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House of Commons Hansard #98 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was guidelines.

Topics

The Merchant NavyOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Jean H. Leroux Bloc Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Secretary of State for Veterans.

The members of the Merchant Marine who took part in Canada's war effort have long complained that National Defence and Veterans Affairs do not consider their concerns to be a priority. They are calling for the benefits available to other veterans to be available to them as well, without any discrimination.

Can the minister indicate what his government's position is on this matter, and will he commit to providing Merchant Marine veterans with the same benefits as those provided to military veterans?

The Merchant NavyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSecretary of State (Veterans)(Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

Mr. Speaker, since 1992 Merchant Navy veterans have been considered full status veterans and they receive every pension and anything that is available to any other veteran in this country. They are eligible for all the benefits that any veteran in Canada is eligible for.

The Merchant NavyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Jean H. Leroux Bloc Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, along with other members of this House, I had the honour of participating in a ceremony remembering them. Forty-two per cent of the members of the Merchant Navy who lost their lives in the second world war came from Quebec. There is a reason for the Merchant Navy veterans to be meeting. They are excluded from a number of the provisions of the war-related benefits act.

Does the minister commit to holding consultations with the coalition of Merchant Navy veterans before tabling his bill to modify the provisions currently in effect?

The Merchant NavyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSecretary of State (Veterans)(Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

Mr. Speaker, there are approximately 3,000 Merchant Navy veterans in Canada. That figure is from the coalition. Over 2,000 of these veterans receive benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

I ask my hon. colleague or any other member of the House who knows of any veteran, including a Merchant Navy veteran, who is not receiving a benefit because of anything in the legislation to contact me or the Department of Veterans Affairs. They are eligible for any benefit that any veteran is eligible for in this country.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have a question with no preamble for the Secretary of State for Training and Youth. Has she seen these ethical guidelines and, if so, when?

EthicsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Western Arctic Northwest Territories

Liberal

Ethel Blondin-Andrew LiberalSecretary of State (Training and Youth)

Mr. Speaker, last week I had the opportunity to put the information before the House. I have done so.

I have been villainized, I have been criticized, I have been damaged politically by these people wrongfully. The facts were misrepresented.

I tabled all the information that they asked for. They have since moved the goal post. They are not satisfied. This is a party bereft of ideas. This is a party that has nothing-

EthicsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ethel Blondin-Andrew Liberal Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, quite clearly this is a party that is coming apart at the seams. It has absolutely nothing to take to the public. It is villainizing me. It is trying to build a reputation on my back. I will not stand for it any more.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, we are not moving the goal post; they have moved the guidelines.

Without trying to villainize her at all, I have one question for the junior minister. Has she seen the guidelines and when?

EthicsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the secretary of state had a chance to come to the House of Commons last week. As an hon. member of this House, she gave an explanation that was accepted by the House of Commons.

They can do that type of thing. I remember there was a party whose members said they were going to change the mentality of the House of Commons, and they are loving being in the dirt at that level.

The Canada Labour CodeOral Question Period

November 6th, 1996 / 2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

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

On the one hand, under Quebec law, pregnant workers may use the provisions respecting preventative withdrawal from work, with compensation, if their work presents a risk to themselves or to the foetus. Similar provisions exist in several other Canadian provinces. On the other hand, those subject to the Canada Labour Code do not enjoy the right to preventative withdrawal.

Will the minister admit that the fact that the Canada Labour Code provides for neither reassignment nor preventative withdrawal with compensation penalizes pregnant or breastfeeding workers in Quebec and Canada?

The Canada Labour CodeOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Léonard Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano LiberalMinister of Labour and Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, we are currently reviewing part II of the Canada Labour Code, which deals with the matter raised by the hon. member.

A group representing employers and unions, together with officials from the Department of Labour program, has already reached a consensus on 90 per cent of the proposed changes. We are now working on the remaining 10 per cent.

On Monday, I instructed my officials to work on a consensus on this matter with that group so that, hopefully early in the new year, we can submit the next set of changes to the Canada Labour Code, concerning health and safety as proposed by the hon. member.

The Canada Labour CodeOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, on a biographical note, I would like to remind the minister that, in 1993, he voted for an amendment regarding preventative withdrawal tabled by the Bloc Quebecois, and I ask him this: Will he undertake to make the necessary changes to the Canada Labour Code so that agreements can be entered into with the provincial governments, that would include compensation plans for the reassignment or preventative withdrawal of pregnant or breastfeeding workers, where such plans exist?

