October 9, 1997

NDP

Michelle Dockrill

New Democratic Party

Ms. Michelle Dockrill (Bras d'Or, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I have good news and bad news for Canadians today.

The good news is, two-tier health care is not a threat any more. The bad news is, it is a reality.

Alberta's first private hospital is now up and running; a private for profit hospital where those who can afford to pay get service and those who cannot are left behind.

Allowing a private hospital to operate paves the way for two-tier health care. The government, egged on by the Reform Party, is standing aside to let it happen. This new private hospital is chomping at the bit to set up shop in Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver.

Canadians want the Minister of Health to take action, not to sit idly by as foreign companies line up to rake in big profits while they dismantle medicare.

Surely patient care must always come before profit.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Health Care
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PC

Diane St-Jacques

Progressive Conservative

Ms. Diane St-Jacques (Shefford, PC)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to bring National Family Week to the attention of the House. Like many other Canadians, I am pressed for time by my work schedule and my other activities.

We should all relax a little. We should take time to play with our children and look after those we love, the members of our family.

We must not forget our family, whether it is a traditional family, a reconstituted family, an extended family or a single parent family. We must each remember our own family, and those governing us must do the same.

Unfortunately, the average Canadian family is growing poorer every day. I wish the government would remember whom it represents. Between National Family Week and National Child Day, November 20, I hope it will finally set its own targets for the reduction of poverty, for the good of our children and of their families.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   National Family Week
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LIB

Lynn Myers

Liberal

Mr. Lynn Myers (Waterloo—Wellington, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, Oktoberfest in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario is an annual event which this year is from October 10 to 19.

This festival underscores the German heritage of our area in Ontario and in Canada. The Oktoberfest parade on October 13 is a nationally televised event which enables families everywhere to enjoy the spirit of “Gemutlichkeit” which means good cheer and good will which is so much part of this celebration.

I encourage all Canadians to join Kitchener-Waterloo in this great celebration.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Oktoberfest
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PC

Gilles Bernier

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Gilles Bernier (Tobique—Mactaquac, PC)

Mr. Speaker, over the past several years youth in particular have been made to bear the brunt of the needlessly high level of unemployment imposed on this country by the Liberal government.

In my riding of Tobique—Mactaquac, more specifically school district 12, progress was being made. District 12 had implemented a school based youth internship program that was extremely successful, resulting in 60% of the participants having paid employment after the school year.

That is the good news. The bad news is that the Liberal government took one look at the results of the program and did what came naturally. It cut its funding.

I hope that some of the $90 million announced in the throne speech and earmarked for youth internship will find its way to Tobique—Mactaquac so that the school program can be reinstated.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Youth Employment
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LIB

Gary Pillitteri

Liberal

Mr. Gary Pillitteri (Niagara Falls, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, Niagara-on-the-Lake, a town I have the honour of representing federally, may rank as the second prettiest town in the world. But in the hearts of those who live there and of the 3.5 million who visit our community each year, Niagara-on-the-Lake is and will always be the most beautiful town in the world.

At the Community in Bloom contest hosted in Madrid, Spain, Niagara-on-the-Lake was competing against four other finalists, one of which, Stratford, Ontario, came first.

Today I would like to salute Niagara-on-the-Lake and congratulate its citizens who made it possible for this beautiful Canadian town to participate in this important international competition and place second.

While I congratulate Stratford, I would like to point out that three of the four finalists were Canadian towns. This speaks volumes for Canada, the best country in the world in which to live.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ont.
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REF

Preston Manning

Reform

Mr. Preston Manning (Leader of the Opposition, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, when the Liberals took office back in 1993 they spent a lot of time talking about integrity. They made a big show about appointing an ethics commissioner and they promised that the days of Mulroney style political corruption were over.

Now reports of patronage ridden contracting, unethical fundraising and politically motivated grants keep piling up. The police have even raided the Liberal Party headquarters.

My question for the Prime Minister is, besides calling in the RCMP, what is he going to do to remove the clouds of corruption that are surrounding his government?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Government Grants
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LIB

Jean Chrétien

Liberal

Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, when the allegation was made that somebody was asking people for money, the minister did not wait one day. He immediately on the same afternoon called the RCMP and informed them of the allegation. This is what had to be done and it was done promptly. The RCMP are now investigating a case involving one or two people.

