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House of Commons Hansard #132 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was money.

Topics

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, she got the question wrong.

I would like to ask the Prime Minister how, as this term comes to an end—it is probably the last time he will be answering one of our questions on this topic—he can claim that the administration is blameless, that the government is blameless, when we have just discovered in a memo that, as of September 6, his government was under police investigation in 21 cases, four of them in his riding? And I am not including Placeteco in the 21, because that investigation has been completed.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have said repeatedly that there were problems and that we were trying to do something about them.

As I told the Leader of the Opposition, these things happen in all public administrations. If I may I would like to cite a passage from the June 2000 report of the auditor general of Quebec, which had this to say with respect to acquisitions of services under the PQ government:

In addition, 58% of cases included violations of significant clauses in the contract and yet no memos were on file to explain these anomalies.

And with respect to Emploi-Québec:

In addition, we noted a perverse effect in the [manpower training] fund management—

It reads further:

Follow-up done by Emploi-Québec after grants are made—

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. member for Calgary Centre.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Reform

Eric C. Lowther Reform Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, early in the 1990s the auditor general told the government that there were major mismanagement problems with HRDC grants and contributions. Later in the 1990s, the auditor general told the government again but we had the same problems and no solutions in sight.

What do we see in in this new century? We see a mismanagement meltdown reported by the auditor general.

If financial mismanagement has not been fixed in seven years, is it not true that the true legacy of the Liberal government is that it has no respect for taxpayer dollars?

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, what the auditor general said in his commentary is that we are making, and I quote, “good progress”.

The auditor general said that what we should do is to make today's extraordinary undertaking routine.

I commit to the Canadian people that we will do just that, because on this side of the House we believe in grants and contributions. On that side of the House, we know they would cut every one of them. For us, we want to ensure the integrity of the system, and we will do just that.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Reform

Eric C. Lowther Reform Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am concerned that the minister has not even read the AG's report because here is what he did say. He said that problems in managing grants and contributions worsened in the nineties, and then he said that audits later in the 1990s showed persistent problems identified previously. In this current report, he said that there were breaches in authority, payments made improperly, very limited monitoring of finances and activities and approvals not based on established processes.

Is it not time after almost a decade that the government admits that it has no respect for taxpayer dollars?

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have replied to those questions for months. Members of the opposition, and this hon. member in particular, were asking for money from the department. Listen to what I have here. His own riding has received $30 million.

I would like the member to go to his riding and tell the people who received this money, such as the Calgary Educational Partnership Foundation, that it will not receive anything any more; the Employment Leadership Council for Youth, nothing any more; the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society, nothing any more; the YMCA of Calgary, nothing at all; The Arthritis Society, nothing at all; and Scouts Canada, nothing at all. I can go on and on.

CinarOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, a number of things indicate that negotiations between CINAR and Revenue Canada to reach an agreement on the amount the company owes Revenue Canada are proceeding apace.

Can the Minister of National Revenue guarantee that this agreement will not mean the dismissal of all potential fraud proceedings against CINAR directors or former directors?

CinarOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of National Revenue and Secretary of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, under the Income Tax Act, all matters relating to taxpayers are, by nature, confidential.

Economic PolicyOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Réginald Bélair Liberal Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, in yesterday's economic statement the Minister of Finance announced a new flow-through shares program to ensure that mineral deposits will be discovered in northern Canada.

Can the minister expand on how the junior exploration companies, as well as investors, will benefit from this great initiative?

Economic PolicyOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, there are two things that are very important about this. First, clearly there is an incentive here that will encourage exploration in northern Canada. That will take place as a result of this incentive.

What is equally important, in fact more important, is the fact that this arose not out of an initiative in the Department of finance, but directly as a result of the hard work and dedication of members on this side of the House, members of parliament who would not give up, who did the basic research work, who met with the industry and the workers, and who took on a challenge and accomplished it. I congratulate those members. They are responsible for what happened in yesterday's budget.

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, I just gathered a few quotes from yesterday's headlines: “HRDC Scandal”, “Abuse Serious and Widespread”, “PM Won't Apologize”, a word the Prime Minister does not like, “Boondoggle”, and “Taxpayers Funds Were Wasted”.

Why did the Prime Minister allow that wasteful spending instead of putting it toward the forgotten victims of hepatitis C?

