House of Commons Hansard #113 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was countries.

Topics

Monetary Policy
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, Ms. Cooper goes on to say, and I quote:

We will do this inevitably when the pain of the falling loonie finally gets to be great.

How far will the Minister of Finance or the government let the Canadian dollar drop before realizing that their short-sighted analysis is weakening the Canadian economy: 50¢, 40¢ or 35¢?

Monetary Policy
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, what we are not going to do is adopt the Bloc Quebecois' fiscal policy.

They have called for $5 billion in stimulation programs and $8 billion in tax point transfers, which would put us in a deficit situation.

I would refer to Quebec's Minister of Finance, Pauline Marois, who said “I want nothing to do with deficits. This is a very touchy issue for Quebecers. They do not want to go back to a deficit”. He should listen to his head office.

Monetary Policy
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ken Epp Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary seems to want to persuade us and Canadians that the fundamentals in Canada are strong. If that is true then my question is a very obvious one. How come, relative to the Americans, the value of our dollar keeps going down? It has reduced dramatically since the Liberals took power in 1993.

Monetary Policy
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, it is obvious that globally these are turbulent times. Let us look at what has happened in Canada since September 11. In the month of October unemployment went down in Canada. We actually created 1,800 jobs. The United States lost 415,000. Our housing starts were up 12.7% in October and Canadians have record real disposable income.

We must be doing something right because the global economic forum said that--

Monetary Policy
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Elk Island.

Monetary Policy
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ken Epp Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, the numbers I have read show that our employment rate has gone down and unemployment is up. I do not know where the minister is getting his numbers from.

I have a further question. He brags about having paid down the debt. The fact of the matter is that under this government's watch the net debt has gone up $39 billion since 1993. It has not been responsible. It had an opportunity during the good times of the last four or five years to reduce that debt and it did not do it nearly enough.

Monetary Policy
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, that is just absolutely ridiculous. We have been paying down our deficit through four successive surplus budgets. Thirty-five billion dollars of debt has been paid down. That is a huge saving in interest to Canadians. We will continue to do that.

When we took over, the record reached was 71% of GDP in terms of debt. We were paying one-third of every tax dollar on the interest on that alone. We are now down to 25%. We are down to 50% of GDP in terms of our debt. This is a record accomplishment.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Secretary of State for Rural Development.

Working with the Prime Minister's task force on agriculture, I have been in a lot of farm communities recently and they are very concerned about their social and economic future.

The secretary of state talks a great deal about the need for the government to think rural. Is this just talk on the part of the secretary of state or could the secretary of state express what concrete action the federal government is taking to back up its commitments?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell Secretary of State (Rural Development) (Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario)

Mr. Speaker, there are a number of ways the federal government is assisting our rural communities and one of the more innovative ways is through our pilot project program. Through that program we are working with over 300 communities across Canada to test innovative solutions to meet the challenges that are faced by rural communities, challenges such as geography or low population density, for the cyclical nature of the resource based economies.

We have invested over $12 million in this program. In the last few days I have been able to announce the latest phase, $2.2 million in 81 communities.

Religious Organizations
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Philip Mayfield Cariboo—Chilcotin, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Deputy Prime Minister.

The churches named by the government as third parties in the lawsuits caused by its failed residential schools policy have said they are determined to contribute to the settlement of these claims according to their corporate ability.

Will the government respect the offer, respect the negotiation process, respect the victims and return to the negotiation table finally to reach a fair settlement, and, if so, when?

Religious Organizations
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, 70% of the claims brought by former IRS students were brought directly against the church organizations involved and the federal government. We have never left the negotiation table. We are happy to continue negotiations but we felt we had to reach out directly to the victims so their legitimate concerns could be dealt with much more quickly than if the matter was left to the courts to grind along over 25 years.

I am surprised the hon. member does not support that objective. He used to support it. It is time he got back to it. The priority is the victims.

Religious Organizations
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Philip Mayfield Cariboo—Chilcotin, BC

Mr. Speaker, I agree, the priority is the victims, but the Cariboo diocese of the Anglican church, which will otherwise be gone by December 31, could be saved from bankruptcy if the government and the minister insisted that officials go back to the negotiation table and find the right answer.

The churches have made their proposal. They insist on being included in the reconciliation and the healing of victims. The government also has untested proposals on the table.

Will the government return to negotiations and find the agreement that will provide reconciliation, healing and new life for the victims? Will the minister do that?

Religious Organizations
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as far as I am aware, the diocese in question has not been petitioned into bankruptcy by the federal government or anyone else. Any action it takes to not continue its operations involves its own decisions. I hope it will reconsider its position.

In the meantime, the victims are seeking monetary compensation and we are ready to negotiate with them by way of settlement to take this out of the court system. We are also ready to continue talking with the churches. I consider that we are doing something fair and equitable for the victims, the taxpayers and all Canadians.

Canada Labour Code
Oral Question Period

November 9th, 2001 / 11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, since taking office, the Liberals have always refused to include legislative provisions that would allow pregnant or nursing female workers to get paid in cases of preventive withdrawal. Even the current Minister of Labour refused to include such a measure to protect women and their babies, when the Canada Labour Code was last reviewed.

Following the agreement reached by public service employees and the government, could the President of the Treasury Board tell us whether she has finally included in that collective agreement a clause providing for the preventive withdrawal of pregnant or nursing women?

Canada Labour Code
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Durham
Ontario

Liberal

Alex Shepherd Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, I am unable to answer the member's question directly. I will take it under advisement and get back to her.