House of Commons Hansard #73 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agreed.

Topics

The Economy
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the only thing dropping like a rock around here is the rankings of the Canadian Alliance in terms of public opinion polls. The chief architect of that descent is the member who just spoke.

The fact of the matter is Canada is making substantial progress in terms of its economic growth. We have gone from the largest deficit in our history to the largest surplus in history, the largest pay down of public debt and 24 quarters of successive growth. This is a policy of which to be proud, under a leader who is effective, with his colleague the Minister of Finance, in delivering a solid economic platform for Canada.

The Economy
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

That is the best he can do, Mr. Speaker? It would be nice if this minister would actually provide a substantive answer once in the House.

Canadian families have 30% less money to save for their retirement, 30% less money to pay for their kids' college education and 30% less money to buy a new automobile because of this government's high tax, high debt policies.

Why does the government not listen to every major business group in the country and the House of Commons finance committee and eliminate the $1.3 billion capital tax on innovation which is a barrier to our productivity and is hampering our standard of living? Why does it not do that?

The Economy
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, let me outline what we have done.

Apart from having one of the most generous R and D tax credits in the world, we have reduced our capital gains to where they are lower than the United States. Our employee stock options are better than the United States. Our corporate tax is going to down to 30% compared to 36% in Michigan, 40% in New York and 41% in California.

Those are some of the measures we have taken. However, it is not just about taxes alone. The member should look at what we have done in terms of the Canada Foundation for Innovation; $3.15 billion.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Murray Calder Dufferin—Peel—Wellington—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

Last week the Canadian farm income program started processing and issuing cheques for farmers who have experienced a dramatic decline in income because of low commodity prices. We would like to thank the minister for that. However commodity prices are still low and incomes for farmers this year will still be low.

What further assistance will be made available?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, earlier this year the government announced $500 million on top of the $1.1 billion for assistance to farmers this year. The provinces were going to put their 40% share with that and put their agreements together. Some of the provinces have given those agreements to us. We signed those agreements and some of the money was sent to the provinces last week. Other money will be sent this week. As soon as the other provinces have signed agreements, we will send them their share of the $500 million.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin Windsor—St. Clair, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of the Environment.

Given that he is such a strong proponent of Kyoto and he obviously has the support of the House, why does he not just leave the House today and ratify the agreement?

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the only industrialized country to have ratified Kyoto today is Romania. The reason none of the other industrialized countries have ratified it, and up to this point not a single country in the European Union, is that we have not concluded the negotiations on what will be part of the Kyoto agreement; what will count for those figures of minus 6% of the 1990 figure.

We are obviously going to continue. I would appreciate if maybe my hon. friend could come to Bonn so he too could learn more about the negotiations.

Transportation
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, in keeping with this government's feckless approach to all things environmental, the President of the Treasury Board has refused to authorize a scheme to allow public servants to access their bus passes through a payroll deduction. I thought we wanted more people to leave their cars at home and protect the environment. The government should be leading by example in supporting mass transit.

In view of the fact that it is environmental week and Clean Air Day, will the minister reverse her position today and encourage employees to use their payroll deductions to buy transit passes?

Transportation
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, as my colleague in environment has said, we are really committed as a government to reducing greenhouse gases. That is very clear. So, we give mass transit our utmost support.

However, the matter before us consists in using payroll deductions for all public servants. We are one of Canada's largest employers and the administrative impact would be substantial if we agreed to do it.

A study is therefore warranted in order that we may really know the administrative impact before agreeing to such a principle.

Shipbuilding
Oral Question Period

June 6th, 2001 / 2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Industry has bent over backward to help companies like Bombardier through a system of interest free loans and tax incentives, yet when it comes to shipbuilding the minister is suddenly all talk and no action.

When will the minister treat all industries the same? When will he put his money where his mouth is and make good on his election promise to revitalize our national shipbuilding industry in Canada?

Shipbuilding
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, it is very interesting to hear that the Conservative Party is officially opposed to the protection of Bombardier, or at least the equal treatment of Bombardier, when Brazil offers up export financing for a company in an unfair trade practice, and that the Conservative Party is opposed to the tens of thousands of jobs in this industry in Ontario, Quebec, western Canada and, yes, in Atlantic Canada as well.

With respect to shipbuilding, as I said yesterday I am super confident that we will have an effective policy long before the member claims a seat in the second chamber.

Shipbuilding
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, I never said we were against Bombardier. We are asking if he will do the same thing for everyone else.

Could the Minister of Industry inform the House as to whether or not the owners of the Saint John shipyard have approached the government seeking financial assistance to help turn the shipyard into a wood processing plant?

Could the minister also confirm what portion of these funds is intended for the severance packages of the countless shipyard workers who have lost or will lose their jobs if this proposal is adopted?

Shipbuilding
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I am surprised the member has now reversed herself. She is now in favour of the aerospace industry in Canada and she is now against a shipbuilding policy, because she is asking me for funds to ensure that workers never go back to work.

Our purpose is to put people back to work, to be competitive, to have a solid shipbuilding policy, not to close down shipyards.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John M. Cummins Delta—South Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans denied the assertion made by the Department of Justice that there was no legal basis for a lobster food fishery in St. Mary's Bay. Let me remind him of what justice lawyers said:

Prior to contact with Europeans, harvesting lobster for food—from St. Mary's Bay was never an element of a practice, custom or tradition integral to the distinctive culture of the aboriginal group.

That is to say, there is no aboriginal right to a lobster food fishery. Does the minister of fisheries agree with the legal advice from justice or not?

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby
B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, first, the documents the hon. member is reading from are on a matter before the courts. However I want to assure the hon. member and other members of the House that I listened to the wisdom of the Minister of Justice and they should listen to the Minister of Justice as well. Her advice is taken very seriously.

We have set out a long term and short term strategy which is supported by the provincial fisheries minister of P.E.I., the provincial fisheries minister of New Brunswick, the provincial fisheries minister of Quebec and the provincial minister of Nova Scotia. It is a policy that is supported by all of them except the hon. member in the Alliance Party. That is very typical of them.