House of Commons Hansard #151 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was amendment.

Topics

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

London West
Ontario

Liberal

Sue Barnes Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I wish to thank all of our border MPs for raising this issue, especially the member for Erie who has been diligent, on a number of occasions, in bringing it to our attention.

We have acted as a government with the introduction of Bill C-89, which gives customs officers the first line of defence for safe homes and safe streets an ability to apprehend people under Criminal Code infractions and to do something about it themselves. This bill has the enthusiastic, vocal support I might add, of groups such as CAVEAT, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Child Find and others, including the customs union and border men and women who do a fantastic job and will continue to do so.

Government Expenditures
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, no matter how much smoke the Treasury Board president blows at it, the facts are very clear. The government has forced the provinces to eat $7 billion in cuts to health and education while keeping billions of dollars extra in its own departmental budgets, money that it promised it would cut.

These are the facts. The government has overspent in agriculture by $126 million; transport, $400 million; regional development, $812 million. The total is $3 billion plus.

How does the government justify cutting $7 billion from health and education transfers to the provinces when it is billions of dollars short in reducing waste in its own departments?

Government Expenditures
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, once again I have to inform our friends and colleagues in the Reform Party that the money he is talking about was taken out of the departmental budgets when the program review targets were put together.

We have indicated that the figures changed over the years because of changes in accounting practices and so on. We have even given them a reconciliation of the figures so that it would be easy for them to go step by step and see that the program review has reached its objective.

Now the only thing I can do is to ask them to read the text we have given them.

Government Expenditures
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, if a small businessman juggled his books to avoid paying taxes like the government is juggling its books to avoid public scrutiny, they would be in jail making licence plates, except in Canada where they would be watching cable television.

These spending cuts were promised by the finance minister in the 1995 budget to justify his $7 billion gutting of health and education transfers to the provinces. Two years later we find that it is all a big sham, that the government did not make the cuts.

Why has the finance minister cooked his own books to mask his government's failure to cut spending while forcing provinces and Canadians to pay the price of his inaction?

Government Expenditures
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, our cuts according to their own affirmation are nothing compared to the cuts in transfers they would make. How can they complain about the cuts we are making when they would cut all the social programs, cut the transfer programs to the provinces.

We have cut our own programs 40 per cent more than we are cutting transfers to the provinces. In this case we have done the right thing which is to reduce the size of government. It would have been a terrible mess if the Reform Party had done that.

Migration Of Snow Geese
Oral Question Period

April 8th, 1997 / 2:50 p.m.

Bloc

François Langlois Bellechasse, QC

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

The annual migration of snow geese from the United States to the northern regions results in major losses to the farmers of the Bellechasse region, the Beaupré coast, Ile d'Orléans, and other regions of Quebec. Last year, the Canadian Wildlife Service issued permits running from April 22 to May 26, to allow scaring and shooting so as to limit the damage done to their fields by the geese. This measure reduced losses considerably.

Is the Minister prepared to instruct the Canadian Wildlife Service to issue permits for scaring and shooting again for 1997?

Migration Of Snow Geese
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Liberal

Karen Kraft Sloan Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, as the member is probably aware, any changes to the migratory birds convention requires the convention to be ratified. We are looking forward to that ratification very soon.

As soon as the convention is ratified we will be able to deal with permits and special licences to deal with the problem the member has indicated to the House.

Migration Of Snow Geese
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

François Langlois Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Parliamentary Secretary is not very familiar with her portfolio, for the permit last year was issued under the present convention between Canada and the U.S.

All that we are asking is that permits be issued immediately to be used in the days to come by the people living on the South Shore, the Beaupré shore and the Ile d'Orléans, to scare and, if necessary, to shoot the geese.

When it comes down to it, does the government realize that, through its refusal, its silence or lack of understanding, its incompetence in this matter, it is condemning farmers to assume losses for which they are in no way responsible, and requiring the taxpayers to compensate those same farmers, although inadequately?

Migration Of Snow Geese
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Liberal

Karen Kraft Sloan Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I would like to reiterate my position on this issue. If the member is referring to the snow geese hunt, they are under the migratory birds convention. A study group has been put together with Canada, the United States and other northern communities and the issue is being attended to.

Government Expenses
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

John Williams St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, more information has surfaced concerning Ted Weatherill, the chairman of the Canada Labour Relations Board.

While the Canada Labour Relations Board held hearings between 1990 and 1992 concerning Canadian National and Canadian Pacific Railways labour disputes, Mr. Weatherill was wining and dining with senior executives of both corporations, no doubt part of the $148,000 he spent on meals. If that is not a conflict of interest, I do not know what is because ministers have resigned for less.

My question is for the Minister of Labour. Will the minister remove the chairman of the Canada Labour Relations Board now?

Government Expenses
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Saint-Léonard
Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano Minister of Labour and Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, my answer is the same as yesterday. I have asked the auditor general to look into those claims. As soon as I get the auditor general's report I will make a decision.

Government Expenses
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

John Williams St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister is sweeping this under the carpet until after the election just like the Somalia inquiry.

Government Expenses
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

I would remind hon. members please not to put motive to actions. I would ask the hon. member to proceed to his question.

Government Expenses
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

John Williams St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, the auditor general will report to the House at a later date, a long time from now. We have a chairman who is not only abusing his expenses but who is abusing his power. This guy has got to go. Will he go today? That is the question.

Government Expenses
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Saint-Léonard
Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano Minister of Labour and Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, may I remind the member that this issue is not under the carpet, it is under investigation. It is proper when there is an investigation that we wait for the result.

If the member is serious about changing the chair of the labour board, maybe he and his colleagues should have voted instead of filibustering Bill C-66. By now Bill C-66 would have been law and we would have a new board.