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House of Commons Hansard #38 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agreed.

Topics

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, we would like a little more information. This is an urgent situation. On the one hand the minister stands to defend medicare and says that he will protect our universal health care system, and on the other hand we have the Liberal dominated finance committee whose members tell us that the government will not be spending its surplus on much needed money for our health care system.

What are Canadians to believe, the nice empty words of the health minister or the contradictory financial policies of the government that are driving us toward privatized two-tier health care just as surely as any provincial government policy today?

Can the health minister tell us whether his government will back up the Canada Health Act with financial resources?

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, a few months ago this government gave Canadians 11.5 billion reasons to believe in our commitment to medicare.

At that time the Minister of Finance said when he tabled the budget in the House that as our balance sheet improves we will do more. That is a commitment that Canadians can take very seriously.

Coast GuardOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Charlie Power Progressive Conservative St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, I listened attentively to the answer of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to the question just asked.

I ask the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans if anybody has been disciplined for taking the search and rescue vessel J. E. Bernier off active search and rescue duty. Nobody can tell me that the lives of Newfoundlanders were not at risk when that vessel went out on a cruise. Has anybody been disciplined?

Coast GuardOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, as I said last week, we have informed our managers that what happened on the J. E. Bernier was not acceptable. However, let me say that the Cape Roger , which was in the vicinity, was the closest coast guard vessel to respond to the rescue centre, along with the RCMP and the Canadian forces' helicopter from Gander.

All the standards were fulfilled. Unfortunately the young man, Mr. Collins, died. I think all members of the House would want to express their condolences to Mr. Anthony Collins' family.

Coast GuardOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Charlie Power Progressive Conservative St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, the minister is not getting the right information from his officials in Newfoundland and Labrador. The Cape Roger did not respond to the search and rescue. The Cape Roger was going offshore 200 miles for conservation duty, and when this tragedy occurred it had to come back to the waters of Newfoundland and Labrador.

It was 4.09 p.m. when the distress call came in. The cruise started at 5 p.m. Why was the cruise not cancelled and the J. E. Bernier put back on search and rescue?

Coast GuardOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, as I said, the closest ship that could have responded was the Cape Roger . It was appropriate to make sure that we called the closest ship that could have gone to the destination in the quickest fashion, and that is exactly what happened.

ChildrenOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Mac Harb Liberal Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Speech from the Throne made several commitments to address the needs of children living in Canada.

I ask the Minister of Health what he is doing to address the needs of children. What is he doing to implement the commitments made in the Speech from the Throne?

ChildrenOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I am working with the Minister of Human Resources Development and with my colleagues in caucus to fulfill the ambitious agenda which the Prime Minister set out in his speech in the House, which is contained in the Speech from the Throne.

It is an agenda for children. By December of this year we hope to have in place a framework agreement with our provincial colleagues on early childhood development. In doing this we will build on the efforts already in place: the 20,000 women every year who are beneficiaries of the prenatal nutrition program and the 40,000 women and their children every year in community action programs for children. These programs make a difference and we will continue this work.

RcmpOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Cadman Reform Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, two weeks ago I asked a question of the solicitor general regarding the city of Surrey's request to be compensated for overtime paid to the RCMP, costs resulting directly from budget slashing by the government. Surrey is now considering its own municipal police force.

In dismissing my question as being trivial and for show only, the parliamentary secretary insulted the 330,000 citizens of Surrey. This was a question posed by them through their city council, their mayor and their member of parliament.

My question involves the overtime bill in Surrey. Will the solicitor general honour this request and reimburse the RCMP overtime costs?

RcmpOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I think my hon. colleague is well aware that the resource review has taken place. It is in the hands of the government. It will be dealt with in the next budget. If my hon. colleague had listened to the Speech from the Throne he would have realized that there was a commitment from the government to provide the tools to the RCMP to do their job.

ReferendumsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Bloc Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, in 1991, the current President of the Treasury Board supported a resolution in the Quebec National Assembly calling on the federal government to respect the process set in motion by Bill 150, which reaffirmed the right of Quebecers to take responsibility for their destiny and to be the only ones to determine their political and constitutional status.

How can the President of the Treasury Board now support the federal government's bill to lay down the conditions for Quebec's next referendum? Would it be because she has opted for the limousine over Quebec's interests?

ReferendumsOral Question Period

2:50 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, there is not a single political entity in Canada that wishes to keep Quebecers in Canada against their will. That is not the issue.

Accusing one of our colleagues of turning her back on this fundamental principle whereby Canada is a country founded on mutual respect is particularly unfair of the member.

