House of Commons Hansard #68 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was finance.

Topics

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, the minister expressed concern about the drop in the number of participants in the employment insurance program and is even considering extending it to self-employed workers.

That is a good idea, but what will that mean for those who no longer qualify because of the changes introduced by this government?

Premiums dropped by 6.6% between 1996 and 1997. Six unemployed workers out of ten no longer qualify for benefits. We need action now. Will the minister stop hibernating and review the employment insurance plan to provide assistance to all unemployed workers?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I did review the first annual assessment report on the significant reform we initiated with respect to employment insurance.

I think there are early signs that Canadians are adapting to these changes. In fact, there are regions where workers managed to find a few extra weeks of work over the year to maintain their benefit levels. I think that is the kind of incentive we must support as a society.

I have already acknowledged in this House I am concerned about the number of participants in this plan and, as I said, I will address this question again in the next few months.

The Budget
Oral Question Period

February 26th, 1998 / 3 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Greg Thompson Charlotte, NB

Mr. Speaker, the health minister will leave a sad legacy in defence of our health care system. He caved in to the tobacco giants. He caved in to the liquor giants and once again he has caved in to the finance minister. He is quietly and obediently sitting on his hands, allowing the finance minister to take a wrecking ball to our health care system.

My question is obvious. Who is the real health minister, hapless Allan or heartless Paul?

The Budget
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

My colleagues, I know we are coming toward the end, but I wish questions were not phrased in that way. We can address each other with respect and with dignity. I wish the hon. member would keep that in mind.

I will permit the hon. Minister of Health to answer it, if he so wishes.

The Budget
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I will respond notwithstanding the way the member put the question.

Let me make clear to the hon. member that we have no apologies to make for the budget and the investment we have made in health.

If the hon. member would look at the budget, if he knew what he was talking about, he would see $214 million worth of caregiver tax credit. We believe we should support people who are helping others at home. He would see some $42 million a year for the next five years on an AIDS strategy. He would see $60 million for a new blood system. He would see that we are spending $150 million over the next two years for transition into a new health system.

Hate Crimes
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Elinor Caplan Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, today the police reported that hate crimes have increased by 7% in the Toronto area since 1996. I understand the police believe the actual number is greater than that.

My question is for the Secretary of State for Multiculturalism. What is the federal government doing to address this disturbing trend and curb the increases in rising hate crimes?

Hate Crimes
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Vancouver Centre
B.C.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Secretary of State (Multiculturalism)(Status of Women)

Mr. Speaker, expressions of hate have no place in Canadian society. Our government has been very proactive on this issue. We have just passed recent legislation that increases penalties for crimes based on hate or biased activity.

A round table was held last April with the solicitor general and the finance minister to meet with groups in the community and victims of hate to talk about a national strategy for hate and biased crimes. We have worked with the Toronto police and the city of Toronto to set about strategies to deal with this issue.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Reform

Leon Benoit Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian forces Hercules involved in the rescue attempt near Little Grand Rapids, Manitoba, illegally dumped over 50,000 litres of fuel on the town and surrounding area. The pilot broke the three cardinal rules of fuel dumping, thus putting at risk the people of the town and the crew of the Hercules.

Has the Minister of National Defence chosen to keep the people of Little Grand Rapids in the dark about this breach of regulations, or has he been kept in the dark by the officials of his own department once again?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the fuel was dumped at a low altitude because the weather was terrible. The Hercules needed to get in to rescue people, to save lives.

They did not have enough time to go to a higher altitude. They dumped it at a lower altitude in as safe a way as they possibly could. The matter is still under investigation, but they did it so they could get in there and save lives.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

Colleagues, that would bring to a close our question period.

I am going to entertain two questions of privilege and three points of order, but first I am going to go to the Thursday question.

Business Of The House
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask a question of the government House leader related to the business of the House. My question is of interest to all members.

The House is closed tomorrow, in the middle of a very important budget debate, because the Conservatives informed us they have their annual national convention. We now find out that this is not their annual national convention but a meeting with senators and a few other party members.

I would like to ask the government House leader to look at ways to remove one supply day from the PCs as a result of wasting our time and misleading the House.

Business Of The House
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, today the House will continue the budget debate. After a week or so of parliamentary recess the debate will resume on March 9 and 10.

On Wednesday, March 11, the business of the House will be Bill C-28, the CHST and income tax bill from last year, followed by Bill C-21, the time sensitive bill involving an extension to the Small Business Loans Act.

On Thursday, March 12, we will have an opposition day.

Responding to the other question of the hon. member, he and all members will know that these items are negotiated by House leaders in what is a confidential meeting.

If the information he is bringing to the House is in fact accurate, I am sure the House leaders will want to look at it at their next meeting, which should occur in the usual time when the House resumes after the parliamentary recess.

I do not think I would like to comment any more on that item because these meetings are usually held in camera for obvious reasons.

Business Of The House
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Let's do it tomorrow.

Business Of The House
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Jean Charest Sherbrooke, QC

We'll sit tomorrow.

Business Of The House
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

My colleagues, it has been a rather interesting day and it continues. We had the usual Thursday question and a little extra was added.

The hon. government House leader has offered that the House leaders of the different parties come together and settle whatever the matter is. I would encourage the House leaders to do so. I would much prefer to leave this in the hands of the House leaders in negotiations rather than bring it out on the floor of the House.

If the hon. House leader for the Conservative Party wants to make an intervention at this time, it would be somewhat irregular. I will hear his point of order, after I have heard the questions of privilege of which I have notice at this point.

The hon. member for Shefford on a question of privilege.