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House of Commons Hansard #92 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was promise.

Topics

Federal InvestmentsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

That is wrong.

Federal InvestmentsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Liberal Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

The opposition keeps trying to find specific programs where Quebec gets less than its share. These always seems to be programs that require spending to be focused in the National Capital Region, for the benefit of all Canadians and Quebecers as well, since so many of them work in the National Capital Region.

And we will fight separatism. In fact I want to thank the Leader of the Opposition for showing his true colours, and calling himself a separatist.

Federal InvestmentsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs does not know what he is talking about and the Prime Minister is afraid to answer the questions put by the Leader of the Opposition.

The Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs talks about political programs, when billions of dollars are being invested annually by the federal government, but not in Quebec.

When opposition members, with figures to back them up, say that Quebec has not received its share of federal government and Crown corporation investments, the government can create all the diversions it wants, but one fact remains: according to the government's own figures, Quebec has missed out on over seven billion federal dollars over the last 15 years.

My question is for the Prime Minister, if he dares to answer it. Will the Prime Minister admit that the seven billion dollars not invested by the federal government in Quebec over the last 15 years that should have been invested there given the size of its population represents over 8,100 jobs a year lost to Quebec through his fault?

Federal InvestmentsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I am not necessarily familiar with the statistics the member has just given. He spoke primarily of years during which I know Lucien Bouchard served as a minister in the previous government.

Federal InvestmentsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Douglas Young Liberal Acadie—Bathurst, NB

There are gaps in his memory.

Federal InvestmentsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

John Manley Liberal Ottawa South, ON

What I know is this: on October 21, 1996, we invested $87 million in Canadair. On October 21, 1996 we invested close to one million dollars in Matériaux Techniques Côté; on October 11, $4.25 million in Ericsson Communications; on October 9, almost one million in the École polytechnique. There are many examples.

I fail to understand why the Bloc Quebecois always wants Quebec to have such a negative image, when it is a powerful province.

Federal InvestmentsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister is trying to lead the debate off track. We are talking about investments in federal government buildings, land, and rolling stock, and he is talking about specific projects. If he wants to play that game, 1,000 question periods would not be enough for him to get through all the investment projects in Ontario. That is the reality of the matter.

The federal government does Quebec out of $1.3 billion in procurement annually. Now we learn that Quebec is receiving far less than its share of federal government and crown corporation investments.

How was it that the Prime Minister was patting himself on the back over the weekend for his government's fine performance, when the federal government has had it in for Quebec for at least the last 15 years, depriving it of billions of dollars in investments and tens of thousands of jobs? I would like him to explain that to me.

Federal InvestmentsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the ministers are ready to reply to these attacks, so there is no need for me to rise in my place.

If the hon. members truly had Quebecers' best interests at heart, instead of creating political uncertainty, instead of calling themselves sovereignists for a year and a half, and then admitting today that they are separatists, if they were truly concerned with what is best for all the people of Quebec, they would be following our lead and pushing for political stability, so that the private sector would invest in Quebec, just as it does in the rest of Canada.

Liberal PartyOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, at the Liberal convention last weekend the Prime Minister bragged at great length about the Liberal way and Liberal values. Today Canadians have seen exactly what that Liberal way means: a dirty, American style smear campaign full of distortions and misrepresentations.

Canadians want to debate the real issues facing us. Reformers want to debate those same issues as well. Yet it seems the Prime Minister and his very Prime Minister's Office would rather wallow in the political mire.

I ask the Prime Minister this. Who authorized this political smear campaign? Was the Prime Minister aware of this fax attack? If not, does he approve of his party's and staff's dirty tricks?

Liberal PartyOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am sorry, we just said that the Reform Party and their leader had a great reception in Washington with Newt Gingrich. If he regrets his visit and if he wants to say so we will withdraw that.

We said that they oppose anything we do to build unity in this country. Whenever there is controversy about the two official languages in this House they are always opposed to having the reality confirmed: that we are very proud that English and French are the two official languages of this nation.

If they want to say that they support bilingualism in Canada, in the next letter we send-the same type of letter that they send themselves-of course we will say that they have converted to rationality and Canadianism and vote for things that will help to keep this country together.

We travel the land. When anything divisive comes up in the House of Commons you have members who get up to try to score cheap political points against the government. They hope they will gain votes by division. We gain votes in promoting unity from sea to sea.

Liberal PartyOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, the type of arrogance you have just heard voiced by the Prime Minister right now is exactly an indication of what is wrong in this country, just because there are differences in political beliefs, just because we happen to have differences on policies about the Official Languages Act.

This kind of behaviour from this Prime Minister is nothing more than a bold-faced lie. It is as simple as that.

Liberal PartyOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Liberal PartyOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

Colleagues, we are in the heat of debate. And from time to time in the heat of battle we use words that are unparliamentary. Would the hon. member please withdraw the last few words, "a bold-faced lie" before we proceed.

Liberal PartyOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Beaver River, AB

Yes, Mr. Speaker, out of respect for the House and for you I withdraw that comment.

