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

Liver Disease
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Jean Augustine Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, March was proclaimed Help Fight Liver Disease Month.

The liver is one of the body's largest and most crucial organs. Much like a complex chemical factory, the liver manufactures essential proteins, cleanses the blood and stores energy vital to the functioning of the human body.

There are over 100 known liver and biliary tract diseases, including hepatitis, cirrhosis and cancer of the liver. An estimated one in 12 Canadians of all ages, races and cultures are expected to develop a liver disease at some point in their lives.

For over 25 years the Canadian Liver Foundation has been striving to reduce the impact and incidence of all liver diseases through support for research and education. Health Canada contributes to the fight against liver disease through its support for research into improved treatment and prevention.

I salute the Canadian Liver Foundation and all its volunteers who worked during this Help Fight Liver Disease Month.

Fisheries
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Jean Payne St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak about an issue that has been at the forefront of the news in my province of Newfoundland and indeed, all of Canada, the conservation of the turbot stock.

I congratulate the Prime Minister and the fisheries minister on their unfailing commitment to the preservation of the turbot stock on the nose and tail of the Grand Banks.

Last week I attended the 22nd annual meeting of the Canada and European Parliaments and had the opportunity to discuss with them fish conservation. I spoke to many European parliamentarians, including those attending the European fisheries committee. Many of these people expressed support for Canada's efforts to conserve turbot stocks from overfishing.

As a result of these talks a joint resolution was signed by members of both the Canadian and European delegations to these meetings. The resolution recognized the need to ensure that turbot and other fish stocks are fished in a sustainable manner so they can be conserved for future generations.

I look forward to further progress being made on this issue at the UN conference on straddling stocks that is presently taking place in New York.

The Cabinet
Statements By Members

March 31st, 1995 / 11:15 a.m.

Reform

Elwin Hermanson Kindersley—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, baseball fans are worried about the calibre of play this season if replacement players take to the field. If the second stringers in the Liberal cabinet are any indication, fans should be worried.

No one has dropped the ball more than the minister of defence playing outfield. He missed the signals on the Bosnia peacekeeping play. He misjudged airborne base hits and dropped the Fowler ball. He cannot find the bases because he keeps moving them.

Let us look at some of the other players. The heritage minister writes notes during the game. The minister of Indian affairs is drafting separate rules for aboriginal players. The health minister is headed back to the minors. She swings her bat without hitting. The minister for western economic diversification hits every ball to the centre fielder, named Winnipeg. The justice minister fired a bullet over the pitcher's head and was arrested for playing with an unregistered bat. The environment minister takes too big a lead off to suit the Prime Minister. She will be tagged out.

Fans know it is time to get concerned when the star player, the Prime Minister, tells the President of the United States that Canada has won the world cup of baseball two times in a line.

Social Services
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.

At a time when the federal government is bragging about the new freedoms it is giving the provinces in the areas of social assistance and post-secondary education, Ottawa is getting ready to impose new national standards in these areas of provincial jurisdiction, actually restricting the freedom of the provinces and of Quebec.

How can the minister reconcile the statements he made yesterday that the 1995 budget in no way shows any readiness on the part of the federal government to impose more national standards on the provinces, when legislative measures introduced since blatantly encroach on the powers of the provinces and of Quebec in areas which fall exclusively under their jurisdiction?

Social Services
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, no new conditions are set out in the omnibus legislation.

As the hon. member knows, the Canada Health Act already has a series of requirements for the provinces to meet. Those are being maintained. There are also requirements under the Canada assistance plan about mobility, to ensure that everybody in need gets assistance. Those are the conditions which are being put forward in the legislation, subject to future discussions and negotiations with the provinces to see how we can provide a more coherent approach to social programming across Canada.

Frankly, the assumption which the hon. member makes is simply not the case.

Social Services
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to point out to the minister that he is adding conditions. This having been said, how can the minister justify that the provinces, to whom the Constitution grants exclusive jurisdiction over social assistance and education, will only play a consultative role regarding the determination of the new national standards?

Social Services
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the proposed transfer program is a clear recognition that the provinces can take more responsibility for making decisions.

We are freeing up and making far more flexible their choices of priorities within a broad range of programming on education, welfare and health. That is the whole point of consolidating the existing transfer system, to give the provinces the freedom of choice to look at programming which suits the individual needs of their own areas.

At the same time, it is a national transfer program. There are base conditions and those conditions are already X stamped, as we said in the budget itself, such as the five conditions under the Canada Health Act and the condition under the Canada assistance plan which protect the mobility rights of Canadians so they can move from one region to another and still be eligible for some form of assistance. Those are the basic conditions which were put forward.

Social Services
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, I understand clearly that national standards are here to stay.

But given the government's policy regarding transfer payments, which will ensure that Ottawa will dictate these national standards and will reduce the provinces to mere administrative branches, are we to take this as another example of the flexible federalism so touted by the Liberals?

Social Services
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is obviously trying to use scare tactics. The budget makes it clear that fewer strings will be attached to the Canada social transfer than was the case for transfer payments previously.

The conditions to be met in the area of health care remain the same, as is explained in the budget. There have never been any conditions tied to post-secondary education, particularly in Quebec, which has opted out since 1964. All the conditions tied to social assistance have been eliminated, excepting the one barring any minimum period of residency to qualify.

Therefore, it is very clear, and the budget states this, that any future federal-provincial agreement will be based on mutual consent and, consequently, contrary to what the hon. member would have us believe, there are fewer conditions to be met than before.

Social Services
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, while it is recognized that social assistance and education come under provincial jurisdiction, the federal government clearly shows its intention to interfere shamelessly in these areas of provincial jurisdiction by imposing its views and goals on the provinces through national standards.

My question is for the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. How can the minister reconcile this denial of the provinces' exclusive jurisdiction, which leaves the door wide open to confrontation with Quebec, and the openness, mutual understanding and flexible federalism he is talking about?

Social Services
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, I am hearing the exact same argument being put forth again and it is as flawed as it was in the previous question. The budget clearly indicates that the requirements attached to social transfers will be reduced and that, if social assistance programs are subject to standards, these standards will be set by mutual consent.

This is mentioned several times in the budget. There is no mistake about it and I can only conclude that the members opposite are, once again, misrepresenting to the people of Canada and Quebec facts that are clearly stated in the budget.

Social Services
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, the mere fact of thinking about imposing standards or Canada-wide requirements in areas of exclusive provincial jurisdiction constitutes in itself interference in Quebec's exclusive jurisdiction. That is what the minister just said.

Social Services
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Social Services
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Will the minister acknowledge that explicitly linking transfer payments for social assistance, postsecondary education and health, which are areas of exclusive provincial jurisdiction, to strict compliance with national standards imposed by Ottawa looks like a new attack against Quebec?

Social Services
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

The propaganda effort continues, Mr. Speaker. The Bloc Quebecois just keeps stating a position contradicted by facts, by the budget and by reality.

I can only repeat what I said earlier, namely that the budget is clear, that the requirements for social assistance have been reduced, that, if any standards are established, they will be established by mutual consent. It is very unfortunate that the opposition informs the people of Quebec so poorly on such major issues.