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House of Commons Hansard #124 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-20.

Topics

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, quite the contrary. Because the public complaints commission represents the interests of Canadians, that was the reason we did not want to offer support to hire lawyers. We do not want this to become a court. We do not wish this to take on an adversarial nature.

We have been assured by the public complaints commission that these processes are done informally. It is not intended to be adversarial. The students will have their opportunity to appear before the agency that has been struck in their interest.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Matthews Progressive Conservative Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, individuals 53 and 54 years of age with 35 years of attachment to the Atlantic fishing industry do not qualify for the government post-TAGS early retirement program. People who are 55 with 10 years of attachment to the industry receive benefits.

Would the Minister of Human Resources Development devise a formula of age plus attachment to the industry and redirect funds from the $730 million post-TAGS fund to consider those people with 30, 32 and 35 years of attachment to the industry and give them—

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Human Resources Development.

FisheriesOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I welcome the opposition member's question about this very difficult issue and indeed over the early retirement package that we offered last June to fishermen in Atlantic Canada. We are well aware that we had to make very, very difficult decisions.

We have come with what I think is a fair and balanced package. We have respected in our decisions the standard age of 55, which has always been the standard age we have used for early retirement packages.

We are also directing money from other essential elements to give fishermen the tools they need to get on with their lives and to do something else.

AgricultureOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

John Harvard Liberal Charleswood—Assiniboine, MB

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

Will the minister further update the House on efforts to stop harassment by several U.S. states of Canadian trucks carrying agricultural products across the line? What action is the minister taking to force the Americans to respect existing trade agreements?

AgricultureOral Question Period

3 p.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, as the Minister of Agriculture has stated today and yesterday, the actions of the U.S. governors are both wrong and irresponsible. As a result, the Government of Canada, at all levels, has been active and aggressive in trying to convince the federal government in the United States to intervene and stop this unilateral action.

Our patience is not unlimited. That is why we will not be shy to look at the NAFTA and the WTO which offer provisions.

We would rather have it settled between reasonable people, but two can play at this game.

AgricultureOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

That brings to a conclusion our question period for today.

International Labour OrganizationRoutine Proceedings

September 23rd, 1998 / 3 p.m.

Guelph—Wellington Ontario

Liberal

Brenda Chamberlain LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to an International Labour Organization requirement for its member states to introduce new ILO conventions and recommendations to the competent authorities, I am pleased to submit two copies, in both official languages, of the Canadian position with respect to conventions and recommendations adopted in 1996.

Government Response To PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3 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 12 petitions.

Points Of OrderRoutine Proceedings

3 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order concerning an announcement made this morning by the Minister of Public Works and Government Services.

He made a statement outside this House concerning matters of considerable concern to this exact House, namely the costs associated with a multi-year renovation and restoration project for the parliamentary buildings.

The government's reluctance to make this type of ministerial statement in the House shows contempt for this place and it is something we have seen in the past.

Keep in mind, as well, that this statement was made at a time when most caucuses were sitting and members of parliament were unable to attend.

This is the exact House that these renovations apply to. This is also the House that occupies the most parliamentary space during this restoration period.

We are members of parliament who are answerable to the public, which does not always differentiate between the actions of the ministry, the departmental officials or the membership of the House of Commons.

The minister became involved in a very public dispute with a senior official in his department. That senior official was subsequently removed from the responsibility of this parliamentary project, which has been the subject of considerable debate, considerable criticism and rumour.

There are large chunks of the renovation which were in the original budget that have now simply evaporated, so there are massive costs still to come.

The minister owes it to the House to come to this House and give a full public accounting.

Points Of OrderRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

The comments of the hon. House leader of the Conservative Party are on the record. I am sure the Speaker will consider them.

Now we will return to the daily routine of business.

Interparliamentary DelegationsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Mississauga Centre Ontario

Liberal

Carolyn Parrish LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour today to present, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), in both official languages, the third and fourth reports of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association which represented Canada at the joint committee meetings of the North Atlantic Assembly of the NATO Parliamentary Association.

The North Atlantic Assembly held its first defence and security, economic and political committees in Brussels, Belgium, February 15 and 16, 1998. The second meetings were held in Madeira, Portugal, March 27 to 29, 1998.

As vice-chair of this committee it is a real honour and pleasure for me to present these reports. It is my last official act, as I will have to resign as vice-chair of the NATO committee.

I think it is important to note that members of all parties who serve on the NATO committee have done their part to assist the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Prime Minister in passing the anti-personnel land mine proposal into law and getting countries to sign on. We almost got the United States to agree.

It is my pleasure to present this report and my official duty to do so.

Interparliamentary DelegationsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Comuzzi Liberal Thunder Bay—Nipigon, ON

Mr. Speaker, following the House rules I present, in both official languages, the report of the Canada-United States Interparliamentary Group held in Massachusetts between May 4 and May 18, 1998.

We all realize the importance of our relationship with the United States. I am particularly proud to report that we have four ongoing committees that are working on issues which affect both countries.

