House of Commons Hansard #28 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was federal.

Topics

Canada Elections Act
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Ted White North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, on Tuesday a constitutional lawyer told the government House leader exactly how easy it will be for the courts to strike down the gag law and the illogical 50 candidate rule in the new elections act. He urged members not to dump problems on the shoulders of our already overworked solicitor general by passing those parts of the bill.

I ask the solicitor general, is he aware of the fatal flaws in the new elections act and has he recommended to cabinet the removal of the offending parts?

Canada Elections Act
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the provisions in question are not offending. The rules regarding third parties are based on the Libman decision of the supreme court. Everyone else in the House knows that. The hon. member knows it too. I have explained it to him at committee and informally in a one to one meeting as well. He knows that in fact is not the case.

Canada Elections Act
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Ted White North Vancouver, BC

Mr Speaker, I can tell from the expression on the face of the solicitor general that he does not have a clue about the new elections act. It was very nice of the government House leader to try to help him out.

The fact is the minister's 24 hour publication of polls amendment was just tinkering around the edges of the act. Why did he not do something meaningful like get rid of the gag law, or get rid of the 50 candidate rule, or get rid of the patronage that is riddled throughout the act?

Canada Elections Act
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I am quite prepared to have the debate again that we had in committee yesterday on the 50 candidate rule. The issue is presently before the court in an appeal. On the issue of the blackout, it is based on the Thompson decision. It respects the supreme court decision. The other one is based on the Libman decision.

I explained all three of these things to the hon. member yesterday.

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

John Solomon Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, last month I warned the industry minister that rising gas prices would hike inflation, increase interest rates and throw the economy into a tailspin. He laughed it off then but now no one is laughing.

Not only do we hear reports of $30 per barrel crude oil and 80 cent per litre gasoline by Christmas, but today we have an admission that the Competition Act is defective.

I ask the minister again, is he prepared to act on the competition problems in the gasoline retailing industry, or is he proud, as the Minister of Finance says, to see gas prices at record levels?

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Scarborough Centre
Ontario

Liberal

John Cannis Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, if members of the NDP are so interested in gas pricing, they should have been at committee today to bring up the issue. It was the Liberal Party and this member from Ajax that brought the question to committee.

The Competition Act is indeed acting. The Competition Act most recently addressed these issues. For example, in September 1999 Hoffmann-La Roche of Switzerland was sentenced to a fine of $48 million. Also recently, in January 1999, eight snow removal companies in Quebec were fined close to $3 million after pleading guilty to conspiring to share the market.

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

John Solomon Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, it is the government that is supposed to be responsible for protecting consumers but it has not done one thing to stop price gouging at the pumps. It is sitting back and letting big oil companies bully the country into accepting these outrageous prices and the inflation and interest hikes that will come with them.

Why will the government not support my suggestion of an energy price review commission? Why will it not stand up for consumers instead of big oil companies?

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Scarborough Centre
Ontario

Liberal

John Cannis Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we are standing up for consumers. It was the 41 member Liberal task force that commenced this activity.

If the member is talking about pricing, he should talk to his provincial counterparts. Pricing is a provincial jurisdiction. Even Premier Klein stated here that this is a dual responsibility.

National Unity
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the finance minister.

In light of the Prime Minister's reckless and provocative attempts to recreate his own legacy, will the Minister of Finance inform the House if his department has or will undertake any studies on the costs to the Canadian economy and the effect on our dollar as a result of the unnecessary and ill-timed renewal of the debate over national unity?

National Unity
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, that is the most incredible question we may hear.

The premier of Quebec has been saying week after week that in his mind the referendum is a possibility as soon as possible. Does the Conservative Party want us to do nothing?

This country will never break up in confusion. Quebecers want to stay Canadians. They will never leave their country in confusion. This is the commitment of the Prime Minister.

Referendums
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

André Bachand Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs said there would be less poverty if there were no debate on separation. Is poverty a component of the downside of the referendum?

Things had been quiet for a while, but it all came to an end with the Prime Minister's statements on a clear question in the future, a clear majority in the future and a possible referendum in the future.

Does the minister not realize that he and the Prime Minister are the ones responsible for bringing the whole referendum issue back to the forefront?

Referendums
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, is it not the Parti Quebecois that is in office in Quebec City? Is independence not the number one issue on its agenda? Two statements were made this week, including one by the Prime Minister, who said Canada was divisible, but only in a legal fashion and with a clear majority.

The Premier of Quebec said he was prepared to make a unilateral declaration of independence. Everyone knows that such a unilateral declaration of independence would have no legal basis. The Conservative Party is blaming the Prime Minister but remains silent about the Premier of Quebec. When will the Conservatives wake up?

Child Labour
Oral Question Period

November 25th, 1999 / 2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes London West, ON

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

In June of this year, the general conference of the International Labour Organization unanimously adopted the Convention on the Worst Forms of Child Labour. This was to protect vulnerable children. Given Canada's human security agenda, I ask the minister today if Canada is planning to ratify this agreement. What are we going to do?

Child Labour
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Moncton
New Brunswick

Liberal

Claudette Bradshaw Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, in the Speech from the Throne, the Government of Canada underlined Canada's commitment to champion efforts to eliminate exploitation of children and to reach international agreements to protect the rights of children. We have already started working with the provinces and territories as well as our social partners toward Canadian ratification of the new ILO convention.

Canada Elections Act
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Grant McNally Dewdney—Alouette, BC

Mr. Speaker, we know the government is already facing legal challenges on the new elections act.

This new act is also contaminated with the same old Liberal patronage system of appointing hacks as Elections Canada returning officers.

Why does the government insist on appointing Liberal hacks and buddies instead of letting the Chief Electoral Officer hire based on merit? Why is that?