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House of Commons Hansard #83 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-23.

Topics

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

2:30 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, I guess I will have to repeat over and over. First, there is no boondoggle in human resources and there is no boondoggle in the revenue agency.

Second, if they would take the time and opportunity to properly read the auditor general's report, they would see that back in 1994 a decision was taken to fix the 18 month delay in the production of SRTED claims. At that time we received over 16,000 demands in four months.

The auditor general said that we were stuck with a political and administrative nightmare, and we—

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Medicine Hat.

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Reform Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, that nightmare has become the taxpayers' nightmare under this government. Obviously HRDC was not an isolated incident. It was the template for the massive abuse of taxpayer dollars by the government.

Two billion dollars were mismanaged by finance and revenue. How many more of these disasters do we have to discover before the government figures out, in the words of the finance minister, that government cannot pick winners but losers sure can pick government?

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

2:30 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, I believe I have said it and I will keep saying it. The SRTED program we have in Canada is one of the best tools in the world to help economic development in the centres and regions across the country. I stand by that.

Second, we have been facing an administrative nightmare. When I hear what they say on the other side of the House, I know that we would not have such a tool. It would be a political nightmare to have the Reform Party in government.

Young OffendersOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Bloc Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, stakeholders from all regions of Quebec came to condemn Bill C-3, to repeal the Young Offenders Act.

It is thanks to these people if Quebec has the lowest juvenile crime rate in North America. Following their representations, the Minister of Justice moved amendments to Bill C-3 last Tuesday.

Are we to understand that these amendments are the minister's response to the opposition expressed by these stakeholders before the committee?

Young OffendersOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we believe that our new youth justice legislation provides a flexible framework within which jurisdictions can implement the legislation in light of their local needs and preferences.

As the hon. member knows, I have asked him to identify any existing policies or programs in Quebec that could not continue under the new legislation. So far I have not heard from him.

Young OffendersOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Bloc Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, does the minister realize that her amendments do not at all meet the concerns raised by Quebec stakeholders—and there is a clear consensus on this issue—and that the only way to meet these concerns is to allow Quebec, by an amendment to Bill C-3, to continue to implement the Young Offenders Act in the same fashion?

This is what Quebec has been asking for a long time.

Young OffendersOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated, Bill C-3 is a flexible piece of legislation that will permit Quebec to continue to do those things in the area of youth justice it is presently doing.

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Mike Scott Reform Skeena, BC

Mr. Speaker, the auditor general reporting on the state of aboriginal education says:

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada cannot demonstrate that it meets its stated objectives to assist aboriginal students living on reserves in achieving their educational needs. The situation is complex and urgent. At the current rate of progress, it will take over 20 years for aboriginal children to reach parity in academic achievement with other Canadians.

My question is for the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. How can he look aboriginal children in the eye in the face of such failure?

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Kenora—Rainy River Ontario

Liberal

Bob Nault LiberalMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, I agree with the auditor general that in fact we are going too slow. That is why in 1998 we brought in reforms called Gathering Strength to reform the education system.

In the next few years when we bring all these changes into the House I hope that member votes for them, for a change.

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Mike Scott Reform Skeena, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister and the government are responsible for the education of aboriginal children. They have spent over $1 billion a year and yet this is the scathing indictment we have after that kind of expenditure.

In 20 years the government has had 22 separate studies done yet there is no progress made. Why should we believe that Gathering Strength will make any difference? The auditor general has said so himself. How can the minister possibly defend this kind of shameful record?

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Kenora—Rainy River Ontario

Liberal

Bob Nault LiberalMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, what the auditor general says is that in fact the most appropriate way to achieve our goals of having the kind of education we want for first nations students is to give them control in their own communities. I hope the member will vote for that when we bring it into the House.

Genetically Modified OrganismsOral Question Period

April 11th, 2000 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Hélène Alarie Bloc Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, whatever the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food has to say about it, we learned yesterday that labelling of GMOs will now be mandatory in Europe.

These regulations will likely have significant consequences exports of our agri-food products.

Can the minister tell us what he intends to do to avoid negative consequences for our exports?

Genetically Modified OrganismsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, there has been no ill effect on our exports of individual products into the European Union.

As I reminded the House and the member yesterday, even though the European Union has put some legislation in place it has become very clear to it that it does not have a criterion or a method of testing the level of content of anything that is genetically modified. It has put legislation in place which is not meaningful, which is not credible and which is not enforceable.

That is not the way we are going to go. We are going to meet that challenge before we—

Genetically Modified OrganismsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Louis-Hébert.

Genetically Modified OrganismsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Hélène Alarie Bloc Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, I think the minister is badly informed.

Since we already have the technology in Canada to detect GMOs, what is he waiting for to make labelling mandatory?

Genetically Modified OrganismsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the European Union has admitted and demonstrated that the level of content of genetically modified products or commodities within a product is not detectable. It does not have a method of doing that, and that is why it is not able to enforce its legislation.

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Leon Benoit Reform Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, the auditor general in his report today slams the government for bungling the management of the immigration department. This mismanagement has opened the doors to organized crime which threatens the security of our nation.

This report is almost a carbon copy of the 1990 report. The minister and her government have had seven years to fix the problem. Why should Canadians believe that she will fix the problem now?

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the health and security of Canadians is my number one priority.

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. We will hear the minister.

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Elinor Caplan Liberal Thornhill, ON

We are aware of the AG's concerns. I want the hon. member and all members in the House to know that we are moving forward with very significant administrative changes.

We received additional funding in the recent budget and the legislative package. I am hoping that the member and his party will support Bill C-31 so we can implement the legislative changes that the auditor general recommends.

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Leon Benoit Reform Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, the auditor general says that more money will not fix the problem and new legislation will not fix the problem. Better management, better training and better auditing will.

The common theme here is the mismanagement of the government. Her government has had seven years to fix the mess from the last auditor general's report and it has not. How can we believe that she will fix the problem now?

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the auditor general says that the immigration department needs additional resources. We have received those resources in the existing budget. Those resources will be used to update the technology that we need and for additional controls and additional training that we need.

The new legislation I just tabled will also go a long way to responding to the concerns of the auditor general, and I hope the member and his party will support that legislation.