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House of Commons Hansard #101 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was mission.

Topics

TaxationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Jim Gouk Reform Kootenay West—Revelstoke, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is very interesting that the parliamentary secretary talks about 700 new jobs at Canadian when 16,000 are in jeopardy through its policies.

This government supported free trade with the U.S.A. and open skies with American airline companies, both of which have increased competition against Canadian companies. Airport and air navigation service deficits are now nearing full elimination.

Given the government's agenda to open the borders to American competition and the removal of many aviation oriented expenses to the government, can the minister advise this House why he continues to allow aviation companies to be charged an unfair level of special taxes, taxes that are destroying Canadian Airlines and putting 16,000 jobs at risk?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Hamilton West Ontario

Liberal

Stan Keyes LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is asking a question that deals with two subject matters.

Quite frankly, when he talks about 16,000 jobs being at risk, this has to do with an airline called Canadian that is trying to restructure its organization, trying to make a viable airline of itself.

I am surprised by the remarks from the Reform Party because it is the Reform Party itself, the member for Calgary Centre who said that there is no viability in making cash flow from the government to Canadian Airlines. That is not what Canadian Airlines is asking for. It is not asking for anything more than the time it needs to restructure its organization in order to save those 16,500 jobs.

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

François Langlois Bloc Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the solicitor general.

Last November 13, Marcel Audet, an RCMP informant, revealed that he had arranged, on behalf of the RCMP, to buy cases of machine guns, explosives, grenades and even rocket launchers with arms traffickers associated with the Akwesasne reserve.

Since it is worrisome, to say the least, to know that an individual can purchase rocket launchers in Canada, can the minister confirm whether the Akwesasne reserve is still an important point of entry for arms traffic and can he tell us what his services have done to stop these illegal activities?

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Question Period

2:40 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 am unable to give such a confirmation. The problem is not confined to one location, but police forces, both federal and provincial, are working jointly to tackle this situation. They are making extraordinary efforts to limit this situation.

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

François Langlois Bloc Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have a supplementary.

Still according to Marcel Audet, "senior officials" in the RCMP put a stop to his mission and blocked the arrest of kingpins in the trafficking network.

Can the minister explain to us why the RCMP did not arrest such dangerous traffickers when it was possible to do so?

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Question Period

2:40 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 do not agree with the premise of my hon. friend's question. I cannot confirm these allegations, but I can add that Mr. Audet's complaints are subject to investigation by the RCMP's Public Complaints Commission, and I think that we should wait for the result of that investigation.

TradeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Bill Graham Liberal Rosedale, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister for International Trade.

Today we will be signing a free trade agreement with Chile in Ottawa. When we look at the profile of trade and investment between Canada and Chile, it looks pretty positive already. Could the minister please tell the House what additional advantages we will be achieving from this agreement?

TradeOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, this morning President Frei of Chile and our Prime Minister signed a protocol on a free trade agreement that will bring about tremendous new momentum in terms of trade and investment between our two countries. That will lead to jobs and economic growth for both Chile and Canada.

Immediately, Canadian exporters will no longer face an 11 per cent duty when their goods and services go over the border. This will give them a considerable cost advantage. More secure investment can now be obtained in Chile for Canadians.

All of this will be in advance of when Chile comes into the NAFTA, giving Canada a head start on our friends in the United States who hopefully will now come to the table to bring Chile into the NAFTA and complete the arrangement the Prime Minister was a part of just four years ago. This will lead to hemispheric free trade and again, more jobs and economic productivity.

Krever InquiryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, Liberals have stalled, blocked and gagged the Krever inquiry so that families will not find out the reasons for tainted blood. Their lawyers say that cabinet secrecy prevents the release of vital documents to Krever in the interest of national security.

What possible public interest is this weak health minister protecting?

Krever InquiryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Cape Breton—East Richmond Nova Scotia

Liberal

David Dingwall LiberalMinister of Health

None, Mr. Speaker.

Krever InquiryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, these secret cabinet documents bracket the time when the Liberals were taken out of government by the Tories. It looks very much like health scientists had told cabinet far more than previously had been thought.

Which administration is at fault: the Liberals under the current Prime Minister or the Tories under Mulroney?

Krever InquiryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Cape Breton—East Richmond Nova Scotia

Liberal

David Dingwall LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member opposite is obviously reading a lot of spy novels and has a collection of conspiracies which he wishes to put forward from time to time.

The hon. member ought to be aware the decision was reached not by Health Canada but by the Privy Council Office that certain information would not be forthcoming. That goes back well before we became part of this particular government.

If the hon. member has a specific question on a specific point in terms of the evidence act or anything connected thereto, he should pose that question, put it in writing, and I am certain the clerk of the Privy Council will provide all of the necessary information.

Krever InquiryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

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

Last week we learned that the government has once again refused to provide documents vital to the needs of the Krever inquiry. These documents, which date back to 1984, could provide details to the commissioners on the circumstances underlying the crisis.

Would the minister tell us why the government is refusing to provide the Krever commission with the documents requested of it?

