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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 Atlantic Groundfish StrategyOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Malpeque P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, the minister will respond to the specifics of the report in due time.

We have to abide by international obligations. If we were to kick the foreign fleets out tomorrow we would destroy thousands of jobs in Nova Scotia and I am certain the member does not want that. We have already been offering fish to Canadians first.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Liberal Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs. UNICEF is leading global efforts to end the use of child soldiers which include not just the 10-year old boy with an AK-47 assault rifle, but also many thousands of young girls who are abducted and forced into sexual slavery and child labour. What is the Government of Canada doing to address the exploitation of over 250,000 child soldiers around the world?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, a very important round table meeting was held in Ottawa yesterday. It involved experts from around the world who are dealing with this very serious humanitarian problem.

There are approximately three ways of attacking the problem. First, Canada is working very actively to amend the optional protocol to prohibit the use of child soldiers to make it an international covenant. Second, through the work of CIDA and other organizations, we are developing programs to help end the use of child soldiers in many countries by enabling them to return to their communities to get an education. Third, it is important that a number of private organizations and Parliament speak out against the vicious practice of using our young people in combat. This is something that Canada can once again take a humanitarian lead in around the world.

Tuition FeesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Rahim Jaffer Reform Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, when I visited Montreal last week, a McGill University student asked me about the differences in tuition fees in Quebec. In the present system, students from other provinces are penalized.

We know that the provincial governments are trying to freeze tuition fees, but penalizing students from other provinces is not the solution.

Does the government feel that these different tuition fees are acceptable?

Tuition FeesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, setting university tuition fee levels is a provincial jurisdiction. It is therefore up to the Government of Quebec to set tuition fees within Quebec.

I have already written to Mrs. Marois indicating that our government did not accept the idea of different tuition fees for citizens of this country, because equal access to these institutions was important, particularly for our francophone friends in Ontario and for our Acadian brothers and sisters in New Brunswick.

RcmpOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Solicitor General.

Sunday evening, an aboriginal woman and her 9-year old son were shot by the RCMP near Calgary, Alberta, in an operation that turned sour and that seems absolutely unjustifiable.

How can the Solicitor General explain such a violent response from the RCMP and should he not immediately order not an internal investigation but a public inquiry to let everyone know how such a tragedy could have happened?

RcmpOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I think everyone in this House feels badly about the incident that occurred in Alberta. The investigation which is currently being conducted is being conducted under the purview of the province of Alberta.

Post-Secondary EducationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is incredible that in Canada we still do not have a national grants program for post-secondary education. The Prime Minister's pet project, the millennium fund, just does not cut it. Even delegates at the Liberal convention called on the government to institute a national grants program. It is shameful that Canada is only one of two OECD countries that does not have such a program.

When is the Prime Minister going to listen to students and his own party members and bring in a national grants program?

Post-Secondary EducationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I would ask the hon. member to put that question to me.

The budget has been very, very well received precisely because education, access to knowledge, competence and skills is at the heart of it.

There are grants. The millennium fund will grant 100,000 students with scholarships of up to $3,000 per year.

We are making major improvements to the Canada student loan program. We are providing grants for students with dependants. I could go on. This is the best achievement we have made in the last three months.

Canada Labour Relations BoardOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Jean Dubé Progressive Conservative Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, under section 10 of the Canada Labour Code a person is not eligible to hold office as a member of the Canada Labour Relations Board if they hold any other employment. Yet the Minister of Labour has recently appointed Mr. Paul Lordon as chair of the CLRB, even though he is still chairperson of the RCMP pay council.

Can the minister explain why this was allowed?

Canada Labour Relations BoardOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalMinister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, my office has spoken with Mr. Lordon today and he has indicated that he is wrapping up his business with the RCMP pay council. In fact, under the conflict of interest code, section 8(b), Mr. Lordon has 120 days to wrap up his business and that is what he is doing.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Mac Harb Liberal Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister for International Cooperation.

Millions of children in North Korea are at risk of starvation. With Canada's great tradition of helping the poorest of the world can the Minister tell the House what action she is taking to help the people of North Korea?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Moncton New Brunswick

Liberal

Claudette Bradshaw LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister for International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, over the past year we have contributed over $10 million for food to help the people in North Korea. Unfortunately the food shortage continues. I am pleased to inform the House that a further $5 million worth of Canadian wheat will be sent to North Korea by the Canadian food grain bank.

