House of Commons Hansard #57 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tribunal.

Topics

Federal Disaster Relief Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, there are two programs: the usual disaster relief fund, which is the one we apply to all provinces, including Quebec.

In the case of the Saguenay, we decided to introduce an additional program for expenses not covered under financial assistance agreements. In that case, at the request of Minister Brassard himself, the costs were shared 50-50.

This was the same cost-sharing formula used in Manitoba, and it is the one we are now offering to the governments of Quebec and Ontario.

Federal Disaster Relief Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister might recall that he offered the same level of compensation as for Alberta in a letter he himself sent to Minister Brassard.

Federal Disaster Relief Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Sheila Copps Hamilton East, ON

It was Lucien Bouchard.

Federal Disaster Relief Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

It was a letter from the present minister, sent in 1996—

Federal Disaster Relief Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Sheila Copps Hamilton East, ON

He was not even there then.

Federal Disaster Relief Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

—for the information of the Minister of Canadian Heritage who probably does not understand because she is not listening.

I would ask the President of the Treasury Board whether he admits that, in 1996, he offered the Government of Quebec the same type of program as Alberta had, five months after the disaster however—a bit late therefore—and why he is not making the same offer this time, when we are within the deadline?

Federal Disaster Relief Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Bloc Quebecois would have done better to check his sources with Quebec's Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Mr. Brassard.

I have here a letter from Mr. Brassard replying to my offer to share costs on a 90-10 basis in which the minister tells me that such a percentage, using the criteria of the Alberta programs, would not be equitable under the circumstances.

He writes: “I suggest there be an ad hoc agreement for compensation of up to $50 million with costs borne equally by both our governments and managed jointly”.

Federal Disaster Relief Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the President of the Treasury Board.

The fact is that the federal government is not acting in good faith or making any effort to come to an agreement with Quebec. While it could certainly come to an agreement with Quebec about businesses and the power grid, it does not want to.

My question concerns compensation for the power grid. Given the fact that this network clearly constitutes an essential service and that funding could easily be provided under the provisions of his assistance program, for example section 5.5 of chapter 4, why is Ottawa stubbornly refusing to help Quebec?

Federal Disaster Relief Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, since the current rule came into force in 1988, the requests made by Newfoundland in 1994, Manitoba in 1996 and Quebec in 1996 to compensate hydro companies have been turned down.

This rule has been followed consistently since 1988, and Quebec knew this and still does.

Federal Disaster Relief Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, under a similar provision, Newfoundland requested assistance to repair its power grid in 1984 and Ottawa said yes. When Manitoba requested assistance in 1984 for its power grid, Ottawa said yes as it did again in 1996 for that province's dikes.

Why is Ottawa now changing its tune for Quebec's power grid and saying no to Quebec when it said yes to the other provinces?

Federal Disaster Relief Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague knows full well that his statement is incorrect. The rule was changed in 1988. It was changed by a Conservative government in which the current premier of Quebec was a minister, so he is aware of the rule.

Again, as I said, since 1988, we have denied Newfoundland, Manitoba and Quebec funding for hydro companies. The precedent is clear, the rule is clear and there have been no exceptions.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

February 11th, 1998 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of National Defence.

While Iraq is showing signs of openness, the U.S. insists on going to war. Canada must not be so narrow minded. In order to get Iraq to comply with the disarmament conditions, we must show good will and lift the sanctions that are crushing civilians. We must avoid war.

Is Canada prepared to promote a diplomatic solution based on the elimination of the sanctions?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Canada wants very much to have a diplomatic solution. That is why the Minister of Foreign Affairs is in New York as we speak. He visited the United Nations where he met Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Richard Butler, head of the UN special commission.

We believe efforts should continue toward a diplomatic solution. But it must be recognized that unless there has been the threat of force or use of force, Saddam Hussein has never agreed to a diplomatic solution and we must continue with the pressure to make sure he complies with the resolutions and gives up his efforts to manufacture and store instruments of mass destruction.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, we did not get a land mine ban in Canada through the threat of force or by falling in line with the U.S. Protest is mounting from Canadians even within Liberal ranks. The former chief of staff of the UN peacekeeping force in Iraq described Canada's yes sir, yes sir, three bags full, sir as nauseating and nonsensical. Bombing will not solve the problem. Why will this government not uphold Canada's well earned reputation for creative diplomacy and effective multilateralism instead of recklessly abandoning it?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we are pursuing a diplomatic solution but, unlike the hon. member, we are realistic enough to know that Saddam Hussein must realize there is concerted action ready to be taken if he does not live up to the UN resolutions to get rid of instruments of mass destruction. Why does the hon. member not listen to her colleague in Britain, Mr. Blair, the Labour prime minister who believes that our position is the right one, the one he is following and not the useless one she is promoting?