House of Commons Hansard #207 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was indian.


Canada Pension PlanGovernment Orders

6:05 p.m.


Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, you have no idea what an honour and a pleasure you are giving me in allowing me to speak to Bill C-58, an act mainly consolidating the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

At the outset, I am announcing that the Bloc Quebecois will support this government's initiative by wishing it as much success and joy as has resulted from the creation of the Caisse de dépôt et placement 36 years ago.

Contrary to what our colleague from the Canadian Alliance has done, we are going to provide a totally different picture of the Caisse de dépôt et de placement experience, to enlighten our Canadian friends on what they could do with this major instrument, the Pension Plan Investment Board, the positive things they could do, as opposed to the negative things, as our Alliance colleague has mentioned.

I remind the House that for Quebecers the Caisse de dépôt et placement is the main spearhead of their financial autonomy. With the nationalization of electricity, the creation of the Régime des rentes and the Caisse de dépôt et placement, to manage Quebecers' savings, is probably the cornerstone of what we, Quebecers, have become financially and economically in the last 36 years. It is our cherished child, so to speak.

Our colleague having painted a dark and negative picture, we can only disagree and be somewhat upset about the way some people feel about the Caisse de dépôt et placement.

Like him, this is how many Canadians keep on depicting the Caisse de dépôt et placement year after year, because it has become a major force on Canada's financial scene. This scares many people, including the big financiers on Bay Street, who have done everything they could to try to weaken the Caisse de dépôt et placement since it was first created. This is something that is a bit visceral with Canadians and Canadian financiers, especially those in Toronto.

When they see how much Quebecers have saved over 36 years through the Caisse de dépôt et placement, how much wealth its decisions have created during that period, and what a formidable financial force the caisse, which started out with capital of $1 million in 1966, has become, they are upset. The caisse is so formidable that it has become the 12th largest manager of general funds in North America and the largest in Canada. It ranks eighth in real estate holdings.

Naturally, this does not please everyone, and it has not pleased everyone in the past. I will come back to this, however. I will talk about the attempt in 1982 and the aborted attempt in 1983 to weaken the caisse.

I will begin by painting a positive picture of the past 36 years.

The Caisse de dépôt et placement was created in the wake of the quiet revolution by one of the founders of this revolution, the main one, because he was then Premier of Quebec, Jean Lesage. In 1964, at the Quebec City conference, Mr. Lesage had a bit of a creative temper tantrum in reaction to Mr. Pearson's desire to impose a Canada-wide pension plan run by one manager, which of course was the federal government at the time.

Quebec had already given thought to setting up a typically Quebec pension plan with just one caisse to manage these considerable savings.

I find it hard not to mention all those who laboured, both politically and technically, in the 1960s to build the Caisse de dépôt et placement. One of those involved was the late Michel Bélanger, who had been president of the Montreal Stock Exchange and a member of the Bélanger-Campeau commission. At the time, he was a senior government official and one of those who had come up with the idea of the pension plan and the Caisse de dépôt et placement. There were also Claude Castonguay, whom everyone knows, André Marier, Marcel Bélanger, Roland Giroux and Roland Parenteau.

There was also the first president, Claude Prieur, who started off in a little office in downtown Montreal, with very few means when he began as president of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.

I would like to quote Mario Pelletier, who wrote an excellent history of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, because it really has been excellent, contrary to the bleak picture our colleague from the Canadian Alliance painted earlier.

Mr. Pelletier wrote that, in January 1965, Claude Prieur, the first president of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec—a manager with the powerful Sun Life company until then—he was a pretty sharp tack, as they say—moved in all alone to the decrepit office on McGill street.

During the two months that went by before any income came in from the Régie des rentes, he was forced to take out loans in his name, with no help whatsoever from the government, in order to set up what would later become the Caisse de dépôt, which today has some—hang on to your hats now—$133 billion in capital.

Today the Caisse de dépôt does $10 billion worth of transactions every working day. That was last year's average. Listen carefully, because this is important to highlight: $10 billion worth of transactions each working day.

Last year alone, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec carried out $2 trillion in transactions, or three times Canada's GDP. I am talking about the word billions in French, I mean trillions, there are thousands, millions, billions and then trillions. There were $2.5 trillion worth of transactions last year, three times Canada's GDP, or more than $10 billion every working day.