What must be remembered is that $1 million was donated by Canadians and $4 million was donated by the government. Canada will also contribute three quarters of a million dollars to UNICEF to provide for the basic health needs of those people.

Air India DisasterOral Question Period

March 24th, 1998 / 2:50 p.m.

Independent

John Nunziata Independent York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is with respect to the worst mass murder in Canadian history.

When the Liberal party was in opposition the leader of the party, the present Prime Minister, promised, in writing, to have a royal commission of inquiry with respect to that particular disaster.

My question is to the Solicitor General. When does his Prime Minister intend to keep that promise and why does his government insist on continuing the cover-up that began in the Mulroney administration?

Air India DisasterOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the investigation around the Air India disaster has been one of the most intensive ever conducted by the RCMP. The investigation has been ongoing and that is the reason why it would be inappropriate to conduct any other kind of investigation.

Ultimately, if and when charges are laid that will be up to the Office of the Attorney General of British Columbia.

Royal Canadian MintOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Ken Epp Reform Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Royal Canadian Mint has decided to get into a new business, competing directly with a world recognized plant in my riding.

The minister has chosen to ignore some important facts. Westaim can and is ready to assure the supply.

The government's unfair competition with the private sector is putting the jobs of 100 people in my riding at risk. The new Winnipeg plant the government wants to build will cost $48 million in construction costs and lost savings. All of this is for a plant with unproven production and technology.

Will the minister assure us today that he will stop this project or at least put—

Royal Canadian MintOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Public Works.

Royal Canadian MintOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, first, the mint has no intention of competing with the private sector. Concerning this project, about a year ago Westaim said it was getting out of its core business, so the mint has the responsibility of ensuring that it has the necessary supplies to produce the coins which we need.

Representatives of the mint and I met with the president of Westaim and offered to work with his company in order that it may continue its business and assure the supply for years to come. However, he refused and decided to do something else. That is his business.

Option CanadaOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Bloc Rimouski—Mitis, QC

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

While the Minister of Canadian Heritage has insisted that all the information concerning Option Canada was in the public domain, we are still unable to obtain a copy of the letter that the minister apparently sent to the president of Option Canada, asking him to explain how the $4.8 million were used.

Is the Prime Minister prepared to act right now to ensure that the commitments made by his minister are honoured and that the letter in question is made public, as promised last Thursday?

Option CanadaOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Don Valley West Ontario

Liberal

John Godfrey LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member's allegation is totally false. We have followed the guidelines and are conducting an investigation on the subject.

The SenateOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I had hoped to ask a follow up question to the Prime Minister about the Senate, but perhaps the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs could answer why the federal government is not prepared to set the ball rolling with respect to the abolition of the Senate.

We understand that the House of Commons cannot do this on its own. However, we do have an amending process. We could begin with a resolution in this House to abolish the existing undemocratic Senate and put the provinces and other parties on the spot as to where they stand on the issue of abolishing the Senate. We can always recreate it in a democratic forum if we want to.

The SenateOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Deputy Prime Minister.

The SenateOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I will be pleased to draw the hon. member's representation to the attention of the Prime Minister.

The Atlantic Groundfish StrategyOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, my question, once again, is for the minister of fisheries.

I have to say that recommendation No. 2, as was stated by one of my colleagues, would cease giving permission to Canadian companies to hire foreign vessels and foreign crews to catch fish in Canadian waters.

The reply from the parliamentary secretary was: Does the PC Party want to put people out of work in Nova Scotia? What we want to do is put people to work in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and across the whole of Canada.

Considering the thousands of Atlantic Canadians who are unemployed, will the minister inform this House and Atlantic Canadians that he too agrees with recommendation No. 2?

The Atlantic Groundfish StrategyOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Malpeque P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, as I clearly said earlier, the minister will respond to the specifics of the recommendations in this report at a later date.

Again I have to spell out to the member that there are certain international obligations. If we kick out the foreign fleets we will lose the leverage to influence the decision to protect world fish stocks in a sustainable fashion. There are, in fact, thousands of workers who depend on the fish that are caught by those foreign fleets for processing jobs in Canada. We do not want to destroy those jobs.