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House of Commons Hansard #210 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was languages.

Topics

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:40 p.m.

Liberal

Patrick Gagnon Liberal Bonaventure—Îles-De-La-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, I ask that the remaining questions be allowed to stand.

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:40 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Is it agreed?

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:40 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I wish to inform the House that pursuant to Standing Order 33, because of the ministerial statement, Government Orders will be extended by 26 minutes.

The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-75, an act to amend the Farm Improvement and Marketing Co-operatives Loans Act, be read the third time and passed.

Farm Improvement And Marketing Co-Operative Loans ActGovernment Orders

12:40 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. House leader of the Reform Party has 27 minutes remaining in his available time.

Farm Improvement And Marketing Co-Operative Loans ActGovernment Orders

12:40 p.m.

Reform

Elwin Hermanson Reform Kindersley—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, I will assure you that I will be very brief and not need anywhere near that time, as I was in the process of concluding my remarks when I was interrupted.

The priority of governments should be to get out of the business of being in business, which includes the granting of funds, the involvement in megaprojects and things such as FIMCLA and guaranteeing loans to small business.

What I was saying in conclusion was that the priorities of governments should be first to get out of the business of granting handouts, whether they be to business or special interest groups. Second, governments should not be in the business of being involved in megaprojects, even to the point of loan guarantees; they should not be involved in loan guarantees for small business and agriculture, and their priorities in getting out should be in that order.

The reason they should be in that order is because small business and farmers are supporting the granting of funds through their tax dollars. They are supporting loan guarantees that go bad to megaprojects such as the Lloydminster upgrader and those types of megaprojects. Hibernia is another example that comes to mind. It is the farmers and the small businessmen who are paying for the folly of government getting involved in these projects. Programs like FIMCLA should not be the first ones to go; they should be the last ones to be withdrawn. That is the direction in which we have to go.

Farm Improvement And Marketing Co-Operative Loans ActGovernment Orders

12:45 p.m.

Liberal

Alex Shepherd Liberal Durham, ON

Mr. Speaker, miracles never seem to happen to me in this House. I listened to the Reform Party go on and on, its members first stating they support the bill. They then spent almost all of their time saying why it was not such a good idea. I am a little confused by that approach. It seems they are saying government should not assist farmers.

Almost one in five workers in the Durham area are farmers with 3,500 families who either directly or indirectly owe their living to agriculture. The people of Durham very much appreciate the federal government's commitment to assist them in the capitalization of their farming operations.

Sometimes there is a lot of confusion in the House about what farmers do and the types of operations they run. Many members have talked about how other forms of capital are available to farmers, that lending institutions could take up the slack. That is not true. The Farm Credit Corporation and this program came into existence because the government recognized that problems within our capital markets prevent access to capital by not only small businesses but farmers in particular.

Farming is a capital intensive business. I could probably equate it with a utilities company. Everything done in farming involves substantial capital: equipment, the farm property, barns. Utilities are probably the closest example of similar operations that require capital over long periods of time.

Our lending institutions are often only interested in short term loans, which creates a disequilibrium in the capital markets. That is why this is an area government should be involved in. I know many of my farm constituents are very happy the federal government is part of this process.

I would like to speak about some of the specific aspects of Bill C-75. Some members have expressed concern over questions of overlap and duplication with the provinces. Only two provinces have similar programs, Quebec and Alberta. These are the two provinces where activity under FIMCLA has shown its greatest growth. The arguments about duplication being bad come from the very provinces that have utilized this system the most.

I heard some of my colleagues in the Bloc talking about how it was a failure. Interestingly enough, loan applications in Quebec went from 142 in 1990-91 to 1,700 in 1994-95. This is a success, hardly a failure. That growth has been largely a result of caisse populaire Desjardins' movement to become a lender under the program. In Alberta, the provincial government's treasury branches now offer FIMCLA loans and concentrate its resources in other areas. The concept of duplication is not real in this case.

Within the federal government we have to consider the different roles FIMCLA, Farm Credit Corporation and the Small Businesses Loans Act play. Of these FIMCLA is the only national loan program that can be accessed by farmers and farmer-owner marketing co-ops because FIMCLA loans are available from the six major banks. There are banks in almost all of our communities but there is not an FCC office in all communities. Similarly, the Small Businesses Loans Act is really oriented toward small business operations as opposed to farmers although farmers can also access this program.

