House of Commons Hansard #128 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was workers.

Topics

David Dingwall
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Odina Desrochers Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is incredible to hear the government pay tribute to David Dingwall after he resigned following revelations in the newspapers yesterday on his administration's laxity.

How can the Prime Minister explain the fact that he supports someone who has resigned as a result of poor administration and who made Chuck Guité responsible for the entire sponsorship program after ensuring the latter was a faithful Liberal?

David Dingwall
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Markham—Unionville
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, it seems that the Bloc Québécois has trouble understanding whenever there is a two-part answer.

First, we are going to look into whether there were any irregularities. However, to date, there is no evidence that there were. We take this point very seriously.

Second, the facts suggest that, yes, he did a good job at the Royal Canadian Mint, with regard to both its profitability and company morale.

David Dingwall
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Odina Desrochers Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, whenever we asked questions, back then, about Alfonso Gagliano, the government had exactly the same attitude it does now and it gave the same answers: he is beyond reproach, he is a great Canadian.

Given its arrogance with regard to the Dingwall scandal, is the government not showing that it has learned nothing from the sponsorship scandal and that it has no more respect for taxpayers' dollars now than it did back then?

David Dingwall
Oral Questions

2:25 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 the concern I have is that members take an area where there was a significant problem that is being addressed and then use that to slander anybody they choose. The reality is that Mr. Dingwall has not been accused of anything. Nothing. What we have is an opinion on his expenses.

Let me tell members this. On the reforms that we have put in place, Dave Brown, the past chairman of the Ontario Securities Commission, says they are very positive steps. They are practices adapted from the private sector. This clarifies the accountabilities within the crown corporation structure and between the corporations in a responsible manner. It reaffirms the essential stewardship of the crowns.

Finance
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance.

Apparently there is an announcement coming for a program for energy efficiency for homes. It is about time. The NDP put $100 million into the budget so that people could pay less for precisely that problem. That is why it is there. Left to themselves, the Liberals would have given it away in a corporate tax cut rather than helping people burn less.

Will the Minister of Finance simply confirm that his preference was to give money in corporate tax cuts to the oil companies, not to energy efficiency?

Finance
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

No, Mr. Speaker, I will not confirm that because the hon. gentleman obviously has difficulty reading a balance sheet. He is referring to two fiscal years that are three years apart and he is drawing the wrong conclusions.

This government believes that we can have a good, solid competitive tax policy and also a very strong environmental policy and housing policy all at the same time. They are not mutually exclusive.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, that answer is patently absurd in light of the environment commissioner's own report today, so my next question is for the Minister of the Environment.

The environment commissioner said that “bold announcements” are being made but forgotten before “the confetti hits the ground”. No wonder she is angry. It is the same anger Canadians feel. Our government gets up and lectures the world about how important climate change is, but we do not have the guts to impose fuel emission standards on cars. Can the minister explain why 10 states have such standards but Canada does not?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I would like to say first that the government welcomes the report of the commissioner and accepts all her recommendations. They are going in the same direction as the plans that the Prime Minister has for climate change and the environmental policy as such; it is project green.

I want to say that what the hon. member has said is wrong. Canada has standards for cars. They need to decrease their emissions by 25%. It is a measurement and there is a trajectory. If they do not increase their energy efficiency by 25%, we will regulate, but we are comfortable that they will do it because they have a commitment toward the Canadian people.

Technology Partnerships Canada
Oral Questions

September 29th, 2005 / 2:30 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, we have just seen ministers defend Mr. Dingwall because they said he did not break the rules. He did break the rules. It is expressly forbidden for lobbyists to receive contingency fees when they help to secure a Technology Partnerships Canada grant for their clients.

In spite of this rule, former Liberal cabinet minister David Dingwall received at least $350,000 as a reward for securing a TPC grant and he sees nothing wrong with this. Yet this government is not pursuing Mr. Dingwall or any other lobbyist who has defrauded the taxpayers by receiving kickbacks. Why will this government not force Mr. Dingwall to return this fee to the government, to the taxpayers of Canada?

Technology Partnerships Canada
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway
B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I think the hon. member knows that there is a prohibition against companies paying contingency fees to lobbyists under the technology partnerships program. We have dealt with the company. The company was in breach of contract. The company can deal with Mr. Dingwall. We have recovered the money.

I might also say that the technology partnerships program has led to $14 billion plus in research and development and innovation in Canadian companies

Technology Partnerships Canada
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, this is unbelievable. This thing is a racket. The taxpayers of this country deserve some respect. There is no punishment for those who break the rules because in fact the lobbyists may be allowed to keep the money they take, against the government's own rules.

The fact is that David Dingwall is not alone. Up to 15 lobbyists have received kickbacks for securing TPC grants. The minister admitted yesterday that this number could be growing. Why is this government not going after former Liberal cabinet minister David Dingwall? Why is it not standing up for Canadian taxpayers?

Technology Partnerships Canada
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway
B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, if only the hon. member would remind himself that nearly 90% of the companies that are assisted under Technology Partnerships Canada are small companies. The Government of Canada is in the business of supporting small businesses in Canada and helping them to become competitive, not in the business of punishing them.

We are getting the money back, we are correcting the breaches and that is the right thing to do.

Technology Partnerships Canada
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Chong Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Mr. Speaker, it has been a year since the government ordered a partial audit of the TPC program and still we have no answers. Thirty-three contracts have been audited. Eleven, one in three, have been found to have been in breach. It looks like there are eleven more David Dingwalls out there, yet the government refuses to reveal their identities and how much they received in kickbacks.

The public deserves to know today who was involved in these breaches and how much money was siphoned off. Who are these eleven other David Dingwalls? How much did they receive in kickbacks?

Technology Partnerships Canada
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway
B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I see that the hon. members have finally got back to their core niche, which is to drag people through the muck rather than talk about the public policy issues of this country.

We have worked closely with the Auditor General to audit the technology partnerships program. We will find any breaches of the program. We will correct them. We will recover the money. The hon. member should just sit down and think about what the best interests of Canadians are.

Technology Partnerships Canada
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Chong Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Mr. Speaker, the facts speak for themselves. The auditor's interim audit states that one-third of the 33 randomly selected contracts are in breach. There are 160 contracts in the TPC program. It would only be logical to assume that one-third of them are also in breach.

We do not need more reports and hyperbole from this government. What this House needs is answers, answers as to which contracts are in breach, who is involved and what are the amounts of the kickbacks.

When will this government come clean on the $2.4 billion TPC program? Who else other than David Dingwall received these kickbacks and how much did they get?