We are talking about the 12th largest manager of global assets in North America; it is the eighth largest in terms of real estate holdings. This is no small institution.

There is also another person who was involved in creating the caisse, whom I neglected to mention on purpose. It was Jacques Parizeau. He worked very hard to make the Caisse de dépôt what it is today, an institution that has stood the test of time, with a few updates, mostly since the early 1990s, with respect to the Caisse de dépôt's international activities.

Mr. Parizeau was known at the time as a brilliant economist, recognized as such, a senior government official, a great builder of the Quebec state, and he would become, some years later, Quebec's finance minister, then premier.

Mr. Parizeau did not only contribute to make the Caisse de dépôt what it is today, being one of its main creators. Indeed, he has played a key role in everything that has to do with the modernization and dynamism of Quebec's financial sector.

Mr. Parizeau drew from the experience he gained with the Caisse de dépôt et placements and with the Quebec pension plan, which allowed him later on, when he was appointed to such strategic positions as finance minister, to develop modern tools to move Quebec forward, to move the Quebec business sector forward, a business sector which, in the late 1960s, did not resemble at all what it is today.

Among other things, the creation of the Caisse de dépôt et placements marked the start of a move toward a greater participation of small investors in Quebec's economic and financial evolution. This goes back to the Parizeau commission on guaranteed investment funds, which means guaranteed deposits.

Mr. Parizeau initiated this commission, which created the Régie de l'assurance-dépôts, allowing small investors to be sure to keep a portion of their deposits in financial institutions. Their investments were guaranteed.

From 1967 on, it has been a big help to small investors in Quebec, enabling them to take part in the economic and financial evolution of the country they love and cherish.

Mr. Parizeau was the one behind the stock savings plan created in 1979. Once again, this was an effort to get everyone involved in the economic and financial progress of Quebec. It was also the basis of the modernization of the tools for monitoring and properly administering our securities, such as the Commission des valeurs mobilières du Québec and the Inspecteur général des institutions financières.

Building on this experience with the Caisse de Dépôt et de placement et de la construction and the ensuing construction, and particularly on the original stakeholders behind its creation and the addition of fundamental and democratic tools to democratize the financial sector, a Caisse de dépôt et placement was created. It has evolved over the years and contributed to the creation of various companies that have grown into major undertakings, such as Alcan, Hydro-Quebec and Bombardier.

In this connection, let us keep in mind that the first government involvement was via the Caisse de dépôt et placement, with investments in Bombardier, Domtar, Vidéotron, Noranda and Canam Manac. In 1985, the decision was made to focus more on small and medium businesses that were creators of employment in the regions. Investments were made in 63 companies, with an average performance of 30%. This is nothing to sneeze at, although my Canadian Alliance colleague looked down his nose somewhat at these figures, but for startup companies this is an extraordinary performance.

So much so, that the Caisse de dépôt et placement became an incredible agent of the economic and financial development of Quebec and it was ranked tops among fund managers in Canada in the 2000 Reuters Survey, which Tempest carried out by contacting—not just anyone—but TSE 300 companies.

In the year 2000, the biggest companies in Canada considered—and this still holds true today—the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, a source of pride and a vital tool that has played a cutting edge role in the financial emancipation of the people of Quebec since the late 1960s, to be the best money manager in Canada. Let my colleague, who has nothing but disdain for its accomplishments and those of the economic stakeholders of Quebec, put that in his pipe and smoke it.

Since I have ten minutes left, I shall speak on a situation that occurred in 1982, although some may feel this is ancient history. However, it still has echoes today, particularly since 1993.

I sit on the Standing Committee on Finance, and we meet business people from across Canada. As I mentioned earlier, some people show contempt toward the Caisse de dépôt et placement. The Canadian Alliance member is one of many. We met Bay Street financiers who hate the Caisse de dépôt et placement, even though it makes a positive contribution to the Canadian economy and has become a key player in a number of so-called Canadian businesses that make Liberal, Conservative, Canadian Alliance or New Democrat members so proud.

Still, some continue to despise the Caisse de dépôt et placement and to say that it is bad, that it is rotten. Because the Caisse de dépôt comes from Quebec and has become Canada's largest manager, there is reluctance on the part of Canada to recognize achievements by Quebecers. This is because until this financial emancipation occurred, it used to be said that Quebecers were not cut out for business, economic and financial matters. But now that we have created something as fundamental as the Caisse de dépôt et placement, they are a little less blunt about Quebecers.