Every rural centre has a bank or credit union but not all have FCC offices. In addition, the Farm Credit Corporation does not guarantee loans made by competing commercial lenders. Those lenders would not likely welcome audits by the FCC as is required under FIMCLA. So there is really no way FIMCLA could be offered by the FCC.

It has also been suggested that FIMCLA should be amalgamated with the Small Businesses Loans Act. The problem with this idea is that the FIMCLA loss ratio is significantly less than the SBLA program. Most FIMCLA loans are made to establish farm operations because assets taken as security for FIMCLA loans generally have a higher disposable value.

This gets back to what I was originally saying. Farms are highly capitalized, therefore they also have capital to put up for credit purposes more so than to some smaller type businesses. As a consequence there are fewer loan loss provisions. It would be unfair to charge farmers higher interest rates and registration fees to subsidize small business loan losses.

In addition, most commercial lenders have segregated their commercial lending and agricultural lending divisions. Government loan guarantee programs currently mirror this structure.

FIMCLA gives farmers a better interest rate than they could normally get and allows them borrowing credit with only 20 per cent equity. In other words, they have the ability to get up to 80 per cent financing on their assets.

Finally, there has been some confusion about the meaning of the loan cap. The legislation provides that the total amount of the loans registered over a rolling five-year period will not exceed $1.5 billion. This legislation is really quite simple in that it doubles the cap, increasing the total cap to $3 billion within the program.

The parliamentary secretary was saying earlier that we were quickly approaching that cap. If we do not pass this legislation shortly we will have to curtail the program. I can assure members that as the spring work continues on the farms that some farmers would be unduly penalized if for some reason this legislation did not continue.

I repeat, this is the total amount of loans registered over the five-year period. It is not the total amount of loans outstanding because at any one time repayments have already been made on the loans registered in the first four years of the period.

In other words, it is a total loan application. Loans come and go. The total exposure of the government is substantially less than even $1.5 billion today or $3 billion in the future as we increase the cap.

The government's liability on the program is for defaults. Historically these have been very low, around 1 to 1.5 per cent. I can assure members that this is a very significant loan loss provision. It tells members a lot about our farm communities. It tells you that these people pay their bills. In spite of the fact that they are highly capitalized, and they do have a high debt structure, once again it is because of their type of operations.

I know this quite well because I actually farmed at one time. I can tell members that every time there was an extra dollar on the farm, it seemed to go back into some form of equipment. This is why farmers are highly exposed when borrowing.

I understand that all the parties I have heard of today are still in support of this legislation. I encourage members to pass it forthwith.

Farm Improvement And Marketing Co-Operative Loans ActGovernment Orders

12:50 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the member for Durham would comment on a couple of matters. I ask his views.

Earlier this morning, the member for Frontenac from the Bloc Quebecois made the statement that he did not feel that the minister of agriculture could represent farmers from the province of Quebec because he was not as fluent in both official languages as some other people might be. Does the member for Durham agree we must be totally fluent in both official languages to represent each other?

The member for Frontenac certainly professes to know about agriculture in Canada. I feel that I know a fair bit about agriculture. We may or may not be as fluent in languages as we would like to be.

I compliment the member for Durham on his comments when he explained to the House, and hopefully the member for Frontenac understands the point he was making, that there are a number of management tools and different types of loans that need to be available to primary producers and co-operatives in Canada. One is the Farm Credit Corporation, which is used for land purchases and other major purchases along that line. Another example is the farm improvement or the FIMCLA loans which are usually used for renovations, improving buildings or buying pieces of equipment which are important and can be major.

Does the hon. member agree that we need these types of vehicles? I question the sincerity of the member for Frontenac when he says this is a duplication. They are different tools serving different purposes.

Could the member for Durham comment on those two issues?

Farm Improvement And Marketing Co-Operative Loans ActGovernment Orders

12:55 p.m.

Liberal

Alex Shepherd Liberal Durham, ON

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

My experience with the farm community is they can use as much help as they can get. Farmers often tell us that they are not getting enough access to capital and they wish the government would do more.

