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

Topics

Young Offenders Act
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

My colleagues, I know we get a little bit excited in question period, but I am having a tough time even hearing the answers. I would ask you please to keep it down a bit.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

November 24th, 1997 / 2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont, QC

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

After environmental groups, the Canadian environmental ambassador and the Government of Quebec condemned the Regina accord on greenhouse gas emissions, we have learned this morning that a number of industrialized countries have reached a consensus at Tokyo to stabilize their greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2005, not 2010, as set out in the Regina accord.

Is the Minister of the Environment prepared to revisit the Regina accord in order to endorse this compromise position?

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The Minister of the Environment.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Northumberland
Ontario

Liberal

Christine Stewart Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I said last week that the agreement that we reached in Regina was a good consensus, but it was not the definitive time line and target of the federal government.

We will make our announcement about our target before Kyoto, but at the moment we are continuing to negotiate not only with developed nations, but developing nations as well around this very serious issue to try to make sure that we have a consensus when we go to Kyoto.

Revenue Canada
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue.

Canadian taxpayers are concerned about the confidentiality of their tax files after what happened in Quebec City last week. If taxpayers are to have faith in the taxation system, we must ensure the confidentiality of the information provided beyond a shadow of doubt.

Can the parliamentary secretary assure this House and all Canadians that the information provided by taxpayers is kept confidential at Revenue Canada?

Revenue Canada
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

London West
Ontario

Liberal

Sue Barnes Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question.

Absolutely. Client confidentiality, whether it is an individual or a corporation, is the cornerstone of our system of taxation in this country. It is voluntary compliance and we would take seriously any efforts to access information. This is a serious matter and I would like to clearly state that Revenue Canada is well aware of this obligation and that recent press reports do not involve the department.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Bill Gilmour Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister said last Thursday that he does not feel bound by the November 12 federal-provincial agreement to stabilize emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2010.

It is the provinces that have to deal with the emissions. It is the provinces that will take the economic hit after the Kyoto agreement.

Why did the Prime Minister waste the time of the provinces when he had a different timetable in mind all along?

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Northumberland
Ontario

Liberal

Christine Stewart Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the federal government and the provinces recognize that climate change is a serious and real issue that must be addressed, but they also recognize the many opportunities associated with this.

This morning I signed an agreement for the federal government with ENMAX and Vision Quest in Alberta. Our federal department will be buying green power through wind power created in Alberta. Why cannot the Reform Party understand the opportunities associated with climate change?

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Bill Gilmour Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, speaking of wind power, we are getting an awful lot of it from the other side.

We are a week away from the signing of the treaty in Kyoto and Canada is the only G-7 country that has not put its position forward because of the government's fumbling. The provinces have agreed to emission levels at 1990 standards by 2010. Now the Prime Minister is saying 2007.

With the Kyoto signing only days away, will the minister tell the House, tell Canadians, what is the plan and how it will be implemented?

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Northumberland
Ontario

Liberal

Christine Stewart Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, all the hot air gases in the Chamber come from the Reform Party on this issue.

This morning Petro-Canada, based in Calgary, and the Ottawa biotechnology company, Iogen, signed a landmark deal to produce pollution free motor fuels from converted agricultural and wood waste.

This issue represents many opportunities for Canada, Canadian business, industry and individuals. When will the Reform Party understand the issue is serious and attached to many important economic opportunities?

Canada Post
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, when the Liberals were in opposition they wrote a report that said Canada Post should not pay income tax and should only generate enough profits to pay for its operating costs and to improve services to Canadians.

Today the Liberal government is demanding that Canada Post pay dividends of $294 million over five years and $131 million in income tax. This strike could be settled today if the government withdrew its unreasonable demand for profits.

Will the minister of government services direct Canada Post to return to the table without the demand for dividends that is the root cause of this strike?

Canada Post
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel
Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, Canada Post has been at the table from the beginning and continues to be at the table. It has a mandate to negotiate and we believe in a negotiated settlement.

In terms of the other part of the question, the member should know that in 1996 Canada Post's mandate was reviewed. There was a one year study. There was a report that looked at all the possibilities of how the corporation should be run and what were the financial implications.

The government took the report, answered the report and gave a new mandate to Canada Post. I am sure with the negotiated settlement that mandate can be achieved.

Canada Post
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, Canada Post is not supposed to be a cash cow to be milked by the federal government. The government's demand for profits and dividends from Canada Post has all the earmarks of getting the corporation ready for the auction block. It is like fattening up a calf before bringing it to market.

Will the minister of public works withdraw the demand for dividends from Canada Post and assure the House today that the government will never sell off and privatize this valuable asset?

Canada Post
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel
Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I do not know how many times I have to say it in French and English. We do not want to privatize Canada Post Corporation. We want Canada Post to continue to deliver the mail. It is a good corporation in the global economy.

The hon. member should do as much business as we do outside Canada. Canada Post has to make a profit so it can renew its equipment and invest in modern technology.

We want to look at the future, not at the past like the New Democrats.

Apec
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Foreign Affairs has warned APEC of irrelevancy if it does not expand its scope to include human rights and environmental issues.

Canada's EDC is backing the Three Gorges project with $172 million worth of Canadian taxpayers money, when the World Bank, CIDA and the U.S. Ex-Im Bank will not back the Three Gorges project based on environmental and human rights concerns.

Based on his own criteria stated at APEC, does the Minister of Foreign Affairs feel that Canada's foreign policy with Asia has become irrelevant?