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House of Commons Hansard #93 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebec.

Topics

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of National Defence.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I would expect, if there is the kind of condition that the hon. member is talking about, that I would be fully informed of the matter. However, I will ensure that I get the information to the hon. member's question.

AcoaOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Reform Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, ACOA's folly does not end with big business and big government. It has wasted millions all over Atlantic Canada on yacht clubs, golf courses and even for something called the Friends of Hank Snow Society. It has wasted money in Shediac, Shelburne, Summerside, Corner Brook and Cardigan. Suffice it to say, it has wasted money everywhere.

Does this minister not understand that when ACOA spends it is taxpayers who are singing the hurtin' songs?

AcoaOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Gander—Grand Falls Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, it is correct that we did give a grant of $15,000 to the Friends of Hank Snow Society because it is an non-profit organization promoting tourism in Liverpool, Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, you will notice that the Alliance is not criticizing any assistance to orchestras or operas. I want to remind the member that in Atlantic Canada Hank Snow and the Grand Ole Opry have more followers than the grand opera.

AcoaOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Reform Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, let me make it very clear that I am criticizing the puppet show over there. That answer, as Hank would say, has the minister going 90 miles an hour down a dead end street.

He should know that Canadians are a little unhappy. The government has paid $1.5 billion to ACOA over the last seven years since it has been in power. Instead of trying to buy votes, why does this minister not trust Atlantic Canadians and leave that money in their pockets in the first place, instead of trying to fund ACOA?

AcoaOral Question Period

2:30 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 claims that this government has spent money under the ACOA business program and under ACOA assistance on golf courses.

We have had a policy for years that not only are there no loans given for the capital costs of golf courses, neither are there loans or grants. There has been assistance for golf courses under the infrastructure program and under federal-provincial programs. The hon. gentleman has bogeyed again.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government spokesperson for human resources development just told us that the action was justified, since Paris Star had gone bankrupt.

Three minutes ago, Paris Star was still in business. We phoned Economic Development Canada. Everyone is assuring us that Paris Star never went bankrupt.

I have a question for the parliamentary secretary. What does she have to say to justify the $700,000 in grants? I have here with me a document entitled “Letter to Reassure Employees”. That letter, which is dated March 25, 1997, and signed by the president of Paris Star, confirms what we are saying.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Oakville Ontario

Liberal

Bonnie Brown LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I qualified that statement by saying that it was my understanding that the company went bankrupt. Perhaps it was that those workers were laid off. What I do know is that they were unemployed and the other company hired them.

It is always our intention to bring jobs to Quebec. If that party opposite is not interested in that and is interested in overturning logs to look for trouble, then that is its business. We want to put people back to work and 162 people are working because of this company.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, instead of justifying the use of $700,000 like it should, the government is accusing us of not wanting jobs. This is ridiculous.

What does the government have to say to justify the $700,000?

The same letter says “Each employee and supervisor will have the same job at the new location. Your paycheck will be under the name of the new partnership and will be paid as usual with the indication Paris Star. You will remain under the authority of the joint board. Your seniority at Paris Star will be transferred to the new partnership”.

And we are told—

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 Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources Development.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Oakville Ontario

Liberal

Bonnie Brown LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, for days now these people have been dropping allegations about this file. They have been invited on many occasions, as a matter of fact they have been urged to bring forward information to the House. The reading of that letter shows that they have information which they have not shared. They are not serving the House well by hiding information and simply exposing it at Oral Question Period instead of bringing it to the authorities who can investigate.

Export Development CorporationOral Question Period

May 9th, 2000 / 2:35 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Reform Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, it looks like the Liberal government has been hit by the love bug. You know what the love bug is. It is when the Liberals love to give untendered contracts to close friends.

The Export Development Corporation struck an exclusive, untendered, multimillion dollar deal with London Guarantee to offer export insurance to Canadian customers. It turns out that London Guarantee is owned by Power Corp. of Montreal. Need I say more? Furthermore, the EDC's board is dominated by Liberals, including a political organizer, Liberal donor and close friend of the Prime Minister.

Why is it that the Liberals love to give untendered contracts to their friends but hate playing by treasury board guidelines?

