House of Commons Hansard #94 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was research.

Topics

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in the last analysis the person who is responsible for the conduct of all ministers is the Prime Minister of Canada. I maintain that and I have the responsibility.

She will be the first one to know if I say someday that it is not my decision, that it is the decision of somebody else. As Prime Minister I have to take responsibility for the activities of all my ministers and I will not give that responsibility to someone else. I will always face all my responsibilities.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, I do not know what kind of comfort that is to his cabinet or the Canadian public watching right now.

I sense a double standard. The former defence minister was forced to resign for a technical breach of the government's ethical guidelines. Whether the guidelines are public or private, we really do not know what they say. Cabinet ministers are supposed to know what they say but I am not sure they are entirely clear on it.

The Prime Minister stubbornly defends the youth minister who in her estimation and I think in that of the Canadian public did something worse. She admitted today in the House of Commons that it was a mistake and we appreciate that.

However, this minister knowingly signed a document on which she said these were government expenses. I will ask the Prime Minister one more time: Why is the defence minister called out on a technicality yet the youth minister is called safe for a blatant breach of the Prime Minister's guidelines and we do not even know what they say?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, days before the form was signed, the Secretary of State indicated that some elements of the expenditures were personal. The expenses were accounted for the same day. When she signed the document she attached a cheque to reimburse her personal expenses.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Human Resources Development. A Statistics Canada bulletin released yesterday indicates that the number of employment insurance claims is at its lowest level since 1981. However, we should not rejoice too soon, because the number of unemployed is now 55 per cent higher than in 1981.

Will the minister, who extols the virtues of his reform, tell us why the number of unemployed is currently so high, while the number of recipients is constantly decreasing?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Michel
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, allow me to answer the short digression of the member for Mercier. The fact is that 700,000 jobs have been created since 1993.

As for the member's question, it is important to realize that the employment insurance act is the result of an extensive consultation process involving 100,000 Canadians. This legislation will prepare Canadians to enter the 21st century and to adjust to the new market reality.

Using the actual number of hours worked results in a system that is more fair and better balanced. The new program currently allows an additional 500,000 people to be covered, including 270,000 women.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, for July and August 1996 alone, the number of UI claimants dropped by 5.3 per cent. According to Statistics Canada, this drop in the number of claimants and beneficiaries is due to the new legislation. Will the minister agree that, contrary to his comments, his reform deprives more than 50 per cent of those unemployed of the right to claim benefits?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Michel
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, we put a very high value on work. We value work and we do not want a passive system that encourages people not to look for work. On the contrary, we are investing in those who are prepared to get training and to take the necessary steps to find work.

We are extremely pleased that our active return-to-work measures meet the needs of Canadians. What Canadians need in our new economy is to go back to work with the proper training.

We are pleased that this reform meets the needs of my constituents in Papineau-Saint-Michel, including women who are poor and who are often unable to work more than a few hours per week. These women are now covered from the first hour of work and they are grateful to us for that.

Health Care
Oral Question Period

October 31st, 1996 / 2:30 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, one of the main promises the Liberals made in the red book was to preserve medicare. What they actually delivered slyly was a dissection of some $3 billion per year out of that program. The result is that this year there is $395 million less in Quebec for hospital care.

Will the health minister admit that every woman suffering from breast cancer who is on a waiting list today is on a longer waiting list because of those cuts?

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Cape Breton—East Richmond
Nova Scotia

Liberal

David Dingwall Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member raises an important subject in terms of breast cancer. I do not think there is anyone in the House on either side of the aisle who is not supportive of initiatives as they relate to breast cancer.

The government, in co-operation with a variety of different groups, is contributing a fair sum of money in terms of research and how we can effect positive solutions.

Over the last number of years $25 million have been directed toward research. More has to be done.

We have signed a memorandum of understanding with the United States to focus not only our capital and our money but our human resources to find the kinds of solutions women and society in general would like to have as they relate to breast cancer.

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, representatives of 44,000 Canadian doctors appeared in front of the finance committee this week. What did they ask for? I quote: "Stop the devastating health care cuts". They gave the Liberals a failing grade on medicare. They asked for a reinfusion of funds into medicare. Strangely that sounds a bit like Reform's fresh start on medicare.

Will the minister steal another plank from the Reform Party, do exactly what the Canadian doctors have asked and reinfuse more money into medicare?

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Cape Breton—East Richmond
Nova Scotia

Liberal

David Dingwall Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, flip-flops and inconsistency have been characterizations of the members opposite.

In September 1993 the leader of the third party said that his party "would support user fees or deductibles and would eliminate universality". Days before the federal election in 1993 the Reform Party said it was opposed to private health care and user fees.

If that is not a flip-flop, if that is not an inconsistency, I say to the hon. member to go back to med school and become a real spin doctor.

The Film Industry
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre De Savoye Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Industry. A study released today by Heritage Canada concludes that 97 per cent of the money paid in Canada by film distributors for Canadian productions comes from businesses which are under Canadian control, and that, proportionally, these Canadian-controlled distributors create six times more jobs than do foreign-controlled distribution companies.

What is the minister waiting for to block Polygram's request, since there are no grounds to justify this foreign company's distributing films in Canada, particularly since this is categorically against Canadian policies in this area?

The Film Industry
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as I explained to the hon. member for Rimouski-Témiscouata last week, it is impossible, under the Investment Canada Act, to discuss specifics while the issue is still before me.

The Film Industry
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre De Savoye Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to quote from the Heritage Canada study which says, among other things: "We conclude that the Canadian distribution policy is well justified and continues to be pertinent, and that the consequences of its not being applied would be highly prejudicial to the Canadian industry- and contrary to the public interest".

In reality, what the minister is being asked to do is to ensure that Canadian cultural rules are respected and to not negotiate any cut-rate deals. Will the Minister of Industry assume his responsibilities, do his duty, and reject the Polygram application?

The Film Industry
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I shall certainly assume my responsibilities, and I will explain my decision when it is time to do so.

I would also like to point out that I agree with the hon. member on the importance of Canadian culture. I am pleased the Bloc is also in favour of protecting Canadian culture. I trust that they will work with us to create a country where we can all have a strong culture and develop an appreciation of our two cultures, French and English.