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House of Commons Hansard #85 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was recall.

Topics

Illegal DismissalOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, my familiarity is particularly with respect to those months since this government has been in office and I can tell the hon. member that, as I already have mentioned, we are committed to the earliest possible resolution of his case, particularly in light of all the circumstances of which we are very much aware.

Dairy FarmingOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

David Iftody Liberal Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is to the minister of agriculture. The standing committee on agriculture has a report with recommendations on the BST which must now be addressed.

Specifically the report addresses the one-year moratorium on the sale and distribution of this hormone product that was requested by the committee.

When will the minister respond as required by the rules of this House and provide Canadian dairy farmers with some certainty on this important matter?

Dairy FarmingOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Regina—Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, first of all I would like to acknowledge the very hard work on the BST issue that was done earlier this spring by the standing committee of agriculture of this House.

On the precise issue of licensing or the matter of whether to issue a notice of compliance, I would advise the House that issue is fully and entirely within the jurisdiction of the Minister of Health. I know the Minister of Health will be making her decision in accordance with all the applicable laws and regulations in due course and that matter is entirely within her purview.

With respect to the government's specific response to the recommendations of the standing committee, I have not had the opportunity yet to consider those recommendations with my Cabinet colleagues but I do expect to have that opportunity

soon. While I cannot absolutely guarantee it, I would hope to be able to provide the House with the necessary response under the rules of the House hopefully before the House adjourns on June 23.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Philip Mayfield Reform Cariboo—Chilcotin, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance. The present tax system is unfair in its treatment of families. A victim of the current tax system is single income families. The difference in taxation between the single income family in which one parent stays at home to care for their children and the family in which both parents work is substantial and can range from $3,000 to $6,000 per year when the family income is $60,000.

When will the government start to treat all families fairly?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Scarborough East Ontario

Liberal

Doug Peters LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, the tax system in our country has been based on an individual tax system. It is not a family tax system. We do not have joint returns in this family and we do treat all taxpayers as fairly as possible.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Philip Mayfield Reform Cariboo—Chilcotin, BC

Mr. Speaker, a recent Angus Reid CTV poll indicated that whenever possible caring for children in their homes was the preferred method of child care by Canadians. However, by interfering with family choices and penalizing families with stay at home parents, the current tax system prevents Canadians from achieving their preferred care for children at home.

Will the government introduce a bill to rectify this inequity?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Scarborough East Ontario

Liberal

Doug Peters LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, the matter that is referred to by the hon. member is a question that has come up previously.

I do not think we are going to introduce bills on that particular basis. We have a number of family systems in this country. A large number of people operate from single families, single person families, families in which both parents are working, and the child support part of our tax system is an important aspect to them.

Flags Of ConvenienceOral Question Period

June 14th, 1994 / 2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week, we asked the Minister of Transport to tell us if some federal government ships were flying a Bahamian flag of convenience. On June 11, the director of public affairs with Marine Atlantic, Mr. Ted Bartlett, confirmed that three of his ships were registered abroad and were flying a foreign flag.

My question is for the Minister of Transport. Since we now have confirmation that three ships from Marine Atlantic, which is wholly-owned by the federal government, are flying a foreign flag, will the minister explain why this is the case?

Flags Of ConvenienceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, first I want to thank the hon. member for raising this issue again, since I just had the opportunity to review it.

It is true that three ships from Marine Atlantic are registered in the Bahamas, but I should point out to the hon. member that this has been the case for several years. I was not aware of that when the issue was first raised in the House. The hon. member could certainly have discussed it with the Leader of the Opposition, since the situation already existed when he was a cabinet member.

We will review the issue, but it is easy to see how it came about. The measure was taken precisely to avoid costs for the Government of Canada.

Flags Of ConvenienceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, could you remind the Minister of Transport that the hon. Leader of the Opposition left the Conservative Party in May 1990, while I will inform the minister that the Bluenose was bought in 1982 and the Marine Evangeline in 1978, under Liberal governments.

Since that dubious practice dates from the Liberal governments of the time, will the minister pledge to this House that such practices will no longer be used?

Flags Of ConvenienceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, to make sure we are clear, there is no question this matter has been ongoing. The ships in question have been flying the Bahamian flag. It is true that it has been going on for a long time. I am aware of when the Leader of the Opposition resigned his position and changed his allegiance.

What I do want to make very clear is that the three ships in question were under Bahamian flag throughout the period when the hon. Leader of the Opposition was a member of the government. We have been here for seven months. I am glad it has been brought to our attention. We will see if we can do something about it.

DiscriminationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Jan Brown Reform Calgary Southeast, AB

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

Last Wednesday the minister said that he is profoundly against discrimination as a principle. As a result of this principle the minister withdrew funding for the "Writing Thru Race" conference because it discriminated on the basis of race. I applaud the minister for this decision and for standing firm on his principles.

Is the minister also prepared to withhold public funding from organizations or events which discriminate on the basis of gender?

DiscriminationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Laval West Québec

Liberal

Michel Dupuy LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I believe this a hypothetical question because I have not been faced with an issue of this nature.

DiscriminationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Jan Brown Reform Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the Minister of Canadian Heritage that this supplemental is not a hypothetical question.

Reformers believe that all Canadians ought to be treated equally before the law. We oppose discrimination for any reason.

The president of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women has said that men are refused membership in its organization on the basis of gender.

On this basis will the minister withdraw all federal funding for the National Action Committee on the Status of Women?

DiscriminationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Sheila Finestone LiberalSecretary of State (Multiculturalism) (Status of Women)

Mr. Speaker, I am sure my hon. colleague, the Minister of Heritage, and all members of this House will agree that the question of women is not a special interest group.

I would also suggest to my hon. colleague that there are special interests that are the interests of society contained in presentations made by many women's groups. I have met with many different women's groups over the period of many years.

I would like to suggest to the hon. member that trying to play games of this nature in the interest of the women and children of this country is far from an acceptable manner of procedure.

Blood Fractionation PlantOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Ron MacDonald Liberal Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health and it concerns the proposed Red Cross blood fractionation plant.

As the minister is aware, after Halifax was chosen as the sight of this plant, several provinces that lost out on the project demanded and got a review on the economics and the need for such a facility.

The committee now reports that there is a need and now some of those same provinces that lost the bid to Halifax want the site selection process reopened.

Is the minister satisfied that there is indeed a need for such a plant? If so, will she encourage those provincial counterparts to stop playing politics and support the construction of this plant at the chosen site in the province of Nova Scotia?

Blood Fractionation PlantOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Sudbury Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau LiberalMinister of Health

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

I understand the concerns of Nova Scotia on this issue. However, my role and the role of Health Canada is that of a regulator. We licence and inspect such a facility wherever it is built in Canada and we approve its products.

Now that the concerns of the Canadian blood agency have been addressed by the blue ribbon panel which was selected and put in place by the ministers of health across the country, I hope and expect this dossier will move forward expeditiously.

ForestryOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

René Canuel Bloc Matapédia—Matane, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Natural Resources. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources stated recently that the government hoped to maintain its financial commitment towards Quebec's private forests.

The Minister of Natural Resources, on the other hand, stated that her department did not have sufficient funds to do so and that any additional financing would have to come from the Federal Office of Regional Development.

Will the minister confirm her intention to ask her colleague, the Minister responsible for the Federal Office of Regional Development-Quebec, to dip into his budget to extend federal financial commitments for private forests in Quebec? If so, has she obtained a commitment from her colleague to that effect?

ForestryOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Edmonton Northwest Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for that question.

I can assure him that my colleague, the Minister responsible for Regional Development in Quebec, and I plan to meet with the private woodlot owners of eastern Quebec very soon. Those negotiations will proceed and I will keep him informed as they proceed.

ForestryOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

René Canuel Bloc Matapédia—Matane, QC

Mr. Speaker, can the minister tell us when the federal government intends to make public its decision, upon which the livelihood of thousands of private woodlot owners depends? There are more than 6,000 under the Eastern Plan.

ForestryOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Edmonton Northwest Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, let me reassure the hon. member that I and my colleague responsible for regional development in Quebec fully appreciate the importance of forestry and the management of private woodlots in eastern Quebec.

That is why my colleague and I are going to meet with representatives of the private woodlot owners as soon as possible. As I have already indicated, I would be happy to keep the hon. member informed as those negotiations proceed.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Val Meredith Reform Surrey—White Rock—South Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Solicitor General.

On Friday, June 10 the Minister of Justice advised that the Solicitor General would be likely inquiring into the accusations of Kim Werbecky. Ms. Werbecky has stated that after being raped and beaten by serial killer Clifford Olson she reported the incident to the RCMP and Olson was arrested, but charges did not proceed. Last week an RCMP officer who investigated the complaint confirmed the story, stating that the crown refused to proceed with charges because the victim was not believable, a liar and a tramp.

I would like to know if the minister would confirm that the statement is correct and whether a full inquiry is going to be held.

JusticeOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bonaventure—Îles-De-La-Madeleine Québec

Liberal

Patrick Gagnon LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I will take note of the inquiry made by the hon. member and I will assure myself that she is answered promptly.

Status Of WomenOral Question Period

3 p.m.

NDP

Audrey McLaughlin NDP Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, may I first thank the minister responsible for the status of women for her eloquent defence of equality for women. I would like to thank her for that.

Mr. Speaker, I direct my question to the Minister of Justice whom I hope will be equally strong in his defence of women. Today in the Supreme Court, once again the federal government has taken the unusual and extraordinary measure in having important court cases related to taxation of child support, particularly as it applies to women and children living in poverty, quashed. First the government appealed the Thibaudeau case and now it is seeking to quash other similar cases.

Why is the minister's department wasting money on lawyers appealing these cases instead of addressing the real issue, women and children living in poverty?

Status Of WomenOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the steps we took today in asking the Supreme Court of Canada to suspend the operation of the Court of Appeals' judgment in Thibaudeau until the changes have been introduced in the law will save money that would otherwise be spent on lawyers. The Thibaudeau judgment in the Federal Court of Appeal created an abrupt and incomplete change in the tax treatment of child support payments.

Today we asked the Supreme Court of Canada, until it hears the appeal on the merits of the case, to suspend the operation of that judgment. Otherwise, all across the country people trying to negotiate or abide by agreements or court orders for the payment of child support will be left in uncertainty as to their rights and would be obliged to seek legal advice, paying money to lawyers to help them solve the uncertainty.

By seeking the stay today, we avoided that result. At the same time, through my colleague, the Secretary of State for the Status of Women, we have a task force touring the country soliciting the views of Canadians on the most appropriate changes to achieve fair and equitable tax treatment for child support payments.