House of Commons Hansard #160 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was crime.

Topics

Grain
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Elwin Hermanson Kindersley—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, in light of the fact the Liberal government is currently attempting to paper over 3.5 years of failures in a frantic pre-election flurry of deal making and vote buying the minister of agriculture has the cloak of secrecy around which the Canadian Wheat Board operates, allowing him to use the timing of increases and interim prices for political purposes.

The crop year is nearly three-quarters complete. Will the minister of agriculture announce any increases in interim prices prior to the pending election, probably this week? Or, is he saving his announcement as yet another Liberal election goodie for during the campaign?

Grain
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Regina—Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman should know-he may have missed it in his dramatic search for hyperbole and overblown rhetoric-that I do not make these announcements. The Canadian Wheat Board makes these announcements in the ordinary course of events. As rapidly as the Canadian Wheat Board is in a position to do so and taking into account all relevant circumstances the announcement will be made, election or no election.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Sarkis Assadourian Don Valley North, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the minister of immigration.

Considering the fact that we are approaching the 11th anniversary of the imposition of the visa requirement for Portuguese persons wishing to travel to Canada, considering the fact that the Portugal alone among European Union countries is subject to the restrictive visa requirement policy, and considering the policy's negative impact on business between our two nations, could the minister indicate to the House the government's position of visa requirements for Portuguese persons wishing to travel to Canada?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Saint-Henri—Westmount
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce that on May 1 citizens of Portugal will no longer be required to obtain a visitor's visas to visit Canada.

We all know the Portuguese community has contributed enormously to the social and economic development of the country. We hope the decision of visa free access will improve business, economic and cultural exchanges, as well as promote tourism between the two countries.

China
Oral Question Period

April 21st, 1997 / 2:55 p.m.

Bloc

René Laurin Joliette, QC

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

Only a few months before Hong Kong is returned to China, the latter has announced that it intends to tighten up the regulations for public demonstrations, in addition to banning all contacts abroad in the case of political parties. The situation is disturbing, to say the least, as regards the freedoms the Hong Kong Chinese will enjoy after China takes over.

Could the minister tell us whether Canada intends to take action against China to prevent the erosion of human rights and fundamental freedoms of the Chinese living in Hong Kong after the changeover?

China
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we have made consistent representations. As late as today at lunch the secretary of state for Asia and myself met with Mr. Lu Ping, the Chinese minister responsible for the transition in Hong Kong. We brought to his attention our concern about the proposed changes. Those changes have not been made yet. They are still being considered by the Hong Kong legislature.

We have certainly made our views known. We think a maximum amount of consistency must be maintained in terms of freedom of the press, the right to demonstration and the right of political parties to maintain their autonomy.

We are making all efforts to ensure that both the Chinese authority and the Hong Kong authority know exactly where Canada stands.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Bill Gilmour Comox—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals promised to scrap and abolish the GST.

Instead of scrapping the GST as it promised, the government has not only expanded the GST into the harmonized sales tax in the Atlantic provinces but is now charging Canadians outside Atlantic Canada the expanded tax as well.

Effective April 1 the new Liberal postal tax grab means that Canadians across the nation will now pay Atlantic Canada's harmonized sales tax, an additional 15 per cent surcharge, on parcels and courier mail sent to the three Atlantic provinces with the harmonized sales tax.

My question is for the minister responsible for Canada Post. Why are all Canadians being forced to pay the 15 per cent HST on parcels and courier mail sent to Atlantic Canada?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member ought to know, a sales tax has always been paid by recipients in provinces where the tax is imposed. There is no change in this.

What change has been brought in is that Atlantic Canada has been given a tremendous opportunity to lower its costs so that its small and medium size business can create jobs. At the same time Atlantic Canadians have been given a lower consumer cost on a vast range of goods from refrigerators to automobiles. It is very clearly an important part of the rebuilding of the Atlantic Canadian economy.

That is why Atlantic Canadian premiers are going across the country. It is something Atlantic Canada and its premiers can be proud of.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

NDP

Simon de Jong Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Canadian Heritage.

Later today I will be introducing a petition signed by over 1,700 people. This is part of a larger petition signed by over-

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

No props, please.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

NDP

Simon de Jong Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, the government in the red book in 1993 promised multi-year funding. What kind of long term stable funding results in hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts? How can government members face voters and claim that the red book commitment has been honoured without at least blushing?

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Vancouver Centre
B.C.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Secretary of State (Multiculturalism)(Status of Women)

Mr. Speaker, the minister announced recently that there will be stable funding for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. This is an opportunity for the CBC to start looking at how it fulfils its mandate, to look at how it does things more effectively and efficiently.

Bulgaria
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Jesse Flis Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of International Cooperation.

Some of my constituents are concerned about the lack of food, medicine and affordable energy in Bulgaria. The country recently elected a coalition government to replace the previous unstable communist regime. Can the minister tell me what Canada is doing to help alleviate the humanitarian instability in Bulgaria?

Bulgaria
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Minister for International Cooperation and Minister responsible for Francophonie

Mr. Speaker, since 1992 the federal government has provided some $2 million of assistance to Bulgaria. As well, a few weeks ago Canada agreed to activate a $10 million untied line of credit which can be used for the purchase of, among other things, Canadian wheat and other commodities. We feel this would be truly beneficial to the people of Bulgaria. Canada has also supplied election observers to Bulgaria and we intend to continue to do so.

As of yet the Government of Bulgaria has not made an international appeal for humanitarian aid. Nevertheless we have extended the line of credit I have just described.

Presence In Gallery
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

Colleagues, that brings to a close our question period.

It is a pleasure to welcome to our gallery a group of young Canadians who have done so much for their country.

They are young men and women who have distinguished themselves in many fields. They are talented and very hardworking young Canadians who have made a difference and they are symbols of excellence.

Please welcome the winners of the 1997 YTV Achievement Awards.