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House of Commons Hansard #44 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was cpp.

Topics

Sable Island Natural GasOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, every application before the National Energy Board is examined according to the same standards to make sure that every one of those applications complies with all the applicable rules and regulations.

In fact, that is a request that is made not only by the energy industry in this country but by all the premiers of all the provinces, including explicitly and specifically Premier Bouchard of Quebec.

Sable Island Natural GasOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Gérard Asselin Bloc Charlevoix, QC

Mr. Speaker, in order to have an informed judgment on the entire question, is the minister prepared to ask cabinet to stay the final decision for the time it takes to have a fair and equitable evaluation of the Gazoduc Trans-Québec et Maritimes project?

Sable Island Natural GasOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, to be very specific let me quote Premier Bouchard of Quebec:

“It is preferable to leave it up to the market and the regulatory bodies to look after matters relating to natural gas transmission”.

That is what we are doing. If there are parties in the private sector who feel aggrieved by any technical aspect of the process, they are perfectly at liberty to appeal to the courts, which indeed some of them have done.

HelicoptersOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Art Hanger Reform Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the helicopter saga continues.

Let us look at the government's record to date: four years of stalling, $500 million in cancellation contracts for penalties, helicopters grounded because they are too dangerous to fly, and now suspicion of a rigged tendering process, all the consequences of a cynical election ploy back in 1993.

When will this helicopter saga end and when will the minister hand the military what it needs to do the job?

HelicoptersOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, first of all, all of the preamble is wrong. Second, what the government is attempting to do is make sure we get the best value for the taxpayers, that we get a helicopter that meets our operational needs.

This is no small expenditure but it is an important one. Search and rescue is an important function in this country, important in saving lives. We continue to provide that kind of service and the men and women who provide it do an excellent job.

We will soon be announcing a new helicopter purchase.

HelicoptersOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Art Hanger Reform Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, I wonder how much more it is going to cost the Canadian taxpayer. This minister is an expert at stalling.

I know why his government is stalling. In fact, we all know why his government is stalling. It is worried about a campaign flip-flop it made on the contract back in 1993 and it is trying to save political face.

This government has had four years to make this decision. We want the helicopters, the military wants the helicopters, all the opposition parties want the helicopters, and the money is in the bank.

When will the minister set aside his own—

HelicoptersOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of National Defence.

HelicoptersOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member wants to tell us which one he wants. Everybody else has an opinion.

The opinion of the government is to take a responsible approach to this to make sure we get the best helicopters to meet our operational needs. That is the kind of decision we are going to make and soon.

International Arms SalesOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

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

We recognize that the Canadian government has played a positive role in the development of the anti-personnel land mines treaty. It must not be forgotten, however, that Canada continues to be a significant player in international arms sales.

How can the government square its efforts to ban anti-personnel land mines with its foreign arms sales?

International Arms SalesOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it is very easy because in fact we have about the toughest export controls in arms of any country in the western world.

BanksOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Susan Whelan Liberal Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, once again record profits are being reported by the banks and yet service charges appear to be popping up everywhere.

Is the Minister of Industry prepared today to tell Canadian consumers how he is going to assist them, because they believe they are being overcharged by their banks?

BanksOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, first, we believe that the most effective way to ensure that all charges that are rendered to consumers are lowest is by having the best level of competition and the best level of awareness among consumers.

Therefore I am very pleased to indicate to the member that within the next couple of weeks we will make available a service charge calculator free of charge on our website, Strategis, that will enable consumers to compare the charges levied against them by a variety of financial institutions and see in a very transparent and rapid way where the best services charges can be obtained.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Lorne Nystrom NDP Qu'Appelle, SK

A web page calculator certainly helps those people living in poverty, does it not, Mr. Speaker.

In light of the record bank profits of $7.5 billion, the highest ever in this country, and record student debts of around $25,000 per student, and in spite of a commitment made by this government to tax these banks, it collected only a paltry $85 million in surtax in the last two years, I am sure the prime minister will agree this is peanuts.

What steps is he going to take to raise the surtax to help offset student debts in this country?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, our banks are one of the most heavily taxed industries in Canada. It is this Liberal government that increased the corporate surtax, that increased the large corporation tax and imposed a temporary surtax which has raised well over $200 million.

