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House of Commons Hansard #41 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was process.

Topics

EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Herb Grubel Reform Capilano—Howe Sound, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is well known by the media that this contract is up for renewal as of April 1. It is very disappointing that the government is not informed about this important matter.

Health CareOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Health indicated clearly to the Canadian Hospital Association that the federal government intended to play a greater role in the health field, although health care comes under exclusive provincial jurisdiction. In so doing, the minister was warning the provinces against ending insurance coverage for health care services.

Does the Minister of Health not recognize that it is totally illogical to warn the provinces against ending insurance coverage for health care services when at the same time her government is forcing the provinces to review insured services in view of the shortfall resulting from the freeze on transfer payments in respect of health care?

Health CareOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Sudbury Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, it is high time to reassure Canadians, including those living in Quebec, that this government is deeply committed to health care and will continue to maintain the system which Canadians have long enjoyed. It is high time for the government and for me to give them this assurance.

Health CareOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, does the minister not recognize that the best way for the federal government to maintain health care in Canada is first and foremost by maintaining the growth of transfer payments and respecting provincial areas of jurisdiction?

Health CareOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Sudbury Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, while I do believe there is a role for the federal government in health care, I still believe we must work in co-operation with provincial governments and this I intend to do.

I have met with provincial ministers of health. We are very much in agreement it is not additional money that is needed in health care but how to do things better. It is a question of creating value while maintaining values.

Via RailOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Jane Stewart Liberal Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport.

The people in my riding of Brant are very concerned about the future of VIA Rail particularly the service as it passes through London to Brantford and then on to Toronto.

Can the parliamentary secretary please assure the House and my constituents that despite the $50 million in planned cuts to VIA Rail in 1994-95, the service through my riding will not be curtailed?

Via RailOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

London East Ontario

Liberal

Joe Fontana LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, first let me thank the member for Brant for her question and her great interest in this matter.

As the Minister of Transport stated in the House, VIA Rail is another entity for which our department is responsible and which faces a very troubled future.

Members of the House know that VIA has known of its budgetary parameters and responsibilities for quite some time. VIA has made some efficiency gains but is a long way from achieving what it must.

VIA Corporation, its 3.7 million passengers and especially its workers all must be part of the solution if we are to achieve a national, sustainable, efficient and affordable passenger rail system. Taxpayers not only expect this but demand it of government.

Publishing IndustryOral Question Period

March 21st, 1994 / 2:35 p.m.

Reform

Jan Brown Reform Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Canadian Heritage.

The sale of Ginn Publishing continues to bring with it contradictions and denials.

Both the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the Minister of Industry have stated repeatedly that there were no potential buyers for Ginn. I have documentary proof there were Canadian companies interested in purchasing Ginn and I would like to table these documents.

I have only one question. Will the Minister of Canadian Heritage stand in the House today and admit to a bungled process and commit to a thorough investigation of this scandalous sale of Ginn Publishing?

Publishing IndustryOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Laval West Québec

Liberal

Michel Dupuy LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I find it interesting that this subject is generating so much interest. There is always the possibility of putting questions before the standing parliamentary committees. We see no good reason for putting a lot of effort and work into an investigation, the effect of which would be to honour previous government ministers who are politically dead, thank God.

Publishing IndustryOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

I understood the hon. member to say she only had one question.

Publishing IndustryOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Jan Brown Reform Calgary Southeast, AB

I also have documents that I wish to table in the House today.

Publishing IndustryOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

We will leave that until three o'clock and see if there is unanimous consent to do so.

Flags Of ConvenienceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Bernier Bloc Gaspé, QC

Mr. Speaker, when he went to the UN, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans strongly condemned foreign companies from NAFO countries that use flags of convenience to get around the moratorium on cod fishing.

My question is for the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans: What concrete measures does the minister intend to take to make NAFO countries prevent their shipowners from using flags of convenience?

Flags Of ConvenienceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada asked NAFO members back in November to convene a joint meeting or démarche with Canada and some of the countries that provide flags of convenience.

In fact Japan, the European union, Russia and Canada made a joint démarche to Honduras and to Panama within the last few weeks. These nations have been asked to quit providing flags of convenience to vessels that intend to ignore international conservation rules.

I am pleased to report not only have we made such a request, but we have also had a meeting with two of the four countries that are providing flags of convenience. They have committed to action in legislation by May.

Flags Of ConvenienceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Bernier Bloc Gaspé, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to ask a supplementary question. In order to act with more credibility on this issue, did the minister check if Canadian shipowners use flags of convenience and, if such is the case, what measures does the government intend to take to convince them not to do so?

