This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #127 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was seniors.

Topics

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the NDP claims it wants an open, transparent approach to government. If NDP members are serious about this they would applaud our advertising which aims to give solid information to Canadians about a great achievement in improving health care in many different areas all across the country, a program supported by NDP provincial governments which obviously reject the hon. member's narrow and closed minded approach to government information.

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, people are prepared to have their government spend money on disseminating information, accurate information, but they are not prepared to have government spend money on propagating political propaganda. There is a difference, even if the government does not recognize it.

It is absolutely clear and transparent, all right, that the Liberal ads are designed to blend right into the federal Liberal election campaign. If there is no violation of the law, there is certainly a violation of trust.

Will the government announce an immediate suspension—

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Deputy Prime Minister.

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I reject the premise and the innuendo of the hon. member's questions. They are both wrong.

Speaking of taxpayers' money, taxpayers seem to be willing to pay for the nonsense the member expresses in her questions by paying her salary. Why does she not withdraw that position?

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The right hon. leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, they had better bring the boss back.

I have a question for the Deputy Prime Minister about a sorry and sordid chapter in Canadian history: the abuse of aboriginal children in residential schools.

The federal government has been the object of legal action brought against the government, which of course has the legal resources to defend itself, but the government has now named as co-defendants several churches which do not have the legal means to defend themselves.

I am not asking a question about the details of litigation. I am asking a question about public policy. What is the public policy reason of the government—

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Deputy Prime Minister.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, from my knowledge of the matter, the premise of the hon. leader's question is not accurate.

I have been told that in at least 70% or more of the cases, the claimants are suing not just the federal government but they are also suing various churches directly.

I must say that the government policy is to attempt to work out mutually satisfactory solutions if possible outside of litigation. For that purpose, I have been asked, on behalf of the government, to initiate a new dialogue directly with churches, which is already underway.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, this is a serious matter. I will certainly check the premise of my question, as I hope the Deputy Prime Minister will check the premise of his answer.

Let me ask him a question about those churches that are a part of this action only because the Government of Canada has joined them to the action. However many those churches specifically are, will the Government of Canada assist those churches in meeting the legal costs that flow from the fact that they have been joined to this action by the public policy decision of the Government of Canada?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, first of all the hon. member should look at the specific circumstances of each case. I do not think it is right for him to say there is a general public policy approach on the particular point he has raised.

With respect to what he asked about costs of litigation, this is one of the areas among many that I am starting to explore with church organizations in the dialogue with them that I have undertaken and which will be continuing as early as next week.

Mamquam Blind ChannelOral Question Period

October 5th, 2000 / 2:30 p.m.

Reform

John Reynolds Reform West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans has announced millions of dollars in contracts for dredging sandbars in Ontario and Atlantic Canada. I have been requesting that the ministry dredge the Mamquam blind channel in Squamish, B.C. for over two years. The previous minister turned me down, and I quote from his letter, which said that dredging “should be funded by the private sector” and he would no longer be providing dredging in commercial channels.

Apart from the impending election, what has changed?

Mamquam Blind ChannelOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Labrador Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Lawrence O'Brien LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I will certainly take the information and the question under advisement. We will report to the hon. member at a future date.

Mamquam Blind ChannelOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

John Reynolds Reform West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, the people of British Columbia have been waiting for over two years to have this very unsafe channel dredged but were told there was no more money for dredging from the government and that it has to be done by the private sector.

What is the difference between an unsafe harbour in British Columbia and an unsafe one in Ontario and Atlantic Canada?

Mamquam Blind ChannelOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Labrador Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Lawrence O'Brien LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, safety of all harbours and all ports is a very fundamental and important issue. I can say that the fundamental issue is safety. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans will look at all aspects and we will report to the member at a later date.

ShipbuildingOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Antoine Dubé Bloc Lévis, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government is up to its ears in the greatest of contradictions.

This morning, the Liberal MPs passed my bill on shipbuilding clause by clause. On the opposite side of the coin, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance objected with every ounce of his energy to that bill being passed on third reading.

Can the Minister of Industry tell us on whose behalf the representative of the Minister of Finance is objecting to the prompt passage of my bill?

ShipbuildingOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, it is somewhat debatable whether this matter has anything to do with government policy.

All I can say is that the procedure for handling a private member's bill in parliamentary committee, the stage for the report to the House of Commons, the stage for adoption of the report, and then the third reading stage, are all well known and are all covered by the standing orders of the House of Commons.

ShipbuildingOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Antoine Dubé Bloc Lévis, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have sufficient experience in this House, after seven years, to know that if the government wanted to get this bill through quickly, it had only to use the proposal by my colleague from Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot this morning, but it refused.

Why does it refuse to pass this bill promptly when it is so important and so urgent for shipbuilding in Canada?

ShipbuildingOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, there are scores of private members' bills, all of them on the order paper, dealing with such matters as increased benefits for firefighters, electoral democracy and the criminal code, just to mention the debates scheduled for the next few days. Why should the hon. member's bill bypass all the other members' bills? That is the question.

Regional Development AgenciesOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Charlie Penson Reform Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, according to the public accounts, Canadian taxpayers are the big losers again in this year's $80 million write-off of bad loans by the government's regional development agencies.

It does not matter how it is dressed up, whether it be grants, loans or repayable contributions, the bottom line is that these programs waste millions of dollars every year.

With this kind of record, why is the government still in the business of handing out Canadians' hard-earned tax dollars in corporate welfare and other vote buying schemes?

Regional Development AgenciesOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Gander—Grand Falls Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

George Baker LiberalMinister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Alliance has already announced that it wants to do away with all assistance to the high unemployment areas of Canada, to end all of the regional development agencies. To Alliance members it is a case of survival of the fittest here in Canada. This is one big game of Survivor with them. The next thing they will be announcing Richard Hatch as their policy director.

Regional Development AgenciesOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Charlie Penson Reform Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, no matter what the minister says, he cannot hide the fact that over $80 million of taxpayers' money was wasted which could have gone to purchase dozens of MRIs to help ease Canada's health care crisis.

The fact is, regional development agencies are chronic losers and the minister knows it. Since 1995 the government has written off over $280 million in bad loans. Now it wants to expand this program with money from the discredited TJF.

Given this record of mismanagement, why does the minister not scrap this program altogether?

Regional Development AgenciesOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Gander—Grand Falls Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

George Baker LiberalMinister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is correct in that a certain amount of these write-offs, these grants, $4 million, $5 million had to be written off, not forgiven but written off by the public accounts the other day. We agree with them. That is why we changed the system to loans and no more grants.

In fact, over half of the grants that the hon. member is talking about were given while his bosom pals, the Tories, were in power.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont, QC

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the transfer of the Rosemont grant to Saint-Maurice, the government is still refusing to answer our questions, using the fact that the matter is under police investigation as an excuse.

Will the President of the Treasury Board tell us why the amount of the $165,984 grant appears in the public accounts of 2000 under the heading “Losses of public money due to an offence or illegal act”, when the Minister of Human Resources Development said yesterday that the police investigation was ongoing?

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Laval West Québec

Liberal

Raymonde Folco LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I would suggest that the opposition members should stop playing games. They should know that the crown reimburses—