This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #29 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was industry.

Topics

TradeOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I am interested to see that the Reform Party has adopted the position of the NDP Government of British Columbia and Glen Clark's policies.

The way to protect water exports is to make sure that there are not inter-water basin transfers of water. If we try simply to protect water exports at the border, we wind up with the problem of this becoming an item of trade and, therefore, the decision on it will be made by an international panel of trade experts, not by Canadians.

I believe, and the government believes, that decisions on Canadian water should be made by Canadians and not by foreigners.

PovertyOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

René Canuel Bloc Matapédia—Matane, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister recently said, at the time the government's expected surpluses were announced, and I quote “Give me time to enjoy them”.

If you are one of 1.4 million poor children in this country, or you are unemployed and are no longer entitled to poverty insurance, this sort of statement hurts.

When will this government act to free these children from misery for good?

PovertyOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of my colleague, the Minister of Human Resources Development, may I point out to the hon. member and to all members of the House that the fundamental way to get children out of poverty is, of course, to get families out of poverty.

The way to do that is to make sure this economy works effectively, which this government year after year has been doing under the leadership of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance.

It is by correcting the economy's fundamentals so that they work that we reduce poverty and, therefore, do not have to adopt band-aid solutions to the problem, which has been recommended so often by New Democrats and the Bloc.

Social HousingOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Fournier Bloc Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, for a budget to be balanced, spending must be lower than income.

An individual should not spend more than 30% of his income on housing. In my riding, in Minganie, 90 households are having to spend half of their income on rent.

My question is for the minister responsible for social housing. Can he tell us whether, after ten years in which no money has been invested in social housing in Minganie, he will finally act to help families who are having a very had time making ends meet? When will he invest?

Social HousingOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, first I would like to say, as I have said on many occasions, that the Government of Canada invests nearly $2 billion annually in social housing.

We invested an additional $300 million under the RRAP program. Also, since forming the government, we have created 13,000 affordable new housing units.

I am pleased, however, because this is the second time that the Bloc member has asked me the same question. Does that mean that they have changed their policy? I thought they wanted social housing to be transferred to the provinces, including Quebec.

I am currently negotiating. Do they not agree—

Social HousingOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Selkirk—Interlake.

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Reform

Howard Hilstrom Reform Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, the agriculture minister has promised on behalf of the government that farmers will receive all the AIDA money owed to them before Christmas this year. Talk about dejà vu.

Similar promises made last December had farmers believing that they would receive their money by the spring of 1999. Many farmers are still waiting. Farmers will not be so forgiving this year.

Will the Deputy Prime Minister confirm today the promise that all outstanding AIDA money will be in the hands of farmers by Christmas this year?

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell LiberalSecretary of State (Rural Development)(Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario)

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food travelled to Saskatchewan last week. He had an opportunity to meet with farmers, to talk with them, to deal with them, and to understand the conditions of what they are going through.

He made it very clear that he made a commitment that the 1998 AIDA payments would be in the hands of farmers before Christmas.

TradeOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Reform

Rick Casson Reform Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, despite being vindicated by the U.S. International Trade Commission several weeks ago, Canadian farmers are facing further trade challenges from the United States.

North Dakota is looking to enforce country of origin labelling and is preparing to challenge Canadian durum exports. Our farmers have suffered enough under the government's weak trade position. It is past time to get tough at the trade table.

Will the trade minister guarantee our beleaguered producers that there will be no further border closures? We need positive action and we need it now.

TradeOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the Minister for International Trade will be in Seattle.

This morning, in fact, the minister announced that Canada and China have reached agreement on a wide range of market access issues relating to China's entry into the World Trade Organization. This means that Canadian products will have better access to markets in China.

That is good news for Canadians, it is good news for farmers and it is good news for our export business. I think we should celebrate this good news.

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, faced with the major problem caused by the closure of Gaspésia, with its subsequent effects on the entire economy of the Gaspé, Quebec has freed up a supplementary budget of $20 million to revitalize the company and the area. As well, it has recently written to its federal counterparts with an invitation to join in this effort.

While respecting the region's priorities, is the federal government prepared to advance the same additional funding as Quebec has to help the workers of Gaspésia, who are demonstrating this morning in Montreal?

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member neglected to point out that the demonstration in Montreal is against the Government of Quebec.

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano Liberal Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Both my colleague, the Minister responsible for Economic Development, and I are very much aware of the difficulties of the people of the Gaspé. It is a known fact that the economy in that region has been in trouble for some years.

That is why, in the past year, my colleague has already invested $28 million in new funding for special economic recovery programs for the region.

