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

Topics

Revenue CanadaOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

London West Ontario

Liberal

Sue Barnes LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Revenue

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

Absolutely. Client confidentiality, whether it is an individual or a corporation, is the cornerstone of our system of taxation in this country. It is voluntary compliance and we would take seriously any efforts to access information. This is a serious matter and I would like to clearly state that Revenue Canada is well aware of this obligation and that recent press reports do not involve the department.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

November 24th, 1997 / 2:40 p.m.

Reform

Bill Gilmour Reform Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister said last Thursday that he does not feel bound by the November 12 federal-provincial agreement to stabilize emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2010.

It is the provinces that have to deal with the emissions. It is the provinces that will take the economic hit after the Kyoto agreement.

Why did the Prime Minister waste the time of the provinces when he had a different timetable in mind all along?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Northumberland Ontario

Liberal

Christine Stewart LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the federal government and the provinces recognize that climate change is a serious and real issue that must be addressed, but they also recognize the many opportunities associated with this.

This morning I signed an agreement for the federal government with ENMAX and Vision Quest in Alberta. Our federal department will be buying green power through wind power created in Alberta. Why cannot the Reform Party understand the opportunities associated with climate change?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Bill Gilmour Reform Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, speaking of wind power, we are getting an awful lot of it from the other side.

We are a week away from the signing of the treaty in Kyoto and Canada is the only G-7 country that has not put its position forward because of the government's fumbling. The provinces have agreed to emission levels at 1990 standards by 2010. Now the Prime Minister is saying 2007.

With the Kyoto signing only days away, will the minister tell the House, tell Canadians, what is the plan and how it will be implemented?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Northumberland Ontario

Liberal

Christine Stewart LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, all the hot air gases in the Chamber come from the Reform Party on this issue.

This morning Petro-Canada, based in Calgary, and the Ottawa biotechnology company, Iogen, signed a landmark deal to produce pollution free motor fuels from converted agricultural and wood waste.

This issue represents many opportunities for Canada, Canadian business, industry and individuals. When will the Reform Party understand the issue is serious and attached to many important economic opportunities?

Canada PostOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, when the Liberals were in opposition they wrote a report that said Canada Post should not pay income tax and should only generate enough profits to pay for its operating costs and to improve services to Canadians.

Today the Liberal government is demanding that Canada Post pay dividends of $294 million over five years and $131 million in income tax. This strike could be settled today if the government withdrew its unreasonable demand for profits.

Will the minister of government services direct Canada Post to return to the table without the demand for dividends that is the root cause of this strike?

Canada PostOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, Canada Post has been at the table from the beginning and continues to be at the table. It has a mandate to negotiate and we believe in a negotiated settlement.

In terms of the other part of the question, the member should know that in 1996 Canada Post's mandate was reviewed. There was a one year study. There was a report that looked at all the possibilities of how the corporation should be run and what were the financial implications.

The government took the report, answered the report and gave a new mandate to Canada Post. I am sure with the negotiated settlement that mandate can be achieved.

Canada PostOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, Canada Post is not supposed to be a cash cow to be milked by the federal government. The government's demand for profits and dividends from Canada Post has all the earmarks of getting the corporation ready for the auction block. It is like fattening up a calf before bringing it to market.

Will the minister of public works withdraw the demand for dividends from Canada Post and assure the House today that the government will never sell off and privatize this valuable asset?

Canada PostOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I do not know how many times I have to say it in French and English. We do not want to privatize Canada Post Corporation. We want Canada Post to continue to deliver the mail. It is a good corporation in the global economy.

The hon. member should do as much business as we do outside Canada. Canada Post has to make a profit so it can renew its equipment and invest in modern technology.

We want to look at the future, not at the past like the New Democrats.

ApecOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Scott Brison Progressive Conservative Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Foreign Affairs has warned APEC of irrelevancy if it does not expand its scope to include human rights and environmental issues.

Canada's EDC is backing the Three Gorges project with $172 million worth of Canadian taxpayers money, when the World Bank, CIDA and the U.S. Ex-Im Bank will not back the Three Gorges project based on environmental and human rights concerns.

Based on his own criteria stated at APEC, does the Minister of Foreign Affairs feel that Canada's foreign policy with Asia has become irrelevant?

ApecOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, at the APEC ministerial meeting this past week a couple of important steps were taken.

First, it was agreed by all ministers that questions dealing with the consequences of economic change and trade liberalization impacts upon labour markets would be a matter for consideration under the human resource working group of ministers. That would involve a combination of labour and management consultations to ensure we are able to examine the full consequences.

Second, the ministers also decided to sponsor support of a ministerial meeting on women's issues which will be held in the Philippines next year.

Land MinesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

David Pratt Liberal Nepean—Carleton, ON

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

In early December nations from more than 100 countries will come to Ottawa to sign the treaty banning anti-personnel mines. Recently I contacted the minister to suggest that the government spearhead an effort to exhibit Canada's leading edge land mine clearing technology at this conference.

