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

Topics

Algerian NationalsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Henri—Westmount Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, each situation is considered on its merit. For a given country as a whole, various factors are taken into consideration. We are well aware of what is going on in each country. We also know what has happened to people after we sent them back to certain countries. We have consulted various authorities internationally as well.

I will repeat what I said. Each time we make a decision regarding a particular individual, we evaluate the potential risks they run in returning to their country. For the time being, we will continue to send people back to Algeria and continue to study each case in detail.

Blood SystemOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

John Murphy Liberal Annapolis Valley—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Health met with his provincial and territorial colleagues last week to discuss reforms to the blood system.

Justice Krever said in his interim report that our blood system was already one of the safest in the world. However, reports indicate a low level of confidence by Canadians in our system.

Can the minister tell the House what steps he plans to take to make our blood system better?

Blood SystemOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Cape Breton—East Richmond Nova Scotia

Liberal

David Dingwall LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, last week there was a meeting of federal-provincial ministers of health where the blood system and its management was the major topic of discussion.

All provinces agreed it was important that we move collectively to try to restore public confidence in the blood system. All ministers of health agreed that we do have a safe blood system but we want to make it safer. As a result over the next number of weeks we have directed our officials to come back with a plan whereby we can have a system of governance where the lines of accountability and responsibility are very clear, transparent and open. By way of a working relationship, officials are directed to do meaningful consultations with all stakeholders, not just government representatives, but consumers and various activist groups across the country.

Somalia InquiryOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Bob Ringma Reform Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, this afternoon I was stunned to learn that a government lawyer appearing in front of the Somalia commission opined that the commission had no mandate to look at the alleged cover-up of information from the Department of National Defence. The Minister of National Defence day after day and week after week has been telling us to relax and take it easy, that the Somalia commission will give us all the facts on this. What is his story today?

Somalia InquiryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the issue to which the hon. member refers involves a request by counsel for some of the parties to look at hours and hours of videotape in respect of which as I understand it production has already been made with respect to summaries of the evidence that was recorded thereon. The position taken by counsel for the department on that request is that the commission's time is better spent looking at other issues than at looking at hours and hours of videotape which may not be germane or relevant and the substance of which has already been disclosed.

I can say that the position taken by counsel is based on the premise that this is a collateral matter. May I also say my understanding is that counsel has offered to the commission that it should look at the hours and hours of videotape and decide for itself whether there is any purpose to be served in taking time to display it.

Somalia InquiryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Bob Ringma Reform Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure the public is going to be very happy with the answer from the Minister of Justice.

I will ask the Minister of National Defence again, how are you going to guarantee that the public-

Somalia InquiryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

My colleagues, all of your questions are to be directed through the Chair. Would you please rephrase your question.

Somalia InquiryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Bob Ringma Reform Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, through you to the Minister of National Defence, how will the minister guarantee to the public of Canada that the Somalia commission will get to the bottom of all of the allegations concerning General Boyle and the whole alleged cover-up of information in the Somalia affair?

Somalia InquiryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, to answer the hon. member's question, the guarantee is contained in the terms of reference for the inquiry. I would hope that he reads the terms of reference.

It is not for us to debate on the floor of the House of Commons procedural matters that appear before the commission. That is something between the commissioners and the counsel for the various people appearing, including the government. It is not for here in the House of Commons.

Railway SafetyOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Laurent Lavigne Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

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

For 10 years now, the municipality of Salaberry-de-Valleyfield has been asking the federal government to take action to protect residents from the dangers of train derailments. Even though it privatises railway companies, the government is still responsible for safety in the railway sector.

Following the fifth derailment in six years in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, what does the minister intend to do to protect residents against these freight trains in urban areas?

Railway SafetyOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the issue of hazardous cargoes on trains, ships or aircraft is closely examined by the department. In the specific area the member has mentioned where there has been concern expressed by local authorities, it is being looked at by the Department of Transport at the present time.

As the member indicated in the preamble to his question, it is a subject that goes back a fair length of time involving rerouting of lines. As soon as I have information on this subject, I will be happy to share it with him.

Railway SafetyOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Laurent Lavigne Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am sorry, but the situation has been going on for 10 years and it is dangerous in Valleyfield. When the most recent derailment occurred in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, two railroad cars could have been carrying toxic chemicals.

Is the minister waiting for a chemical spill to occur in a residential area before taking action to protect residents? These trains go by polyvalente schools and travel close to a school and to the hospital. What does the minister intend to do?

Railway SafetyOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated in my earlier response, the issue of hazardous substances carried in tank cars or in other rail cars is a matter of serious concern.

The difficulty the member has posed is that because of the nature of this country's development, rail lines quite frequently pass through inhabited and municipal areas. It is simply not possible to give the type of blanket guarantee he has requested. I can assure him however that the specific concern of this area and the possibility of any bypass or diversion will be looked at. In fact, it is currently being looked at.

