House of Commons Hansard #159 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tobacco.

Topics

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member in his excitement did not hear the reply to the earlier question. The reply was there is no policy change.

With respect to the issue he has raised, he can discuss it further at committee this afternoon.

Employment
Oral Question Period

November 25th, 1998 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Chris Axworthy Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

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

In spite of his and the government's rhetoric about job creation Statistics Canada, the government's own agency, paints an entirely different picture.

The jobless rate in Canada is almost 50% higher than the in U.S. Among older men it is 140% higher and almost twice as high among older women.

The tragedy behind these numbers is manifested in every community across the country. The government has this don't worry, be happy attitude. That is an insult to all Canadians who cannot find work and feed their families.

Does the Minister of Finance dispute Statistics Canada's analysis of this crisis situation?

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, in fact what Statistics Canada has pointed out are the very problems we raised when we were in opposition, the problems with the then government's administration of the economy. That is why we brought in the changes we did. That is why today we have low interest rates, we have eliminated the deficit and it is why we have one of the best job creation records of any of the G-7 countries. As I mentioned, it is paying off. Since 1996 over 800,000 new jobs have been created, better than any other G-7 country.

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Chris Axworthy Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, this must be why our offices are inundated by people on EI, trying to get EI, trying to find work. The government's policies are simply not working.

My supplementary is to the Prime Minister. When the Prime Minister recognized there was a crisis in health care he established the national forum on health.

Surely the Prime Minister knows the crisis in employment and joblessness is just as severe. Will he set up a national forum on unemployment to hear ideas on how we can solve this question? If not, is it that he does not care about the unemployed?

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the record of the government on job creation is pretty impressive. Since we took office, more than 1.3 million new jobs have been created. When we took over the unemployment level was 11.4%. It is down to 8.1%. I think we have done very well.

Of course our unemployment level is not as low as that of the United States. In Canada we have a much better safety net for protecting people. We have minimum wage and a lot of social programs not available in many parts of the U.S.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, first I will be a lovely lady and thank the minister of veterans affairs for meeting with merchant navy vets this morning.

Now, in the meeting the minister apparently stated that his hands were tied when it came to compensation. However, the minister must know that he has the ability to request an order in council to authorize the crown to make a payment without prejudice for these veterans. Is the minister willing to explore this avenue?

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Fred Mifflin Minister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for her kind comments. I also want to tell her what merchant navy veterans receive now in the way of benefits.

They receive disability, survivor's pension, income support, prisoner of war compensation, survivor's allowance, benefits for surgical and dental needs, veterans independence program and long term care. When this government's omnibus bill is introduced early next week they will have these benefits and more.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, I know what the minister of veterans affairs is referring to. It is the bill that was brought in by our government in 1992 that made them partially equal with other World War II veterans.

The Department of Veterans Affairs had $49 million in lapsed funds in 1997, more than enough to compensate these merchant navy vets.

The Conservative government in the past had the courage to correct the wrongs of the past with Japanese Canadians in World War II and looked after thalidomide victims.

Will this minister and this government—

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Veterans Affairs.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Fred Mifflin Minister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for reminding this House that her government could not put forward retroactive legislation either.

Norbert Reinhart
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Ben Serré Timiskaming—Cochrane, ON

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Norbert Reinhart, a Canadian citizen and diamond driller from northern Ontario, is presently being held in captivity by the FARC guerrilla group in Columbia.

What is the Canadian government doing to ensure Mr. Reinhart's family and colleagues that every possible effort is being made to have him released safely and at the earliest possible time?

Norbert Reinhart
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian ambassador to Columbia is actually today in the state of Bucaramanga to meet with the governor, the bishop of the region and the Red Cross to discuss with these officials the best way of negotiating the release of Mr. Reinhart.

We also had the occasion, I and the Minister for International Cooperation, to raise this matter with the high commissioner for human rights, Mary Robinson, who has indicated that their office in Columbia will do everything possible to help in supporting them.

We have given them a major grant of half a million dollars for their work—

Norbert Reinhart
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Lakeland.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Leon Benoit Lakeland, AB

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

Canada's intelligence agency, CSIS, has reported that money raised by a Tamil group in Canada has been used to fund a terrorist group, the Tamil Tigers.

Mr. Suresh, a refugee in Canada since 1991, has been identified as a leader of the Tamil Tigers and in spite of the fact that he was ordered deported he still walks the streets of Toronto today. Why?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Cardigan
P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, if my hon. colleague had given me notice of the question I would have had an answer for him.