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House of Commons Hansard #12 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was farmers.

Topics

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this question is particularly irresponsible, and the answer is no.

AirportsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Steve Mahoney Liberal Mississauga West, ON

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

Can the minister confirm that there are guidelines restricting the hours of operation at Lester B. Pearson International Airport and can the minister assure the citizens of Mississauga that the government will not allow the Greater Toronto Airport Authority to unilaterally change those hours?

AirportsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

David Collenette Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, I wish to congratulate my colleague for his first question. I know it is of great concern to him and thousands of other people in the west end of Toronto.

The hon. member is right on both counts. There is a restriction in effect at Pearson airport that cannot be changed without the government's authority and that authority will not be forthcoming.

Income TaxesOral Question Period

October 7th, 1997 / 2:45 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Reform Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Governor of the Bank of Canada says he is going to continue to raise interest rates, but now the CIBC says that he is choking off the potential for job creation.

Since high interest rates shut off job creation, the minister must now finally explore the only other avenue that will create jobs: lower taxes.

Instead of increasing spending all the time when is the minister going to start lowering taxes?

Income TaxesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member was a member of the House during the course of the last mandate. He knows full well that in the last budget taxes were reduced by over $2 billion.

Does the hon. member feel that reducing taxes for students so that they can pay for their schooling, that reducing taxes for the physically disabled so that they are given a level playing field, that helping poor families with children is not the kind of thing the government should do? We feel that it is.

Income TaxesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Reform Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, by the government's own measure taxes have gone up $8 billion a year since the government came to power. The finance minister says to Canadians he wants to consult, when in fact he has already committed in the throne speech to higher spending. What gives?

The fact is lower taxes, not higher spending, is the way to job creation. With interest rates increasing, when is the minister going to recognize that the only way to create jobs is to start cutting taxes? When is he going to get it?

Income TaxesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I repeat, if the hon. member looks at what happened last week with the reduction in long term interest rates, mortgage rates have been at an all time low.

I would refer him back to his own province and the consultation that took place. Citizens from all over the province came together and effectively came to much the same conclusion as the government: it is worthwhile investing in Canadians. That is what we are going to do.

Health CareOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Gordon Earle NDP Halifax West, NS

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

The auditor general raises a serious issue when the report states about Health Canada that the department is not fulfilling its responsibilities to manage in a way which helps First Nations establish programs and services likely to improve their health.

What action will the minister take to ensure that rather than the dump and run style of program transfer often currently employed, the department will work in partnership with aboriginal communities to ensure that programs transferred are actually going to improve the health of aboriginal people?

Health CareOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, that is certainly our objective.

As I mentioned earlier to the House in response to another question, with each agreement we negotiate the transfer for the purpose of self-government, a program for health of aboriginal communities. We try to ensure a level of accountability that will make sure that money is properly spent and spent for community purposes.

May I also say that we have achieved some real progress in areas like life expectancy and infant mortality over the last 15 or 20 years, and we intend to keep investing in that kind of effort.

Health CareOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Gordon Earle NDP Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, the auditor general's report raises the horror of death and illness of aboriginal people due to over prescription of drugs through the non-insured health benefits program. The auditor general also states that the department has known about this problem for 10 years.

Will the minister now move, in consultation with aboriginal peoples, to transfer this program to the First Nations people as a way to ensure that the issue of over prescription is actually dealt with instead of the department's poor response to the report when it says it will deal with the problem simply by giving aboriginal people more to read about the dangers of prescription—

Health CareOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Health.

Health CareOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, for 10 years Health Canada has been working to address this problem. There are two things in particular that have been done.

First, we have kept good statistical analysis of how the drugs are being used so that we can track abuse. Second, over the last number of years, we put in place a system that will be fully operational by the end of December 1997 which will allow pharmacists at the point of sale to determine whether the person presenting the prescription is doing it fraudulently or otherwise.

