House of Commons Hansard #138 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was plan.

Topics

Tobacco
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I suppose Du Maurier is spending money to help Spalding. Come on. A tobacco company spends money on advertising because it get results.

Like everybody else, we want to keep the Grand Prix and other events in Canada, but we are not stricter than other countries. France has similar rules, and Grand Prix events are still being held there; we see the same in Australia, where a race will be held on the weekend. They have passed some very strict laws, but the Grand Prix will be held next Sunday.

We want to keep the competition. In fact, the companies will have the right to do on-site sponsorship. Furthermore, the bill gives them another two years to adjust to the new rules. However, we decided that we would take steps in Canada to prevent tobacco advertising from affecting young people of 13, 14 and 15, and we will continue to do so. The tobacco companies can advertise on the site but no advertising may be directed to young people of 13, 14 or 15.

Tobacco
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Rimouski—Témiscouata, QC

Mr. Speaker, in France they have companies like Renault and Ligier, and despite the stringent legislation in Australia, they have made an exception for the Australian Grand Prix. That is why the Grand Prix will be held. The Prime Minister is barking up the wrong tree with the wrong strategy.

Does the Prime Minister admit that, in wishing to attack tobacco consumption, he is placing a number of festivals and sporting events in real danger, particularly in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver?

Tobacco
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Cape Breton—East Richmond
Nova Scotia

Liberal

David Dingwall Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, through you to the hon. member opposite, the former president of the Grand Prix organizing committee in Quebec said the following: "I find the blackmail efforts that are presently occurring surrounding the Grand Prix very embarrassing. I know what I have been talking about, since I was the president of the 1991 Grand Prix organizing committee".

I can well understand the need for the members of the Bloc Quebecois to huff and puff on both sides of the issue, but I want to inform the hon. member that children, les enfants du Québec, are a lot more important than any of those events that the hon. member has made reference to.

Tobacco
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Rimouski—Témiscouata, QC

Mr. Speaker, the children of Quebec are so important that I devoted 35 years of my life to educating, not coercing, them.

Since the Prime Minister refuses to understand, I shall be very clear. Clause 31 of the bill has three paragraphs: (a) and (c), which say the same thing, and (b), which contradicts the other two. Can the Prime Minister make a commitment in this House to do everything in his power to ensure that paragraph (b) is deleted from clause 31, so that people like me, who love the Grand Prix, can watch it on weekends?

Tobacco
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Cape Breton—East Richmond
Nova Scotia

Liberal

David Dingwall Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted that the hon. member has spent 35 years in the teaching profession. I hope the hon. member would continue in that role of teaching young people in the province of Quebec the hazards of smoking

It should be noted that the National Cancer Institute of Canada said this about advertising: "There is substantial evidence that young people are aware of and respond to cigarette advertising".

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said: "Image based advertising is particularly effective with young people in that the information conveyed by imagery is likely to be more significant to young people than information conveyed by any other means of advertising".

I want to say to the hon. member that members of the Bloc Quebecois can throw that aside and accuse the government of being unreasonable, but the hon. member knows full well that this government has been prudent and has been reasonable. We have provided an implementation period for all those involved. Notwithstanding that, we are different from the province of Quebec because we are not banning sponsorship-

Tobacco
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Preston Manning Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, when the Liberal government brought in medicare in 1965 it promised to pay 50 per cent of the approved cost. That was a condition on which provinces like Alberta and Ontario joined the plan.

Thirty-two years later federal funding of medicare has dropped to 16 per cent. This Prime Minister, who claims to be a defender of medicare, has cut health care by 40 per cent since coming to power.

The Prime Minister can cry crocodile tears about the Montfort hospital. He can blame Mike Harris. He can pretend it is a national unity issue. But he is the one who is primarily responsible for hospital closures across the country.

How can the Prime Minister continue to blame others for hospital closures and waiting lines when he is the one who has cut health care funding by 40 per cent?

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as usual, the leader of the third party has the wrong figure. We

have not cut transfer payments by 40 per cent. The Minister of Finance can reply to that in detail.

