House of Commons Hansard #19 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was general.

Topics

Cigarette SmugglingOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I am somewhat troubled by the question because there was no cancellation of any great plan. In fact all information has been provided to members of Parliament and through a press

conference attended by myself, the Solicitor General and the Minister of Health.

We have I think been very open in questions in the House as the leader of the Reform Party, given the information on finances for example, will agree with.

As far as the particulars of these 24-hour openings at border points, we have a system in Canada, which I will have to explain to the member, whereby some border crossing points are kept open for 8 hours, some for 16 hours and some are kept open around the clock, 24 hours. We are doubling the numbers in certain areas of the country. We are increasing the hours of certain border crossing points from 16 hours to 24 hours and some from 8 hours to 24 hours. There is no question of this plan having been put in place and then suddenly reversed or interrupted.

Naturally we are targeting certain areas on the basis of intelligence we received from the RCMP, the Quebec provincial police, the Ontario provincial police and municipal police forces. We are also using the American police forces information nets. There will be times when we will divert resources from one particular area to the other.

If the hon. member thinks I am going to broadcast in advance to assist the smuggling groups, he is wrong.

Cigarette SmugglingOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The Chair is well aware that certain questions demand a little more time to answer, but I would ask, if at all possible, that the answer be as brief as the question.

Cigarette SmugglingOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Jim Gouk Reform Kootenay West—Revelstoke, BC

Mr. Speaker, it seems that some customs houses are also not aware of the plans of the revenue minister. As I understand it, the American customs are not co-operating in this action plan and are closing at their regular hours.

Could the minister explain the rationale of how opening up the Canadian side of customs was supposed to end smuggling in the first place?

Cigarette SmugglingOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, we have very close, friendly and useful relations with the American customs service and the other forces in the United States, as I have indicated. Certainly it is true that they are not following the considerable increase in personnel and hours of service that we are instituting on the Canadian side.

We know full well that there will be some border crossing points where the American post is closed and ours remains open. We know full well that in certain of these border crossing places normally they are left completely without any personnel at all in the off hours, the hours when the posts are not open.

We expect there will be occasions where there will be a Canadian post staffed and there will be an American post which is not staffed. It is nothing surprising to myself or to the customs officers. They are disciplined uniformed people who do an excellent job. I am surprised the hon. member suggests they are wasting their time.

Federal GrantsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Bloc Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister of Canada. In 1982, when he was a senior minister in the Trudeau cabinet, the present Prime Minister authorized payment of a $4.5 million grant from the Laprade fund, which he managed, to his friend the former Liberal member for my riding, Mr. Antonio Yanakis, to build a sports centre which would have been used by taxpayers in the Saint-Gabriel-de-Brandon area.

Could the Prime Minister tell us whether, before granting this money, he secured sufficient guarantees to ensure that public funds-

Federal GrantsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I apologize to the member for interrupting him, but his question is inappropriate since it pertains to things which happened in a previous Parliament. I would ask the member to restrict his questions to events connected with the present Parliament.

Federal GrantsOral Question Period

February 10th, 1994 / 2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Bloc Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, what I wanted the Prime Minister to say is whether, in those days, a $4.5 million grant-

Federal GrantsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Julian Reed Liberal Halton—Peel, ON

My question is for the Minister of the Environment. Members of this House and many Canadians are now aware that ethanol is increasingly being used, across North America, as a gasoline additive for automobiles.

Would the minister explain to the House what measures are being taken to advance the use of ethanol across Canada and consequently enhance the quality of our environment as well as the bank accounts of our farmers?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, in light of the status report on global warming the Canadian government, and in particular the Ministry of the Environment, is going to accelerate its action in getting rid of sulphur dioxide emissions. It is very clear there may be a role for ethanol to play in that area.

I am very pleased that through the initiative of members of the House, in particular the new member for Lambton-Middlesex and the member for Halton-Peel and other members, it will be the first order of business of the committee on the environment

to look at how we can make ethanol work for Canadians in an environmentally friendly way.

Bosnia-HercegovinaOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Jan Brown Reform Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of National Defence.

As the world watches, the tension in Bosnia increases and the senseless horrors continue unabated. Now the threat of air strikes poses a very real danger to our troops. In light of this new threat, Canada has been seeking guarantees from NATO that will safeguard Canadian troops currently deployed in the former Yugoslavia. I would ask what are those guarantees?

Bosnia-HercegovinaOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I do not want to be impolite to the hon. member, but I think that question was answered very fully by the Prime Minister a few minutes ago.