In 1982, the federal government decided to table a bill, Bill S-31. We still remember that. Bill S-31, introduced by André Ouellet, the then Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs, prohibited the Caisse de dépôt et placement from holding more than 10% of the stocks of major businesses in Canada. At the time, the Caisse de dépôt was considering investing in Canadian Pacific.

This generated incredible controversy. Owned by Quebec interests and built on Quebecers' savings, the Caisse de dépôt et placement would become CP's main shareholder. This created an incredible uproar in Canada, so much so that business people from English Canada decided to wage a war against the Caisse de dépôt et placement.

They decided to put unbelievable pressure on the federal government to get it to introduce Bill S-31, which provided that the Caisse de dépôt et placement could not hold more than 10% of the shares of companies involved in interprovincial transport.

This did not target Canadian Pacific alone—it was clear that the railways affected all of Canadian business. Do you want to know why? Because all Canadian businesses at the time had a stake in transportation. If it was not air transportation, it was shipping, in the oil industry, for example, it was in pipelines, it was in the railways, which was a secondary activity, but which was added on to manufacturing and also the service sector.

For the year that the saga of Bill S-31 dragged on before the government decided to withdraw the bill due to pressure from Quebec business, during that whole year, from 1982-82, we Quebecers lost incredible opportunities to invest the significant sum at the time of approximately $17 billion that the Caisse de dépôt et placement held in capital.

During that year, we lost the ability to benefit from the increase in value of Canadian Pacific shares. In 1982, CP shares were worth $30, in 1983 they were worth $50; we could have made a $20 profit per share if the Caisse de dépôt et placement had been allowed to own more than 10% of CP shares. The caisse lost some $15-$20 million dollars, with CP alone. We have to assess all opportunities that were lost, involving the purchase of shares of other Canadian businesses, given the provisions of Bill S-31 that were retroactive.

Before this bill, we were told it would be retroactive. If the Caisse de dépôt et placement had invested more than 10% in the specified businesses, it would have had to get rid of the difference. Selling shares when you are being forced to do so means you end up selling off shares at a loss.

This is what they were going to force the Caisse de dépôt et placement into, as it was getting too powerful for the liking of English Canadians. The president of the Toronto Stock Exchange at the time, Mr. Bunting, launched an incredible offensive to bring down the Caisse de dépôt. All of the big Canadian corporations like Bell Canada, Stelco, The Bank of Montreal, the Royal Bank, Dominion Textile, Nova, Inco and Hiram Walker fought against the Caisse de dépôt et placement to keep us from moving forward.

Totalling the losses, for example for 1982-83, we lost $100 million in opportunities. This is a plausible figure because for CP alone it is around $15 million or $20 million. Given the average yield of the Caisse de dépôt et placement, between 1982 and 2001, this means over $1 billion of potential capital lost to Quebecers.

Thus today the value of the Caisse de dépôt et placement is not $134 billion but $133 billion. Quebecers would have had $1 billion more to invest and to build up their savings with.

Because of the Bill S-31 episode, we have $1 billion less, and that is a real drag. Today, here we are faced with your bill, which creates and consolidates the activities of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. We are here to support it, despite our memories of Bill S-31. We said to ourselves “Let us put that in the past for now”.

People take much delight in recalling this episode. But we are supporting you in this wonderful plan to create another sort of caisse de dépôt et placement in Canada, using the money in the pension plans of Canadians outside Quebec, because it will open up opportunities and thus democratize the economic growth of Canada.

I wish you—as do all my colleagues—as much success with the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board as we have had with the caisse de dépôt et placement.

But I hope that nobody puts obstacles in the way of this wonderful initiative such as we have had to face since 1982. And there were all sorts of subsequent criticisms of the caisse de dépôt et placement. There were all the smear campaigns I have seen since I became finance and economic critic. It is unbelievable.

When one visits Toronto and talks about the caisse, it is as though one had mentioned the plague. People are afraid of it. We are flattered by this reaction. But, at the same time, it would have been nice if, in the past, you had been as enthusiastic about the growth of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec as we are now about the creation and consolidation of the activities of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

It would also be nicer if we did not have such outrageous comments from our colleagues about the experience of the past 36 years, the marvellous experience of the caisse de dépôt et placement. I will have an opportunity to come back to this later, because you are indicating to me that my allotted time is up. I will have about 20 minutes when we resume debate on this bill and I will have more to say about this fabulous experience.

