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House of Commons Hansard #12 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was treaty.

Topics

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I must say that we are doing exactly as recommended by the auditor general, who said in 1996 that the fund should be included in the consolidated revenue fund.

That is what we are doing. That is what the previous government did, and I believe it is consistent with the accounting principles recommended by the auditor general.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, does the Minister of Human Resources Development not think that, with the huge surplus in the EI fund, she could tone down the Employment Insurance Act and restore a genuine form of protection against job loss for unemployed workers, as well as lower premiums?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the member must understand that employment insurance is there for Canadians who have been working and find themselves temporarily out of work through no fault of their own. Of those Canadians, 80% are eligible for benefits.

The most important thing is helping Canadians find jobs. That is why we have invested in active measures in employment insurance. That is why we have invested in the Canada jobs fund. That is why we have invested in the opportunities fund for Canadians with disabilities. That is why we have made the youth employment strategy a permanent program.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Howard Hilstrom Reform Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, the government's agriculture policies have left thousands of farmers facing the winter with little or no hope. The Prime Minister has to take responsibility.

Tomorrow a delegation of prairie agriculture ministers, farmers and premiers are coming to Ottawa to discuss solutions to this problem. The Prime Minister said this morning that he is refusing to meet with farmers and is opting to meet only with politicians.

Why is the Prime Minister refusing to face the very people who are suffering as a result of his policies?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the government has had ongoing consultations with the ministers of agriculture from all the provinces in Canada. There will be a meeting tomorrow and the Prime Minister will be meeting with some of the delegation. A number of cabinet ministers will be meeting with the delegation. As usual and as we have always done, we will keep in full consultation to work together to see how we can continue to support and help Canadian farmers.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Howard Hilstrom Reform Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, the agriculture minister has met with farmers and they have not received the help they need. I am asking for the Prime Minister to meet with farmers this time. They are trying to work out a constructive plan to help them through the winter.

Why does the Prime Minister have so little compassion for the plight of these farmers that he is unwilling to hear their concerns firsthand?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, it is very sad that the hon. member and his party do not realize that the federal government puts $600 million a year into safety nets and that it has put in an additional $900 million over the past two years. They said that they would cut the agriculture budget. They said that subsidies are not the answer and then they stand in their places and say that they are not significant. We think they are. We would like to do more. We wish there were more resources but we are not prepared to approach it the way they would.

HomelessnessOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Labour, who is responsible for the homeless, is the first to admit that the federal government has made cuts that hurt the most disadvantaged.

Could the Minister tell us, of the cuts the government has made, which ones most hurt those most disadvantaged in our society: cuts to employment insurance, cuts to social housing or cuts to the Canada social transfer, which forced the provinces to cut services?

HomelessnessOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Moncton New Brunswick

Liberal

Claudette Bradshaw LiberalMinister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, in travelling across Canada what we notice most with respect to the homeless is that the provinces have closed psychiatric hospitals. Former residents of psychiatric hospitals are turning up at food banks.

This is one of the greatest problems we have with the homeless living on the street.

HomelessnessOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, instead of being content with playing the role of spokesperson for the disadvantaged and the homeless, could the minister become a the funder of the disadvantaged and the homeless by giving them back now the money that the government has taken from them?

HomelessnessOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Moncton New Brunswick

Liberal

Claudette Bradshaw LiberalMinister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, when I travelled across Canada, community agencies told me that they wanted to work in partnership.

A number of programs were run with money from the federal government and municipalities, which provided housing for the homeless. We will continue this work, as we are doing now.

AgricultureOral Question Period

October 27th, 1999 / 2:35 p.m.

Reform

Garry Breitkreuz Reform Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, the premiers of Manitoba and Saskatchewan will be in Ottawa tomorrow demanding that our producers be put on a level playing field with our international competitors.

In Europe 56% of a wheat farmer's income comes from the government, while in the U.S. 38% comes from the government. These subsidies are killing our family farmers and are the root cause of the farm income crisis.

Why is the Prime Minister refusing to lead a campaign against European and U.S. subsidies?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have mentioned that problem each time I have met with these leaders. I have said that the subsidy levels for the farming communities in Europe and the United States cannot be sustained and are self-defeating. They should play by the market rules as we are doing in Canada. I have said that time and time again.

