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House of Commons Hansard #37 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebeckers.

Topics

Canada PostOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalMinister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure what part of this process my hon. colleague does not understand.

Quite simply, mediation is part of the collective bargaining process and it is my responsibility to see that the process runs properly. That is exactly what I am doing.

What my hon. colleague is suggesting does nothing but hurt the process.

Canada PostOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Dick Harris Reform Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadian businesses are looking at this time of the month as their biggest accounts receivable time.

They have payrolls to meet and they cannot meet them. It is easy to see that minister never had to meet a payroll in his life. This strike is costing millions of dollars a day to Canadian businesses.

When is he going to do something? When is he going to recognize that this nation crippling strike is causing extreme havoc and it is his responsibility to fix it? When is he going to do it?

Canada PostOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalMinister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, I can tell my hon. colleague I did have to meet a few payrolls and some of them were not all that easy.

I also now have the responsibility to see that Part I of the Canada Labour Code is adhered to. Mediation happens to be part of that process.

All I ask my hon. colleague to do is let the process work. Why the process is having trouble is people doing nothing but talking about bringing in legislation.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Friday, in response to a question from the Bloc Quebecois, the Minister of Human Resources Development announced a 20 cent reduction in EI premium rates, which represents a $1.4 billion reduction in the approximately $7 billion annual fund surplus. In our view, the reduction could have been larger.

Could the minister act on the second part of the Bloc Quebecois' recommendation that he use a significant proportion of the annual surplus of several billions to increase protection for the unemployed, who have been reduced to poverty by the reform?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the opposition member should be thanking us for approving, for the fourth year in a row, a reduction in EI premiums that this year will be the largest reduction ever.

We are obviously in the midst of an extremely important EI reform. Naturally our government wishes to be prudent. It is a mark of this government that it has shown fiscal restraint in getting where it is today, and we want to be sure that the EI fund will be there, even if things were to become a little more difficult for workers generally.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are happy that the minister has responded to the Bloc Quebecois' demand for lower premiums to offset the increase in QPP and CPP premiums.

Could the minister not take advantage of this clearly improved situation of a fund surplus to return to the families of the unemployed part of these surplus billions?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, as I have said many times in the House, we have brought about the largest EI reform in 25 years. We are following this reform very closely to be sure that it serves Canadians well.

Of course, we are going to continue to monitor the situation very closely and make adjustments in accordance with what we believe to be citizens' most pressing needs.

Tobacco SponsorshipOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, on this issue of tobacco advertising on race cars, I have a brand new article here published just a week ago in the prestigious journal the Lancet .

This article shows absolutely clearly that the most important influence on young men starting smoking is race cars. Which of the Liberals is going to stand up and finally admit their U-turn on this issue is absolutely wrong?

Tobacco SponsorshipOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, this government is committed to reducing the use of tobacco in this country, recognizing that it does have an influence on the health of our young people and Canadians in general.

The minister has responded to this question in a number of venues and circumstances and he, like us all, believes and understands the importance of managing tobacco use in this country.

Tobacco SponsorshipOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, I took the opportunity to speak to this researcher in Britain just a few moments ago. She said that this information was so important that she could not even let her study go to the end of its normal lifetime, that she had to put this information in front of the public immediately.

The British prime minister did his U-turn when he got a $2 million gift. Why has our prime minister made the similar U-turn?

Tobacco SponsorshipOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, again, this government understands the importance of reducing tobacco use among Canadian youth.

We have, in a very focused and clear way, identified and brought forward legislation which will better these circumstances for Canadians.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont, QC

Mr. Speaker, with the Kyoto conference approaching, Environment Canada's research studies demonstrate that global warming will have catastrophic consequences on the St. Lawrence River, the Canadian north, public health, and much more.

With so many arguments, will the minister admit she showed weakness by failing to convince the western provinces of the need to go further in the fight against greenhouse gas emissions?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Northumberland Ontario

Liberal

Christine Stewart LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the federal government has worked very well with all the provinces and territories across this country to discuss the very serious, real issue of climate change.