Krever InquiryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Cape Breton—East Richmond Nova Scotia

Liberal

David Dingwall LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I think we ought to be clear here. This government has provided literally hundreds and hundreds of documents to the Krever inquiry. Numerous individuals from various departments have provided testimony under oath to the Krever inquiry.

I believe the documents in question go back to 1984-85. If there are specific concerns or requests that the hon. member has, as I indicated in my previous answer, the clerk of the Privy Council, where the decision has been made-it was not by the Minister of Health-will provide the necessary information to the hon. member.

Krever InquiryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, would the minister agree that it is up to Mr. Justice Krever and not the minister to decide whether these documents are useful? Will the minister agree to leave the decision up to Mr. Justice Krever and to provide him with what he has asked for?

Krever InquiryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Cape Breton—East Richmond Nova Scotia

Liberal

David Dingwall LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I certainly disagree with the premise of the hon. member's question.

First and foremost, the Government of Canada has provided a great deal of information. All of the information that I have within my purview I believe has been provided. However, if there is a specific request, the decision has been made by the clerk of the Privy Council and that is where the question should be posed. That is where the written question should be posed. I am sure the clerk will provide the information to the hon. member.

TaxationOral Question Period

November 18th, 1996 / 2:50 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Reform Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, last week it was full page newspaper ads. Tomorrow, the premiers of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick will be in Toronto basically to do an infomercial for the harmonized GST. Stay tuned while they claim that it will slice and dice and leave you with abs of steel and even grow hair. They can spin it any way they want but businesses and consumers in Atlantic Canada have very serious concerns about the harmonized GST.

My question is for the finance minister. Is this infomercial and all this propaganda all that Canadians can expect for their billion dollars?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it is very clear that underlying the hon. member's question is a deep feeling of resentment that Atlantic Canada is getting its act together.

What is very clear is that the hon. member simply cannot stand to see those provincial governments on behalf of their populations in co-operation with the federal government providing a base for sound taxation and competitiveness of their small and medium size businesses.

I would have thought that the hon. member, in support of Atlantic Canadians, would have stood up here and congratulated those provincial governments because what they are doing is saying they do not want dependence. What they really want to do is to be able to govern for the benefit of their own populations.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Reform Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, there is a lot of resentment out there but it comes from all the other provinces that are footing the bill for the billion dollar payoff to Atlantic Canada, especially to the premiers.

The Halifax chamber of commerce is also resentful. So is the Retail Council of Canada and the Canadian Real Estate Association. They all have grave concerns with this deal. It is complicated, confusing and a killer of jobs.

Even those groups who before were supportive of the harmonization deal now have grave reservations about this particular brand of snake oil. Will the minister scrap it and go back to the drawing board?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member ought to know, the fact is that we have told the retail council that we will sit down and work out any administrative glitches. In fact, we are in the process of doing that.

That again is not what the hon. member is really driving at. What he stood up and said was why should Atlantic Canada be able to benefit when the rest of the country does not in this particular deal. The fact is that Atlantic Canadians did not stand up and complain when the minister of energy dealt with the tarsands in Alberta. Atlantic Canada did not stand up and complain when Ontario was provided with stabilization payments.

What we are really dealing with here is a rump of a party that refuses to take a pan-Canadian view of what the nation is all about.

Infrastructure ProgramOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Liberal Davenport, ON

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

In view of the recently announced unemployment rate of 10 per cent, can the President of the Treasury Board inform this House whether the government intends to launch a new infrastructure program this winter?

Infrastructure ProgramOral 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 unemployment rate at 10 per cent is too high, but I think we should remember that since we have come into office we have helped to create about 700,000 jobs. The unemployment rate has decreased from 11.4 per cent to the present 10 per cent.

The best way in which a government can help to decrease that unemployment rate is obviously by helping to decrease interest rates. We now have the lowest interest rates in 30 years which of course helps investment and creates jobs.

The infrastructure program has created jobs, probably more than 110,000. We are still in the process of considering the pros and cons and the decision should be made within a few weeks.

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Philippe Paré Bloc Louis-Hébert, QC

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

This coming November 23 to 25, the 18 heads of state who are members of APEC, the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation Forum, will be meeting in Manila, the Philippines. José Ramos Horta, Nobel Peace Prize winner and human rights activist in East Timor, has been denied access to the Philippines at the time of the summit, however.

Does Canada intend to make protests to the government of the Philippines for reversal of this decision and for José Ramos Horta to be allowed onto its territory?

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the decision as to who is allowed into the Philippines is one to be taken by the Government of the Philippines alone.

During the meeting of the Asia-Pacific group, I will certainly be meeting on a number of occasions with other ministers of foreign affairs to discuss human rights issues in that region of the Asia-Pacific. As I have already said, it is very important to have direct and constructive commitments with other countries. This is, unfortunately, a decision for the Government of the Philippines and there is nothing Canada can do about it.

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Philippe Paré Bloc Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, does the minister not acknowledge that such treatment of a Nobel Peace Prize Winner is truly unacceptable, and that Canada ought to react vigorously?