House of Commons Hansard #151 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was legislation.

Topics

Health Care
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for giving me the opportunity to provide the current figures. In both cash and tax points, each Quebecker receives $925.40 through the Canada social transfer. The average per capita across Canada is $848.70, so each Quebecker in fact is getting 9% more than the average.

Health Care
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, this week the minister told us that a Liberal caucus committee was looking into various options which would allow the federal government to re-invest in health. I find that far from reassuring.

In this area, as in many others, this government's main concern is not what is best for patients, but what gives it the most visibility. How can it justify putting the effort to get the maple leaf onto as many cheques as possible ahead of those who are sick?

Health Care
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member will be hard put to find a more decentralized federation than Canada, particularly in this area. If she looks at other federations, she will see how much the other federal governments intervene in the health field, compared to Canada.

Our goal is to ensure that Canadians have quality health care in every part of Canada. I would also like to say that, since the hon. member is speaking of situations that worry her, what we find worrisome is the situation in Quebec, where the PQ government has cut health expenditures by 1% between 1994-95 and 1998-99, while the other provinces have raised them by 8.6%.

Yet the federal government has done everything it can to help the Government of Quebec.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Question Period

November 6th, 1998 / 11:25 a.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, today the Nisga'a begin voting on their historic agreement. The Liberal Party of British Columbia and Reform Party members have done everything within their power to scuttle this agreement.

We have seen impressive leadership from the Nisga'a themselves and from the Premier of British Columbia, but the Prime Minister's silence has been deafening, his absence conspicuous.

Does the Prime Minister have any intention of providing leadership in building, understanding and support for this—

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. the leader of the government in the House.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is quite wrong when she makes such allegations. She knows perfectly well the commitment of the federal government, of the Prime Minister, of the entire cabinet and of the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development who is herself in British Columbia discussing these very important issues.

We all want the Nisga'a people to be able to go through this process over the next couple of days and to come up with the answer that will be theirs. Hopefully we as Canadians will all be behind them as they march through this journey.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Nisga'a agreement was signed on August 4. The Prime Minister chose to be absent. We have scarcely heard a word since from the Prime Minister.

Surely the Prime Minister recognizes that the misinformation of the B.C. Liberals and the Reformers deserves and demands to be countered. Can we count on the Prime Minister to provide the leadership that is very much needed?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I will compare the commitment of the Prime Minister, his attendance, his presence and his overall workload to the hon. member across the way and three or four of her colleagues at once.

He has done more as a former minister of Indian affairs and as a Prime Minister in his commitment through the bills that are now before the House of Commons, and everything we have done, than the hon. member across the way will ever do in three lifetimes.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rick Borotsik Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food said on February 9, 1993 in the House:

GRIP and NISA, which are long term safety net programs, are being tried and are being worked with. So far in many areas they have been insufficient. They have been a disappointment to the farmers and the industry.

The minister said then that GRIP and NISA were not enough. Is the minister now saying that NISA without GRIP is going to be enough to get farmers through this crisis in agriculture?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I had a meeting with all the provincial governments and farm leaders on Wednesday of this week. The message was very clear. I will be taking the message to my cabinet colleagues that the NISA program, the crop insurance program, in an alteration of what the member's government put in which was GRIP which is gone except in one province, that we recognize we have some tools there for assistance and farm income and we need to review that. We are reviewing it. We will work the best we can with our partners in the industry in this respect.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rick Borotsik Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, the reason GRIP is gone is that this Liberal government did away with it in 1995. Rather than doing away with it, the Liberals could have modified the program to have it become trade friendly but they did not. Once again they gave agriculture short shrift.

The Canadian Federation of Agriculture has a proposal. In my estimation it basically is GRIP the sequel. Is the minister willing to support the CFA's proposal in principle now so that we will be able to have something in place by the end of this year?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I gave my commitment the other day to work with the provincial governments and the industry to do all we possibly can to turn every stone possible.

I suggest that the member check Hansard . When I made those comments in standing committee, I said that GRIP was not the program. He is right. The provinces verified that because with the exception of one province the program that his government put in place is gone at the wishes of the provinces. I was proven to be correct.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Reform

Howard Hilstrom Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, what we hear from this agriculture minister is all talk and no action.

In the 1993 red book the Liberals promised to reduce input costs to make farming more profitable. Yet the agriculture minister continues to take $138 million out in cost recovery taxes.

Will the agriculture minister finally keep his 1993 promise and quit bleeding our farmers with unfair taxes today?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member and his party keep talking about lowering taxes. They do not seem to realize that we have lowered taxes. Those members should also realize that the problem is that we have a number of farmers who are not able to pay any taxes at all. How would they wish to address that?

We are working to address this to strengthen their industry and to strengthen their safety net. The other thing I would like to remind the hon. member is that in the third quarter of 1998, farm input prices went down.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Reform

Cliff Breitkreuz Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that this Liberal government has not lowered taxes; it has raised taxes by billions.

Canadian farmers are trapped in a net farm income crunch. Unfair trade practices and foreign subsidies are bringing farmers to their knees.

On Wednesday on CTV news, the minister of agriculture stated “You cannot plan for this type of thing”. That quote came from the minister after most commodity prices have been dropping like loonies.

What does the minister mean you cannot plan? Most people plan. Farmers plan. The minister is a farmer—