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House of Commons Hansard #11 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was treaty.

Topics

Nisga'A Final Agreement ActGovernment Orders

6:25 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

I am afraid I have to interrupt at this point. The hon. member will have approximately two and half minutes when the bill is brought back to the House.

The House resumed from October 22 consideration of motion that Bill C-6, an act to support and promote electronic commerce by protecting personal information that is collected, used or disclosed in certain circumstances, by providing for the use of electronic means to communicate or record information or transactions and by amending the Canada Evidence Act, the Statutory Instruments Act and the Statute Revision Act, be read the third time and passed.

Personal Information Protection And Electronic Documents ActGovernment Orders

October 26th, 1999 / 6:25 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

It being 6.30 p.m., pursuant to order adopted Friday, October 22, 1999, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred division on the motion at third reading of Bill C-6.

Call in the members.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 45Government Orders

7 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I declare the motion carried.

A motion to adjourn the House under Standing Order 38 deemed to have been moved.

Division No. 45Adjournment Proceedings

7 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rick Borotsik Progressive Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Madam Speaker, I thank the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food for being in the House this evening.

On October 18 I had the opportunity and the pleasure to rise in the House to question the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food about an issue that is very close and dear not only to my heart, but to the constituents of Brandon—Souris as well as to agricultural constituents all across this fair country of ours.

As the House has been told many times, the minister of agriculture and his department have put forward this wonderful program called AIDA that is going to solve all of the problems of western Canada and western Canadian producers.

I had the opportunity to rise on October 18 to ask the minister of agriculture why it was that only $90 million had been distributed to the four provinces for which the federal government administers the AIDA program.

For those who do not know, and perhaps the parliamentary secretary does not know, there are four provinces that have the AIDA program administered for them by the federal government, and those provinces are Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia.

With the commodity crisis that we are now suffering throughout western Canada, Manitoba and Saskatchewan are without question the hardest hit because they have a dependency on grains and oilseeds more so than other provinces and other commodities that are being grown and produced throughout Canada.

The $90 million is very important because as of October 18 that was the amount of money that was distributed to those four provinces. However, the minister of agriculture, in response to my question, suggested that in the four provinces where the federal government delivers the program well over $200 million had been delivered, as identified in Hansard . That, in fact, was not true and I would like the parliamentary secretary to explain to me how a $90 million distribution of funds could be mistaken for a $200 million distribution of funds.

The reason I brought this up was because not only was the money not being distributed, the applicants for the AIDA program were being denied. In those four provinces, 8,000 applicants had been approved for the AIDA program and some 10,000 applicants had been denied.

Supplementary to that question, I asked the minister if in fact he thought that the 10,000 applicants who had been denied did not require any assistance with the farm crisis. Needless to say, it was question period, not answer period, and the minister decided to go off on some different tangent and he never did answer the question.

Maybe the parliamentary secretary would like to answer tonight. Did those 10,000 applicants who have been denied apply simply on a whim? Did they apply because they thought there was going to be $900 million distributed, which we have seen is not happening? Did they apply because they did not need the assistance? Or, did they apply and get refused because the program itself is flawed?

The program is definitely flawed, as we have found out. There are no negative margins covered in the program right now. Perhaps the parliamentary secretary would like to explain why, when the program was designed and developed not to include negative margins in the process.

I should tell you, Madam Speaker, that the process of application is very—

Division No. 45Adjournment Proceedings

7:05 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

I must interrupt the hon. member at this point as his time has expired.

Division No. 45Adjournment Proceedings

7:05 p.m.

Egmont P.E.I.

Liberal

Joe McGuire LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Madam Speaker, I know the hon. member has been very persistent in his questioning on this topic. It is a very important topic for his province and for all farming communities across Canada.

The government understands the root cause of the financial problems facing some farmers. The causes are worldwide low prices for some commodities and recent adverse weather here in Canada.

The low prices have been aggravated by the use of trade distorting support by some of our trading partners. The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food is working very hard on the international front to demonstrate that this continued action will undermine efforts toward agricultural trade reform.

The figures I have are figures for Canada. They are not figures for the four provinces alone. As of October 21, 1999 claims totalling $220 million have been paid out. This represents an average payment of $14,034 per farmer. Currently the AIDA administration is processing approximately 1,200 applications per week. Farmers continue to have access to the NISA program and the government continues to put money in producers' NISA accounts, with more than $126 million already contributed this year. More than 135,000 farmers have some $2.7 billion in accounts. That is a substantial reserve to draw on.

