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House of Commons Hansard #209 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebec.

Topics

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I think my hon. friend is misinterpreting my letter.

My office took the material given to it by the member's colleague. According to our practice it was transmitted to the RCMP for such action as it considered appropriate.

It has not been my practice or custom to give direction to the RCMP on matters of investigation. Information was provided to me by the commissioner of the RCMP who reviewed the matter and decided that on the basis of that material there were not grounds for a criminal investigation. That information was put in my letter to the hon. member's colleague.

The whole thing is quite consistent with what I said in my letter. I regret my hon. friend keeps pursuing the matter in spite of the totally inappropriate conduct of his colleague. Instead of pursuing the matter he should get his colleague to apologize.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Elwin Hermanson Reform Kindersley—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, the RCMP has reported the matter was not even brought to its attention. The RCMP did not even receive a file on the matter from the solicitor general and was not even notified of the incident.

How can the solicitor general tell the House he pursued the matter when the RCMP was not notified that it should look into it to see whether it was worthy of an investigation?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the RCMP will provide further information about the way it dealt with the matter.

I put on record an accurate quote from my letter of March 28: "The commissioner of the RCMP has informed me that the commercial crime section in Winnipeg has reviewed your", the hon. member for Lisgar-Marquette, "allegations and the RCMP has concluded there is no basis to support an investigation into the Canadian Wheat Board. However, the commissioner has informed me that the RCMP is willing to examine any new information you might have to support these allegations".

I transmitted to the hon. member information provided me by the RCMP and I think if the hon. member and his colleagues had any respect for Parliament they would apologize for the unwarranted accusation.

If they will not apologize and withdraw their unwarranted accusations, everything they say about their respect for Parliament and making it a better place is nothing but a sham.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

June 1st, 1995 / 2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Liberal Davenport, ON

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

There are disturbing reports on airborne pollution in the form of dioxins, furans and hexachlorobenzenes emitted through the incineration of medical waste, sewage sludge and cement kilns burning hazardous waste.

Does the government have plans to regulate carcinogenic emissions from incinerators and are federal guidelines for human exposure to dioxins adequate to protect human health and ecosystems?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the 1995 guidelines by Health Canada on the acceptable level of dioxins and furans for human exposure are under review.

We are extremely concerned about activities south of the border which could put the health of Canadians at risk. In Canada we already have an acceptable smog level about 30 per cent lower than the level in the United States, but at the same time the Americans are looking at raising their smog level.

The issue of dioxins and furans is under review here but we also need to examine some transboundary issues to ensure long range pollutants do not in any way affect the health of Canadians currently being put at risk because of decisions being made by the U.S. Congress.

Research And Development ContractsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Natural Resources.

In answer to a question in this House, the Deputy Prime Minister said that this government could not be held responsible for the iniquity of previous governments regarding R&D. Yet, since October 1993 the minister of Natural Resources has granted less than ten per cent of external R&D contracts to firms or research centres of Quebec.

How does the minister explain that Quebec received less than 13 per cent, or half of its fair share, of external R&D contracts from her department since the Liberals took office?

Research And Development ContractsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton Northwest Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, let me reiterate, as did the Deputy Prime Minister last week when this issue first came up, the government awards contracts on the basis of identified research needs.

Let me reassure the hon. member my department and, I am sure, every other department in the government is committed to research in Quebec. Perhaps I could share with the hon. member some examples.

My department makes a significant contribution to Forintek technology. My department makes a significant contribution to the research into fusion. We make a significant contribution to the Canadian Centre for Geomatics in Sherbrooke. We also make considerable contributions to the Varennes laboratory. My department has a significant research practice in Quebec.

Research And Development ContractsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, even if we mentioned the whole list, it would still be only 13 per cent of the total.

Research And Development ContractsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Research And Development ContractsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup, QC

Quebec is already being robbed of $650 million a year in expenditures by the Department of Defence. The Department of Justice awards only one per cent of its external contracts to Quebec, and now the Department of Natural Resources refuses to give Quebec its fair share of R&D contracts. Can the minister explain why Quebec is once more being robbed of its fair share?

Research And Development ContractsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Edmonton Northwest Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the Deputy Prime Minister pointed out to me that in addition to those facilities and contributions there is another important one. In the city of Montreal this government supports the Canadian Pulp and Paper Institute, the centre of pulp and paper research.

