House of Commons Hansard #41 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was provinces.

Topics

Lumber Industry
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands.

Lumber Industry
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gary Lunn Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government's response is not acceptable. The Americans are speaking louder on our behalf than our own government.

Republican congressman, Jim Colby of Arizona, recently stated “Canada shouldn't cave on this. They should stand up and fight this”. Even Tom Stephens of Arkansas, the former president of MacMillan Bloedel, said “I would remind U.S. policy makers that without Canada's energy, they had better learn to speak Arabic and read by candlelight”.

Why is the minister not prepared to be equally as tough and blunt as the Americans seem to be and stand up for our own people?

Lumber Industry
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, maybe the Alliance, in its position, would like to link these files but that is not the way we do it. We will stand tough on the softwood lumber issue. We will make extreme demands for our rights. We want free trade, demand free trade and deserve free trade. We will be very tough with the Americans in fighting the wrong allocations that they are making but we will not link this to other industries.

Financial Information Strategy
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Mac Harb Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, in 1995, as part of its overall strategy to improve accountability and improve fiscal management and transparency, the Government of Canada undertook to launch what we call a financial information strategy. It set the date at the time to be April 1, 2001.

My question is for the President of the Treasury Board. Has the government fulfilled its commitment in implementing a financial information strategy.

Financial Information Strategy
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce the successful implementation of the financial information strategy in all the departments and agencies on April 1, 2001.

Let me take this opportunity to thank the members of the Standing Committee of Public Accounts and the auditor general for their support on the FIS, which we have to realize is the biggest change in accountability and financial reporting to parliament since Confederation. The information that it will generate will permit all Canadians and parliamentarians to know more about the results of the programs and related costs.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin Windsor—St. Clair, ON

Mr. Speaker, over the weekend the European Union took the position that it was going to ratify the Kyoto protocol. Over the same weekend the Minister of the Environment was in Montreal and was wishy-washy on the issue.

Could we have a position from the government? Will it ratify Kyoto in 2002 as scheduled, or not?

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada has always taken the position that it will make its own decision with respect to ratification. When we believe that the time is right to do so, that timing and that decision will be driven by considerations which are Canadian made. We will not be driven by decisions in other capitals, whether that is Washington or anywhere else.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin Windsor—St. Clair, ON

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the Minister of Natural Resources could take some instructions from the Minister for International Trade and get tough with the Americans, condemn them for their position and ratify the treaty. The Caribbean countries have all indicated that they will do it. Will the government show some courage and follow suit?

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, obviously in the last number of days the international negotiations with respect to Kyoto have run into difficulty because of the position taken by the United States and because of some of the intransigence shown by other parties, including those in Europe.

The Canadian point of view is that we need to work very hard in the international community, not to showboat or to grandstand but to get an agreement on climate change that will truly work for us and for the world.

Lumber Industry
Oral Question Period

April 2nd, 2001 / 2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, on Friday softwood mills across Atlantic Canada were flooded with a seven page fax from the Minister for International Trade outlining the new export monitoring rules they must follow starting the very next working day.

The minister had five years' warning that this was coming. Why did he wait until the very last day to saddle the industry with these new surprise rules and no time to comply, or is this just a prelude to an export tax?

Lumber Industry
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, we decided to put softwood lumber on the export control list because we needed to have consistent national data in order to defend ourselves against American charges. This data will help producers in every province and region.

Lumber brokers are already available to issue permits. The Maritime Lumber Bureau has been well informed about it and we have been working very closely with it on that file.

Lumber Industry
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, the Maritime Lumber Bureau was caught completely off guard, as were all the softwood lumber mills in Atlantic Canada, by this surprise announcement.

Traditionally Atlantic Canada has been treated as a region, not province by province, in negotiations with the U.S. and other parts of Canada when it comes to softwood lumber. Will the minister once again treat Atlantic Canada as a region, not province by province or, again, is this a prelude to an export tax?

Lumber Industry
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, this is absolutely not a prelude to an export tax. This is strictly to get consistent national data. Atlantic Canada is part of the country and we need to know all exports that are going to the United States in order to correctly fight charges of the United States.

The Economy
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, last week we learned that Canadian productivity continued to lag over the past five years, coming in at half the level of the United States. This of course is reflected in a further decline in the Canadian dollar again today, which is trading near an all time low.

What is the Liberal response? No budget, no more tax relief and no real debt reduction.

When will the finance minister finally take action to restore value to our dollar and growth to our economy?

The Economy
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member's facts are simply wrong. Since 1997 Canada's productivity has been on the increase. It has been on the increase because of the measures taken by Canadian industry and by the government.

The fact is that if we look at the other statistics, whether it be personal disposable income or employment, in virtually all the indicators Canada is doing much better than the vast majority of other countries.

Are we being affected by the slowdown? Yes, we are, but we are in better shape to weather that slowdown than we have been in decades.