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I draw the hon. member's attention to this release from the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants. It states:

The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) expressed enthusiastic support for the federal government's fiscal strategy as outlined in today's mini-budget, which supplements the 2000 federal budget. “We're impressed by the government's plan to respond to both the short and long-term needs of Canadians...”

Here are some people who know what they are talking about, unlike the hon. member.

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, I do not think he even knows what I asked.

Let me ask then for Joey Haché. This is somebody I think the Prime Minister will remember. This is what Joey Haché had to say, “When I presented my petition to the Prime Minister he said he did not have any more money for special interest groups”. Joey Haché said “I am not a special interest group, I am sick from hepatitis C”.

Why did the Prime Minister spend money on wasteful things instead of giving some money to the forgotten victims of hepatitis C like Joey Haché and those who he represents. Why?

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, what the member likes to overlook is that this government, over the course of the last two and a half years, has put over $1.7 billion into efforts to compensate and to treat those afflicted with hepatitis C because of the blood system.

As a physician, this member should appreciate the initiative taken by the government to rebuild and strengthen the Canadian health care system. All those across the country who will ever require health care will recognize the efforts we have made to rebuild and strengthen public medicare.

Child PovertyOral Question Period

October 19th, 2000 / 3:10 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is awfully tempting to ask the Liberals why they think that the new look reformers have almost no questions about their budget, but I think we know the answer. They are happy as proverbial pigs in the barnyard with the budget.

New Democrats do have questions about the budget and so do a lot of Canadians.

This government was elected because it promised to eradicate child poverty. It did not promise big tax breaks for big banks.

I have a question for the Prime Minister. Why did he chose big breaks for his country club friends and no breaks for this country's poorest children?

Child PovertyOral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the child tax credit that was initiated by this government is the most revolutionary system we have had to ensure that poor children and families receive money. In yesterday's mini-budget the minister has given other incentives and help to the people at the bottom of the ladder.

I can understand the frustration of the leader of the NDP. She can attack as much as she wants but the people of Canada are very happy with the balanced approach we have. We do not believe that the government should do everything alone. We need the private sector, but at the same time we know that we cannot give everything to the private sector. We take the Canadian way, the Liberal way.

Child PovertyOral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister knows that not one poor child in this country will have the benefit of the child tax benefit because the rules that this government put in place allow the provinces to claw back every stinking cent of those tax benefits.

This government was elected because it promised affordable housing. It did not promise tax breaks so that its wealthy friends could renovate their mansions.

Why did the Prime Minister chose to increase capital gains exemptions instead of increasing the—

Child PovertyOral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Finance.

Child PovertyOral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, earlier today the Prime Minister cited Roy Romanow in favour of the budget. If I could simply cite Paul Ramsay, the B.C. finance minister, clearly British Columbians are going to have more money in their wallets. We believe it is crucial to give working families and individuals opportunities.

The question really is how come the NDP across the country gets it and the leader of the NDP in the House does not?

Job CreationOral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Jean Dubé Progressive Conservative Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, on February 7, the Minister of Human Resources Development told the House that over 30,000 Canadians had found work thanks to the transitional jobs fund. This is in contradiction with the statement by the Auditor General of Canada to the effect that he is unable to determine the number of jobs created, because the department's files are in such a terrible state.

Can the minister tell us where these figures come from or did they just come out of thin air?

Job CreationOral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, indeed that number came from an independent review by a reputable third party. The auditor general himself has said jobs were created. There is discussion over how many, but it is clear that these programs have had a very important impact in high unemployment areas across the country.

We recognize that we have to do a better job keeping our data and we will because it is part of our action plan.

RcmpOral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Nova Scotia Supreme Court has ruled that the provincial court has the jurisdiction to hear six labour charges arising out of the tragic drowning of RCMP Constable François Carrière in December 1997.

These charges state that the RCMP failed to train, equip and supervise Carrière during his underwater drug search. Now the RCMP are once again seeking a court order to stop the trial on a jurisdictional and technical basis to avoid answering the merits of the case.

My question is for the solicitor general. This will be his final question in the House. Will he, rather than hiding behind procedural delays to dull the sword of justice, let this matter proceed to trial?

RcmpOral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, this is a tragic situation and I assure my hon. colleague this is not my last answer in the House.

I take this matter very serious. My hon. colleague is also aware that this is before the courts.