Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I would like to talk about the Business Incentive Policy today. I think it is timely, as this is the last chance I may get to discuss this until the fall. There is going to be a review of the Business Incentive Policy this fall that Minister Handley will embark on.
I have a few concerns, and I have raised some of them already as we have been going through this budget. One concern I raised the other day while questioning the Housing Corporation was that the Housing Corporation has various programs in place, like the EDAP and the IHP. The BIP stipulates that if 51 percent of the money they are giving to someone to buy a home comes from this government, the BIP kicks in and the person is required to buy northern first.
If they go less than 51 percent, say 48 to 49 percent, Mr. Speaker, the BIP is not involved. I think this is certainly a problem. My suggestion would be that if we are spending any government money and we are going to have a policy, I think it has to kick in no matter what the percentage, Mr. Speaker.
As well, the other day my colleague, Mr. Krutko, questioned a Minister in this House about a bid that he thought NTCL should have been awarded, and the Minister responded that there were two bids.
In the initial bidding process, one group was certainly excluded because they did not make the deadline for submissions, but he suggested that NTCL also should have been excluded because they were not BIP'ed. Although they had applied for the BIP, they had not received it. It took them another 14 days to get their BIP.
Mr. Speaker, I think this is a misinterpretation of how the BIP is to be applied. I think the BIP is a northern preference policy. I do not think it is intended to exclude companies from the south, or exclude other companies. I think it simply allows northern companies to be awarded a 15 percent advantage.
For example, Mr. Speaker, when Mrs. Groenewegen tabled the Child Welfare League report, I am fairly certain the Child Welfare League of Canada does not have a BIP registration, yet we still use them. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe they do have a BIP, but this government does do a lot of business with companies that are not BIP'ed, and rightfully so. I do not think, Mr. Speaker, that this is an exclusion policy. It is simply a preference policy.
So, Mr. Speaker, I guess this fall, when we look at BIP, and we take a good hard look at it, we can do whatever we want to bulletproof the thing. We can add tons of rules, but I think rules are only one part of the problem. I think spirit and intent is all together another thing. I think the department and the bureaucrats in the department are going to have to be able to interpret the Business Incentive Policy because, no matter what we do with the rules, there will always... Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement.