This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #65 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was parties.

Topics

EmploymentOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

The Speaker

Order, order. If the Deputy Prime Minister would care to answer the question I will permit it. But forecasts, unless we have crystal balls, are a little bit difficult.

I will permit the Deputy Prime Minister to answer.

EmploymentOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I am thankful that for probably the sixth or seventh time in the last six months the Reform Party has actually stood to ask a question about unemployed people. We are not happy with the statistics.

However, what we hear every day from the members of the Reform Party is that we are supposed to cut back on support for the unemployed, cut back on programs for medicare, cut back on payments for senior citizens.

The member should join us in a solid attack on unemployment and help create jobs for Canadians through small business, through wise investments, through government getting its act in order. We are on the right track. We are not where we want to be and we are going to keep working.

Transportation In Remote AreasOral Question Period

May 6th, 1994 / 11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Gaston Leroux Bloc Richmond—Wolfe, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Transport. Transportation deregulation in Canada has had a negative impact in that it brought down the level of service and made it more expensive to travel to remote areas. The Minister of Transport talked with fervour of action and co-operation. I should remind him that he was asked three times by Rural Dignity of Canada to hold public hearings on regional transportation.

My question is quite simple: When will the minister take action on the request of Rural Dignity and hold public hearings on transportation in remote areas?

Transportation In Remote AreasOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Acadie—Bathurst New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, coming as I do from the northern part of New Brunswick, I can tell the hon. member I am quite familiar with the challenges the transportation network in Canada must meet. Over the years, public consultations in which many members took part were held about all issues concerning VIA Rail.

There is a national consensus on the need for a national highway network throughout Canada. But all those consultations and all the findings always come up against the same problem. I would be ready to hold public hearings to look for ways and means to finance the transportation services that are needed. We did identify problems, we did listen to people, and we continue to do so. We have consultations with provinces and interest groups, but the big problem nobody has ever found a way to solve is the financial problem.

Transportation In Remote AreasOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Gaston Leroux Bloc Richmond—Wolfe, QC

Mr. Speaker, if the minister admits there is a serious problem, how does he intend to solve it since the cost of regional transportation is rising at the expense of citizens? And how does he intend to solve this problem and help people find solutions?

Transportation In Remote AreasOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Acadie—Bathurst New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young LiberalMinister of Transport

It is a very good question, Mr. Speaker.

The need to find solutions and to prepare proposals that we can present to the House and to the people of Canada are what we are working on every day.

We expect to come before the House to present what we consider to be alternatives to existing situations, but I want to point out that the fundamental problem does not change. It is how to finance an efficient national transportation system that includes road, rail, maritime and air.

No one professes, and certainly not the Minister of Transport, to have the answer to all those problems. We have studied the problems to death. We know the solutions rest entirely on our ability to pay for that affordable integrated national transportation system. That is what we will try to present to the people of Canada and to the House as soon as we can.

PublicationsOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Parrish Liberal Mississauga West, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question today is for the President of the Treasury Board.

Given the frugal style of our current Prime Minister and members of Parliament, with no Cadillacs, no massive redecorating and no Gucci shoes, what plan does the minister have to review the printing budgets of various crown corporations and government agencies so that the publications reflect this image, particularly with respect to cutbacks in the costs of producing flashy annual reports?

PublicationsOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the hon. member for bringing the matter to the attention of the House both in the question today and in the member's statement a few days ago.

Crown corporations operate independently. They make their own decisions about their annual reports. Indeed their annual reports are frequently used as sales tools in advertising and promotion of their products or services.

I appreciate the point the hon. member makes. Frugality is a style of the government. I will bring that to the attention of crown corporations and ask that they look at the cost factor in what they are putting together and look at the recyclable aspect of the paper they are using.

I invite the ministers to whom many of these crown corporations report to join me in bringing it to their attention and asking them to review it.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Reform

Dave Chatters Reform Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the minister of aboriginal affairs.

On April 30, Phil Fontaine, Grand Chief for the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, said:

Aboriginal self-government includes gaining jurisdiction over everything governments now do for First Nations, including control of lands, health care, justice, education and other areas which now constitutionally belong under provincial jurisdiction.

Does the minister agree with Mr. Fontaine's definition?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Sault Ste. Marie Ontario

Liberal

Ron Irwin LiberalMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, under the Tory regime, as the hon. member knows, gaming was transferred to the provinces. Several of the provinces are putting up gaming regimes and are dealing with aboriginal people.

