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House of Commons Hansard #42 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was transportation.

Topics

Bill C-20Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

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

Speaking of clarity, Mr. Speaker, here is something very clear that was said by the Premier of Quebec on October 19, 1999 and will enlighten this House “According to what we have just learned from a political science expert who has studied the matter, partnership represents a seven or eight percentage point gain in popular support”.

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Reform

Inky Mark Reform Dauphin—Swan River, MB

Mr. Speaker, last week I was in Manitoba with the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food listening to the farm community pleading for help from the federal government. Yes, there really is a farm disaster. Even the United Church of Canada and the Manitoba Interfaith Council are helping in this crisis. This plea for help is not being heard in Ottawa. One billion dollars sits idle in the AIDA program.

Will the food producers of this country have to get their food from food banks down the road?

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows very well that the government put forward nearly $1.1 billion in a two year program. It was estimated at the beginning that an amount of that would be required as a result of the 1998 business year and, therefore, with the targeted approach that everybody asked for, it would go to producers in 1999. As a result, in the 1999 business year the remainder of the money would go to the next year.

I can assure the hon. member that all of the money will go to the producers.

HousingOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Reform

Paul Forseth Reform New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, leaky condo owners in British Columbia are desperately looking for help. The Liberal silent seven in B.C. are not heard because they are embarrassed by the party's eastern mindset.

The Minister of Public Works and Government Services has offered $75 million in loans, but at high bank rates. The federal government is legally culpable on this one, along with others. The province of B.C. is doing its part and many municipalities are doing what they can.

Why is there helpful disaster relief for Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba, but nothing for British Columbia? When will the minister show leadership, do what is needed and help rescue thousands of homeowners? When will the government do its share?

HousingOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Mississauga Centre Ontario

Liberal

Carolyn Parrish LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, CMHC has spent over $1 million on research and information to address the leaky condo problem through publications, educational programs and seminars. It has offered the $75 million at reasonable interest rates and it has not been taken up by the Government of British Columbia.

I will repeat what I said before. Bureaucrats have warned the Government of British Columbia about its ridiculous policies on these condos. One person said: “My concerns stem from what appears to be a blind pursuit of energy conservation to the complete exclusion of all else, jeopardizing both the health of occupants and structural integrity”. This was written by Mr. Currie in 1991 in a letter to the housing minister of B.C.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Human Resources Development, who was appointed six months ago, set up all kinds of partisan committees to look at the glaring flaws in the employment insurance program.

Can the minister assure us that she will soon announce corrective measures to provide an adequate income to the unemployed when they are between jobs?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, on this side of the House we are focused on making sure that Canadians do have opportunities to work. We have good job numbers. We have the lowest unemployment rate in almost two decades. We have the lowest unemployment rate since the early 1970s for women. We are focused on making sure that all Canadians benefit from the ever increasing and improving economy.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, among those hardest hit by the minister's program are seasonal workers who, whether the economy is doing well or not, are temporarily out of work every year.

Could the minister assure us, before the Christmas holiday, that immediate measures will be taken for these workers who, since 1997, have been getting poorer and poorer because of the Liberal employment insurance reform?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I have spoken with seasonal workers, both in Quebec and Atlantic Canada. When I speak with them their interest is to find alternatives for themselves and their children. They understand the importance of seasonal work, but they also want to ensure in their areas that there is a diverse economy, that there is a bright future and that their children can remain in their areas and be able to contribute to the broader Canadian success.

TransportOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Reform

Werner Schmidt Reform Kelowna, BC

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

The national highway system is a network of primary roads that provide for interprovincial and international trade and travel. All, not part of Highway 97 in B.C. qualifies as being part of the national highway system.

When will the Minister of Transport designate all of Highway 97 in B.C. as being part of the national highway system?

TransportOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Thunder Bay—Atikokan Ontario

Liberal

Stan Dromisky LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I would point out to the hon. member that last year, and even this year, the leaders of each province and territory met regarding this problem. They have identified 24,400 kilometres in the current national highway system.

The leaders of the government in that province have clearly specified which kilometres will belong to the national highway system.

