House of Commons Hansard #233 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was amendments.

Topics

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Ovid Jackson Bruce—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, over the past year farmers in my riding of Bruce—Grey have suffered a tremendous reduction in their incomes due to drought.

The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food has secured $900 million from the Government of Canada. Can the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food inform the House as to what the current negotiations are with the provinces? When and how quickly will that money flow to the farmers in my riding?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, a goodly number of farmers have already applied. Certainly one of the challenges we had was getting agreements with all of the provinces so that both the federal and provincial portions of the money could flow in all of the provinces.

Today I have signed all of the federal and provincial agreements. They are being sent to the provinces. I assume that they will all sign them very quickly so that now in all provinces both the interim portions for the provincial and the federal moneys will flow to the farmers.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Question Period

May 28th, 1999 / 11:50 a.m.

Reform

Mike Scott Skeena, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development is preparing ratification legislation for the Nisga'a treaty. She knows full well that the Gitanyow and Gitksan band in northern B.C. have claimed essentially the same territory that the Nisga'a are receiving under this treaty, 84% of the same territory. By ratifying this treaty now, the minister is giving the impression that she is taking sides with the Nisga'a.

Does not the minister have a fiduciary obligation to the Gitanyow and Gitksan as well as the Nisga'a and is it not irresponsible to proceed with ratification until this very serious question has been addressed?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Liberal

David Iftody Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada is clearly aware of the negotiations and the claims by the Gitanyow to the northern portion of the land claimed by the Nisga'a. We are currently in negotiations with the respective parties.

I was in British Columbia last week to meet with our negotiators and the Nisga'a. I raised these particular questions and we are satisfied that an agreement will be worked out to the satisfaction of all parties.

Universities
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Hélène Alarie Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs appeared to be showing some remorse at belonging to a government that, over two mandates, will have cut more than $33 billion from transfer payments to the provinces, in particular to university funding.

Can we have the intergovernmental affairs minister's assurance that his crusade within cabinet to help the universities will not lead to a new program along the lines of the millennium scholarship program, with all of its attendant problems, but will instead use the more normal channel of transfer payments to the provinces?

Universities
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, in 1993 the federal government deficit was $42 billion, and all the provinces had deficits.

Today the Government of Canada is in the position of having a surplus, as are all provinces, with the exception of Ontario, which has opted for lowering taxes more quickly.

We have the possibility of helping our universities. The future of the country depends on it. This is a very important issue, as everyone realizes.

Last year it was important to do something for health, and now it will be important to look at what we can do for the universities. A fair bit has already been done, particularly in the field of research, and particularly in Quebec, which receives 28% of R and D spending for universities.

Pensions
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Bev Desjarlais Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, this Liberal government is like a gang of schoolyard bullies shaking down Canadians every day for their lunch money. Twenty-six billion from the employment insurance fund, thirty billion swiped from the public service pension funds. Many of the public servants who have had their pensions raided are the same ones who have been fighting almost 15 years for pay equity.

I have a very simple question for the President of the Treasury Board. Now that he has taken $30 billion from the pension funds of these employees, would it be too much trouble to give a fraction of that back in pay equity?

Pensions
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I am very glad to underline that the taxpayers are going to get back the $30 billion that rightfully belongs to them.

The civil servants in the process have had their rights and their benefits not only guaranteed by law, not only confirmed for the future, but also increased. What I hear from quite a number of civil servants is that they are happy to see that the government has made its pension plan clear, secure and permanent, that it has guaranteed and increased their benefits and that the $30 billion is going back to those to whom it belongs, the taxpayers.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, Canadian oysters are presently being exported to Europe and stored for sale. The European Union is now asking area specific oysters to be sold on a same day basis. This would be a blatant non-tariff trade barrier and could spread to other shellfish. What is the minister of fisheries doing to ensure a continued European market for Canadian oysters and all other Canadian shellfish?

Fisheries
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 is always very interested in securing markets for fishermen and in ensuring that we have a good quality product. He will continue to do that and to ensure the Europeans abide by all trade agreements.

National Revenue
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, my constituents are impatiently waiting for their tax refunds. Can the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue inform this House of whether the PSAC strike developed a backlog in the processing of the 1991 T1 income tax returns and when Canadians can expect their own money back?

National Revenue
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Hamilton Mountain
Ontario

Liberal

Beth Phinney Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, over 20 million T1 income tax returns have been received by Revenue Canada since the beginning of the 1999 filing season. Over 16 million returns have been processed to date. As of May 20, 10.4 million Canadians had received income tax refunds totalling over $11.2 billion. Those Canadians who used either e-file or telefile and who asked Revenue Canada to deposit their funds directly received them within two weeks. It is anticipated that all returns filed by April 30 will be processed by mid-June.

Canadian Security Intelligence Service
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Reform

Bill Gilmour Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian spy agency CSIS has come under criticism on several instances over the past few months, yet the inspector general position, the watchdog who oversees CSIS, has been left vacant for over a year. When will the government fill this post so Canadians can see that CSIS is not left to do just what it pleases?

Canadian Security Intelligence Service
Oral Question Period

Noon

Brossard—La Prairie
Québec

Liberal

Jacques Saada Parliamentary Secretary to Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the inspector general is appointed by the governor in council. The governor in council will make a decision in due course.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Question Period

Noon

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Canadian Heritage has, in a sort of a way, just confirmed that the government is preparing to leave the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation at the mercy of the constraints imposed by the CRTC, which may well seriously compromise production quality.

How could the minister claim that a cut in revenues will not mean a cut in quality, whereas Michèle Fortin, vice-president of the CBC's French network, who knows television, claims exactly the opposite?