House of Commons Hansard #82 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was farmers.

Topics

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Reform

Derrek Konrad Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, this standoff and shooting, the Bruce Starlight affair and the poverty on the Tsuu T'ina reserve are symptoms of ongoing problems that need a solution now.

My question is for the Minister of Indian Affairs. If she will not appoint a judge, what specific recommendations from the royal commission will be used to solve the current crisis facing people on the reserve? Will she act before the next tragedy occurs?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, this is the sad thing about the Reform Party. When there is a human tragedy it tries to exploit it for political purposes.

I refer the Reform Party to an editorial in the Toronto Star where it says: “It can be a short, frightening step from a police shooting on a native reserve to an eruption of violent anger. That is why it is heartening to see Ottawa and Alberta responding quickly in this week's fatal shooting of a woman and her son”.

The Reform Party would be well advised to look at the broader issues and to try and work with aboriginal people instead of pointing the finger at a chief and individual and cutting a billion dollars of programming from aboriginal peoples' housing and social delivery.

Disability Pensions
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, this government is treating people living with disabilities in a heartless manner. Bill C-2 will ensure that fewer and fewer Canadians receive disability pensions.

Implementation of these regressive policies will ensure that thousands of Canadians will find themselves forced to wait close to two years for a final decision on their applications for disability pension. Enough is enough.

My question is for the Prime Minister. When will this government stop taking advantage of the most vulnerable in society, and start speeding up the process for obtaining disability pensions?

Disability Pensions
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, in the last Parliament a very distinguished initiative was led by a member of this government who is now the solicitor general in producing a detailed analysis of many of the issues affecting disabled Canadians.

The results of that report were in evidence in the 1997 budget. They were in evidence again in the 1998 budget. The government takes those issues seriously. Many, many disabled organizations in this country have applauded these initiatives on behalf of disabled Canadians.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

March 27th, 1998 / 11:45 a.m.

NDP

Gordon Earle Halifax West, NS

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

The alternative service delivery process of the Department of National Defence has wreaked havoc on the community of Goose Bay, Labrador. Will the minister place a moratorium on any further ASD activity until there has been an audit by the auditor general and a thorough assessment by the Standing Committee on National Defence and Veterans Affairs of the social and economic impact on the communities where ASD has already taken place?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I do not agree with the preamble to the question. What is at stake here is the survival of Goose Bay and we have been able to save it. We have been able to cut our costs down to make the operation more efficient and effective and at the same time to treat people in a fair and humane way. That is what this is about. We have less resources now in national defence. We want to make sure that we use those resources for our core functions and that we use those resources in the most efficient and effective way. That is what we are doing here and that is what we will continue to do in other parts of the country.

We will consult with our employees. We will consult with the unions. We will make sure we do it in a fair and humane way.

Highways
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

André Harvey Chicoutimi, QC

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

I know the minister is involved in drawing up a new national highways policy.

I would like the minister to confirm whether there will be a federal-provincial conference in connection with this new national policy. I would also like him to take a few seconds to indicate the importance he attaches to it.

Highways
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the federal government has contributed to the construction of highways since the first world war.

As the hon. member knows, Canadian highways are a provincial responsibility. Discussions are going to be held with my provincial counterparts on a plan for continuation of funding. In May, a meeting will be held in Edmonton to discuss this.

Highways
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

André Harvey Chicoutimi, QC

Mr. Speaker, in a speech last November 17 in Toronto, the minister stated that he was in favour of new major national toll-free highway projects and an examination of the potential for constructive collaboration between the federal, provincial and private sector.

I would like the minister to indicate to me if, for instance, he considers it important to upgrade the highway between the metropolitan Quebec and Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean regions, as a major pilot project, thus allowing us to link two large and important regions of this country? Unfortunately, the Government of Quebec is still turning a deaf ear to any new approach.

Highways
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I am well aware of the very specific concerns the hon. member has about highway 175 in his riding.

Provinces have priorities, the province of Quebec in this case, but I am sure that partnerships in highway construction will be considered.

I believe it is a good idea to involve the private sector in their construction, and I am pleased that the hon. member supports the concept of partnering with the private sector to build highways.

Forestry
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Ben Serré Timiskaming—Cochrane, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Natural Resources.

British Columbia's forest industry is in trouble. Logging levels and foreign exports are down. B.C. mills and workers are idle.

What is the federal government doing to address these issues facing this most important Canadian industry?

Forestry
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, forestry management practices per se are a provincial responsibility but there is an important federal role particularly with respect to science and technology and trade.

I am happy to say that typically the Government of Canada invests its natural resources research budget on a regional basis. With respect to science and technology, 16% in total flows to the province of British Columbia. Last year it was $34 million for important projects.

On trade, I am working with the industry, with union leadership, with the province and with foreign governments and buyers to secure the greatest amount of market access for British Columbia forest products, access that is not only stable for the present time but growing for the future.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Reform

Eric C. Lowther Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, studies show how important the parent-child bond is for the long term health of Canadian children. A national poll indicated that 94% of Canadians are concerned about the lack of time they have to spend with their offspring.

Many parents would like to stay home and raise their children if they could afford to do it, but this government overtaxes them if they do. Only third party child care expenses can be deducted and the last budget increased this by 35% while ignoring homemakers.

When will this government stop its discriminatory tax policies which undermine many Canadian families?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, we understand that this is a priority of many members of this House.

We have to recognize that we have taken steps in past budgets in order to recognize the very real burden that homes bear, particularly those where one person is working and another is not. For example in our last budget we took 400,000 taxpayers right off the roles. We reduced the taxes for 14 million Canadians, or 90% of all taxpayers. Through the national child tax benefit we are putting funds directly into the area where we think they are most needed, to those families where—

Taxation
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Matapédia—Matane.