If the member wants to talk about percentages, if we exclude megaprojects which are sunset projects and which will be taken from my budget in the year 1996-97, and if we exclude the national capital region, the percentage of expenditures in my department to Quebec is 25, representative of the population.

Employment EquityOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Reform Fraser Valley East, BC

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

I quote from two different red books. The first red book states the Liberals will implement changes to strengthen the Employment Equity Act. The second red book states the Employment Equity Act is widely regarded as adversarial, bureaucratic and expensive to administer.

I am wondering if the minister can tell me if he remembers which quote is from his red book and which one is from the Ontario provincial Liberal red book. I wonder in which direction the government is heading.

Employment EquityOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, we are both heading in the same direction in terms of support for employment equity. We quite clearly support employment equity in the government. It is part of our priority and we will continue to implement it.

Employment EquityOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Reform Fraser Valley East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I will leave it to the electorate to determine if they are heading in the same direction.

The red books do not agree which shows provincial and the federal Liberals are divided on this issue. Provincial Liberals want to reduce employment equity while federal Liberals want to make it stronger.

Let me put the question bluntly to the minister. Does he agree with the provincial Liberal leader's policy on employment equity?

Employment EquityOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, what is to the point is this government's policy on employment equity.

The member opposite might want to have a look at Mike Harris' policy on this if that is what he is leaning toward supporting. It is certainly not an employment equity policy at all.

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Audrey McLaughlin NDP Yukon, YT

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

My colleague from Regina-Lumsden has continually in the House asked the minister to take action on the pricing of gasoline. No action has been taken and yet over the past few days we have seen the price of gasoline go up again by as much as four cents a litre with no apparent economic justification. These new increases could cost the Canadian taxpayer up to a billion dollars.

In light of these new increases would the Minister of Industry now take action to protect consumers and immediately call an inquiry into price fixing at Canadian gas stations?

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, there has been a series of investigations by the director of investigations and research under the Competition Act with respect to this issue. Prosecutions have been launched. Some have been before the courts. As she knows, it is my belief that competition is the best way to control prices.

I know it is part of NDP dogma to regulate prices. Perhaps in her next five-year plan she will explain what she sees for fuel prices over the next five years. I do not think that is the way to get the lowest prices for Canadian consumers. We need very tough and effective enforcement of our competition laws, and that is what we propose to deliver.

Contraventions ActOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Mitchell Liberal Parry Sound—Muskoka, ON

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

When the minister spoke to constituents in my riding of Parry Sound-Muskoka last summer he assured them a boating infraction ticketing procedure would be in place by June of this year to protect boaters on waterways in my riding and across the country.

What plan does the minister have to effectively enforce boating regulations on Canadian waterways this summer?

Contraventions ActOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I well remember the delightful day I spent in the hon. member's riding last June. I remember the very pleasant meeting I had with the Muskoka Lakes Boating Association. I also recall that we discussed the Contraventions Act which is a statute passed in October 1992 by Parliament but not yet proclaimed in force.

The idea behind the Contraventions Act is to permit the enforcement of federal statutes by a ticketing scheme administered by officials at all levels of government.

We had hoped that statute would be proclaimed in force this month but through discussions with the provinces we have found that changes to the statute will be necessary in order for us to take advantage of the provincial contraventions procedures and save the taxpayers money. Therefore it will not come into force this June.

I can say that officials of the federal Department of Transport are in discussions with provincial authorities to see that there is effective supervision and enforcement on lakes this summer so safety of boaters is assured in the meantime.

Presence In GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

Colleagues, I wish to draw to your attention the presence in the gallery of Thomas Mitsios, member of Parliament from the Republic of Albania.

Presence In GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Presence In GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

Colleagues, before the business question for Thursday I have notice of a point of privilege from the hon. member for Kootenay East.

PrivilegeOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Reform Kootenay East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Never before have the rights-

PrivilegeOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

So that I understand, is the hon. member rising on a point of order or a point of privilege? Would he please indicate.

PrivilegeOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Reform Kootenay East, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is my error. I rise on a point of privilege.

Never before have the rights of members been so blatantly abused as they were today. A question was asked that went directly to the administration of government concerning the awarding of legal contracts for acting crown prosecutors. While I accept the fact that the allegations of patronage in the awarding-