House of Commons Hansard #121 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was ports.

Topics

Energy
Statements By Members

November 4th, 1994 / 11:05 a.m.

Liberal

George S. Rideout Moncton, NB

Mr. Speaker, today I wish to give the House an update on the program to increase energy efficiency.

Next week in Bathurst the energy and environment ministers will get together to discuss voluntary measures to increase energy efficiency.

In September of this year the federal ministers of natural resources and environment along with the provincial representatives of this initiative sent letters to about 250 CEOs of major companies involved in industry such as forestry, manufacturing, and oil and gas seeking voluntary commitments to limit greenhouse gas emissions. To date we have received about 100 replies indicating an overwhelming support for such measures. This support should be duly recognized.

May the efforts of the ministers next week in New Brunswick advance this important initiative.

Sovereignists
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Roger Pomerleau Anjou—Rivière-Des-Prairies, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, a government member castigated the Bloc Quebecois for the success of its festivities marking the first anniversary of real power with our friends, the Premier of Quebec, many Quebec ministers and over 800 supporters.

Quebec sovereignists are not afraid of appearing in broad daylight to show their allegiance to a sovereign Quebec. Sovereignists always meet openly.

However, the Prime Minister of Canada and Daniel Johnson meet secretly behind closed doors, taking special care not to alert the media. Federalists are preparing for the referendum battle, which is fine. But they should do so openly.

Stop hiding and use the same weapons we are using, namely frankness, intellectual honesty and openness. Face to face, I have no doubt that we will win.

Gun Control
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Reform

Dave Chatters Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, through a well timed leak we understand that the Minister of Justice now has the Liberal caucus on side on the issue of gun control.

The compromise agreed upon would be a voluntary registration of all guns over five years at which point it would become mandatory. I say what an absolutely spineless, weak kneed cop out on the interests of their constituents.

The Minister of Justice and the Prime Minister say all Canadians register their motor vehicles so why would they object to registering their firearms. I respond to that by saying that the registration of motor vehicles in great measure has been a move to tax Canadians for the use of their motor vehicles. This move to register all firearms in reality is a move to allow this government to tax all firearms to pay for this unjust firearms control policy and the bureaucracy it creates.

I ask all those backbench Liberals who would support this proposal, is this representing the interests of your constituents or are you simply hanging your heads in front of the Liberal whip?

Gun Control
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Mary Clancy Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, violence is unacceptable in our society and women are particularly exposed to that problem.

Indeed, firearms are used against women in family homes. The majority of firearms used in domestic homicides are legally obtained. The presence of firearms in the home is dangerous.

Our government is taking concrete measures to make our streets and our homes safer by passing more strict legislation on gun control. I was pleased to hear representatives of the Coalition for Gun Control and of women's groups remind us of the importance of the measures which we intend to take in that regard.

Governor General Scholarship
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Dianne Brushett Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, last week I had the great honour of presenting

three Governor General scholarships in environmental sciences to three Nova Scotia women studying at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College.

Tracy Shinners, Charlotte Stratton and Danielle Vienneau were the only three university students in eastern Canada out of a total of 25 in Canada to receive this high scholastic award in environmental sciences. All three students attend the Nova Scotia Agricultural College and all three plan to seek post-graduate degrees in environmental science and medicine.

This high academic achievement speaks very well and very highly not only of our students but of the professional staff at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College. I congratulate them in this prestigious House for their very good work.

Gun Control
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we learned that a group of Liberal MP's wrote a report on gun control in which they ask the Minister of Justice to put the accent on harsher sentences for crimes committed with arms.

Those Liberal members are therefore endorsing the philosophy of the arms lobby, which believes in imposing harsher sentences to criminals in order to stop violence.

However, the American experience shows that, without any doubt, such an approach is doomed to failure.

Moreover, the recommendations of those Liberal MP's go against the commitments made by the Prime Minister himself last spring.

The Bloc Quebecois is in favour of more effective control regarding firearms, so as to make them harder to get for criminals. We urge the government not to listen to the right wingers in the Liberal Party, as in the case of young offenders.

Remembrance Day
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Reform

Jim Hart Okanagan—Similkameen—Merritt, BC

Mr. Speaker, next Friday in cities, towns and villages across this land Canadians will gather to remember our war dead and to give silent thanks for the years of peace bought with their sacrifice. Those brave men and women gave up their families and homes to fight Canada's wars, many of whom never saw this land again.

This is a special year of remembrance for those who fought in World War II. Along with our veterans we will honour those who gave their lives for democracy and freedom 50 years ago.

In the peace and tranquillity of this land, this exceptional country, war may seem far removed. Let us remember that our peace was bought with the blood of our sailors, our merchant seamen, our soldiers and our airmen.

I call on all Canadians on November 11 and during this special year of remembrance to think of those who are not with us here today because they found this country to be something worth fighting for, something worth dying for.

We must never forget.

