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House of Commons Hansard #36 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

EmploymentOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the infrastructure program is a very good program and will create jobs immediately. It has been subscribed to enthusiastically by all provincial governments and all the municipalities, including the beautiful city of Calgary. That good program is one part of our strategy.

We have reduced some laws passed by the Conservative government by decreasing the level of unemployment insurance premiums made by the private sector over the period of two years from $3.30 to $3. That will put something like $300 million in the hands of small businesses.

However as explained earlier we have to have a balanced approach and job creation to improve the infrastructure of the nation. It is a good program, especially at a time when there is a very high level of unemployment in one country.

EmploymentOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Preston Manning Reform Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance and some members of the government are beginning to admit that reducing tax loads is the most direct way to create jobs. However the Minister of Human Resources Development and to some extent the Prime Minister continue to stress increased government spending on things like infrastructure as the most direct way to create jobs.

At this meeting are the government ministers singing from the same song sheet? Which approach is Canada advocating at the G-7 meetings: government led job creation through increased spending, or private sector led job creation through tax cuts?

EmploymentOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, both techniques were used in the last budget.

Collège Militaire De Saint-JeanOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, a crowd of 3,000 demonstrated yesterday in Saint-Jean against the federal government's decision to close the only French-language military college in Canada. In a complete about-turn on this issue, the Quebec Premier now says that the Collège militaire de Saint-Jean must continue to exist and its military purpose be maintained.

My question is for the Prime Minister. Will he confirm that his government is presently negotiating with the Quebec government to ensure that certain military training activities are maintained at the Collège militaire de Saint-Jean?

Collège Militaire De Saint-JeanOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we are discussing at this time with the government of Quebec and, if this college can be used as an institution of higher learning in the province of Quebec, we will be more than happy to work together with the government of Quebec. No decisions have been made. As far as we are concerned, with closures across the country, we want to try and find ways of helping the cities and municipalities affected in order to minimize the impact.

Collège Militaire De Saint-JeanOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, are we to understand that the Prime Minister rejects the plea of the Quebec Premier who views keeping Saint-Jean in operation as a golden opportunity to give real substance to the Canadian linguistic duality.

Collège Militaire De Saint-JeanOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I watched images of the demonstration yesterday, it occurred to me that many of the people protesting were the same people who, in 1970 or 1971 if I am not mistaken, were demonstrating against the Collège militaire de Saint-Jean obtaining university status or offering university certification. There were lengthy negotiations. The University of Montreal refused under pressure, and so did the University of Quebec. Finally and fortunately, the University of Sherbrooke accepted. The nationalists demonstrating yesterday were the same ones who 20 years ago did not want the Saint-Jean military college to exist for francophones in Quebec.

Science And TechnologyOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Jim Hart Reform Okanagan—Similkameen—Merritt, BC

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

It is recognized that science has an enormous contribution to make to the creation of new jobs for the new economy. Yet there has been very little reference to the role of science from the government.

Does the government have a science policy? If so, could the Prime Minister tell us in a nutshell what this policy is?

Science And TechnologyOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member does not need a nutshell; he can read the budget. In fact we decided to increase the contribution to science in Canada in the last budget. The hon. member should read the red book where it says that investment in research and development is needed to have Canada in a good position to compete internationally in the 21st century.

Science And TechnologyOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Jim Hart Reform Okanagan—Similkameen—Merritt, BC

I have a supplementary question, Mr. Speaker.

The previous government tried to set targets for total research and development spending in Canada in the vicinity of 2 per cent to 3 per cent of GDP. Could the Prime Minister tell the House the targets for R and D spending in Canada and specifically for departments and agencies of his government?

Science And TechnologyOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member reads the budget he will find that.

I am happy when I see a member of the Reform Party standing up after four months to ask the government to spend more money. It is very refreshing to hear that. We hear that every day. Now the reality is hitting them. So much the better.

Youth EmploymentOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister. Nearly 20 per cent of young Quebecers and Canadians are unemployed today-an unacceptable record of 428,000 people under 25. In the speech from the throne, the government announced that it wants to better prepare young people to enter the labour market.

Does the Prime Minister admit that his youth apprenticeship program in no way meets the needs of Quebec since Quebec got only $2 million out of a total budget of $225 million in 1993 under this program, or less than 1 per cent of the money spent?

Youth EmploymentOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, if the situation was that bad under the former government, we intend to rectify it. It is this government's policy to ensure that Quebec is not treated worse than the other provinces.

Youth EmploymentOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, my supplementary question is again for the Prime Minister. The reason that Quebec gets less is that vocational training and the education system do not include apprenticeship courses or programs as they exist in the rest of Canada. Quebec has a different system.

Given the failures of this program, can the Prime Minister promise to give Quebec its fair share of the funds allocated under this program so that Quebec can use them more effectively, according to its own priorities?

Youth EmploymentOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what we are trying to do now. That is why the Minister of Human Resources Development is having discussions with his provincial counterpart to find an arrangement whereby Quebec can receive its fair share and use it effectively so that young Quebecers, like other young Canadians, are as well prepared as possible to enter the labour market, because it will be very difficult for them as well as for others.

We must work co-operatively to ensure that all young Canadians are sufficiently well prepared that we can occupy our rightful place in the very competitive world which we will have to face in the coming years.

