House of Commons Hansard #92 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was promise.

Topics

Liberal Party
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Bob Mills Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, I was at the meeting with Mr. Gingrich in Washington. We also met with a number of Democrats. We also met with a number of people from human rights concerns in Washington while we were there. I will tell you that we were as different as anything we could get from that right wing extremist element they are talking about. When I read that in a newspaper, Mr. Speaker, I was furious. I demand and we demand an apology from the Prime Minister now.

Liberal Party
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, now they do not want to admit that they were praised by Mr. Gingrich. I remember, I read that. Mr. Gingrich said the Reform Party was the way of the future. When I compare the two parties, both have increased their support to 10 per cent.

Liberal Party
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Bob Mills Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, I will not attempt to list all of the praising that has been done of the present Prime Minister, from his homeless friends to all the others. I will not even try to list those.

If the Prime Minister is so certain of himself, why will he not accept an open debate with the leader of the Reform Party? What is he afraid of?

Liberal Party
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, when I travel around the world, people realize that Canada is one of the few countries, if not the only one, where there is a question period five times a week with no notice on any questions that can spring up from the opposition.

The Prime Minister sits in the House of Commons with virtually all of his ministers ready to reply to questions and they want to have a debate on top of that. Fine, there will be an election and there will be debate. But the main debate is here in the House of Commons where all members are elected. This is the main place for debate.

I have been here for 33 years and this is the first time that the leader of a party wants to have a debate outside of the House because he does not feel that he is performing very well in debates in le salon de la race.

Persons With Disabilities
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Bernier Mégantic—Compton—Stanstead, QC

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

Yesterday, the government released the report of the Liberal task force on disability issues. This committee, which did not include any member of the opposition, in essence reiterated the recommendations already made in 1995 in the unanimous report tabled by the Standing Committee on Human Rights and the Status of Persons with Disabilities, following months of consultations.

How can the Prime Minister justify such a duplication of time, money and effort, except, once again, to try to buy time and to let organizations calm down, while financing, with taxpayers' money, his platform concerning people with disabilities?

Persons With Disabilities
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Michel
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, we did receive, yesterday, the report of the task force on disability issues, which was very well run by the hon. member for Fredericton-York-Sunbury.

This is a very interesting document, which will have a significant impact on the government's action, and particularly the Department of Human Resources Development. As for myself, I have already pledged to ensure that all Canadians, including those with disabilities, can make a full contribution to our society.

I am convinced that a number of proposals made by the task force will help us fulfil this commitment. In the coming weeks, I will meet with my colleagues, the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Justice and the Minister of National Revenue, to follow up on this very interesting report.

Persons With Disabilities
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Bernier Mégantic—Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, still more rhetoric but no action. Rather than giving itself a nice passing grade like the Prime Minister did on the weekend regarding the fulfilment of his red book promises, will this government finally take action and follow up on the recommendations of the human rights committee, before the end of its mandate? Enough promises: we want action.

Persons With Disabilities
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Michel
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I know that our friends opposite, Bloc Quebecois members, love action. This government is a responsible government. It wants to make sure that a remarkable consultation exercise such as the one conducted by our colleague truly reflects the concerns of Canadians with disabilities.

Check with them and you will see that, more than ever before, they feel they have had an opportunity to be heard by the government. There will be action, but it will meet the needs and the objectives of these people. We will not take action for the sake of it, as would members of the opposition.

Asbestos
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Natural Resources.

In July, France announced an almost total ban on asbestos, as of January 1, 1997. What does the government do to protect the jobs of workers in Quebec's asbestos mines?

Asbestos
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Edmonton Northwest
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I want to reassure the hon. member that the federal government is pursuing this issue very vigorously with its trading partners, with the province of Quebec and with the asbestos industry.

Let me remind the hon. member that the Prime Minister wrote to his counterpart, Mr. Alain Juppé, on October 6. As a result of that letter, today in fact we have a panel of Canadian experts in France providing scientific information and background to the French in terms of our policy on controlled or safe use of asbestos.

Let me also remind the hon. member that it was the Prime Minister, when he was Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources in 1983 who signed a 10 year, $15 million agreement to establish the Asbestos Institute that has pursued scientific inquiry into the safe use of asbestos and developed new asbestos products.

I would hope the hon. member sees that this government has had a long history of commitment to the asbestos industry in Quebec.

Bombardier Inc.
Oral Question Period

October 29th, 1996 / 2:55 p.m.

Reform

Jim Silye Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, today's Globe and Mail headline reads: ``Liberals turn sights on Manning: PMO issues attack memo suggesting Reform Party be linked to U.S. extreme right wing''. I would like to thank the Prime Minister and the Liberals for targeting Reform. I take it as a compliment that they feel we are a threat to this government and that our policies and platforms have something to offer.

Let us check on innuendo. It is a fact that Bombardier has donated $170,000 to the Liberals since 1993. It is a fact that Bombardier has done its research on those planes. It is a fact that the Minister of Industry yesterday did not answer my question on criteria fully. It is a fact that the son-in-law of the Prime Minister is on the board.

Bombardier Inc.
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

I ask the hon. member to put his question now.

Bombardier Inc.
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Jim Silye Calgary Centre, AB

Given these facts, will the Minister of Industry or the Prime Minister explain to us what technical advancement is being developed at Bombardier for $87 million?

Bombardier Inc.
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, in spite of the offensiveness of the preamble to the question, the substance of the question is good.

In deciding to make this investment we looked at the criteria that were described when we announced the technology partnership program and the fact that we were engaged in a risk sharing venture of research and development, in this case the development of an extended version of the Canadair regional jet. We looked at the ability of that product to be marketed internationally. We looked at the number of jobs that were involved: either being sustained or created by the investment. We looked at the likelihood of the government recouping its investment fully. As I said yesterday, when we pass 400 planes we will make a profit on it.

The member lists some facts. It is a fact that despite our trade surplus the only high technology sector in which we have a trade surplus is aerospace. It is a fact that this company, Canadair, is one

of our finest companies and one of the best in the world. We will invest in our winners.

Bombardier Inc.
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Reform

Jim Silye Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is interesting that when we start to use a little innuendo like the government members do they find it offensive. What is good for the goose is good for the gander, so either you take it or you don't.

On the issue of research and development the criteria that were used in this instance are still very suspect. The Minister of Industry picks the one company that is already number six, with $6.6 billion in assets, with cash in the bank of $200 million, with profits of $100 million. That company has enough money to do a lot of its own R and D. Were there matching funds by Bombardier for R and D and if so, how much? And is this just the first part of a three-part instalment?