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House of Commons Hansard #85 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was justice.

Topics

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Mike Scott Reform Skeena, BC

Mr. Speaker, quite frankly I find it appalling that this minister will not do what Connie's family wants.

Grassroots aboriginals know what is going to happen if the inquiry on the conditions on the Tsuu T'ina reserve is left to the Assembly of First Nations. It will be a whitewash, a glossing over of all the problems. The Assembly of First Nations is not a court. It is not an impartial government agency. It is a large organization, a political organization very close to the Liberal Party.

Why does the minister always side with the chiefs and never with the grassroots? When is she going to do what Connie's family has asked her to do?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, the chief of this first nation has been in constant contact with the family of Connie Jacobs. These people are duly elected, as we are in this House.

These people opposite continue to undermine the democratic process that has built this great country and I find it an outrage.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

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

Coho salmon have an importance to British Columbians which extends far beyond their economic significance. The coho is a powerful Canadian symbol as one can witness with the totem poles nearby in the Museum of Civilization's Haida village. The coho could soon be extinct due to Alaskan overfishing and federal mismanagement.

Will the Prime Minister promise to reject any salmon treaty which does not specifically restrict Alaskan overfishing of the coho salmon?

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I certainly welcome the leader of the fourth party's interest in this issue.

We have put out a number of papers recently containing statistical and scientific information relating to the position of coho salmon. There are a number of factors that are important, the most important being the impact of El Nino. I trust the hon. member will join with us on this side of the House in supporting the tough measures that will be necessary to protect this species in the years ahead.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, this government is eroding the measures that are necessary to protect the species. The coho salmon crisis is the focus of an open letter to the Prime Minister in today's Globe and Mail . In case he has not seen it, I have sent him a copy. This letter once again illustrates the government's indifference to the hardship its misguided policies have brought to B.C.'s coastal communities.

Is this dismissal of the coho salmon crisis the next installation of the Mifflin plan which has been so destructive to British Columbians?

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

Colleagues I would urge you not to use each other's name in question period.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the problem of coho salmon is extremely difficult. I would point out that another issue has been raised here and that is the fleet rationalization plan which has the name of a former minister of fisheries, now the Minister of Veterans Affairs. Were it not for that plan, the fishermen on the coast of British Columbia would have had incomes one-third less than had he not put that plan into effect.

National DefenceOral Question Period

April 1st, 1998 / 2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

David Price Progressive Conservative Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, members may be aware that a multimillion dollar government contract for CFB Goose Bay is being gift wrapped and presented by the Minister of National Defence today to a British company called Serco, a long shot bidder. In fact it is the only bidder that promised to cut jobs and kill investment in Goose Bay.

Can the minister shed some light on this rather shady deal?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

Once again colleagues we are getting a little close.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member needs to be reminded that we inherited from his party a $42 billion deficit. As a result of that, we had to cut expenditures in all of our departments and programs to get the budget in balance.

That meant a 23% reduction in the Department of National Defence. We had to implement that by looking for more efficient and effective ways of providing support services for the Canadian forces. We have been very humane and fair in our treatment of employees giving them incentive departure packages and finding other employment opportunities for them.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

David Price Progressive Conservative Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is not really shedding light on the subject; rather it is closing the blinds on it. I will try again.

What knowledge did the Minister of National Defence have of Serco's multimillion dollar contract winning bid? Why did the British company that promised to cut jobs, benefits and salaries at Goose Bay beat out Canadian companies that promised not to cut jobs and to invest millions at the base? I ask the minister, why did Serco win the Liberal lottery?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, there was a full and open transparent process with guidelines that were published. Everyone was aware of what the rules were for the bid. Nobody because they had connections offshore were ruled out from bidding.

In fact the Standing Committee on National Defence and Veterans Affairs is going to have a full discussion this afternoon on the issue of alternate service delivery. The hon. member will have every opportunity to ask all sorts of detailed questions about it.

Francophone GamesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Steve Mahoney Liberal Mississauga West, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week my good friend Don Cherry commented on federal funding arrangements for the 2001 Francophone Games.

Can the government house leader please tell this House if contributions will indeed be made toward these games? If so, will this money be used to bring foreign athletes to Canada? Why do we not fund similar events in the same way?

