House of Commons Hansard #181 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Reform

Jack Frazer Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, it has been reported today that diplomatic sources and federal officials are deeply concerned that Canada's peacekeepers will be targeted by the warring factions in Bosnia and Croatia.

They say Canadian combat troops are entering one of the most dangerous conflict zones at a time when tensions are rising and fighting is escalating.

Given the government's expressed concern for the safety of our peacekeepers, why are we now sending more troops to Bosnia and Croatia?

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Fred Mifflin Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows very well that a variety of scenarios can exist on peacekeeping missions, particularly one of this nature where the requirements of the peacekeepers are so varied and different, whether it is in Croatia or in Bosnia.

He also knows that the Canadian forces have a number of contingency plans to counter any of these operations. We are prepared. We have contingency plans. He also knows that it would not be appropriate to divulge the contingency plans on the floor of the House of Commons. I see he is nodding, Mr. Speaker.

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Reform

Jack Frazer Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government's ad hoc approach to peacekeeping in the former Yugoslavia is unacceptable. It is sending our soldiers into a war zone with no criteria to judge when that mission is accomplished.

We are heartened to hear that the military is drawing up secret evacuation plans but it should not need to because the government should not be placing our troops in danger for what looks to be a futile cause.

What criteria has the government established to decide when our troops are to be withdrawn?

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Fred Mifflin Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, perhaps if the hon. member had a conversation with the hon. member for Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca, who voted in favour of our troops in Yugoslavia, he may be enlightened as to what it is we are thinking about.

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Reform

Jack Frazer Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

We still did not find out the criteria, Mr. Speaker.

The last time the government renewed our mandate in the former Yugoslavia, the minister said he would reconsider our participation if the situation on the ground changed. The situation did change. Canadian soldiers were taken hostage and the minister was powerless to act. Instead of learning from the past, the government is making the same mistake again.

Lord Owen is right. Our peacekeepers are the best in the world. The government should not be putting them into obvious danger. Will it reconsider its decision and move to withdraw Canadian peacekeepers now while it has the chance?

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Fred Mifflin Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, to correct what I said, there was no vote when we debated this a few nights ago.

The hon. member for Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca gave an eloquent discourse which indicated why he as a member of the third party supported our troops in continuing to discharge their mandate like the other 34 countries in the United Nations, no matter how tough it gets.

We don't quit when the going gets tough.

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

René Laurin Joliette, QC

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

This morning, we learned that five Airbuses bought in 1992 by the federal government from Canadian Airlines International, at a cost of $250 million, are grounded eleven months per year. At the same time, the government has a $45-million-a-year contract with that company, to transport military personnel.

How can the minister tolerate such a waste and, at the same time, hit the poor so hard by slashing $307 million in this year's budget for social housing, and over $6 billion in the UI program, in the last two budgets?

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Fred Mifflin Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question of the hon. member. Perhaps I could inform him and the House that the Canadian forces cannot afford to buy aircraft both for strategic airlift and for normal administrative movement of the troops.

The choice is to use either the airbus for strategic airlift and to contract out for administrative flights or to reverse it and to contract out for strategic airlift and use the airbus for administrative flights.

The hon. member may not be aware that we cannot rely on commercial aircraft for strategic airlift in time of crisis. We have decided to opt for using the airbus for strategic airlift, humanitarian purposes and for those things for which contingency plans are drawn up and may be required at a moment's notice.

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

René Laurin Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, how can the minister explain this situation other than by saying that Canadian Airlines International is being systematically favoured? First, that company benefitted from the sale of those aircraft to the government, then it was awarded the contract for their maintenance, and now it is enjoying a $45 million a year deal to transport Canadian troops while these Airbuses stay on the ground.

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Acadie—Bathurst
New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, when the hon. member refers to the contract award to Canadian Airlines International by the Department of National Defence, he might want to take into account that at the time the tenders were called for that service to be provided both Air Canada and Canadian Airlines International made submissions.

What I thought interesting as a result of that is both airlines, particularly the airline not awarded the contract, Air Canada, stated publicly the process had been absolutely fair and appropriate.

Inflation
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Reform

Herb Grubel Capilano—Howe Sound, BC

Mr. Speaker, the biggest economic news since the budget is inflation. During the last four months consumer prices rose at an annual rate of about 4.5 per cent, well above the target of 3 per cent set by the Bank of Canada.

In large part this inflation is caused by the depreciation of the dollar and the higher prices of imports and exportables it has brought.

Will the Minister of Finance admit this inflation if unchecked threatens living standards much more than the spending cuts needed to balance the budget and to fix the exchange rate?

Inflation
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, one of the main reasons for the increase in inflation statistically was the actions of the tobacco factor into the new numbers compared with the previous numbers.

Inflation must be monitored. The Governor of the Bank of Canada has stated there are no inflationary pressures in Canada at the present time. However, to anticipate such pressures is clearly the responsibility of the Bank of Canada and the Government of Canada, and we shall exercise that responsibility.

Inflation
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Reform

Herb Grubel Capilano—Howe Sound, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is clear there are different ways of measuring inflation. I am talking about the price increases in the last four months annualized, not year to year inflation where the tobacco increases are important.

The minister and the governor have already stated what the minister just repeated. However, unfortunately the tightening of monetary policy will again push Canada into a recession. It is inappropriate since inflation is caused not by excess demand but the depreciation of the dollar.

Will the Minister of Finance allow the Bank of Canada to precipitate another recession to fight inflation or will he do the right thing and stop the decline of the dollar by a new budget that eliminates the deficit promptly and decisively?

Inflation
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite knows full well the independence of the Bank of Canada is a very important asset to the country. Our record in terms of low inflation, while very dearly bought, is also a major asset in terms of job creation and it is something we intend to maintain.

The hon. member knows the last budget is also a major asset to the country.

Kanesatake Reserve
Oral Questions

March 31st, 1995 / 11:30 a.m.

Bloc

André Caron Jonquière, QC

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

Yesterday the Prime Minister refused to rule out the possibility that Ottawa would hold discussions with Chief Jerry Peltier and the band council about setting up a casino at Kanesatake, although the Government of Quebec has categorically refused to consider it, primarily for reasons of security.

Given the refusal by the Government of Quebec, the sole games and lotteries authority, can the federal government tell us whether it plans to continue discussions with Jerry Peltier?