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House of Commons Hansard #132 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was federal.

Topics

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I am always saddened when I see a young member of the Bloc Quebecois rise to ask about unemployment for young people, when this government is trying to give them work and a better entry into the labour market.

As regards participation in our employment insurance system, we have to realize, and Statistics Canada's preliminary data indicate this, that those not covered by employment insurance are perhaps those who—

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The member for Rosemont.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am always surprised to see a baby boomer of his age trying to get the young people in Quebec to pay. And they will get their own back.

How does he explain the fact that, since his government's reform, barely one young unemployed person in four is entitled to benefits? If this is not exclusion, what is it?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I can assure you of one thing and that is that young people from Quebec like those from the rest of the country are benefiting from the Youth Employment Strategy, which is vital to helping them into the labour market, to fight this barrier—transition from school to the labour market.

We have adopted general policies as well to enable young people to remain in school longer. The best guarantee of a job in the future is to remain in school as long as possible.

This government wants a future for young people, not unemployment and passive assistance, which is what the members of the Bloc Quebecois wants for them.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Reform Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, this government talks about a debate. Let us talk about using insurance premiums for other government programs and the overcharging of workers and employers.

Is part of the debate going to be whether the government is going to change the name from insurance to just another tax?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the EI debate is more than just about premiums, as the hon. member wants to keep talking about. It is about making choices.

I will use the hon. member's terms. In terms of payroll taxes, our country's are one of the lowest of the OECD nations. We will continue to ensure that this country has the right fundamentals in place to continue to grow. Canadians want to see sound, stable investments and continued success. We are prepared to deliver that on behalf of Canadians.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Reform Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am glad the member talked about choices because in the province of Ontario, workers and employers are paying $4.5 billion more in premiums for unemployment insurance than they are getting back in unemployment benefits. This is a province that is represented by Liberal members of parliament.

What choice do the citizens of Ontario have in getting back their $4.5 billion overpayment in UI premiums?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should also point out the hundreds of thousands of jobs created in the province of Ontario because of Liberal policies.

If the member wants to focus on something, let her focus on the word employment in the EI program. Let her focus on our priorities for job creation in Ontario and all over Canada. Then she will understand what we are trying to do and what we have been doing.

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Bloc Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the acting Prime Minister.

The documents on the Peppergate affair handed over to the commission by the offices of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs are apparently incomplete and censured. In the opinion of the Deputy Prime Minister, does not providing the documents requested do anything to improve the image of the Prime Minister's transparency?

Is the government pulling another Somalia on us here?

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, it is quite the contrary. There has been a lot of compliance with these requests for information. Large volumes of information have been made available. More information continues to come forward. There has been no allegation from anybody at the public complaints commission that they are not getting exactly what they are asking for.

Canada PostOral Question Period

October 5th, 1998 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Alex Shepherd Liberal Durham, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the minister of public works.

Franchise operators of Canada Post have complained that revised compensation packages have been implemented without their input and at a considerable economic hardship to them. Will the minister tell this House how he intends to deal with this matter? It has wide ranging effects on postal services in both rural and urban centres of our country.

Canada PostOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce to the House and to all Canadians that Canada Post has decided to postpone the date of implementation to December 1. I thank all members on both sides of the House for their co-operation. In the meantime from now until December 1, Canada Post will meet with every franchise in order to explain how the new system will work.

Canada Post is providing a fixed commission amount from $6,000 to $25,000. The new system will continue to give the same good service it presently gives to Canadians. Canada Post wants—

Canada PostOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Souris—Moose Mountain.

TransportationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Roy H. Bailey Reform Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Transport.

The Canadian Transportation Agency released a decision a few days ago on a complaint from the Canadian Wheat Board about grain transportation. The CN has admitted to some of the blame. The CPR is partly to blame. By now most prairie branch lines are abandoned or in the process of being abandoned. It is up to the farmers now to drive hundreds of kilometres on torn-up roads to get to the mainline terminals.

When will this government spend our federal fuel tax revenue where it should be spent, on improving roads so farmers can get their grain to market?

TransportationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should know that it would be inappropriate for me to comment on the Canadian Transportation Agency issue and the wheat board complaint. It is subject to appeal. The hon. member should also know that Judge Estey is studying this entire issue. So let us not come to some prejudgment here in the House.

On the issue of railway line abandonment, I have assured the hon. member and the people in his home province that the railways have the right to abandon these lines but that they are going about their business in a very careful way so as not to prejudge Judge—

TransportationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Cypress Hills—Grasslands.

TransportationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Lee Morrison Reform Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, the prairie highway system was designed to supplement the railroads, not to replace rail hauling. It is being destroyed especially in Saskatchewan where it is already a shambles. Each year $635 million is being sucked out of the prairies in fuel taxes while $13 million is being put back. Does the minister want us to go back to moving our grain with horse drawn wagons, or will this government put some of its fuel loot back where it belongs, into highways in the provinces—

TransportationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. Minister of Transport.

TransportationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I know the hon. member is sincerely concerned about transportation in general, in particular in transportation for the grain industry in his home province. We will be having this debate in the coming months. I do not believe we can actively engage in that debate at this point, not until we have Judge Estey's report. We will see what he recommends in dealing with some of these serious issues.

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, when the solicitor general prejudices the outcome of the Spray-PEC inquiry, as my colleague clearly heard him do on an Ottawa to Fredericton flight on Thursday evening, confidence in the inquiry is severely undermined.

To remove any doubt about whether the solicitor general or anyone else is covering for the Prime Minister, will the Prime Minister commit today to appear before the public complaints inquiry?

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, many times in the last two or three weeks I have stood in the House and very much protected the process to get to the truth of this matter for everyone to hear, and here it is: we will not interfere with that process. We will get to the truth in exactly the manner the House set up the public complaints commission to do.

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, too bad the solicitor general has totally compromised this process now. Our justice system depends upon the scrupulous impartiality of the solicitor general. He is one of the senior law officers of the land.

Is it a proper role for the solicitor general to cover for the Prime Minister? Is it a proper role for the solicitor general to be a party to four to five RCMP officers taking the rap?

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I can only say that I have stood in the House many times and said exactly what I have said just now.

We will get to the truth. The public complaints commission is doing its investigation. I wish hon. members would let it do its job.

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, week after week Canadians have witnessed the dodging and weaving of the Prime Minister in an effort to avoid accountability for his actions at APEC. Yet Prime Minister staffers like Jennifer Lang are allowed to comment at random on the APEC allegations, dismissing Chief Gail Sparrows as not credible.

My question is for the Deputy Prime Minister. Why is it that Liberal spin doctors are allowed to comment on APEC outside the public complaints commission while the Prime Minister continues to hide? Why the double standard?

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the first thing I want to do is check the accuracy of the hon. member's assertion. Certainly, as the solicitor general has said, we want the hearings to begin. We want them to be carried out thoroughly and effectively.

I do not see why the hon. member raises this kind of question if he really wants these commission hearings to succeed. Let them continue and let us see what the result will be.