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House of Commons Hansard #94 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was research.

Topics

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, for July and August 1996 alone, the number of UI claimants dropped by 5.3 per cent. According to Statistics Canada, this drop in the number of claimants and beneficiaries is due to the new legislation. Will the minister agree that, contrary to his comments, his reform deprives more than 50 per cent of those unemployed of the right to claim benefits?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Michel Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, we put a very high value on work. We value work and we do not want a passive system that encourages people not to look for work. On the contrary, we are investing in those who are prepared to get training and to take the necessary steps to find work.

We are extremely pleased that our active return-to-work measures meet the needs of Canadians. What Canadians need in our new economy is to go back to work with the proper training.

We are pleased that this reform meets the needs of my constituents in Papineau-Saint-Michel, including women who are poor and who are often unable to work more than a few hours per week. These women are now covered from the first hour of work and they are grateful to us for that.

Health CareOral Question Period

October 31st, 1996 / 2:30 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, one of the main promises the Liberals made in the red book was to preserve medicare. What they actually delivered slyly was a dissection of some $3 billion per year out of that program. The result is that this year there is $395 million less in Quebec for hospital care.

Will the health minister admit that every woman suffering from breast cancer who is on a waiting list today is on a longer waiting list because of those cuts?

Health CareOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Cape Breton—East Richmond Nova Scotia

Liberal

David Dingwall LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member raises an important subject in terms of breast cancer. I do not think there is anyone in the House on either side of the aisle who is not supportive of initiatives as they relate to breast cancer.

The government, in co-operation with a variety of different groups, is contributing a fair sum of money in terms of research and how we can effect positive solutions.

Over the last number of years $25 million have been directed toward research. More has to be done.

We have signed a memorandum of understanding with the United States to focus not only our capital and our money but our human resources to find the kinds of solutions women and society in general would like to have as they relate to breast cancer.

Health CareOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, representatives of 44,000 Canadian doctors appeared in front of the finance committee this week. What did they ask for? I quote: "Stop the devastating health care cuts". They gave the Liberals a failing grade on medicare. They asked for a reinfusion of funds into medicare. Strangely that sounds a bit like Reform's fresh start on medicare.

Will the minister steal another plank from the Reform Party, do exactly what the Canadian doctors have asked and reinfuse more money into medicare?

Health CareOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Cape Breton—East Richmond Nova Scotia

Liberal

David Dingwall LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, flip-flops and inconsistency have been characterizations of the members opposite.

In September 1993 the leader of the third party said that his party "would support user fees or deductibles and would eliminate universality". Days before the federal election in 1993 the Reform Party said it was opposed to private health care and user fees.

If that is not a flip-flop, if that is not an inconsistency, I say to the hon. member to go back to med school and become a real spin doctor.

The Film IndustryOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre De Savoye Bloc Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Industry. A study released today by Heritage Canada concludes that 97 per cent of the money paid in Canada by film distributors for Canadian productions comes from businesses which are under Canadian control, and that, proportionally, these Canadian-controlled distributors create six times more jobs than do foreign-controlled distribution companies.

What is the minister waiting for to block Polygram's request, since there are no grounds to justify this foreign company's distributing films in Canada, particularly since this is categorically against Canadian policies in this area?

The Film IndustryOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as I explained to the hon. member for Rimouski-Témiscouata last week, it is impossible, under the Investment Canada Act, to discuss specifics while the issue is still before me.

The Film IndustryOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre De Savoye Bloc Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to quote from the Heritage Canada study which says, among other things: "We conclude that the Canadian distribution policy is well justified and continues to be pertinent, and that the consequences of its not being applied would be highly prejudicial to the Canadian industry- and contrary to the public interest".

In reality, what the minister is being asked to do is to ensure that Canadian cultural rules are respected and to not negotiate any cut-rate deals. Will the Minister of Industry assume his responsibilities, do his duty, and reject the Polygram application?

The Film IndustryOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I shall certainly assume my responsibilities, and I will explain my decision when it is time to do so.

I would also like to point out that I agree with the hon. member on the importance of Canadian culture. I am pleased the Bloc is also in favour of protecting Canadian culture. I trust that they will work with us to create a country where we can all have a strong culture and develop an appreciation of our two cultures, French and English.

Health CareOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Keith Martin Reform Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, if either I or my colleague were to become spin doctors we would have to spin across the other way to do that.

Yesterday 100 Canadians died and today, tomorrow and the next day 100 Canadians will die from tobacco related diseases.

The Minister of Health has promised without delay tough strong new measures to address this epidemic among us. He promised this twice last June, once in March and once this month.

When will the minister bring forth tough new legislation to address the epidemic in our midst?

Health CareOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Cape Breton—East Richmond Nova Scotia

Liberal

David Dingwall LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, they do not know when to stop.

I would like to know where the Reform Party really stands. The hon. member for Macleod has said that he does not support tobacco legislation. He said: "I do not for one second believe that an advertising ban is the way to go". Then on February 7 he wrote to me and said that he would give me unqualified support for the new strategy for tobacco advertising.

Yesterday he said: "Reformers see the answer to reducing tobacco consumption in education, not legislation". But on June 21, 1994 he said that education campaigns were not the way to go.

