House of Commons Hansard #28 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was federal.

Topics

Agriculture
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Cliff Breitkreuz Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, on April 10 at 5.30 a.m., armed men surrounded and stormed the Manitoba farm home of the Desrochers.

One wonders, was the family harbouring foreign criminals, was it engaged in smuggling activities or was it in Canada illegally? No. Norman Desrocher had dared to do the unthinkable. He sold his barley to the Americans without obtaining permission from the granddaddy of the prairies, the Canadian Wheat Board. It took 14 state employees, one-third of them well armed, to seize a legally owned grain truck.

Compare this action to the border south of Ottawa where smuggling is a 24-hour a day business. Is this equality of the law? On the Dakota border a family is terrorized by government agents. On the New York border the government does nothing. When will this cowardly government begin to apply the law equally and fairly?

Reform Party Of Canada
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Brenda Chamberlain Guelph—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have bad news for the House today. A recent poll commissioned by the member for Edmonton Southwest shows that even in Alberta Canadians think the ideas of the Reform Party are too extreme. How can that be?

Is it possible that Canadians see the study of caning as too extreme? Could it be that supporting the dismantling of health care by the Reform Party is a bit too harsh? Interestingly enough, 64 per cent of the people surveyed were impressed with our Prime Minister. The poll was strangely silent on what people felt about the leader of the Reform Party. I wish they had asked that question.

I have bad news for Reformers. Polls are not very good for them. Perhaps they will be smiling more if they read them less.

Unemployment Insurance Reform
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Council of the regional county municipalities of Rivière-du-Loup, Témiscouata, Kamouraska, Des Basques, Rimouski-Neigette, Matane, Pabos, Côte-de-Gaspé and Bonaventure have all sent a request to the federal government, asking for nothing less than the withdrawal of the bill concerning the unemployment insurance reform.

The RCMs point out the negative impact the reform proposed by the Minister of Human Resources Development will have. They are referring to the measures affecting seasonal workers. They think that the rules restricting the workers' eligibility or requesting 910 hours to become eligible to UI benefits for the first time will only help to promote the underground economy.

These people are not professional agitators, as the minister has suggested, but rather the mayors of these various regional county municipalities, speaking on behalf of the people who elected them.

I think that the minister should realize that the regions affected by the reform will not accept token changes. The government will have to go back to the drawing board.

Minister Of National Defence
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Bob Ringma Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, those proudly serving in the armed forces are disgusted at the way the defence minister has disregarded the principles of integrity, duty, respect and decency. I remind the minister and Liberal MPs that these are the trademarks of every man and woman serving in

uniform, not the litany of irresponsibility, contempt and cover-up which plagues the Somalia inquiry for which this minister refuses to accept responsibility.

As a retired soldier with service in many areas, I have seen cowardly actions but usually it is by Canada's enemies and not Canada's own. I cannot condone the cheap shots from the defence minister as he questions the loyalty of Reform MPs to our military merely to deflect criticism of his own incompetence.

Until the minister puts on a uniform, he has no right to lecture me or any member on principled behaviour, integrity or even on being un-Canadian.

Earth Day
Statements By Members

April 18th, 1996 / 2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Kraft Sloan York—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, Monday, April 22 is Earth Day. Millions of Canadians will take part in grassroots celebrations and events from St. John's to the Gulf Islands to Cambridge Bay.

Earth Day is an international event. It is the largest celebration of environmental awareness and action in the world. Earth Day is a day of hope, action, responsibility and celebration.

The best example of celebration and hope is the Ekokids Club. This year Earth Day Canada hopes to see 1,000 Ekokids Clubs across the country. Thousands of Canadian children have shown leadership in environmental action. As parents we must stand with our children. A clean environment today ensures the health of future generations.

I urge all Canadians to join in local Earth Day celebrations and renew our commitment to the preservation of the planet.

Research And Development
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Roberval
Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, historically, Quebec has always been penalized when it came to federal research and development spending. The proof of this is that, from 1979 to 1991, Quebec received only 18.6 per cent of federal funding in this area, while Ontario received 50 per cent. These funds create many jobs and are highly stimulating to the economy.

This is an area in which Quebec would like to have its fair share. It is certainly more positive on the economic level for our tax dollars to come back to us for research and development instead of unemployment insurance.

My question is for the Minister of Natural Resources. How, under these circumstances, can she justify her department's choice of priorities in cutting off funding for the Tokamak project in Varennes, when this adds to the inequity from which Quebec has suffered far too long already in R&D?

Research And Development
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton Northwest
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated in this House before, this government confronted with a significant fiscal crisis has been forced to make very difficult choices. We have to set priorities as a government.

We are an energy rich nation and I am sure the hon. member appreciates that fact. In this energy rich nation, unfortunately fusion research is not a priority. Therefore, when asked to reduce my department's budget by some 60 per cent over three and one-half to four years, we had to set priorities. We set priorities and unfortunately fusion was not one of them.

Research And Development
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Roberval
Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, how can the minister justify her decision to end investments in the Tokamak project without any consultation with her partners, including the Government of Quebec, despite the fact that they funded 50 per cent of the project?

Research And Development
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton Northwest
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I come back to the point that we have to make choices and we have to set priorities. In this country we have done that in relation to energy research.

I am not suggesting that fusion research does not have a place. I am sure that the people who do this work do good work. Unfortunately it is not a priority when we look at the other energy sources this nation possesses.

Research And Development
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Roberval
Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I feel obliged to tell the minister that everyone in Quebec is opposed to her decision and would offer as proof the unanimous resolution by the National Assembly condemning her decision. That makes it twice this week that the federal government has managed to turn Quebec unanimously against it.

How can the minister persist with her decision to cut off her $7.5 million involvement in the Varennes basic research project, in which she is involved with other partners, while last June she added $15 million to the TRIUMF project in B.C.? This is also a basic

research project, and one in which the federal government is the sole investor. Why cut back in Quebec, where there is already anR&D deficit, while stepping up investment elsewhere?

Research And Development
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Edmonton Northwest
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, let me assure the hon. member that my department has not contributed any funding to the TRIUMPH project.

Let me come back to the basic point. Government, especially in these difficult fiscal times, is about choices and setting priorities. We all must do this. The government has set those priorities.

My department, facing a 60 per cent reduction, set priorities and made choices. In this country fusion as a possible energy source is not a research priority.

Goods And Services Tax
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, last night we heard on the news that the government was on the verge of announcing that it has reached an agreement with the maritime provinces on the goods and services tax. Under this agreement, these provinces would receive $1 billion in compensation from the federal government.

Can the minister confirm that such an agreement has been reached and, more importantly, that $1 billion will be paid to the maritime provinces as compensation?

Goods And Services Tax
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we are negotiating with several provinces. This being said, there is no final agreement to date. When we have one, I will be pleased to make an announcement in this House.

Goods And Services Tax
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, is the minister aware that, if indeed the maritime provinces receive compensation, he will be asking Canadians in the other provinces to pay for it out of their own money? He will reach into their pockets to compensate for a tax people in the maritimes will no longer be paying. This is quite a present.

Goods And Services Tax
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, if ever there were compensation, it would be for losses incurred. As a matter of fact, if we look at federal adjustment programs, as in the case of the Crow benefit, even if they were adjustments in transportation subsidies to the Atlantic provinces and Quebec, adjustments were made.

This is what our country is all about, the federal government together with the people of Canada provide assistance to those regions or parts of the country in need. Is the member saying that when compensation was specifically geared to Quebec, it should have been denied? I believe this to be a rather absurd notion Quebecers would find totally unacceptable.