Canada Pension PlanGovernment Orders

6:25 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

In fact, the hon. member for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot will have 18 minutes when we resume debate on this bill.

I am ready to rule on the amendment tabled earlier. The hon. member for Lanark--Carleton has proposed a reasoned amendment to the motion for second reading of Bill C-58 concerning the Canada pension plan. The amendment argues that the House cannot evaluate the impact of these changes without a report from the chief actuary as provided by section 115(2) of the Canada Pension Plan Act.

The House will recall that this report was also the subject of a question of privilege last week. The Chair wishes to inform the House that the chief actuary has today tabled the 19th actuarial report on the CPP in accordance with the terms of the act. Accordingly the issue raised by the amendment having been resolved, I must conclude that the amendment is not in order.

Canada Pension PlanGovernment Orders

6:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Scott Reid Canadian Alliance Lanark—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. My amendment points out that there is an absence of information as to how this bill will affect the Canada pension plan.

I am unaware, because I have not seen the 19th report and neither has anyone in the House, whether or not that is in fact addressed in the 19th actuarial report of the chief actuary. In fact these reports tend to be structured so as not to include that kind of information. Until we have confirmation on this sort of thing, I fail to see how we can go forward. I believe that the substance of my amendment in fact is very much valid.

Canada Pension PlanGovernment Orders

6:30 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

The hon. member rose on debate much more than anything else. As I have said, his amendment is not in order. The report has been tabled and if the member wishes to do so, he can come to the table and obtain a copy.

A motion to adjourn the House under Standing Order 38 deemed to have been moved.

Canada Pension PlanAdjournment Proceedings

6:30 p.m.


Dick Proctor NDP Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, farm organizations and provincial governments have been pleading with Ottawa to provide compensation to cover off the huge U.S. farm bill which provides massive subsidies that will drive down international prices for grains, oilseeds and soon for pulse crops. These subsidies have the potential to drive thousands of our farmers out of business.

Our caucus has been calling on the agriculture minister and the Prime Minister for a trade injury compensation package worth $1.3 billion. The constant answer we receive back is that Canada's pockets are not as deep as those in Washington or Brussels. That statement was true at one point. In 1994-95 when we did have a significant deficit, our farmers were asked to make a sacrifice and indeed they did. That deficit has long since been eliminated and Canada has been rolling up some reasonably healthy surpluses in past years. However our farmers are not being assisted as a result.

It is also irrefutable that the United States federal government is providing full support for its farmers. It does not ask Montana or North Dakota to provide assistance.

When we make the point that we need a trade injury package, more often than not the agriculture minister tells us that he does not intend to pick on any particular province, but inevitably he then turns around and picks on my home province of Saskatchewan. I simply want to put a couple of facts on the record this evening.

We have gone from 100% federal support to a 60:40 arrangement and it is based on cash receipts. This means that relatively successful sectors like supply management which exists on dairy products, poultry and the like, which some provinces like Ontario and Quebec have a lot of, also have most of the cash receipts. Saskatchewan ends up with most of the risk. That is a result of the Fredericton formula.

The province of Saskatchewan takes the position that it should flow on the basis of public policy need. If it is to address risk, it should go where the risk is. The federal government has refused to take a public policy position and is prepared in the end simply to live with the position of the majority of the provinces.

Hypothetically let me say that a $1 billion aid package was to be announced this week with $400 million of that payable by the provinces. It would cost Saskatchewan $88 million, the same as it would cost Ontario except that Ontario has 12 or 13 times the population. The per capita injury to Saskatchewan would be much greater. It is simply not fair.

When the federal government insists on 60:40 cost sharing, it is asking some provincial taxpayers who already face significant demands for health care, education, roads, policing and social services to pay a significantly disproportionate cost. This is especially true in provinces with a large agricultural industry relative to its tax base. The federal government owes it to provincial taxpayers to make sure its policies are fair. The policy of 60:40 cost sharing is simply not fair, particularly when it is based on cash receipts.

The following figures are drawn from the federal department of agriculture. The federal government provides $100 per capita. Saskatchewan, because of 47% of the arable land and one million population, provides $430 per capita, four times the federal level and over three times the average of all provinces.