Canadians and the House would like to know where the Reform Party stands on the tobacco legislation. Is it with the hon. member for Macleod, the leader of the party or the hon. member who has just spoken?

Health CareOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Keith Martin Reform Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, today the Minister of Health said: "Judge me by what I do, not by what I say". That is exactly what we are going to do.

Since the government rolled back the taxes on tobacco there has been a 30 per cent increase in consumption among youth; 10,000 young people will start to smoke every single month. That is at the feet of this member and the government.

Once again, what is this minister going to do to decrease the epidemic? For the children of Canada, what is he going to do to decrease the epidemic in our midst?

Health CareOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Cape Breton—East Richmond Nova Scotia

Liberal

David Dingwall LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we were told by the leader of the third party that he wished to reduce taxes. Now the hon. member is in favour of a tax increase.

We accept full responsibility for a comprehensive package as it relates to tobacco and we will introduce the legislation when I am ready to introduce it.

Family TrustsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

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

On October 2, in response to repeated requests from the Bloc Quebec relating to the family trust scandal, the Minister of Finance announced new rules for transferring assets out of the country. Yet the minister is still dragging his feet in tabling his bill.

Can the minister indicate to us when he intends to introduce his bill, so as to plug for once and for all this loophole through which billions of dollars have gone out of the country without a single cent of tax being paid?

Family TrustsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it was a ways and means motion, une motion des voies et moyens-in both languages-which took effect immediately, as soon as I rose to speak in the House.

Family TrustsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, there is a little bit of the reply still missing. Let us see whether he can provide it in response to a supplementary.

According to the Globe and Mail , a number of big tax firms numbering rich taxpayers among their clientele are displeased with the new guarantees required by the government.

Does the minister intend to bow to these firms of tax specialists, who are calling upon him to lighten the financial guarantees their clients will have to produce when they take assets out of the country?

Family TrustsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Editor's Note: Technical problems (sound system)

Family TrustsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

That was pretty fast!

UkraineOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Jesse Flis Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Canadians attach great importance to strengthening our socioeconomic relations with Ukraine, a growing European economy.

Can the Minister of Foreign Affairs tell the House what was accomplished last week when he led a delegation of 70 senior Canadian business leaders to Ukraine?

UkraineOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as the House knows, Canadians have established a very special and important relationship with Ukraine. In the five years since its independence, we have worked very closely with Ukraine in helping to establish basic institutions of democracy.

It is now the government's view that we have to broaden that to a new dimension of trade in economic and commercial relationships.

As a result of the meetings last week in Ukraine, where we had the largest foreign delegation ever to visit Ukraine, we were able to sign over $600 million worth of business arrangements which have established Canada as probably one of the largest investors and participants in the Ukrainian economy.

In addition to that, we signed a deal by which Air Canada will become the designated carrier for Ukraine. We inaugurated the new intergovernmental commission bringing Canadian and Ukrainian business people together to solve many of the problems of red tape and bureaucracy.

I think we have really moved that relationship to a new plateau that will substantially enrich our opportunities.

BombardierOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Werner Schmidt Reform Okanagan Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Industry regarding the $87 million loan to Bombardier.

The real question here is the government's integrity and accountability: $1.2 billion has gone to Bombardier in 15 years with no openness and no accountability to the Canadian taxpayer.

Will the Minister of Industry stop the cover-up and divulge all the repayments that Bombardier has made in the last 15 years?

BombardierOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member keeps wanting to talk about this as a loan. I have explained to him a couple of times that we are not talking about a loan but an investment which in fact will be repaid out of royalties as aircraft are sold at Canadair.

I also want to point out to the member that this entire program is not only about science and technology or research and technology. It is also about creating jobs. Yes, these are jobs in Montreal but they support jobs across Canada.

When I flew out to British Columbia last week to give the first contribution under this program to Paprican it was to create jobs in British Columbia as well as in Montreal. When I was in Alberta last July to give money to TR Labs on a repayable basis to support wireless technologies it was to create jobs in Alberta. Where are the complaints from the hon. member about those job creation efforts?

BombardierOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Werner Schmidt Reform Okanagan Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, the cover-up continues.

The government introduced legislation that was to get the highest standards of ethical conduct by public officials and lobbyists yet these guidelines are hidden in the secret vault in the Prime Minister's office.

Today we find that the president of Bombardier's aerospace group, Canadair, sits on the advisory board of Technology Partnerships Canada, the same body that granted the $87 million loan.

Can the minister please tell the House if this situation is a conflict of interest or is it not? If it is not, why not?

BombardierOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, first, I would like to thank the hon. member for his question because he gives me the opportunity to point out the important role that we think the private sector needs to play in helping this program to work well.

We put together a private sector advisory board which is helping us to review the parameters of the program in the most effective way. We are using the board to give us a foresight into the technologies we should be supporting. We are asking it to review in retrospect the allocation of funds so that it can give us advice on whether it thinks the effectiveness of the program is as great as it could be among sectors.

I will tell the member that we have been absolutely scrupulous in ensuring that in reviewing any specific application that are made through Technology Partnerships Canada that no member of that advisory council is consulted in the review of the application. This is done entirely by officials. It is based on the guidelines that were set out and made public when the program was announced. We know that the government is creating jobs not only in the immediate term, but into the next century.