We just had to put the finances of the nation in good order. This is the same leader of a party who was telling us that we were not going fast enough. Remember when we said to the Canadian people we would do that in three years, go to 3 per cent. He wanted to go to 0 per cent in three years. We took three years. Now we have the lowest interest level that we have known in 35 years. All the provincial governments are benefiting from the fact that they pay less on their debts because of the action of this government to put the finances of this country in good order.

By the way, perhaps the leader of the third party should report on the success of his campaign in Alberta against Ralph Klein.

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Preston Manning Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister and the government had some choices to make in the federal budget. They chose to cut health by 40 per cent since 1993. The Prime Minister can find $2 billion a year in subsidies for CMHC. He can find $850 million to $1 billion in subsidies for the CBC. He can find $300 million in subsidies for Via Rail. He can find over $2 billion in subsidies for corporations like Bombardier and others that receive corporate subsidies. But the Prime Minister cuts health care by almost $4 billion a year.

Are crown corporation subsidies and business subsidies a higher priority with the Prime Minister's government than the health care of Canadians?

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Cape Breton—East Richmond
Nova Scotia

Liberal

David Dingwall Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, there is such a thing in politics as the flip-flopper of all time. This is the same member who in March 1995 stood in his place and condemned the Minister of Finance who gave notice, gave predictable funding to the provinces with the cash floor for the purposes of health care, thereby providing $25.1 billion.

The leader of that party in March 1995, in an amendment to a non-confidence motion, condemned the government for its failure to eliminate the deficit quickly and decisively within one year.

This is the flip-flopper of all time. He says one thing on Monday and another thing on Friday.

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Preston Manning Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, in Reform Party proposals, our fresh start, we proposed cutting in virtually everything else in order to increase federal health care funding by over $4 billion a year. There are some ministers in this House who are experts on cutting health care. They are the Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Health.

Look at their record. Here is what they have cut in health care: Newfoundland, $85 million; little P.E.I., $20 million; slashing health care expenditures in New Brunswick by $103 million; Quebec, $1.2 billion; Ontario $1.3 billion.

How can the government possibly maintain that it is the defender of medicare when the Prime Minister and the finance minister have hacked, gouged and slashed health care by almost $4 billion a year?

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, at the time we took office, transfers to the provinces had been declining for nearly a decade. When we took office we put in place a series of cuts in our own spending that allowed us in the last budget to commit to the provinces that not only were the transfer cuts at an end but that the transfers were now put on a formula that would allow them to increase in the years ahead.

The leader of the Reform Party used words like gouge, scrape and cut. Let me quote from "A Fresh Start for Canadians", Reform's most recent program. The Reform Party has said: "On top of the existing reductions in transfers, the Reform Party, on taking office, will immediately cut three and a half billion dollars from the Canadian health and social transfer". What do you call that?

U.S. Helms-Burton Law
Oral Question Period

March 5th, 1997 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Terrebonne, QC

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

Yesterday, in Washington, the Minister of Foreign Affairs met for the first time with the new U.S. Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright. One purpose of the minister's visit was to make preparations for the next meeting between the Prime Minister and the President of the United States.

Could the minister report on the discussions he had with his American counterpart concerning the Helms-Burton law?

U.S. Helms-Burton Law
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we had a good exchange on a number of topics. We reached agreement on numerous matters involving co-operation, such as on Haiti, the expansion of NATO, and other issues.

But we certainly had an opportunity to express once again our opposition to the Helms-Burton law and we will continue to lobby against this legislation.

U.S. Helms-Burton Law
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Terrebonne, QC

Mr. Speaker, for months now, the government has talked, expressed its point of view and taken various steps, but it has done little of a concrete nature.

I will address my supplementary to the Minister for International Trade. Late last week, in order to comply with the U.S. anti-Cuban legislation, Wal-Mart withdrew Cuban-made pyjamas from its Canadian shelves.

Does the minister agree that the credibility of the government's action is seriously compromised and that the only way to restore it is to rigorously enforce Canadian law?