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

Un High Commissioner For Human Rights
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to join with my colleagues in noting the visit of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson.

The presence of the former President of Ireland is an honour to this parliament and it is important to recognize the true devotion of a woman who, having used her talents to serve her own country, is now using them to benefit the world at large.

The Bloc Quebecois notes the importance of the responsibility Mrs. Robinson has been given and assures her of its full backing. She can rely on the support of the Bloc Quebecois, which has never hesitated to denounce systematic and flagrant violations of human rights, wherever in the world they have been committed.

With the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights just days away, the Bloc Quebecois reiterates its support for the United Nations and for the High Commissioner for Human Rights in their fight, which is also our fight, for the freedom and dignity of the children, women and men of our planet.

Canadian Forest Industry
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Charlie Power St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to bring to the attention of the House a serious issue currently affecting the west coast which has implications for all of Canada. International environmental organizations are waging an unjust campaign against the Canadian forest industry. The outcome of their efforts has been devastating to coastal communities in British Columbia.

Not only has the forest industry had to deal with a drop in demand caused by the Asian financial crisis, but European, Asian and North American consumers are being bombarded with one-sided arguments about Canadian forest practices while thousands of Canadians lose their jobs.

The Liberal government has done nothing to counteract this advertising campaign.

I ask the Liberal government to prove us wrong and prove that it cares about coastal communities and families that rely on our natural resources. Do something before it is too late to help the Canadian forest industry counteract this aggressive advertising campaign being waged by misguided environmentalists against our very vital Canadian forest industry.

Bill Mathews
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Steckle Huron—Bruce, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Mr. Bill Mathews, a constituent of mine. I was recently informed that Bill volunteered his time and business expertise to assist in developing the business skills of a firm in one of the world's most volatile and disadvantaged economies.

Bill was a CESO volunteer in Russia at a corporation that processes soybean products. During his tenure at this Russian business Bill was able to share his knowledge in areas such as how to expand operations into a franchising system and in construction methods for growth of the company's existing infrastructure. He provided a plan to develop the basement of the company's headquarters which included cost estimates and design work.

In short, Bill made a substantial difference in the way this firm conducted its day to day operations. Because of Bill's efforts the efficiency and future prospects of this company were improved, which in turn will result in more economic output and growth. This will result in an improvement in areas such as employee wages and their standard of living, while at the same time helping to enhance the labour standards of the country as a whole. I applaud Bill's efforts because I feel that they represent a concrete example of how a hand up is often more beneficial than a handout.

E & N Railway
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Keith Martin Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, the E & N railway on Vancouver Island is a rundown commuter railway operated by VIA Rail. It has been propped up by Canadian taxpayers in the amount of $2 million a year. However, the trains routinely break down leaving commuters stranded. It is incredibly inefficient.

Now the rail line is going to be purchased by an American group called RailAmerica Inc. This could be a major tourist attraction and generate a lot of money.

However, what does this say about the case of Canadian investors in this country? The fact is that they and the rail line are compromised by high taxes and complex rules and regulations which prevent them from investing in these worthy endeavours.

My other concern is what if RailAmerica decides to abandon the rail line? What will happen to the commuters who depend on the E & N to travel to work? Will the Minister of Transport guarantee that the sale of the E & N to the American company will include a provision safeguarding the public interest?

Apec Inquiry
Oral Question Period

November 25th, 1998 / 2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, what a glimpse into the Prime Minister's values. He refuses to accept any responsibility for his solicitor general's resignation. Instead he looks for someone to blame. He blames the media. He blames the official opposition. And now he launches a manhunt to find someone to blame for filing the incriminating affidavit with the RCMP complaints commission.

How can the Prime Minister possibly defend this outrageous witch hunt?

Apec Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the story in the Globe and Mail this morning is absolutely not true.

Apec Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is obviously upset. He is not angry with the solicitor general babbling on an airplane. He is not angry about the solicitor general refusing to tell the truth when he was first confronted. He is angry that it came out at all and that the affidavit was filed and that it was released.

Exactly what lesson is the Prime Minister trying to teach here, that covering up is always better than telling the truth?

Apec Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is too bad the Leader of the Opposition has to read the prepared question.

I said it is not true. I was aware that there were to be affidavits. I said they had to do it because we want the truth to be known by everybody.

Apec Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, when I listen to the Prime Minister, I hear a man who is desperate to protect the image of ethics and integrity but spends very little time on the substance.

If the Prime Minister wants to find someone to blame for this entire sordid affair, why does he not just look in the mirror?

Apec Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, for six months there has been a commission which has been charged to look into that. We have told the commission it can inquire about everything. There was a motion made in front of it by the lawyers for the students asking the commission to look at all the aspects of that and the commission agreed. The commission has come to my office and the offices of every department to get all the files. We told the commission that the witnesses it needs will be available. I cannot be more open than that.

Canada Pension Plan
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, three months ago today the Canada pension plan's chief actuary was fired. To help quell the controversy the finance minister told this House the Canadian Institute of Actuaries would review the upcoming CPP report. But last week the institute refused to become embroiled in the affair.

How can the minister guarantee now an independent review of the CPP report?

Canada Pension Plan
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, to replace the chief actuary the government has brought in that person who was responsible for the outside review who has extensive experience in this area. He will do a very thorough, very comprehensive review.

Canada Pension Plan
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, that is not what the minister told the House earlier. He said there would be an independent review of this report, not just counting on the person who prepared it. The finance minister fired the Canada pension plan's top watchdog. Now the Canadian Institute of Actuaries refuses to review the upcoming report.

How can Canadians ever be sure the CPP numbers are correct?

Canada Pension Plan
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister did not fire the chief actuary. He was fired by the Superintendent of Financial Institutions which is an independent agency. The superintendent was acting within his full scope. I was not asked for my opinion. I did not give it and would not have given it if I had been asked.

I met with the provincial finance ministers. The acting chief actuary has met with the provincial finance ministers. The actuary's report will be made available to all of the provinces and they will authenticate it.

Apec Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the work of the RCMP public complaints commission cannot be restricted solely to the ethical aspect of the police officers' conduct during the APEC summit in Vancouver.

Will the Prime Minister admit that what the public wants to know in this entire matter, and what absolutely must be clarified, is the role the Prime Minister played in the brutal repression of a peaceful demonstration? That is the real issue.