House of Commons Hansard #24 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was space.

Topics

Banking Industry
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Lorne Nystrom Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Deputy Prime Minister.

We will recall that last year the big banks said that the sky would fall if the mergers were not allowed. Do you remember that, Mr. Speaker?

In any event, the Toronto-Dominion Bank now has announced an incredible $3 billion profit for this year, the largest of any bank in the history of this country, and now it wants to eliminate 5,000 jobs.

I want to know if the Deputy Prime Minister would screw up his courage and say that with a $3 billion profit these greedy CEOs are not going to eliminate jobs in the banking industry in this country.

Banking Industry
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Etobicoke North
Ontario

Liberal

Roy Cullen Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the record profits for the Toronto-Dominion Bank that were announced are fueled by an extraordinary gain by the sale of a subsidiary. That really accounts for half of the $3 billion profit.

I should say that the 5,000 jobs the member refers to are having to do with the Toronto-Dominion Bank's proposed acquisition of Canada Trust. That would be over a three year period. That proposal is right now being considered by the Competition Bureau and by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, and that merger will not be approved without the Minister of Finance's approval, and job losses are a very important part of that equation.

Banking Industry
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Lorne Nystrom Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, the TD bank wants to spend some $8 billion to buy Canada Trust, eliminate up to 5,000 jobs and, get this, close up to 275 branches.

What I want this morning from the government is a guarantee that it will bring in a community investment act that, among other things, will protect jobs and allow communities to veto the closure of a branch in a community where that branch is needed.

Will the government do that? I want an answer from the Deputy Prime Minister who speaks on behalf of the Government of Canada.

Banking Industry
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Etobicoke North
Ontario

Liberal

Roy Cullen Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, half of the Toronto-Dominion Bank's profit is fueled by the sale of the subsidiary in the United States, so its profit is about normal. In fact, banks contributed last year about $5 billion in tax revenue to governments.

The government has been on the record as saying that the job situation in the proposed merger of Canada Trust by the Toronto-Dominion Bank will be of paramount interest to the government. We are going to be watching that very carefully.

Public Ports
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Mark Muise West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, back in August Transport Canada was considering a proposal to adjust all existing public port fees by an increase of 15% per annum over the next three years.

Will the Minister of Transport tell us whether this increase has been approved or whether it is still under consideration?

Public Ports
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, it is under consideration.

Public Ports
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Mark Muise West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, Transport Canada has been slowly divesting itself of regional local ports. By imposing such a significant increase upon its remaining public ports, is the Minister of Transport not simply using undue economic pressure to force local communities to bear the brunt of the wharf divestiture program?

Public Ports
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I will take the hon. member's question as a representation on the issue.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Charles Hubbard Miramichi, NB

Mr. Speaker, the emission of greenhouse gases from our energy related industries is a concern to all Canadians, especially in terms of our obligations under the Kyoto arrangements. I would ask the minister for an explanation in the House of what is being done in the coal industry to develop this and to make our international obligations a reality for Canadians.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Algoma—Manitoulin
Ontario

Liberal

Brent St. Denis Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the question. The government is aware of how important the coal industry is to the economy of our country. Any technology which reduces greenhouse gas emissions in any way is good in terms of our Kyoto commitments.

Just this week the federal government announced funding to support a test project in Alberta that would see the testing of the storage of CO2 in deep Alberta coal seams. If this works out, not only will methane be released, which could be very useful, but it will help us to achieve our objectives.

The partners include the Government of Alberta, the United States, the United Kingdom and 15 private—

The Environment
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Calgary East.

World Trade Organization
Oral Question Period

November 19th, 1999 / 11:50 a.m.

Reform

Deepak Obhrai Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, reports coming from the WTO in Geneva indicate that a draft agenda for the Seattle negotiations has reached a stalemate. As it stands now the elimination of the export and domestic production subsidies in the agricultural sector could be sidelined as it will be up to various delegations in Seattle's free for all to come up with an agenda. With 11 days remaining before Seattle, why will the minister not guarantee Canadian farmers that the elimination of agricultural subsidies will be his number one priority?

World Trade Organization
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I want to be quite clear. This is definitely a very important priority for our government. This is at the top of our list of priorities for the WTO negotiations.

I am extremely pleased to tell the House that in early November we developed under Canada's chairmanship a consensus of the 34 democratic countries of this hemisphere, the Americas, to support our position to work very hard on the elimination of export subsidies in the field of agriculture.

Canadian Security Intelligence Service
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

René Laurin Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, Paule Gauthier, the Chair of SIRC, said that the antics of CSIS have created a serious credibility problem for Canada internationally.

Does the solicitor general realize that, from the beginning of this affair, his attitude and his pat answers about how very concerned he was have done nothing to improve Canada's credibility?

Canadian Security Intelligence Service
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Quebecois' support for the security of the Canadian government is very interesting. We appreciate this change in policy.