Francophone GamesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my hon. colleague for this question. I want all members of the House to know that the Government of Canada has made no decision yet with regard to the federal contribution toward the games.

In any case, if 100% of the amount sought was to be given, it would still be a tiny fraction of what is contributed now toward the Olympic games, the Commonwealth games or even the Pan American games to be held elsewhere in Canada. A tiny fraction is what it would be if that amount was given.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Derrek Konrad Reform Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, if the chief of the Tsuu T'ina reserve is allowed to conduct his own investigation, we know we will not hear the full story. If the Assembly of First Nations runs the investigation, we know it will gloss over the problems as well. They will not answer the real questions, like why Connie and her family lived in shantytown conditions on one of Canada's richest reserves. The only way we will ever know is for an independent inquiry to look into the root causes of the tragedy.

What will the minister's response to these tragic deaths be? A real independent inquiry or a series of cover-ups?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, I think these questions clearly differentiate that side from this side of the House.

We look at this tragedy and we look at the approach of this side of the House. We have government departments working side by each with people in the First Nation and with the province to find the solutions and answer the question.

What do those members do? They point fingers, create division, incite doubt. They insist on finding blame. These approaches do not work when what we are trying to do is to build strong communities, to find the answers and to do it together.

Rail TransportOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Antoine Dubé Bloc Lévis, QC

Mr. Speaker, on February 20, the Minister of Transport announced the planned closure of the Lévis intermodal station, renovated in 1984 at a cost of $3 million.

We have recently learned that its replacement will be constructed in the Saint-Nicolas industrial park, which is 30 kilometers from the Lévis ferry and 35 kilometers from downtown Quebec City.

Does the minister really believe that construction of a new station so distant from the downtown areas of Lévis and Quebec City is going to do anything to help make VIA Rail operations any more cost-effective?

Rail TransportOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, this is an issue that has faced not only this government but the previous government for a number of years.

After evaluating all the data and looking at all the costs, it was judged that it was best to build a new station at a point south of Lévis. When I discussed this with the hon. member, and I know he has a great concern about it, he seemed to accept the decision. He was glad that other alternatives imposed by VIA in terms of reversing trains would not go into effect. I am rather surprised that six weeks after we announced the decision, he has come forward with this question.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, last week the employees of CFB Gagetown met with various levels of government to express their concern regarding the proposed privatization of Gagetown base. Today at noon these employees had a day of mourning to protest the privatization of Goose Bay base, the job loss and the reduction of wages that came with it.

Will the Prime Minister stand up for the civilian workers of the armed forces and stop this and any other further privatization immediately?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated earlier, we are in the process of implementing the budget cuts that were announced two or three years ago.

In fact over 40,000 people have left the public service as a result of downsizing, but we did it with departure incentive packages that gave them early retirement. It gave them departure incentive. It gave them additional training. We are doing the same thing in all these cases as well. Because we have fewer resources, we need to keep them for the core functions of our Canadian forces and thereby cut the costs of the support services. However, we will do it in a fair and humane way.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, there was a rally today at CFB Gagetown in New Brunswick because the people there know what is happening at CFB Goose Bay. They are frightened.

It is hard enough to find a job today but if someone happens to work at CFB Goose Bay, this government tells them that they can take a pay cut, they can take a job outside their province or they can take a hike.

Will the minister of defence explain why he has given a contract to the contractor with the worst bid but he happens to be the best Liberal—

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. minister of defence.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I got the impression she was about to give me a compliment when you cut her off.

There were no complaints about the companies that were bidding on this until after the bids were opened and the award was announced. Everybody understood the process and nobody complained about it. They just did not like the results.

The result is that it is going to save the taxpayers some $20 million a year. Given that our department and armed forces have fewer resources, we need that kind of savings.

Goose Bay is used by our allies in terms of air force training. We would have lost this facility if we had not remained competitive. That is the reason—

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Bourassa.

Canada-Quebec Agreement On ManpowerOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Canada-Quebec agreement on manpower takes effect today.

Could the Minister of Human Resources Development remind us of the importance for Quebeckers of this historic accord the government has signed?