House of Commons Hansard #116 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was banks.

Topics

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby
B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, an eminent Canadian, Bob Rae, former premier of the province of Ontario, is there mediating. He is bringing the parties together. He is working with the community. He has asked for a few additional days to bring the parties together.

We should respect that request and make sure that we make every effort to resolve the matter in a peaceful and co-operative way. That is exactly what we are doing.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Fournier Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, the economy is in good shape and yet seasonal workers in the regions have again been the victims of federal government cuts.

Likewise, the average rate of unemployment among the Montagnais Innu workers is 35%, and all too often they cannot claim employment insurance.

When will the Minister of Human Resources Development propose permanent solutions, real ones that take the regions and the activities found there into account?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, indeed the hon. member is correct. The economy is doing extremely well. We want to make sure that the economy does well in his part of the country as well. That means for sure having employment insurance there for seasonal workers when they need it, but it also means working on the ground with employers and employees to build a new economy on the north shore of Quebec.

I have asked the hon. member to join me and his constituents and employers to deal with the issue because if we do not things will just carry on as is. For this side of the House that is unacceptable.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week in Winnipeg dozens of young people from war torn countries came together to share the horrific realities of their lives with delegates to the international conference on war affected children. One could not help but be extremely moved by their plight.

Will the Minister of Foreign Affairs tell us the outcome of these important meetings attended by delegates from 120 countries and other multilateral organizations?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for London West for having come to the conference and helping to make a contribution along with the many guests that we had from other countries.

I can report to the House that a 14 point action plan was put in place that will bring together governments, NGOs and young people in a network that will begin to develop a major momentum toward a special UN session that will take place next year.

One concrete way was that we were able to successfully negotiate an agreement with the governments of Sudan, Uganda and Egypt and ourselves to begin the release of abducted children who have gone into Sudan. The release actually started to take place yesterday. It is a good example of how Canada can provide real leadership in the world.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

September 18th, 2000 / 2:45 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal ethics counsellor was surprised that René Fugère escaped prosecution. He was an unregistered lobbyist who documents show helped at least seven different clients get over $1 million in HRDC grants.

It turns out there has never been a successful prosecution under the weak Lobbyists Registration Act. In spite of this, the Liberals just issued new rules requiring grant applicants to identify anyone lobbying on their behalf.

Will the HRDC minister tell Canadians how new grant rules under an unenforceable act can possibly help to protect the money of Canadians?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I will try to clarify a couple of things here.

First, the provisions of the Lobbyists Registration Act will be reviewed by the industry committee in the upcoming months as was forecast when the bill was enacted in the House early in the administration of the government in its first mandate.

Second, I believe that any rules with respect to bidding on government contracts are in compliance with Treasury Board rules.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister has just admitted that the act is ineffective. That is probably why just recently there have been three cases of unregistered lobbying by businessmen with close ties to the Liberal Party. These cases were all dismissed and no action was taken.

Yet just last week the HRDC minister said that new rules under the act were part of the overall tightening of the grants and contributions system. Why does the minister think unenforceable rules can help to protect the money of Canadians?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, very clearly the Minister of Industry has indicated that he will take action in this regard.

Let me say again that on a number of occasions in the House I said very clearly that the administrative weaknesses in my department were unacceptable. I would note however that we have implemented and are implementing an aggressive and comprehensive program. Most recently, a third party in PricewaterhouseCoopers has identified that we are on track in meeting our commitment to Canadians.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, by the health minister's own admission the future of medicare requires predictable, significant federal funding as well as plans for renewal.

Some progress has been made. We acknowledge that in terms of past transfers. However we also know that the future of universal public health care depends on national home care and a national drug plan. Neither of those issues are on the radar screen of the federal government.

My question today is simple. When will we see action on those two long overdue problems? What is the next step of the health minister?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I invite the hon. member to look again at the health accord that the Prime Minister negotiated last week. In that health care agreement among all governments in the country both home and community care and pharmaceutical issues are dealt with expressly.

Governments gave their commitments to work together on both to strengthen investments in home and community care and to work to find a way to manage the cost of pharmaceuticals so that price or cost is not an impediment to access for Canadians anywhere in the country.

This is an unprecedented accord with 14 governments signing on, all moving in the same direction, combining more money with a sensible plan.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I do not need to tell members of the House that the deal struck on September 11 offers very little hope for Canadians in the way of a national drug plan or home care.

Our question today is simply to try to find out when the government intends to live up to its seven year old commitments to national home care and pharmacare. When will the minister live up to the words he said in March 1998, that home care is the next frontier for medicare?

Will the minister at least give the House assurances that these issues will be placed on the agenda of the next meeting of health ministers due to take place in two weeks' time?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I am astonished to hear how the member characterizes this remarkable agreement.

Fourteen governments including three NDP governments signed on to this agreement, which means a 35% increase in federal cash transfers for health, targeted funding of $1 billion for equipment renewal, $800 million to accelerate primary health care reform which the member knows is fundamental, and $500 million for information technology to integrate the system and make it more effective.

It is apparent that Canadians are better off taking the advice of Roy Romanow's NDP than the NDP sitting opposite in the House.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Greg Thompson Charlotte, NB

Mr. Speaker, the latest infusion of money into the health care field is the best example yet of the Prime Minister's quick fix. He is basically saying “take the money and run, and by the way don't get in my way because I am getting ready for an election”.

When can we expect a comprehensive national plan to deal with the future of health care? We are tired of the quick fix. When can we expect a date for a national plan?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, members of the Progressive Conservative Party ought to be the second last people in the House to be critical of this health agreement. The last people, of course, ought to be Alliance Party members.

The Conservatives and the Alliance in their election platforms in 1997 said that if they were ever elected they would change the system so that all the money through tax points would go to the provinces and Ottawa would have no role and no means of ensuring the principles of the Canada Health Act are respected. That would be the end of medicare in the country. That would be the end of access across Canada to health care services.

The hon. member, his party and the Alliance should be ashamed of that position and Canadians should be very proud of the Prime Minister.