House of Commons Hansard #77 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was vancouver.

Topics

Parliament Hill
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Restigouche—Chaleur
New Brunswick

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for the question. It gives me an opportunity to inform this House and all Canadians that the article in question was entirely inaccurate.

The flag was lowered to half mast at the memorial services yesterday. The Deputy Prime Minister was informed of the concerns of the Canadian Police Association on Friday and at that time immediately asked her officials to ensure that the flag was lowered to half mast. It is truly unfortunate that the news reports failed to report this fact.

Canadian Coast Guard
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Kootenay East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the DFO is proposing to remove over $7 million from the Canadian Coast Guard fleet thereby putting Canadian lives at risk on the waters of Canada's west coast. However outside of its budget, as a result of the heritage minister's wild imagination, she is blowing away $23 million on her free flag program.

What are the Liberal government's priorities that it would cut funding for the coast guard while flying feel good flags?

Canadian Coast Guard
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Fred Mifflin Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, this government's concern is primarily with safety. Our standards are going to be maintained to the highest order. What the hon. member talks about is a required adjustment to the budget in order to contribute to deficit reduction.

I am not sure what the hon. member would do with his party and the speed with which they would go forward with deficit reduction, but we are proceeding in a responsible manner. It is in a manner that will ensure the main concern is safety for Canadians.

Canadian Coast Guard
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Kootenay East, BC

Mr. Speaker, it begs the question: How responsible is it to blow away $23 million on flags while cutting $7 million from the coast guard? The Liberals are also proposing a $3.5 million lighthouse staffing budget cut to save money. Of course that is necessary because the heritage minister's unnecessary expenditures are driving it. An example is her Canada Information Office. There are information after information after information offices available to Canadians right now; $4 million on Inquiries Canada alone.

I ask again: What are this government's priorities when it gives a free hand to the heritage minister to blow money as she sees fit yet makes cuts that put people's lives at risk on the waters around Canada?

Canadian Coast Guard
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Fred Mifflin Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I think the hon. member is taking this entirely out of proportion.

What I want to tell him in respect to DFO and the budget for which I am responsible, we are in fact reducing in four years $450 million, largely at the behest of the opposition to reduce budgets, and 2,700 person years as well. It is difficult to do that without rearranging priorities. However, the priorities will be and will continue to be. That is the way it is now, that is the way it should be and that is the way it is going to be.

I want to ask the hon. member: What does he have against Canadian unity?

The Tokamak Project
Oral Question Period

September 30th, 1996 / 2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Rimouski—Témiscouata, QC

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

Last spring, in order to justify cutting off federal funding to the Tokamak facility, the Minister of Natural Resources maintained that the sale of the CANDU reactor to China would generate spinoffs of over $400 million for Quebec and the creation of hundreds of additional jobs. The main enterprise to benefit from the spinoffs from this sale, CANATOM, has lost the main contracts related to the construction of the CANDU reactor sold to China.

Since CANATOM no longer has the main contracts for the Chinese project, how can the government continue to maintain that the sale of the CANDU reactor to China will generate spinoffs of $400 million for Quebec?

The Tokamak Project
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Dauphin—Swan River
Manitoba

Liberal

Marlene Cowling Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the focus and priorities of this government are creating a climate for economic growth.

The Candu business brings significant benefits to Quebec. As the minister has said over and over again in this House, the sale of one Candu reactor brings significant jobs and economic growth to the people of Quebec.

The Tokamak Project
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Rimouski—Témiscouata, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am afraid she did not get the question.

Last spring, the Minister of Natural Resources declared that she was looking for a way to continue federal funding for the Tokamak

project. We have just learned, however, that Tokamak staff will very shortly be receiving their layoff notices.

Can the Prime Minister finally tell us, after three months, whether or not his government has found alternative funding for the Varennes Tokamak?

The Tokamak Project
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Dauphin—Swan River
Manitoba

Liberal

Marlene Cowling Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, our government is making difficult choices and it is setting priorities.

In the field of R and D, let me remind the hon. member that Quebec gets its fair share. Quebec receives about 23 per cent of all federal R and D expenditures. Our agenda is clear.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Bob Ringma Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, several years ago national defence announced that the Nanaimo army camp would close. Since that time the city of Nanaimo, Malaspina College and the local school board have been trying to get an agreement out of Ottawa for the use of the land. They have been trying without success. Yet when there is a base closure in the maritimes or Quebec, it seems to be quite a different story: they not only get the land quickly, they get money to go with it. Why the double standard?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, there is no double standard.

The hon. member has written to me about this matter on a number of occasions and I have explained the process to him. Once an amicable arrangement can be made by the department, Treasury Board and the city of Nanaimo, then obviously the land could certainly be given to the city for its uses.

We follow the same disposal procedure of land across the country whether it is on the east coast, on the west coast or anywhere else.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Bob Ringma Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, there are other examples. When land was given away in Chatham, New Brunswick, they got $15 million to go with it. In St. Hubert, Quebec, they got an extra $1 million plus the land. In Cornwallis they got the land plus $7.5 million. Obviously there is a difference in criterion between the east and the west.

Why the difference in criterion? What is it? Is it the number of Liberal members in the area or what is it?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, when the Royal Roads Military College closed a couple of years ago, a very favourable arrangement was made with the Government of British Columbia. As a result those lands have been kept for educational use. Not only was there a transfer of lands, there was a cash settlement. That shows fairness. It is the same principle which is applied across the country.

What the member is talking about is not an actual closure. He is talking about land which is surplus to DND's requirements. It is certainly different from closing the whole facility.

The member knows the answer. He knows that negotiations have to conclude. We want them to conclude very favourably. Why is he bringing the question on the floor of the House of Commons? Why does he not go back to the city of Nanaimo and tell them to negotiate in good faith?

Environment
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Colleen Beaumier Brampton, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of the Environment.

The government has just announced that it will allow Canadian companies to export PCBs to the United States. Last fall an interim order was issued preventing Canadian companies from exporting this substance.

Can the minister tell the House what measures were taken before a decision was made to lift the interim order banning the export of PCBs to the U.S.?

Environment
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

York West
Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Brampton has as I understand it a number of companies in her riding which are obviously interested in this issue.

It is right that my predecessor put an interim order against opening the border last fall. It was the right thing to do because the United States Environmental Protection Agency had not given Canada a copy of the regulations by which any PCBs would be destroyed. Not only have those been provided to the Canadian authorities since the interim order, we have also been able to convince the American authorities to improve and enhance those regulations. As a result, the government and the cabinet felt assured that for thermal and chemical destruction only, not land filling, the systems in the United States were compatible.

After gazetting the regulation, we anticipate that the regulation opening the border to thermal and chemical destruction should be made around the end of this year. This will allow for the timely disposal of many PCBs which are being stored.