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House of Commons Hansard #201 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was crime.

Topics

Building ContractsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has already been quite upfront about his interest in projects that are in the best interest of his riding and the surrounding area.

There is a process which the hon. member can follow if he wants documents and I would suggest he make use of it. That is what it is on the books for.

Building ContractsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Jim Jones Progressive Conservative Markham, ON

Mr. Speaker, if there is nothing wrong with these deals the government should release the documents.

An alternative would be to use section 11 of the Auditor General's Act to direct the auditor general to conduct an independent audit of the grants and loans to Duhaime and Thibault.

Will the Deputy Prime Minister show some courage, show some integrity and ask—

Building ContractsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

I want the hon. member to please go directly to his question. It is not a question of courage.

Building ContractsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Jim Jones Progressive Conservative Markham, ON

Will he ask the auditor general to independently review these questionable projects? Anything less smells of a cover-up to protect the Prime Minister.

Building ContractsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the member is abusing the process of the House of Commons in this question period to make unwarranted assertions.

The PQ member of the assembly was interviewed by TVA Mauricie today about this very issue. He said:

<“No, no, no, there can be no favoritism”. He went on to say “Mr. Chrétien did exactly the same thing I did in Quebec City, that is within the standard government programs with specific criteria we made sure our ridings got their fair share”.

That statement by the political enemy of the Prime Minister speaks for the Prime Minister's integrity and the integrity of the process.

Building ContractsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Reform Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister of human resources told me on February 4 that he only approves job creation grants if the applications meets “all the standard eligibility criteria”.

The grants he handed out in the Prime Minister's riding have been to individuals with criminal convictions, shady pasts and a documented track record of financial mismanagement and business failure.

Is this the minister's definition of standard eligibility criteria?

Building ContractsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the innuendoes of the member are not very appropriate for discussion in the House. We will try to restore some kind of stability in this place and look at what really took place.

The Prime Minister, who is also a member of parliament, is doing a great job for business development and job creation in his riding. In this case every one of the criteria was indeed met.

According to regional studies there is a shortage of hotels in that region which has a great potential for tourism.

Building ContractsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Reform Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Duhaime's own business consultant told this government before it gave him a nickel that his hotel was improperly managed, had huge mortgage debts that it could not afford to pay and had an additional $350,000 in unpaid bills. Yet this minister gives Duhaime hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars. How can he explain that?

Building ContractsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, that very project was also supported by the Quebec government, a Péquistes government, that has also put money into it. It has been supported by the city of Shawinigan and the mayor.

This morning a provincial member, a Péquistes in Shawinigan, certainly no friend of the Prime Minister in Saint-Maurice, when asked about this very project, said:

<“No, no, no, there can be no favouritism—It must be understood that, if the Prime Minister had created some special program, that would be a whole other matter”. But he says “He did exactly the same thing I did, that is within the standard government programs with specific criteria we made sure our ridings got their fair share”.

That is what the hon. member for Saint-Maurice did. He did his duty.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the report released by the Minister of Human Resources Development on Thursday strikes a real blow at the employment insurance plan.

Women and young people are victims of discrimination. We already knew that, but we had to await the report. We waited, and now it is confirmed.

The Minister of Human Resources Development has had ample time to consult the report. Will he be proposing changes to the employment insurance plan in order to eliminate the discrimination against young people and women, since the plan has a large surplus and he therefore has the means to do so?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I certainly want to be sure that women have fair and equitable access to the employment insurance plan. That is one of the priorities of our government.

I can assure you that I am concerned by the figures that we saw in last week's report, but it would be premature to jump to the conclusion that there is discrimination, as the member for Québec has stated.

There may be fewer women drawing employment insurance benefits in the past year because two jobs in three created in 1998 went to women.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister has had the report for three months. If he needed additional information, could he not have checked it in the meantime rather than stall for time on the backs of young people and women by calling for study after study?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, it is not a question of study after study. I am saying that if indeed women have been rejected by the employment insurance system because the access requirements are too severe, that call us into question as the government, and we will have to do something.

However, if the labour market was more generous to them, and more women found work, I am saying this is a whole other reality, which will involve other actions by the government.