Could the minister advise the House what progress has been made by his department on this suggestion?

Land MinesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I solute the hon. member for Nepean—Carleton who came forward with this suggestion.

As a result I am pleased to advise the House that we will be hosting a Canadian de-mining showcase in Ottawa on December 3 and 4, concurrently with the signing of the Ottawa declaration.

The availability of technology is not only to give effect to the terms of the treaty in which Canada has played such an important role but to give availability of solutions to people whose lives have disrupted by the unfortunate consequence of land mines.

Export Development CorporationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Scott Brison Progressive Conservative Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, last week I informed the House that the president of EDC, Export Development Corporation, Ian Gillespie, told the foreign affairs committee that EDC is reluctant to sign the code of ethics championed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

How can Canadian corporations be asked to sign this code of ethics when Canadian crown agencies will not play by the same rules? Will the Minister for International Trade restore relevancy to Canada's foreign policy by ensuring that EDC signs the code of ethics of the Minister of Foreign Affairs?

Export Development CorporationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Liberal

Julian Reed LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, the Economic Development Corporation must subscribe to the policies of the federal government which de facto make it subscribe to a code of ethics set down by the government.

The code of ethics described there is for businesses that are not signed on and it is voluntary.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Deepak Obhrai Reform Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, the riding I represent is made up of small business people, single parents, working families and seniors. They are trying to make ends meet. These Canadians do not want government handouts. All they want is the government to take its hands out their pockets.

My question is for the Minister of Finance. His so-called latest tax relief is simply nickels and dimes. When will he listen to these Canadians and commit today to bringing in real tax relief for small businesses, single parents, working families and seniors?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, $1.4 billion may be nickels and dimes to the hon. member. To Canadians that happens to be real money.

At the same time the $850 million my colleague, the Minister of Human Resources, put forth in terms of the child tax benefit, the second $850 million that will be coming, also happens to be real money.

The tax relief that is being provided to students happens to be real money. The fact that the government has succeeded as a result of a clean-up of the balance sheet in bringing down mortgage rates and bringing down car purchase rates happens to be real money.

Dairy ProductsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Guy Chrétien Bloc Frontenac—Mégantic, QC

Mr. Speaker, imports of mixtures of oil, butter and sugar, which are used in the manufacture of ice cream for example, have been flooding our markets increasingly since 1995. Our dairy producers are the ones to bear the brunt.

Is the Minister of Agriculture aware of the danger of allowing the situation to worsen and does he intend to continue to take the appropriate action to protect our dairy producers whose quotas have dropped by nearly 3%?

Dairy ProductsOral 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)

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased the hon. member raised the question, which is indeed of concern to our dairy producers.

An agreement has been signed on import products, including butter. At the moment this product meets the requirements of the agreement. We are looking at ways to amend the agreement, but if we amend the agreement for butter oil, we also have to amend it for the other products.

Ports CanadaOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Peter Mancini NDP Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Transport. In July the Vancouver detachment of Ports Canada police was disbanded. The Vancouver Port Corporation charged multinational shipping companies a fee for using the port facilities, part of which paid for the ports police services at no cost to Canadian taxpayers.

Since July the Vancouver police department took over ports policing. That cost was supposed to be $1 million. There are indications that just since July it may be $1.5 million.

Given that the government promised the disbanding of Ports Canada police would not cost Canadian taxpayers—

Ports CanadaOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Markham.

Canada Pension PlanOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Jim Jones Progressive Conservative Markham, ON

Mr. Speaker, if I understood him, the Minister of Finance indicated the CPP investment board would choose its own auditors. The minister said that someone from the outside may have more expertise. An auditor's job is not to protect the board of directors but to protect the shareholders, Canadians.

Why is the auditor general not given access through the legislation to the information that will allow him to ensure Canadians are protected?

Canada Pension PlanOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the government has made it very clear that the auditor general will be given complete access to all the information he requires to complete his audit. He will be auditing the Canada pension plan.

If in fact the legislation is not sufficiently clear we have indicated that we will make it clear in order to ensure that very thing.

The investment board will have the option of either choosing an outside auditor or the auditor general. The fact is it may well decide, because the provinces are also involved, that an outside auditor would have far greater expertise in that specific area. That is a decision for the board to make.

Youth EmploymentOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Steve Mahoney Liberal Mississauga West, ON

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

In its first mandate the government tackled youth unemployment head on by establishing the youth employment strategy. However unemployment continues to be a serious problem for Canada's young people.

What initiatives has the minister taken to address this important issue?

Youth EmploymentOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Mississauga West who I know cares very much about youth employment.

Indeed our youth employment strategy was a $350 million strategy for three years, helping 110,000 young Canadians to make the transition from school to work. Five thousand Canadians have been helped by Youth Service Canada.

Almost 20,000 youngsters have been helped by Youth Internship Canada, 60,000 by the student career plan, 60,000 youths who got summer jobs, and another 60,000 got jobs related to their actual studies.