House of Commons Hansard #137 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tobacco.

Topics

Tobacco Act
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Roger Pomerleau Anjou—Rivière-Des-Prairies, QC

Dodging questions is an art, Mr. Speaker.

We will recall that, when the Minister of Health was considering banning raw milk cheese a few months ago, the Minister of Labour rose in the name of common sense. In the name of Montreal's economic health, will a Liberal from Quebec rise in this House today and speak up in its defence?

Will the Minister of Labour dare, once again, to rise and oppose this breach of common sense that will cost Montreal millions of dollars and thousands of jobs?

Tobacco Act
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Cape Breton—East Richmond
Nova Scotia

Liberal

David Dingwall Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, my colleague, the Minister of Labour, has made many representations. It is because of that kind of quality representation that we have been able to provide an implementation period which will allow a variety of different groups to become accustomed to the new regime.

As I have said before, we are not banning sponsorships and we are not banning sponsorship promotion. Furthermore, if my colleague wishes to make representations to me with regard to banning beer at the Molson Centre I will take it under advisement.

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Keith Martin Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, a few short weeks ago in a hospital at which I used to work, a 60 year-old gentleman was having heart pain and, indeed, a heart attack. He had to be transferred to St. Paul's Hospital. He waited three days because there was not enough money to open the intensive care unit beds in that hospital. This man died.

My question is for the Minister of Health. Is that his version of the government allowing the provinces to absorb $7 billion in transfer payment cuts to health care? Does he want the patients to absorb that with their lives?

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Cape Breton—East Richmond
Nova Scotia

Liberal

David Dingwall Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I know the hon. member opposite is an individual who likes to keep the House fully informed of all the facts. It would not be for me to suggest that there is any form of negligence being exercised here today.

As the hon. member knows, the reduction of interest rates alone has saved the treasuries of the provinces in excess of $1.8 billion. Approximately $8.6 billion is being provided through the auspices of equalization.

The provinces asked something of the Government of Canada. They asked for predictable funding with a cash floor. Not only did we provide them with a cash floor, but we provided them with predictable funding not for three years, as they had requested, but for a five-year period with an escalation clause.

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Keith Martin Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, we have been accused of being a slash and burn party. We want to put $4 billion into the health care of Canadians.

How can the Minister of Health tell the provinces what stable funding is? Is stable funding the removal of $7 billion in transfer payments to health and education? That is slash and burn health care in Canada.

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Cape Breton—East Richmond
Nova Scotia

Liberal

David Dingwall Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, it is not often that I get the opportunity to stand on the floor in the House of Commons to concur with the preamble of the hon. member's question when he refers to his party as the slash and burn party of the Parliament of Canada.

The hon. member opposite should discover all of the facts and not some of the selected facts that he and the leader of his party are trying to portray to the Canadian people. The reality, as exhibited by the National Forum on Health, is that Canada has the second most expensive health care system in the OECD countries. It is not an issue of funding. It is an issue of management.

The Economy
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Harold Culbert Carleton—Charlotte, NB

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

Last month, prior to the budget, the minister attended meetings with his financial counterparts from the G-7 nations. Based on budget projections, can the minister advise the House how Canada compares to the other G-7 industrialized nations of the world in economic growth and jobs and in bringing our financial house to order?

The Economy
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Scarborough East
Ontario

Liberal

Doug Peters Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister was very well received by his G-7 counterparts, largely because of the efforts Canada has made in deficit reduction.

Canadian federal borrowing requirements, which are the way most countries measure their deficits, have fallen sharply and will be eliminated in 1998-99. This will be well below any other G-7 country. The total government deficit, both federal and provincial, relative to the GDP has also improved dramatically. It was three percentage points above the G-7. It is now well below the G-7.

Furthermore, both the IMF and the OECD predict that Canada will have the fastest employment growth of the G-7 countries in 1997.

Trade
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister for International Trade.

The minister will be aware that the United States has indicated that it would ignore any World Trade Organization ruling having to do with the Helms-Burton act.

Would the Minister for International Trade consider, in the name of Canadian identity, if not security, adopting a similar stance toward WTO rulings which prevent Canada from defending itself with respect to culture and our health care system, vis-à-vis the price of drugs, things which are as important to Canadians as security surely is to Americans.

Would Canada consider that policy?

Trade
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, we believe that international obligations should be respected and we intend to respect them, whether they are with the WTO or with the NAFTA.

We have, in fact, secured provisions that are relevant to the protection of the health care system and relevant to the protection of culture as well.

We intend to continue to follow those rules. We expect the United States to also meet its obligations with respect to the WTO.

Aéroports De Montréal
Oral Question Period

March 4th, 1997 / 2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Dumas Argenteuil—Papineau, QC

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

On February 23, at a rally held to maintain Mirabel airport, Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette spoke on behalf of the government and sought to reassure the public by saying that the Liberal government would finally break the deadlock that it had created. The senator even added that a committee made up of two members of Parliament and three senators, all Liberal, was reviewing the issue and might propose the building of a high-speed train between Mirabel and Montreal's downtown.

Since the Standing Committee on Transport agreed today with the Bloc Quebecois' arguments and decided to hold, in the near future, a day of public consultation on the Montreal airports issue, will the Deputy Prime Minister assure us that her government will dismantle the recently set up partisan committee made up of Liberal colleagues of hers, most of whom are not elected members of Parliament?

Aéroports De Montréal
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Hamilton West
Ontario

Liberal

Stan Keyes Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I want to assure the hon. member that each and every committee of the House is the master of its own destiny.

If the hon. member would like to bring his suggestions to the transport committee, I am sure its chair, the hon. member for Winnipeg South, would be more than happy to entertain them and possibly have a day on the very issues about which the member is speaking.

Airbus
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Jack Ramsay Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the justice minister on the Airbus matter.

We know now that the letter that was eventually accepted by the Swiss authorities on the Airbus scandal went far beyond the evidence supplied by the RCMP. According to court documents, seven drafts of the letter were prepared by justice officials.

How many drafts of the letter were rejected by the Swiss authorities?

Airbus
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, it may be that the hon. member is not familiar with international protocol in such matters, which was established some years ago by the previous government.

The letter that was sent to the Swiss authorities, the only letter that was sent in final form, was acted on by the authorities in keeping with international practice.

Human Resources
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Peterborough, ON

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

Peterborough has been hard hit by the reorganization of HRD in Ontario. A disability unit has been disbanded and other jobs have been moved. This affects services over a wide region.

I would ask the minister what he can do to assure quality human resources services in our community.