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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

Mil Davie ShipyardsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, everyone knows full well that these problems are discussed in Cabinet and that we are committed to the workers in Quebec as we are to those in the rest of the country. Now, in this particular case, we must determine first whether or not we really need a new ferry and second, if the price is right. That is precisely what the Minister of Transport is doing now. Once his decision is known, the House will be informed.

TariffsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Reform Fraser Valley East, BC

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

The U.S. government is threatening to impose high tariffs on Canadian grain and is saying that it might compensate Canada for this action by making concessions on the protection of Canadian poultry, eggs and dairy products.

This kind of bargaining, pitting Canadian farmers against Canadian farmers, is unacceptable.

Will the Prime Minister assure the House that the government will not accept a deal that sacrifices the interest of one agricultural sector for the interest of another?

TariffsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have already discussed the problem with the American authorities. I have mentioned it to the President of the United States.

In the case of the products covered by article XI of the GATT, we know the proposed tariffication levels are protected by the GATT rules. There is no concession to be received from the Americans. We are just playing by the rules of the GATT.

On the question of the level of imports in the United States of Canadian wheat, this is something that is being discussed. There will be no tradeoff between one part of the farming community against the other.

TariffsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Reform Fraser Valley East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I thank the Prime Minister for his assurances and I ask for a further clarification.

If American negotiators attempt in these negotiations, in this bargaining, to pit Canadian grain farmers against Canadian producers of poultry, eggs and dairy products, will the government tell the Americans to take a flying leap?

TariffsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I said that the two cannot be bargained one against the other.

Egg, milk and butter producers in Canada are protected by the GATT rules. We have changed the rules and the proposed tariffication that exists today has been established under the rules of the GATT. We insist that we are following the international rules.

The question of the Americans importing more wheat for their market is another question. There was an increase in the export of wheat to the United States over the last few years. One part was caused by the flood there and the second was because we produce better wheat than it does when we talk about durum wheat. There is a conflict within American society: those who want good pasta want Canadian wheat and we are on their side.

TariffsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

TariffsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The Chair is ever so thankful that you did not address yourself to the flying leap.

Health CareOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Bloc Québec-Est, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of Health. Public hearings on the marketing of somatotropin have recommended that the introduction of this controversial hormone be delayed.

In view of this recommendation, does the Minister of Health intend to allow this hormone to be marketed in Canada?

Health CareOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Sudbury Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should know that my department has not yet completed its studies of this hormone. Once these studies are completed, if the health of Canadians is not at risk, I will have no choice but to allow this hormone to be marketed.

EmploymentOral Question Period

March 21st, 1994 / 2:55 p.m.

Reform

Paul Forseth Reform New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Human Resources Development and was inspired by businessman Brian Burge of Ottawa.

Recently Mr. Burge spent more than $1,000 advertising commission sales jobs in Ottawa and Toronto. From this effort Mr. Burge discovered that many respondents were unwilling to give up guaranteed unemployment insurance benefits and risk the uncertainty of a commission sales job. Many jobs in the new economy will be commission or performance based.

In view of what the government said at the G-7 meeting, will the minister respond to the evidence that the UI system discourages recipients from taking commission jobs? Could he tell the House what he intends to do to fix UI in this regard?

EmploymentOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

York North Ontario

Liberal

Maurizio Bevilacqua LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question.

As the hon. member would recall, last January we initiated a process of social security review to better, improve and modernize the present system. Among the areas we are presently reviewing is the Unemployment Insurance Act. Toward this end the representation made by the hon. member will be taken under consideration.

Collège Militaire Royal De Saint-JeanOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Jean Charest Progressive Conservative Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister and it pertains to the Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean.

It is now obvious that the decision to close this college was misguided. However, we recognize that the closure is part of a budget decision and that the government finds itself in an extremely difficult financial situation. That is why many of us, including the Government of Quebec, have called for a moratorium.

Under the circumstances, we think it would be reasonable for the government to take the time to examine this question thoroughly before making an irrevocable decision. This is not, in our view, an unreasonable request.

Therefore, my question for the Prime Minister is as follows: Under the circumstances, would he not be willing to take the time to review this matter thoroughly before making such a final decision?

