House of Commons Hansard #5 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was vice-chair.

Topics

Agri-Food Sector
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Guy Chrétien Frontenac, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Agriculture. Once more, Canada is having a commercial dispute with the United States with regard to the agri-food sector. Some 138,000 Canadian jobs are at stake, including 45,000 in Quebec.

Could the government commit itself to do its utmost to make sure that custom tariffs determined by the World Trade Organization in the area of milk, poultry and egg productions are not tampered with in any way because of false American claims?

Agri-Food Sector
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Regina—Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to say that in the face of the NAFTA challenge launched by the United States with respect to Canada's supply management system, all of the relevant farm organizations, all of the provincial governments and the Government of Canada are totally united in putting forward the most vigorous, articulate and thorough defence of this valuable made in Canada system for the supply management of our agricultural products.

We are launching that vigorous defence in the face of the American action for three very compelling reasons: first, because supply management has served this country very well; second, because we firmly believe we are right as a matter of trade policy and trade law; and third, because this government promised Canadian farmers, including Quebec farmers that we would defend our system of supply management. We will keep that promise.

Agri-Food Sector
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Guy Chrétien Frontenac, QC

Mr. Speaker, contrary to what it did in the area of lumber, could the Liberal government promise not to make any concession to the Americans, but rather to use all its resources and all the means at its disposal to force the Americans to abide by the rules of the WTO?

Agri-Food Sector
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Regina—Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, over the course of the last year or so the United States has repeatedly invited us on the Canadian side to renegotiate these tariff equivalents with respect to supply management. The Canadian government with the full support of all the provinces and the full support of Canadian supply management

agencies has consistently said no to the request from the United States.

We believe the United States is trying to obtain by the mechanism of the dispute settlement process what the United States could not obtain through the negotiating process. Canada intends to stand firm. Canada will not blink.

Government Advertising
Oral Question Period

March 4th, 1996 / 2:50 p.m.

Reform

Dick Harris Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the minister responsible for the Royal Canadian Mint.

At the launch of the $2 coin, the minister said: "In our efforts to reduce the deficit, we are examining every expenditure for potential savings". Despite this promise of frugality we find that the mint is spending in excess of $2 million to advertise this new coin.

Considering that the coin was already a fait accompli, can the minister explain how spending $2 million to promote the coin contributes to saving money? Is there a hole in the minister's logic?

Government Advertising
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Sudbury
Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, when I viewed the ads, as the hon. member did, I had some concerns. had some concerns. I contacted the Canadian Mint and am pleased to say that the ads stopped last Tuesday.

Government Advertising
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Dick Harris Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am so happy the minister has given me that answer.

If the minister has taken such swift action to stop these ads, will she also take quick action to stop the ads currently being run by Canada Post which promotes how far we can send a letter in Canada for 45 cents? Canada Post is the only way we can send a letter for 45 cents and if it is the only option that Canadians have, why do we need to advertise it?

Government Advertising
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Sudbury
Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I will certainly look into this matter as well and take whatever action is necessary.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Harold Culbert Carleton—Charlotte, NB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of National Revenue.

As most of us are fully aware, this is currently that wonderful season for tax filing. Taxpayers throughout New Brunswick would like to know what if anything Revenue Canada officials could possibly do to make the tax filing chore a little easier this year in New Brunswick and throughout Canada.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the member has put his finger directly and clearly on a key focus of Revenue Canada which is to find the strategies that make it as easy as possible for Canadians to pay their taxes.

Certainly the member is aware that we are using new technology, E-filing and electronic transfer of funds. Most specifically, I am pleased to announce the expansion of a pilot in the member's own province of New Brunswick whereby 65,000 residents of his province can now use the telephone to file their tax returns.

I look forward to working with the member and others in the province of New Brunswick and their constituents to streamline that program to make sure that it is available to all Canadians in the near future.

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

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

The Minister of Health has recently added a page to this government's book of horrors when he stated that the health care system would be severely threatened once Quebec has achieved full sovereignty.

Since his department is a perfect example of duplication through federal interference in an area under provincial jurisdiction, will the minister not agree that it would be preferable to make cuts within his own department, which has 8,000 employees and spends more than $1 million a year, rather than in health services to the public?

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Cape Breton—East Richmond
Nova Scotia

Liberal

David Dingwall Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I am sure the hon. member is aware that the people in the province of Quebec overwhelmingly support the five principles of the Canada Health Act. In point of fact, in excess of 63 per cent of the people of the province of Quebec support medicare in Canada.

I want to say to the hon. member that it is vitally important for all Canadians regardless of where they live, regardless of their socioeconomic status, that they have access to good quality health care. Many royal commissions which have been put in place by provincial governments across the country have said that the question is not one of funding, the question is one of management. There is no duplication between the various levels of government, and if there were we would move forward to correct it.

Health Care
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, when the health minister was in opposition there was a huge uproar every time cuts to medicare took place. Now that he is in a position to put his money where his mouth is, will the minister stop this slow bleeding of health care? Do your job.

Health Care
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

I presume that statement was meant for me, and I will.

Health Care
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Cape Breton—East Richmond
Nova Scotia

Liberal

David Dingwall Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we on this side of the House, Canadians in the province of Alberta and those people over there have been waiting patiently to ascertain the policy position of the Reform Party on medicare.

On two separate occasions the leader of the third party as well as its critic have made conflicting views and statements with regard to medicare. It is high time the Reform Party came clean and told Canadians where it stands.