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House of Commons Hansard #48 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebec.

Topics

ReferendumsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Liberal Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

These words, of such truth that they could have come from Sir Wilfrid Laurier or Pierre Trudeau, were spoken on July 1, 1988 by then Secretary of State, the Hon. Lucien Bouchard.

ReferendumsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

ReferendumsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, might we remind this former university professor that these words predate the failure of the Meech Lake accord, which he may recall?

Does the Prime Minister realize that the deeper his reflections, the deeper he plunges the country into a constitutional impasse and the better the conditions he sets for a confrontation between Quebec and the rest of Canada?

ReferendumsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, what the Government of Canada is after in this matter is to ensure that, under all circumstances no matter how difficult, the rights of citizens are respected and negotiations are always held by mutual consent under the protection of the legal order.

Democracy is indissociable from the legal order. What we want is to ensure that, if ever the option of the opposition were to win out, we would not find ourselves in a situation where there would be a legal vacuum. That would be very dangerous for both the people of Quebec and the other citizens of Canada.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

John Cummins Reform Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I had a call from the fishermen occupying the DFO offices in downtown Vancouver. They are outraged that the minister has broken another promise.

On May 9 the minister said that his plan would not be used to take fish away from the commercial fleet, would not be used to reallocate fish. Then yesterday fishermen received a letter from the minister reneging on that commitment.

First the minister flip-flopped on conservation, now he flip-flops on allocation. When will the minister admit that his plan will not work and dump it?

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Fred Mifflin LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the allocations letter which was sent to fishermen was in response to meetings held in Vancouver two weeks ago at which we met with eight groups.

If there was any commonality among these groups it was that there should be a further indication and reaffirmation of the allocations policy for the commercial salmon fishery this year.

There has been no flip-flop. This allocations policy letter went out under my signature. My understanding from the fishermen I have heard from is that the allocations letter does what it was intended to do, which was give greater confidence to the fishermen of the allocation of commercial salmon they will have this year.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

John Cummins Reform Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister would do well to read his own press releases. Then he would know what flip-flop is about.

The minister's newly appointed adviser described the minister's plan as a cold shower, a plan where everything happens at once, a plan where fishermen are forced to make decisions in the face of uncertainty. As the minister's adviser pointed out, this includes uncertainty about the allocation question.

Will the minister admit that fishermen cannot make informed decisions about his plan by his May 24 deadline?

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Fred Mifflin LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has agreed with me that the commercial salmon situation and the condition of the salmon stocks in British Columbia are desperate.

The capacity to catch salmon is overheated. I understand that when a situation is overheated, a cold shower is often quite useful.

The description of the cold shower by Dr. Pearse was meant in a positive sense. I mentioned to the hon. member a couple of days ago that Dr. Pearse is very much in support of this plan. Contrary to the words of the hon. member, Dr. Pearse is confident, as are most members of the House, that the plan will work.

TradeOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Beryl Gaffney Liberal Nepean, ON

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

The minister is meeting today with the just introduced leaders of the Central American countries. Discussions will focus on economic co-operation, sustainable development and the promotion of civil rights.

Our countries have achieved great gains in the last few years. Could the minister tell the House how CIDA is collaborating with the Central American region in order to consolidate those gains?

TradeOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the very historic meeting which the Prime Minister hosted today with the Central American presidents is another step in keeping the red book promise to expand into the western hemisphere the influence, opportunity and activity of this country.

The discussion today dealt with how we can use our resources through CIDA to helping environmental sustainable development and the promotion of democratic rights.

It is another example of how we can use the benefits we have as Canadians who live in one of the most open, tolerant, democratic countries and share those benefits with other people who are trying to achieve the same kind of great society we have.

Persons With DisabilitiesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Bloc Laval Centre, QC

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

Two months ago the minister agreed to re-examine taxation provisions covering people with disabilities. Nothing has yet been announced. However, according to eligibility criteria for the tax credit, persons who are unable to cook, but able to feed themselves with difficulty are not entitled to a tax credit.

When does the Minister of Finance intend reviewing these criteria and all tax matters applying to people with a handicap?

Persons With DisabilitiesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, what we said in the budget was that we intended to set up a task force to look into this very relevant and important question. I congratulate the member for raising it.

It is certainly our intention, and we are now looking at parameters to ensure our study is properly targeted.

Persons With DisabilitiesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Bloc Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to business taxes, the minister is quick to announce the establishment of a committee where he carefully invites those he considers primarily interested. Why does he not accord the same treatment to people with disabilities?

Persons With DisabilitiesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as far as business is concerned, not only did we set up a commission this year to look at all the facts, but, in our first three budgets, we took very stringent measures regarding an increase in taxes for major corporations, an increase in taxes on banks and the abolition of the $100,000 capital gains exemption.

On the whole subject of corporate taxes, not only did we set up a commission, but we acted immediately.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Leon Benoit Reform Vegreville, AB

Mr. Speaker, the government is robbing prairie grain farmers of 30 per cent of the price of wheat and barley by refusing to end the wheat board monopoly on grain marketing.

On November 20, 1995 the Prime Minister promised farmers a plebiscite on the future of the wheat board monopoly. In the last election campaign the agriculture minister also promised farmers a plebiscite.

Did the minister have any intention of keeping his promise? Was he prevented from doing so by an act of God or was this whole thing just another hollow Liberal promise to get elected?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Regina—Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman's outraged indignation hardly sells well before an audience that knows the details of this issue.

The hon. gentleman should know what were the comments made during the 1993 election campaign with respect to a plebiscite. Those comments specifically said that the government would not consider adjusting the mandate of the Canadian Wheat Board in any fundamental way without first consulting producers by way of a plebiscite. Obviously that is a commitment that we intend to honour.

