House of Commons Hansard #25 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

The Constitution
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Bob Ringma Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, I do not know how much Canadians will be cheered by that 1987 response.

The intergovernmental affairs minister has also said that Quebec's racist bill 101, the language law in Quebec, and I quote him: "A great Canadian law and is liberal in many ways."

In many ways inclusion of distinct society has the legal potential to allow for policies which will take away from the rights of Canadians. I ask the minister if the inclusion of a distinct society clause is necessary, what measures will the government take to ensure that the clause will not undermine the equality of all Canadians?

The Constitution
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

Mr. Speaker, bilingual or trilingual democracies have measures to ensure that their language communities will live together in harmony. It is what we have in Canada. We are very proud of it.

Raw Milk Cheese
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. The Canadian government has just banned cheese made from raw milk. In Quebec, producers, importers, retailers, restaurant owners, consumers, veterinarians and the provincial government disagree with this decision. The Quebec Liberal Party and even the Liberal Party of Canada also disagree.

Since cheese made from raw milk is already strictly regulated in Canada and nobody is complaining, why do the minister and his officials want to annoy us by prohibiting the sale of this cheese here?

Raw Milk Cheese
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Cape Breton—East Richmond
Nova Scotia

Liberal

David Dingwall Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has asked a very important question relating to raw milk cheese. Evidence has come from my department which suggests that there may be an increased risk of illness or disease.

As a result a regulation has been gazetted and for 75 days there will be a period of consultation. After that consultation period we will be in a position to evaluate the evidence which has been put forward to see whether the evidence of the department is accurate.

Raw Milk Cheese
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, does the Minister of Health have nothing better to do than to regulate in an area where his officials are most unwelcome? Who is in charge, the minister or his officials?

Raw Milk Cheese
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Cape Breton—East Richmond
Nova Scotia

Liberal

David Dingwall Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I am tempted to say that the question is full of holes. However, I want to remind the hon. member who has demonstrated time and time again on the floor of the House of the Commons that she is a reasonable individual that my responsibilities as the Minister of Health are to protect the health of Canadians. When evidence comes forward which suggests an increase in risk of the health of Canadians, I must take the appropriate action.

Therefore, we have put in motion a process which is very normal, a 75-day consultation period. Thereafter, the appropriate decisions will be taken.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

April 15th, 1996 / 2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. Section 35(2) of the Fisheries Act deals with the protection of freshwater fish habitat and is a fundamental pillar of environmental and fisheries protection.

Can the minister of fisheries assure the House that the powers of section 35(2) will not be delegated to the provincial governments?

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Fred Mifflin Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for a very important question. I also want to compliment him on the good work he continues to do in environmental areas and for the tremendous reputation he has for concerns in this area.

I would like to assure the hon. member that, as he quite rightly points out, section 35(2) of the Fisheries Act is a very important trigger for the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.

I am pleased to report that while we may be looking at some changes downstream which are necessary and important for fresh-

water fish habitat, we will continue to ensure that the Fisheries Act will be an important trigger for fish management.

Pensions
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

John Williams St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, while the Canada pension plan consultations begin today, I have been talking with seniors in my riding for the past two weeks and they are worried.

The Minister of Finance said in his budget speech that the CPP must be put on a sound financial footing that will make it sustainable, affordable and fair.

My question is for the Deputy Prime Minister. Can the government assure us that sustainable, affordable and fair will not mean less money in the pockets of seniors?

Pensions
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

St. Paul's
Ontario

Liberal

Barry Campbell Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for the question.

We have just begun a process of consultations with respect to the Canada pension plan. We await with great interest the observations, ideas and suggestions of Canadians on how to ensure the sustainability of the plan.

The goal of the exercise is a sustainable program that will be there for Canadians, not taking something out of the pockets of Canadians.

Pensions
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

John Williams St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is interesting to note that the government is going to wait for the outcome of these consultations. That is not leadership.

Today the Montreal Gazette quotes the member for Winnipeg North Centre, who is the government's point man for the CPP road show. In the article the member says that the government is committed to protecting the fundamental part of Canada's overall pension system. What does protection mean? Pay more and get less or some other painful remedy?

My question is for the Deputy Prime Minister. What guarantee does the government give seniors that it will maintain the standard of living for seniors?

Pensions
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

St. Paul's
Ontario

Liberal

Barry Campbell Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, on one hand the member decries the consultations, suggesting that it is not leadership. That is precisely the kind of leadership Canadians want. They want to be heard. They want a government that listens to their suggestions. That is what we will do in the context of the CPP consultations.

Kenworth Plant In Sainte-Thérèse
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Mercier Blainville—Deux-Montagnes, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

Over a week ago, the management of the Kenworth plant in Sainte-Thérèse announced its plans to shut down operations at the truck manufacturing facility. Since then, all stakeholders have been actively seeking to prevent this plant from closing and to save the 850 jobs at stake.

Could the Prime Minister tell this House what steps he intends to take to save these 850 jobs?

Kenworth Plant In Sainte-Thérèse
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon Secretary of State (Federal Office of Regional Development-Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, you will understand that the government is extremely concerned about the announcement made by PACCAR. A substantial number of jobs are at stake, and my hon. friend across the way should know that the Canadian government has been involved in this matter from the very beginning, after PACCAR made its decision known. The Government of Quebec got involved and we immediately got on board; we were represented by my colleague, the Minister of Labour, who met with the president of the FTQ and also with his provincial counterpart.

We have been in contact; members of my staff got in touch with the minister responsible for the province of Quebec.

Last Saturday, my colleague, the Minister of Labour, and myself sat down with representatives of the union at the Sainte-Thérèse plant. I must say that, as matters stand, we will consult with each other. We will examine the matter on its merit and come back to the House with the Canadian government's position on this matter.

Kenworth Plant In Sainte-Thérèse
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Mercier Blainville—Deux-Montagnes, QC

Here is my supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Last Friday, the Government of Quebec made a proposal to PACCAR, Kenworth's parent company, in an attempt to prevent the closure of the Kenworth plant.

Since the Minister of Labour has announced that the federal government will get involved in this matter, could the Prime Minister undertake to support the proposal the Quebec government made to PACCAR to save the Kenworth plant in Sainte-Thérèse?