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House of Commons Hansard #79 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was debt.

Topics

The SenateOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I will repeat that if we were to begin electing a senator at this time, we would perpetuate the situation forever.

I will quote Dennis Anderson, a former cabinet minister in the Don Getty government who chaired the committee which produced the Senatorial Selection Act, 1989. He said that when they are elected “it will be next to impossible to renegotiate the distribution of seats. For Alberta, that is the very worst possibility, much worse than abolishing the Senate”.

Customs ControlsOral Question Period

March 24th, 1998 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, there has recently been an increase in excessive controls by U.S. customs, at the Canadian border.

There are even some members of this House who were subjected to these picky controls and to the rudeness of U.S. customs inspectors.

My question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Given the good relations that exist between Canada and the United States, including at the border, does the minister intend to make representations to put a stop to this unacceptable behaviour on the part of U.S. customs inspectors?

Customs ControlsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, last week we indicated in the House that we are in fact engaged with United States negotiators over these kinds of border issues.

We made it very clear there are very basic standards that we apply. The United States has since sent a letter clarifying the situation, indicating that in fact it was not a U.S. border inspector who went through the search and seizure procedure. We concur with that kind of assessment. What we have to do is get on with the negotiations so that once again we can establish a new model for border crossings that will be the model for the world.

Customs ControlsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, in light of the comments recently made by Mrs. Albright during her trip to Canada, regarding the wonderful co-operation that exists between Canada and the United States, does the minister intend to remind U.S. official of the comments she made, so that the situation can get back to normal as quickly as possible?

Customs ControlsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it always amazes me that when hon. members prepare a supplementary question they do not listen to the answer first.

The fact of the matter is that we have raised the issue with the United States. It has responded to say it was not involved. I would suggest to the hon. member that before he asks a supplementary he get the facts right.

The SenateOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Charlie Penson Reform Peace River, AB

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

Last week we learned that a former business associate of the Prime Minister's, Ross Fitzpatrick, was awarded the latest snooze seat in the Senate. Yesterday we learned that a former employer of the Prime Minister's gets to sit on the board of the Export Development Corporation.

Will the Prime Minister now table all the names of his former employers? That way Canadians will know in advance who his next appointees will be so that they can check their credentials.

The SenateOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

My colleague, I think we are stretching it a bit here. If the Prime Minister wishes to address himself to that question, it is out of order but if he wants to address it, the right hon. Prime Minister.

The SenateOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, for the past five or ten years my employers have been the 35,000 voters in the Saint-Maurice riding who have given me the job of representing them in Ottawa.

The SenateOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Charlie Penson Reform Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, one thing that is becoming clear is that a pattern is developing here. If someone was a business associate or a former employer of the Prime Minister's, they are in line for a patronage appointment.

Will the Prime Minister promise today to discontinue this practice so that Canadians will see some confidence restored in the process?

The SenateOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I said and the Deputy Prime Minister said yesterday that Mr. Robert Fung is a very pre-eminent businessperson in Canada. He serves on three committees. Two of them do not pay him a cent and the other one pays something like $3,000 a year.

I think we should be happy to have people who are willing to devote their time to helping the government give good government to the people of Canada.

Old Age SecurityOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Dumas Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, members of AFEAS, the women's association for education and social action, signed and mailed over 35,000 cards to the Minister of Finance, asking him to make substantial changes to his proposed reform of old age security.

Does the Minister of Finance intend to follow up on the requests and recommendations made by AFEAS?

Old Age SecurityOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I already had very successful discussions with representatives of AFEAS. They raised some very interesting points.

As I already said in this House, it is our intention, when the amendments to the legislation on old age security are introduced, to make some changes.

Film And Television IndustryOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Jordan Liberal Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, British Columbia boasts the fastest growing film and television production industry in Canada. Major international productions such as the Oscar nominated The Sweet Hereafter , and the highly acclaimed X Files are but two examples of its success.

What has the government done to help British Columbia develop the strongest possible film and television production industry?

Film And Television IndustryOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

London West Ontario

Liberal

Sue Barnes LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his question.

