House of Commons Hansard #139 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tobacco.

Topics

Status Of Women
Statements By Members

March 6th, 1997 / 2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Maud Debien Laval East, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Canada Labour Congress revealed that Canada holds an unfortunate record: wages paid women in Canada are the lowest of all the industrialized countries, after Japan. In 1994, women formed the main contingent of the poor.

Employment equity is essential to an egalitarian society. When jobs are increasingly threatened and income security is vital to a changing society, the Liberal government is denying its election promises, cutting social programs dramatically and lowering its unemployment insurance benefits.

The Bloc Quebecois considers that the Liberal government, throughout its mandate, has increased economic disparity, which gives rise to a two tier society where women and children form the majority of the poor and the marginalized.

Esquimalt Defence Research Detachment
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Keith Martin Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Transport recently announced that federal cuts to British Columbia's research and development had gone too far.

What does the government do? It closes the Esquimalt defence research detachment and moves it to Halifax. This will cost the taxpayer over $5 million per year in lost contracts and $8 million in moving costs. It will decrease British Columbia's research staff to only 1.4 per cent of the national allotment, eliminate our world leading Arctic research facility and decrease our ability to capitalize on far east markets, all this in the year of the government's self-proclaimed year of Asia-Pacific. Even the defence department officials call this a blow to research.

What is the real reason for the closure? It is to coerce the people of Nova Scotia to vote Liberal in the next election.

Once again the government is shafting the people of British Columbia to save its own political hide.

Employment Insurance
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Dianne Brushett Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have told the government that the new EI legislation is a disincentive to accept small weeks of work. Both employers and employees from all regions have identified this problem.

Under the leadership of the Minister of Human Resources Development we have taken swift action to solve this problem as quickly as possible.

In Cumberland-Colchester where unemployment is greater than 10 per cent and long term jobs are difficult to find, the new adjustment project will enable workers to bundle small weeks.

In other areas workers will be able to exclude small weeks from their calculation of benefits. This will ensure that workers in every region of the country are able to take full advantage of all available work without having their benefits lowered.

I am pleased the government has responded to the needs of part time and seasonal workers. It has ensured that every hour of work counts and that small weeks will no longer result in lower benefits to Canadians.

Tobacco
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, the day before yesterday, a number of Bloc members gave us a brilliant demonstration of their talents as public entertainers.

The tobacco companies provided them with a lunch, drinks and entertainment, all free in exchange for their participation in a public demonstration.

How could the Bloc turn down such an appealing offer? Food, drink, photo ops with sports stars and top billing on the evening news, all for free. Compliments of the tobacco companies-

Tobacco
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

I ask members to be very judicious in their choice of words when making statements.

Tobacco
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, there is utter confusion at the present time concerning this weekend's broadcast of the Australian Grand Prix via the CBC and the Sports Network.

On one hand, the spokesperson for Health Canada says that the bill does not prohibit broadcasting of the Australian Grand Prix and other Grand Prix racing events of the season. On the other hand, according to Normand Legault, who has the TV broadcasting rights for the Formula I race, and I quote: "If the bill is passed, Grand Prix events will not be broadcast because cigarette brands sold in Canada appear on the cars and the drivers".

Can the minister tell us whether under the provisions of the bill, it will be possible to televise the Australian Grand Prix on the weekend and whether broadcasts of other Grand Prix events will be allowed, even if the cars carry a logo or brand of a tobacco product?

Tobacco
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Cape Breton—East Richmond
Nova Scotia

Liberal

David Dingwall Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I fully understand the position of the hon. member opposite.

Perhaps he might reflect on the fact that the bill presently before the House has not been passed. How can the member opposite make a conclusion when the legislation has not been passed?

Tobacco
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, for someone who in a newspaper referred to legislation as though it had already been passed to say today that since the bill has not been passed, he cannot answer, verges on the frivolous.

Today we will vote on the bill at third reading. Under this bill, will it be possible to broadcast the Australian Grand Prix and other Grand Prix events, yes or no-the question is clear-since his bill happens to deal with these matters? I would ask the minister to be responsible enough to answer my question now.

Tobacco
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Cape Breton—East Richmond
Nova Scotia

Liberal

David Dingwall Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the minister has attempted over the last number of months to be extremely candid with the hon. member opposite. I hope he and members of his party will start to be responsible in terms of the information contained in the bill.

Just so that the hon. member fully understands-and this is about the fifth time people have had to clarify it-I ask him to listen very attentively. Before and after October 1, 1998 the legislation-and I want to be careful here-will not prohibit the broadcasting of sporting events originating in Canada and in other countries including Grand Prix racing.

Even representatives of the firms he stands to support and tries to speak on behalf of knew that information a long time ago.

Tobacco
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the time frame referred to by the minister does not apply to one clause, and if I could say it is clause 31, I would, but I will not, Mr. Speaker.

Tobacco
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Please put your question now.

Tobacco
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the minister, if it is true that this clause is protected by this time frame, to put it in writing and say so-

Tobacco
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Lévis.

Tobacco
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Tobacco
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

My colleagues, I would rather the bill not be mentioned at all, but, after questions were raised a few days ago, I reviewed all the questions. Since none dealt directly with the bill, I allowed them.

I would also ask that, in their answers, the ministers not refer to the bill or any of its parts. If answers could remain general in nature, it would be best, much better than referring directly to clauses after saying they would not be mentioned and then mentioning them again.

That is my decision. The hon. member for Lévis.