House of Commons Hansard #42 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was jobs.

Topics

Hyundai Plant In Bromont
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Gaston Péloquin Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, I hope that Hyundai will give these people a better reception than this morning, when it refused to meet with the mayors. Given that Hyundai did not respect the commitments it had made to get government grants, does the minister intend to recoup the $26 million paid by the federal to the company, and will he pledge to reinvest that money to develop sub-contracting activities in Quebec's auto industry, so as to alleviate the impact of the closure of Hyundai's plant, until the facility reopens?

Hyundai Plant In Bromont
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the money provided, that is $23 million by the federal but $46 million in total by the two levels of government, is guaranteed. It is protected. What we will do really depends on the outcome of the discussions which will be initiated on Friday with the company.

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Roger Gallaway Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health.

The Ontario government is embarking on a new system of long term health care reform for seniors which will favour the not for profit home care providers, eliminating the commercial provider agencies. As well 20,000 health care workers are employed in Ontario by the private sector agencies.

What does the minister intend to do to ensure that the federal tax dollars transferred to the Ontario government are spent in a cost effective manner?

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Sudbury
Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada transfers a great deal of money to the provinces to provide extended health services for home care, residential care and nursing home care. Approximately $550 million goes to Ontario alone.

I must add that the Canada Health Act does not dictate how these dollars should be spent other than to say that they are for extended health care. We believe they are being spent in this manner.

The exercise of how the dollars are spent and how they organize extended health care is under provincial jurisdiction.

I would emphasize however that I believe they should seriously consider continuing private enterprise in terms of jobs in that sector as it is a cost effective manner of delivering the services within some non-profit agencies.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Leon Benoit Vegreville, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the minister of agriculture.

Many Canadian farmers say they would like to choose between marketing their product through the Canadian Wheat Board, other grain companies or directly with buyers in the United States or other countries.

What steps is the minister taking to give farmers the choice they want and allow farmers and others to compete with the Canadian Wheat Board?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Regina—Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, a variety of representations have been received by me on this particular point. The representations go both ways. Some farmers and farm organizations are

strongly advocating support for the Canadian Wheat Board and its traditional strength as a marketing agency on behalf of Canadian farmers. Others are taking a different point of view and supporting the argument that is contained in the question that has just been asked.

As I say, I am receiving a large number of these representations. Some of them propose the notion of a plebiscite as a method of resolving this controversy on the prairies with respect to grain marketing systems.

To those who have proposed the notion of a plebiscite I have responded with a number of technical questions that I think they ought to address and think carefully about before rushing to embrace that particular form of solution.

At this moment in time, to my knowledge, I have not received any replies to those questions but I anticipate I will. That will be a part of the input that the government will take into account as we consider this question.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Leon Benoit Vegreville, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have a supplementary question for the minister.

Canadian grain farmers have been demanding for years that the wheat board be democratized and that the board monopoly be brought to an end.

In a recent poll only 29 per cent of grain farmers want the wheat board to remain the sole marketer of barley to the United States.

When will the government stop resisting farmers' requests for more choices in marketing their barley and hold a plebiscite on this issue?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Regina—Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, in response to the first question, I indicated there were a number of serious issues that those who advocate the notion of a plebiscite might want to consider very carefully, one being the legal basis on which a plebiscite might be held.

Those who recall the previous government might remember that government was ensnared in some rather serious legal difficulties because it acted without the proper legal authority, according to the Federal Court of Canada.

There are a whole range of other questions having to do with the structure, the voting list, the wording of the question and the kind of majority required to carry the question. There are eight or nine technical and logistical questions that need to be answered very seriously before one would rush to embrace this particular proposal.

I have put those questions very seriously and sincerely to those who advocate the notion of a plebiscite. I await, with a great deal of interest, their response to those questions.

Worker Adjustment Programs
Oral Question Period

March 22nd, 1994 / 2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister. Yesterday the Minister of Human Resources Development stated that the federal government had no plans to introduce specific adjustment programs to help workers who lose their jobs because of recent international trade agreements. Once again, the Liberal government is doing an about-face on a major economic issue. Before the election, the Liberal Party stressed in particular the need for free trade adjustment measures.

My question is as follows: Can the Prime Minister confirm that his government does not intend to introduce specific adjustment programs for workers displaced by NAFTA, considering that this was a sine qua non condition for his supporting NAFTA?

Worker Adjustment Programs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Human Resources Development and Minister of Western Economic Diversification

Mr. Speaker, in response to the hon. member I would like to point out that in addition to the NAFTA agreement we have also just signed a major agreement on the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. A number of other major changes are taking place internationally.

When I answered the question I said we are not providing specific adjustment for one event; we are providing adjustment for all workers affected by major changes internationally and we will continue to do that.

I would simply say to the hon. member she could be far more helpful if she participated in the development of those adjustment programs rather than opposing them as she has for the last several months.

Worker Adjustment Programs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, if the minister believes that the recent reform of the unemployment insurance program is the way to help workers affected by NAFTA and GATT, I would like to suggest some very enlightening reading material to him.

The red book will soon be a source of embarrassment for the Liberals. It states the following and I quote: "Governments must assist individuals and firms to deal with the restructuring that is occurring as a result of trade liberalization. Such assistance is critical to building acceptance of structural reforms in the Canadian economy".

After criticizing the Conservative government so harshly, the Liberals are taking exactly the same attitude. Why are you reneging on your party's commitments?

Worker Adjustment Programs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Human Resources Development and Minister of Western Economic Diversification

Mr. Speaker, first let me say how pleased I am that the hon. member has finally read the red book.

Worker adjustment is a very important concern of this government. That is why we have introduced a number of training and adjustment initiatives as well as program changes and made counselling available. The purpose of job training and social security program renewal initiatives is to help Canadian workers grappling with the problem of change in the business world and with changing working conditions in Canada.

Our government is deeply committed to helping all Canadian workers, not just a small select group.

Vancouver Port Corporation
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, last week the Minister of Transport was asked a question regarding the approval of a casino on the Vancouver waterfront by the Vancouver Port Corporation. He responded that the government has nothing to do with this decision, stating that an independent board is responsible for deciding these matters.

Could the minister explain to the House how this board is appointed and what criteria is used in determining who receives these appointments?

Vancouver Port Corporation
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst
New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, just to clarify a part of the questioner's premise in respect to the decision, I want to make it clear that the definition of what will be acceptable in any province with respect to gambling or casinos is within the purview of the provincial jurisdiction and that is what I meant in answer to that question earlier from the hon. member.

With respect to the criteria used in making nominations to any boards for which the government will be responsible, the primary consideration of course is competence.

Vancouver Port Corporation
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

I have a supplementary question, Mr. Speaker.

Both the unions and the shipping companies recommended the reappointment of Patrick Reid, the past chairman of the Vancouver Port Corporation. They all agreed he was doing a great job.

Despite this unusual show of solidarity the Prime Minister and cabinet approved the appointment of Mr. Ron Longstaffe to this $65,000 part time position.

The former campaign manager for the hon. member for Vancouver Centre has been quoted as saying that he has been a supporter of the Prime Minister for 10 years and that is all part of the political-