House of Commons Hansard #18 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was provinces.

Topics

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Speller Haldimand—Norfolk, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Agriculture. I want to assure my colleagues in the Reform Party that it deals with an issue of importance not only to my riding but to many farmers across the country.

In the red book we promised a system of whole farm support that would help Canadian farmers who are in distress. I wonder if the minister could guarantee that the programs we set forward in whole farm support will have the broadest range of public input and public say on this issue. I wonder if he could also bring the House up to date on the status of that program.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Regina—Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question. Under the previous government and in conjunction with provincial governments a process is under way to review and revamp Canadian farm income safety net programs. That process resulted in a conference last week in Winnipeg involving the federal government, the provinces, farm organizations and others aimed toward developing a consensus on farm safety net programs.

There was a great deal of support at the meeting for the concept of the whole farm program that we had described in our red book, a program that would be GATT consistent and market neutral and financially sound, affordable and effective. Unfortunately we had less agreement concerning the exact details of such a program or programs.

On the hon. member's point about the broadest possible consultation, he and others can be completely assured of that as we work toward the final development of this concept. I would also want to include in that consultation all members of the House of Commons who would be interested in this very important subject for agriculture.

Reproductive Technologies
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Pierrette Venne Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, in its report the Baird Commission recommended prohibiting research on altering human embryos. The public wants research, as well as the application of new reproductive technologies, to be subject to very strict controls.

Will the Minister of Justice and his government propose amendments to our criminal laws in order to prohibit research on altering human embryos?

Reproductive Technologies
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, the royal commission made some 300 recommendations in a very extensive report after an extended period of study. We have all those recommendations under consideration, primarily in the Ministry of Health.

But it is true to say that some of the recommendations had to deal with amendments to the Criminal Code to create new offences to reflect societal values. I can tell the hon. member that we are studying those in particular. We will take great care in assessing the recommendations to distinguish between reasonable, permissible and desirable research on the one hand and not permissible conduct on the other hand.

That is the challenge. Those studies are under way and we will report to the House in due course.

Reproductive Technologies
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Pierrette Venne Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, there are many recommendations in the report, some 300 in fact, but all 300 do not concern the Minister of Justice.

Does the minister agree that it is urgent to table during this session a comprehensive piece of legislation on new reproductive technologies, taking into account of course the scope of the federal jurisdiction?

Reproductive Technologies
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the hon. member that we are studying the recommendations with a haste that reflects their urgency.

Equalization Payments
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Ted White North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

Under the agreement recently negotiated with the provinces by the Minister of Finance, Quebec will receive $3.7 billion in equalization payments-that is 47 per cent of the total-while B.C., Alberta and Ontario receive nothing.

The formula used to calculate the size of the equalization payments is said to take into account the ability of individual provinces to tax their residents.

Since the Prime Minister wants all taxation to be fair and to close all loopholes, how can he approve of such a large payment to Quebec when the tax rate for corporations in Quebec is only 6.9 per cent, while it is between 15 per cent and 17 per cent for corporations in the rest of Canada.

Equalization Payments
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the formula is a very complex one and every component is incorporated. If we extract one we can come to all sorts of conclusions.

This system has been established for a long time and it is now guaranteed in the Constitution.

Equalization Payments
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Ted White North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have a supplementary question for the Prime Minister.

It would appear that because corporations in Quebec are paying income tax at a rate approximately one-half the rate being paid by corporations in the rest of Canada, that the people of B.C., Alberta and Ontario are subsidizing businesses in Quebec.

Could the Prime Minister confirm that equalization payments to Quebec would be much lower if corporations in Quebec paid their fair share of corporation income taxes?

Equalization Payments
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Scarborough East
Ontario

Liberal

Doug Peters Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to answer the hon. member's question.

The details of the equalization payments are based on the ability of taxation standards among the provinces. They do not relate to tax rates. They relate to the ability to pay taxes including property taxes, corporate taxes and all sorts of other taxes. It is a very complicated formula. I will be happy to supply the member with it if he would like to look at it. It is a very fair basis, as the Prime Minister said, based on the Constitution.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

February 9th, 1994 / 2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Bernier Mégantic—Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food decided to slaughter a Highland bull imported from the United Kingdom because, according to the department, this animal might suffer from the so-called mad cow disease. However the maximum incubation period for that disease is eight years, and this bull, which was considered to be of unique genetic value in the world, had been in Canada for 12 years.

My question is for the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. Since the incubation period does not justify killing the animal, whose commercial value is upwards of $40,000, why was the department so intent upon getting rid of it?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Regina—Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the problem in Canada with BSE disease in cattle in the last number of months is a very serious one. It is very troubling to livestock owners. They obviously recognize the problem of not dealing with the disease but also recognize the very traumatic consequences that flow from the kind of control measures which are necessary to deal with the disease.

It is not a happy situation but it is one officials in my department have been approaching very seriously and conscientiously. Our control measures have had the complete support of virtually every major livestock organization in the country as well as the veterinary medical associations, provincial departments of agriculture, international trade officials and our world trading partners.

It is not a happy circumstance but we have tried to deal with it in a very conscientious and, to the extent possible, compassionate way.

Interparliamentary Delegations
Routine Proceedings

3 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34, I am honoured to present, in both official languages, the report of the Nordic Council's Parliamentary Conference on the Arctic held in Reykjavik, Iceland, on August 16 and August 17 last year.

In this report the delegation to the council recommended and found acceptance to a number of recommendations which I will not read in their entirety. I will select from them the most important, namely the importance of co-operation among Arctic states and other parties engaged in the Rovaniemi process and the elaboration of an Arctic environmental protection strategy in accordance with agenda 21 of the United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development.

Interparliamentary Delegations
Routine Proceedings

3 p.m.

Liberal

Shirley Maheu Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34, I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the parliamentary delegation to Sao Paulo, Brazil, from July 16 to July 19, 1993.

Interparliamentary Delegations
Routine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ron MacDonald Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian delegation of the Canada-Japan Interparliamentary Association to the second annual meeting of the Asia-Pacific parliamentary forum held in the Philippines on January 14 and January 15.

The recommendations that came out of this meeting are of great interest to Canada. The fact that the Canadian Parliament decided to participate even before this Parliament was formerly struck certainly indicates the importance that this government and this Parliament place on economic matters in the Asia-Pacific region.