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House of Commons Hansard #37 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was farmers.

Topics

ReferendumsOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, the question really is: Why should people in Moose Jaw, Whitehorse, Toronto and Vancouver be better able to assess the clarity of the question than people in Jonquière, Trois-Rivières, Gaspé or Montreal?

ReferendumsOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, right now, people in Trois-Rivières, Chicoutimi and so on do not want the Parti Quebecois to hold a new referendum. They want to deal with the real issues.

At any rate, when the day comes to make a decision on breaking up a country called Canada, it is clear that all the citizens of that country will have an interest in keeping it together.

TaxationOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Reform

Ken Epp Reform Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canada's middle income employed wage slaves are being crushed by their tax burden. These middle income people have worked for 20 or 30 years and they just cannot seem to get ahead because half of their earnings are taken from them month after month, year after year. They just keep getting more and more abuse at the hands of the tax man.

Will the finance minister give some hope to these taxpayers by committing substantial broad based tax relief that will actually bring their tax load down?

TaxationOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, if the Reform Party is sincere in its desire to help middle income taxpayers, why is it that despite the fact that the government has cut taxes in each of the last two budgets, the Reform Party's official position is that there be no tax cuts prior to the year 2000?

I simply ask the hon. member, why does he stand up in the House and give a position that bears no relationship to his party's official policy?

TaxationOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Reform

Grant McNally Reform Dewdney—Alouette, BC

Mr. Speaker, why does the minister ask so many questions? He is supposed to answer them.

TaxationOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

The Speaker

My colleagues, the hon. member is correct. The questions are over here and the answers are on the other side. I would hope that we would listen both to the question and to the answer.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Reform

Rahim Jaffer Reform Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, this week the federal fisheries minister threatened to get tough on municipalities that are pumping raw sewage into their harbours. These cities include Victoria, a city that happens to be in the environment minister's riding. The environment minister disagrees with the fisheries minister and has said openly that this is not an environmental concern at all.

Which minister is playing politics with the environment?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, although he comes from Alberta, the hon. member should know that in the oceans there is the possibility of allowing the natural effect of heavily oxygenated sea water to treat sewage. Within 1.4 metres of the outfall pipe there is no toxicity and within 400 metres there is no visible sign whatsoever.

We have to recognize that if the member's party wants to spend an extra $400 to $600 million in one Canadian city for something that has no environmental advantage, go ahead and propose it. We see nothing in this House but increased expenditure by the opposition and no suggestion that we should do things intelligently.

ReferendumsOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

What irony, Mr. Speaker.

The government chooses, as the day for its power grab, the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states the following in article 21(3): “The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage—”.

How can the Prime Minister justify internationally that his vote holds more weight than mine?

ReferendumsOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I strongly suggest to the hon. member that she never let the UN see the 1980 and 1995 questions. It would be amazed by them.

Unclear questions cannot be used to break up a country. In Canada, Quebecers are entitled to be Canadians every bit as much as the people of Ontario, British Columbia, the eastern provinces, the Prairies and the North. We are Canadians, and Canada must not be lost through confusion.

FisheriesOral Question Period

December 10th, 1999 / 11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

In view of the fact that it would be very much in Canada's interests to ratify the United Nations convention on the law of the sea, can the Minister of Foreign Affairs indicate when the Government of Canada will ratify the law of the sea now that 143 other nations have already done so?

FisheriesOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I know how deeply involved the hon. member has been in this particular subject. I can report to him that we do intend to ratify the law of the sea convention. The only question that remains is that we must complete the ratification of the straddling stocks agreement to fill in the gap of fish management on the high seas. Once that has been done, Canada will ratify it.

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Reform

Howard Hilstrom Reform Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, the chairman of the agriculture committee is telling flooded farmers that while it is late in the day, they should not give up trying to have southwest Manitoba and southeast Saskatchewan declared a natural disaster area. The government has waffled on declaring this a natural disaster area for seven months. His own caucus members are saying that help may still come.

My question is for the Minister of National Defence. Will he declare the flooded region a natural disaster area, yes or no?

