Mr. Speaker, this series of questions is a follow-up to a question I asked with respect to Technology Partnerships Canada, a program within Industry Canada. I have some very serious questions I would like the government to answer about this program.
For information purposes, the program has allocated over $2 billion since 1996. Its recovery rate is less than 5% of the money that it has allocated. I have three series of questions.
The first is in terms of the number of jobs created. The government has in the past talked about the number of jobs created under this program. I would like to know how many jobs have been created, how many jobs have been maintained through the program, which companies have created or maintained these jobs, and in which year were these jobs created or maintained?
My second series of questions relates to the repayments. It is a question that taxpayers across the country would be asking about a program allocating over $2 billion. Why has only 5% of this money been recovered since 1996, and why does the government keep changing the time period in which it says it will recover these payments?
I can recall years ago the former minister, Allan Rock, saying it would be recovered within a five-year period. It stretched to seven. I recall the current industry minister saying 20 years. Why does the government keep changing the time period in which it will recover from all of these programs?
The third question I would like to pose is in terms of a review. I have been promised a review for years by the previous industry minister, Allan Rock, and by the previous industry minister who is now the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. I want to quote from a letter she wrote to me:
In 2004, I intend to launch the TPC Strategic Review. The Review will ensure TPC is meeting its current objectives, and will identify the outcomes of its efforts. It will also ensure TPC is able to provide sufficient support to emerging new strategic transformative technologies in areas such as biotechnology, nanotechnology, andenvironmental and health sciences.
The TPC report was promised by Allan Rock, promised by the previous industry minister, and also promised by the current industry minister in the Ottawa Business Journal of September 2004. The industry minister talked about being keen to review this tech funding program, and yet to my knowledge all we have had are the annual reports, many of which have arrived late.
In the interests of transparency and openness, and in the interests of being accountable to taxpayers which is the first and foremost job of Parliament, will the government finally come clean, answer these series of questions, answer why it has not produced a review, answer the questions about the jobs created and maintained, and answer the questions about the repayments?