But the member for Québec has, for the last three years, been saying in the House that women are being penalized and that they do not have the same maternity benefits as before. Despite the 4.6% reduction in the birth rate, however, maternity benefits remain unchanged. What does the member for Québec say to that?

Building ContractsOral Question Period

March 22nd, 1999 / 2:35 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Reform Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I do not think the minister is answering the crucial question today in this Duhaime affair.

Why did the Prime Minister not disclose his conflict of interest with the business associates in his own riding?

This is not about helping the community, it is about helping former business associates and friends get an inside track to government grants and government loans. That is the conflict of interest.

Why did the Prime Minister not disclose the conflict of interest, remove himself from those negotiations and let the grants go to the people who deserve them instead of friends and business associates?

Building ContractsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I can assure you that every one of the criteria of the transitional jobs fund has been respected, that this project has also been supported by the provincial government as well. It was also supported by the provincial member.

The mayor of Shawinigan was there. Some people were asking the Prime Minister to do more. The Prime Minister has been doing his job to make sure the Government of Canada, with the regular program is has, would help in his riding as it did in the riding—

Building ContractsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Fraser Valley.

Building ContractsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Reform Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the Prime Minister would even recognize himself in the 1993 videotapes of his campaign promises.

He used to talk about the end of patronage and the ethics counsellor. Now we find out that the ethics code is secret. We cannot even see it. The documents we are supposed to have access to have been so whited out they are of no use to anyone.

We are told now to follow proper procedures by the Deputy Prime Minister and those procedures do not give us the documents, the memos or what it was about, the conflict of interest from that business associate.

Why does the government not table the documents, all the correspondence today, so that we can all see what the Prime Minister's involvement was with these business associates of his?

Building ContractsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, speaking of videotapes, we remember the Reform videotapes and the cruel, unjust attack on the Prime Minister and on French speaking politicians.

The material presented under the access to information rules followed the legislation passed by parliament. If the hon. member feels that more was whited out than should have been, he has an appeal procedure. Why does he not use it?

Young Offenders ActOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Bloc Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Friday, a coalition of people in Quebec working with young offenders stated, after a thorough review of Bill C-68, that this legislation is a decoy, in that there is no confirmation anywhere of the right of Quebec and the other provinces to apply their own model.

Will the minister admit that nothing in this bill guarantees the provinces, including Quebec, can maintain and continue their own youth justice programs?

Young Offenders ActOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, our new youth criminal justice legislation was drafted after lengthy and ongoing consultation with all the provinces and territories.

We believe the new youth criminal justice legislation provides the necessary degree of flexibility to reflect the real diversity in this country in terms of dealing with the challenging issues of youth crime and youth justice.

Young Offenders ActOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Bloc Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, in that case, could the minister state that the Quebec justice minister legally issue a directive to crown attorneys to automatically exclude all 14 and 15 year old Quebeckers from being given adult sentences?

Young Offenders ActOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I think it is quite clear that the youth criminal justice legislation introduced in the House two weeks ago speaks for itself. I know I will have the opportunity to engage the hon. member more directly when I appear before committee.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Reform Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, in that corner over there we have the industry minister telling us taxes are far too high and that it hurts our standard of living. In this corner we have the finance minister saying we do not have a tax problem. In fact, the tax money is flowing very well, thank you very much.

How will we ever raise the standard of living in this country when the government cannot even agree there is a problem?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, there is complete agreement on the front benches and there is complete agreement in the government on this issue.

That is why in the last budget we reduced taxes and in this budget we reduced taxes, $16.5 billion over the next three years. It is also why in budgets to come we will reduce taxes, because we understand the necessity of increasing disposable income. We also understand, which the Reform Party obviously does not, that one has to pay for health care, education and all those other matters that are so important to the Canadian fabric.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Reform Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is interesting to hear the finance minister say he is in complete agreement with the industry minister because on the industry minister's website that speech still stands where he says that taxes are 20% higher in Canada than in the U.S., that the standard of living is falling like a stone in Canada relative to the United States.

Does the finance minister completely agree with those statements of the industry minister?