House of Commons Hansard #124 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was petro-canada.

Topics

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Reed Elley Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, the people in these churches are very worried and very concerned about the government's action against them. I am glad that finally the Deputy Prime Minister will meet with them.

In the meantime, has the government ceased to name these churches as co-defendants in these suits?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member is probably aware, these claims reflect very complex and difficult issues. I think it is not appropriate for any of us in the House to attempt to score cheap political points out of the pain and suffering of victims of physical and sexual abuse.

Biosafety Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Hélène Alarie Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, to date, 75 countries have signed the Biosafety Protocol, but Canada is dragging its heels and refusing to acknowledge the global trend to providing rules on GMOs.

Is it the intention of the Minister of the Environment to sign the Biosafety Protocol in order to put people's health and the environment ahead of commercial concerns?

Biosafety Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the final phases of the Cartagena protocol were negotiated in Montreal in January, and I took part. Canada played a very important role. I thank my colleague, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, for the great work he did in this regard.

I point out that the standard practice of the Canadian government, when faced with the issue of signature and adhering to the protocol, is to consult with groups in Canada that may be affected and may have concerns. We have virtually completed those consultations. I fully expect a decision of the government will follow very shortly.

Presentation Of Reports
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, the government House leader said that at the House leaders meeting on Tuesday the issue of the October 17 reports did not come up, and that is true. What is also true, of course, is that on Tuesday an election did not seem as imminent or probable as it does today.

I wonder whether it would be in the interest of the government itself and of its own reputation to dispel any perception that it might be contemplating an election because it does not want these reports to become public.

I ask the government why would it not agree, as all parties on this side of the House have suggested, to a procedure by which these reports could be made public. Transparency could be preserved, accountability, freedom of information—

Presentation Of Reports
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. government House leader.

Presentation Of Reports
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, House leaders seldom negotiate things like this during question period. We have—

Presentation Of Reports
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

You are the one that mentioned the House leaders meeting on the floor, not me.

Presentation Of Reports
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

No, I did not, Mr. Speaker. I am sorry, it was someone across the way who expressed that House leaders had made such an agreement when such was not the case.

If House leaders want to bring a suggestion to the next House leaders meeting, they are quite welcome to do so. We usually have very constructive work in which we participate all together.

I congratulate other House leaders for their usually constructive work. I look forward to working with them again at the next House leaders meeting and at all subsequent House leaders meetings as well.

Child Poverty
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Angela Vautour Beauséjour—Petitcodiac, NB

Mr. Speaker, today a report was leaked on the health of children in Canada and we have another confirmation that we have 40% more children living in poverty in this rich country.

I hear Liberals laughing at me right now while I am talking about poor children. I think that is a disgrace.

Will the Minister of Human Resources Development admit today that her government's cuts to the EI program in 1996 is a major factor in the increase of child poverty?

Child Poverty
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the hon. member is not aware of it, but I would encourage her to read the Employment Insurance Act wherein, as a result of the 1996 amendments, we made very effective and targeted changes. The family supplement is there for low income families earning less than $26,000. They do not receive the regular benefit of 55%. As of this year, it is 80%.

The recommendations from that party would be to raise the percentages not even close to that 80%. What would that do to poor families?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in one of my answers I may have referred to a national child care program. I should have either spoken of an early child development program or the already existing and very well funded national child benefit program.

Business Of The House
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Reform

Grant McNally Dewdney—Alouette, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to ask the government House leader this very important question on the business of the House for the remainder of this week and for next week.

Also, in light of the questioning during question period with regard to the auditor general's report, which we now know the minister of human resources has, would it be part of the government's agenda to release that prior to the imminent election call?

Business Of The House
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, let me take those points in reverse order. First, no one said there was an imminent election call. That decision certainly has not been announced.

Second, the last point that was raised was the allegation that there is an auditor general's report to be tabled. In fact that is not what the minister said. The minister said that she, as with any government department, has been issued documentation from the auditor general on which to respond. That is not an auditor general's report.

To get back to the initial question that was asked, which was the weekly business statement, it is as follows. This afternoon we will continue to debate the report stage of Bill C-8, the marine parks bill. This will be followed by the second reading of Bill C-39 respecting Petro-Canada and Bill C-36 respecting the criminal code.

On Friday we will deal with second reading of Bill S-17 respecting marine liability and, time permitting, we will then commence Bill C-43 which amends the Income Tax Act.

On Monday we will debate the second reading of a new bill to amend the Employment Insurance Act. If the House is so disposed, we would be prepared, as the Prime Minister said yesterday, to go through all stages of that bill in one day in order to give the benefit to Canadians as soon as possible. We will see whether that is the wish of the House.

We will then follow on Monday, or later if we do not get to it on Monday, with Bill C-15 regarding the export of water.

It is my present intention that on Tuesday and Wednesday we would return to unfinished business from this week, more particularly or including Bill C-3, the youth justice legislation. I will be consulting further before clarifying this issue.

Next Thursday shall be an allotted day.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, in his preambular remarks, the House leader of the government inadvertently misrepresented the facts in question period. The question was about the receipt by the minister of the audit by the auditor general. Just so the record is clear, she answered in the affirmative, “yes”.