Flags Of ConvenienceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I assure the hon. member once the issue of flags of convenience has been fully considered and authorization has been given both by cabinet and Parliament, because ultimately Parliament will be consulted on this matter, Canada will make no distinction on the origin of the flag of convenience no matter what country it comes from.

Those vessels and ship owners ignoring Canadian conservation rules and multilateral arranged conservation rules merely to exploit the stocks down to the last fish, thus destroying a good part of the economy of Quebec and the four Atlantic provinces, will be treated in identical fashion. The fishing activity will be stopped and the vessels will be taken off the nose or tail.

I have one final comment. I personally have no knowledge, as I stand here and speak, of any Canadian involvement in this kind of measure. However I want to assure the member that were a Canadian company involved it would be my instinct to name such a company and to bring the entire shame and anger of the nation down on that kind of activity.

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

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

Thousands of Canadians worry about their chances of contracting AIDS from transfusions received prior to 1985. What progress can the minister report in identifying those at risk?

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Sudbury Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we are all very concerned with the threat people have of living with HIV-AIDS, especially those who contracted it through blood transfusions in the early eighties.

One of the things that is happening right now is an inquiry under the auspices of Judge Krever. We are co-operating and collaborating very closely at making sure that all information is brought forward so that this kind of tragedy never happens again.

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

I have a supplementary question, Mr. Speaker.

Blood samples kept by the Red Cross are identifiable as to donors and recipients. Why else would they be kept? This may be a difficult problem but lives are at stake. Will the minister commit today to seek out the recipients of this tainted blood?

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Sudbury Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is referring to a number of samples which we have just found out exist in Toronto.

Today Dr. Doug Kennedy from the Department of Health is in Toronto looking at these samples to see exactly what can be done with them. We will take action as soon as we have had a report from Dr. Kennedy.

EthanolOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Jim Jordan Liberal Leeds—Grenville, ON

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

Canada's farmers and others appreciate the minister's decision to leave the excise tax off ethanol. This method of encouraging the use of ethanol blended fuel is good for the environment, for agriculture and for the ethanol industry.

I noted in the budget documents that the minister did not put any time limit on this tax break. Could the minister speculate a bit on the permanence of this waiver of the excise tax on ethanol?

EthanolOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance and Minister responsible for the Federal Office of Regional Development-Quebec

Mr. Speaker, every time this particular Minister of Finance has speculated he has got himself into a lot of trouble. Let me say to the member for Leeds-Grenville and indeed to all members of the House-I see the member for Kent, as an example-who have spoken to me about this very important issue that we recognize, both in terms of its contribution to the environment and its contribution to agriculture, the tremendous potential that exists in ethanol as a fuel.

Given that and because of the representations made we certainly have no intention of reinstituting any kind of an excise tax on ethanol. That was said in the budget. I can tell the member unequivocally that is our current intention and will be so certainly for the duration of this particular government, at least as long as I am the Minister of Finance, but I do not know how long that is going to be.

Mil Davie ShipyardsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance and Minister responsible for Regional Development in Quebec.

About two months ago, I asked the Minister of Transport what the government intended to do about the plan to have MIL Davie shipyards, in Lauzon, build the Magdalen Islands ferryboat.

Will the minister press his colleague the Minister of Transport to award MIL Davie the contract for the construction of the ferry, thus allowing the largest private employer in the Greater Quebec City region to survive?

Mil Davie ShipyardsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance and Minister responsible for the Federal Office of Regional Development-Quebec

As you know, Mr. Speaker, the Federal Office of Regional Development-Quebec has decided, not only because resources were scarce but also to focus more on those areas which create the most jobs, to concentrate its efforts on small business and new technologies.

Therefore, as the Minister responsible for the Federal Office, I will concentrate on small business and new technologies, and let other ministers deal with shipyards and transportation issues.

Let the hon. member have no fear. There are 19 of us from Quebec in our caucus, including the acting Minister of Regional Development, Mr. Massé, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the Prime Minister. All of us are here to take care of Quebec's interests.

Mil Davie ShipyardsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will direct my question to the Prime Minister as the Minister of Finance is clearly unable or unwilling to discuss transportation issues.

Can the Prime Minister tell us who, in Cabinet, is defending the interests of the MIL Davie workers if his Minister responsible for the Federal Office of Regional Development does not want to discuss transportation issues and his Minister of Transport, who is from New Brunswick, is bound to favour the St. John Shipbuilding shipyards?