House of Commons Hansard #54 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was amendment.

Topics

Milling Industry
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Roger Pomerleau Anjou—Rivière-Des-Prairies, QC

We certainly hope, Mr. Speaker, that our experts are experienced. Otherwise, we would be in trouble.

Does the Minister of Industry intend to sit on his hands and allow this transaction, which will effectively transfer to two American companies the power to set the price of flour in Canada?

Milling Industry
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, at the risk of repeating myself, in 1986, Canada put in place a process to analyze mergers, buyouts and cases of unfair competition. This is a great and highly effective process. We have a bureau employing a number of experts called upon to analyze the market and its transactions. When they find that competition is declining, they take action; alternatively, individuals can use the mechanism provided for in the legislation.

Trade
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Andy Mitchell Parry Sound—Muskoka, ON

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

A new softwood lumber agreement has gone into effect. Can the minister assure the House that this agreement with the United States will benefit Canadian producers?

Trade
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, the agreement on softwood lumber was signed yesterday by our ambassador in Washington and a United States deputy trade representative. It reflects the policy I announced early in April with respect to this matter. It will go into effect on April 1.

This is an unprecedented agreement. It provides for secure access for a period of five years. It has in writing the agreement of the United States government not to pursue trade remedies in that period of time on the issue of softwood lumber. It is a position our industry strongly supports. It helps to preserve its export market into the United States. That in turn helps to preserve thousands of jobs.

In fact, if an amount of lumber which is equivalent to the average over the last three years is exported, not a nickel in fees will be paid. It will be a free flow. Last year was a record year. The industry could go to over 90 per cent of the amount and still have it as a free flow. Any fees that are paid over that will be staying in Canada. They will not be going to the United States treasury.

Pearson International Airport
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Reform

Jim Gouk Kootenay West—Revelstoke, BC

Mr. Speaker, for the last two years the Liberals' explanation for cancelling the Pearson airport development contract was that the developer's profits would have been excessive. Now the government has admitted that the potential profits were far from excessive. In fact, the Liberals in a court of law are stating that the developer would have lost money on Pearson.

Can the Minister of Transport please tell us which Liberal statement we should believe: the one which was made in the House that the developer would have made too much money, or the one which was made in a court of law that the developer would have gone broke?

Pearson International Airport
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Hamilton West
Ontario

Liberal

Stan Keyes Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the government is facing a lawsuit in Toronto on this issue. It would be entirely inappropriate for me to comment on the particulars of this case at this time, save to say that the plaintiffs in this case were claiming $172 million for lost profits. Then what happened? They upped their claim to over $600 million in lost profits.

The government has a responsibility to the Canadian taxpayer to test the validity of that claim. To that end, the government retained the experts who provided the government with the correct advice on the plaintiffs' case.

Pearson International Airport
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Reform

Jim Gouk Kootenay West—Revelstoke, BC

Mr. Speaker, Pearson Development Corporation was prepared to spend more than $800 million of private sector money renovating Canada's most essential airport. Instead what we got was a contract cancellation from the newly elected Liberal government. More than two years later, there is still no alternative development of those terminals under way.

Now that the Liberals have admitted in court that the developer's profits were not excessive, will they admit to the House that the real reason they cancelled the Pearson contract was to cover up more misspoken election rhetoric?

Pearson International Airport
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Hamilton West
Ontario

Liberal

Stan Keyes Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is a little behind the times. If he read the papers and paid attention to the news broadcasts he would understand that negotiations for the changeover from the federal government to a new local airport authority are proceeding ahead of schedule. In fact, the government expects to transfer the Pearson International Airport to a local airport authority in the very near future.

Despite the huffing and puffing of the hon. member opposite, the member who cares more about his lobbyist friends than he does about the Canadian taxpayer-

Pearson International Airport
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

French Speaking Minorities
Oral Question Period

May 31st, 1996 / 11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Daviault Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, we learned today that, after cutting in half its funding to francophones in Saskatchewan, the federal government wants to do the same to Franco-Ontarians. This reduction is totally unacceptable, considering that Franco-Ontarians must still fight to protect their most basic rights.

Instead of protecting the 340,000 Franco-Ontarians who still use French, why does the government choose to cut their funding?

French Speaking Minorities
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Restigouche—Chaleur
New Brunswick

Liberal

Guy Arseneault Parliamentary Secretary to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I want to tell the House that negotiations are underway. It is not our custom to negotiate in public.

French Speaking Minorities
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Daviault Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, if it can help the federal government in its negotiations, let me remind it that the Commissioner of Official Languages and the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne have clearly indicated that this government does not fulfil its obligations under the Official Languages Act.

With these cuts, is the government actually giving up its responsibilities towards francophone minorities in Canada?

French Speaking Minorities
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Restigouche—Chaleur
New Brunswick

Liberal

Guy Arseneault Parliamentary Secretary to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I am very surprised because, two weeks ago, they complained when the commissioner congratulated us for improving the situation of francophones living outside Quebec. I want to make it clear that we need no lesson from this party.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Reform

Ken Epp Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have a very solemn question today for the Prime Minister or whoever is speaking for him.

Integrity was the theme of the red book. Yet we have this case before us of the defence minister using split contracts to avoid tendering so that he can award his campaign workers. Senior officials at Treasury Board have said this is unacceptable, unethical and should be disciplined.

If ever the ethics counsellor was needed to clear the air on behalf of Canadian taxpayers, this is the occasion. Will the Prime Minister call on the ethics counsellor to investigate this blatant abuse of public funds?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I have explained this matter a number of times in the House.

There are budgets for full time employees. There are budgets for people who are hired on a short term project basis. The one that has been referred to in the House was a short term project which obviously was extended because of the nature of the legislative changes that were made with respect to the War Veterans Allowance Act.

The key thing here is that the arrangement followed Treasury Board guidelines. That was stated by the President of the Treasury Board. It has been stated by me in this House. It has been stated by my officials.

The hon. member is giving the false impression that what was done in the case of those people whom I retained contravened Treasury Board guidelines. I would hope that the member would stop giving out this misinformation because it is absolutely false.