That will make an enormous difference in resolving this problem.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Matthews Progressive Conservative Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Prime Minister. The auditor general today stated in his report that he could find no clearly stated national policy for sustainable fisheries.

In light of the very serious problems being experienced on the west coast and the east coast of the country with fisheries and after being in office now for four years, when can we expect a national policy on sustainable fisheries?

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bellechasse—Etchemins—Montmagny—L'Islet Québec

Liberal

Gilbert Normand LiberalSecretary of State (Agriculture and Agri-Food)(Fisheries and Oceans) Lib.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise here for the first time.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Gilbert Normand Liberal Bellechasse—Etchemins—Montmagny—L'Islet, QC

The new fisheries act will be tabled in February 1998. We will then be able to see with all the fishers, organizations and provinces just how we will manage the future of fish we call “fish of the future”.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Matthews Progressive Conservative Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, I hope the Prime Minister attaches a little more importance to this, which I am sure he does.

As well, in his report today, the auditor general stated the obvious. Ground stocks in Atlantic Canada are not regenerating. There are very few job opportunities in those rural communities in Atlantic Canada and the Atlantic groundfish strategy expires a year early in May 1998.

What can Atlantic Canadians expect from the Prime Minister and his government after May 1998?

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Kenora—Rainy River Ontario

Liberal

Bob Nault LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I want to inform the member if he has not been reading the press in the last few days, Human Resources Development Canada announced a post TAGS review.

The intention of this review is to deal with exactly what the Reform Party asked earlier in the House. Now that we have dealt with the crisis in its early stages, we are going to be reviewing post TAGS in the next year to work in partnership with the provinces and the stakeholders to come up with some long-term solutions to the problem he asks about.

Health CareOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Stan Dromisky Liberal Thunder Bay—Atikokan, ON

Mr. Speaker, schizophrenia is a devastating disease that affects one out of every hundred Canadians. There is a critical need for increased funding for schizophrenia research in Canada.

Can the Minister of Health tell Canadians how much of our government health care research funds are going to schizophrenia research?

Health CareOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the federal government tries to reflect its awareness of the seriousness of this problem in its programs and its policies.

We are trying to help in a number of ways. We encourage the collection of catalogues of best practices around the country so that can be shared with communities. We encourage research and indeed, through the Medical Research Council, we invest in medical research.

We work with other legislatures to make sure that legislation reflects the need to integrate people with this affliction into the community.

I can assure the hon. member that in everything we do, we try to reflect the importance of our concern with this illness.

Government ServicesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Ken Epp Reform Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Public Works and Government Services told us that the government has a new system for choosing the successful bidders on larger contracts, but there are Liberal Party organizers and campaign workers on this committee and they give government contracts to Liberal firms.

The Prime Minister cannot justify having patronage appointed Liberals on this patronage granting committee. Will he remove them?

Government ServicesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, first of all, the members of the panel are appointed by the industry.

Again, maybe the member should speak to Mr. Brian Thomas, who ran the advertising campaign for the Reform Party. He said that he has no evidence the process is not fair or weighted in favour of Liberal political allies. Maybe he should consult the person who ran their last election campaign. He will give him the best advice.

Tobacco ActOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

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

Less than 24 hours after the Tobacco Act was passed and on the eve of the last election campaign, the Prime Minister partially recognized his mistake and promised to amend the legislation so as to remove certain restrictions on international racing event sponsorships.

Does the Minister of Health intend to keep his government's promise to make the legislation more flexible in order to satisfy international racing event organizers?

Tobacco ActOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we intend to keep our promise. We are now in the process of drafting an amendment to the Tobacco Act. We are consulting all interested parties and I intend to take action when we are ready.

TransportationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Nelson Riis NDP Kamloops, BC

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

I suspect that Canadians will be shocked later today when they find out that when the government decided to sell off the air navigation system to the private sector it only charged $1.5 billion when its own department said it was worth $2.4 billion.

Will the Minister of Finance explain to the Canadian people why he gave away almost $1 billion in this transaction?