House of Commons Hansard #32 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was customs.

Topics

Egypt
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, first I should indicate to the hon. member that for several months now we have been issuing travel advisories demonstrating that there could be some problems in Egypt. In fact, I was in Egypt just last week and met with the officials. We did talk about those kinds of issues.

What we will be doing now is reviewing very distinctly what kind of other measures we might take to ensure safety. In this case the primary responsibility is to issue the advisory and to ensure that people understand what kind of problems there might be.

Self-Government
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Gordon Earle Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, the lack of this government's leadership on aboriginal issues was shown once again as courts were left to make controversial rulings about logging rights on crown land.

As aboriginal leaders and premiers meet today to discuss constitutional issues, will this government now show leadership and state support for both ongoing formal participation of aboriginal leaders in constitutional talks and for constitutionally recognizing aboriginal peoples' inherent right to self-government?

Self-Government
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, this government's position on self-government is very clear.

We introduced a policy recognizing the inherent right to self-government and our government is working in partnership with First Nations to ensure the development of those self-governing bodies that will allow for better and more timely application of programs and strategies for our aboriginal people.

Halifax Airport
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Transport. Yesterday at the aviation conference, he said that he would like to have the opportunity to refute some of the negative remarks in the newspapers about the devolution process regarding the Halifax airport. I am pleased to give him the opportunity.

I wonder if he could give assurance to the Halifax airport people that Halifax airport will get the same investment, the same facilities and the same consideration as the airports in Winnipeg and Ottawa got under their devolution process because they all have about the same volume of traffic.

Halifax Airport
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I can unequivocally guarantee the hon. member that Halifax will be treated the same way all other cities in the country have been treated in the negotiations.

I do not propose to negotiate in public. This is a matter between my officials and the Halifax Airport Authority but we have appointed a management consulting firm of accountants to give a third party opinion. I hope that all sides can be bound by the results of that study.

Via Rail
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

John Cannis Scarborough Centre, ON

My question is for the Minister of Transport. There has been speculation in the press lately that the government is considering restructuring VIA Rail in order to accommodate partnership with the private sector.

Can the minister clarify what the government's intentions are regarding the privatization of VIA Rail?

Via Rail
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I think all Canadians have a commitment to the continuation of the passenger rail service. I think VIA's management has done an outstanding job at reducing costs over the last few years.

With the level of subsidy that VIA has at its disposal, it does not have the money to refinance for new equipment. We have to find other ways. What I said in a speech yesterday is that we should look at bringing in the private sector, perhaps with some kind of franchising arrangement.

I will be asking the Standing Committee on Transport to look at all these matters in the new year so that it can give us its advice and so that there is a wide spectrum of opinion for the government to make its decisions on.

Airbus
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Independent

John Nunziata York South—Weston, ON

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

Brian Mulroney and indeed every Canadian is entitled to due process of law. It is obvious to everyone, to the RCMP and to every Canadian that the case against Brian Mulroney is frivolous and vexatious.

Brian Mulroney is an innocent man and the Prime Minister knows it. For that reason, his government approved a settlement in the case that Mr. Mulroney brought against the Government of Canada.

To allow the investigation to carry on, the Prime Minister is suggesting that there is—

Airbus
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Nanaimo—Alberni.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Bill Gilmour Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, last week in Regina the provinces reached an agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2010.

However, the federal government has not said what its position will be, whether it will be going with the provinces' position or take something else to Kyoto.

My question is what is the position of the government in Kyoto? Secondly, what is the plan to achieve these targets? What is the position? What is the plan?

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Northumberland
Ontario

Liberal

Christine Stewart Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we still have not heard any position from the Reform Party. The reality is that we had a federal-provincial communique last week in Regina in which the provincial ministers said that they agreed that the federal government should have flexibility with regard to our targets.

They said that they wanted emissions reduced by approximately 2010 and agreed that there should be further reductions after that. We wish that the Reform Party would show some concern for the environment and its serious national interest.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

November 18th, 1997 / 2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Suzie Robitaille's five children have yet to be released by their father in Egypt, and an agreement between Canada and Egypt has yet to be signed. But the Minister of Foreign Affairs said he would travel to Egypt to try to resolve the matter.

Could the minister, who is now back from Egypt, tell us whether he discussed Mrs. Robitaille's situation with his Egyptian counterpart and signed an agreement recognizing Canadian court rulings?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, indeed, I made representations directly to President Moubarak of Egypt, who promised to immediately look into the matter and take appropriate action.

Health
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the government has just confirmed Greenpeace findings of lead content in children's toys and vinyl products that is higher than Health Canada guidelines. It then had the gall to dismiss its own findings by stating there is no significant risk to children.

Why does the government not care enough about the health and safety of children to do something about this serious issue? Would the Minister of Health himself buy for his children a product with dangerously high levels of lead and cadmium like this particular product?

Health
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

Colleagues, I urge you not to bring any props into this House. The question then I will rule out of order. That brings to a close our question period.

I have notices of questions of privilege from the hon. members for Sarnia—Lambton and York South—Weston. And I have a point of order from the member for Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough.