This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #159 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was smoking.

Topics

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member in his excitement did not hear the reply to the earlier question. The reply was there is no policy change.

With respect to the issue he has raised, he can discuss it further at committee this afternoon.

EmploymentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Chris Axworthy NDP Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

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

In spite of his and the government's rhetoric about job creation Statistics Canada, the government's own agency, paints an entirely different picture.

The jobless rate in Canada is almost 50% higher than the in U.S. Among older men it is 140% higher and almost twice as high among older women.

The tragedy behind these numbers is manifested in every community across the country. The government has this don't worry, be happy attitude. That is an insult to all Canadians who cannot find work and feed their families.

Does the Minister of Finance dispute Statistics Canada's analysis of this crisis situation?

EmploymentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, in fact what Statistics Canada has pointed out are the very problems we raised when we were in opposition, the problems with the then government's administration of the economy. That is why we brought in the changes we did. That is why today we have low interest rates, we have eliminated the deficit and it is why we have one of the best job creation records of any of the G-7 countries. As I mentioned, it is paying off. Since 1996 over 800,000 new jobs have been created, better than any other G-7 country.

EmploymentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Chris Axworthy NDP Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, this must be why our offices are inundated by people on EI, trying to get EI, trying to find work. The government's policies are simply not working.

My supplementary is to the Prime Minister. When the Prime Minister recognized there was a crisis in health care he established the national forum on health.

Surely the Prime Minister knows the crisis in employment and joblessness is just as severe. Will he set up a national forum on unemployment to hear ideas on how we can solve this question? If not, is it that he does not care about the unemployed?

EmploymentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the record of the government on job creation is pretty impressive. Since we took office, more than 1.3 million new jobs have been created. When we took over the unemployment level was 11.4%. It is down to 8.1%. I think we have done very well.

Of course our unemployment level is not as low as that of the United States. In Canada we have a much better safety net for protecting people. We have minimum wage and a lot of social programs not available in many parts of the U.S.

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, first I will be a lovely lady and thank the minister of veterans affairs for meeting with merchant navy vets this morning.

Now, in the meeting the minister apparently stated that his hands were tied when it came to compensation. However, the minister must know that he has the ability to request an order in council to authorize the crown to make a payment without prejudice for these veterans. Is the minister willing to explore this avenue?

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Fred Mifflin LiberalMinister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for her kind comments. I also want to tell her what merchant navy veterans receive now in the way of benefits.

They receive disability, survivor's pension, income support, prisoner of war compensation, survivor's allowance, benefits for surgical and dental needs, veterans independence program and long term care. When this government's omnibus bill is introduced early next week they will have these benefits and more.

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, I know what the minister of veterans affairs is referring to. It is the bill that was brought in by our government in 1992 that made them partially equal with other World War II veterans.

The Department of Veterans Affairs had $49 million in lapsed funds in 1997, more than enough to compensate these merchant navy vets.

The Conservative government in the past had the courage to correct the wrongs of the past with Japanese Canadians in World War II and looked after thalidomide victims.

Will this minister and this government—

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Veterans Affairs.

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Fred Mifflin LiberalMinister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for reminding this House that her government could not put forward retroactive legislation either.

Norbert ReinhartOral Question Period

November 25th, 1998 / 2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Ben Serré Liberal Timiskaming—Cochrane, ON

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Norbert Reinhart, a Canadian citizen and diamond driller from northern Ontario, is presently being held in captivity by the FARC guerrilla group in Columbia.

What is the Canadian government doing to ensure Mr. Reinhart's family and colleagues that every possible effort is being made to have him released safely and at the earliest possible time?

Norbert ReinhartOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian ambassador to Columbia is actually today in the state of Bucaramanga to meet with the governor, the bishop of the region and the Red Cross to discuss with these officials the best way of negotiating the release of Mr. Reinhart.

We also had the occasion, I and the Minister for International Cooperation, to raise this matter with the high commissioner for human rights, Mary Robinson, who has indicated that their office in Columbia will do everything possible to help in supporting them.

We have given them a major grant of half a million dollars for their work—

Norbert ReinhartOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Lakeland.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Leon Benoit Reform Lakeland, AB

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

Canada's intelligence agency, CSIS, has reported that money raised by a Tamil group in Canada has been used to fund a terrorist group, the Tamil Tigers.

Mr. Suresh, a refugee in Canada since 1991, has been identified as a leader of the Tamil Tigers and in spite of the fact that he was ordered deported he still walks the streets of Toronto today. Why?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, if my hon. colleague had given me notice of the question I would have had an answer for him.

Drinking WaterOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have learned that the federal government plans to expand the mandate of the Joint International Commission to all waterways and groundwater on both sides of the Canada-US border.

My question is for the Minister of the Environment. Since Quebec wishes to develop a water policy, does the minister realize that her project could constitute a new instance of federal government interference in an area that has always belonged to the provinces?

Drinking WaterOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Northumberland Ontario

Liberal

Christine Stewart LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, what this country does with bulk water exports is of concern to all Canadians. The federal government is committed to dealing with this subject. We will be bringing forward our decision very soon.

Health CareOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister. Canadians from coast to coast to coast are saying with one voice that our health care system is in crisis. From patients to doctors to nurses to all provincial and territorial governments, everyone is demanding federal government action and a commitment to reverse this government's cuts to health care.

The Premier of Saskatchewan has made an important suggestion in calling on the Prime Minister to convene a first ministers meeting as soon as possible. Is the Prime Minister willing to take up this call, to take this first step of convening a first ministers meeting as soon as possible and to discuss the critical situation in health care?

Health CareOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I made a speech in September in which I said that the next investment of this government would be in health care. I said this long before premiers began asking for a first ministers meeting.

Bill C-44Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Mark Muise Progressive Conservative West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, the creation of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation was an integral part of the previous government's redress agreement with the over 21,000 Japanese Canadians who were wrongly interned during the second world war. Despite the fact that their properties were confiscated and sold, the 1984 Liberal government steadfastly refused to apologize or even compensate these individuals for that shameful injustice.

Why is the Liberal government using Bill C-44 to once again turn its back on our Japanese Canadians by breaching the terms of the agreement that led to the creation of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation?

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, Bill C-44 contains a number of measures that deal with accountability. Bill C-44 looks at the Canadian Race Relations Foundation just as it looks at all the other agencies. It is being treated quite fairly.

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Deepak Obhrai Reform Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, I hope the new solicitor general will not stonewall this question. Recently the director of CSIS stated that Canada is the number two country in the world when it comes to terrorist activity: “Terrorists have been provided a safe haven here”. He also revealed that it is becoming increasingly difficult to effectively combat terrorism.

While this government has the money to spend on millennium celebrations and tunnels for Senators, CSIS has had its budget cut by over $65 million. Is the government going to sit idle or will it act now to ensure Canada does not become the number one home for terrorists?

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the member that Canada is aware of the problem and that we are addressing the problem.

Presence In GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

I draw the attention of hon. members to the presence in the gallery of the Honourable Antonio Bargone, Secretary of State for Public Works of Italy.

Presence In GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.