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House of Commons Hansard #140 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was magazines.

Topics

National ParksOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell LiberalSecretary of State (Parks)

Mr. Speaker, we have undertaken a number of steps including reducing the commercial development that will be allowed in Banff, reducing the size of the community, and placing a moratorium on outside commercial development in respect of accommodation. Just yesterday I had the opportunity to announce the formation of a panel which will have as its job to set specific principles that any future development may undergo. All of these things have one very special principle in mind, that we protect our parks not only for today's generation but for Zachary's generation as well.

EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Rick Casson Reform Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal commercial is over.

The Sydney tar ponds are saturated with cancer causing toxins. Studies have shown that Sydney residents have experienced a 130% increase in the rate of stomach cancer.

I witnessed firsthand this appalling mess. It makes me wonder what would happen if that oozing mass of filth were on the front lawn of Parliament Hill or on a certain lawn in Shawinigan. How long would it take this Liberal government to clean it up then?

EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Northumberland Ontario

Liberal

Christine Stewart LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, this Liberal government is very concerned about the Sydney tar ponds and contamination in the area.

We have worked very closely with a citizens group in Sydney, Nova Scotia, which also has representation from all three levels of government. We have contributed funds to this process which is working to resolve this very serious issue. We have met with the process, the so-called JAG. We have signed an MOU with them. We have met with the affected citizens in the area and we are working with the province to resolve this very serious issue.

Program For Older Workers AdjustmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Dumas Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, in order to replace POWA, the government promised in 1996 to develop “various income support measures for those who could no longer find work in the highly competitive labour market”.

Why is the Minister of Human Resources Development not honouring his predecessor's commitment and developing new income support measures to help older workers in this particularly difficult situation?

Program For Older Workers AdjustmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, indeed the situation of a number of older workers in Canada is causing us concern. Theirs is a difficult situation.

We had to end the POWA program, which was unfair. It was unfair to everyone in this category.

So, obviously, we provided more funding for active measures in order to help people return to the labour market. We set up a number of programs intended for the population as a whole, including those looking for work. However, we are very concerned by their situation.

Volvo Canada Ltd.Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Gordon Earle NDP Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Volvo plant in my riding is now occupied by employees afraid for their future. Will this government commit right now to actively do everything in its power to ensure these workers are treated fairly and to try to find a solution to keep these people gainfully employed?

Volvo Canada Ltd.Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we are very concerned with the future of the workers at the Volvo plant. It is a situation that has resulted from restructuring by the corporation. It is our view that in the short term at least, resolution of a number of differences could best be achieved if the workers and the company could work very quickly to resolve the differences that are currently separating them in the plant itself.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Jean Dubé Progressive Conservative Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance's provincial counterparts are demanding that he explain why his government is breaking the Employment Insurance Act by imposing excessive insurance contributions on Canadians. The government seems to be circumventing the law in order to keep employment insurance contributions at a needlessly high level.

The Employment Insurance Act stipulates that premiums must be reduced. Does the government intend to pass legislation in order to prevent the premium reduction that is called for in the legislation?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, one of the difficult choices all of us have to make is whether we are going to have a balanced approach in a time when our economic future is not entirely certain. Thank goodness that to date we have taken the steps to get us from a $42 billion deficit down to a place where last year we posted the first surplus. This was a historic achievement.

In terms of where we go in the future, yes we have to be cautiously prudent. We must not go into deficit again. This is primordial.

National RevenueOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Alex Shepherd Liberal Durham, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of National Revenue. Some suggest the provinces will not sign on to the minister's plan for a revenue agency. Three Nova Scotia ministers along with this minister have signed a service contract to be administered by the agency. How would this agreement and the agency benefit the people of Nova Scotia?

National RevenueOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, last week we signed a service agreement contract with the Government of Nova Scotia. We also signed a contract to look at Revenue Canada under the new proposed agency to collect for the Workers' Compensation Board. Let me quote Nova Scotia finance minister Don Downe, “This contract builds on the strong co-operative relationship between Nova Scotia and Revenue Canada and provides means for our relationship to evolve under the new agency”. Let me also quote Peter O'Brien, spokesman for the Canadian Federation of Independent—

National RevenueOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Nanaimo—Cowichan.

Lumber IndustryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Reed Elley Reform Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, Greenpeace is attacking the B.C. lumber industry by spreading the lie that all B.C. wood products come from old growth forests. You can bet your bottom dollar that next it will be the lumber industries in Alberta, Ontario and Quebec.

Liberal members in B.C. are strangely silent in the face of an industry in serious economic trouble. When will this Liberal government speak up for British Columbians? When will the Prime Minister stand up for B.C., deny these lies and set the record straight in the courts of the world?

Lumber IndustryOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

I do not know if I heard the right word, lies. Did the hon. member use the word lies? I prefer that we not use that word if we possibly can.

Lumber IndustryOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I believe that Hansard will show that this issue was first raised in the House of Commons by Liberal members on the government side.

It is true there are number of organizations that over the course of the past period of time have misconstrued and misinterpreted Canadian forestry practices. This issue has been discussed at length among federal and provincial forestry ministers, including the minister in B.C. We are working on a comprehensive strategy to ensure that the world knows the true story.

Bill C-44Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Pierrette Venne Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, while it is increasingly obvious that the Liberal government is trying to crush any and all opposition in Canada, the very idea of making CBC director positions liable to dismissal is disquieting, to say the least.

Given the protests against Bill C-44, the result of which will be to convert the public broadcaster into a state broadcaster, by two past presidents of the CBC, as well as the current one, and more than 20 Canadian reporters, when will the Prime Minister withdraw his Bill C-44?

Bill C-44Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, quasi-judiciary agencies, which must of course retain their independence, will need to have presidents or board members who conduct themselves properly, while all other agencies, whether cultural or otherwise, should have administrators who hold office during pleasure, so that they may be removed when their behaviour warrants it.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, as you know, fishing is very often a family business. During the last eight years, women have worked for their husbands as dockhands and have always qualified for EI benefits. In the last few weeks, the Department of Human Resources Development has turned down EI applications from 40 women because of the arm's length provisions.

Is the Minister of Human Resources Development against women working in the fishing industry or would he agree that his department discriminated against these women?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I am absolutely convinced that my department did not discriminate against these women. We have very specific arm's length provisions, because no EI system could work without such rules.

I can assure the hon. member that I will look into the case he has mentioned, but I am sure there has been no discrimination. We do have to abide by the arm's length provisions, which are quite clear. Otherwise, no employment insurance scheme would work.

PovertyOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Jean Dubé Progressive Conservative Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

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

A report has been released that says Canadian families are poorer today than when the Liberals formed the government in 1993. Children are poorer and the gap between the rich and poor is growing wider yearly.

This government has refused to lift the burden of the tax system from two million low income Canadians by increasing the personal exemption to $10,000. When will the government stop penalizing low income Canadians? When can we expect to see a long term plan for this very serious problem?

PovertyOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, we are obviously deeply concerned about the situation of a large number of Canadians, and about the level of poverty in this country. That is why we have made it a focus of our government's programs.

That is why, in partnership with the provinces, we have introduced the national child benefit, which will increase the incomes of low income families in this country by $1.7 billion over the next three years. We have introduced a great many other measures as well, which I hope to have the opportunity to speak about in the House soon.

FisheriesOral Question Period

October 22nd, 1998 / 2:55 p.m.

Reform

Keith Martin Reform Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans has given permission to the Mekah people to hunt grey whales with a .50 calibre illegal gun in our backyard. This hunt can smash the 16 year ban on whaling that has saved many species from becoming extinct.

Will the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans launch a formal complaint with Washington to stop this hunt and rescind the licences that he has given to hunt these whales?

FisheriesOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, as is usual with members of the Reform Party, they again have their facts wrong. There is a hunt taking place in the United States by the Makah tribe which has a permit for five animals.

If an animal wounded in that hunt in the United States moves into Canadian waters, I have said that I will permit them to follow that whale for humane purposes so that it can be dispatched in a humane way and will not continue to die an agonizing death.

In addition, I have made it clear—

FisheriesOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

That will bring to a close our question period for today.

Business Of The HouseOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Reform Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, there is nothing usual about this; it is very unique. Given the circumstances of the economy, I would like to ask the government House leader what exactly they are doing with legislation for the remainder of this week and the following week to address the economy.