May I also say that when I sat back here as the only member of my party when we went through the Meech Lake debate and the Charlottetown accord debate I was labelled an enemy of Canada and someone who had no respect for Canadianism. I refute that. Just remember which side won on the Charlottetown accord.

We thought we had seen the end of this kind of stuff when the Tories were turfed out of office in 1993. These kinds of smear campaigns just go on and on. We are wondering if we see the ghost of Mulroney past in the Prime Minister's Office now.

I ask the Prime Minister this. Is this kind of smear stuff the Liberal way? Does this malicious fax attack reflect Liberal values? Does this American style smear campaign represent the Liberal way? How is this integrity in action?

Liberal PartyOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member is willing to pretend that Reform members voted for gun control, fine. But I was in the House of Commons and I know they all voted against gun control. Do they want to change their stand on that? I do not think that it is a smear campaign when we relay the facts of their votes in the House of Commons.

Who thought that the blacks and gays should go to the back of the shop? If they did not say that, fine, I would be happy. However,

it was said and the people of Canada have the right to know what was said. If Reformers want to withdraw that I will be happy to say that they regret what they said.

If Reformers want to say that the investment in Bombardier is as good as the investment in the tar sands I will write it in the next letter. They never attack us when we do something for Alberta but if we do something for another part of Canada they complain. This is the road to division. We want to help everybody in every part of the country so they will all have the same opportunities.

Liberal PartyOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister said we voted against gun control. I would like it on the record here today what the truth is. Two of our members, the members for Calgary Centre and North Vancouver, supported Bill C-68 according to their constituents' wishes.

It is the responsibility of all of us as members of Parliament to represent those people who we came here to represent. I know there are many members of the public across Canada who are disgusted with what they have seen in this and what they are listening to on talk shows. They are tired of this kind of political smear campaign and all this dreaming and dressing up that the Prime Minister is doing right now.

Canadians want to talk about tax relief. They want to talk about increased funding for health care because they have seen the system ravaged under these Liberals. They want to make sure that my party's leader, who offered a one on one debate with the Prime Minister, a one on one debate with no gimmicks, no frills, no gadgets, just the two of them, dancing toe to toe.

Will the Prime Minister debate with the leader of the Reform Party of Canada, one on one, on the issues, only on the issues and the facts of lower taxes and more jobs?

Liberal PartyOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Liberal PartyOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am here at least three days a week, more than any of my predecessors. I am in my seat in the House to debate with the leader of the Reform Party. He is the one who said that he is wasting his time debating in the House.

He is travelling the country in a bus while as a member of Parliament he should not be afraid to be in the House of Commons to face off every day. But he would rather be sitting in the back of a bus preaching about his conversion.

Not long ago he was giving us a tough time on medicare. Now he has been converted on the road to Damascus. Now he wants to spend money on medicare.

I remember he said that we were not cutting enough and when he said that medicare should be transferred to the private sector. We want to make sure that every citizen, whether they have money or not, will always have medicare available to them in Canada.

American Helms-Burton LawOral Question Period

October 29th, 1996 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, the atmosphere is particularly highly charged today.

My question is for the Minister of International Trade. At the beginning of this month, the European Union announced its intention to lodge an official complaint with the World Trade Organization concerning the American Helms-Burton law with its extraterritorial measures. The following day, Canada announced its intention to take part in this process initiated by the Europeans.

Since Canada justified its participation in the European complaint by saying it was its duty to protest against the American law, how can the minister explain that Canada has not yet called for the formation of a special group under NAFTA to settle this dispute once and for all?

American Helms-Burton LawOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated previously, we continue with the protest under NAFTA, but we are also in a position to join many other countries in having this matter adjudicated before the WTO. We are readying to prepare a case in support of the European Union.

One of the strengths of the position Canada has put forward is that we have been able to get the support of countries right around the world that know the action by the United States is wrong. We will continue to work with those countries in a unified way to continue in our action, and the WTO is a good forum for the next step.

American Helms-Burton LawOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, title 4 of the American Helms-Burton law, which this government has not yet attempted to counteract, by the way, forbids the entry into the United States of Canadian businessmen and their families, under the pretext that their companies are supposedly trafficking in American properties in Cuba.

Does the minister not agree that the best way to counteract this definitively is to call for a special working group under NAFTA?

American Helms-Burton LawOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, the two issues, both title III and title IV, are intertwined and will be dealt with together, in terms of the WTO and the NAFTA. We will also be continuing at the OECD where

there is a multilateral agreement on investment. This is very key to the investment rules, the protection of Canadian company assets in other countries.

We will continue to work with other countries. We will continue to use a number of forums to protest Helms-Burton and to get the message across clearly to the United States and other countries that unilateral extraterritorial action attempting to impose their will, their foreign trade policy on Canada or any other country is totally unacceptable.

Liberal PartyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Reform Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, I cannot believe that the Prime Minister and the Liberals are defending the sleaze and the American-style smear campaign-

Liberal PartyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Liberal PartyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

I would ask hon. members on both sides to be very judicious in their choice of words. I would especially ask hon. members not to use the word "sleaze".