House of Commons Hansard #55 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was foreign.

Topics

Canada Labour Code
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Brian Pallister Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Manitoba NDP government is planning to proceed with a plan to force every worker on the Red River floodway expansion to unionize, despite the fact that 95% of Manitoba's construction companies are not unionized. This seems to be a clear attempt to help union boss buddies do by the back door what they have not been able to do by the front door.

Given the fact that the federal government is a fifty-fifty partner in this, I give it the opportunity today to make it clear that it opposes the forced unionization of Manitoba construction workers.

Canada Labour Code
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Winnipeg South
Manitoba

Liberal

Reg Alcock President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, the hyperbole and energy in the member's question perhaps overstate the case a bit. There is the provincial government, along with the federal government, and there has been a corporation set up to manage this.

We have expressed our concerns about activities that might increase the costs or delay the build. We want this necessary infrastructure built as quickly as it reasonably can be. I have been in conversations with the premier of the province. There are arbitrators in place. There will be a solution to this.

Canada Labour Code
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Brian Pallister Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is not the Liberal Party's business if workers in Manitoba choose to unionize. It is not the NDP's business if workers in Manitoba choose to unionize. It is the workers' right to decide how they organize.

This $2.5 million to $5 million mistake in dogmatic direction provided by these two parties is a ridiculous waste of taxpayers' money. I recognize that the minister may be a busy man, but is he too busy to stand up for the workers of Manitoba? Is he too busy to stand up for the taxpayers of Canada?

Canada Labour Code
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Winnipeg South
Manitoba

Liberal

Reg Alcock President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that the use of labour agreements in some form or another is common in large projects. They have been used many times. They respect the rights of non-unionized employers as well as unionized employers. The premier of the province is aware of this. We are negotiating on these very processes and I am sure we will reach a conclusion that respects the rights of everyone involved.

Tobacco Farming
Oral Question Period

February 11th, 2005 / 11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, several weeks before the election call, the government announced $70 million in financial aid for tobacco producers in Ontario and Quebec hit by plummeting demand. Seven months after the election, tobacco producers in Quebec still do not know the terms of this aid package.

What explanation can the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food give for such an unreasonably long delay?

Tobacco Farming
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Malpeque
P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (Rural Development)

Mr. Speaker, it is not very hard to explain. The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, in discussions and through the department with industry, wants to do the right thing by producers and that is what we are trying to do: to continue to hold those kinds of discussions and at the end of the day meet our obligations and protect the needs of producers.

Tobacco Farming
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to staff at the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food, aid for Quebec is being blocked by a dispute in Ontario.

Given that the situation in Quebec is urgent, that the number of tobacco producers has dropped from 55 to 17 in two years and that they need help to switch to alternate crops, will the minister take action and immediately implement a compensation package for Quebec tobacco producers, who are almost all located in the Lanaudière region?

Tobacco Farming
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Malpeque
P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (Rural Development)

Again, Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada takes into account the interests of all producers in the country, including those in the province of Quebec as well as those in Ontario. The bottom line at the end of the day is that we want to do the right thing for producers in terms of protecting their interests into the future for their efforts they have put into that industry.

Canadian National Railway
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Labour and Housing. The employees of CN and the Teamsters rail union are in a legal strike position.

The Canada Labour Code requires the parties to have an agreement in place to specify the supply of services during the strike to prevent an immediate and serious danger to the safety and health of the public. The agreement the parties have fails to do so. The minister has applied to Industrial Relations Board to set the services.

What services is the minister requesting be provided during the strike and how will this impact on the economic interests of farmers, grain companies and other businesses?

Canadian National Railway
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

London North Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Fontana Minister of Labour and Housing

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member has just mentioned, I referred the issue of the maintenance of service to the CIRB and in due course it will make that decision.

I should also point out to the hon. member and the House that CN and the employees are at the mediation table. They have taken up the offer and therefore they are in mediation. We hope those mediation services are positive and fruitful and that we can come to an agreement with regard to both parties.

Tsunami Relief
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Ted Menzies Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, six weeks after the tsunami tragedy in southeast Asia, the TV cameras have come home and the Liberals can finally have a cabinet meeting in Ottawa.

Reports now reveal that refugee camps in Sri Lanka are still waiting for tents and food. As feared, the conflict between the government and the Tamil Tigers is blocking the flow of aid. The Prime Minister assured Canadians that this would not happen.

Will he admit that he has mismanaged this humanitarian crisis and failed to deliver on another promise?

Tsunami Relief
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Burlington
Ontario

Liberal

Paddy Torsney Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation

Absolutely not, Mr. Speaker. The Prime Minister has made incredible commitments and our commitments are being honoured in every way.

Canadians can be very proud of the fact that this government has responded with $425 million worth of support. Canadian NGOs, international NGOs and the multinational community are working together to ensure aid is getting into the affected regions. Canadians are making sure our commitments once again are being honoured in that area.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the situation in Togo, a member of the Francophonie, is of great concern. On the death of President Eyadéma, Togo did not comply with its constitutional requirement for the national assembly to fulfill interim presidential duties until an election could be held. Instead, the military put the late president's son in power, throwing that country into total disarray.

What action is the Francophonie taking to protest this situation?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Brossard—La Prairie
Québec

Liberal

Jacques Saada Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec and Minister responsible for the Francophonie

Mr. Speaker, the situation in Togo is indeed a cause of great concern. A few days ago, I met personally with Togo's ambassador to Ottawa, and on Wednesday, the Francophonie, in the form of the Conseil permanent de la Francophonie, met in Paris. The “sherpa” for Canada was in attendance, and a decision was reached by the council to suspend Togo from participation in Francophonie events and to suspend all aid to Togo from the international Francophonie until the situation is remedied. We are urging Togo to respect its own constitution and to hold the free and democratic elections it requires.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, the agriculture minister is back from his BSE mission to the U.S. but it appears he came back with half the deal he went there with.

The U.S. said that it would open the border to live animals and boneless meat from mature animals on March 7. Now it is only opening it to live animals under 30 months of age.

I am glad the minister came home when he did or we might have lost the entire deal.

Canadian producers have, for far too long, been hearing empty promises and getting false hope from the government. Will the agriculture minister guarantee that the border will open on March 7 for live animals--