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, there are very clear criteria for the declaration. First, I have to have a request from the provinces to do so and it has to meet the criteria. The criteria are established by federal and provincial agreements. The federal government wants to be just as co-operative as it possibly can be in dealing with disaster financial assistance.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Reform

Gurmant Grewal Reform Surrey Central, BC

Mr. Speaker, the spin doctors have prepared notes for the foreign minister to try and counter the claims of a whistleblower who uncovered billions of dollars of worthless overspending by our diplomats all over the world.

Will the minister read those lines prepared for him to explain the breach of treasury board spending limits on properties purchased abroad by our diplomats? Or will he admit that the whistleblower was right and ensure that treasury board guidelines are being respected by his officials?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, in deciding on property matters it is a complex problem. We have to take into account particularly in today's world, security problems, safety problems and environmental problems.

We attempt to make the best efforts under treasury board guidelines to ensure safe and adequate residences for our overseas diplomats. We serve two million Canadians a year overseas and they receive very good service. I think our diplomats deserve to have proper facilities.

Social ProgramsOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Lorne Nystrom NDP Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance.

Members will recall that in 1995 under pressure from the Reform Party the Minister of Finance slashed funding for social programs to the point where these programs are now seriously underfunded. Some 20% of our children now live in poverty.

Will the minister listen to the people and restore funding for health and education, or is he still intimidated by the Leader of the Opposition on this question?

Social ProgramsOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it would take a lot more than that.

The Government of Canada has acted in much the same way that previous governments in Saskatchewan have acted. It was Tommy Douglas who said that no government should ever allow itself to be put in the hands of its bondholders because if it is, it does not have the ability to make the kinds of decisions that we have made. For instance, last year the government put $11.5 billion back into the health care system. There was the Canadian opportunities strategy in the 1998 budget and the child tax benefit.

I can assure the hon. member that we will continue to invest in the future of Canadians.

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Lorne Nystrom NDP Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, I remind the Minister of Finance that Tommy Douglas never got out of health care. Tommy Douglas founded health care in this country. We now have the money to do some of these things.

I want to ask the minister a supplementary question about agriculture. The Europeans are now funding their farmers. The Americans are funding their farmers. Saskatchewan and Manitoba farmers and all the parties in these provinces supported by the chamber of commerce and trade movement have asked for an extra $1.3 billion. The farmers want to know why the Minister of Finance has not listened.

Will the Minister of Finance tell us whether or not there will be an additional $1.3 billion coming to the farmers of those two provinces?

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance and the government have already put $1.1 billion into assistance for farmers in the last year.

The government continues to look at many different ways in which to assist the producers. We will continue to do that. We know how important the producers are to this country and what their needs are.

FisheriesOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Mark Muise Progressive Conservative West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, in clarifying the September 17 ruling in the Marshall case, the supreme court said that the native fishing rights were limited to the area traditionally used by the local community. That being the case, why did the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans give LFA 33 lobster licences to fishers from Indian Brook?

FisheriesOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the issue of licences for lobster fishermen in the area in question is a tricky one. These licences are worth a great deal of income and money. We are attempting to work out a system whereby fairness prevails. Inevitably in such a system we want to have a full discussion with the lobster fishermen themselves. The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and I believe that this process is working effectively. However, we have to accept that in a situation such as this, we cannot satisfy every player.

FisheriesOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Mark Muise Progressive Conservative West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, the supreme court ruling clearly restricts the mobility of natives from moving from one fishing area to the other. I ask again, why did the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans give Indian Brook natives a lobster licence in LFA 33?

FisheriesOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member clearly is unaware that with the surprising decision of the Marshall case where there is indeed a need to accommodate a large number of people who previously were not taking part in the lobster fishery, adjustments will have to be made along the line. We cannot simply say that we can change that and leave everything else the same. Clearly under those circumstances there would not be enough of the resource for the fishermen involved. Alternatively, we would simply run the resource into extinction which would be the worst possible thing we could do.

HousingOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Mac Harb Liberal Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, homelessness is a very serious problem. Even in the shadow of our parliament many people still live in poverty and without shelter.

I ask the housing minister, the minister responsible for homelessness and the government what is being done in order to ease the problem of those who are living in poverty and those who do not have a shelter to go to every night?