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 #68 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was hrdc.

Topics

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, talk about trickle down. When that money goes to Liberals and they give money back to party, that is what is frustrating.

The HRDC minister has been picking pockets of unemployment as her alibi for long enough. Today Mel Cappe blew the lid off her excuses. People say that if we ask the guilty the same question long enough and often enough, the truth is bound to slip out.

We would like to know today who is telling the truth.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, brochures describing the transitional jobs fund were available to all members of parliament for a good long period of time. Any member of parliament who was worth his or her salt went to the HRDC office and talked about these programs to see if they applied.

In the undertakings of this program we were intending and actually did create opportunities, along with partners in communities right across the country, for Canadians who otherwise would not have had opportunities to work.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister is not answering a very specific and a pretty simple question.

Mel Cappe said today in committee that there were no explicit guidelines. Now the minister turns around and says that they had all kinds of flexibility with guidelines. There are two different stories here and Canadians deserve an answer. Who should we believe?

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, both the clerk and myself talked about the issue and the use of flexibility in this program to ensure that Canadians who needed the opportunities provided by this government got them.

What is most interesting in all this is that when we look at the investments of transitional jobs fund money we find the majority of them in the ridings of opposition members.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources Development told us that, as regards the Placeteco case, the original firm now exists as two companies, namely Technipaint and Placeteco. What she did not say is that Technipaint had to resubmit a grant application, while Placeteco did not do so, in violation of the department's administrative rules.

Could the minister explain why Technipaint had to resubmit an application, but not Placeteco?

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, what is clear is that we have two companies that continue to employ citizens in areas of high unemployment. In the case of both Techni-Paint and Placeteco, there are 170 people who are working today thanks to our partnership with headquarters, the Government of Quebec.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, with the grant, there is one job less at Placeteco, and the National Bank of Canada was repaid the $1 million owed to it by Placeteco.

Could it be that if Placeteco did not resubmit a grant application it is because Placeteco's Claude Gauthier, who benefited from a $1.2 million grant from Human Resources Development Canada, is the same Claude Gauthier who bought for $500,000 lots that the Prime Minister had paid one dollar for?

Is there not some kind of hocus-pocus between the Prime Minister's friends and the Department of Human Resources Development?

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, for the umpteenth time, I will clarify for the House that we have received invoices from the company which justified its investments in salaries and overheads. These were consistent with the transitional jobs fund program.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, still in connection with the Placeteco matter, Gilles Champagne was the Human Resources Development Canada trustee responsible for protecting the $1.2 million grant. He was, however, at the same time the lawyer of Claude Gauthier, the man who nevertheless benefited from the $1.2 million grant.

Are we to understand that, if Gilles Champagne was able, in total impunity, to act as both trustee for HRDC and counsel for Claude Gauthier, it is because he is such a crony of the Prime Minister and haunted the halls of the Liberal convention all last weekend?

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Once again, I would ask hon. members to always stick with administrative matters which are governmental responsibility and not those of a political party.

If the minister wishes to respond, she may.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, let me reiterate the facts. In the early going there were issues and problems at Placeteco. There were 64 people employed there. Over the course of time there were upwards of 135 people working for this company. Today there are 78 people working there and there are prospects for increased opportunity.

Is the hon. member saying that he would have had us take our money away and have this opportunity taken away from those employees?

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister also promised 174 jobs at Placeteco.

In the case of the Canadian Institute of Tourism and Electronic Commerce, the Prime Minister was very quick to call for an RCMP investigation, and even boasted of this in the House. In the case of Placeteco, however, despite some worrisome facts, there is still no investigation under way, several weeks after those facts have come to light, not even an administrative inquiry.

Why such a difference in the way the two files are being handled?

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, we have looked at these files. I have made reference to the fact that there were incorrect administrative application processes applied. I have made that public in this House on a number of occasions.

Fundamentally, the important point is that we have 78 people working at Placeteco and 170 people working in the two companies.

I remind the hon. member that the Government of Quebec supported us in this undertaking. From our point of view, having people working is the right thing to do.

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has given the green light to the health care privatization bill, yet Canadians have grave concerns. They have serious questions. For example, will bill 11 either directly or indirectly erode public medicare? Will bill 11 create a parallel system of private health care? Canadians want answers. When will the government respond?

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the first thing is that we should have a law. The bill is before the assembly in Alberta and before a committee and is confronted with amendments. The members of the opposition in the Liberal Party are strongly opposing the bill. I presume that the members of the NDP are also opposing it.

We will wait for the result. I do not know what the result will be, but over the weekend I had my party's full support when I said that the five conditions of medicare would always be respected by everyone.

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, while the government dithers, Klein privatizes. First we had the finance minister who managed a measly two cents in health transfers for every dollar in tax cuts. Now we have the health minister who is shadow boxing with Ralph Klein. These are supposed to be the two flowers of the federal cabinet.

Why will the health minister not take a clear stand against Klein's privatization?

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Health was in Calgary and he could not have been clearer when he was there. I will be in Calgary on Thursday and I will repeat the same thing: that the five conditions will be respected by every government. On Friday I will meet with Mr. Klein in Edmonton and I will repeat that very clearly.

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

March 21st, 2000 / 2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, for weeks now Canadians have been paying record high prices at the gas pumps. In response, the government has now announced it will spend $750,000 to study fuel prices.

Can the industry minister tell us just how spending over a half a million dollars of taxpayer money will in any way relieve the escalating financial burden on Canadian motorists and truckers?

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, 47 members of parliament from this caucus have worked very hard on understanding what was happening in the gas market and recommended to us that we perform such a study. In taking their recommendation, we have gone to a very respected research organization, an independent research body, once and for all, for the first time in many years, to do a thorough study of the market, the relationship between prices, supply, demand and the different players in the gasoline retailing business.

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, if those members have done their work and made recommendations, why do we need a further study? It is a waste of taxpayer dollars to do yet another study on gasoline prices. It is more of an attempt by the Liberals to appear to be doing something when they are actually doing nothing.

Before the finance minister is sent into exile in the foreign affairs department, will he take some concrete steps to bring about some reduced excise gasoline tax for Canadians?

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, while the Canadian government obviously does impose taxes on gasoline, the majority of those taxes are imposed by the provincial government. Before anybody looks at any taxes, both levels of government would obviously have to meet.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Reform Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, today another credibility gap opened up involving the human resources minister. Weeks ago she justified grants to ridings that did not qualify by saying that they had pockets of unemployment, but she had a hard time explaining what a pocket was. She also could not explain why other MPs were unaware of this deviation from the rules.

Just recently an undated document appeared from her department which for the first time mentioned this concept of pockets. Today, however, Mel Cappe said that there were no such guidelines. I think the minister has some explaining to do.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, again the clerk talked about the aspect of flexibility in the transitional jobs fund. As I have said a number of times in the House, it is precisely that flexibility that has allowed for investments in ridings of that party.

The hon. member talks about credibility. On the issue of credibility, why has she not moved to correct the erroneous information presented by members of that party, like the fact that they said there was $3 billion missing and there is not; like the fact that they reduced it to $1 billion, and it is not; like the fact that they talk in the House about the fact that they do not want grants and contributions but back in their own ridings they support individual—

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. The hon. member for Calgary—Nose Hill.