The Canada Labour CodeOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Léonard Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano LiberalMinister of Labour and Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, as I just said, we are reviewing the amendments. I can assure my hon. colleague that we are looking at this very seriously and we intend to make changes as soon as possible.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Liberal Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, QC

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

On October 31, following the recent Canada-U.S. agreement on softwood lumber, lumber companies in Quebec and Canada received a letter from the Canadian government indicating their market quotas.

Can the minister explain how these quotas were calculated and say if steps were taken to protect those companies that have already exceeded their quotas?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the members of the House that first of all we responded in this agreement with the United States at the request of the industry. The industry was, of course, in the setting of the quotas consulted right throughout the way. It established criteria, forwarded its suggestions to us and by and large that is what we followed.

By and large the setting of the quota is based on past experience. Each of the companies was allowed to pick its best 12 month period with a two and a half year timeframe, and that is the information they provided for us and that was the basis for our calculating what they should be getting in the way of quota.

I should point out that quota means free quota because they can still export as much as they want but it means that there are fees that have to be paid over and above that quota.

There are some companies, as the hon. member has pointed out in his question, that have exceeded their allocation. A lot of them have done this of course in full knowledge about what their past experience has been but have elected to rush the border and sell all in the early phases of this program, which is unfortunate if they are now facing a difficulty in terms of quota.

We have however, provided two things-

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Elk Island.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Ken Epp Reform Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, I want the record to show that I and the members of the Reform Party find no pleasure at all in making these accusations.

I also want the record to show very clearly that we are here to ferret out the facts and we want to know if these guidelines exist. Today there is more than adequate doubt that they exist. Will any minister who has seen the guidelines please stand up?

EthicsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the member is up every day and he is not able to table any facts or make any arguments. They are arguing about how I deal with my ministers. They should have the facts and the guts to make accusations, not to work only with innuendoes like that. If they want to make accusations they can get out of the House and make accusations and face the consequences.

If the member has something concrete, put it to the House and we will deal with it. We are not playing with innuendoes.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Ken Epp Reform Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has put it right on the line. We do have the courage to demand the facts and we are not going to let up until we have tabled in this House un-whited documents that show all the facts.

I will personally be delighted if the minister is totally exonerated, but until those missing blanks are filled in we will not let it rest. Will they do that?

EthicsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

Colleagues, on the words we are using, I have not heard any accusations but now "exoneration". Please, my colleagues, be very judicious in your choice of words. I am going to permit the Prime Minister to answer.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have been a member of this House for quite a long time. I arrived here in 1963. It is a tradition in this House that when an honourable member of the House gets up to table the facts, there is an acceptance by the people that those are the facts until they can prove the contrary.

The secretary of state rose and explained her case in front of the nation, and they carry on the innuendoes with no facts.

He should do his homework, find the facts and come back, not operate on innuendoes. This is not the dignity in this House that we used to have in the old days.

Air TransportationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

André Caron Bloc Jonquière, QC

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

Since Canadian airlines' restructuring plan was announced last Friday, divisions have appeared within the Canadian government. On the one hand, the Minister of Industry was willing to consider a request for financial assistance from Canadian; on the other hand, the Minister of Transport reiterated yesterday that his government would not invest another penny in Canadian.

Since the federal government has already done more than its share for Canadian, notably by guaranteeing a $120 million loan, buying back three Airbus planes for $150 million and awarding it the lucrative Asian market, can the Minister guarantee us today he has no intention of injecting more tax dollars into a company that has lost over $1.3 billion in the past eight years?

Air TransportationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the member talks about differences of opinion between ministers and getting quotes by two ministers who said exactly the same thing.

I would point out to the member that the company we are talking about, Canadian airlines, has a major problem of restructuring which it faces and this will require substantial changes to its operations. It is a private company and therefore must go out and, like other private companies, attempt to deal with its problems on its own.

From the government's point of view, we wish to encourage competition. Many of the steps we have taken since becoming government have shown that. We believe the increase in air traffic that has resulted since we have taken office does show that we have succeeded in this regard.

Obviously we are particularly interested in this major company, one of our major carriers internationally as well as domestically, but at the present time we have received no request for any assistance from either the company or from the unions involved as well.

Air TransportationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

André Caron Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, I note that the minister gave no guarantee.

But could the minister at least guarantee us that Ottawa will not amend its foreign investment regulations to allow U.S. interests to take over Canadian airlines, which is less and less Canadian?