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House of Commons Hansard #28 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was federal.

Topics

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Jim Silye Reform Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I guess the short version of that answer is he is now enlightened.

Not all the Atlantic provinces have jumped on the harmonization band wagon. The MLAs of Prince Edward Island are seeking further input because, to quote one, "a blended levy would broaden the tax base moving into areas not currently taxed by the PST such as electricity, heating oil, drugs, some clothing and footwear, equipment for the physically challenged and textbooks".

Is this what the finance minister wants to do, tax the physically challenged?

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, if one takes a look at the GST one will see there is an extensive line of rebates to take care of physically disadvantaged people or lower income people. This is a great advantage that exists within the GST that does not exist within the PST.

Mr. Speaker-

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Jim Silye Reform Calgary Centre, AB

Do not choke on your own words.

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Martin Liberal LaSalle—Émard, QC

It was a rough trip to Thailand.

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

An hon. member

Oh, oh.

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Beaver River, AB

What happened in China?

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Martin Liberal LaSalle—Émard, QC

I am sorry, Jim. This is not working out well for either one of us.

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Kilger)

Just stay tuned. We may come back to it some day.

Coast GuardOral Question Period

April 18th, 1996 / 2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Bernier Bloc Gaspé, QC

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

Those concerned continue to oppose the coast guard's new fee structure. One of the major points raised by a majority of stakeholders is that, if the minister goes ahead without measuring the impact of the new fee structure, our marine sector will become less competitive vis-à-vis the U.S.

Does the Deputy Prime Minister admit that the coast guard's new service fee structure will not apply to ships using the St. Lawrence Seaway to deliver their cargoes to American ports on the Great Lakes?

Coast GuardOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra B.C.

Liberal

Ted McWhinney LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the actions of the ministry are based on very careful consultation with the industry, based on the principle of user pay, user say.

I should, however, remind the House and the hon. member that this matter is now the subject of an inquiry by a parliamentary committee which is currently sitting. It will complete its very extensive hearing of witnesses from all parts of the country this afternoon and will write a report this evening.

The minister has engaged himself to read the report, to wait on it before making decisions. It would be a lack of conformity to the comity that the government owes to this House and its parliamentary committees to attempt to anticipate the report. Therefore, further statements should wait until the minister has read the report.

Coast GuardOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Bernier Bloc Gaspé, QC

Mr. Speaker, allow me to put a second question to the Deputy Prime Minister, as the commissioner himself continues to express his views on this matter.

Since fees will be charged to the ships going to Canadian ports but not to those bound for the U.S., does the Deputy Prime Minister recognize that the new fee structure threatens to divert marine traffic to U.S. ports?

Coast GuardOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra B.C.

Liberal

Ted McWhinney LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I will repeat more succinctly what I have just said. The question is out of order, the matter being before a parliamentary committee which is to report and the minister must properly wait on that.

However, the evidence given to the committee, I would suggest, is at variance with the facts as presented by the hon. member.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

The Freshwater Institute in Winnipeg and the Canadian Centre for Inland Waters in Burlington are facing severe budget cuts, threatening one of Canada's greatest assets, namely fresh water.

Can the minister commit to maintaining the 1993-94 funding levels of these two internationally renowned institutions for fresh water science?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra B.C.

Liberal

Ted McWhinney LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Davenport for his question.

Members of the House will know the distinction the hon. member has earned by his years of service.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ted McWhinney Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

No one has spoken more eloquently before the House and in international arenas in support of principles of environmental protection and conservation of scarce natural resources.

The hon. member will understand that the government is committed as a top priority to reducing the deficit, to balancing the budget. Our treasurer has brought in a magnificent budget that has commanded general support. This has involved, however, in the interests of achieving that, across the board economies in all departments imposed.

Consistent with this-

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Kilger)

With the greatest of respect, the hon. member for Skeena.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Mike Scott Reform Skeena, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is also for the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

The Government of Canada has provided hundreds of millions of dollars to the east coast fishery through a variety of programs for the last decade.