These are the facts about agricultural spending. I simply wanted to put them on the record.

Canada Pension PlanAdjournment Proceedings

6:35 p.m.

Mississauga South Ontario


Paul Szabo LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food I would like to respond to the member's points. I thank him for raising this important issue.

Through the rural water development program, referred to as RWDP, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada provides technical and financial assistance to prairie producers for planning and development of dependable secure water sources for agriculture and the protection of water resource.

The rural water development program's annual budget for financial assistance is $5.5 million of which $2.2 million or about 40% is allocated to the province of Saskatchewan.

In addition to the financial assistance, PFRA staff provide technical assistance and information pertaining to water source development and water supply protection to rural residents estimated at some $6.5 million per year prairie wide.

While the rural water development program is not an emergency drought assistance program, it does reduce the risk of water shortages in the future through the planning and development of secure water supplies.

The annual application deadline for this program is April 1. Applications received prior to the deadline date were reviewed and rated with funding priority given to those projects which best meet the program objectives.

Program funds are fully committed for the 2002-03 year. However projects that do not receive financial assistance may still be eligible for technical assistance.

In addition to the financial assistance provided through the RWDP, on December 7, 2001, the minister announced the $2.5 million Canada-Saskatchewan livestock farm water program, a federal-provincial cost shared initiative to provide financial assistance to producers for the development for water supplies for livestock.

The demand for the Canada-Saskatchewan livestock farm water program exceeded expectations and the program was over subscribed by $1.1 million. Rather than turn away applicants who were on time with good projects, AAFC agreed to provide an additional $1.1 million to cover the entire program shortfall.

In conclusion, the completion date for all projects developed under this program was extended to June 28 to ensure that all approved projects will be constructed. To account for the shortage of contractors in Saskatchewan, the project completion date will again be extended to September 30, 2002.

Canada Pension PlanAdjournment Proceedings

6:35 p.m.


Dick Proctor NDP Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, a cost sharing formula that does not recognize provincial fiscal capacity is simply unfair to the provincial taxpayers.

Because of the large agricultural sector in Saskatchewan it currently provides $430 per capita, over three times the average of other provinces. The federal government owes it to provincial taxpayers across the country to make sure that its policies are fair,and 60:40 cost sharing based on cash receipts is simply not that.

The unfairness of 60:40 cost sharing can also be clearly demonstrated by looking at the fiscal implications of each $100 million paid to Saskatchewan farmers for agriculture programming. The federal per capita cost is $2 but the provincial capital cost is $40, 20 times as much. How is this fair to Saskatchewan? It simply is not.

Canada Pension PlanAdjournment Proceedings

6:40 p.m.


Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, in 2001-02 and 2002-03 the department will have spent over $6 million in direct financial assistance to Saskatchewan producers for the development of over $20 million worth of water projects. It also provides almost $5 million worth of technical assistance to help Saskatchewan residents find solutions to their water problems.

The tax deferral program is a statutory response to serious drought conditions. It allows livestock producers to defer paying income tax on revenue from breeding stock sold as a result of the drought, increasing their cash reserve to buy back their herd.

If drought impacts are severe, initial designations can be made based on precipitation and early estimates of forage yield. Final designations are made when all forage yield information is available, usually in December.

The minister is aware of the importance of this program to the producers and is working to identify areas for 2002 designation as quickly as possible so that producers can make timely management decisions. At this time areas in the prairie region are of particular concern.

Canada Pension PlanAdjournment Proceedings

6:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy Progressive Conservative South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, this late show question concerns questions I asked in the House on June 10 of last week. At that time the Minister of Public Works and Government Services replied that he was seriously dealing with the problem of untendered contracts and a number of other contracting scandals in which the government found itself.

During the minister's reply he said that he had been asked by the Prime Minister to solve the issues in his portfolio and that he intended to do so. He also said that he would not allow idle speculation to interfere with the process.

The main concern I have is with what the Minister of Public Works and Government Services is actually calling idle speculation.

I have tried to total up the contracting scandals. We get a new scandal every day so the total is growing as we speak. If we add all the scandals together, it amounts to $55 million. Never has a government in the history of Canada thrown away or given away to friends $55 million of the public purse.

If we were to add the $101 million Challenger contract, that would make $156 million of untendered contracts.

