House of Commons Hansard #139 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was board.

Topics

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

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

Yesterday we had the very disturbing announcement by CN of a permanent layoff of 3,000 workers. This was on top of another recent announcement by Volvo in Halifax of closure. All these were done only in the name of preserving shareholder value.

The Minister of Finance often lectures Canadians on their responsibility to seek work. Does he not feel that corporations have a responsibility to maintain employment in this country and not lay off people permanently or otherwise simply to increase their shareholder value? Is there not such a thing as corporate responsibility in this country?

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the decisions that are taken by private corporations are decisions which reside within the capacity of those corporations.

That being said, I have said on numerous occasions that the downsizing which has taken place over the last two or three years in many cases is the equivalent of dumbsizing. In fact, it leads to lack of employee loyalty. It leads to absenteeism. I do not think it makes a lot of sense.

This is not to deal with this particular issue, but it certainly deals with a movement that we have seen throughout North America.

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, the reason CN is a private company is that the treachery of the Liberal Party sold off the CNR and made it for all intents and purposes an American owned company that now operates without giving two hoots about Canada.

Does the Minister of Finance not see that this was a mistake? Will he be speaking to CN about operating in the interests of Canada and not in the interests of its 60% American shareholders thanks to the Liberal Party of Canada?

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I am quite affronted. The hon. member talks about treachery when he knows he is talking about a decision democratically taken by members of the House of Commons to privatize Canadian National Railways. I think he should withdraw that slight of CN and members of the House.

As the Minister of Finance has said recently there are some troubled waters. There are ups and downs in the economy and what CN is doing is reflecting a downturn in revenues.

Let us hope that this will only be temporary and that those people will be rehired at a later date.

Immigration And Refugee Board
Oral Question Period

October 21st, 1998 / 2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister must be aware that one of his patronage appointments committed a most repugnant act.

John Frecker, deputy chair of the Immigration and Refugee Board, has admitted to giving a nazi salute and a sieg heil comment to another board member who is a Holocaust survivor. Such behaviour is disgraceful and should not be tolerated.

The Prime Minister appointed Mr. Frecker. We know the Prime Minister likes shaking hands with dictators who abuse human rights, but will he do the right thing here and will he replace John Frecker immediately?

Immigration And Refugee Board
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

I am going to let the minister of immigration answer the question if she wants to.

Immigration And Refugee Board
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, an unfortunate incident occurred on the Immigration and Refugee Board. The commission chair—and I would remind the House that this commission is a quasi-judicial tribunal—requested an outside inquiry, which was carried out revealing no general problem within the commission. The individual in question offered an apology to the entire staff of the commission. Accordingly, as far as I, the minister responsible, am concerned the matter is closed.

Immigration And Refugee Board
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, we are aware of the apology but that is not enough. The Immigration Act allows for a public judicial inquiry to investigate the need for disciplinary action against members of the refugee board. Instead of a public inquiry the same lawyer who is representing the government on APEC affairs was hired to do a report on the Frecker case. The refugee board hears the cases of people fleeing genocide, murder and torture and so on.

Why was there no public inquiry into Frecker's actions. Is this another cover-up like APEC?

Immigration And Refugee Board
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party is blowing the situation out of proportion. It was handled well by the chair of the Immigration and Refugee Board. The people involved in the incident accepted the individual's apologies and, as far as the commission is concerned, the matter is closed.

Apec Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Rick Casson Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, according to RCMP tapes Jean Carle was the man giving the orders to the RCMP at APEC.

My question is to the Prime Minister and it is very simple. Did he give Jean Carle the green light and order the clamp down at APEC, yes or no?

Apec Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as everyone in this House knows, there is an inquiry going on in Vancouver. It is being done in the way that parliament feels these kinds of issues should be dealt with. The commission counsel has access to $650,000 additional dollars to make sure everyone has the assistance they need to ensure this is done fairly.

I wish hon. members would let us get to the truth.

Apec Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Rick Casson Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Prime Minister. The only thing we want to hear the solicitor general say when he stands up is “I resign”.

The Prime Minister is the only man in Canada who can clarify this issue. Let us try it again. Was Jean Carle acting on the orders of the Prime Minister, yes or no?

Apec Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Carle will be a witness. He volunteered to be a witness. Let him appear in front of the commission. The commission will hear him. Mr. Carle was responsible for the operation because it was a summit receiving 18 other leaders of the world. Mr. Carle had to be communicating with everyone. He is a witness. He volunteered to be a witness and he gave all the documents the commission asked him for.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Human Resources Development used to tell us to wait for his study if we wanted to know the changes to be made to his program. Now he is using that study to disguise reality and to cover his colleague in finance, who wants to get his hands on the EI surplus.

Does the minister admit that the reality presented in his study is that, out of 100 unemployed workers who have paid into the fund, only 43 drew benefits?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is wrong, and he knows it. The hon. member is mistaken, and he has understood nothing in the study. Let us be clear, and I will make it clear for once and for all: 78% of those who contribute to employment insurance draw benefits from our system.