Export Development CorporationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I am glad to see that the opposition has finally reacted to the March 29 communique in which EDC announced this strategic alliance with London Guarantee.

EDC stated very clearly that it had established 10 criteria and studied all potential candidates. KPMG provided an independent assessment of the criteria. In EDC's opinion, London Guarantee was by far the best candidate for this strategic alliance.

Export Development CorporationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Reform Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, that is no surprise, considering that it was never put out to tender and other insurance companies wanted to have a try at it.

It is interesting that the spokesperson said “The most critical element in putting together this deal was to find a firm with a compatible culture. That is not something which can be put out to tender”.

What kind of compatible culture is this spokesperson talking about? Is it the culture of “You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours”? Is it the culture of “Give early, give often and the cheque is in the mail”? Or, is it merely the culture that says “Hey friend, have I got a deal for you”?

Why is it that there are so many untendered contracts that go to the friends of the Prime Minister?

Export Development CorporationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, we are talking about a strategic alliance. We are talking about a firm that was selected on the advice of KPMG because it was compatible to do the task. This has been in the air for six weeks. It was in the March 29 press release of the EDC.

I knew that Conrad Black owned a lot of newspapers in this country. I can tell now that he owns his own political party as a mouthpiece.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, really, there are some limits.

The government representative says things are being concealed. Information on social insurance numbers and names comes from access to information, files held by her own department. If they started doing their work, perhaps they would begin to understand things.

The two letters: the president of one company and the president of the other. I want to know who is hiding what here? Who is hiding invoices here? Who is hiding the truth? Why is there this smell of corruption from the other side?

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Oakville Ontario

Liberal

Bonnie Brown LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the fact of the matter is that the party opposite is reading part of a letter to which I am not privy. If in fact they have had that letter over time, they are withholding information that we have been urging them to bring forward.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the letters were made public yesterday. There is always someone from the government that takes them at our press conferences. They should wake up.

Should the Prime Minister not be a bit worried, because this is the same strategy as the company moving from Rosemont to his riding, with the help of intermediaries who are funding the Liberal Party, who found the perfect name for their dubious project: Golf and Grants? Does golf and grants not ring a bell with the Prime Minister? He should know about that; it is close to home.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Oakville Ontario

Liberal

Bonnie Brown LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, once again I would urge the party opposite that if it has any evidence of impropriety it should bring it forward so that we can investigate.

Hepatitis COral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Bob Mills Reform Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, actions speak louder than words. Today the Ontario government announced that it will compensate all innocent victims of hepatitis C, regardless of the date they were infected.

The Liberals arbitrarily chose January 1986 to July 1990 as their dates for compensation, with little compassion or responsibility. These victims contracted the disease through no fault of their own.

When will the minister act responsibly and follow the leadership of Mike Harris?

Hepatitis COral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, for the very reasons given by the hon. member, we provided for all innocent victims of hepatitis C through the blood system. The difference is that we provided it through care, not cash; treatment, not payment. Because that, in the last analysis, is what people need when they are sick: $300 million for treatment and for care.

Hepatitis COral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Bob Mills Reform Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, the health minister says that he cares. We have heard that over and over again, but he should talk to some of the victims of hepatitis C to see how they feel he has treated them.

Two years ago the federal government announced that it would send out compensation. The only people who have been paid to this point are the lawyers. The forms just went out last week to the actual victims.

This minister and his government have no conscience. How can the minister be so callous as to ignore the suffering of those victims?

Hepatitis COral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the government has paid a total of $1.3 billion for the compensation of people infected with hepatitis C.

We have managed to save probably 10 years of litigation by resolving cases before the courts. In relation to those infected outside that period, there is $300 million for the treatment they will need, including $75 million which will be available this year alone. That is not only sensible, that is compassionate.

Sierra LeoneOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Maud Debien Bloc Laval East, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs assured us that everything will be done to help facilitate the departure of the approximately 40 Canadians and Quebecers in Sierra Leone. He then criticized the lack of resources of UN troops on the ground.

Will the minister tell us what position the Government of Canada intends to take at the security council with respect to the action that will be taken to bring about a lasting peace in Sierra Leone, as well as ensure better logistical support for the blue berets in the region?