It seems incredible to me that the member for Frontenac would try to minimize the amount of access that the farm community in Quebec has to the financial institutions in that province.

Farmers can never have enough. The more people who are active in the business of financing farms the better. Certainly the federal government has shown for as long as I can remember its commitment to farming from sea to sea. I do not believe that the farmers of Quebec would want to lose that benefit.

The second point that the hon. member made was the concept that people cannot be represented here because of one language or another. I do not apologize but I am unilingual English. I have attempted to learn French from time to time but I have not been very successful. I guess I am not a good scholar in languages.

The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food represents all the farmers of Canada and has done so ever since I have been here. He has been to the GATT and NAFTA negotiations. I know he negotiates in the best interest of Canada from sea to sea to sea, which includes those interests which affect the farmers of Quebec.

I am very honoured that the minister of agriculture represents the agricultural community as well as he does. He has a very balanced approach. He very much tries to balance the interests of the agricultural sector in Quebec within the country as he does with all provinces. I have heard him on numerous times talking about a balanced approach, that we do not trade off one sector of commodities against another. That is nothing but good for Quebec and Canada and the operations of stable agricultural markets within our country.

I must confess I do not know the name of the agriculture minister in Quebec. I do not know the one in Ontario either. The one I do know is the federal minister of agriculture who represents us so well.

(Motion agreed to, bill read the third time and passed.)

Buffalo And Fort Erie Public Bridge Company ActGovernment Orders

June 2nd, 1995 / 1 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé Liberalfor the Minister of Transport

moved that Bill C-81, an act to amend an act respecting the Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Company, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Buffalo And Fort Erie Public Bridge Company ActGovernment Orders

1 p.m.

Liberal

John Maloney Liberal Erie, ON

Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions between the parties. I believe you will find there is unanimous consent to deal with the bill this afternoon at second reading, at committee of the whole and at third reading.

Buffalo And Fort Erie Public Bridge Company ActGovernment Orders

1 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Is there unanimous consent?

Buffalo And Fort Erie Public Bridge Company ActGovernment Orders

1 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Buffalo And Fort Erie Public Bridge Company ActGovernment Orders

1 p.m.

Liberal

John Maloney Liberal Erie, ON

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to speak this afternoon on Bill C-81, an act to amend an act respecting the Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Company, which is the formal name of what we in southern Ontario and western New York State refer to as the Peace bridge authority.

I will give a little background on the Peace bridge authority. The authority was incorporated in 1923 under a special act of Parliament, following which the construction of the international bridge commenced in 1925 and was completed in 1927. An act respecting the Buffalo and Fort Erie Bridge Company was enacted in 1934. It empowered the authority to acquire, hold and manage the property and assets within Canada.

The authority owns and operates the Peace bridge and has 10 appointed members, five Canadian and five American. The authority is profitable and has no outstanding long term debt. It is self sufficient with any profits being used to improve and maintain the facility.

The Peace bridge and this act is very important to Fort Erie, the Niagara peninsula, the province of Ontario and Canada as a whole. The Peace bridge is located at the Niagara River crossing between Buffalo, New York and Fort Erie, Ontario. It is the second busiest cross-border highway link between Canada and the United States. More than 300 million vehicles have crossed the bridge since it opened in 1927.

In 1994 the bridge carried nearly eight million vehicles. Over one million or 14 per cent of these were trucks. It is estimated that $65 million worth of trade crosses the bridge daily.

As a result of continued expansion and development of international trade and traffic between the province of Ontario and the eastern United States, passenger car traffic and freight truck and other commercial traffic over the Peace bridge into and from Ontario has steadily increased over the years. Commercial traffic increased to 975,000 vehicles in 1993, an increase of 5.8 per cent when compared to 1992. When comparing 1992 to 1991, commercial traffic increased by 11.6 per cent.

In recent years particularly increases in traffic flow have accelerated due to regional and economic factors and international agreements between the two countries, including but not limited to the Canada-U.S. free trade agreement, the North American free trade agreement and GATT. This has resulted in substantial increases in congestion on the bridge and the adjacent Peace bridge plazas.

Congestion is now at the point where it is not uncommon for traffic to back up on and sometimes across the entire bridge to and from Canada. This has resulted in substantial traffic tie-ups on the Queen Elizabeth highway and on local streets in Fort Erie as well as similar problems on the New York State thruway, the Peace bridge plazas and on local streets in Buffalo. The congestion problems presently being experienced on the bridge will only increase in the future.

