House of Commons Hansard #98 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was support.

Topics

The Canada Labour Code
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

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

On the one hand, under Quebec law, pregnant workers may use the provisions respecting preventative withdrawal from work, with compensation, if their work presents a risk to themselves or to the foetus. Similar provisions exist in several other Canadian provinces. On the other hand, those subject to the Canada Labour Code do not enjoy the right to preventative withdrawal.

Will the minister admit that the fact that the Canada Labour Code provides for neither reassignment nor preventative withdrawal with compensation penalizes pregnant or breastfeeding workers in Quebec and Canada?

The Canada Labour Code
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Léonard
Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano Minister of Labour and Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, we are currently reviewing part II of the Canada Labour Code, which deals with the matter raised by the hon. member.

A group representing employers and unions, together with officials from the Department of Labour program, has already reached a consensus on 90 per cent of the proposed changes. We are now working on the remaining 10 per cent.

On Monday, I instructed my officials to work on a consensus on this matter with that group so that, hopefully early in the new year, we can submit the next set of changes to the Canada Labour Code, concerning health and safety as proposed by the hon. member.

The Canada Labour Code
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, on a biographical note, I would like to remind the minister that, in 1993, he voted for an amendment regarding preventative withdrawal tabled by the Bloc Quebecois, and I ask him this: Will he undertake to make the necessary changes to the Canada Labour Code so that agreements can be entered into with the provincial governments, that would include compensation plans for the reassignment or preventative withdrawal of pregnant or breastfeeding workers, where such plans exist?

The Canada Labour Code
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Léonard
Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano Minister of Labour and Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, as I just said, we are reviewing the amendments. I can assure my hon. colleague that we are looking at this very seriously and we intend to make changes as soon as possible.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister for International Trade.

On October 31, following the recent Canada-U.S. agreement on softwood lumber, lumber companies in Quebec and Canada received a letter from the Canadian government indicating their market quotas.

Can the minister explain how these quotas were calculated and say if steps were taken to protect those companies that have already exceeded their quotas?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the members of the House that first of all we responded in this agreement with the United States at the request of the industry. The industry was, of course, in the setting of the quotas consulted right throughout the way. It established criteria, forwarded its suggestions to us and by and large that is what we followed.

By and large the setting of the quota is based on past experience. Each of the companies was allowed to pick its best 12 month period with a two and a half year timeframe, and that is the information they provided for us and that was the basis for our calculating what they should be getting in the way of quota.

I should point out that quota means free quota because they can still export as much as they want but it means that there are fees that have to be paid over and above that quota.

There are some companies, as the hon. member has pointed out in his question, that have exceeded their allocation. A lot of them have done this of course in full knowledge about what their past experience has been but have elected to rush the border and sell all in the early phases of this program, which is unfortunate if they are now facing a difficulty in terms of quota.

We have however, provided two things-

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Elk Island.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Ken Epp Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, I want the record to show that I and the members of the Reform Party find no pleasure at all in making these accusations.

I also want the record to show very clearly that we are here to ferret out the facts and we want to know if these guidelines exist. Today there is more than adequate doubt that they exist. Will any minister who has seen the guidelines please stand up?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the member is up every day and he is not able to table any facts or make any arguments. They are arguing about how I deal with my ministers. They should have the facts and the guts to make accusations, not to work only with innuendoes like that. If they want to make accusations they can get out of the House and make accusations and face the consequences.

If the member has something concrete, put it to the House and we will deal with it. We are not playing with innuendoes.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Ken Epp Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has put it right on the line. We do have the courage to demand the facts and we are not going to let up until we have tabled in this House un-whited documents that show all the facts.

I will personally be delighted if the minister is totally exonerated, but until those missing blanks are filled in we will not let it rest. Will they do that?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

Colleagues, on the words we are using, I have not heard any accusations but now "exoneration". Please, my colleagues, be very judicious in your choice of words. I am going to permit the Prime Minister to answer.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have been a member of this House for quite a long time. I arrived here in 1963. It is a tradition in this House that when an honourable member of the House gets up to table the facts, there is an acceptance by the people that those are the facts until they can prove the contrary.

The secretary of state rose and explained her case in front of the nation, and they carry on the innuendoes with no facts.

He should do his homework, find the facts and come back, not operate on innuendoes. This is not the dignity in this House that we used to have in the old days.

Air Transportation
Oral Question Period

November 6th, 1996 / 2:50 p.m.

Bloc

André Caron Jonquière, QC

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

Since Canadian airlines' restructuring plan was announced last Friday, divisions have appeared within the Canadian government. On the one hand, the Minister of Industry was willing to consider a request for financial assistance from Canadian; on the other hand, the Minister of Transport reiterated yesterday that his government would not invest another penny in Canadian.

Since the federal government has already done more than its share for Canadian, notably by guaranteeing a $120 million loan, buying back three Airbus planes for $150 million and awarding it the lucrative Asian market, can the Minister guarantee us today he has no intention of injecting more tax dollars into a company that has lost over $1.3 billion in the past eight years?

Air Transportation
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the member talks about differences of opinion between ministers and getting quotes by two ministers who said exactly the same thing.

I would point out to the member that the company we are talking about, Canadian airlines, has a major problem of restructuring which it faces and this will require substantial changes to its operations. It is a private company and therefore must go out and, like other private companies, attempt to deal with its problems on its own.

From the government's point of view, we wish to encourage competition. Many of the steps we have taken since becoming government have shown that. We believe the increase in air traffic that has resulted since we have taken office does show that we have succeeded in this regard.

Obviously we are particularly interested in this major company, one of our major carriers internationally as well as domestically, but at the present time we have received no request for any assistance from either the company or from the unions involved as well.

Air Transportation
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

André Caron Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, I note that the minister gave no guarantee.

But could the minister at least guarantee us that Ottawa will not amend its foreign investment regulations to allow U.S. interests to take over Canadian airlines, which is less and less Canadian?