The recently announced film or television production services tax credit which is administered by the Department of National Revenue has only been the latest example of our efforts. This extra $55 million in support has helped create jobs in British Columbia, in fact over 12,500 jobs in this particular area. This is wonderful for Canada. It is good for Canadian culture. It is especially good for British Columbia.

Search And RescueOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Jake Hoeppner Reform Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, last December a plane crash in Little Grand Rapids, Manitoba took the lives of four people. Weather prevented military aircraft from offering immediate assistance.

John Gibson, a helicopter pilot with 23 years experience, used his training to rescue a woman and a two year old boy from the crash site. Why will the Minister of Transport not give this hero a medal instead of an investigation?

Search And RescueOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, we all have to have rules to follow particularly in the business of flying airplanes and driving ships. Rules are rules. Investigations have to be conducted whenever there is a chance that these rules may have been breached. This is the case and the investigation is under way.

Search And RescueOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Jake Hoeppner Reform Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, we are fully aware of the importance of air regulations and safety.

This clearly was a special case. This was not someone out joy riding. This person put his own safety on the line to help somebody else.

Why will the minister not recognize the heroic efforts of this man instead of trying to discredit his flying ability?

Search And RescueOral Question Period

2:40 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 have heard the Reform Party often talk about how rules should be enforced.

Given that Transport Canada's prime concern is safety, is the hon. member and the Reform Party suggesting that safety not be a top concern and that the possible violations of regulations not be investigated? I think not.

Pay EquityOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, earlier today the Canadian Human Rights Commission criticized federal government stall tactics on pay equity for setting an “unfortunate example” that invites employers in the private sector to use court challenges to evade the law as well.

My question is for the President of the Treasury Board. How does the government, entrusted with upholding the law, justify not only evading its own responsibility on pay equity, but also setting in place what the human rights commission calls a pattern of resistance that is being used to delay and deny justice for Canadian women across the country?

Pay EquityOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the judgment of the federal court which was rendered last week and the one which was rendered yesterday indicate very clearly that the unions can lose their case in court and that the best way to look at pay equity is to negotiate it.

At present we are trying to negotiate with the various unions a system of pay equity that is equitable for everybody. The courts remind us that for our employees this is the best course to follow.

Job CreationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Angela Vautour NDP Beauséjour—Petitcodiac, NB

Mr. Speaker, many Canadians are still looking for those jobs the Liberals claim to have created.

The phone in my riding office has been ringing non-stop with calls from my constituents asking where those jobs are. Worse still, some of the people in my region no longer get EI because of the Liberal government's cuts.

When will the Prime Minister quit attacking the poor and start attacking the real problem, the lack of jobs, and when will he create a long-term job creation strategy to create real jobs rather than band-aid solutions like the ones announced by the Minister of Human Resources Development?

Job CreationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the government is deeply committed to employment. That is why we have restored order to Canada's public finances and why interest rates are dropping significantly.

That is also why we have created the transitional job fund, which has been useful in the Atlantic provinces, New Brunswick in particular, where it has attracted private sector investments which have led to the creation of real, full-time jobs. Our priority is job creation.

The Atlantic Groundfish StrategyOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Norman E. Doyle Progressive Conservative St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, many thousands of people in Atlantic Canada have been waiting in anticipation of the federal government announcement on the post-TAGS program. Can the Prime Minister now confirm that the federal cabinet met last week and has already made a final decision that there will be no follow up TAGS program in Atlantic Canada?

The Atlantic Groundfish StrategyOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, we have been working very hard on the post-TAGS environment. Mr. Harrigan produced a very healthy and very good report that will allow us to make the best decisions possible. We are consulting with the provinces right now. We are consulting with the communities, the fishers and the fish plant workers. It is very important that we address the issue the right way.

We made the announcement a long time ago that TAGS was ending in August. That is why we are now working on the post-TAGS environment.

The Atlantic Groundfish StrategyOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Norman E. Doyle Progressive Conservative St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, if there is to be no post-TAGS program, the minister should be aware that Canada no longer has fish in excess of its needs and that foreign countries are presently fishing our resources. Will the minister immediately adopt recommendation No. 5, which would no longer permit foreign countries to fish inside our 200-mile limit, taking resources away from Atlantic Canadians who desperately need them?