To improve traffic flow, the authority plans to implement a 10-year $89 million capital improvement project called the gateway project. This project will have a positive economic impact on both sides of the border.

In Fort Erie alone over $58 million will be spent on improvements that include: $11.6 million for a new commercial facility for Canada bound commercial traffic which will house Revenue Canada's commercial customs operations, commercial brokers and freight package firms; another $25 million on a commercial vehicle processing centre for U.S. bound commercial vehicles; and another $4.3 million for a Canadian gateway complete with new customs booths that will serve as a landmark for residents and tourists entering Canada. It truly will be a gateway to Canada, a gateway to the province of Ontario and a gateway to my riding of Erie.

A further $17.6 million will be spent on bridge painting and structural improvements. The bridge is presently painted with a lead based paint which must be removed for environmental reasons. It will be expensive, but is very necessary.

On the U.S. side there will be upgrading of the traffic plaza and the Buffalo terminus to the bridge which will include a reconfigured plaza providing improved access to major highways and into downtown Buffalo.

It can be appreciated that these proposals will translate into short term construction jobs and long term administrative jobs with a tremendous economic spin off impact throughout the region.

The bill also allows for a borrowing increase for the current projects that I have just mentioned. The amendments to the act will allow the authority to increase its borrowing authority from $50 million to $100 million. The authority's reputable financial adviser has reviewed the financial plans of the authority and has indicated that it has the capacity to borrow this sum of money.

I would like to emphasize that there are no costs to the Canadian government associated with the amendments. Section 6 of the current act specifically protects the government from liability for the authority's debt in the event of a default. All borrowing costs will be borne by the users of this facility.

I was concerned with the user pay implications for my constituents as we now enjoy very reasonable bridge tolls on the Peace bridge. Tolls will have to be increased to fund the necessary bridge improvements. I am assured however that they will remain competitive with tolls charged at other international bridge crossings in the Niagara region and southern Ontario.

The Peace bridge authority is very sensitive to this issue. Presently the passenger tolls are the cheapest of all bridge crossings in the Niagara region. Owners of commercial vehicles will continue to pay slightly higher tolls than those charged at the adjacent crossings. They will benefit from reduced costs resulting from the shorter line ups at the border. The authority is fully cognizant that excessively high tolls would divert traffic to other crossings and will act accordingly.

I was also concerned about the debt servicing of these loans and the ability of the authority to meet its financial obligations. I have been assured that the authority's debt repayment plan is sound. The need for this government to satisfy its concerns on this issue and on the environmental impact are the reasons for an almost one year indepth study and the necessary delay of this bill getting to the floor of the House. This government has acted cautiously and prudently.

I was very concerned about the environmental impact of the proposed capital project as well, but my concerns have been satisfied. Pursuant to section 5 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, the bridge is not required to be subjected to a specific federal environmental assessment.

Given the potential impact of a commercial vehicle processing centre project on adjacent neighbourhoods in the town of Fort Erie and the fact that all transborder functions are a clear federal responsibility, Transport Canada completed an environmental screening of the commercial vehicle project in November 1994. The environmental screening determined that the commercial vehicle project may proceed as its environmental impact is either insignificant or mitigable with known technology. The authority has agreed to comply with the recommended mitigation measures. The commercial vehicle processing centre also meets all local, regional and provincial land use and environmental requirements which I think is very important.

Consequently, the decision to increase the borrowing power and transfer administrative powers will have no adverse environmental impact. Other initiatives under the gateway project will be assessed if need be in accordance with the requirements of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.

The legislation before us today also deals with the issue of future requests for increases in borrowing. This legislation gives the governor in council the power to fix the authority's borrowing limit at an amount greater than $100 million if a need can be shown. We can avoid the need for future legislative amendments which become costly and time consuming and are basically administrative in nature.

This administrative change will give the Peace bridge authority additional flexibility to meet more immediate operational needs and future major capital requirements. The simplified procedure will be more responsive for the Peace bridge authority.

