House of Commons Hansard #197 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was justice.

Topics

Cuba
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, in this case the Prime Minister has raised the issue directly with President Castro. I raised the issue myself. We expressed our extreme disappointment that the Cuban government did not react. That in no way questions the importance in the long haul of continuing to try to help change Cuban society to move toward a more democratic open society. That is the Canadian policy.

Cuba
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Bob Mills Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, that is too little too late.

How can the government deny that its 20 years of soft power policy toward Cuba has been anything but a total failure?

Cuba
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I guess if the member knew the facts then he would draw a different conclusion.

The fact of the matter is that we have made major changes in helping broaden the area of religious freedom in Cuba. Last year a number of political prisoners were released. We have had agreements signed on anti-terrorism and anti-drug matters. We have been able to improve the political space for civil groups. We have been able to help build the capacity in that country to deal with problems of legislation and human rights.

We are making some progress. There is a setback. It is a long road. There are some bumps on the road, but this government continues to be committed to try to bring about democratic change in that country.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government claims that women are not being discriminated against by the new eligibility rules for maternity benefits because, by their very nature, only women can get pregnant.

My question is for the Secretary of State for the Status of Women. Since the Minister of Human Resources Development is insensitive to our objections, what is the reaction of the Secretary of State for the Status of Women to her government's argument that there is be no discrimination, because pregnancy is a natural event?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver Centre
B.C.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Secretary of State (Multiculturalism)(Status of Women)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to respond by saying yes, pregnancy is a natural course in the lifestyle of a woman. There is no doubt about that.

I do not agree with the hon. member that there is discrimination based on some of the initiatives by Human Resources Development of Canada. We are looking at some of the issues. There is more that can be done to level that playing field. We are working on that. But we cannot make changes immediately, in one day. They are stacked one on top of the other. We have seen this government make changes that are appropriate to the lives of women.

Trade
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

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

Canada's aerospace industry is vital to our economy and our international competitiveness. The minister has had four days to examine the WTO decision on Brazil's decision to challenge our industry.

Can the minister comment on the fact that the Reform Party was not exactly helpful to Canada's case?

Trade
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

York West
Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, first, last July when the leader of the Reform Party travelled to Asia, he publicly and deliberately undermined our interests on trade and investment.

Second, yesterday and today Reform members continue to try to undermine the independent KPMG report that shows that Canada is number one. Now, in the WTO report that was just released on the aircraft dispute between Brazil and Canada, it cites seven different references where the Reform Party has given information to the Brazilian government to help it with its case. This is absolutely shocking and borders on sabotage of our national interests. Which side of the case is the Reform Party on?

Grain
Oral Question Period

March 16th, 1999 / 2:45 p.m.

Reform

Howard Hilstrom Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, because of the strike by 70 PSAC grain weighers the railways are not moving grain. The ports are completely shut down today.

Another 24 hours have passed. What has the treasury board minister personally done in the past day to ensure that this strike will end?

Grain
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, we have negotiated with the blue collar union. We have made it offers that we judge to be extremely generous. We have in fact offered it more than we have offered to 80% of public servants.

I am sorry the union considers at present that it has to carry out these acts. I hope it will come back to the negotiation table, see the light, become reasonable and agree to a settlement.

Grain
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Howard Hilstrom Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, exports of $5 million per day are not leaving port. Sixteen vessels are waiting for grain to be loaded, with seven more due this week. Canada's reputation as a reliable supplier is being destroyed.

How long will the treasury board minister let this go on, or does he even care about the situation?

Grain
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Once again, Mr. Speaker, we have tried to the last moment to make concessions that would make the strikers go back to work. Unfortunately they are asking for unreasonable demands at present. We are considering all possible options.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Wendy Lill Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, CBC Radio Canada as we know it may go off the air on the Friday.

I was on the picket line this morning with Dean Haywood. His father was a technical director and his brother directed Hockey Night in Canada for 15 years. Dean has worked at the parliamentary bureau for 25 years.

Generations of committed public broadcasters have been keeping a dream alive, but it may all fade to black on Friday because government funding cuts have pushed the corporation into crisis.

Will the minister of heritage give assurances to the Haywoods and the millions of Canadians who support public broadcasting that she will find money to prevent the CBC from fading to black on Friday?

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Moncton
New Brunswick

Liberal

Claudette Bradshaw Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, I have good news on the CBC front. The technicians have been meeting with a mediator since last Monday and are still talking. The media guild has now asked for a mediator and one has been provided.

I would ask the hon. member to accept the procedure that is in place. Both parties are speaking and we hope they will go back to work soon. It is not only a funding issue. There are other issues on the table that are more than just funding.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Wendy Lill Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, we have known the government has been involved with various kinds of interference with the CBC for a long time. There was a $400 million cut to funding. It has told CBC what logo to have. It censored Terry Milewski for his reporting. It has made CBC interference an art form.

I find it ironic that at this point in time the minister would be saying that they are trying to stay out of this and let business take its course. I think the CBC has to be dealt with quickly and the government has to have some hand in it.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Moncton
New Brunswick

Liberal

Claudette Bradshaw Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, that is not what I said. I said that there were issues on the table other than funding.

The mediators are speaking to both groups. Let us allow the process to work in the hope that a new collective agreement will be negotiated sooner rather than later.