Finally, I ought to mention as well that other departments have made investments and we will continue to work—

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik.

Mining IndustryOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Guy St-Julien Liberal Abitibi, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Natural Resources.

In its throne speech, the government said “To seize the opportunities and meet the challenges of a new global economy, we must work together in the Canadian way and concentrate on what matters most to Canadians. To that end, we must achieve technological progress that will increase productivity. We know that the natural resources sector is a pillar of the Canadian economy”.

Can the minister tell us what is currently being done to promote state of the art technologies in the mining industry?

Mining IndustryOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Algoma—Manitoulin Ontario

Liberal

Brent St. Denis LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian mining industry is a leader in using high technology products and services. This government will continue to work with industry to harness technology in order to maintain our pace-setting achievements in productivity.

An excellent example is a new project currently under way which will explore the replacement of diesel fuel by hydrogen fuel technology in underground mining operations. This would eliminate underground diesel emissions, improve the underground environment for workers, reduce carbon dioxide emissions and decrease mine ventilation costs. If successful, we stand poised to capture world markets in this technology.

RcmpOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Reform

Chuck Cadman Reform Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, Mayor Doug McCallum of Surrey wrote to me concerning the chronic understaffing of our RCMP detachment. Surrey has approved a complement of 378 members at regular pay rates. However, up to 40 vacant positions have resulted in excessive overtime payouts to make up for the staffing shortfall, a direct result of the RCMP budget slashing by this government.

Surrey city council has passed a resolution requesting the government to refund to the city of Surrey payment for overtime in 1999. Will the solicitor general take some responsibility at last and honour this request?

RcmpOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Brossard—La Prairie Québec

Liberal

Jacques Saada LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I am surprised that, after the same question has already been answered ten times, it is still being asked.

The government is committed to fulfilling its mandate regarding public security and the RCMP. It allocated money to improve the CPIC. Last year and early this year, the government also allocated additional money to help the British Columbia division.

All this is still not enough. That question is more for show than for information purposes.

Gun ControlOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Reform

Inky Mark Reform Dauphin—Swan River, MB

Mr. Speaker, during the November break I met with a dozen municipalities and the RCMP to discuss community policing problems. These problems were created by the government's cutbacks to the RCMP budget.

Today there are 39 unfilled RCMP positions in Manitoba paid for by the taxpayers of Manitoba. The government's new estimates show $35 million for gun control and only $13.8 million for the RCMP.

Why does the government put gun registration ahead of putting more police on the streets?

Gun ControlOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Erie—Lincoln Ontario

Liberal

John Maloney LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member asked about the benefits of our gun control registration. Let me give the House a few statistics.

Some 3,128 potentially dangerous gun sales have been blocked and sent for further investigation. Some 548 applicants have been refused for public safety reasons. Some 451 licences have been revoked for reasons of public safety.

This is good legislation. It is working and it is promoting a culture of safety. Why will the Reform Party not accept that?

HousingOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, many cities across Canada are facing a critical shortage of clean affordable housing. Vacancy rates are 1% or lower and the private sector is not coming forward to meet those needs. Too many Canadian families have to choose between paying their rent and feeding their children.

Tomorrow people who desperately need affordable housing will be demonstrating at the Liberal Party convention in Hull. They will be calling for federal action on housing. Will the government be listening? Will the government admit that its withdrawal from social housing has pushed far too many families into poverty, into debt and into substandard housing?

HousingOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, as I have said repeatedly many times in the House, the Government of Canada is contributing $2 billion a year on the social housing front. In the last year we invested $300 million in RRAP to make houses accessible to low income people. I remind the hon. member to talk to provincial governments of his political affiliation that are not participating in the RRAP program. If they would participate, we would have more money and more units.

HousingOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the minister knows that Canada continues to be the only developed nation in the world that does not have a national housing policy or a national housing strategy. Here is what the current Minister of Finance said when he was the chair of the Liberal task force on housing: “This government just sits there and does nothing. The lack of affordable housing contributes to and accelerates the cycle of poverty which is reprehensible in a society as rich as ours”.

The minister is now in a position to do something about this reprehensible situation. In fact he has had six years to fix this reprehensible situation. Will he or will he not answer the call from around the country and announce that he will reinvest in social housing in this coming budget?

HousingOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, let me also say that the Government of Canada through CMHC and the mortgage insurance program, create and build about 475 units a year. Under the program of private and public partnership, we created 13,000 units. This year alone it is more than 3,000 units. We want to do more and we are going to do more. I remind the member that we do have a national housing policy.