House of Commons Hansard #195 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-55.

Topics

Highways
Oral Question Period

March 12th, 1999 / 11:55 a.m.

NDP

Wendy Lill Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, the controversial Cobequid Pass toll highway in Nova Scotia has undergone another change. Now the financing has been sold to an American company controlled by a Japanese bank. As we know, over $27 million in federal government money went into the Cobequid highway, one of the Atlantic toll roads that use federal funds to turn tidy private profits.

Will the government now admit that our national highways policy is to put roads into private hands and send the profits offshore? What a disgrace. Canadians want to know what the government is going to do about it.

Highways
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Thunder Bay—Atikokan
Ontario

Liberal

Stan Dromisky Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I would like to point out that we have a definite position regarding toll highways. It has already been clearly announced in the House that as far as the government is concerned, for any highway designated as part of the Trans-Canada Highway, if tolls are to be considered, it must be in conjunction with the Minister of Transport. The final decision regarding that would be made by the Minister of Transport.

The highways are within the jurisdiction of the provincial governments, but whenever moneys go from the federal coffers to the provincial coffers for that purpose, that is for the building of the Trans-Canada Highway—

Highways
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for South Shore.

Swissair Flight 111
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Cumberland—Colchester asked an extremely important question on the coast guard. What the minister did not answer was that the only thing that kept the coast guard's budget from being cut sooner in 1998 was the crash of Swissair flight 111. If this tragedy had not occurred, the coast guard boats would have been laid up much earlier in the fall of 1998.

The issue here is safety. Is it the Minister of Transport's intent to ignore the safety of our fishermen and boaters in the same way the minister of defence ignored the safety of our pilots?

Swissair Flight 111
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Malpeque
P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans is responsible for the coast guard. He has made it very clear in the House many times that there will be no compromising of safety with regard to the coast guard. Whether it is the Swissair disaster or any other disaster, the coast guard is there to protect the safety of people and seagoing vessels. We will do that, absolutely.

Trade
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Bill Graham Toronto Centre—Rosedale, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade. Trade negotiations will be started by the WTO in Seattle later this year. Economic sectors and issues of great interest to Canadians will be discussed there. What opportunity will Canadians have to provide their input into the preparation for these important negotiations?

Trade
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk—Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Bob Speller Parliamentary Secretary to Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada places utmost importance on public consultations. It just makes common sense. On February 8 the Minister for International Trade launched the consultations. The Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food has had consultations with agriculture groups. In a few weeks the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade will be travelling to certain parts of Canada to get people's views on these important consultations.

The Minister for International Trade met with his provincial counterparts earlier this year. They are determined to get the views of Canadians prior to going to Geneva to negotiate.

Trade
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Reform

Lee Morrison Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Canadian Heritage.

The Canadian live cattle export industry, which is worth about two and a half billion dollars a year, is already being targeted by the Americans. Senator Baucus and his cohorts in the American agricultural lobby are rubbing their hands in glee at the possibility that they will be able to justify or rationalize a countervail based on Bill C-55.

Why is the minister so eager to sacrifice western Canadian farmers to the greater glory of Ted Rogers?

Trade
Oral Question Period

Noon

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we are there for every sector. We are not sacrificing the interests of any sector for any other sector. We are there for all Canadians.

I ask my hon. friend why he is so interested in sacrificing the interests of Canada in support of Senator Baucus and the people of the United States. Why do he and his party not stand up for Canada and show a unified state and not help the Americans to put unwarranted pressure against a policy that is in the interest of all Canadians and all Canada?

Stand up for Canada, Reform Party. Don't act on behalf of the Americans.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

Noon

Bloc

Monique Guay Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, the replies given by the Minister of Human Resources Development in response to our recent questions on the hardship caused by his system suggest that he is already in possession of the evaluation report prepared by his officials and that he is secretly working on the changes that need to be made.

Why is the Minister of Human Resources Development waiting so long to table this much anticipated report? Is it because he is about to bow to our arguments and address the flaws of a system that hurts both the unemployed and the workers?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

Noon

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I can give the assurance that the report is not causing any hardship. Unlike the Bloc Quebecois, which loves to talk about hardship, about victims, about people who are exploited, we do not talk—

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

Noon

An hon. member

Did you look at the report?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

Noon

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Papineau—Saint-Denis, QC

Yes, absolutely. I read the report. It was submitted to me.

I can give the assurance that it will be tabled, as required by law, in the first 30 days of the session, which means by March 19.

But I do not work in secret. I can tell the House one thing: as a government, we make sure we properly measure the impact of our employment insurance reform, the results of which we will soon be sharing with this House.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

Noon

NDP

Gordon Earle Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, the 35 year old Sea King helicopters continue to be plagued with problems causing legitimate concern for the safety of those who fly in them.

I now have parents of a pilot writing to me expressing concern for their son who flies these aircraft.

The minister indicated yesterday that he would bring in a strategy to replace the Sea Kings very shortly. Defence procurement is a very large, complex business with many steps involved.

Will the minister advise the House as to what precise stage in the procurement process is the maritime helicopter project at present?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

Noon

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we are going through all the requirements for the helicopters because whatever we get to replace the Sea King I want to make sure that it meets our operational needs and is cost efficient and affordable for Canadians.

I am anxious to bring this forward as quickly as we possibly can, but meanwhile we will have the Sea Kings with us for a few more years. We will make sure that in fact they are well maintained; they are overhauled as they need to be and as they have been in the past; and they are safe for our crews to fly.