I am glad, from the press conference that the hon. member held today, that he actually supports the use of that surtax. Bank taxes have gone up 45% since we took office.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Wendy Lill NDP Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, 160 CBC employees were given their pink slips yesterday. Most government departments have been cut by 19%. The CBC has lost one third of its funding. The latest $30 million cut will hit the local and regional operations the hardest, especially in the west.

This government claims we need the CBC to bind Canadians from coast to coast. Is the minister of heritage in fact endorsing the CBC plan to centralize and further target jobs in local and regional operations?

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver Centre B.C.

Liberal

Hedy Fry LiberalSecretary of State (Multiculturalism)(Status of Women)

Mr. Speaker, this round of cuts is the final one that the CBC is making. It was predicted. Everyone knew that it was going to happen, but I am pleased to say that in fact there are fewer cuts than there were planned to be purely because we have put in $10 million into RCI and that has lowered the number of cuts.

These are the last cuts. CBC is now restructuring to look at how it meets its mandate more effectively.

Summa StrategiesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Greg Thompson Progressive Conservative Charlotte, NB

Mr. Speaker, Summa Strategies is a lobby company owned and controlled by two former Liberal members of Parliament, Paul Zed and Doug Young.

Mr. Young, being the former minister of transport, has been hired by an American syndicate to expedite the control and ownership of the port of Bayside.

Does the government support lobbying efforts on the part of the former minister who, in fact, wrote the port's privatization act? Does this fit in with the prime minister's definition of ethical behaviour?

Summa StrategiesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I would like to assure the hon. member that Transport Canada's port divestiture program is going extremely well right across the country, including in New Brunswick where we have signed a letter of intent with a local authority and have advanced them some funds to develop their concept further.

Certainly, with respect to the individuals who he raised in his question, these people are private citizens and they are able to conduct their business in whichever way they wish.

Summa StrategiesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Greg Thompson Progressive Conservative Charlotte, NB

Mr. Speaker, think about it. To accept that statement from the minister, we would have to believe in the tooth fairy. These people are the highest paid lobbyists in the country working on behalf of an American company to take control of a Canadian port.

Does the minister find something wrong with the system when the former minister of transport can lobby the government, in fact, the ministry to do such a thing?

Summa StrategiesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the issue is have the individuals met the requirements of the conflict of interest rules. As far as I am aware, they have met the requirements of the rules and I think that speaks for itself.

SomaliaOral Question Period

December 4th, 1997 / 2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Colleen Beaumier Liberal Brampton West—Mississauga, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister for International Cooperation. Over 1,000 Somalis have already died in the worst flooding that country has ever seen. Thousands more are in danger of starvation and disease.

Has Canada done anything to respond to the UN appeal for humanitarian aid to Somalia?

SomaliaOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Moncton New Brunswick

Liberal

Claudette Bradshaw LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister for International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, we will be contributing $250,000 to the International Committee of the Red Cross for emergency assistance to the victims of flooding in Somalia.

Canada provided more than $40 million in food and other humanitarian assistance to Somalia since 1991. We are also very concerned about the ongoing violence in Somalia.

Canada is working with the international community to determine what role we can play in support of the regional peace process which is essential to Somalia's long-term development.

HaitiOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Howard Hilstrom Reform Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, Canadian armed forces personnel are due to be withdrawn from Haiti. Unarmed RCMP officers will be left in Haiti without Canadian military support. This will significantly increase the chances that they will be attacked and injured or killed. RCMP staff relations officers have told me that there is a much greater danger now that the military is gone.

My question is for the prime minister. Why is this minister courting disaster and disregarding the safety of the RCMP left in Haiti?

HaitiOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, first of all, I want to congratulate the men and women who did a fine piece of work in Haiti on behalf of Canada and on behalf of Haiti.

The United Nations mandate came to an end as of November 30. We have not been requested to remain. There will be policing operations that will be taken over by the Haitian national police and there will be some assistance which we will provide.

There will continue to be the provision of assistance with respect to training coming from Canadian police, but in no way will their safety be in jeopardy.

HaitiOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Howard Hilstrom Reform Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, I was in the RCMP for over 30 years and I know that there is no way that policing in Haiti is like normal policing in Canada. As a result, I am very concerned about the safety of the RCMP in Haiti.

I would ask the minister again what specifically will he do to ensure their safety?