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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

Option CanadaOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Bloc Charlesbourg, QC

Give us an answer.

Option CanadaOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Sheila Copps Liberal Hamilton East, ON

If trouble is what they want, let them go to Minister Landry who, on December 19, 1996, used sections 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 27, 37, 38 and 39 of the Access to Information Act to refuse to give any information whatsoever about the billions siphoned off for the sovereigntists' shady Plan O.

BankingOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

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

The government refuses to hear the legitimate concerns of small depositors, small businesses and smaller communities on the megabank merger until after the task force on financial services reports.

In stark contrast the government rolls out the red carpet to the international financial elite. The government cannot wait to fast track the WTO deal thereby throwing open Canada's borders to foreign banks.

Why does the government hide behind the task force on financial services when it comes to the megabank concerns of Canadian citizens and Canadian communities but rushes to accommodate foreign banks?

BankingOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have a committee studying the problem and we are waiting for the recommendations. A few months ago banks wanted to have an approval right away and we said no, that they had to wait until we had a report and that in the light of the report we would make a decision.

It was very clear. They wanted to have an answer in the month of February and we said “No, wait until we are ready and we will be ready when the report comes to the government in the fall”.

BankingOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister conveniently ignored the question about fast tracking foreign banks.

If the financial services report is so important, why not defer the foreign banks issue as well until after the task force report?

Should we not consider foreign banks at the same that we consider the megabank merger? Why does the government not cool its jets on foreign banks legislation until after the financial services task force report, or are the interests of Canadian citizens and Canadian communities not as important to the government as the interests of foreign banks and financial elites?

BankingOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I do not know how the member concludes that sort of thing. At this time she says she is opposed to the merger but she wants more competition. If she wants more competition we should look at the possibility of having even more competition through accepting some foreign banks.

The committee is studying all that. If the member has some views to express she can go to the committee and her views, if they are good views, will be reflected when the committee of the House discusses these things.

PensionsOral Question Period

March 27th, 1998 / 11:25 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Mark Muise Progressive Conservative West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, on February 3, I wrote to the hon. minister about a decision to change the employment status of fishers and subsequent demand for retroactive CPP payments effective January 1, 1997. Subsequently I asked the minister to address this issue during question period. I even submitted another letter on March 12, yet there is no response.

Will the minister here and now commit to removing this retroactivity request and agree to negotiate a more suitable implementation date?

PensionsOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Minister of Human Resources Development I assure the hon. gentleman that his representations are being given serious consideration by the minister.

As I understand it, the minister has not been able to arrive at a final conclusion on the matter but he does intend to respond to the member at the earliest opportunity.

PensionsOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Mark Muise Progressive Conservative West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, in the meantime boat owners will have to fork out hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay Revenue Canada, leading to numerous layoffs.

The tax program is slated to end August 1998, leaving thousands of fishers and plant workers wondering how they are going to survive. Both the Harrigan report and the standing committee on fisheries report recommend the creation of a new post-TAGS program. Is the minister of fisheries seriously considering the creation of a post-TAGS program? If so, in what timeframe can we expect a response?

PensionsOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the member has raised an extremely important question which is being addressed by a committee of ministers headed up by the minister of human resources.

As the member is well aware, the issue is one that involves a large number of plant workers as well as a smaller number of actual fishermen. We hope we will be able to have that plan in place in good time before the expiry of the existing TAGS program in August of this year.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Reform

Mike Scott Reform Skeena, BC

Mr. Speaker, in the wake of the tragic shooting on the Tsuu T'ina reserve we asked the Indian affairs minister to investigate the social conditions on that reserve, the root cause of this tragedy and so much misery on reserves right across the country.

The minister, in keeping with her department's practice of denial and concealment, digs her heals in and refuses.

Can the minister tell this House and people on the Tsuu T'ina reserve why she is so opposed to a full public inquiry into the democratic, fiscal and social conditions on the Tsuu T'ina reserve?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, the minister of Indian affairs has not only engaged the Tsuu T'ina in the process, she has engaged the whole country in the process in terms of the follow-up to the aboriginal report on the royal commission.

If the member is really interested in healing and reconciliation he might follow the advice of the leadership of the aboriginal community that has said this process should be allowed to carry on in an independent fashion instead of pointing fingers in the way that unfortunately the Reform Party has politicized this tragedy.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Reform

Mike Scott Reform Skeena, BC

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the minister is referring to the Liberal puppet.

The minister talks about responding to the royal commission's report. There were over 400 recommendations in that report and they have acted only a handful of them. There is not one shred of evidence that conditions on reserves in Canada are improving. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that conditions are getting worse.