Ethanol
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Len Taylor The Battlefords—Meadow Lake, SK

Mr. Speaker, in a recent announcement that the government may ban the octane boosting gasoline additive MMT by January, the Minister of the Environment suggested that this ban would foster the development of safer grain based ethanol alternatives and that Canada plans to promote the development of ethanol in other countries.

I support the development of the ethanol industry in this country, including specific proposals from communities such as Big River and Turtleford in my own Saskatchewan constituency.

In this regard I would urge the Minister of the Environment to take action that would support community based ethanol development in Canada, including extending the present 8.5 cent per litre federal excise tax exemption for ethanol.

Wallaceburg
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Rex Crawford Kent, ON

Mr. Speaker, the good news continues as we courageously climb out of the recession.

The town of Wallaceburg in my riding is leading the way. Seventeen of 24 local industries either have expansions under way or are planning one in the near future. Just a few examples: AAR-KEL is adding 2,000 square feet; Durachrome is putting on a 15,000 square foot addition; and Accurcast leads the way with a new 32,000 square foot expansion with new die cast machines.

The growth in the industrial area of this community bodes well for a brighter employment picture. Wallaceburg is the sparkplug of Kent county's economy. I applaud local workers and industry leaders for their confidence in the future.

Liberal policies are working to instil a new spirit in Canadians. It is truly good news.

Toyota Motor Corporation
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Janko Peric Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, the people of Cambridge received some great news yesterday. Toyota Motor Corporation announced that it will be expanding its operation in my riding of Cambridge by investing an additional $600 million in its Corolla plant.

This move will create an additional 1,200 direct new jobs and hundreds of jobs in spinoff industries by 1997. Production at the plant will increase from 80,000 to 200,000 vehicles per year.

Yesterday Toyota informed the rest of Canada and the world that Cambridge is a community with a skilled workforce, one worthy of investment.

I would like to thank Toyota for having faith in the people of Cambridge and of Canada. I look forward to a long and good working relationship with this exceptional corporate citizen.

Edmonton
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

John Loney Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, Edmonton is noted for having one of the largest urban parkland areas per capita in North America. This spectacular river valley park system, combined with the city's role as the gateway to the northern forests of Alberta, led to the designation of Edmonton as the 1994 national forestry capital.

The purpose of this designation is to promote a better understanding of the dynamic nature of sustainable forests, to highlight the significance of the forest industry on the economic prosperity of the community and to recognize the historical contribution of the forests to Edmonton for two centuries.

Recently I had an opportunity to participate in the ceremonial sod breaking for the John Walter Forest Interpretive Centre. The Interpretive Centre is part of a major legacy project involving a forest capital trail in the river valley and other educational projects.

The John Walter Interpretive Centre is an excellent example of what can be achieved when all levels of government, industry and community interest groups work together to achieve a common goal. The Interpretive Centre will be a major educational legacy for future generations.

I would like to congratulate the city of Edmonton and the organizers from the Forestry Capital of Canada Society for having the vision and initiative to undertake this impressive project.

Unemployment Insurance
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of Finance.

Within less than a year, three different estimates of the balance of the Unemployment Insurance Fund were announced. Last March, there was a deficit of $216 million; in September, a surplus of $240 million; and in October, a surplus of $2.2 billion. This week, the Supplementary Estimates indicated that this year, there has been a reduction in $3.4 billion of unemployment insurance benefits.

Would the Minister of Finance confirm that the Unemployment Insurance Fund will have a surplus in excess of $2 billion this year and that the surplus will be used to reduce the cumulative debt of the fund?

Unemployment Insurance
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance and Minister responsible for the Federal Office of Regional Development-Quebec

Mr. Speaker, at the beginning of the year, the Unemployment Insurance Fund had a deficit of around $5.9 or $6 billion, I believe.

This year, we expect a surplus for the current year. However, that will still leave us with a cumulative deficit in the account. I think it would be premature for me to give any figures, which will certainly be less than $6 billion, but I think we will have to wait until the end of the year. In any case, at that time we will still have a deficit.

Unemployment Insurance
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, when he brought down his budget, the Minister of Finance said that premium increases were killing jobs and that he would create 40,000 jobs by reducing these premiums starting next January.

What explanation does he have for the fact that with a surplus of $2.2 billion, a surplus that is growing very rapidly, he did not immediately announce a reduction in unemployment insurance premiums in order to create thousands of jobs? Was that not his priority?

Unemployment Insurance
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance and Minister responsible for the Federal Office of Regional Development-Quebec

Mr. Speaker, I repeat that despite this year's surplus, the cumulative UI account will show a deficit. Obviously, we will have to eliminate that deficit before we have a cumulative surplus.

That being said, the hon. member is quite right when he says that we want to reduce unemployment insurance premiums. We certainly do. In fact, that is the position I announced before, and it certainly is the position of the Minister of Human Resources Development.

What is even more important is, that when we lower unemployment insurance premiums, we will be able to keep them down. This means we must be able to give the business community the assurance that the account is in good enough shape to keep premiums down.