House of Commons Hansard #114 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was health.

Topics

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, dealing with the last part of the member's question, I would like to thank all members of the finance committee for the report which came out today. I say to the chairman and the members who wrote the majority report, it appears to be a very good document, very constructive and worthwhile.

Although I have not had the opportunity to read the minority reports in full, I would like to mention to the Bloc finance critic that-

I would like to thank the financial critics from the Reform Party. I am sure the work they have done will be of the same quality as in the past.

The hon. member said that the Reform Party does not intend to cut health transfers. Let me simply-

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

We will call you offside for using a prop. The hon. member for Bourassa.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Osvaldo Nunez Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the immigration minister.

At its last convention, the Liberal Party of Canada passed a resolution calling for the lowering or the outright elimination of the $975 head tax immigrants must pay when they apply for residence in Canada. This tax which is particularly outrageous, unfair and discriminatory for refugees comes on top of the $500 processing fee for each application.

Can the minister tell us whether she intends to comply with the request put by members of her party and what exactly she is considering doing in response to their demand?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Henri—Westmount
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I believe I have a better knowledge of my party's resolutions than the member for Bourassa. I was at the convention when this resolution was passed. Clearly, my department will follow through with it.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Osvaldo Nunez Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, I believe the minister is not a loyal member of the Liberal Party since she has no intention of complying with her party's resolutions.

The vast majority of people working for agencies involved with assisting immigrants, labour unions, a number of community groups, the Bloc Quebecois and now members of her own party are asking her to change the rules. What more does the minister need to take action?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Henri—Westmount
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I would invite the member for Bourassa who is questioning my loyalty to my party to come and join our ranks. The least we can say is that the House is not unanimous on this issue.

I say again that we are going to look into it very seriously.

Pearson International Airport
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Ed Harper Simcoe Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, Liberals and airports are like drinking and driving: they should not be mixed and if they are, the consequences can be horrendous.

First Mirabel, now Pearson. Mirabel cost taxpayers billions. Unbelievably we are heading in the same direction with Pearson. Taxpayers may have to pay $662 million in compensation to the former developers of Pearson. The government has been found at fault but has been stalling settlement since February.

Will the government commit to settling with the Pearson Development Corporation before the next election so the voters will have a clear picture of this whole sorry mess?

Pearson International Airport
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the transfer of Pearson to the local authority, the Greater Toronto Airport Authority, took place on December 2 and was very successful. I am delighted that we now have Pearson in the hands of local people from the greater Toronto area who represent all facets of the municipalities and the people involved in operating the airport and using it. They will be able to exploit all the advantages for Pearson.

We want Pearson to be the premier airport to the east of the Mississippi, the central point for connections from Europe and that entire region of North America. To achieve this, approximately $2 billion of expenditures and upgrading at Pearson airport are needed over the next few years. I am confident that the new administration we have put in place at Pearson and the transfer of the airport to that new authority will result in Pearson taking its rightful place as the gateway to Europe for all that part of North America.

Pearson International Airport
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Ed Harper Simcoe Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I never did find out about the $662 million.

Since the new corporation was introduced, the new Pearson airport authority has indicated that it will cost $2.5 billion to redo Pearson. It has ruled out user fees to pay for that. It claims that the $2.5 billion can be raised solely from bonds, increased volume, and-wait for it-restaurant fees.

Has the government studied the Pearson authority financial plan? Will it assure this House that the taxpayers will not pay one cent for the renovations at Pearson airport?

Pearson International Airport
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member started off by making references to drinking. When he talks about $662 million to be paid by the people of Canada to buy out mythical profits of a Tory corporation, perhaps he is in the area where something is affecting his judgment.

Let me now go to the issue of fees at airports. Vancouver International Airport, our newest airport, is occupying the same relative position for Asia which I hope Pearson will be in for Europe. Forty-two per cent of the revenues of that airport come from the stores and restaurants which are operating on airport property. It is that which provides a great impetus and money so that it is not necessary to have large increases in landing fees.

I admit to the hon. member that in Vancouver the local authority in its wisdom saw the need to put on a departure tax which ranges from $5 to $15. The local authority in Toronto in its wisdom is choosing a different financial formula. That is what I mean by using local people's knowledge and initiative and local people's entrepreneurship to make the local decisions which suit local conditions.

Trade
Oral Question Period

December 5th, 1996 / 2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Harold Culbert Carleton—Charlotte, NB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister for International Trade. It concerns the recent trade agreement with Chile.

Members of the aquaculture industry are concerned that a subsequent NAFTA agreement will allow low cost Chilean aquaculture salmon products into Canada and the U.S. due to Chile's low hourly wages and virtually no environmental standards requirements.

Can the minister ensure Canada's aquaculture industry a level playing field in Canada's agreement with Chile and in any subsequent NAFTA agreements?

Trade
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Dartmouth
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Ron MacDonald Parliamentary Secretary to Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, in reply to the member's question, I wish to say that there is no history of dumping measures between Canada and Chile. We are not aware of any evidence of the dumping of salmon by Chile into Canada. As the member knows, Canadian imports of salmon have been duty free for a number of years.

I wish to assure the member that if there is evidence of dumping we will use the appropriate mechanisms in the agreement to seek a proper remedy, up to and including countervail duties which are still permitted under the agreement.

Zaire
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères, QC

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

One week after it was announced that a consensus had been reached among 20 countries on the disputed food drop mission over eastern Zaire, the multinational force has not been given the green light yet to help some 300,000 refugees who are still stuck in that area.

We were also informed this morning that a political meeting would be held this weekend to set the date for the operation to begin.

Since the situation over there is not getting any better with the new offensive by the rebels and the incursions of the Ugandan Army into the Zairian territory, which makes the dispatching of assistance even more tricky, what does the minister now intend to do to ensure that the humanitarian assistance can be delivered efficiently?

Zaire
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, first of all, we must distinguish between the two aspects of the problem: the humanitarian dimension and the presence of serious political turbulence in the area.

The mandate of the multilateral forces is limited to delivering humanitarian assistance and, as you know, we have taken several initiatives. General Baril has developed an action plan with the help of our partners. We have supported the refugees.

Yesterday, I attended a meeting with Sadako Ogata, the High Commissioner for Refugees. We discussed how the multilateral forces and the partners could work together with the United Nations and other organizations to ensure the refugees' safety.

If is very important to ensure now that the mandate is still to protect the refugees, but we must also encourage the movement of refugees in order to solve the problem.