March 17, 2000

LIB

Jane Stewart

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I will repeat my response and say that there is no investigation under way. I am looking into why this document was forwarded to the hon. member in such a fashion and we will deal with it.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Resources Development
Permalink
REF

Chuck Cadman

Reform

Mr. Chuck Cadman (Surrey North, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, the HRDC documents dated June 5, 1998 referred to the misappropriation of funds with respect to the Iris deal. The minister seems unwilling to provide any details on exactly how much was misappropriated and what was done about it. She chooses to boast that Iris lived up to half of its expectations.

I ask the minister again. How much money was misappropriated and why were the police not called in?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Resources Development
Permalink
LIB

Jane Stewart

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, what is so interesting about this is that the hon. member makes reference to a June 5 document which was part of an access to information request that they made. It talks about asking the department to confirm that things were all right at Bas Iris. What they fail to say is that in the same ATIP request was the response from the department that on June 25 it looked into it and there was nothing wrong.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Resources Development
Permalink
REF

Chuck Cadman

Reform

Mr. Chuck Cadman (Surrey North, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, let us try something else.

I have received complaints from my constituency about irregularities pertaining to the allocation of HRDC funds within the Metis community in British Columbia. The Surrey Leader newspaper has run a series of reports on questionable training programs and nepotism. The complainants, some of whom are Metis, have already requested a forensic audit and have been turned down.

Seeing as how there are already at least 19 ongoing investigations into similar complaints, why will the minister not grant a forensic audit in this case?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Resources Development
Permalink
LIB

George Baker

Liberal

Hon. George S. Baker (Minister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency), Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the hon. member is not aware that in cases of grants under HRDC or loans under ACOA, where there is money owed to the federal government, we have signed an understanding with the best collection agency in Canada to collect that money. It chases somebody right to the grave. Granted, the collection agency is headed by a prominent Liberal from Quebec. I might as well admit that. It is called Revenue Canada Taxation.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Resources Development
Permalink
BQ

Stéphan Tremblay

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Stéphan Tremblay (Lac-Saint-Jean, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the minister is boasting of the 10,000 pages of information she has been made public, and refers us to a phone number if we require more information. That is the number that was used in relation to the Placeteco affair.

Can the minister explain to us why her department is refusing to respond to our request for information, because Placeteco is apparently under investigation?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Resources Development
Permalink
LIB

Jane Stewart

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I have answered this on several occasions now and the response is still the same. There is no investigation. I am looking into why the communique was given to the Bloc. I will respond to the Bloc when I have that information.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Resources Development
Permalink
BQ

Stéphan Tremblay

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Stéphan Tremblay (Lac-Saint-Jean, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, I will ask the minister this: Why is her department telling us that the case is under investigation?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Resources Development
Permalink
LIB

Jane Stewart

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I will verify that.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Resources Development
Permalink
REF

Bill Gilmour

Reform

Mr. Bill Gilmour (Nanaimo—Alberni, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, for two days the HRD minister has avoided answering questions about the complete disregard of the Financial Administration Act within her department. Yet we know at the root of this blatant disregard of the rules is the Prime Minister's plan to funnel as much money as he possibly can into his own riding. Guess what? The Prime Minister's riding got more money than the entire province of Alberta.

Now that the Prime Minister has been forced to turn off the taps in HRD, is it true that projects like the Shawinigan fountain are also going to dry up?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Resources Development
Permalink
LIB

Jane Stewart

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, again, shoddy research, mythology, politics; that is what that party is all about in this undertaking.

There are considerable dollars invested in the province of Alberta in the context of grants and contributions. There are limited dollars in the context of the transitional jobs fund and the Canada jobs fund because that is for areas of high unemployment. As the hon. member knows, Alberta does not have an issue with high unemployment.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Resources Development
Permalink
REF

Bill Gilmour

Reform

Mr. Bill Gilmour (Nanaimo—Alberni, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, we know it is St. Patrick's Day but there is more than a wee bit of the blarney in that answer.

It is rather ironic that the main beneficiary in terms of jobs in the Prime Minister's riding is the RCMP.

There are currently at least three RCMP criminal investigations within his own riding, more than in any other riding within the country.

When we listen to the Minister of Veterans Affairs we would expect that it is simply a coincidence that these things happen in the Prime Minister's riding. Why is it that the Prime Minister's riding attracts criminal investigations—

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Resources Development
Permalink
?

The Speaker

Order, please. The question is out of order. If the hon. Deputy Prime Minister wants to answer it I will let him.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Resources Development
Permalink
LIB

Herb Gray

Liberal

Hon. Herb Gray (Deputy Prime Minister, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the member is making an assertion for which he has no facts whatsoever. Why does he not put down as a fact that the riding of Nanaimo—Alberni received $33.3 million from all the programs of the HRD department? The Prime Minister's riding received only $20 million over the last three fiscal years. Is his riding under investigation? Give us the facts.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Resources Development
Permalink
BQ

Richard Marceau

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Richard Marceau (Charlesbourg, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the Experience Canada program, with its 30% success rate, is a failure.

This program of the Council for Canadian Unity is a source of considerable concern to departmental employees, but that did not stop the Minister for International Trade, when Minister of Human Resources Development, from congratulating the organization on several occasions on its so-called success.

When I write something in a letter, I stand behind it.

My question is for the Minister for International Trade. How could he praise an organization that has failed so miserably at attaining the objectives of the program for which he himself was responsible?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Resources Development
Permalink
LIB

Jane Stewart

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, as I responded yesterday, our partnership with the Council for Canadian Unity in the area of Experience Canada is working. We are working with our sponsors to ensure that we increase the opportunities for young people to travel around the country and to get to know it.

We know why the members opposite do not like it. It is because 28% of the young people who are in this program come from the province of Quebec. Because of this program, these young people may get experience, enjoy their country and want to remain part of it.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Resources Development
Permalink
LIB

Susan Whelan

Liberal

Ms. Susan Whelan (Essex, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the International Joint Commission has released its final report on protecting the Great Lakes waters. It strongly recommends that governments should not permit the removal of water from the Great Lakes basin unless an extremely restrictive set of conditions can be met.

Can the Minister of the Environment assure the House today that this report will assist Canada in prohibiting the sale of bulk water?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   The Environment
Permalink
LIB

David Anderson

Liberal

Hon. David Anderson (Minister of the Environment, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to assure the House and the hon. member that the report of the IJC does come down exactly along the lines of the government's approach, which is to prevent the interbasin transfer of water to protect water sources in Canada and to protect them from exotic species or other risks that may come from transfers of water from one area to another.

We believe that if this approach is adopted with the provinces we will have a complete protection of Canada's water supply throughout the country and in every part of Canada, border or otherwise.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   The Environment
Permalink
REF

Philip Mayfield

Reform

Mr. Philip Mayfield (Cariboo—Chilcotin, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, this human resources boondoggle has hurt so many people. Downline employees were told in 1996 to ignore the Financial Administration Act. Now these same people are being harassed for breaking the rules and placed on call 24 hours a day to supply information to protect the minister.

As well, taxpayers place their trust in the government when they hand over their hard earned money. The government broke that trust too. Worse, neither the Prime Minister nor the human resources minister has the humility to apologize to anyone. Why does being a Liberal mean never having to say you are sorry?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Resources Development
Permalink
?

The Speaker

Order, please. The question is out of order. Go to the second question.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Resources Development
Permalink

March 17, 2000