House of Commons Hansard #132 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was social.

Topics

Canada Post
Oral Question Period

October 5th, 1998 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Alex Shepherd Durham, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the minister of public works.

Franchise operators of Canada Post have complained that revised compensation packages have been implemented without their input and at a considerable economic hardship to them. Will the minister tell this House how he intends to deal with this matter? It has wide ranging effects on postal services in both rural and urban centres of our country.

Canada Post
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel
Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce to the House and to all Canadians that Canada Post has decided to postpone the date of implementation to December 1. I thank all members on both sides of the House for their co-operation. In the meantime from now until December 1, Canada Post will meet with every franchise in order to explain how the new system will work.

Canada Post is providing a fixed commission amount from $6,000 to $25,000. The new system will continue to give the same good service it presently gives to Canadians. Canada Post wants—

Canada Post
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Souris—Moose Mountain.

Transportation
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Roy H. Bailey Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Transport.

The Canadian Transportation Agency released a decision a few days ago on a complaint from the Canadian Wheat Board about grain transportation. The CN has admitted to some of the blame. The CPR is partly to blame. By now most prairie branch lines are abandoned or in the process of being abandoned. It is up to the farmers now to drive hundreds of kilometres on torn-up roads to get to the mainline terminals.

When will this government spend our federal fuel tax revenue where it should be spent, on improving roads so farmers can get their grain to market?

Transportation
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should know that it would be inappropriate for me to comment on the Canadian Transportation Agency issue and the wheat board complaint. It is subject to appeal. The hon. member should also know that Judge Estey is studying this entire issue. So let us not come to some prejudgment here in the House.

On the issue of railway line abandonment, I have assured the hon. member and the people in his home province that the railways have the right to abandon these lines but that they are going about their business in a very careful way so as not to prejudge Judge—

Transportation
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Cypress Hills—Grasslands.

Transportation
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Lee Morrison Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, the prairie highway system was designed to supplement the railroads, not to replace rail hauling. It is being destroyed especially in Saskatchewan where it is already a shambles. Each year $635 million is being sucked out of the prairies in fuel taxes while $13 million is being put back. Does the minister want us to go back to moving our grain with horse drawn wagons, or will this government put some of its fuel loot back where it belongs, into highways in the provinces—

Transportation
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. Minister of Transport.

Transportation
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I know the hon. member is sincerely concerned about transportation in general, in particular in transportation for the grain industry in his home province. We will be having this debate in the coming months. I do not believe we can actively engage in that debate at this point, not until we have Judge Estey's report. We will see what he recommends in dealing with some of these serious issues.

Apec Summit
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, when the solicitor general prejudices the outcome of the Spray-PEC inquiry, as my colleague clearly heard him do on an Ottawa to Fredericton flight on Thursday evening, confidence in the inquiry is severely undermined.

To remove any doubt about whether the solicitor general or anyone else is covering for the Prime Minister, will the Prime Minister commit today to appear before the public complaints inquiry?

Apec Summit
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, many times in the last two or three weeks I have stood in the House and very much protected the process to get to the truth of this matter for everyone to hear, and here it is: we will not interfere with that process. We will get to the truth in exactly the manner the House set up the public complaints commission to do.

Apec Summit
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, too bad the solicitor general has totally compromised this process now. Our justice system depends upon the scrupulous impartiality of the solicitor general. He is one of the senior law officers of the land.

Is it a proper role for the solicitor general to cover for the Prime Minister? Is it a proper role for the solicitor general to be a party to four to five RCMP officers taking the rap?

Apec Summit
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I can only say that I have stood in the House many times and said exactly what I have said just now.

We will get to the truth. The public complaints commission is doing its investigation. I wish hon. members would let it do its job.

Apec Summit
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, week after week Canadians have witnessed the dodging and weaving of the Prime Minister in an effort to avoid accountability for his actions at APEC. Yet Prime Minister staffers like Jennifer Lang are allowed to comment at random on the APEC allegations, dismissing Chief Gail Sparrows as not credible.

My question is for the Deputy Prime Minister. Why is it that Liberal spin doctors are allowed to comment on APEC outside the public complaints commission while the Prime Minister continues to hide? Why the double standard?

Apec Summit
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the first thing I want to do is check the accuracy of the hon. member's assertion. Certainly, as the solicitor general has said, we want the hearings to begin. We want them to be carried out thoroughly and effectively.

I do not see why the hon. member raises this kind of question if he really wants these commission hearings to succeed. Let them continue and let us see what the result will be.