What are they trying to hide? Why will they not commit here and now to a full investigation into all the conditions on that reserve that led to this terrible tragedy?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, the tragic and sad thing is that the Reform Party does not understand what democracy really is.

Grand Chief Phil Fontaine was elected in a democratic election that was as democratic as the election that resulted in the member's unfortunate arrival in the House of Commons.

The member and his party would be well advised to look to the root causes of the healing process instead of imposing on the Indian community a $1 billion cut in program funding, the kind of cut they recommended in their last discussion paper.

Commission On Future Of Mirabel AirportOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, March 26, the Tardif Commission began to hold its hearings. This commission was created by the Government of Quebec in order to work with the public in seeking potential solutions to the mess created by the federal government at Mirabel airport over the years.

My question is for the Minister of Transport. Since ADM is not taking part in this commission, can the minister tell us why the federal government is not a full member of this commission, although it was formally invited?

Commission On Future Of Mirabel AirportOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is well aware that the responsibility of Transport Canada toward the Montreal airports is restricted to matters of safety and security, and the administration of leases and regulations.

The regional development aspect is a matter for my colleague, the Secretary of State for Economic Development for the Regions of Quebec. He will be here Monday to answer questions.

At the present time, an observer has been appointed to the Commission, and this person will act as an observer for Transport Canada and for my colleague's Economic Development Agency for the Regions of Quebec.

Commission On Future Of Mirabel AirportOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, they are passing the buck here.

I remind the minister that the federal government's responsibility in this mess is obvious.

If the government refuses to take part in the Tardif Commission, after pouring more than $250 million into Pearson airport in Toronto, can it at least commit to creating a compensation fund to facilitate getting Mirabel airport back on solid ground? That is all we are asking, not charity, just fair treatment.

Commission On Future Of Mirabel AirportOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we are always getting questions about fair treatment from members of the Bloc Quebecois.

They refer to Toronto, which has indicated its intention to make safety and general improvements, as have Calgary and Edmonton. If these things are necessary for Mirabel and Dorval, we are prepared to consider such improvements being subsidized by the federal government.

ShippingOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Reform Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the fisheries minister tried to justify his discrimination against B.C. and Ontario of taxing them at four times the rate in Quebec for oil shipping. He called it an insurance policy against oil spills.

According to his own coast guard studies, the risk of an oil spill in Ontario is 13 times less likely than a spill in Quebec ports.

Why has he ignored his own experts, his own studies, just so he can continue taxing B.C. and Ontario at four times the rate of Quebec?

ShippingOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the reason there is much less risk in Ontario compared to the river in the Laurentian region is exactly the same reason that the fees are higher. There is much less oil shipped in that region. That is why there is much less risk.

The hon. member should know that the amount of money in question is approximately one-fifth of a cent a litre for the 300,000 tonnes of fuel which come into Ontario. He should also recognize the impact of a major spill, if it occurred in the fresh water system in Ontario, what that might do to drinking water. He should recognize that and get up in the House an apologize for his—

ShippingOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Prince George—Peace River.

ShippingOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Reform Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, what this minister needs to recognize is the importance of equity across this land.

Ontario's consumer minister has also written to the fisheries minister complaining about this discrimination. Let us call it what it is. He says that Ontario finds it unacceptable that the federal government would consider a regime under which Ontario consumers would be required to subsidize consumers in other regions of the country.

How many more people have to call this practice discriminatory before the minister stops taxing Ontario and B.C. at four times the rate of Quebec?

ShippingOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member and the other member from the Reform who questioned this simply refuse to understand that in each region the costs are related to the charges made. There is no subsidy from region to region, none whatsoever.

It is entirely in Ontario. It is entirely private sector response organizations that we are talking about. There is no question of taxation.

If we were to risk having a major spill in the fresh waters of Ontario without having adequate response organizations to take care of it we would be totally irresponsible, as is the Reform Party.

Varennes TokamakOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Verchères, QC

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

A few weeks ago, the Minister of the Environment said, in response to a question by my colleague from Rosemont, and I quote “the federal government is looking into investing more in renewable energies both in research and development and in our own energy consumption”.

How does the minister reconcile her statement with the fact that her government decided to cut by $7.2 billion its annual contribution to the Tokamak project in Varennes, which does research on nuclear fusion, the most promising form of renewable energy?

Varennes TokamakOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Northumberland Ontario

Liberal

Christine Stewart LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, in the context of climate change the government is doing an analysis and review with all our partners to see how we as a federal government can work with our partners to bring about new measures to reduce greenhouse gases.

We will be looking at all the mechanisms available to the federal government.