We have taken appropriate measures to deal quickly with the results of adverse weather and the low prices for some commodities and we are laying the groundwork to ensure that our trading partners enter the WTO negotiations with a commitment to meaningful changes. Along with our work with provincial governments to strengthen our long term safety net system, we are providing Canadian farmers with the short and long term support they need.

Division No. 45Adjournment Proceedings

7:10 p.m.

NDP

Angela Vautour NDP Beauséjour—Petitcodiac, NB

Madam Speaker, in the House on October 14 I asked a question of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. The question was quite clear. However, the lack of an answer I received was also very clear.

The rejection of the 30 day moratorium on fishing in the Atlantic region shows clearly that the minister is continuing to ignore the seriousness of the situation. The government has shown the people most directly concerned that it has absolutely no leadership. Through its clumsy handling of the situation the government has struck fear into the hearts of fishers in the towns and villages throughout Atlantic Canada. My question was very clear. What has the government done and what does it intend to do to restore a feeling of security and peace of mind to people in native and non-native communities?

The lack of the government's seriousness in regard to this very serious question shows how it does not understand the seriousness of the problem. The minister totally ignored the question and he tried to laugh at it. However, the answer was clear, the government had done nothing and was planning to doing nothing in our communities.

There has been no initiative to talk to people in our communities. That is clear. If we talk to people in our communities they tell us that there is a need for action and resources to bring our communities together. We cannot let the situation worsen, like the government has been doing with its lack of leadership.

The commercial fishermen of Fundy, Richibucto, Richibouctou-Village, Sainte-Anne, Saint-Thomas, Cap-Pelé and Port Elgin are wondering whether they still have a future in fishing.

Communities need to see leadership from this government, something that does not exist, at present.

We need to see leadership now, not a year from now. Both native and non-native communities need a strong government that will look after their welfare. This will only be accomplished by enforcing conservation measures and by putting in place rules and regulations that will ensure that the lobster, scallops and shrimp are there. If we do not take measures to conserve our natural resources, the victory which the natives achieved by the supreme court ruling will no longer be a victory because in 10 years there will be no resources.

There are serious fishermen who are worried. I spoke with fishermen yesterday. They are asking if they will be able to fish next spring. Will they be able to go out and fish? What will be the rules and regulations?

We should also talk about the lack of DFO officials on our waters; not only during this crisis, but before it. I went out on the wharfs this fall to talk to the fishermen while they were preparing to fish. At that point I heard a lot of complaints that there were not enough DFO officials on the water to protect the species. Now, with this additional crisis, we know that DFO manpower cannot handle it and will be further burdened if there is no leadership from the minister in Ottawa.

I hope that in the next couple of months this situation will be resolved, because there are more—

Division No. 45Adjournment Proceedings

7:10 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

I am sorry, but the hon. member's time has expired.

Division No. 45Adjournment Proceedings

7:10 p.m.

Labrador Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Lawrence O'Brien LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Madam Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to describe the measures we are taking to plan for the implementation of the Marshall decision in a manner that is sensitive to the very real concerns of fishers and fisher communities in the Atlantic provinces.

I will deviate from my text for a moment. I would like to say to the hon. member that we are taking the issue seriously. Mr. Mackenzie is in Atlantic Canada working on the issue at the moment. Mr. Mackenzie comes to us as the chief federal representative. He was born and bred in Nova Scotia. He was the chief federal land claims negotiator on the Labrador Inuit Association claims and he did work on the major fisheries component. We have also had the nickel concerns in the Voisey's Bay issue and we have come to an AIP. I am confident Mr. Mackenzie will assist in resolving this matter.

Mr. Mackenzie's immediate task is to work out arrangements for short term fisheries management. The first task is well under way. He has been holding discussions with aboriginal and commercial groups throughout the maritimes. Mr. Mackenzie is concentrating for the time being on the lobster fishery. The hon. member pointed to the other species. That is correct. There are other species to be concerned about in those areas where commercial openings are imminent, but arrangements will be necessary across the board.

By the end of April 2000, and I think this is the most important point, we will have a plan in place for—

Division No. 45Adjournment Proceedings

7:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

I am afraid the time allocated has expired.

The motion to adjourn the House is now deemed to have been passed. Accordingly, this House stands adjourned until tomorrow at 2 p.m., pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).

(The House adjourned at 7.16 p.m.)