House of Commons Hansard #74 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was environment.

Topics

Cable Television
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Rimouski—Témiscouata, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Canadian Heritage.

Quebec cable companies are unanimous in condemning a bill passed by this House, whose main consequence would be to prevent, for all practical purposes, new French-language specialty channels from being introduced in Quebec and Canada.

What steps will the Minister of Canadian Heritage take so that this bill never receives Royal assent?

Cable Television
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, the main purpose of this bill was to eliminate negative option billing, which is already banned in Quebec. We are following in the footsteps of the Quebec government, which has already banned this practice.

Cable Television
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Rimouski—Témiscouata, QC

Mr. Speaker, I do not know which bill the minister is talking about, but the bill that was passed Monday by this House is aimed at preventing a new service from being introduced as soon as a subscriber objects to it. It is not the same thing at all in Quebec.

The Liberal members who voted for this bill did so against the advice of the minister and her government, who are aware of its perverse effects. How can the Minister of Canadian Heritage protect francophone culture, when she could not even make backbenchers, especially those from Ontario, listen to reason on this matter?

Cable Television
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I think everyone in this House agrees with the principle that negative option billing should be banned, which was the main purpose of the bill. That is why we followed in the footsteps of the Quebec government in banning this practice. It is important that Parliament take a position on this.

Churchill Falls
Oral Question Period

September 25th, 1996 / 2:35 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Calgary North, AB

Mr. Speaker, in Confederation the federal government is supposed to be the referee of interprovincial trade. In the case of Churchill Falls, instead of blowing the whistle on Hydro Quebec and giving it two minutes for gouging, the Prime Minister is hiding out in the locker room.

Will the Prime Minister continue to abdicate his responsibility to ensure fair trade or will he take action to protect the people of Newfoundland?

Churchill Falls
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton Northwest
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member well knows, what we are dealing with is a contract between two parties and two governments in the provinces of Newfoundland and Quebec. The federal government is not a party to this contract.

I find it very strange that this party that comes into the House every day defending provincial rights would ask the federal government to interfere in a situation involving two provinces.

Churchill Falls
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Calgary North, AB

Mr. Speaker, let me remind the Prime Minister that the people of Alberta had a fair deal to sell oil a market prices in the 1970s and a Liberal government made it unfair by implementing the national energy program.

Now in the case of Churchill Falls there is an unfair deal and the government is refusing to take steps to make it fair even though it has a responsibility to do so.

Even though the Prime Minister refuses to take action on Churchill Falls, will he at least admit that this is not a fair deal?

Churchill Falls
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton Northwest
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I come back to the point that-

Churchill Falls
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Is it a fair deal?

Churchill Falls
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Anne McLellan Edmonton Northwest, AB

Do you want me to respond? The question of fairness is not for the federal government. The question of fairness is for the two parties that entered into the deal some 30 years ago.

I have taken heart today from the fact that my Quebec counterpart, the minister of natural resources, Mr. Chevrette, has indicated an openness and willingness to sit down with the province of Newfoundland and talk about the possibility of negotiation on future projects and the terms on which they might go ahead. The premier of Quebec has indicated his openness to discuss and

negotiate the issue of open access transmission of electricity through the province of Quebec.

I would suggest that the two parties should sit down and talk about their differences and attempt to renegotiate the deal if that is their wish.

Churchill Falls
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Family Trusts
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, the family trust scandal has raised many questions about Revenue Canada's questionable interpretation of the Income Tax Act.

On September 10, 1996, Choices, a coalition for social justice, approached the Minister of Justice, requesting that he ask the courts to issue a declaratory judgement on the decision made by Revenue Canada on December 23, 1991.

Could the Minister of Justice tell this House whether he intends to ask the courts to settle the family trust scandal?

Family Trusts
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Family Trusts
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

All this squawking is making it extremely difficult for me to speak, Mr. Speaker.

Family Trusts
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

I ask members please to listen both to the question and to the answer, as they are very important to us here in this House and also to fellow citizens across the country.