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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

TaxationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

John Williams Reform St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Revenue said this was an arcane and complex problem, yet the deputy minister of finance said it was so simple he did not even have to take notes on the issue. Either the minister is slow on the uptake or the deputy minister is too fast for his own good.

Again I ask the minister will he stop the billions of dollars moving offshore today and restore Canadians' faith in the Income Tax Act, or is the government to allow more billionaires to take advantage of this loophole before it closes it?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, that supposition is not at all what the deputy minister said in committee today.

I point out yet again the public accounts committee is the second public venue in which this information is being reviewed. I again congratulate the hon. member for being part of that committee. We do look forward to its recommendations.

Presence In GalleryOral Question Period

May 16th, 1996 / 2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

My colleagues, in a departure from our usual procedure, I now draw to your attention the presence in the gallery of visitors from the western hemisphere. I will introduce six heads of state and I ask you to hold your applause until I have introduced all of them.

I would like to introduce to you His Excellency Dr. Carlos Roberto Reina Idiaquez, President of the Republic of Honduras; His Excellency José Maria Figueres Olsen, President of the Republic of Costa Rica; His Excellency Dr. Armando Calderon Sol, President of the Republic of El Salvador; His Excellency Alvaro Arzu Irigoyen, President of the Republic of Guatemala; Her Excellency Violeta Barrios de Chamorro, President of the Republic of Nicaragua; the Right Honourable Manuel Esquivel, Prime Minister of Belize.

Presence In GalleryOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

ReferendumsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Bloc Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the beginning of the week, the Prime Minister has told us three things: first, that Quebecers would not be allowed to decide their future on their own, that all of Canada would have to get involved; then, that the majority at a referendum would now have to be more than 50 per cent plus one; and lastly, that he would want to negotiate the referendum question with Quebec. In brief, the Prime Minister is getting himself bogged down in a constitutional debate and is dragging us in with him.

Does the Prime Minister realize that the process he is suggesting could, ultimately, mean 13 referendums, in 13 provinces and territories, perhaps with 13 different questions, so that we would have to interpret 13 different results?

ReferendumsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the position of the Canadian government is very simple. There have been two referendums where Quebecers have expressed the wish to remain in Canada. If the opposition party had a modicum a respect for democracy, it would recognize the fact that the people of Quebec have already made their wishes known.

I am delighted to be on my feet to salute the six heads of state and government of Central America. They all know what it is to be in a prison. They have established democracies in their countries and they are in Canada today. They have told me that they admire the democracy of Canada, the quality of life, the quality of public debate, and the quality of politics. I would like to salute them and wish them good luck in their work.

ReferendumsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

ReferendumsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Bloc Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, I think the Prime Minister forgot to mention that he won two referendums in Quebec by making empty promises to Quebecers and by never honouring his commitments.

ReferendumsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

ReferendumsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

Dear colleague, I would ask you to choose your words more carefully.

ReferendumsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Bloc Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, I was being very careful. Why does the Prime Minister want so much to create between Quebec and the rest of Canada a confrontation such as there has never been before?

ReferendumsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, what I want is very simple. I would like the Government of Quebec to show some respect for the people of Quebec, by asking them a clear and honest question, that would be acceptable to everyone, instead of asking a winning question to try to encourage Quebecers to vote against their own wishes.

I would invite the Government of Quebec to do so and I am sure that-As we saw this morning on television, people throughout the world wonder why a province like Quebec is not happy to live in the best country of the world, that is in Canada.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

John Maloney Liberal Erie, ON

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

Our country allows the import of food products which have the benefit of pesticides that our own farmers are prohibited from

using, and this is to their competitive disadvantage. Canadians eat this food. In the Niagara region our entire peach crop is at risk because of increasing resistance to current pesticides.

What measure is the government taking to expedite the pesticide approval procedures in this country and to harmonize approvals with the United States?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I would like to compliment the member on his continuing concern about this matter.

He will know that representatives from the pest management regulatory agency met with peach and apple growers last week on the question of reaching solutions to pest management problems in orchards. That same agency is already looking at alternative candidates for the control of pests. As well, it is in consultations now with the United States EPA to look at joint efforts for pest control management in the coming year.

With his vigilance and his support we will get the agency and our American counterparts to look for long term solutions to pest management control.

TradeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Charlie Penson Reform Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister likes to go on and on about page 22 of the red book, which everyone knows is another broken promise.

I would like to remind him of another broken promise on pages 23 and 24. This Liberal government promised to protect the steel industry, the pork industry, softwood lumber and other products. It said it would renegotiate the free trade agreement and NAFTA to obtain a subsidies code, an anti-dumping code and a more effective way of resolving disputes.

Would the Prime Minister admit that this was his first broken promise?

TradeOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, we have been working with a trade remedies working group that involves our partners from the United States and Mexico toward doing the very things that the hon. member has talked about.

We are fully committed to dealing with the reform of trade remedy laws to cut down on the use of countervail and anti-dumping duties so that we can have a free trade system. That is our position and that is what we continue to work toward.

TradeOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Charlie Penson Reform Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would point out that these working groups have been working for eight years and have failed to come up with a subsidy definition.

In fact, the red book says nothing about working groups at all. It says that the Liberals were going to renegotiate NAFTA and the free trade agreement before they signed it. They promised to demand an open market for steel and an anti-dumping code.

This Liberal broken promise has really hurt the people in the steel industry in particular. When will the government honour its promise to produce a level playing field for Canada and the United States in this industry?

TradeOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I cannot agree with the preamble to the question.

The government is working not only through NAFTA but through the World Trade Organization to help improve the rules based system. The government is committed to liberalization in trade and a rules based system. It will continue whether it is with the working groups, the WTO, the OECD or whatever other vehicle, to bring that about.

ReferendumsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

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

I would like to start by pointing out that we find it somewhat rude to proclaim one's country the first in the world when there are international visitors present.

Day after day, improvisation after improvisation, the Prime Minister's constitutional strategy is taking shape. If I may say so, however, there are still some bits missing, before we can clearly and fully understand what is in his mind.

Does the Prime Minister plan to hold a referendum right across Canada to decide the future of the people of Quebec?

ReferendumsOral Question Period

2:45 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, the title of number one country in the world has been awarded to Canada by the UN several times. Having said that, however, I am prepared to agree with the hon. member that we see other very fine countries in our travels, in Central America in particular.

ReferendumsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

ReferendumsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Liberal Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

I have a quote here, since the opposition may not believe the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. This is a quote about how we must look at Canada.

ReferendumsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

ReferendumsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Liberal Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

They will not let me speak, for fear of what I have to say.

"Canada is a land of promise and Canadians are a people of hope. It is a country celebrated for its generosity of spirit where tolerance is ingrained in the national character".

"A society in which every citizen and every group can affirm itself, express itself, realize its aspirations".

ReferendumsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

An hon. member

Who said that?