanding our points of service in the next couple of years from 300 to 600. Therefore, this is a great news story.

There are many layers of accountability factored in, including an advisory board, an office for client satisfaction and a service charter.

I am very proud to be associated with service Canada. It is a great news story.

Service Canada
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Simard Beauport, QC

Mr. Speaker, we shall see if the Auditor General is as proud as the minister. She reviewed the administration of the program and concluded that the program was poorly managed. One of those responsible for this mismanagement is the person selected by the Prime Minister to establish Service Canada.

Can the minister justify such a poor choice? Has the minister not learned any lessons from the sponsorship scandal, to be appointing such an individual as the head of Service Canada?

Service Canada
Oral Questions

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, it is providing better service to more Canadian communities. It is outstanding service delivery organization with a view toward continuous improvement. It has a service charter and an office for client satisfaction, all with a view to creating a culture of one stop service delivery and continuous improvement for Canadian services.

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Louise Thibault Rimouski—Témiscouata, QC

Mr. Speaker, an invitation to tender by PWGSC for the EnerGuide program in Quebec has excluded a number of francophone bidders who relied on the French bid documentation to prepare their bid, when this version is not consistent with the English version that the department, obviously, used to award the contracts.

Does the Minister of Public Works intend to cancel this invitation to tender and relaunch the process so that there is no prejudice against francophone bidders?

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, public works is presently reviewing the bid documentation to ensure fairness to all in the evaluation process.

As a result of the recent RFP on this program, the department received 35 bids and issued 13 contracts to deliver the EnerGuide for housing service across the province of Quebec. Each winning bidder has an office in the province of Quebec and each is required to provide the service in the language of the homeowners choice.

Once again, we are reviewing the bid documentation process to ensure fairness and will be dealing with this appropriately.

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, curiously, complaints under the Official Languages Act have been filed, in the past, against two of the companies hired in the Outaouais region.

Is the example of poorly translated documentation at Public Works not proof that, although the Official Languages Act has been in effect for a number of years, it is not a very major concern to that department, and that francophones are paying the price?

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, let me assure all members of the House that this is a tremendous priority for our government to ensure that translation services are delivered in a reasonable way, and that in fact accuracy in all our endeavours is guaranteed throughout the process. We are taking this very seriously. I can assure the hon. member and all members of the House that we are dealing with this quickly.

Technology Partnerships Canada
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, today 15 companies in receipt of a Technology Partnerships Canada grant have directly violated the terms of their agreements. They have paid lobbyists large fees to help them secure money through this program. Despite the fact that they clearly violated the contract with the taxpayers of Canada, they still receive the balance of the TPC grant and the lobbyists may still be in possession of the money that they were given.

Why do companies that violate contracts with the Canadian taxpayer continue to receive public funds?

Technology Partnerships Canada
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway
B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we have been reviewing TPC for over a year now. We have done some administrative audits. We have discussed it with the Auditor General in terms of our approach. The Auditor General completely agrees with what we are doing and how we are doing it.

We are recovering any moneys that were inappropriately paid out to lobbyists. These are companies that are in breach of their contract. We are acting swiftly, firmly and with zero tolerance to fix the problem.

Technology Partnerships Canada
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, that is not true. The fact is that a company still gets the balance of the money that was given to it and lobbyists may in fact still have the money that was given to them by the company.

This is a program that spent over $2.5 billion but has recovered only 5%. Now we know about companies breaching their contracts and lobbyists receiving illegal payments. When will the minister finally release the audits of this program and state to the House how much money has been received by lobbyists against the contracts of this company, and how much money taxpayers are on the hook for through this program?

Technology Partnerships Canada
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway
B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows that over 80% of the companies that benefit from technology partnerships are small and medium sized businesses. The government is not in the business of killing companies. We are in the business of helping them implement technology and where there has been a breach of contract, we want that breach remedied.

Justice
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Lunn Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Coffin stole $1.5 million from Canadians, a theft made possible by the systematic corruption in the Liberal government. The courts sentenced Mr. Coffin to house arrest with a 9 p.m. curfew only on weekdays. That is pathetic enough, but this sentence is a direct result of changes made to the justice system by the Liberal government where it allows criminals to serve jail sentences at home in their living rooms.

Liberal laws and our justice system are failing Canadians every day. When is the government going to change them?

Justice
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Mount Royal
Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, this is not an issue of the law. This is a decision made by a judge. The laws are there for the purposes of any kind of penalty that a judge wishes to impose at this time.

Justice
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, Paul Coffin defrauded Canadians out of $1.5 million. For this crime, he got a mere two years of house arrest. Even Martha Stewart spent time in jail.

In Canada, our liberal laws have failed Canadians and helped the friends of the Liberal Party. Is this the Liberal concept of justice?