Recently the minister announced an $80 million licence buy-back in British Columbia. He is aware that virtually all of this money was contributed by west coast fishermen through licence fee increases they have had to pay for the past 25 years.

Can the minister of fisheries explain the disparity of treatment between the east and west coast fishing industries by his department where billions of dollars are dedicated to the east coast but only $80 million is dedicated to the west coast, which is really only a return of fishermen's contributions in the first place?

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra B.C.

Liberal

Ted McWhinney LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the situations on the east coast and the west coast are not cognate. On the east coast we face the disappearance of an industry and the loss of 40,000 jobs. The situation on the west coast is one that involves a crisis in the year 1996 with the expectation that the industry will get back to better times in 1997 and 1998.

The measures taken by the government have been taken with the advice of a round table of 70 people representing all segments of the industry. We believe they are enough to carry us through this difficult time.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Mike Scott Reform Skeena, BC

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the minister has tried to determine how many jobs on the west coast will be lost as a result of his plan.

There is a delegation of people here from British Columbia today representing half a million British Columbians who are very concerned about their future and the future of their communities in the wake of the minister's plan. These people participated in these round table discussions and state unequivocally that their recommendations in that process were ignored.

Can the minister explain how it is that although he claims wide consultations with all the stakeholders, there is a delegation representing half a million British Columbians here today demanding that he withdraw this plan? Will he listen to them and do so?

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra B.C.

Liberal

Ted McWhinney LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to assure the hon. member that I have met with this delegation today on behalf of the minister. I believe, after a number of years of experience outside Parliament, that I am good at listening to representations.

The government is very concerned with the fate of the industry on the west coast. Urgent measures are being taken to meet the situation in 1996. The plan put into operation, about which we are still receiving advice and looking for advice, will carry us to the better times in 1997 and 1998.

Tran Trieu QuanOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Philippe Paré Bloc Louis-Hébert, QC

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

Tran Trieu Quan, a Canadian citizen, is still rotting in a Vietnamese prison. We learned this morning that the Office of the Prime Minister knew the whereabouts of Paul Morgan. Moreover, Excel Cotton, a company owned by Mr. Morgan, submitted its financial statements to Canada's Department of Industry last January.

Why is it that, while both the current Minister of Foreign Affairs and his predecessor claim to have been looking into this matter for more than a year, the federal government hid from Mr. Quan's family and the Vietnamese authorities the fact that they knew where Mr. Morgan was?

Tran Trieu QuanOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the government is hiding nothing. All the information we had was shared with the lawyers of the family, the family itself and with the respective authorities.

This is a matter of very serious consequence. I have watched with some dismay the statements of the hon. member who rather than trying to provide a solution simply tries to provoke more misrepresentation and misinformation.

If we are going to find a solution to this problem we should be working together, not trying to provoke the kind of uninformed reaction the hon. member is promoting.

Tran Trieu QuanOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Philippe Paré Bloc Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Foreign Affairs is apparently about to announce the appointment of a special advisor to deal with cases such as that of Mr. Quan. But his colleague, the President of the Treasury Board, stated yesterday that there was nothing more that the federal government could do to resolve this matter.

How credible are the minister's alleged initiatives, given that his remarks are contradicted by his own colleague's statements and that the government keeps developing trade relations with Vietnam without demanding that human rights be respected, as they should be in Mr. Quan's case?

Tran Trieu QuanOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, in any one year some four to five million Canadians travel abroad in a wide variety of circumstances. In most cases when they need assistance it is provided through the consular services of the government. From time to time there are special or difficult cases where people get entrapped in local laws, requirements and regulations.

For that reason I am announcing today that we have set up a special adviser on consular matters who will take on the responsibility for dealing with the kinds of cases on an active-proactive basis such as the Quan case or the Spencer-Lamont case so that we can provide the full attention of government. That as much as anything else demonstrates our real commitment to ensure the full protection of the rights of Canadian citizens when they go abroad.