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House of Commons Hansard #56 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was senate.

Topics

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, let me confirm again that the company advised the local office that it could not find an appropriate location for the undertaking. It was agreed that as long as the company relocated to an area of high unemployment the project would go forward.

My officials continue to review this file.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont, QC

Mr. Speaker, I remind the minister that the company and the promoter had pledged to create jobs in the riding of Rosemont, more specifically at 5800 Saint-Denis Street.

Why then did the minister not at least inform the member that, due to changes that occurred in the process, the grant would no longer go to the riding of Rosemont but to the riding of Saint-Maurice instead?

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, let me say again that I have confirmed the facts to date and the officials continue to look at this file.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont, QC

Mr. Speaker, this sounds like a true coverup operation.

Is this not simply a case of taking grants allocated to the riding of the member who approved the project and transferring them to the Prime Minister's riding?

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, let me say again that the owner of the operation advised the local Human Resources Development Department that the company was unable to find a suitable area to base the undertaking.

The department advised the owner that if the company took the project to an area of high unemployment it would continue to be funded.

Let me say again that the officials continue to look at this file.

Health CareOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

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

Eye surgery in Calgary today costs $1,500, and earlier in the week the health minister basically shrugged that off as if it was no problem.

Will the health minister stand in his place today and give an undertaking that no Canadian will have vital eye surgery denied or delayed simply because they cannot pay the money?

Health CareOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, earlier in the week I reminded the hon. member that it was as a result of the efforts of this government that we ensured that those clinics in Alberta complied with the Canada Health Act, that all medically necessary services are available to Canadians, not just in Calgary but across the country, in accordance with the principles of the Canada Health Act.

That is what medicare is all about and we intend to ensure that those principles are respected in every part of the country.

Health CareOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about putting the principles into practice. Let the record show that this is the first health minister in over 30 years, since the introduction of medicare, who could not answer that question using one word, a simple yes.

When in practice did this government decide to give up on the most fundamental principle of medicare, namely, that a Canadian would receive the health care they need regardless of financial circumstances or where they happen to live?

Health CareOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, in relation to this, as in relation to so many other things, the New Democratic Party is out of touch with reality. They are looking at a government which defends the Canada Health Act and each of its principles, each day, in each province across the country. Through our financial contributions, through the leadership we show in relation to necessary reforms and changes in health care, and by making sure that practices comply with those principles, this government stands four-square behind medicare. In fact, Mr. Speaker, the Liberal—

Health CareOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough.

CidaOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the international cooperation minister told us that her audit, although completed in September, was finally read by her in December.

Although this contradicted her official spokesperson and a January 24 newspaper account, it pointed out more irresponsible largesse and more frivolous spending to the tune of $850 million.

Why has it taken almost five months and questions from the opposition, again, for the minister to come forward and tell us why she has not started to deal with this damning internal audit?

CidaOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Beaches—East York Ontario

Liberal

Maria Minna LiberalMinister for International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member continues to misrepresent the information.

CidaOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

CidaOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I ask the hon. minister to withdraw the word “misrepresent”.

CidaOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Liberal Beaches—East York, ON

I withdraw it, Mr. Speaker.

However, the hon. member continues to use the information in different ways. First, the $850 million is from 1978 to today. He is counting 22 years. It is not the budget for CIDA. CIDA's budget is $60 million. In fact, in 1999 we spent only $43 million, not the full amount.

CidaOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, when asked for a list of companies that were audited, the president of CIDA and her department stated “This becomes an issue of how much you want to go into the public domain”. Shockingly arrogant. Heaven forbid that the Canadian public find out just how their taxpayers' dollars are being spent.

Does the minister agree with the president of CIDA, or will she release the full list of companies that were audited so we can finally get some truth and accountability from this department?

CidaOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Beaches—East York Ontario

Liberal

Maria Minna LiberalMinister for International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Conservative Party was the minister for seven years of CIDA. For seven years he did not make any changes.

With respect, I have already implemented 80% of the recommendations, and if the hon. member wants I will table the list tomorrow.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

February 24th, 2000 / 2:25 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Reform Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, in a desperate attempt to show that he is not stuck in the seventies like the Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance recently told a reporter that governments should not be subsidizing business. Apparently fountains are okay, though.

However, here he is financing the HRD minister's nasty little habit with millions for Dairy Queen, Videotron and a contractor for Wal-Mart, to name but a few of the thousands of examples.

How does the minister square his comments of a week ago with his role as the chief financier of the business subsidy sweepstakes at HRD?

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, Reform's preoccupation is to deliver huge tax cuts to the rich. Unlike Reform, we believe that the role of government is to be there when Canadians need help.

Reform is the party that has called for cuts to equalization, cuts to farm support programs and cuts to health care. This is not the role of government.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Reform Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, if that were true the finance minister would be in favour of tax cuts for the rich. In fact he might even bring his ships home and register them here, and maybe we could collect some taxes on them.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I ask the member to go right to his question.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Reform Medicine Hat, AB

I want to know what the minister's excuse is for writing all those cheques. Is it that Wal-Mart really needs the money now? Or, maybe he thinks that peanut buster parfaits are the hot sector in the new economy.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the moneys that flowed to the projects that included Wal-Mart did not go to Wal-Mart. They went to Metrus Properties.

In this particular project in the city of Cornwall, which I have visited, I can say that 300 men and women will be employed. The problem with that party is that it wants to play politics. It wants to forget about people. I also point out that its kissing cousins, the Government of Ontario, supported this project.