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Jim Silye Reform Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, as the second most senior spokesperson in Canada, the Deputy Prime Minister has now managed to bring some dishonour to herself and to reaffirm the cynicism-

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

Colleagues, words such as "dishonour" or "dishonesty" are not acceptable in the House. I would ask the hon. member to withdraw the statement.

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Jim Silye Reform Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I will withdraw the word "dishonour" and rephrase the question.

The Deputy Prime Minister has now managed to bring into question her actions and has reaffirmed the cynicism toward self-serving politicians, all because she will not hold herself accountable for the things she says and does and her current failure to stand on principle and integrity.

Will the Deputy Prime Minister explain why she insists on defending her bait and switch political say anything, do anything campaign to get elected?

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, that certainly is not what I have done.

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Jim Silye Reform Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member continues to swim in a sea of confusion.

The Liberals have not kept their promise on page 22. It is not revenue neutral. It is not better for consumers. It does not promote provincial harmony; it promotes disharmony.

Her actions strike at the core of why politicians are at the bottom of the barrel in terms of respect. Fifty-one Reformers promised to opt out of the gold plated pension plan and we did. That is integrity. That is honour and it is standing on principle. Why will the Deputy Prime Minister not do the same thing, deliver on her promise to resign, put her seat where her mouth is and seek re-election if she is so confident she has done nothing wrong?

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member's claim that it would make more sense to resign and then have a $100,000 byelection to make a political point runs counter to the view of the people. People have an opportunity in an election to make their point. If the people of Hamilton East want to fire me in the next election, certainly that will be their right.

TradeOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Eleni Bakopanos Liberal Saint-Denis, QC

Mr. Speaker, my riding of Saint-Denis has a significant concentration of industries in the textile manufacturing sector. The recent threats by the United States to reduce imports are of grave concern to these manufacturers. My question on behalf of them is for the Minister for International Trade.

What is the use of NAFTA if the United States can change the rules by arbitrarily increasing restrictions on the import of wool suits from Canada?

TradeOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, any measure by the United States to unilaterally change the rules of NAFTA will be met with resistance and the appropriate response.

We have successfully negotiated through NAFTA an agreement relevant to wool suits. It is one which we paid the price for at the time. We are acting completely within our rights and obligations under NAFTA and I would expect the United States would as well.

In addition to that, even though we have been quite successful in moving wool suits from $5.6 million to $112 million in just five years, there still is a billion dollar trade surplus the United States has with us in terms of textiles and apparel. Therefore in addition to that, there is no cause for complaint.

Canadian NationalOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

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

The salary of CN president Paul Tellier was set by Ottawa at $350,000 annually for the years 1993-1995. Mr. Tellier also benefited from a generous mortgage loan from CN. Now, according to documents released a few days ago by CN, it appears that Mr. Tellier also received the sizeable amount of $200,000 in bonuses.

In these times of budget restrictions for CN, which eliminated over 11,000 jobs, how could the government agree, before privatization, to such generous bonuses to someone already earning a more than decent salary?

Canadian NationalOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the compensation of senior public servants and people in the private sector is not normally a matter to be discussed in the House.

The important matter which I think must be borne in mind by members on all sides of the House is to make sure that for our major corporations we get the most competent people possible.

I would suggest to the hon. member that as CN is in the process of being totally privatized, it perhaps would be inappropriate at this point for us to comment upon his salary as president of a private corporation.

FisheriesOral Question Period

April 29th, 1996 / 2:55 p.m.

Reform

John Cummins Reform Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, the fisheries minister's west coast plan will take 50 per cent of the fleet away from B.C. fishermen. At the same time the Nisga'a treaty and other commercial sales agreements could transfer as much as 50 per cent of the commercial catch to natives.

How can the minister possibly justify a 50 per cent reduction in the fleet, one that fishermen will pay dearly for, and at the very same time a 50 per cent reallocation of the commercial catch to native fisheries?

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Fred Mifflin LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, first of all the hon. member has some of his facts wrong.

In the sense of the commercial fishery and the 50 per cent reduction, we may not be able to achieve that in the short term. The maximum we could achieve is around 40 per cent through a series of licensing restrictions, licence stacking and voluntary buy back.

From the round table discussion which stemmed from the report, my understanding is that the seiners wanted it around 30 per cent, the gill net representatives wanted it between 30 and 35 per cent and the trawlers wanted it between 25 and 50 per cent. What we are doing in this case is we are representing essentially what the industry has asked for.

With respect to the Nisga'a the hon. member is totally wrong. The maximum number involved is around 25 per cent. This is done with the agreement of most of the parties involved. The Nisga'a have been negotiating for over 100 years and we have finally come to an agreement. I do not think it is right for the hon. member to try to throw off this very honourable agreement in principle on the basis of information which is not based on fact.