Bosnia-HercegovinaOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Jan Brown Reform Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have a supplementary question for the Minister of National Defence. This past week we read yet again of our troops being humiliated and threatened with violence and forced to surrender their weapons.

Given what we have just heard today of Canadian soldiers being disarmed by the belligerents, how can the minister now guarantee their safety?

Bosnia-HercegovinaOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this question is part of the far-reaching question of whether we renew our commitment in the former Yugoslavian republics.

That decision will be taken by cabinet in due course before the April deadline.

Canadian Hemophilia SocietyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

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

On January 28, the current government informed the Canadian Hemophilia Society that it would pay for only 75 hours of advice by legal counsel before the beginning of the hearings on the issue of tainted blood. On February 3, the minister stated: "As you know, we are very concerned by this issue, but the system which was set up, namely the appointment of a judge and the allocation of funds, had been decided by the previous government".

How can the minister explain the answer she gave last week, knowing full well that she herself had authorized, on January 28, the subsidy about which the Canadian Hemophilia Society is complaining?

Canadian Hemophilia SocietyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Sudbury Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I will have to check, but the requests for additional funds are under consideration by the appropriate officials. I am not the one who will make the decision and I am not the one who appointed Judge Krever or who initiated the process. I am sorry if the member has been told otherwise, but the decision was not mine.

Canadian Hemophilia SocietyOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Now that the minister knows that she is responsible for that issue, can she undertake to give the Canadian Hemophilia Society the necessary financial support so that it can fully participate in the inquiry on the issue of tainted blood? Otherwise we will have to conclude that the government does not want to get to the bottom of this.

Canadian Hemophilia SocietyOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Sudbury Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, let me explain again. This is a judicial inquiry. It is an arm's length inquiry.

Now that it has all been set, they have made a request for additional funds. It is not up to this minister to make a decision about additional funds for this judicial inquiry.

Kemano ProjectOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Dick Harris Reform Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister and concerns the Kemano completion project.

The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans has told the House that the government was not going to prejudge the outcome of the current B.C. Utilities Commission hearings. He has also said in the press that the project cannot be stopped. Yesterday the Minister of National Revenue told the press that cancelling the Kemano completion project is within the realm of possibility.

Will the Prime Minister tell the House who speaks officially for the government on the Kemano completion project?

Kemano ProjectOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the position of the Government of Canada could not be more clear.

We have been consistent with the commitment given by the Prime Minister during the last election campaign which was to participate fully in the B.C. Utilities Commission review which is now under way.

We will make available literally tens of thousands of pages of evidence, make available scientists and officials to appear and

give testimony. That is the position of the government. We will not prejudge the outcome of that testimony.

What I have said, what the government acknowledges and what has been acknowledged by the Government of British Columbia is that under the terms of the 1987 settlement agreement, terms with which the member opposite is very familiar, all parties are bound to this project.

That is what I have said. That is the policy of the Government of Canada and that remains the policy of the Government of Canada.

Kemano ProjectOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Dick Harris Reform Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

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

The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans has acknowledged that the Alcan deal was put together behind closed doors. Will the Prime Minister begin to listen to the very people who will be impacted by this project and commit to the House that a full judicial and environmental review of this project will be taken by his government?

Kemano ProjectOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I have just been given a copy of correspondence written to the editor of the Prince George Citizen by my colleague, the minister of revenue, in which he says:

Let me repeat that I thought I had made clear to the reporter that the federal government is not considering cancellation of the Kemano completion project.

(b) The federal government will co-operate fully with them and make all of its information and technical personnel available to the British Columbia Utilities Commission currently looking into this issue.

I am surprised that the member, in advance of hearing a single bit of evidence or testimony, of examining tens of thousands of pages of testimony and of allowing a free, open and transparent process to take place, wants to prejudge the whole exercise and call for a royal commission. I wish the member would be consistent in his questioning.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Dianne Brushett Liberal Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, in the 1994 groundfish management plan the government placed a ban on fishing southern Grand Banks 3NO cod.

In addition to other closures this means a moratorium on almost every cod stock in Canadian waters. The effects on Atlantic communities have been devastating.

Meanwhile, the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization has allotted a total allowance catch of 6,000 tonnes of 3NO cod for 1994. This means that vessels from other countries will be catching this straddling stock outside Canada's 200-mile limit while Canadian-

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Question.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

I am sure the hon. member is coming to her question.