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House of Commons Hansard #91 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was promise.

Topics

PolygramOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, an application has been filed with Investment Canada. No decision has been made as yet, and I do not want to discuss the matter because the decision is still up to the minister.

I may add, as I said in Bromont a few days ago, that there are probably five or six locations here in Canada where we have the industrial base for a semi-conductor industry. One was in Quebec, in Bromont.

I want to ask the hon. member this: Is she not interested in the fact, on behalf of her party here in the House of Commons, the Canadian government is doing everything it can to try and find a base to create a genuine semi-conductor industry here in Canada? That is the real issue. They have no industrial policy other than asking for subsidies, as the hon. member did earlier. To us, it is more important to look for international investment.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Rose-Marie Ur Liberal Lambton—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food regarding Bill C-38, the farm debt mediation act.

This government is committed to program delivery to be more cost efficient and effective. How will this new act be an improvement on the 10-year old act of the Farm Debt Review Board?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Regina—Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the new farm debt mediation act will maintain the essential features of the old legislation including a stay of proceedings and a review and mediation process. At the same time it will avoid a good deal of overlap and duplication. It will streamline the administration of the whole program. It will provide a new appeal mechanism which was not provided for in the old law. It will provide farmers with flexibility to engage their own financial advisers rather than just taking those advisers that may

otherwise be imposed upon them. It will create a new proactive financial counselling service.

I am very pleased to say that the proposed legislation enjoys the very strong support of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture.

Government ExpensesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Ken Epp Reform Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, the youth minister went on seaside holidays, bought a fur coat and charged it all on a government credit card. Then she signed an expense form claiming that these expenses were "incurred on official business". The Prime Minister said this was only a small mistake and shrugged it off saying: "She paid it back in weeks or days".

My question is about the guidelines on this issue. In the part where the guidelines give ministers permission to use government charge cards for personal use, how long do they have to pay it back? Is it interest free? Do they have to pay it back even if no one ever finds out?

Government ExpensesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, I already answered that question last Thursday, and the answer remains the same: government travel cards should be used only for official government business. Whenever they are used for other purposes, all personal expenditures must be fully reimbursed. This is the case here, and I must point out that all but one payments was made even before the access to information request.

The ethics counsellor has been consulted, and conversations have taken place with the member involved. As a result, all personal expenditures have been reimbursed. The hon. member has agreed not to use government credit cards in future for anything except government business.

Government ExpensesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Ken Epp Reform Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister of course did not answer my question at all. He just reiterated the garbage we got on Thursday. We already knew this.

My question was on the guidelines. Are the guidelines on personal use of government credit cards clear? How long do ministers have to pay back personal expenses? Is it interest free? Do they have to always pay it back or only if somebody finds out about it? Those were my questions before and I still want answers.

Government ExpensesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, in my view the guidelines are clear. I indicated clearly and slowly what they were. In this case the guidelines were followed and the personal expenses were reimbursed. That is the end of it.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Bloc Témiscamingue, QC

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

Last week, the Minister of National Defence made an excellent suggestion, when he said that General Boyle should not be singled out. We agree that his case should be the basis for a new policy of transparency, like the one adopted in Quebec, and that the minister should therefore release the amount of the generous separation payments made to General Boyle with taxpayers' money.

Since he refuses to disclose the total amount awarded General Boyle in separation pay, will the minister at least tell us how much General Boyle has received in discretionary benefits from the government?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, the benefits and other amounts paid to individuals by the Government of Canada in such transactions represent personal, privileged information covered under the Privacy Act. This act clearly states that personal information must not be disclosed without the consent of the individual concerned.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Bloc Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will remind the minister that this does not apply to discretionary benefits.

I would also like to remind the minister that the government is using taxpayers' money to make these separation payments. What the people want and have the right to know is how much was paid to General Boyle.

Why is the minister hiding from the public the total amount of the separation package paid to General Boyle?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, the answer is quite simply: we do what the law requires.

Dangerous OffendersOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Art Hanger Reform Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, Harvey Milne, who was declared a dangerous offender in 1980 for sex crimes against young boys, was paroled in 1993 because officials deemed him to be rehabilitated. Milne now faces five new charges for sexual offences, apparently again committed against young boys.

It is clear that Milne was and continues to be a sexual predator. He should never have been released. Will the minister hold the parole board accountable for its mistakes?

Dangerous OffendersOral 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 individual in question is still before the courts. This is certainly a matter that was taken very seriously. If I am not mistaken, this decision was made some years ago before the current provisions with respect to the parole board were in place. I know this matter is being investigated and certainly any necessary action will be taken to try to prevent a repetition of whatever the problem is found to be.

Dangerous OffendersOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Art Hanger Reform Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, we are talking again about the accountability of the parole board, the bungling of its decisions. Harvey Milne was deemed to be a dangerous offender but this minister's handpicked parole board set him loose so he could again prey on young children.