At the time that the comment was made the previous government was in the process of amending the jurisdiction of the Canadian Wheat Board without the legal authority to do it. This government honoured the law and I would advise the hon. gentleman to honour the law as well.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Leon Benoit Reform Vegreville, AB

Mr. Speaker, how long does this minister plan to consult? Already a commissioner has resigned from the wheat board in disgust because of the way barley is being handled by the board. He said that there is a very narrow fringe that rejects outright any compromise on this issue, a very narrow fringe of which the government is a part.

When will the minister catch up with farmers who know that the monopoly power of the wheat board is hurting their interests,

abandon this fringe position and hold a plebiscite on ending the monopoly of wheat board marketing?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Regina—Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, careful reading of the quotation from the former commissioner of the Canadian Wheat Board will show that he was referring to the other side of the argument, not the side of the argument to which the hon. gentleman refers.

On the occasion of the resignation of that former commissioner of the Canadian Wheat Board, he went out of his way to indicate that he had a concern about the process for barley pricing. He also said the Canadian Wheat Board does a commendable job of marketing and does not deserve the abuse that people like this member hand out gratuitously without any respect for what the system ought to be.

Experience CanadaOral Question Period

May 16th, 1996 / 3 p.m.

Liberal

Gar Knutson Liberal Elgin—Norfolk, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Human Resources Development.

Recently an initiative called Experience Canada, a Canada-wide youth development and cultural exchange program, was attacked by a Quebec critic. He has cited this program as a front for the government to push Canadian unity.

Could the Minister of Human Resources Development explain the purpose of Experience Canada and confirm what this program represents for youth across Canada?

Experience CanadaOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, in asking a question about Experience Canada, the hon. member is demonstrating his commitment and the government's commitment to supporting youth in the country by providing them with opportunities.

This is a unique experience which has been put together by the private sector. There will be $21 million going into the program, more than half of it from the private sector. Young Canadians from all provinces and the territories will be able to become involved in an exchange of visits.

In addition to learning about the country, they will be getting job experience which will look very good on their CVs as they seek employment in the years to come.

The only sad note in all of this is that we will be handling about 1,500 young people in this program and we could certainly use many more millions of dollars because the take-up of the program has been absolutely fantastic. A lot of young Canadians are wishing to experience Canada.

Experience CanadaOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

We will proceed with the usual Thursday question and then I will entertain two questions of privilege, one from the hon. member for Mississauga South and another question of privilege from the hon. member for Laval East.

Business Of The HouseOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, what is on the legislative agenda in the next sitting days?

Business Of The HouseOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Fundy Royal New Brunswick

Liberal

Paul Zed LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, in order to assist the House, I will outline the business the government will place before it for the remainder of this month.

Tomorrow we will continue with Bill C-20, followed by Bill C-4, the Standards Council Act amendments, and Bill C-5, respecting bankruptcy.

When the House returns on May 27, and on Wednesday, May 19 and Friday, May 31 it will turn to Bill C-31, the budget implementation legislation. This will be followed by consideration at second reading of the income tax legislation based on the ways and means motion concurred in yesterday.

We will then return, if necessary, to Bill C-20, Bill C-4 and Bill C-5. If there is time we will call Bill C-23, respecting nuclear safety, and Bill C-24, amendments to the Tobacco Products Act.

Tuesday, May 28 and Thursday, May 30 shall be allotted days. In order to assist the Table, I ask my friend, the hon. Minister of Finance, to confirm their designation.

Business Of The HouseOral Question Period

3 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I confirm.

PrivilegeOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of privilege relating to the subject of interfering with members.

I refer to Beauchesne's sixth edition, citation 92:

A valid claim of privilege in respect to interference with a member must relate to the member's parliamentary duties and not to the work the member does in relation to that member's constituency.

This point of privilege relates to my private member's bill, Bill C-337, which proposes health warning labels on containers of alcoholic beverages, which passed second reading in the House on

December 7, 1995, was reinstated as Bill C-222 after prorogation on March 5 and was referred to the Standing Committee on Health. Accordingly, I believe my point of privilege satisfies section 92.

I further refer Mr. Speaker to Beauchesne's section 93:

It is generally accepted that any threat, or attempt to influence the vote of, or actions of a member, is breach of privilege.

I have evidence that would appear to violate the provisions of section 93 with regard to Bill C-222. First, during the consideration of the bill the representatives of the alcohol beverage industry circulated two customized pieces of literature and other formal communications to all members of Parliament urging them to reject Bill C-222.

Second, on or about Tuesday, May 14 certain members of Parliament were each sent a baseball and tickets to a baseball game and a communication from the alcohol industry relating to its position on Bill C-222.

The third and most important point, the alcohol lobby spokespersons in their literature and other written communications and in committee testimony on this bill stated that if the government mandates health warning labels to be placed on their containers, the money spent on responsible use programs, advertising and educational programs, some of which are cost shared by the government, will be reduced or eliminated to recover the costs of mandating labels.

This appears to pose a threat or adverse consequence directly to Health Canada and therefore to the minister of health, and therefore attempts to affect their position regarding Bill C-222.

I believe these examples violate section 93 of Beauchesne's sixth edition and therefore violate my rights and possibly the rights of many other members of the House. I am prepared to provide the Chair or to table with the House all relevant documents in my possession if so ordered.

It would appear the lobbyists on behalf of the beverage alcohol industry are responsible for these apparent violations of section 93 of Beauchesne's. Therefore I respectfully ask that my rights as a member of Parliament and indeed the integrity of the House of Commons be defended by having a thorough investigation conducted by the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs or by other means which Mr. Speaker may deem appropriate.