House of Commons Hansard #37 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebeckers.

Topics

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, my questions is for the Minister of Human Resources.

Fishermen and fish plant workers in Atlantic Canada are furious at the government's misplaced priorities. Instead of ensuring families can put food on their tables by extending or replacing TAGS, the federal government is more concerned about crisis management and security measures than securing jobs. Even Newfoundland Premier Brian Tobin has demanded a public apology from the minister for his “disgusting and offensive” affront.

Will the minister apologize today?

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. leader of the NDP for giving me the opportunity to correct the record on this very important file.

I understand the fishery workers' frustrations. I want to tell them that the statement that was proposed for the contract was inappropriately worded and it did not go through the proper approval process.

The statement has been withdrawn. It will be rewritten and submitted to accurately reflect the training requirements of our people across Canada.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, I think we can take that as an apology, maybe.

I do not know whether what we are seeing here is a major spat between two Liberal leadership contenders, the minister and the Newfoundland premier. What fishery families who are in the crossfire are concerned about is how they are going to feed their families.

In the words of Newfoundland Premier Brian Tobin “When will this government begin planning an appropriate response to a very real problem that afflicts thousands of families?”

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, our government is discussing a post-TAGs review right now. I have appointed one of our very serious and senior official in the department to meet with the provinces and the people to make sure we have the best solutions.

In the meantime we trust Canadians. We trust Canadians from coast to coast. We trust Canadians in Atlantic Canada. We know they will behave correctly and properly because they are Canadians. That is the way we do things.

We are training our people to do the right training, to do the process management, management of crowds, to do the interaction—

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Brandon—Souris

Young Offenders Act
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rick Borotsik Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada.

The Manitoba government has brought to the minister's attention on a number of occasions the effects of the reduction of the federal Young Offenders Act cost sharing program to the provinces.

Current federal contributions will only amount to 33.8% of the total cost in Manitoba, 22% in British Columbia and 30% in Newfoundland.

My question is this. Is the federal government going to put its money where its mouth is and start getting tough on young offenders or is it going to continue to download those costs to the provinces?

Young Offenders Act
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I am very aware of the issues the hon. member has alluded to. That is why we will be discussing that issue among others as it relates to young offenders on December 4 and 5 in Montreal.

Young Offenders Act
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rick Borotsik Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am perfectly aware of the meeting on December 4 with the provincial ministers and the self-congratulatory fashion in which the minister deals with it.

I would to like to ask, however, if those provinces decide not to administer that program on the Young Offenders Act, what contingency plans does the minister have to carry on with those particular programs without the provinces?

Young Offenders Act
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member is probably very much aware, the provinces and the federal government have worked constructively for many years in relation to the creation of a youth justice system. Despite what some may say, it is the envy of the world.

I have no reason to expect that that level of co-operation will not continue.

Canada Post
Oral Question Period

November 25th, 1997 / 2:25 p.m.

Reform

Dick Harris Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, ever since this postal strike began all we have been hearing from the minister is wait and see, let the process work.

Let us look at what that policy has done. It has got us seven months of failed bargaining. We have a nation-crippling postal strike on our hands. We have a Canada Post which refuses to budge on its offer. We now have a loose cannon postal president threatening civil disobedience.

This wait and see attitude is not working. When is he going to take his head out of the dead letter chute and see the problems this is causing?

Canada Post
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Cardigan
P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure what part of this process my hon. colleague does not understand.

Quite simply, mediation is part of the collective bargaining process and it is my responsibility to see that the process runs properly. That is exactly what I am doing.

What my hon. colleague is suggesting does nothing but hurt the process.

Canada Post
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Dick Harris Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadian businesses are looking at this time of the month as their biggest accounts receivable time.

They have payrolls to meet and they cannot meet them. It is easy to see that minister never had to meet a payroll in his life. This strike is costing millions of dollars a day to Canadian businesses.

When is he going to do something? When is he going to recognize that this nation crippling strike is causing extreme havoc and it is his responsibility to fix it? When is he going to do it?

Canada Post
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Cardigan
P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, I can tell my hon. colleague I did have to meet a few payrolls and some of them were not all that easy.

I also now have the responsibility to see that Part I of the Canada Labour Code is adhered to. Mediation happens to be part of that process.

All I ask my hon. colleague to do is let the process work. Why the process is having trouble is people doing nothing but talking about bringing in legislation.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Friday, in response to a question from the Bloc Quebecois, the Minister of Human Resources Development announced a 20 cent reduction in EI premium rates, which represents a $1.4 billion reduction in the approximately $7 billion annual fund surplus. In our view, the reduction could have been larger.

Could the minister act on the second part of the Bloc Quebecois' recommendation that he use a significant proportion of the annual surplus of several billions to increase protection for the unemployed, who have been reduced to poverty by the reform?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the opposition member should be thanking us for approving, for the fourth year in a row, a reduction in EI premiums that this year will be the largest reduction ever.

We are obviously in the midst of an extremely important EI reform. Naturally our government wishes to be prudent. It is a mark of this government that it has shown fiscal restraint in getting where it is today, and we want to be sure that the EI fund will be there, even if things were to become a little more difficult for workers generally.