When I hear the Leader of the Opposition make an extravagant statement like that, I say he should wait for the investigation to finish.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Government Grants
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REF

Preston Manning

Reform

Mr. Preston Manning (Leader of the Opposition, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, there was no reference to words like ethics or integrity in the Prime Minister's reply, nor was there any reference to those words in the Speech from the Throne this year. At the operational level those words have been replaced by words like influence peddling, string pulling and shakedown.

I have a question about the transitional jobs fund, the $300 million kitty that the federal government doles out with special attention to Liberal ridings.

What is the Prime Minister going to do to remove the cloud of suspicion that now hangs around the transitional jobs program?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Government Grants
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LIB

Jean Chrétien

Liberal

Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the transitional jobs fund is allocated to areas where there are a lot of unemployed people. The program is still there. Most of these ridings, particularly in Atlantic Canada, are not Liberal ridings any more and the program is still there.

The member for Edmonton North made a very strong accusation the other day and she did not even know the difference between Winnipeg and Montreal. She talked about the Shawinigan shakedown but the person who was eligible to receive the grant did not—

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Government Grants
Permalink
?

The Speaker

The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Government Grants
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REF

Preston Manning

Reform

Mr. Preston Manning (Leader of the Opposition, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, mere weeks before the election was called this spring, millions of dollars from this transitional jobs fund were funnelled into the Prime Minister's own riding. They were trying to make sure that his job was not transitional.

What influence did the Prime Minister exert to make sure that those grants to his own riding were announced just prior to the federal election?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Government Grants
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LIB

Jean Chrétien

Liberal

Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister of Canada who is the member for Saint-Maurice, will always work to make sure that the people who live in his riding are treated the same way as people in the other ridings in Canada.

I have never had a temporary job here like the Leader of the Opposition. I have been elected 11 consecutive times and I have never lost an election federally.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Government Grants
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REF

Deborah Grey

Reform

Miss Deborah Grey (Edmonton North, Ref.)

No wonder, Mr. Speaker, if he can keep buying his way into office. We have some pretty serious questions here.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Government Grants
Permalink
?

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Government Grants
Permalink
?

The Speaker

I would urge all hon. members now to be very judicious in their choice of words.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Government Grants
Permalink
REF

Deborah Grey

Reform

Miss Deborah Grey

Mr. Speaker, I would like to judiciously say that on March 5 the minister for HRD sent a letter and asked the police to investigate illegal fundraising. He knows that. But just 24 hours before that, the same minister approved $3 million out of that same jobs fund to go into the Prime Minister's riding.

Let me ask the minister for HRD this. Just how is it that he signed cheques one day and called police the very next day?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Government Grants
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LIB

Pierre Pettigrew

Liberal

Hon. Pierre S. Pettigrew (Minister of Human Resources Development, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the member has a hard time with chronology. I could not know on March 4 things that I found out on March 5, the very day I called the police in.

These people are so cynical. They do not understand a thing about integrity in government. I will say one thing. All projects have been approved based on merit.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Government Grants
Permalink
REF

Deborah Grey

Reform

Miss Deborah Grey (Edmonton North, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, there is something strange here because on the Tuesday the minister approved $3 million for companies in the Prime Minister's riding, paid from the transitional jobs fund. On the Wednesday he wrote to the RCMP as if there was some amazing new revelation that he had received to blow the whistle on corruption in that fund. The ink was not even dry on those cheques.

Let me ask him this and please come up with a better defence. Did it just hit the minister that something might be wrong as the clock struck midnight?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Government Grants
Permalink
LIB

Pierre Pettigrew

Liberal

Hon. Pierre S. Pettigrew (Minister of Human Resources Development, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, all the projects in the Prime Minister's riding or in any other riding have been approved by the province of Quebec. They have been approved by the department and are based on merit all the time, so much so that after I called the police in, I asked my deputy minister to review the whole process in which my department was proceeding. My deputy minister conferred with me that our process was transparent, that our process was with consultation, the strength of our system and they invited—

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Government Grants
Permalink
?

The Speaker

The hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Government Grants
Permalink

October 9, 1997