The provinces gave the federal government flexibility in setting targets and timelines for Kyoto. We will present those targets and timelines before the meeting in Kyoto.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont, QC

Mr. Speaker, while all those who oppose restrictions are trying to figure out how much vigorous measures would cost, does the minister not agree that she could make herself more useful by asking her department to figure out how much our inaction would cost?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Northumberland Ontario

Liberal

Christine Stewart LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, it will cost us quite a bit to take action on this very serious issue, but it will also cost us a great deal if we do not take action on this issue.

It is not just the federal government but provinces, business, industry and municipalities which will take action.

Right now we see, for example, companies in the automotive industry scrambling over each other in competition for future markets. They are producing vehicles with lower emissions.

Municipalities across the country, like Toronto, are taking actions to reduce emissions.

All sectors, including the federal government, will take their part.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Keith Martin Reform Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, 14 year old Reena Virk was just brutally murdered in my riding by a group of teenagers. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Violent crime among youth has doubled since 1986.

Vancouver Island is in shock and communities and families are destroyed. Yet while this happens the government dithers and the casualties continue to mount.

For the safety of all Canadians, when will the government and the justice minister take action on youth crime?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, first let me say that I think everybody in this House would agree that the events which took place in Saanich over the weekend are tragic, to say the least, and must be of great concern to all of us.

In addition let me say, as I believe all hon. members of the House know, that I have made it very plain that one of my goals is to reform the Young Offenders Act to deal with serious, repeat and violent young offenders in a way that condemns their activities.

I have made it very plain that I will respond to the standing committee report—

JusticeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Wild Rose.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Myron Thompson Reform Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, six girls and one boy have been charged with aggravated assault. The maximum penalty for this crime is three years.

This government has been flapping its mouth for four years and has done nothing about the Young Offenders Act. Why does this minister not get up right now and tell the 90% of people who want the Young Offenders Act gone that she loves it, that it is a Liberal document and that it is here to stay? Why does she not tell them that?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows that I have said we are in the midst of a consultative process in relation to reforming the Young Offenders Act.

If the hon. member did his homework he would find that 90% of Canadians do not want to have the Young Offenders Act abolished, but they would like it to be reformed to better reflect their values, and that is what this government is doing.

Rail TransportationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday afternoon, in Saint-Jean-Chrysostome, a CN railway car literally split open, spilling 80,000 litres of concentrated sulphuric acid 400 meters away from the downtown core and the Etchemin River. Obviously, the bad state of disrepair of this railway car was the cause of this accident.

My question is for the Minister of Transport who is responsible for the security of the rolling stock. How can the minister explain this accident? Did the accident occur simply because his department did not do its job properly?

Rail TransportationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we are always concerned when a railway accident occurs or whether there is some problem as happened yesterday.

Safety is Transport Canada's top priority. There are methods of ensuring safety and there are procedures that are put in place. A full investigation is always done when an accident occurs.

I am sure that when the facts are known we will be able to determine the true cause of this particular problem.

Highway SystemOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Roger Gallaway Liberal Sarnia—Lambton, ON

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

The minister will know that the American government has proposed legislative framework for a NAFTA superhighway running from the Mexican to the Canadian border.

Can the minister tell us what is being done, if anything, to ensure that our highway system is adequate to deal with this American trade route?

Highway SystemOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, this is an issue of growing importance given the amount of trade between Canada and the United States and of course going into Mexico.

Transport Canada has successfully co-funded projects to automate border crossings at Windsor and Fort Erie and we are also trying to explore the use of intelligent transportation systems to facilitate the movement of goods and people.

When we talk about NAFTA highways we are not just talking about paved asphalt. We are also talking about rail links and the integration, the intermodality between the various forms of transport. This is a priority for our government that we will have to work further on in the months ahead.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Keith Martin Reform Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister and this government have already had four years to do something about the Young Offenders Act. We wait till February and then how long will we have to wait before something is done?

Youth are the primary victims in youth crime. When are members of this House and Canadians going to see this government scrap the Young Offenders Act and replace it with legislation that works?