House of Commons Hansard #194 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was cmhc.

Topics

Urban Smog
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Northumberland
Ontario

Liberal

Christine Stewart Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, this government is very concerned about air quality. We have taken significant action, including last fall when we suggested that the levels of sulphur in gasoline be lowered.

We are also engaged in ongoing work with the provinces on air quality to reduce particulate matter out of air and other contaminants. We are working with the United States to improve air quality. We will negotiate an annex to our U.S.-Canada air quality agreement.

We will continue to explore all the methods possible to improve the quality of air for Canadians because it has a very direct effect on the health of Canadians.

Housing
Oral Question Period

March 11th, 1999 / 3 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, it was very disheartening to read that when the Prime Minister met with the mayor of Toronto to discuss the disaster of homelessness in that city and across the country all he had to offer was a cold beer.

There was no offer of funding. There was no national action plan on housing, no new social housing and no social support for people who are living and dying on the streets. It is absolutely shameful.

Homeless people want to know when the Prime Minister will act on this crisis or will he continue to ignore homeless people?

Housing
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as usual, the premise of the hon. member's question is completely wrong.

The Prime Minister is taking the problems of homeless people very seriously. This is proven by the announcements of the minister for central mortgage and housing of millions of dollars to provide additional shelters for the homeless. This is proven by the fact that Mayor Lastman, who can speak very critically if he wants to, had nothing but praise for the Prime Minister and his approach to the problem of the homeless.

International Trade
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Murray Calder Dufferin—Peel—Wellington—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister for International Trade.

The opposition has repeatedly said it costs more to do business in Canada than in any other G-7 country. I understand that a study has just been released on this very subject.

I would like the minister to tell the House how Canada compares with our international competitors.

International Trade
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

York West
Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for asking because this afternoon KPMG International tabled its report.

The conclusions reveal that Canada has the lowest cost for establishing a business among all the G-7 countries. It looked at 8 countries, 64 cities and 9 different industrial sectors. Canada came out by a country mile, clearly in first place.

What is says is that Canada has an excellent environment for investment. We all need to tell the story loudly and proudly to the world.

Poverty
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Diane St-Jacques Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, as you know, the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada set up its own task force to travel across the country and to look at the issue of poverty in Canada.

Since the Prime Minister claims to care about the poor in Canada, what does he intend to do to solve this national problem, which generates huge economic and social costs?

Poverty
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel
Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, first, we have invested $300 million in the residential rehabilitation assistance program, the RRAP, and we have participated in various studies.

In 1998, through our private and public partnership centre, we have also built over 2,600 low cost housing units, and this year we hope to be able to build another 3,000. We are working on this project with our partners, the provinces, the municipalities and all the other community groups willing to co-operate with us.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Reform

John Reynolds West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, during question period the Minister of Justice stated the Reform Party wanted to put 10 and 11 year olds in jail. That is untrue and I hope the minister would withdraw that statement.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

You are into debate.

Business Of The House
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Reform

Gurmant Grewal Surrey Central, BC

Mr. Speaker, being Thursday, I ask the government House leader the nature of the business of the House for the remainder of this week and for the next week.

Business Of The House
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

An hon. member

And whether we will adjourn.

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, I will respond to the last question first. I know some people are asking if we will have early holidays. I regret to inform them we will not.

We will be continuing today with Bill C-66, the housing legislation, followed by Bill C-67, the foreign bank bill.

Tomorrow we will debate the third reading of Bill C-55, the foreign publication bill. That debate will end tomorrow.

Monday and Tuesday of next week shall be allotted days.

Next Wednesday we would hope to get a head start on legislation emanating from the budget. Hopefully by the end of next week we will have passed both budget implementation bills and we will progress on legislation in the constructive way the House generally does.

The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-66, an act to amend the National Housing Act and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation Act and to make consequential amendment to another act, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

National Housing Act
Government Orders

3:05 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

When the debate was interrupted for question period the hon. member for Scarborough East had 12 minutes left.

National Housing Act
Government Orders

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, I will not take the entire 12 minutes complete my comments.

I was speaking about the situation in my riding and the 1,100 homeless people who are there each and every night and the growing situation in Toronto which I know is being experienced by other cities. Homelessness continues to be a significant and major problem.

It is all linked. All shelter is linked. It does not much matter whether one can buy a $2 million home in my riding or a $500,000 home or if one is in a motel unit. It is all linked. That is what this bill attempts to address.

It may be obscure to some people that things like bundling insurance is somehow linked to homelessness. When a package of $100 million in mortgages can be bundled and sold off to investors, that makes a pool of $100 million available to lenders so they can in turn lend to other housing situations. We increase the pool. That is what this bill does.

It may be obscure to some that reverse mortgages are somehow a very limited form of shelter. If you are elderly, if you have equity in your home and if you do not want to move, being able to stay in your home over a period of time through a reverse mortgage is a very useful thing to be able to do.

This bill speaks to direct assistance to housing projects. This bill speaks to lending to charitable corporations so housing can be provided to those people who are most in need of it. In my riding we have federal co-op houses. There is not a person in the Chamber who would not like to live in that kind of housing. It is good housing and it is provided through the auspices of the Government of Canada.

This is a good bill that deserves the support of all members. Is it enough? It is never enough. Will it address the problem of homelessness in its totality? Of course it will not. It does move toward eliminating homelessness in my riding of Scarborough East, in the city of Toronto, in the province of Ontario and in the nation. This bill, along with the measures announced in the budget to provide $3.5 billion in health care funding, $2 billion in additional cash funding to the CHST and in Ontario's case an additional $900 million in catch-up money, speaks to the commitment on the part of this government to address the crisis in our largest city and in all cities.

This government has responded and it is responding enthusiastically to those issues.