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House of Commons Hansard #82 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was farmers.

Topics

ForestryOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Ben Serré Liberal Timiskaming—Cochrane, ON

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

British Columbia's forest industry is in trouble. Logging levels and foreign exports are down. B.C. mills and workers are idle.

What is the federal government doing to address these issues facing this most important Canadian industry?

ForestryOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, forestry management practices per se are a provincial responsibility but there is an important federal role particularly with respect to science and technology and trade.

I am happy to say that typically the Government of Canada invests its natural resources research budget on a regional basis. With respect to science and technology, 16% in total flows to the province of British Columbia. Last year it was $34 million for important projects.

On trade, I am working with the industry, with union leadership, with the province and with foreign governments and buyers to secure the greatest amount of market access for British Columbia forest products, access that is not only stable for the present time but growing for the future.

TaxationOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Reform

Eric C. Lowther Reform Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, studies show how important the parent-child bond is for the long term health of Canadian children. A national poll indicated that 94% of Canadians are concerned about the lack of time they have to spend with their offspring.

Many parents would like to stay home and raise their children if they could afford to do it, but this government overtaxes them if they do. Only third party child care expenses can be deducted and the last budget increased this by 35% while ignoring homemakers.

When will this government stop its discriminatory tax policies which undermine many Canadian families?

TaxationOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, we understand that this is a priority of many members of this House.

We have to recognize that we have taken steps in past budgets in order to recognize the very real burden that homes bear, particularly those where one person is working and another is not. For example in our last budget we took 400,000 taxpayers right off the roles. We reduced the taxes for 14 million Canadians, or 90% of all taxpayers. Through the national child tax benefit we are putting funds directly into the area where we think they are most needed, to those families where—

TaxationOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Matapédia—Matane.

Coast Guard Radio StationOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

René Canuel Bloc Matapédia—Matane, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

The Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans has requested that the closing of the coast guard radio station in the Magdalen Islands scheduled for March 31 be postponed.

Given that no serious study has shown the closing to be justified, is the minister prepared to postpone this closing and take the time to consult with fishers and those who use the station?

Coast Guard Radio StationOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, before the decision was made some months ago we carried out extensive consultations with all stakeholders. We also did an extensive analysis of the technology involved. In this instance there is no loss of jobs. People will be moved as we consolidate at Rivière-au-Renard.

While I respect the committee's report, in essence it came too late to vary the decision that was made.

Atomic Energy Of Canada LimitedOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, at this very moment, 250 workers at AECL Pinawa are being handed this letter which says “It is with sincere regret that I inform you that your employment with AECL will terminate on March 31, 1998”. This is every worker's worst nightmare. The layoff freeze lifted on Wednesday. On Friday they get their pink slips. On Tuesday another 250 Canadians will be out on the street.

The sale of AECL has been delayed. What is the urgency to dump these workers with one day's notice? What happened to the election promises that Ottawa would take care of these workers? What is the minister doing to help these workers whose lives are being turned upside down by this government's downsizing frenzy?

Atomic Energy Of Canada LimitedOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, it was less than a week ago that this very member asked me in this House to ensure that the workers who would be laid off at Pinawa would be protected under the government's early retirement incentive program. In order to make sure those workers were protected under that program it was a legal requirement that they be notified with respect to their layoff status no later than March 31.

The notices which have been served are for the very purpose of ensuring that the affected workers can benefit from the maximum amount of protection available under the programs of AECL and under the early retirement incentive program.

Atomic Energy Of Canada LimitedOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for St. John's West.

FisheriesOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Charlie Power Progressive Conservative St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, the recent fisheries committee report recommended that Canada “immediately adopt a position that there are no fish in excess of Canada's needs anywhere inside of our 200-mile zone on either coast”. Under present international agreements this government is still trading away Canadian fish and with them, Canadian jobs.

Will the minister of fisheries immediately accept this recommendation? Will he table a list of all international agreements that involve the trading away of Canadian fish?

FisheriesOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the policy of the government is to Canadianize to the greatest extent possible our eastern Canadian fisheries. As a result we have moved the foreign take within the 200-mile limit from over 380,000 tonnes down to approximately 2,000 tonnes in the most recent year. In other words it is now half to one per cent of what it previously was.

There is no fishing by any foreign vessel within our 200-mile limit unless Canadians have been offered those fish. Only when they refuse is that fishery opened up to foreign vessels under international agreements. They are the same international agreements that allow us—

FisheriesOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle.

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Liberal Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of National Defence.

During the January ice storm, Canadians again saw the exemplary work of our soldiers. During its hearings, however, the Standing Committee on National Defence and Veterans Affairs was informed that their salaries were not high enough to meet their families' basic needs.

What is the Liberal government doing to ensure that members of the armed forces are adequately paid?

National DefenceOral Question Period

Noon

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I applaud the hon. member and the committee for the fine work they are doing. The government is listening.

I am pleased to advise the House today that there will be two adjustments to pay made for our services personnel effective April 1. One deals with a catch-up with public service salary rates of 1.2% and the other is an economic increase of some 2%.

This means that over the past two years, accumulatively, the increases have been 9.3% for non-commissioned members and 9.4% for general service officers.

RailwaysOral Question Period

Noon

Reform

Lee Morrison Reform Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, I share the concerns of Canadian taxpayers who cannot help but wonder if the ministerial musings of the Minister of Transport about the need for public-private partnerships to revitalize the passenger rail system might be just another excuse to scratch the back of a Liberal friendly company.

I would like to know just what the plans on the table are for a sweetheart deal for that perpetual Liberal darling, Bombardier.

RailwaysOral Question Period

Noon

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member's imagination is running away with itself.

He is a member of the Standing Committee on Transport which is looking at this very issue. The government does not have a fixed agenda.

What we want is to make sure that the passenger rail system in Canada is financed in such a way that we can continue the high standards we have had over recent years, while allowing the taxpayers to get off the hook in terms of the refinancing of capital projects such as rolling stock.

If the hon. member has any ideas, he should present them at the committee. I know there are lots of companies that would be interested in this change.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

March 27th, 1998 / noon

Liberal

Claudette Bradshaw Liberal Moncton, NB

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. It is Friday and we have a staff person upstairs, Big Bob, who is retiring today. I thought it would be nice for the Chamber to wish him good luck. He has been excellent to us and to the staff. I thought, since it is Friday, we might want to wish him all the best.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

Noon

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Order In Council AppointmentsRoutine Proceedings

Noon

Peterborough Ontario

Liberal

Peter Adams LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to table in the House today, in both official languages, a number of Order in Council appointments which were made recently by the government.

Pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order 110(1), these are deemed referred to the appropriate standing committees, a list of which is attached.

Government Response To PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Liberal

Peter Adams LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 15 petitions.

House CommitteesRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the sixth report of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

Pursuant to the order of reference of Tuesday, November 4, 1997, your committee has considered Bill C-3, an act respecting DNA identification and to make consequential amendments to the Criminal Code and other acts. Your committee has agreed to report it with amendments.

May I add that this was an all-party committee and that all members of the House worked very hard on the report.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Reform

Bill Gilmour Reform Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36 I am pleased to present two petitions from concerned citizens in my riding of Nanaimo—Alberni.

The first petition calls upon Parliament to support the immediate initiation and conclusion by the year 2000 of an international convention to set out a binding timetable for the abolition of all nuclear weapons.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Reform

Bill Gilmour Reform Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, in the second petition the petitioners call upon Parliament to remove the GST from books, magazines and newspapers. They also ask the Prime Minister to carry out his party's repeated promise to remove the federal sales tax from reading materials.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Reform

John Cummins Reform Delta—South Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from people in my constituency who want to draw to the attention of Parliament the fact that one in eight men will suffer from prostate cancer and that one-third of those sufferers will die of the disease.

It is noted here that the cost of treating prostate cancer in men is approximately $250 billion annually and that some of the best research is being done in very inadequate circumstances.

It is noted, as well, that the opinion of several Vancouver researchers is that $1 per Canadian is not too much to ask for prostate cancer research. It would go a long way toward defeating the disease.