The reduced time required to authorize an increase in the borrowing limit will also be less costly for taxpayers. Any increases of this nature will still be thoroughly reviewed before authorization by the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Transport. As a matter of note, such review would also be undertaken in the state of New York.

The act also provides for a transfer of authority. It is understood that the Minister of Transport has the prime responsibility in co-ordinating the role for federal policy on the international crossings. Of all the international bridge crossings, the Peace Bridge is the only one that comes under the authority of the Minister of Finance. This change therefore is an administrative rationalization. The transfer of legislative responsibility between ministers will correct what can be referred to as an administrative anomaly, as it is understood that the Minister of Transport again has the primary responsibility.

There are currently 24 international highway crossings between Canada and the United States. The Minister of Transport is directly involved in three that are federally controlled: the seaway, Thousand Islands and Blue Water bridges. Furthermore, some of these international crossings combine rail functions which are also the responsibility of the Minister of Transport.

It should be pointed out that Transport Canada assumes certain responsibilities associated with all 24 international crossings, such as policy directives, system planning, granting of construction and operating permits, environmental assessments and as previously mentioned, ownership in certain cases.

These activities are being co-ordinated and more often than not are being carried out jointly with our U.S. counterpart, the federal Secretary of Transportation, who shares similar responsibilities. In fact, in the United States all international crossing matters are dealt with through the International Bridge Act of 1972. It authorizes the United States president, secretary of state and secretary of transportation to negotiate, co-ordinate and sign international agreements in order to allow these crossings to be built, operated and maintained.

Therefore, transferring responsibility to the Minister of Transport will result in streamlining the relationship between the minister and the various bridge operators, whether private or public, dedicated public authority or provincial government. It will also facilitate the process of dealing with our U.S. counterparts. As well it will indicate to Canadians that this government is committed to efficiencies in public administration.

Henceforth, both the New York state and U.S. federal governments will be able to deal more effectively through the Minister of Transport. The minister and his U.S. counterpart meet regularly, particularly as a result of the North American free trade agreement, in order to facilitate the transborder movement of people and goods. International crossings are often a priority topic at these meetings.

The transfer of responsibility to the Minister of Transport will indicate to the various bridge operators that the current Transport Canada policy of promoting and supporting decentralized commercialized operations will be maintained and enhanced.

I will not say that these initiatives have been without their opponents who legitimately questioned debt servicing concerns and the environmental impact on adjacent neighbourhoods, especially as it relates to noise and pollution. In particular, the residents whose homes will border on the commercial vehicle processing centre had some very real concerns. I am satisfied that these concerns have been met.

I urge the authority notwithstanding to take its role as a community partner very seriously and to be mindful of its responsibilities to these community concerns. To date it has met these responsibilities and I am confident it will continue to do so.

There is no doubt in my mind that these upgrades and new facilities are urgently required. The planned improvements of the gateway project will speed the movement of traffic, particularly trucks, across the bridge. Streamlining the flow of bona fide cross border traffic is in keeping with the more liberalized international trade environment under the NAFTA. The importance of cross border trade in our community is enormous. The benefits of these improvements will be felt throughout the region, throughout the province and throughout our country.

Buffalo And Fort Erie Public Bridge Company ActGovernment Orders

1:10 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Mercier Bloc Blainville—Deux-Montagnes, QC

Mr. Speaker, Bill C-81 is the bill before us.

The Buffalo and Fort Erie Bridge Company is a company formed by the Government of Canada in co-operation with the Government of the United States. The increased traffic on the international bridge resulting from the free trade agreement, which, it will be remembered, the Liberals opposed vigorously at the time, has now necessitated construction work.

The bill will accordingly allow the company to borrow up to $100 million on the private market through bond issues. This $100 million will help to pay for part of the Gateway project-a ten year $144 million project. Construction is planned on both sides of the border. It should be noted that the Government of Canada does not guarantee the $100 million loans. Theoretically, then, these loans are not binding on the Government of Canada.

The need to increase the borrowing power of the company will also enable the government to correct an anomaly. This bridge is the only one to come under the authority of the Minister of Finance. All the other international cross-border highways are the responsibility of the Minister of Transport, and the bill assigns him responsibility for this bridge as well.

A third aspect of this bill is that in order to facilitate future increases in the borrowing power of the Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Company, the governor in council is authorized by this bill to increase the borrowing limit.

