House of Commons Hansard #201 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was young.

Topics

The Economy
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister seems to continue to take this don't worry, be happy approach to Canada's falling standard of living, notwithstanding what the Conference Board of Canada says or the industry department or the government's own pollster or the Alliance of Manufacturers and Exporters. Let us look at the evidence. The Dow Jones hit 10,000 points. It grew by 30% last year, while the Toronto Stock Exchange shrunk by 3%.

Why are Canadians who are investing their money for their retirement getting poorer, while their American friends to the south are getting wealthier?

The Economy
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member would like us to look at the facts, so let us look at the facts.

This morning the announcement was that retail sales in Canada rebounded strongly in January, gaining 1.7%. Our nominal exports were up 2.1% in January. Our employment, as members know, is up 13,000, an increase of 51,000 a month over the last eight months. The help wanted index increased in February, its third consecutive month of solid growth. Those are the facts.

The Economy
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the facts according to the Alliance of Manufacturers and Exporters are that this finance minister is simply off base when he says Canadians should not worry about falling living standards. They pegged our productivity as having gone from fifth to seventh in the G-7 last year. The ultimate indication of economic growth is the stock exchange, which in the United States has increased by 30% and is stagnant in Canada.

While the finance committee says this government should let Canadians invest more of their RRSPs abroad, the finance minister says no. Why is he continuing with a policy of making Canadians poorer when others are getting wealthier?

The Economy
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member's facts are simply wrong.

Our productivity has improved in the 1990s over the 1980s. Of course we want our productivity to improve more. Of course we must invest in research and development. We must continue to eliminate debt. We must continue to get taxes so that it will increase. The fact is that the 1990s are better than the 1980s and we are going to make sure that the next century is a great deal better than the 1990s. That is what we are about.

Back To Work Legislation
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, there is a number of goofy aspects about the back to work legislation the government wants to ram through today. For one thing, the corrections officers mentioned in the bill are not even on strike. Second, the proposed legislation does not tell us what their settlement is to be.

My question for the President of the Treasury Board is how do we order somebody back to work who is not even out on strike? How are we supposed to debate and vote on a pig in a poke, on a wage settlement that we have never seen?

Back To Work Legislation
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, in fact the correctional officers do not have the right to strike because they are all designated workers. If some of them went on strike and there was a riot in a prison, this would obviously be unacceptable to Canadians. However, through a quirk and a loophole, 500 or 600 of them have the right to strike. Obviously since they have the right to strike and since they have indicated that they intend to use it, we have to close the loophole. That is why they are included in the law.

Grain Industry
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Dick Proctor Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, the government has completely flubbed negotiations with the result last week of a total tie-up in the grain industry all the way from the west coast to the prairie farm gate. There were ships waiting to be loaded in Vancouver. Every day they sat empty. Already hard-pressed farmers are being assessed tens of thousands of dollars in demurrage and damages. The job action is the government's fault but it is the farmers who are feeling the pain.

Will the agriculture minister commit to paper losses being sustained by farmers due to Ottawa's total mismanagement of these negotiations?

Grain Industry
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the way to prevent further losses for the farmers is for members of the New Democratic Party to support the government in getting the workers back to work. That is exactly what my counterpart the minister of agriculture in Saskatchewan asked last week. We look forward to their support in getting people back to work so we can move the food.

Building Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Jim Jones Markham, ON

Mr. Speaker, section 2 of the Inquiries Act allows cabinet to order a public inquiry into issues of good government and conduct. Surely the Prime Minister will realize that his good government and conduct are discredited when he helped a convicted criminal and admitted thief get $2.3 million in taxpayers dollars.

I challenge the government. Will it stop hiding, show some integrity and appoint an independent inquiry so Canadians can get some answers?

Building Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this has been looked into on the floor of the House of Commons. The questions and answers confirm that the insinuations of the hon. member are without foundation.

If the member is talking about Mr. Duhaime, I am advised at least from reading the press that his convictions are not related to his commercial activities. Besides that, the Government of Quebec, no friend of the Prime Minister and no friend of this government, has said that the grant in question under the transitional jobs fund is perfectly proper.

The hon. member should recognize that, or is he accusing the Quebec provincial government of doing something improper?

Ethics Counsellor
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Jim Jones Markham, ON

Mr. Speaker, in 1993 the Liberal red book promised an independent ethics counsellor. If parliament had an independent ethics commissioner today, we could ask him to investigate the Prime Minister's hotel support plan.

Conveniently the Prime Minister created an ethics counsellor who reports in secret to him and him alone.

Why will the government not live up to its six year old promise and establish an independent ethics counsellor who reports to parliament?

Ethics Counsellor
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member will know that it was his own party when it was in government that refused to have the institution of an independent counsellor who acts in a different measure than the one we have now.

On the point about the ethics counsellor reporting to the Prime Minister, it is quite clear to all of us that the Prime Minister has never shrugged off responsibility by assigning it to someone else. He has been quite clear about that. We have a fine institute and a fine individual holding the position of the ethics counsellor. I am sure all members of the House have confidence in him.

Research And Development
Oral Question Period

March 22nd, 1999 / 2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Rey D. Pagtakhan Winnipeg North—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Secretary of State for Science, Research and Development.

It will be a big loss for Canada when Dr. Shirley Neuman, a leading Canadian scholar in Canadian literature and publishing, leaves her position as Dean of Arts at the University of British Columbia to accept a similar appointment at the University of Michigan.

What is the government doing to restore funding to research in the social sciences and humanities, a true pillar of Canadian identity?

Research And Development
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint Boniface
Manitoba

Liberal

Ronald J. Duhamel Secretary of State (Science

Mr. Speaker, I understand that this situation has occurred, but I also recognize, as does my colleague, the importance of social sciences and humanities research in Canada.

There were important investments in last year's budget, followed by more investments in this year's budget. I want to emphasize that the budget has been applauded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council as well as the and Social Sciences Federation of Canada.

This government recognizes the importance of all research. We have invested heavily and shall continue to do so. We want to provide Canadians with a range of tools so they can be competitive.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Cadman Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government's propaganda about the new youth criminal justice act talks about adult sentences for young persons age 14 and over. What it does not want to talk about is section 745.1 which mandates that 14 and 15 year olds sentenced as adults for murder are eligible for parole at five to seven years when anybody over 18 must serve 10 to 25 years.

Does the minister actually want Canadians to believe that a murderer who gets parole after as little as five years is really getting an adult sentence?