The Department of National Defence alone has had $30,600,000 in questionable contracts looked at by the auditor general without being called on the mat by the minister. VIA Rail has $1 million. Attractions Canada or Groupe Everest has a $22 million untendered contract. The Groupe Polygone sportsman show that never happened had a $333,000 contract. We just found another contract with Groupaction, a company that is already into the public purse for $1.6 million. Today in the Toronto Sun we read about another $330,000 contract for the gun registry that never happened.

This is not idle speculation by members of the opposition. These are serious complaints about serious issues that in any other time and in any other government people would, quite frankly, be in jail. It is a terrible waste of public office and a waste of public funds.

If we look at the sponsorship program since 1997, $232 million has been paid out and much of that money went to friends of the Liberal Party. That is just wrong.

I am not trying to deny the fact that those of us in the House are partisan politicians but we cannot give contracts out to our friends. If we look at the amount of money that has gone out and what the auditor general has said about it, it is time for immediate and direct action from the government.

Canada Pension PlanAdjournment Proceedings

6:45 p.m.

Mississauga South Ontario


Paul Szabo LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I welcome the opportunity to address the issue with the hon. member for South Shore.

When one is in government one has to be accountable, show prudence and good judgment with regard to certain matters. It therefore would not be appropriate to make further comment on certain files while an investigation is going on, simply not to jeopardize it.

The hon. member has raised some serious questions and in light of the very serious nature of these matters the government is working on several fronts to identify the exact nature of the problem and deal with the responsible authorities. Public works is conducting a review of the period in question, which is between 1997 and the year 2000.

The findings of a public works 2000 internal audits started this process. An action plan was implemented and corrective action has been taken. The auditor general is also undertaking a government wide audit of advertising and sponsorship programs and contracts. The treasury board is also looking at the issues of the governance framework and management framework. Whenever anything questionable comes to the attention of officials it is referred to the appropriate authorities.

I would like to reiterate to the hon. gentleman that a whole series of examinations into the nature of the difficulties have been launched. Mistakes were made and errors in the past cannot be condoned and we do not condone them. We are determined to correct those mistakes. We intend to get to the bottom of it so that there can be transparency, accountability and the verification of value for money.

The issue here is one of making certain that the RCMP has full scope to do its work without interference. Let me point out that references to the police are not the same as police investigations. The police themselves determine what they will investigate and no government should tell them where to go in their investigations. The government is however co-operating on every front and we are determined to solve this issue once and for all.

If members of the House engage in discussions about what has been referred to the RCMP there is a chance that one member of the House on either side may interfere with an RCMP investigation. It would be highly inappropriate for members to do so or to say anything that might impede or interfere with that investigation.

In conclusion, the police must not be interfered with. The Prime Minister asked that we find out where the problems were and to correct them. His instructions were very clear. The problems must be addressed in a sound and solid way so that we can have transparency, accountability and full value for the taxpayers' dollars. It is extremely important for the taxpayers to know that they have received value for money.

Canada Pension PlanAdjournment Proceedings

6:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy Progressive Conservative South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, what this comes down to, quite simply, is untendered contracts to Liberal friends. The government received no value for many of those contracts. We cannot even find the contracts. Some of them do not even exist. For many of them we only received a photocopy.

That is just the tip of the iceberg. Another $7 billion worth of government money is in foundations. The right hon. member for Calgary Centre asked today in the House about the foundations and the refusal and inability of the auditor general to look at those foundations. The auditor general has the power to look at the foundations as well as at the untendered contracts if the government uses section 11 under the Financial Services Act.

Canada Pension PlanAdjournment Proceedings

6:45 p.m.


Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the bottom line is that we really must let the RCMP do its work without the comments of members on all sides of the House which might jeopardize an ongoing investigation. We must let the police do its work.

As a final comment I would suggest to the member and to the House as a whole that to make allegations that contracts were given to friends and to allege kickbacks, et cetera, those would be illegal acts and it would be duty and responsibility of all hon. members to bring any evidence of such wrongdoings to the proper authorities.

I hope members will use judicious language in their commentary on this sensitive matter.

Canada Pension PlanAdjournment Proceedings

6:50 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

The motion to adjourn the House is now deemed to have been adopted. Accordingly, this House stands adjourned until tomorrow at 10 a.m., pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).

(The House adjourned at 6.50 p.m.)