However, the Reform Party does not even want to help the farmers at all. Rather than provide money to help the farmers, it has proposed to cut $650 million from the department of agriculture alone.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Garry Breitkreuz Reform Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, farmers see the lack of effort from the Prime Minister and the results that have happened internationally. Europe's borders are closed to our beef and canola. U.S. protectionism is rising. Both European and U.S. subsidies are up.

The Liberal government has failed. The Prime Minister's lack of concern over the farm income crisis is an insult to Canadian farmers.

I ask again, why is the Prime Minister failing to lead a delegation against European and U.S. subsidies?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to say that we have added $900 million this year to help with the agricultural problem that Canadian farmers are facing.

I want to repeat again that while we were doing that, the Reform Party was telling us that we should not put new money there, that we should cut $650 million from the farming community.

Genetically Modified FoodsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Hélène Alarie Bloc Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, in a recent article in the respected magazine Nature , three British scientists were quoted as saying that governments, like the Canadian government, that approved genetically modified foods simply because they were similar to traditional ones, were taking a simplistic and not very safe approach.

Since even the pro-biotechnology scientists are saying that it would be better to look more closely into the effects of genetically modified foods, is the minister going to take the necessary steps?

Genetically Modified FoodsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I would like to assure the hon. member that all genetically modified foods must be submitted to Health Canada in advance. A team of experts examines them all and carries out a complete evaluation, in order to ensure that genetically modified foods are as safe as foods already on the market.

HealthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is also for the Minister of Health.

The city of Toronto has designated the last week in October as Epidermolysis Bullosa, or EB, Awareness Week, to bring attention to this group of rare and genetic skin diseases. What is the government doing to facilitate and encourage research and development into the care and treatment of Canadians suffering from EB?

HealthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I would like to first acknowledge the hard work done by the member for Parkdale—High Park to increase public awareness of this disease. EB is a rare and devastating genetic disease for which, unhappily, there is no cure. I think the answer lies in research.

For that reason we are creating the Canadian institutes for health research. I expect shortly to be tabling legislation in the House for that purpose. Over the next two years the government will be doubling the amount of money spent by the Government of Canada on health research. Through these efforts we hope the day will come when this devastating disease is wiped from the face of the earth.

Nisga'A TreatyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Mike Scott Reform Skeena, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Quebecois has publicly stated it is supporting the Nisga'a treaty because it provides the kind of sovereignty association it would like to see for Quebec.

Reform does not support sovereignty association, but it is now becoming clear that the NDP, the Tories and the Liberals do.

Is the Prime Minister prepared to offer the same kind of self-government powers to Lucien Bouchard and the Parti Quebecois as he has to the Nisga'a, yes or no?

Nisga'A TreatyOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we have sovereignty association within Canada. Every Canadian is sovereign and we are all associated.

With the treaty, which, under our democratic rules, a majority of eligible Nisga'a people voted for, our Nisga'a fellow citizens will be even more associated with all of us.

Nisga'A TreatyOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Mike Scott Reform Skeena, BC

Mr. Speaker, I do not think the minister understands all he knows about the Nisga'a treaty.

The Bloc Quebecois has indicated it will support the treaty because it provides the kind of self-government powers it would like for Quebec.

I am going to ask the Prime Minister directly if he is prepared to give the same kind of self-government powers to the Parti Quebecois and Lucien Bouchard as he is to the Nisga'a under the treaty, yes or no?

Nisga'A TreatyOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this is exactly the same question that the minister gave him an answer to and he did not understand. I will ask the minister to write him a letter.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

John Solomon NDP Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, in the front page of the Regina Leader-Post and the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix on Monday, the finance minister is quoted as saying that his government has promised $900 million in new aid to desperate farmers. He said “We announced that $900 million five or six months ago. That money doesn't refer to what Ottawa put up for AIDA”.

Was the finance minister misquoted? Was he mistaken? Was he playing politics? Or, is there a reason to believe that he is changing his view on the crisis facing prairie farmers?

Could the finance minister please confirm today if there will be $900 million in new aid for farmers, yes or no?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows full well that every year the Canadian government puts $600 million a year into the national safety net. A little less than a year ago we put an additional $900 million in to support the farmers. In co-operation with the provinces, we are looking at ways in which we can build on that and will continue to do that.