House of Commons Hansard #89 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was debate.

Topics

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

April 21st, 1998 / 2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Canada-U.S. softwood lumber dispute could heat up again, given the recent proposal by the U.S. customs department to modify the building lumber tariff rules.

My question is for the Minister for International Trade. As the passage of such a proposal would create a dangerous precedent for trade policy, can the minister tell us what his government is doing to protect the building lumber producers of Quebec and Canada?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

York West
Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I had an opportunity to discuss the importance of this issue with the American minister.

We said that the government would take the opportunity to speak with the industry. I met with Quebec industry representatives seven days ago. Last Friday, we held a teleconference with national industry representatives and my department and, after assessing the situation with them, we are prepared to share our reaction with the Americans.

Banking
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Nelson Riis Kamloops, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance who yesterday said “just watch us”. He was implying that he and his government may not approve the megabank merger. We in the New Democratic Party caucus believe that in the end the Minister of Finance and his government will cave in to the banks.

The minister is a risk taker. I am prepared to bet $100 that in the end he and his government will cave in. Will he accept the bet?

Banking
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

Does the Minister of Finance want to answer that question?

Banking
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, you cannot deprive me of the chance.

Double or nothing, we will do the right thing.

Banking
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister feels personally slighted that the banks made a business decision without consulting him first and that is why he is stalling. He is stalling while hundreds of thousands of Canadian jobs lie in uncertainty. The minister has the opportunity now to do the right thing and involve Canadians in this debate.

Will the Minister of Finance ask the finance committee to hold a non-partisan forum before which ordinary Canadians can appear to discuss this important issue of bank mergers in Canada and not discuss it as a partisan vehicle of the Liberal Party caucus?

Banking
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the reason the MacKay task force was set up well over a year and a half ago was that when Canadians came to debate this very important issue they would have the best information available to them and they would understand not where the banking industry has been, but where it is going, where the insurance industry must go, where credit unions must go.

I fail to understand why the hon. member would deprive Canadians of the best information possible when that debate is going to occur. I do not understand why he would deprive this House of that information. We are going to make sure they have it.

Hepatitis C
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Independent

John Nunziata York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Prime Minister. The ultimate decision on the hepatitis C question rests with him. He knows in his heart that this government has a moral obligation to compensate all hepatitis C victims.

Can he explain why there is a public obligation to unemployed fishermen in Atlantic Canada and not to innocent victims of hepatitis C whose lives are at risk?

Hepatitis C
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, after many months of discussion with the provinces I came to the conclusion that the best way to deal with the problem was to make the offer that was made a few weeks ago. It was decided by ministers of health of all the provinces, representing all the political parties that exist in the land.

Hepatitis C
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Independent

John Nunziata York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, again the Minister of Health says that the government has no public obligation or legal obligation to the innocent victims of hepatitis C.

I would like the Prime Minister to explain why a profitable company like Bombardier is entitled to public funds when innocent victims whose lives are at risk are not entitled to any public funds.

Hepatitis C
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, that is not what the Minister of Health said at all. What the Minister of Health said is that if we look at the tough question of when should governments pay cash compensation to those who are injured by risks inherent in the medical system, then you are approaching a difficult question of public policy. Thirteen governments agreed on that question of public policy, that in this instance they should pay for the period during which governments could have done something to change the outcome. Governments could have acted and did not during those four years from 1986-1990. That is why we chose that period. It is a very broad question beyond that as to whether everyone harmed should be compensated.

We concluded that you cannot keep the public system of health care in this country if you are going to—

Hepatitis C
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Victoria—Haliburton.

Land Mines
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

John O'Reilly Victoria—Haliburton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Defence signed an agreement last December on the banning of land mines. Can the Minister of Defence update this House on the progress of Canada's participation in the summer de-mining program?

Land Mines
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I have been pleased to work with my colleague the Minister of Foreign Affairs on this great Canadian initiative to try to rid the world of anti-personnel land mines.

Our own Canadian forces have seen much of the terrible incidents that occur as a result of land mines taking limb and life from many innocent victims in places like Bosnia. They have worked with the local forces. They have worked with the local police in de-mining activities. We are beginning again, as the summer approaches, to participate by assisting, by training and by giving information to these local forces so they can, in fact, protect the people in their communities.

Cida
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Gurmant Grewal Surrey Central, BC

Mr. Speaker, the CIDA minister has allowed $815 million of CIDA money to be spent mostly on feasibility studies for projects that do not even get off the ground. There is no follow-up procedure to verify how the money is spent. Businesses take the money and run. The money does not reach the poor. There is no accountability.

Will the minister call in the auditor general because she failed to stop the waste of tax—