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House of Commons Hansard #45 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Job CreationOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

The Speaker

Order! The length of questions is becoming a little excessive. I would ask that questions and answers be shorter.

Job CreationOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

London East Ontario

Liberal

Joe Fontana LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Transport

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

When the government announced on February 24 that it had accepted the BAPE report on the Hydro Quebec project it also indicated at that time that there would be certain steps taken before a permit was issued.

As the member should know, the environment must and will be protected. The Department of Transport is working very closely with the province and all other parties to finalize the permit. It has only been a month since the government has accepted the project. It will not be issued until all the pieces are in place.

I can assure the hon. member that yes, we are concerned that jobs are at stake and yes, we want the project to go ahead; but there are conditions to be met before the permit is issued and we are working relentlessly to make that happen.

Job CreationOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Jean-Guy Chrétien Bloc Frontenac, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is a fine example of how cumbersome the federal system is. Will the Minister of Finance give us today the assurance that, by the end of next week, Quebec will have received the necessary authorizations so that work can start in an area where unemployment is running rampant?

Job CreationOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

On the contrary, Mr. Speaker. The negotiations that have taken place regarding the Sainte-Marguerite river are an excellent example of federal-provincial co-operation.

Complete agreement was achieved with the province with respect to project description, conduct and content. At present, a permit is to be issued by Transport Canada. Of course, this is a complex and detailed document and there are still a few pieces of information to be supplied by the Quebec government. The province assured us we would be getting this information shortly. It should be a matter of weeks before a permit is issued, given the full co-operation of the provincial government.

National RevenueOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Reform

Ed Harper Reform Simcoe Centre, ON

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

According to a poll released yesterday by Peat Marwick Thorne, one in six Canadians now describe themselves as tax anarchists and feel tax cheaters should be applauded. The main reason given for the attitude was out of control government spending.

Will the minister agree a major step toward resolving this problem would be to cut spending and thereby encourage Canadians back into the mainstream economy?

National RevenueOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Essex—Windsor Ontario

Liberal

Susan Whelan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the government and I want

to acknowledge that the survey makes interesting points that we are taking quite seriously.

However we also want to point out that it is a snapshot. It does show changes in attitude over time. Therefore it would be difficult to draw certain conclusions, for example, that Canadians are either more or less disgruntled than at other times.

National RevenueOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Reform

Ed Harper Reform Simcoe Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a supplementary question.

The budget projects an overall growth in the economy to be 10 per cent over the next three years, but it projects 15 per cent growth in government revenue during the same period. These figures seem to imply that Canadians will be coming back into the economy rather than opting out of it or going underground.

In light of the growing underground economy identified by this poll, could the minister explain how the 15 per cent growth in revenue will be achieved?

National RevenueOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Essex—Windsor Ontario

Liberal

Susan Whelan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I believe I just stated that this survey does not allow us to draw certain conclusions and that is one. It is a snapshot in time.

The minister has consistently stated in the House that we are continuing to strengthen enforcement in all aspects of revenue collection.

BiovacOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Government Services.

In a surprising decision, the Minister of Supply and Services has terminated the contract under which the federal government buys influenza vaccines from BioVac, a subsidiary of Biochem Pharma and the only Canadian manufacturer of this type of vaccine. Curiously enough, after awarding only a one-year contract to BioVac for this vaccine, the government has now decided to award a new, five-year contract to an American manufacturer.

Why did the government decide to terminate its contract with BioVac and award a five-year contract to Connaught, when BioVac will put on the market within one or two years a revolutionary influenza vaccine costing only ten cents a dose? Is the minister determined at all costs to export Quebec high-tech jobs to the United States?

BiovacOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Cape Breton—East Richmond Nova Scotia

Liberal

David Dingwall LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for her question. The paramount concern in all the deliberations must be and ought to be the health of Canadians, particularly young children.

Since 1973 the Government of Canada, in co-operation with the provinces, has been purchasing vaccines in bulk. No determination has been reached. The information the member has provided to the House is somewhat premature. No decisions have been made with regard to contracts which have been let. I am hopeful a decision will be made soon and I am hopeful we will have a Canadian solution to a Canadian problem.

BiovacOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, is the government, which claims to be so concerned about creating jobs, willing to review this shortsighted decision supporting a blatant case of dumping, since Connaught sells this vaccine for $1.40 in Canada and $3 in the United States?

BiovacOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Cape Breton—East Richmond Nova Scotia

Liberal

David Dingwall LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, I say to the hon. member again that the paramount consideration is and must be the health of Canadians, particularly young children.

No decision has been consummated by the Government of Canada that has bought this vaccine on behalf of provinces since 1973. I want to assure the hon. member the allegations that are being suggested by her will be reviewed. Hopefully we can have a Canadian solution to a very serious Canadian problem.

JusticeOral Questions

March 25th, 1994 / 11:35 a.m.