Canadians need a guarantee that this man will never again make victims of our children. Will the solicitor general move immediately so that repeat violent offenders are locked up for life with no parole?

Dangerous OffendersOral 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, as the hon. member knows, the parole board is an independent quasi-judicial tribunal. At the same time, I point out that as far as I am aware, the decision on paroling Mr. Milne was made in 1991 before this government took office.

There is proposed legislation before this House to tighten up the provisions with regard to dangerous offenders. The debate on this measure, which I hope the hon. member will support, will provide further occasion for this issue to be considered.

Canadian Securities CommissionOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Andrew Telegdi Liberal Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the secretary of state for financial institutions.

The numerous provincial securities commissions in Canada mitigate against efficiency of investment, mitigate against wealth and job creation. This situation forces many emerging Canadian companies to go to U.S. markets for financing.

Will the minister tell us what he is doing to establish a national securities commission?

Canadian Securities CommissionOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Scarborough East Ontario

Liberal

Doug Peters LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, I want to tell the hon. member that to promote a strong securities industry in Canada, we do need a Canadian securities commission. Based on initial requests from the provinces, we have continued to discuss with them the issues of developing a Canadian securities commission.

The hon. member is quite right to note that we need to ensure that Canadian companies and Canadian investors are not disadvantaged. A Canadian securities commission is not about federal intrusion, but it is about reducing overlap and duplication.

Railway TransportationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

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

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

Last Thursday, rail workers in Montreal again raised the alarm and demanded a moratorium on the dismantling of the rail network in Quebec. During the year that is coming to an end, more than 2,000 jobs have disappeared in Montreal, bringing to over 10,000 the number of jobs lost in the past 10 years.

What will the minister do to stop this hemorrhage resulting from the federal government's iniquity?

Railway TransportationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, it is true that jobs are being cut in the rail sector in Quebec and elsewhere, but I must say to the hon. member that these cuts were not as bad in Quebec as they were in the rest of the country.

Bombardier Inc.Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Jim Silye Reform Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister of this land said two weeks ago that he was not going to buy votes. The very next day, he gave an $87 million interest free loan to a corporation with assets of $6 billion, cash in the bank of $290 million, and profits of $107 million for the previous year. And he said he was not going to buy votes.

Because this is other people's money, taxpayers' money, I would like to know which minister approved this loan. What criteria were used to make this loan?

Bombardier Inc.Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to receive that question. I approved the loan. I recommended it to my colleagues.

It is an $87 million investment in research and development repayable on a royalty basis as aircraft are sold. We will make money on that loan.

Not only that, I am surprised to hear such a question from the Reform Party days after its fresh start. Reformers put their document out saying that a Reform government will recognize the crucial place of research and development in our economy by what? By increasing current levels of funding for research and development for industry. I agree with that.

Disabled PersonsOral Question Period

October 28th, 1996 / 2:55 p.m.

NDP

Audrey McLaughlin NDP Yukon, YT

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

Today the task force on disability issues released its report. Of the 52 recommendations, many were similar to those of the subcommittee on human rights and status of disabled persons which this government had previously rejected.

One of the key recommendations is that a Canadians with disabilities act be brought forward and enacted. It would ensure that persons with disabilities would have broad interpretation of citizenship in areas affected by the federal government.

What steps will the government take to respond to those persons with disabilities and provide an act like that and enact it before the next election?

Disabled PersonsOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Kenora—Rainy River Ontario

Liberal

Bob Nault LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for an important question to all Canadians.

First, this is a very important issue to the Government of Canada and to society as a whole. We think that people with disabilities should be active members in our society.

We just received the report that was made public this morning. We intend to make the recommendations a major part of our discussions with the provinces. I want to take the opportunity to thank the member who was responsible for the report, the member for Fredericton-York-Sunbury, for his fine work.

At the same time, I would say to members opposite that is about time in this House that we got a question that really meant something to Canadians besides the nonsense across the way.

Trent-Severn WaterwayOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

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

It seems the Trent-Severn waterway's plan to raise $200,000 from water lot licences may leave marina operators open to an additional million dollars in municipal taxes. Surely it is not the government's intention to be a tax collector for municipalities.

What is the minister doing to help the Trent-Severn operators in this matter?

Trent-Severn WaterwayOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Restigouche—Chaleur New Brunswick

Liberal

Guy Arseneault LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, last March the minister committed that both the Trent-Severn waterway and the Rideau canal would undertake a comprehensive consultation with the stakeholders in regard to commercial water lot fees over the summer months.

The input from these consultations has resulted in a significant change in the original fee proposal and the results of these consultations will be made public very shortly.

The minister shares the member's concern for the marina operators and the minister has asked for clarification from the Ontario government with regard to the appraisal services branch.