Aboriginal Self-GovernmentOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Dave Chatters Reform Athabasca, AB

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

The government has committed itself to establishing aboriginal self-government in the province of Manitoba. Last week neither the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development nor the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs was able to provide the House with a clear straightforward definition of aboriginal self-government.

Will the Prime Minister, as head of the government and as a former minister of Indian affairs, please give the House his definition of aboriginal self-government, particularly as it relates to Manitoba?

Aboriginal Self-GovernmentOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I will take the question but I know that my minister for federal-provincial relations gave the answer last week.

When we negotiate with a group of people about what should be the status of running their own affairs, we cannot give the final decision before it has been negotiated.

What are the goals of the government? They are not very complicated. I was Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Affairs Development for more than six years. I know that we need a different regime where we can delegate to them the authority to make their own decisions. I have said time and again that we made a lot of mistakes. Perhaps the time has come to let them make some mistakes themselves by giving them the authority to decide locally regarding education, welfare, housing, economic development and not have them wait for instructions from bureaucrats in Ottawa.

Aboriginal Self-GovernmentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Dave Chatters Reform Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, as a supplementary question, will the federal government after having arrived at this definition in some way then allow the aboriginal peoples and all the peoples in Manitoba to voice their approval or disapproval of the example through a system of referendum?

Aboriginal Self-GovernmentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, every member of the House has been elected to make decisions. There will be a vote in the House of Commons. I do not believe that every time we have a difficult problem in Canada we wash our hands of it by having a referendum. That is not my way.

Tough decisions have to be made by government. If we do not make the right decisions it is up to the electors to tell us in the next election. It is democracy that is best. It is complicated enough in that area. If we let a huge majority decide in a complicated situation like this where there are some tensions between different races, it is not a good way to solve it. The best way is for every one of us to take our own responsibility, vote in the House of Commons and live with the judgment we have expressed on behalf of our electors in the House.

Publishing IndustryOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Mercier Bloc Blainville—Deux-Montagnes, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister. The takeover of Ginn Publishing by the American company Paramount continues to stir up controversy. In the meantime, the government persists in concealing the identity of the person who made the verbal commitment allowing this transaction to take place.

Under his great transparency policy, does the Prime Minister not find it disturbing and even unhealthy that Parliament cannot know the identity of the person behind the verbal commitment that derailed the established policy on ownership of Canadian cultural industries? Who is the government protecting in this affair?

Publishing IndustryOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Scarborough East Ontario

Liberal

Doug Peters LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, there was a very complete statement given on the Gin question by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance. The member will find it on page 1838 of Hansard . To summarize, we had a legal responsibility to enter into this contract and it was done. It was left to us by the previous government.

What our government did was get a better deal. It improved the deal by putting in Canadian content requirements, author requirements and distribution requirements. It was a great deal for Canada.

Publishing IndustryOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Mercier Bloc Blainville—Deux-Montagnes, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would have thought that a transparent policy means not having anything to hide and answering the questions that are asked. We asked for a name. We did not get it.

The Minister of Canadian Heritage is trying to hide his abdication of responsibility in this affair behind the changes to the Baie-Comeau policy made by the Tories in 1992. To avoid repeating that mess, can the Prime Minister make a commitment today to fully restore the provisions of the Baie-Comeau policy protecting Canadian ownership of cultural industries?

Publishing IndustryOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Scarborough East Ontario

Liberal

Doug Peters LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, the question that has been raised is interesting. The decision was made in 1989 when the leader of the Bloc Quebecois was in the cabinet. Maybe he has some special information on the deal that he would like to share with the House. That was when the situation arose and that was the responsibility of the previous government. If the member is looking for responsibility, look right in the front row of your own party.

Rail Line AbandonmentOral Question Period

March 14th, 1994 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Murray Calder Liberal Wellington—Grey—Dufferin—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, I wish to direct my question to the Minister of Transport.

There are currently a number of rail lines or subdivisions in the province of Ontario undergoing an abandonment procedure through the National Transportation Agency. In my riding, Wellington-Grey-Dufferin-Simcoe, the NTA is to rule on the abandonment of the Meaford subdivision which runs from Barry to Collingwood. There are prospective buyers interested in purchasing the line but they are hesitant as a result of the Ontario labour legislation known as Bill 40.

What proactive steps has the Minister of Transport taken with the Ontario government to ensure that rail lines are not torn out of the ground before this critical issue is resolved in order to ensure a solid and diversified transportation infrastructure?

Rail Line AbandonmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I want to be very clear in my answer to my colleague with respect to any proactive steps we might take with the Government of Ontario. We obviously have to respect the jurisdiction of the Government of Ontario in this matter. However I would like to tell my friend that there were a number of companies indicating interest for short line operations in the province of Ontario as well as other parts of the country based on a couple of reasonably good experiences that we have had in Canada with that type of operation.

I think it would be fair to say that since that legislation was brought forward and passed at Queen's Park that interest has diminished very significantly. It is unfortunate because there will be undoubtedly many opportunities for short line operators to take over rail lines in various parts of Canada. It is sad that they are not going to have an opportunity, I do not believe, to do it with the same kind of facility in Ontario as would have been the case had this legislation not been passed.