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Reform

Gurmant Grewal Reform Surrey Central, BC

Mr. Speaker, hardly any farmers qualified for the government's recent aid package. The government has not protected them against foreign subsidies that are killing family farms in Canada. Today the environment minister will announce new endangered species legislation.

How can Canadians believe that the government is going to protect farmers from losses under this new law when it has not protected our farmers from foreign subsidies?

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Burlington Ontario

Liberal

Paddy Torsney LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, that is kind of a convoluted question. However, I think the essence of it is the fact that farmers in this country are doing a fine job and are working very hard to protect species.

We believe that protecting species is everyone's responsibility and that no one should bear an undue proportion of the burden. There will be compensation for people whose livelihoods are affected by protecting a species.

My read is that farmers are working very hard and they will continue to work with us to do the right thing.

Social TransfersOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, the report by the Liberal majority on the Standing Committee on Finance does not include any recommendation to restore social transfers to the provinces, in spite of the consensus among all the finance ministers of the country and the priority given to this issue by the public.

My question is for the Minister of Finance. Does the Minister of Finance, who has always had a say in the report by the Liberal majority on the Standing Committee on Finance, intend to also dodge the issue in his upcoming budget and thus continue to contribute to the crisis in Canada's health sector?

Social TransfersOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, I should remind the hon. member that in our last budget we allocated $11.5 billion to health.

HomelessnessOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, as winter is approaching, and this is the last day, we hope, that the House will be sitting this year and this millennium, I would like to know what the Government of Canada is doing to help with the homelessness crisis in this country. Do we have to wait until the next millennium?

HomelessnessOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Whitby—Ajax Ontario

Liberal

Judi Longfield LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, before I respond, I want to thank my colleagues on the government side of the House who have worked so hard and so long with the Minister of Labour, who is co-ordinating the federal response to this issue.

I would also like to point out that this morning, together with her cabinet colleagues and members of caucus, she announced a $753 million investment. Three-quarters of a billion dollars will be directed toward the public to alleviate the homeless situation in the country.

The government is addressing the situation. There will be $305 million directed toward a new program, the supporting community initiatives program, which will work with our partners in the provinces, in municipalities, and with NGOs to support best practice and to get the best bang for the buck.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Reform

Rahim Jaffer Reform Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, once again we see an unco-ordinated Liberal government that fails to integrate a science based approach with the environment.

Last week the fisheries minister said that we are going to manage oceans in a way that will stop people who pollute the oceans. That means going after municipalities which put raw sewage into the oceans.

Since the environment minister does not classify raw sewage as pollution, why does the fisheries minister?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the fisheries minister knows that every situation has to be addressed on its own merits and its own conditions.

He is working with the municipalities. He is working with the Ministry of the Environment in order to come up with the best solution and the best way to treat this very important issue.

The CrownOral Question Period

December 17th, 1999 / 11:45 a.m.

Reform

Jason Kenney Reform Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the government is continuing its sneaky underhanded policy of sidelining the crown as the symbol of Canada's—

The CrownOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

The CrownOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. member for Calgary Southeast.

The CrownOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Reform

Jason Kenney Reform Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the government is continuing its underhanded policy of sidelining the crown as the main symbol of Canada's sovereignty and history.

Last month the government surreptitiously removed the crown from the uniforms of customs officers and removed pictures of our head of state from customs clearance areas, replacing them with the man who would be king, the Prime Minister.

Why does the government not just fess up and admit that these changes are part of its hidden republican agenda to scrap the crown?

The CrownOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, if that is the last question of the millennium for the hon. member, I am really wondering why he does not have anything else to ask.

There is no such intention on the part of the government. Obviously the Revenue Canada agency has been created. Obviously the logo of the agency and everything else that goes with it have been applied to uniforms and all other property of the agency in question. For the hon. member to suggest that there is a so-called surreptitious attempt to do away with the crown is nonsense.

HealthOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, new numbers released by the Canadian Institute for Health Information show that Canadians are paying more and more out of their own pockets for health care.

What are they paying it on? They are shelling out for much needed drug coverage and for home care. Both are expenses which the government promised to address by way of national programs.

In the 1997 red book the government promised a national drug care plan as part of the medicare system. Further, the Minister of Health said “I go so far as to say that home care is fundamental to saving medicare”.

Will the government finally live up to its commitment for a national home care and drug care plan?