House of Commons Hansard #198 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was pension.

Topics

Canadian Security Intelligence Service
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bonaventure—Îles-De-La-Madeleine
Québec

Liberal

Patrick Gagnon Parliamentary Secretary to Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as we very well know, the matter is currently being investigated by CSIS. I am not at liberty to comment on the operations of CSIS.

I should add there is also SIRC which has the mandate to look into this and possibly make a recommendation to the government and to the service in relation to this matter as raised by the opposition member.

Canadian Security Intelligence Service
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Val Meredith Surrey—White Rock—South Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am disappointed that the minister, through the parliamentary secretary, continues to hide behind section 18 of the CSIS Act. If he would read down to section 18, paragraph 2, he would see that Parliament also gave him the authority to reveal the identity of a source just like his predecessors did.

The solicitor general still appears reluctant to use the power at his disposal. I ask the parliamentary secretary: Is it the intention of this government to be even more secretive than the previous Conservative government?

Canadian Security Intelligence Service
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bonaventure—Îles-De-La-Madeleine
Québec

Liberal

Patrick Gagnon Parliamentary Secretary to Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, CSIS has a specific mandate to look into any problems that might arise in so far as it concerns the security of Canada. This is one allegation we are looking into. I can assure the hon. member that we have a process in place. It is working. It has worked in the past and I am sure it will work in the future.

High Speed Train
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Mercier Blainville—Deux-Montagnes, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of Transport. On November 1, 1991, the Transport ministers of Canada, Quebec and Ontario announced they would share the cost of a $6 million feasibility study on operating a high speed train similar to the TGV in the Quebec-Windsor corridor. This study was to be finished not later than November 1993, and the agreement between the three governments expired on March 31, 1994.

Since the study has yet to be submitted to the minister, could he explain why the report has been delayed for more than 16 months and tell us what he is doing or intends to do to put an end to this unacceptable situation?

High Speed Train
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst
New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for his question. It is a rather tricky situation. Since three governments are involved-the Government of Quebec, the Government of Ontario and the federal government-a consensus among all three governments is essential before the study is submitted to the responsible minister and published.

Discussions are continuing to see if we can reach a consensus on the report. In fact, our deputy minister met his Quebec counterpart not long go, and the change of ministers in Ontario may have delayed things as well.

We are still waiting for all three governments to agree so there will be at least a consensus on the issue.

High Speed Train
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Mercier Blainville—Deux-Montagnes, QC

Mr. Speaker, my supplementary is also directed to the Minister of Transport.

Considering the studies he already has, including the joint study by Quebec and Ontario, why will the minister not at least take a preliminary position on this high speed train project which, first of all, would provide us with expertise that would be eminently exportable; second, would create thousands of jobs,

and third, would be financed to a considerable extent by the private sector?

High Speed Train
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

Hon. members, I will give the minister the floor but I would like to point out that a question does not have three or four parts. It is one question. The Minister of Transport.

High Speed Train
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst
New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I want to emphasize that we are all anxious to get to the end of this exercise. It has been a costly one. There have been a lot of studies. There has been a lot of expense on the parts of the Government of Ontario, the Government of Quebec and the Government of Canada.

It would be highly irregular after all the time and effort put into this by three governments to have the Government of Canada set out its policy unilaterally. That is one of the things I hear my hon. friends in the opposition refer to constantly as being an improper way for the Government of Canada to act. When we consult and try to arrive at a consensus, it is not acceptable. When we try to dictate terms, it is not acceptable. We will just do the best we can to bring this to a conclusion as quickly as we can.

Ministerial Regional Offices
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Fraser Valley West, BC

Mr. Speaker, we have been provided more evidence of how the Liberals go about giving the impression they are meeting their promises in the red book.

One of the promises was to cut $10 million from ministerial offices. We have a document to all ministers from Treasury Board dated April 27. It states that although current policy requires that 100 per cent of the costs of regional offices be charged to ministerial budgets "indications are that some departments have been absorbing these charges", not the ministerial budget.

Would the President of the Treasury Board tell the House which departments are engaged in the cooking of the books, which is illegal according to the Financial Administration Act?

Ministerial Regional Offices
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, the premise to the question is all wrong. The government did cut $10 million from ministerial budgets, including the office of the Prime Minister. As led by that commitment, it has made those cuts.

The ministerial regional offices continue to be operated in a way that is most cost efficient and will be subject to further cost efficiencies in the future. The minister of public works indicated the other day that we have closed a number of them already. They are all being handled in a proper fashion.

Ministerial Regional Offices
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Fraser Valley West, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is rather ironic that the President of the Treasury Board said that.

I want to quote again from this document we have. "The cost sharing will in effect allow ministers to respend the amount thus saved. This will result in an increase to the costs of running ministers' offices".

My question is for the Deputy Prime Minister. Since the Prime Minister's office provided concurrence on this financial sleight of hand designed to fool the taxpayers, will the Prime Minister now come clean and table a full report showing which ministers' offices are practising these hocus-pocus politics?

Ministerial Regional Offices
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, again the preamble is all wrong.

These ministerial regional offices are provided not only for ministers who are resident in the cities in which they are located but also for visiting ministers to conduct government business. The Treasury Board continues to examine the operation of these facilities. It will be making changes to ensure that they continue as in the past to be operated in the most cost efficient fashion.

Newfoundland Dockyard
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Hickey St. John's East, NL

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

There is a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the future of the Newfoundland dockyard. Currently only a few tradespersons are working at the dry dock, down from 850 last year. Given the importance of the dockyard to the economy of St. John's will the minister inform the House about his plans for the dockyard?

Newfoundland Dockyard
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst
New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the question of the dockyards in St. John's is one that has been discussed very thoroughly.

We have advised the president of Marine Atlantic to look into the commercialization of all the activities of Marine Atlantic, including the dockyard at St. John's.

The future of the dockyards at St. John's lies completely in the hands of the management of Marine Atlantic and especially the workers at that facility. We lost in excess of $3 million there last year. We do not intend to have that happen again.

Unless we can find a buyer for the dockyards at St. John's or a better solution than what we have been able to come up with so far, there will be no alternative but to close it. I hope that will not be the result of the work we have undertaken there. The board of directors and the president of Marine Atlantic have been given a

very clear directive that we have to commercialize the activities of that entire operation. That includes the dockyard at St. John's.

Bovine Somatotropin
Oral Question Period

May 10th, 1995 / 2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Daviault Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Agriculture. Part III of the Estimates of the Department of Agriculture provides that, and I quote: "Dairy policy is expected to be a focus of analysis in 1995-96 and will cover the impact of the introduction of recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST) in Canada".

In view of the fact that available studies appear not to contain sufficient information to permit the marketing of the hormone and that the Department of Health has not announced any change in this regard, how does the minister explain the hormone's expected arrival on the scene this year?