Canada Health And Social TransferOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Wendy Lill NDP Dartmouth, NS

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

The minister knows that his surplus was created by withdrawing important services to Canadians. His draconian transfer cuts shredded the social fabric of Nova Scotian communities. Nova Scotian citizens are hurting. Last month over 10,000 children were fed from Nova Scotian food banks. Thousands in Dartmouth live in substandard housing and the health and education systems are in tatters.

Nova Scotians want their money back as well as their quality of life. Will the minister today commit to a complete restoration of social spending transfers to Nova Scotian communities?

Canada Health And Social TransferOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, one of the first things which the government did as we began to approach the elimination of the deficit was to restore and introduce a new floor protecting the Canada health and social transfer. In last year's budget we put $11.5 billion toward the Canadian health and social transfer.

At the same time, the government has invested close to $2 billion in the national child tax benefit. We have put money into CAPC. We have put money into prenatal nutrition. The government understands full well the problems that families have in raising young children, especially low income families. The government has stepped up to the mark.

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy Progressive Conservative South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Natural Resources stated in the House that points raised by the Premier of Nova Scotia in his letter to the minister were rhetorical positions only.

Nova Scotia wants an interim agreement to allow exploratory drilling for Nova Scotia and Newfoundland in the Laurentian sub-basin.

Is the minister accusing the Premier of Nova Scotia of deliberately misleading Canadians?

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The way the question was posed it is acceptable, but I would ask the hon. member to please stay away from the words “deliberately misleading”.

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, what I said was that the dispute about a boundary line offshore in eastern Canada is a matter for the provinces, first and foremost, to resolve.

If they are not able to resolve the matter, then there are provisions for the Government of Canada to resolve it through arbitration. I will receive by the end of this year a report from the facilitator who has been working on the potential terms of arbitration. If the provinces continue to be unable to resolve their own problem, then the Government of Canada will move forward with arbitration to solve it for them.

IndustryOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Walt Lastewka Liberal St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada's productivity can best be increased by assisting small and medium size businesses to adapt to new and innovative technologies.

We know these businesses are the engines of our economy and the future of economic growth. What is the Minister of Industry doing to assist SMEs to foster growth through new technologies?

IndustryOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I do not think that any member of the House has been more determined in support of small businesses and understanding their needs than the member for St. Catharines.

He will know that the contribution that needs to be made to productivity in the Canadian economy will depend very much on how rapidly we can enable our small business sector to adapt to new technologies, to reach out to find new discoveries and to use the resources of connecting Canadians to make them more efficient. That is why he has supported programs like the industrial research assistance program of the National Research Council, TPC and IRAP. The student connections program is helping small businesses get connected to the Internet. That is where the differences will be made.

National UnityOral Question Period

December 13th, 1999 / 2:55 p.m.

Independent

John Nunziata Independent York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is the government's position that it will refuse to negotiate separation unless the Government of Quebec puts forward a clear question.

My question is for the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. In the event that the question is not clear, is it the intention of the federal government to participate in the referendum campaign, or would it be the position of the government that it would boycott a referendum that did not include a clear question?

Would he not agree that it would be illogical not to negotiate while participating in the referendum campaign?

National UnityOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

That is a hypothetical question. However, if the minister wants to respond, I will permit it.

National UnityOral Question Period

2:55 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, one possibility would be to do exactly what was done by the Prime Minister of Canada in 1980.

Prime Minister Trudeau said to Premier Lévesque:

“Mr. Lévesque, if you go the route of sovereignty-association, there will be no negotiation”.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Reform Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, Mackenzie, a small, remote town in the Rocky Mountains, is being discriminated against. Although further north, more isolated and with far less amenities than nearby cities to the southeast, Mackenzie residents do not qualify for the northern residents' tax deduction.

During a visit to my riding last spring the finance minister promised to review this blatantly unfair practice. Will he now correct the problem so that the citizens of Mackenzie can enjoy the same rights and benefits as other northerners?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, when the previous government established these lines, obviously there were those who won and those who did not.

In fact, the hon. member is right. In a meeting with people in his riding I discussed this and we did undertake to review it.

ReferendumsOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Bloc Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the Prime Minister began his political career, Quebec sovereignty was supported by 6% of voters. At the last referendum, over 49% of people voted in favour of sovereignty.

Given these results, are we to understand that the Prime Minister has come to a conclusion that justifies, in his mind, the tabling of a bill which seeks to put Quebec and its National Assembly in a straitjacket?