For instance, the best example I can give is in the province of Saskatchewan where an agreement was worked out with the FSIN for two casinos, one in Saskatoon and one in Regina, and there will be a split on income.

If the provinces decide to proceed to move jurisdiction over to the aboriginal people, to share jurisdiction or to have co-management, I think it would be a favourable result. As far as whether it is part of the self-government negotiations, it is not as far as federal government is concerned.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Reform

Dave Chatters Reform Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure my question was answered. My question was not on jurisdiction over gaming. My question was on jurisdiction over health care, justice, education and lands. Perhaps the minister could answer my question.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Sault Ste. Marie Ontario

Liberal

Ron Irwin LiberalMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, I apologize; I did not hear the subjects.

In Manitoba right now there are four subject matters being negotiated. I think the hon. member is familiar with them. We will be negotiating health, education, fire and police protection, and aboriginal courts. At least 10 subject matters will be negotiated with aboriginal people that will eventually define self-government.

Sexual OrientationOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Bloc

André Caron Bloc Jonquière, QC

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

Yesterday, the Government of Alberta appealed a decision prohibiting discrimination on the basis of a person's sexual orientation and an Ontario court refused to recognize the rights of same-sex couples, invoking the definitions of marital and spousal status contained in the Ontario's Charter of Human Rights.

What is the government waiting for to present in this House a bill prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation?

Sexual OrientationOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we have the intention of bringing forward an amendment to the Human Rights Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation this year, probably in the fall.

That is a commitment we made during the campaign which was repeated in the Throne Speech. It is a course to which we are committed.

Sexual OrientationOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

André Caron Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, does the minister agree then that it is urgent to legislate on this in order to prevent the legal battle which seems to be starting on this question?

Sexual OrientationOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

As I said, Mr. Speaker, our timetable contemplates introduction of the legislation probably in the fall.

Speaking for myself, I do not think matters of public policy should be determined in the courts. It is expensive for the litigants, and one ends up with a patchwork of public policy that is not always in the interest of Canada.

We are going to approach it with legislation. The amendment to the Human Rights Act will be introduced here. The House has our commitment in that regard and the House can expect to see the legislation the year.

Health CareOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Reform Fraser Valley East, BC

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

One week ago today she told the House that Hillary Clinton asked her how the Americans could put in place a health care system which would mirror or be similar to the system we have in Canada. However American media reports yesterday, including the Wall Street Journal , indicated:

Mrs. Clinton is telling Americans just the opposite, that she wouldn't dream of proposing the Canadian system for Americans.

Would the Deputy Prime Minister explain the contradiction between her remarks and what the American media is widely quoting the President's wife as saying?

Health CareOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I had a conversation with Mrs. Clinton, and Mrs. Clinton expressed broad support for the approach that Canada has taken in ensuring that universal health care is a cornerstone of public policy in this country.

As a result of that conversation we have agreed to share information. I have been in discussions with our Minister of Health. In fact I am receiving from Mrs. Clinton some good ideas about how their operations are going to work once they are able to break through the kinds of logjams of lobbies that have unfortunately stymied the American health system to date.

Health CareOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Reform Fraser Valley East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I believe some day the government will learn that Canadians are more impressed by and more desirous of an efficient, compassionate health care system than they are with a name dropping Deputy Prime Minister.

Health CareOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Health CareOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

The Speaker

I am sure the hon. member will want to put his question.

Health CareOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Reform Fraser Valley East, BC

My supplementary question is for the Minister of Health.

In June the Prime Minister will be chairing a national forum on health care. At that time will the Minister of Health be prepared to open the Canada Health Act and amend it if the forum says it is necessary?

Health CareOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Sudbury Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I have just spent the last months meeting with ministers of health from across the country. At no time has one minister of health asked me specifically to reopen the Canada Health Act. As a matter of fact I have actually been asked to strengthen it.

Pulp And Paper IndustryOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Liberal Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, QC

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

For some time, the minister has been negotiating with provinces to harmonize the implementation of the regulations in the pulp and paper industry. Can the minister give the House a status report on that very important issue?

Pulp And Paper IndustryOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased today to announce that I signed with my Quebec counterpart, the Minister of Environment and Wildlife, the first agreement in Canada to bring regulations on the pulp and paper industry together in one place.

But harmonization does not limit itself to the province of Quebec. We expect to sign a similar agreement with all the Atlantic provinces at the end of May. Negotiations with Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan are going well and we expect to have a similar agreement with these provinces within the next two months.