Collège Militaire Royal De Saint-JeanOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the military college in Saint-Jean will not be closed until the end of the next school year. Therefore, we have over one year to find a use for these facilities which are extremely valuable.

We are currently discussing with Quebec government officials to find a way to put this facility to good use and we are prepared to provide assistance. The Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs is currently conducting the discussions in this regard.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Ted McWhinney Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the minister of fisheries.

Pending conclusion of his proposed new high seas fisheries convention prohibiting overfishing by foreign vessels operating just outside Canada's 200-mile fishing zone, will the minister of fisheries remind states that Canada has the legal right under already existing international law to apply stringent fisheries conservation measures and penal sanctions where necessary against delinquent foreign vessels and their crews?

FisheriesOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question, acknowledge his great expertise in the area of international law and take this opportunity to say yes, indeed we are taking every opportunity through every forum available to us, most recently at the UN conference on high seas fishing and at the FAO in Rome.

We are taking every measure to try to ensure that international law is binding, that we can develop binding dispute settlement mechanisms, and that Canada can through agreement put an end to the problem of foreign overfishing.

Let no one believe otherwise. If we cannot resolve this problem by agreement we will resolve it by unilateral action by Canada.

Presence In The GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

I draw the attention of hon. members to the presence in the gallery of Mr. Fritz Verzetnitsch and Mr. Rudolf Nurnberger, members of the Austrian Parliament.

Presence In The GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Publishing IndustryRoutine Proceedings

3 p.m.

The Speaker

With regard to the hon. member's request to table a document, Beauchesne's sixth edition in citation 495(6) precludes the private member from tabling documents. Therefore it would require the unanimous consent of the House.

The hon. member has made the request. Is it the pleasure of the House to give unanimous consent for the tabling of this document?

Publishing IndustryRoutine Proceedings

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Points Of OrderRoutine Proceedings

3 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I rise to correct the Hansard record.

Last Thursday, March 17, I made a statement on the Somalian incident and I would like the record to reflect that several military police investigations were ordered into the significant incidents experienced by the Canadian Airborne Regiment battle group in Somalia and that the first one commenced on March 19, 1993, not on April 15, 1993 as stated in the House.

Government Response To PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3 p.m.

Kingston and the Islands Ontario

Liberal

Peter Milliken LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to three petitions.

Semaine De La FrancophonieRoutine Proceedings

3 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Michel Québec

Liberal

André Ouellet LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, on the initiative of the Association of French-speaking Parliamentarians, a reception was held here on Parliament Hill to mark the beginning of the Semaine de la Francophonie. Representatives of various Canadian organizations dealing with the Francophonie came from across Canada.

A number of Canadian personalities who have distinguished themselves in this country by working in different ways and in different communities to promote the French fact were honoured. We were especially happy to have among us at this

ceremony the Prime Minister of Canada, who received the honourary award of the Francophonie and who is a proud representative of Canada's French-speaking community.

Allow me today in this House, at the first opportunity I have had since the beginning of this Semaine de la Francophonie, to remind members of some interesting historic facts.

As hon. members know, the heads of state and government summit held at Chaillot Palace in Paris in 1991 ratified the proposal for an international Francophonie day and expressed the wish that each of the 47 states and governments forming the so-called Francophone community celebrate this day individually and at their convenience. It was officially set for March 20, the date on which was founded the Cultural and Technical Co-operation Agency, the first francophone intergovernmental organization, whose secretary general in the last few years has been a distinguished Canadian, Jean-Louis Roy.

We are very proud to take part in this day and thus show that we belong to the Francophonie. As active members of this multilateral group, we will continue to promote the basic values dear to all Canadians such as democracy, human rights, women's equality, child welfare, education and training. The francophone community includes over 400 million men and women scattered all over the globe.

The Francophonie is an integral part of Canada's foreign policy. We intend to continue playing an active role and contributing in various ways, so that all francophone and francophile Canadians continue to benefit from this window on the world and the fruitful contacts we maintain in many French-speaking countries throughout the world.

