House of Commons Hansard #181 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was security.

Topics

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, let us call with one voice for the return of that money, but how many more forestry workers must lose their jobs before the government finally takes steps to protect their families, their communities and their industry? People want to work.

The fear of generating more complaints about subsidies is the government's lame excuse for inaction, but we know that the government has an American study that debunks that myth.

Will the trade minister move on that study's conclusion and make available to threatened companies loans at commercial rates?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, let me be very clear. I have always been clear on this very subject. I think it is important that we stand by our workers and the government intends to stand by the workers. We will stand by the communities, we will stand by our industry, and the Americans need to know that.

I have always said that loan guarantees or any other means of action were on the table, that there were a number of options that were on the table. We are consulting with the industry because the industry itself is giving us advice at this very moment about what would be the most helpful tool to help them.

We will stand with them and of course whatever we would do we would design in a way that would not be countervailable.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, we do not want the government to stand by. We want the government to stand up and do something.

Forestry workers and their families are becoming more and more desperate by the hour. If the government refuses to help with loans, will it at least crank up a national housing program, long overdue? This would provide relief to the troubled softwood industry and it would also generate desperately needed housing.

With an investment equivalent to a single month's surplus, the government could create 36,000 housing units and at the same time create 46,000 desperately needed jobs. Will the government do that?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I think the leader of the NDP is putting some more options on the table, so it is very important to demonstrate that we should not make any hasty decisions, that we have to take the right decision at the appropriate time, since we have this further idea to put on the table.

At this moment I very much believe that we are working with the industry and with the workers in the industry, that come May 23 all of our options will be analyzed and chosen very carefully, but we will work as a united country.

The problem is not in the House--

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Order. I think sometimes there is a problem with questions and answers being too long. The hon. member for Pictou--Antigonish--Guysborough.

Public Safety Act
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, even the Liberal appointed privacy commissioner strongly condemns Bill C-55, calling it totalitarian. It is also disturbing and draconian in nature, yet another example of a Liberal power grab. Once again parliament is becoming a clearing house for prime ministerial decrees. The concentration of unchecked arbitrary power will increase under Bill C-55.

Why does the Prime Minister feel it necessary to infringe on the rights of Canadians? Why is he so intent on having his legislation and his government avoid parliamentary scrutiny?

Public Safety Act
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Cardigan
P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the bill just makes common sense. It gives law enforcement agencies and police forces the tools they need to do the job. This government has provided that and will continue to provide that.

Public Safety Act
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

More tools, Mr. Speaker.

Unrest over Liberal bills such as species at risk, cruelty to animals and now Bill C-55 indicate that not all is well in the Liberal kingdom. Leadership candidates are beating the bushes. Backbenchers are restless and sabre rattling. The loyal subjects are not happy. They figured out their emperor has no clothes. Liberal colleagues relegated to the hinterland of the sultan of Shawinigan's caucus feel Bill C-55 in its entirety does not belong at the transport committee.

We know the Prime Minister will not listen to the opposition or his compliant watchdogs, but will he heed his caucus, divide up Bill C-55 and send it to the appropriate committees?

Public Safety Act
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, Bill C-55 is the product of debate and deliberation in this House. It was because of the very salient points put forward by members on all sides of the House on Bill C-42 that we withdrew the bill and brought forward Bill C-55. This is an example of democracy working. This is an example of a government that listens.

I recommend that hon. members read and study the bill. If they have concerns, bring them forward at committee. This is a first class piece of legislation.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister did not answer the question posed by the Leader of the Opposition. I am going to give him another chance to take a run at it.

When he heard of the decision at 11 o'clock this morning that was going to devastate the country's softwood lumber industry, what did the Prime Minister do? Did he call President Bush, yes or no, and what is he demanding of him?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we knew the decision was coming. Every time I had the opportunity I raised it with the president. Grandstanding today will not change that reality.

This is a decision of the court that is not fair and does not respect the agreement we have with the Americans. I do not have to repeat that every hour of every day. The president knows very well this government's position and the position of all provincial governments in Canada. The Americans should respect the treaty that we have with them for free trade and that wood qualifies as much as natural gas or oil or electricity.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has not even called the president of the United States. We are not asking him to grandstand. We are asking him to do his job and show some leadership. People are out of work and it is the Prime Minister's job to show them that he is going to lead them out of this crisis.

The minister for trade said the minister of human resources is going to have a package for thousands of people who are out of work because of this.The minister has not tabled her plan. What is the plan? Where are the details? When is she going to table it?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member will be glad to know that the employment insurance system is there and is working well as we speak.

The hon. member will be glad to know that, working with the province of British Columbia, the province has identified $13 million from its labour market agreement that will be directly focused on the softwood lumber industry. The hon. member will be interested to know that our work sharing programs are there. We are working directly with individual companies to apply that program wherever we can. The hon. member will be glad to know that we are monitoring the circumstances on a daily basis and where it is required, we will take action.

Public Safety Act
Oral Question Period

May 2nd, 2002 / 2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister made a statement that was as unexpected as it was inappropriate, in connection with Bill C-55 on public safety.

He indicated that, should Bill C-55 be bad legislation, the courts will say so and it will be corrected.

Does the Prime Minister realize that it is totally irresponsible for the leader of a government to slough off his responsibilities right from the get go onto the courts?

Public Safety Act
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, what the Bloc Quebecois member said was that the law was illegal, and that what parliament was doing made no sense.

We know that this will be a good law. If they have recommendations to make, they can do so. But they are claiming right from the start that the law is illegal. So, if something is illegal, what are we to do? We take it before the courts.