Reform

Jack Ramsay Reform Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Justice and I begin by wishing him and his family a happy Easter.

However the chairman of the justice committee is widely quoted as saying that he believes convicted murderers like Clifford Olsen should not have to serve more than 15 years for their crimes. In fact the chairman of the justice committee believes the minimum murderers should serve is 10 years without parole.

Is the chairman of the justice committee articulating government policy, or is this merely a trial balloon on behalf of the justice minister?

JusticeOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I am grateful to the hon. member for his expression of good wishes at this time of the year and I reciprocate them.

I have to respond very quickly to his suggestion about trial balloons. The chair of the justice committee is speaking for himself. The chair of that committee is one voice among that

very disparate group. The chair is perfectly entitled to express his own perspective on issues of the day.

For my own part I have already responded to that suggestion. I do not happen to agree with him, but I think the justice committee is just the place where that kind of discussion should occur. I am sure the justice committee is going to have all manner of controversial matters to deal with in the years to come and I look forward to that kind of discussion.

JusticeOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Reform

Jack Ramsay Reform Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the president of the Canadian Police Association, Neal Jessop, called for the removal of the chairman of the justice committee. Mr. Jessop said that his association could not work with the present chair, that he was out of step with public opinion and that he was an embarrassment to the government.

In the interest of swift and co-operative action on judicial reform, will the minister recommend to the Prime Minister that the chairman of the justice committee be replaced as soon as possible?

JusticeOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. minister may wish to answer that question even though it does not deal directly with his responsibilities.

JusticeOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, may I take the opportunity to say to the hon. member and to the House that in so far as I am concerned the chair of the committee has my full confidence. If controversial positions or views were to disqualify us from holding positions many members would not be in the House.

As I said earlier, the fact of the matter is that the chair of that committee is entitled to express his view. He has done that and I see nothing out of order with that. He has my every confidence and I am sure he will stay on as chair of the committee.

TradeOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, the United States recently revived its trade "atomic bomb", its "Super 301". This measure, quite incompatible with the spirit and content of GATT and NAFTA regulations, is aimed at penalizing countries found guilty of trade practices deemed unfair by the United States. A list of such countries will appear in a few days in the National Trade Estimates Report , and Canada should be on it.

Under the circumstances, my question is for the Minister of Finance. Given the number of unresolved trade disputes between Canada and the United States, does the minister not think that the United States could use Super 301 against Canada, as it did in 1990 against Canadian beer?

TradeOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Ottawa Centre Ontario

Liberal

Mac Harb LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, with Canada-U.S. trade registering over $260 million a year, it is obvious that we will have trade disputes from time to time.

As far as Super 301 is concerned, senior Canadian officials have already conveyed our position on this issue to the United States. For now, we will continue to communicate with them in a positive way and we hope to reach a common solution.

TradeOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, the GATT General Secretary and several European countries are concerned about the threats to the international community posed by the United States' aggressive unilateral measures. What concrete actions does the government intend to take to prevent Canadian industries from bearing the brunt of the Americans' measures against all their trading partners?

TradeOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Ottawa Centre Ontario

Liberal

Mac Harb LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of International Trade

First of all, Mr. Speaker, the Uruguay Round to be signed by April 15 will resolve many of the difficulties encountered from time to time. We hope that the international community will find ways to settle all trade disputes between countries in a positive fashion, by keeping the lines of communication open, encouraging dialogue and avoiding controversy between the United States, Japan and the other countries.

Publishing IndustryOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Wood Liberal Nipissing, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Industry.

I would like to know what kind of support the government is giving to the publishing industry in Canada. Would the minister also give his impression of this particular support?

Publishing IndustryOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Laval West Québec

Liberal

Michel Dupuy LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question. The government considers that the publishing industry is a vital sector of the Canadian economy. I would add that I am also convinced the strong culture or strong identity of Canada could not do without a strong publishing industry.

This is why the Canadian publishing industry receives over $120 million in government assistance every year or 5 per cent of the entire value of the industry.

Board Of RefereesOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Reform

Jim Gouk Reform Kootenay West—Revelstoke, BC

Mr. Speaker, on March 11, I raised a question with the Minister of Human Resources Development regarding the Board of Referees in my riding, the failure of his office to deal with our inquiries and an

apparent plan to appoint a wholly unqualified Liberal supporter as chairman of the board.

The minister assured me that if I provided details of the problem he would respond quickly. The same day I supplied the minister with a list of the number of calls made to his office and the persons who called. I also supplied the names of three highly qualified people recommended by community leaders to fill these positions. To date I have received no reply.

When will we get action to re-establish this very important board in the riding?

Board Of RefereesOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

York North Ontario

Liberal

Maurizio Bevilacqua LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member can rest assured that this government will only appoint people who are qualified to do their jobs. It is extremely important that we keep the confidence of the Canadian people. Every single appointment this government has made to date speaks to the fact that this government will only appoint people who are highly competent for the job at hand.