The most important issue that we have included in the report is one that is bothering all Canadians, and that is with respect to the United States immigration law, particularly section 110, which would create havoc on all persons travelling to the United States.

The importance of the issue is simply that the immigration law in the United States was supposed to take effect on September 30, 1998. However, I can report that it will not take effect on September 30.

It is presently before the conciliation committee in the Congress of the United States. They will be resolving the issue in the very near future. I am pretty sure that after that has been resolved the issue which we fear on our border crossing points will be resolved in favour of the Canadians who travel to the United States on a daily basis. That is one of the real achievements of the Canada-United States Interparliamentary Group. We have several others on which I will report at a later date.

Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty Implementation ActRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Liberalfor the Minister of Foreign Affairs

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-52, an act to implement the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Canada Small Business Financing ActRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Industry

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-53, an act to increase the availability of financing for the establishment, expansion, modernization and improvement of small businesses.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Canada Post Corporation ActRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-431, an act to amend the Canada Post Corporation Act (mail contractors).

Mr. Speaker, the bill that I am introducing today would do one very simple thing. It would eliminate one clause in the Canada Post Corporation Act which currently bars a group of employees from free collective bargaining and from their right to form a union. I am speaking about the rural route mail couriers of which there are 5,000. They are the only group of workers that I know of in this country who are specifically barred from the right to free collective bargaining. By the simple elimination of this one section of the act, it would solve that problem and give these people that access.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Labour Market Training ActRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-432, an act to provide for the establishment of national standards for labour market training, apprenticeship and certification.

Mr. Speaker, the second bill which I am introducing today concerns the creation of joint labour-management committees to deal with labour market training on such matters as curriculum development, national standards for entrance requirements and national standards for certification in those skilled trades. It speaks to a real demand from many industries and many industry practitioners who have pointed to the need for national standards now that labour market training has devolved to provincial jurisdiction.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Criminal CodeRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-433, an act to amend the Criminal Code (order of prohibition).

I am indeed very pleased to have an opportunity to present this private members' legislation, an act to amend the Criminal Code respecting orders of prohibition as they presently exist in the Criminal Code.

This bill would amend section 161 of the Criminal Code. If passed, the bill would allow the courts to make an order of prohibition prohibiting the offender from being in a dwelling house where the offender knows or ought to know that a person under the age of 14 is present, and the person having care or custody of that child is not present.

At this time I would like to also pay special tribute to a fellow Nova Scotian, Donna Goler, who brought this particular matter to the attention of all members of parliament. Ms. Goler is a survivor of sexual abuse and brought this loophole in the Criminal Code to the attention of myself and others.

I hope that by tabling this bill, this House and this government will act to adopt this measure to help prevent crimes of the most heinous nature against children. I ask for the support of all hon. members in passing this bill through the House.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

John Richardson Liberal Perth—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise to present three petitions containing the names of 247 constituents from my riding of Perth—Middlesex regarding Bill C-225.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Reform

Leon Benoit Reform Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am extremely pleased to present this petition on behalf of the people of Lakeland constituency who ask for the repeal of Bill C-68, and that the money being spent on this bill be redirected to programs that are proven to be cost effective at reducing crime and in improving public safety such as an increase in the number police officers on the street and more effective crime prevention programs.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Reform

Ted White Reform North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to present to the House today.

The first is signed by Patricia Scott and 54 others of North Vancouver who ask parliament to recognize the concept of marriage as only the voluntary union of a single, that is unmarried, male and a single, that is unmarried, female.

They ask that we consider it to be the duty of parliament to ensure that marriage as it has always been known and understood in Canada be preserved and protected and therefore, that we enact Bill C-225, and act to amend the Marriage Act.

Mr. Speaker, the second petition which is on the same matter is signed by Eleonora Mares and 45 others from North Vancouver.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Matthews Progressive Conservative Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I rise to present this petition on behalf of approximately 8,700 people from Atlantic Canada who are calling upon the federal government to make changes to its post-TAGS early retirement program to devise a formula consisting of age plus years of attachment to the fishing industry.

There are grave injustices and inequities in the present program. People who are 53 and 54 years of age with 35 and 36 years of attachment do not qualify for the government's early retirement program. Yet someone who is 55 years of age and with 8 to 10 years of attachment to the industry are eligible for benefits.

This petition asks government to reconsider the early retirement program and to devise a formula consisting of age plus years of attachment.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to present today.

The first one is from both British Columbia and Alberta. It asks parliament to support the Reform health freedom amendment Bill C-307 which gives us broader freedom for natural health products.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is primarily from Ontario and asks the government to revisit the hepatitis C compensation issue to give fair compensation to all those who received tainted blood in Canada.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Reform

Howard Hilstrom Reform Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition with over 500 names on it from my riding, people all interested in the Firearms Act. They indicate that of the offences committed, very few involve firearms and that the millions of dollars in taxes that are spent on the Firearms Act could be better spent in other areas. I present this petition on behalf of those constituents.