House of Commons Hansard #85 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Option Canada
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Cardigan
P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague is well aware that there is a process in place such that when I receive any letter of this nature I refer it to the RCMP, no matter what it contains.

I know my hon. colleague does not want to leave the impression in the House that this has anything to do with whether an investigation will or will not take place. In fact, my hon. colleague could refer the letter directly to the RCMP himself.

Banking
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Lorne Nystrom Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance. The Royal Bank has announced that there will be a hike in service charges on July 1. This comes at a time when the banks are making billions of dollars in profits. Meanwhile the National Council of Welfare has stated that banks could easily provide Canadians with a minimum 16 basic charges a month for a fee of $2.

In light of that, will the minister send a message today to bankers to tell them that financial services legislation will be introduced in the House next month and that the legislation includes a guaranteed access for all Canadians to a low cost, no frill account that is available to everyone in the country.

Banking
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, when the legislation will be tabled it will deal with those issues exactly.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

David Price Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday with regard to the possible closure of CBC Montreal the heritage minister said:

Not only have no options been made, but we have certainly discussed nothing about it.

Yet a CBC spokesperson in Montreal says the closure is an option, but I guess the government is completely unaware, even though the decision will be made in two months. Will the minister tell us why eliminating local English language television would even be an option?

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, what I said yesterday was we had not been aware of any information. In fact we have not discussed any such option.

Frankly, although I very much respect the arm's length relationship of the CBC to the government, I do agree with the hon. member that I think it would be a tragedy if English television in Montreal were not operating.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Sophia Leung Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. The auditor general's report recently highlighted the challenge of attracting skilled workers to Canada.

Could the minister tell the House if the new immigration legislation contains any measure to facilitate those skilled workers in Canada?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for her very important question because Canada is indeed competing with the world for skilled workers to help our industries and sectors in need of those people.

We are building on the success of our temporary worker program by expanding that program through regulation, for example, for sectors such as both the high tech and construction industries which are experiencing a shortage of skilled workers.

Further, the new legislation which I tabled will contain an in-Canada landing class for those people who come under the temporary skilled worker program as well as students who have graduated—

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Dewdney—Alouette.

Canada Development Corporation
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Grant McNally Dewdney—Alouette, BC

Mr. Speaker, we know that the finance minister and the Prime Minister promised that all pertinent documents would be released in relation to the ethics counsellor's report on the finance minister's involvement with tainted blood.

He just said in the House now that all pertinent documents have been released. What he is saying is that two pages, half whited out, are all the pertinent documents. We know that the ethics counsellor has copies of the CDC, CDC Life Sciences and the Connaught board minute meetings. Why will those not be released today?

Canada Development Corporation
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the ethnics counsellor has released a report which is about this thick. There are pages after pages of documentation which are available to the hon. member if indeed he wants to go through them.

At the same time the ethics counsellor conducted interviews with a number of the people who were involved, all of whom confirmed the fact that there were no discussions of tainted blood at the CDC board. If the hon. member wants to talk to the ethnics counsellor he certainly can feel free to do so.

Genetically Modified Organisms
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Hélène Alarie Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food said that there were no major trade problems at the present time, but we know that many countries are calling for mandatory labelling of GMOs and that farmers are already having trouble selling their crops.

Does the minister not understand that because of his lack of concern farmers may be unable to sell what they produce, thus creating another major agricultural crisis in the country?

Genetically Modified Organisms
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I am aware that there are a number of countries talking about labelling for genetically modified foods, but I am not aware, unless the member is knowledgeable otherwise, of any country which has a system in place right now which insists there be labelling for genetic modification in a product.

They are talking about it, but because they have not been able to put together a system of criteria which is meaningful, enforceable and credible, no country has that in place at the present time.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

April 13th, 2000 / 3 p.m.

NDP

Gordon Earle Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, how many visible minorities and aboriginals are there in the senior ranks of Canada's land forces and regular navy? Too few to even register, according to the defence minister's own advisory board.

Just as bad are the targets, with a visible minority target of less than 10% for army and regular forces and less than 5% for aboriginals in the same category.

Will the minister here and now commit to targets and dates to increase representation in all senior ranks, including using fast tracking where appropriate, and commit to fostering an environment promoting diversity, as recommended by his own advisory board?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member has pointed out, it is an advisory board which I appointed because I want the Canadian forces to be able to better reflect the population which exists today.

I want to make sure that people from all parts of Canada and from all socio-economic groups have an opportunity to be part of this great national institution.

The board has come up with some suggestions which I think are worthwhile. We are looking at them right now. I think we can increase the numbers of people, reach out to them, and do it without quotas and without lowering any of our standards.

It is important to reach out to these people and be inclusive in terms of the Canadian forces.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

David Price Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to follow up on my last question.

The minister of heritage will have a say in anything major like what is happening in Montreal. Would the minister guarantee community based, English language programming in Montreal for Quebec?