House of Commons Hansard #209 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was states.

Topics

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Minister of the Environment I can assure the hon. member that we will take his representation into account and examine the grant in question.

I should add, however, that the understanding of the officials of the Department of the Environment is that the grant is in conformity in all respects with the law.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Dick Proctor Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, last fall when the minister of agriculture finally admitted there was a full blown income crisis down on the farm, he conceded that it was worse in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Yesterday the parliamentary secretary had AIDA statistics available for P.E.I. and Ontario. Would he please inform the House today as to the number of applications the department has received and processed from Manitoba and Saskatchewan?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Egmont
P.E.I.

Liberal

Joe McGuire Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I am unable to give those statistics.

Very few applications have come in from Manitoba and Saskatchewan to this point. In the meantime, both provinces have set up repayable loan programs which will take care of the spring cropping expenses, because it was understood that Saskatchewan and Manitoba did not have provincial disaster programs to piggyback on, like Alberta, P.E.I. and B.C. did.

It may take a little longer for those two provinces to come in with their application forms, but there is money to carry them over.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Dick Proctor Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, the problem with the AIDA program according to the farmers I have spoken to is that the government has managed to get the emphasis on the duh rather than on the aid.

In fact the Federation of Agriculture describes the application forms, not the booklet incidentally, as elaborate and charges that AIDA is all about saving money, not saving farmers.

How does the parliamentary secretary respond to the CFA or the Nixons of Earl Grey, Saskatchewan, who want AIDA redesigned in order to make it more accessible to the people it was supposed to help?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Egmont
P.E.I.

Liberal

Joe McGuire Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, if the government were interested in saving money it would not have an AIDA program at all.

The minister has offered to meet with the people in Saskatchewan to discuss their problems. To this date they have not accepted the minister's request or proposal or offer to meet with him and talk with him about their situation. They would rather go to the press, go to accountants and so on, to vent their views.

The minister stands ready to meet with the producers of Saskatchewan at any time that they are ready to do so.

Health
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Charlie Power St. John's West, NL

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

Deep cuts to CHST transfers over the past six years have had serious consequences. All Canadians, and in particular our patients, have lost faith in our health care system.

These cuts have also been deeply felt by those who deliver our health care services, particularly our nurses. Their compensation and working conditions have deteriorated continuously for the last six years. Nurses are on strike in Saskatchewan and have just been legislated back to work in Newfoundland.

Will the minister acknowledge that the real source of these job actions is the federal health transfer cuts to our provinces?

Health
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the government is very proud that the first thing we did after digging the country out of the deep hole in which we were put by the Progressive Conservative Party during nine ruinous years in office, was to reinvest in our most important social program, our health care system.

Just weeks ago, $11.5 billion was added to transfers to the provinces so that over the next five years health services could be improved, integrated and made as accessible as they must be.

Part of that initiative was in favour of nurses. We created the nurse fund, which through research and other measures will help put nurses in the important place they must occupy in our health care system.

Health
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Charlie Power St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, let me remind the minister that at least for the nine years that we were in government we had a decent health care system which we do not have today.

Everyone in the country knows that nurses are underpaid, overworked and understaffed. Will the minister acknowledge that even with the Minister of Finance's recent so-called health care budget there is still a significant crisis in our health care system?

How many more health care budgets will we need to get back to the level of funding that was there when the Minister of Health took office in 1993?

Health
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, in addition to the largest single investment the government has ever made, the $11.5 billion in increased transfers to the provinces so that they could meet their responsibility for delivering health care services, we also announced in the budget $1.4 billion of spending by the federal government in health research, establishing the Canadian Institute of Health Research and virtually doubling the investment in health research over the next three years; an intervention to promote health and prevent disease, especially early intervention with children; and initiatives in aboriginal health like home care on reserves.

These are signals and signs of a government deeply committed to our health care system, to its quality and to its future.

Canadian Forces
Oral Question Period

April 16th, 1999 / 11:50 a.m.

Liberal

David Pratt Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the defence committee commented extensively in its quality of life report about the need to help injured and retired Canadian forces personnel.

Could the parliamentary secretary to the minister tell the House about any new initiatives to assist injured and retired Canadians forces members?

Canadian Forces
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle
Québec

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, one of the initiatives we are most proud of is the centre for the care of the injured. The Minister of National Defence and the Minister of Veterans Affairs officially cut the ribbon for the centre a couple of days ago.

The centre will provide timely and accurate information to members and their families concerning pensions, pension entitlements, assistance with applications, help with advancing claims and questions for the bureaucracies of the two departments. The centre will ensure that no one is neglected or falls through the cracks.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Reform

Maurice Vellacott Wanuskewin, SK

Mr. Speaker, the government study released last month says that young people are among the hardest hit by the unemployment insurance reforms.

For example, students who work part time and earn over $2,000 a year—not a lot of money—have to pay EI premiums but have no chance of receiving benefits because they are full time students.

Since these students in effect have no coverage, why is the government forcing them to pay insurance premiums?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, everybody pays EI premiums. That is the way the system has been based.

We have moved from a system that was based on weeks of work to hours of work, precisely to assist more workers to be covered by our system. It is working well for workers who were not covered before.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Papineau—Saint-Denis, QC

Are they interested in the answer? It is the first time in three years a member of the Reform Party has asked a question on the EI system and they do not even bother to listen to the answer.