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 mmt.

Topics

The Ethyl Corporation
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

York West
Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, this government is convinced that for many reasons Bill C-29 is in the best interests of Canadians, both environmentally and healthwise.

Second, Ethyl Corp. is entitled to its opinion. Are you suggesting that a U.S. multi-

The Ethyl Corporation
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

Colleagues, always address the Chair in your answers.

The Ethyl Corporation
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Sergio Marchi York West, ON

Just when I was getting hot, Mr. Speaker. Is the member suggesting that a U.S. multinational corporation should dictate what the Government of Canada should do in the best interests of Canadians, both environmentally and healthwise? Our answer to that is a clear no.

Telecommunications
Oral Question Period

September 25th, 1996 / 2:50 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Kootenay East, BC

Mr. Speaker, over the last two weeks there was a very serious lobbying effort by the heritage minister and her department on behalf of the cable companies with respect to the private member's bill that was before this House.

Does she deny that there was this lobbying effort? We need a simple answer, yes or no.

Telecommunications
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, it has been brought to my attention by a number of opponents of negative option billing that when this issue was raised by a number of members on the government side of the House almost a year ago, unfortunately the Reform Party did not even think it was an issue.

Luckily its members have caught on. They understand that negative option billing is not in the interests of any consumer. Hopefully with the work of all members of the House, we will have a package that will ban negative option billing forever.

Telecommunications
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Kootenay East, BC

Mr. Speaker, this member has become very familiar with the non-answer. She did not answer the question. Was there a lobby or was there not?

The fact is that Canada AM on Monday, September 23 quoted from a document dated September 17 from her heritage department, and again it was quoted in the Globe and Mail today. I simply ask her how in the world can she deny the existence of a lobby by either her department or her office?

Telecommunications
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, advice is given and people lobby on every occasion. The member opposite right now is lobbying in the House for his particular perspective.

The fact is that on Monday last there was a vote in the House which enshrined a principle to oppose negative option billing. This government opposed negative option billing last year. It opposed negative option billing this year. It will oppose negative option billing next year. As long as we are the Government of Canada there will be no negative option billing.

Federal Food Inspection Agency
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Ian Murray Lanark—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

Some 4,000 public servants could be affected by the government's move to create a new federal food inspection agency. These employees are concerned about their future. As the transition to the new agency takes place, what assurance can the minister give these public servants that they will be treated fairly?

Federal Food Inspection Agency
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Regina—Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the new Canadian food inspection agency is an exciting new innovation in government operations which is widely approved and supported throughout the agriculture and agri-food sector.

The new agency will involve some new innovations in its human resources regime to provide the necessary flexibility for the agency to function effectively. But of course the core values of the public service will be incorporated into the operations of the new agency. Fair treatment of employees will be paramount in the transition process that we, of necessity, have to go through.

I would add that also paramount is our absolute determination to ensure that Canadians will continue to benefit from the safest and highest quality food supply in the world.

Telecommunications
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre De Savoye Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Industry. Under Bell Canada's latest proposal concerning business rates, phone bills will be higher for businesses located in regions, as opposed to those located in large centres. This gap could result in businesses moving to large urban centres.

Does the Minister of Industry realize that his current competition policy will have the effect of adversely affecting regions, and if so what does he intend to do about it?

Telecommunications
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as a matter of principle, this telecommunication service should be available to all Canadians, wherever they live in Canada.

As the hon. member knows, it is also necessary to have a very competitive telecommunications system, so that we can attract investments to create other opportunities for Canadians.

Telecommunications
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre De Savoye Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, given what the minister just said, does he not realize that the rate increases proposed to the CRTC for businesses located in the regions could cost some $115 million to these businesses and their communities?

Since the minister is behaving in a manner reminiscent of Pontius Pilate in this issue, are we to understand that he cannot do anything to protect the economy of the regions?

Telecommunications
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the answer is in the question, in that it is primarily an issue for the CRTC, which deals with services provided in Canada's rural areas and urban centres.

As I just said, it is necessary to have a very competitive system, because it is not easy for us to find investments, including in rural areas of Quebec, without a telecommunications system that can face the U.S. competition.

We must accept the fact that technology is changing, and so are the ways of delivering telephone services.

The time has come for Canada to make changes, while keeping in mind the need to provide a universal service to all Canadians.

Goods And Services Tax
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, according to the Halifax Chamber of Commerce, if the government's GST harmonization deal goes through in Atlantic Canada, housing prices will go up 5.5 per cent, municipalities will be forced to raise taxes, the sales tax on books, of course, will be doubled and the tax in pricing policy will wipe out profit margins for small businesses and gut jobs.

Will the government finally admit to Canadians that this was nothing but a desperate backroom deal to weasel out of its broken election promise on the GST? Will it save Canadian taxpayers a billion dollars by deep sixing it now before more damage is done to the Atlantic Canadian economy?

Goods And Services Tax
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Scarborough East
Ontario

Liberal

Doug Peters Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, the one thing that the Canadian people agree on is that the GST harmonization with the provincial retail sales taxes are good for business and good for the people of the country and not harmful. The Atlantic provinces agreement is just the first step in moving to a harmonized retail sales tax across the country.

We hope that the hon. member will support us in this, if he is interested in business, if he is interested in developing the economy, if he is interested in this country at all.