House of Commons Hansard #155 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was port.

Topics

Migration Of Snow Geese
Oral Question Period

April 14th, 1997 / 2:40 p.m.

Bloc

François Langlois Bellechasse, QC

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

Since the government did not answer our question last week, we must come back to the charge concerning the annual migration of snow geese from the United States to the northern regions. This migration is resulting in major losses to the farmers of the Bellechasse region, the Beaupré coast, Ile d'Orléans, and certain other regions of Quebec, such as the Lower St. Lawrence. Last year, for the period from April 22 to May 26, the Canadian Wildlife Service issued permits to allow scaring and shooting so as to limit the damage done to fields by the geese. This measure produced excellent results.

Is the minister willing to instruct the Canadian Wildlife Service to issue immediately, for 1997, permits allowing scaring and shooting?

Migration Of Snow Geese
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

York West
Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his question and interest in the whole issue of snow geese.

I had the opportunity of dealing with the provincial Minister of the Environment a few weeks ago at an environmental technology conference. We had an occasion to discuss the issue. I mentioned to him the issue of last spring and that we had a number of recommendations coming from round table discussions on this important issue.

In coming days I hope to have a formal answer for the the provincial government minister and ultimately for the member of Parliament.

Migration Of Snow Geese
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

François Langlois Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, the point is that time is running out. It is a matter of days before the geese arrive and damage the fields. Permits must be issued as quickly as possible. It is no longer good enough to procrastinate and consult right and left, without actually taking any decision.

What farmers want to know is whether or not the government is going to authorize and issue permits to scare and shoot the geese in the coming days, because it is clear from the minister's answer that the government is in worse shape than the fields are soon going to be.

Migration Of Snow Geese
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

York West
Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, certainly that member of Parliament does not have a monopoly on virtue.

I understand the time issue. We also make no apologies for having consulted with Canadians in the province of Quebec from a number of different disciplines.

As I mentioned to the hon. member, in keeping with the timeliness and importance of the issue we will do the right thing in a matter of days.

Youth
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Paddy Torsney Burlington, ON

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

Many youth across Canada from coast to coast to coast are worried about the future of their country and are taking initiative by starting unity projects. One initiative is a Toonie for Canada from my riding of Burlington.

Will the minister tell us what he thinks of youth being so committed and involved in their community? The youth are in the gallery today.

Youth
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, keeping Canada united is certainly an essential part of the future of our youth. It depends very much on them to carry out this duty. The solution cannot only come from governments.

We have a huge country. It is the second largest country in the world. We have a population that is dispersed from east to west. For obvious reasons the incentive to spend holidays in the south is very high.

Because of the language barrier, the Government of Canada is committed to improving programs to help youth to travel.

And the purpose of all this is to show our young people the wonderful diversity and great solidarity that exist in this country.

Recently we added to our youth exchange programs a Canada student exchange project. We intend to stress these projects in the future because we are convinced that learning to know Canada will make us even more united.

Rights Of Victims
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Fraser Valley West, BC

Mr. Speaker, this is all about the integrity of the justice minister and the integrity of the government.

I asked the justice minister a question about who in fact initiated a letter and he indicated it was neither his department nor himself.

I wish to quote from a document from CAVEAT which I received on April 11. It says: "Yesterday the office of the Minister of Justice called CAVEAT offices and asked if we would consider drafting a letter indicating his government had listened to the concerns of victims of crime".

Would the justice minister confirm or deny what I have just read?

Rights Of Victims
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, neither I nor anyone at my direction telephoned CAVEAT and asked for any such letter. I am not aware of the document to which the hon. member refers. I will look carefully into the matter. Anything the hon. member says requires that kind of examination. I will examine it and I will answer when I have all the facts.

I am telling the member right now that I did not ask for that letter and I did not ask anybody in the department to do so.

Rights Of Victims
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Fraser Valley West, BC

Mr. Speaker, the justice minister has now indicated that he will look at this to see whether or not he or his department actually sent the letter or initiated the letter.

The fact is that he answered the question originally and said no. The question was: was he or anyone in his department, to which he answered no.

I would like the justice minister either to come forward now in the House and be honest about the answer, or tell the rest of the country just how the Liberal government and its justice minister are open and honest with the people of Canada.

Rights Of Victims
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I suppose it is a measure of how badly hurt the hon. member and his party are by the views of CAVEAT that the hon. member is making this issue.

I answered with the truth. I did not ask for the letter and to my knowledge no one in my department asked for the letter. If the situation is otherwise I will tell the member. I answered with the truth as I always do.

At the member's request we shall find out what he has in his hand. I shall make inquiries. The hon. member has as usual the truth from the Department of Justice.

Military Bases
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Marc Jacob Charlesbourg, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Prime Minister or his substitute.

The government is apparently incapable of enforcing its principle of the polluter pays. First, it has been unable to make Irving pay back the cost of refloating the Irving Whale , and second, it failed to convince the United States that it should pay the full cost of cleaning up the military facilities they occupied on Canadian soil.

Will the Prime Minister confirm that the total cost of cleaning up former U.S. military facilities on Canadian soil may exceed $500 million, which is well in excess of the agreement for $100 million just signed with the United States?

Military Bases
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst
New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the figure of $500 million mentioned by the hon. member was not established by the Government of Canada.

We negotiated with the U.S. government to find out whether it was possible to reach an agreement on cleaning up certain sites.

I may remind the hon. member that the Americans deployed military units in various parts of the country over a period of nearly 40 years. At the time, conditions were vastly different from what they are today, especially with respect to the environment.

I hope the hon. member realizes what happened in other countries where the Americans had military facilities. I suggest the hon. member find out what happened when other countries, including Canada, had to deploy units for 40 or 50 years in certain countries, such as our stint in Europe with NATO.

These are situations we are dealing with now that the environment has become an important factor, but we should also remember what the situation was like when these incidents occurred.

Military Bases
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Marc Jacob Charlesbourg, QC

Mr. Speaker, the figures I mentioned may not have been released by the Canadian government but they are accurate. The agreement with the United States is clearly inadequate.

I wish the Minister of National Defence would tell us which scenario we should expect. Either the government completely decontaminates U.S. military facilities on Canadian soil, in which case Quebec and Canadian taxpayers will bear the cost, or decontamination will be only partial or non existent, and Quebecers and Canadians will have to live with the environmental damage caused by the American army on Canadian soil.

Military Bases
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst
New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I hope the theory advanced by the hon. member is not an indication of his party's attitude to the Americans who came to Canada during the Cold War, not as invaders, but as part of an alliance to defend the interests of North America as a whole.

Canada recognizes its responsibilities regarding the environment. We will do what it is our responsibility to do as far as cleaning up is concerned, and not only in the case of U.S. facilities but also in the case of other sites. As far as the U.S. government is concerned, we have done our best to reach an agreement that is realistic.

I think the hon. member should find out more about this, because it is the only agreement signed by the Americans who, during two world wars and subsequently during the Cold War period and even today, have worked and are working throughout the world to protect the interests of people who want to maintain their freedom. I hope the hon. member understands that.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, the following is from an elderly couple in Prince George:

My ears must be going as on Tuesday, the 18th of February, 1997, I heard-the Minister of Finance, say that this government had not put up taxes. If this is the case I would like you, to ask him, why, after drawing pensions for the past five years, this year I am paying income tax for the first time since I retired. Especially as my wife and I are being paid government supplements which I assume we are getting because they figure we don't have enough money to live on.

In light of this, does the minister still maintain he has not increased taxation?