House of Commons Hansard #101 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was international.

Topics

Krever Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Cape Breton—East Richmond
Nova Scotia

Liberal

David Dingwall Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I certainly disagree with the premise of the hon. member's question.

First and foremost, the Government of Canada has provided a great deal of information. All of the information that I have within my purview I believe has been provided. However, if there is a specific request, the decision has been made by the clerk of the Privy Council and that is where the question should be posed. That is where the written question should be posed. I am sure the clerk will provide the information to the hon. member.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, last week it was full page newspaper ads. Tomorrow, the premiers of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick will be in Toronto basically to do an infomercial for the harmonized GST. Stay tuned while they claim that it will slice and dice and leave you with abs of steel and even grow hair. They can spin it any way they want but businesses and consumers in Atlantic Canada have very serious concerns about the harmonized GST.

My question is for the finance minister. Is this infomercial and all this propaganda all that Canadians can expect for their billion dollars?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it is very clear that underlying the hon. member's question is a deep feeling of resentment that Atlantic Canada is getting its act together.

What is very clear is that the hon. member simply cannot stand to see those provincial governments on behalf of their populations in co-operation with the federal government providing a base for sound taxation and competitiveness of their small and medium size businesses.

I would have thought that the hon. member, in support of Atlantic Canadians, would have stood up here and congratulated those provincial governments because what they are doing is saying they do not want dependence. What they really want to do is to be able to govern for the benefit of their own populations.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, there is a lot of resentment out there but it comes from all the other provinces that are footing the bill for the billion dollar payoff to Atlantic Canada, especially to the premiers.

The Halifax chamber of commerce is also resentful. So is the Retail Council of Canada and the Canadian Real Estate Association. They all have grave concerns with this deal. It is complicated, confusing and a killer of jobs.

Even those groups who before were supportive of the harmonization deal now have grave reservations about this particular brand of snake oil. Will the minister scrap it and go back to the drawing board?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member ought to know, the fact is that we have told the retail council that we will sit down and work out any administrative glitches. In fact, we are in the process of doing that.

That again is not what the hon. member is really driving at. What he stood up and said was why should Atlantic Canada be able to benefit when the rest of the country does not in this particular deal. The fact is that Atlantic Canadians did not stand up and complain when the minister of energy dealt with the tarsands in Alberta. Atlantic Canada did not stand up and complain when Ontario was provided with stabilization payments.

What we are really dealing with here is a rump of a party that refuses to take a pan-Canadian view of what the nation is all about.

Infrastructure Program
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the President of the Treasury Board.

In view of the recently announced unemployment rate of 10 per cent, can the President of the Treasury Board inform this House whether the government intends to launch a new infrastructure program this winter?

Infrastructure Program
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, the unemployment rate at 10 per cent is too high, but I think we should remember that since we have come into office we have helped to create about 700,000 jobs. The unemployment rate has decreased from 11.4 per cent to the present 10 per cent.

The best way in which a government can help to decrease that unemployment rate is obviously by helping to decrease interest rates. We now have the lowest interest rates in 30 years which of course helps investment and creates jobs.

The infrastructure program has created jobs, probably more than 110,000. We are still in the process of considering the pros and cons and the decision should be made within a few weeks.

Apec Summit
Oral Question Period

November 18th, 1996 / 2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Philippe Paré Louis-Hébert, QC

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

This coming November 23 to 25, the 18 heads of state who are members of APEC, the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation Forum, will be meeting in Manila, the Philippines. José Ramos Horta, Nobel Peace Prize winner and human rights activist in East Timor, has been denied access to the Philippines at the time of the summit, however.

Does Canada intend to make protests to the government of the Philippines for reversal of this decision and for José Ramos Horta to be allowed onto its territory?

Apec Summit
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the decision as to who is allowed into the Philippines is one to be taken by the Government of the Philippines alone.

During the meeting of the Asia-Pacific group, I will certainly be meeting on a number of occasions with other ministers of foreign affairs to discuss human rights issues in that region of the Asia-Pacific. As I have already said, it is very important to have direct and constructive commitments with other countries. This is, unfortunately, a decision for the Government of the Philippines and there is nothing Canada can do about it.

Apec Summit
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Philippe Paré Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, does the minister not acknowledge that such treatment of a Nobel Peace Prize Winner is truly unacceptable, and that Canada ought to react vigorously?

Apec Summit
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we certainly support the whole notion of having NGOs and a wide variety of people meeting in a parallel fashion during the APEC meetings. We have pioneered in those areas and I hope that during the course of the meetings there is the opportunity to visit the NGO groups and an opportunity to have exchanges with them.

However in this kind of case I do not think it would be proper for us to interfere in the decisions of another government when it has made a decision based on whatever the situation is there. I can

certainly assure the hon. member that we will be continuing our own dialogue with the NGOs about the situation in the Asia-Pacific.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Mike Scott Skeena, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans defends his decision to open up the food fishery this year saying that it is based on scientific evidence. However, I have in my hand an internal DFO document written by the minister's own bureaucrat responsible for counting fish in Newfoundland. It reads: "I know of no subsequent scientific analysis that has updated the assessment of 2J-3KL stocks. I was therefore quite dismayed that a recreational food fishery will be allowed".

Now that we know that no scientific evidence exists to justify the food fishery in the largest fishing areas surrounding Newfoundland, why does the minister continue the crime of ravaging what is left of the Atlantic stocks simply to buy votes?

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Fred Mifflin Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I will answer the question, although I certainly do not accept the premise.

I would advise the hon. member that he should stick to the subjects he is aware of and knows. I make many decisions.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Lee Morrison Swift Current—Maple Creek—Assiniboia, SK

Why? You do not.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Fred Mifflin Bonavista—Trinity—Conception, NL

The member has asked a question, he should please listen for the answer.

All scientific decisions like any other decisions are made on different pieces of advice. I have to tell the hon. member that this particular memo which I have not read because it was not addressed to me was addressed internally.

I went ahead with the food fishery on the basis of the advice from my senior scientist. The advice was that a closely controlled food fishery like the one which was implemented and executed with lots of surveillance would not impede recovery of the cod stock. That came from my senior scientist and it was on that basis that I went ahead.