By being a member of the Francophonie, Canada also shows the rest of the world the unique features of Canadian reality. The Canadian Francophonie speaks with many accents. It starts out in the sandy dunes of New Brunswick, goes up the St. Lawrence River, and ends up in the western plains. During their travels, our francophones took on the accents of Antonine Maillet, Anne Hébert, and Gabrielle Roy. Far from resting on their laurels, our francophones now speak with new accents such as the Creole intonations of those who found refuge on these North American shores.

Canadians show solidarity with all the people of the world who use French to communicate, exchange ideas and better understand one another.

It is in this spirit that I invite all Canadians and their elected representatives in this House and in legislatures with a large number of francophones, be it in Quebec, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, or even British Columbia, for there are many francophones on Canada's West Coast.

So, on this day and week celebrating the Francophonie, I would urge all my colleagues in the House of Commons, particularly the members of the Bloc Quebecois, to realize that the French language is alive and well in Canada. It is not endangered as some members opposite would like us to believe. On the contrary! The French fact is strongly and brilliantly defended throughout Canada and reaches out around the world.

Semaine De La FrancophonieRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Semaine De La FrancophonieRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, today it is a great honour and a great source of pride for the Bloc Quebecois to draw the attention of the House to la Journée mondiale de la Francophonie.

For Quebec and for all francophones in the rest of Canada, whose common destiny is necessarily linked to that of the Francophonie, this is a particularly memorable day.

Incidentally, this anniversary coincides with that of the founding of the Agence de coopération culturelle et technique, the first francophone intergovernmental organization.

Quebec's participation in this international body illustrates that in matters concerning the Francophonie, as in all other matters, especially when they concern our identity and cultural ambience, as the Leader of the Official Opposition mentioned earlier, it is important to run our own affairs.

Promoting the French fact also means promoting our viability as a community, and in this respect, we have no outside allies other than the solidarity of francophone countries.

We must remember that the destiny of francophones outside Quebec should not be dissociated from the affirmation of Quebec's identity, because our community owes its survival to its will to endure as a people. This solidarity among francophones in Canada must be strengthened.

Canada's francophone communities must not only survive, they must also be able to develop their cultural, economic and social potential in their own language.

The situation is not reassuring. Everywhere in Canada and even in Quebec, the position of French is precarious. Twenty-five years of official and individual bilingualism have not been able to stop the assimilation of francophones. Bilingualism is still too often a Francophone that speaks English.

It is also a fact that Canada's provinces have ignored the rights of their francophone minorities. Even worse, in a number of provinces, francophone communities are considered just

another ethnic community, a situation that was aggravated by the federal government's support for multiculturalism.

The closing of Collège militaire in Saint-Jean also brought to the fore the case of the French high school in Kingston, which is located in a building without washrooms or running water. Reality can be pretty grim!

When the Minister of Foreign Affairs says that to Canada, belonging to the Francophonie also means revealing to the rest of the world what is unique about Canada's situation, one wonders what situation he is talking about!

The Forum international de la Francophonie, which includes 47 countries from all continents, must continue to develop and make itself heard. This applies to all areas, including education, for instance, where the association of partially or fully French language universities, whose headquarters is in Montreal, does remarkable work, and also to the information technology sector and all other economic and cultural sectors.

I think that although it is appropriate to celebrate this international day of the Francophonie, we must not forget that we still have a long way to go, especially here in Canada.

Semaine De La FrancophonieRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Reform

Bob Ringma Reform Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Reform Party of Canada recognizes the Journée internationale de la Francophonie, that was officially celebrated yesterday, March 20.

Our party, being a party of the people, recognizes on this day that 23 per cent of Canadians are francophones.

At the same time, we realize that Canadians are part of la Francophonie, a worldwide group of 400 million people.

Canada is a fortunate country. Despite our financial problems, we continue to provide assistance to other countries, but our help does not necessarily involve money.

We agree with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who just said that Canada will continue to promote the fundamental values dear to all Canadians such as democracy, human rights, women's equality, child welfare, education and training. By supporting these values in other countries, we hope to reinforce them at home.

We congratulate francophones from Canada and other countries around the world on this international day of la Francophonie.