February 21, 2000

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Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Resources Development
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The Speaker

This question is in order. The hon. Minister of Human Resources Development.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Resources Development
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Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Resources Development
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The Speaker

The hon. member for Dewdney—Allouette.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Resources Development
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Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Resources Development
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An hon. member

She does not want to answer.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Resources Development
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Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Resources Development
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The Speaker

Order, please. I said the question was in order. If the hon. minister wishes to reply, she may.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Resources Development
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LIB

Jane Stewart

Liberal

Hon. Jane Stewart (Minister of Human Resources Development, Lib.)

I am sorry, Mr. Speaker, I thought you ruled it out of order.

As I have made clear to the House, in my riding there were no rules broken. The terms and conditions of the projects were undertaken appropriately. I delegated the authority for approval to my deputy minister. That was my choice to do and I did it.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Resources Development
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REF

Grant McNally

Reform

Mr. Grant McNally (Dewdney—Alouette, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, the minister is having trouble explaining that aspect. Let us move to another one.

This weekend the Prime Minister compared the billion dollar boondoggle at human resources to Canadians not being able to balance their chequebooks, a poor analogy to say the least.

When the Prime Minister is entrusted with billions of taxpayers' hard-earned dollars, he has a responsibility to keep track of them. Why does the Prime Minister try to minimize the bungling of a billion dollars as though it were a commonplace occurrence in his government?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Resources Development
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LIB

Jean Chrétien

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, they keep talking about billions of dollars. Everyone knows that there was an audit on cases for $200 million. Out of 459, 37 had problems. Thirty-seven representing $33 million had problems. As I said on Friday, and it is still the same, one more file was completed. Only four more are to be completed. So far $5,974.93 has not been justified.

They talk about billions—

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Resources Development
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The Speaker

The hon. member for Dewdney—Alouette.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Resources Development
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REF

Grant McNally

Reform

Mr. Grant McNally (Dewdney—Alouette, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, obviously the Prime Minister is back to the minimize theory, that this is not such a big deal after all.

The Prime Minister compared the loss and mismanagement of a billion dollars to Canadians accidentally going over budget at the end of the month. He said, “I think it happens to you at the end of month to see that you have spent a few dollars more than expected”. That is what he said. I can assure you, Mr. Speaker, that there are not too many Canadians who accidentally bungle a billion dollars.

Is the Prime Minister suggesting that his government is so mismanaged that a billion dollar bungle is a commonplace occurrence?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Resources Development
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LIB

Jean Chrétien

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, they use words that have no relation to reality at all. They were all lining up to receive grants in their ridings and that was their duty to do that.

The auditors reported that there were 37 cases with problems representing $33 million. There are four more to be reviewed and the amount of money is the money that they have not been able to trace back.

When they talk about billions of dollars, they have absolutely no—

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Resources Development
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The Speaker

The hon. leader of the Bloc Quebecois.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Resources Development
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BQ

Gilles Duceppe

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Gilles Duceppe (Laurier—Sainte-Marie, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Human Resources Development said that she had delegated her signing authority to her Deputy Minister in order to not be in a conflict of interest position, that this was the method she had selected. She just said it again a moment ago.

I will ask her again: Did her predecessor do the same? I do not want her to repeat that she chose to do so; this, we know, as she has played the same tape over three or four times.

I would like to ask her very precisely if she can tell this House whether her predecessor also signed a letter delegating his contract signing authority to his deputy minister. I would like her to answer this question.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Resources Development
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LIB

Jane Stewart

Liberal

Hon. Jane Stewart (Minister of Human Resources Development, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, what is necessary is to make sure that terms and conditions of grants and contributions are upheld. What is necessary is to make sure that projects are approved with regard to the requirements of those programs. In all cases this was undertaken appropriately.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Resources Development
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LIB

Irwin Cotler

Liberal

Mr. Irwin Cotler (Mount Royal, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Secretary of State for Multiculturalism. There have been a number of recent reports including that of the League for Human Rights of B'Nai Brith and more recently by the city of Toronto police attesting to a disturbing rise in hate crimes against vulnerable minorities in the country.

What is the government doing to combat the disturbing and growing incidence of hate crimes throughout the country?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Hate Crimes
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LIB

Hedy Fry

Liberal

Hon. Hedy Fry (Secretary of State (Multiculturalism) (Status of Women), Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, this government takes that type of activities seriously.

In addition to all the measures already in place, through Bill C-33 we have added sexual orientation to the Canadian Human Rights Act. We have amended the hate crimes legislation to ensure that there is aggravated sentencing for hate crimes.

At the moment I am heading up a round table with the Minister of Justice, the Solicitor General of Canada and Industry Canada to look at issues of new data collecting, of legislation that needs to be improved and of the new—

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Hate Crimes
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The Speaker

The hon. member for Peace River.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Hate Crimes
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February 21, 2000