It should be noted that the bridge authority must cover its expenses and that moneys spent to improve the bridge will be recovered through an increase in traffic and tolls.

For all these reasons, we support this bill, all the more so because the Bloc Quebecois has always supported the liberalization of trade and the NAFTA. The increased traffic on the bridge is a good example of the economic benefit to both countries of this liberalization. In opposing the free trade agreement, the Liberals showed at that time that they were unable to take economic decisions that would benefit Canada.

By proposing legislation in this House today that would help the bridge handle the increase in traffic resulting from this agreement that they so vigorously opposed, the Liberals are making amends, and in the same spirit I would be prepared to let bygones be bygones.

Buffalo And Fort Erie Public Bridge Company ActGovernment Orders

1:15 p.m.

Reform

Charlie Penson Reform Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure today to inform the House the Reform Party is supporting Bill C-81.

The bill amends the act for the Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Company, the company responsible for the Peace bridge linking Fort Erie and Canada with the city of Buffalo in the United States.

The Peace bridge is the second busiest border crossing highway link between Canada and the United States. This bridge carried nearly 8 million vehicles in 1994. One million of these were trucks containing over $20 billion of traded goods.

With the implementation of our trade agreements and as a result of positive economic conditions, the Peace bridge finds itself not quite up to the task of facilitating smooth traffic flows.

Commercial traffic has accelerated to the point where there is a lot of congestion on the bridge and at the adjacent plazas. This has caused traffic jams on the access roads and local streets on both sides of the border.

To ensure the bridge can facilitate all trade and traffic, the bridge authority would like to implement bridge improvements called the gateways project.

To finance the gateways project, the bridge authority intends to market two 30-year bond issues in the United States totalling $70 million in 1995 and 1997. It will use its toll revenue to service this debt.

We in the Reform Party recognize that strong north-south infrastructure links are crucial to building on trade agreements we have implemented with United States.

If these infrastructure projects can be financed by the private sector, so much the better. It is our understanding that the bridge authority is profitable and has no long term outstanding debt. It is also our understanding that the government is protected from liability should the bridge authority ever default on debts in the future.

Since the federal government is not financially responsible for the Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Company, it is appropriate for the governor in council to approve borrowing increases.

In the future we will have to look at a different way of financing these projects. There will have to be more infrastructure financed by the private sector, by municipalities, as we cannot sustain these from the federal government. That would be looking down the road and I hope that approach could be used.

The other reservation we have is that the bridge authority should be held accountable in its meetings to the public. If various parties want to present briefs on the effects of toll increases or any environmental concerns, these briefs should be available to the public.

With this reservation, the Reform Party would support the bill.

Buffalo And Fort Erie Public Bridge Company ActGovernment Orders

1:15 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Is the House ready for the question?

Buffalo And Fort Erie Public Bridge Company ActGovernment Orders

1:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Question.

Buffalo And Fort Erie Public Bridge Company ActGovernment Orders

1:15 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Buffalo And Fort Erie Public Bridge Company ActGovernment Orders

1:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

(Motion agreed to, bill read the second time, considered in committee, reported and concurred in by unanimous consent.)

Buffalo And Fort Erie Public Bridge Company ActGovernment Orders

1:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

Liberal

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

moved that the bill be read the third time and passed.

Buffalo And Fort Erie Public Bridge Company ActGovernment Orders

1:20 p.m.

Northumberland Ontario

Liberal

Christine Stewart LiberalSecretary of State (Latin America and Africa)

Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, an agreement could not be reached under the provisions of Standing Order 78(1) or 78(2) with respect to report stage and third reading stage of Bill C-76, an act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 1995.

Under the provisions of Standing Order 78(3) I give notice that a minister of the crown will propose at the next sitting a motion to allot a specific number of days or hours for the consideration and disposal of proceedings at said stages.

Buffalo And Fort Erie Public Bridge Company ActGovernment Orders

1:20 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Returning to Bill C-81.

Buffalo And Fort Erie Public Bridge Company ActGovernment Orders

1:20 p.m.

Liberal

John Maloney Liberal Erie, ON

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the position taken by the members of the opposition parties on this measure. The co-operation exhibited here is something to be commended.

(Motion agreed to, bill read the third time and passed.)