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House of Commons Hansard #209 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was states.

Topics

Canadian ForcesOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle Québec

Liberal

Robert Bertrand LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, one of the initiatives we are most proud of is the centre for the care of the injured. The Minister of National Defence and the Minister of Veterans Affairs officially cut the ribbon for the centre a couple of days ago.

The centre will provide timely and accurate information to members and their families concerning pensions, pension entitlements, assistance with applications, help with advancing claims and questions for the bureaucracies of the two departments. The centre will ensure that no one is neglected or falls through the cracks.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Reform

Maurice Vellacott Reform Wanuskewin, SK

Mr. Speaker, the government study released last month says that young people are among the hardest hit by the unemployment insurance reforms.

For example, students who work part time and earn over $2,000 a year—not a lot of money—have to pay EI premiums but have no chance of receiving benefits because they are full time students.

Since these students in effect have no coverage, why is the government forcing them to pay insurance premiums?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, everybody pays EI premiums. That is the way the system has been based.

We have moved from a system that was based on weeks of work to hours of work, precisely to assist more workers to be covered by our system. It is working well for workers who were not covered before.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Liberal Papineau—Saint-Denis, QC

Are they interested in the answer? It is the first time in three years a member of the Reform Party has asked a question on the EI system and they do not even bother to listen to the answer.

KosovoOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Paul Mercier Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of National Defence contradicted the Prime Minister on the request to sent additional planes to Kosovo.

The Prime Minister said that six additional planes had been requested, whereas the Minister of National Defence said that no specific number had been given. These unexplained contradictions show the state of the government's disorganization in this business.

My question is for the Deputy Prime Minister. Could we, 24 hours later, have an answer on the number of CF-18s that NATO asked the Government of Canada to provide?

KosovoOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle Québec

Liberal

Robert Bertrand LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, NATO asked for additional planes. The request is currently under study, and the government will respond shortly.

Public Service Of CanadaOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am holding in my hand a job posting for what seems like a really great job in the federal public service: Space Agency, $40,000 a year. The only problem is that under the heading who can apply it says “Persons residing within a 500 kilometre radius of Ottawa”.

What if my son or daughter from Winnipeg were qualified and wanted to take this position, or some kid from Halifax or Vancouver or Edmonton? What does it matter where they live in the country if they are qualified for the job?

Will the government commit to stopping this unfair hiring practice and giving every Canadian equal opportunity to good public service jobs like this one?

Public Service Of CanadaOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Trinity—Spadina Ontario

Liberal

Tony Ianno LiberalParliamentary Secretary to President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, the Government of Canada accepts all applications from wherever they live from coast to coast to coast.

On this specific item, I will take it under advisement and look into it.

Boating SafetyOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy Progressive Conservative South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, the coast guard budget has been drastically cut since it merged with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

In order to cut costs DFO has reneged on its responsibility for boater safety. Literally thousands fishing boats and pleasure crafts are on the water daily, many without modern electronics. Now they are increasingly in danger because of DFO budget cuts for buoys, channel markers, lighthouses and other navigational aids.

What is the minister doing to ensure the safety of our fishers and recreational boaters?

Boating SafetyOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should be aware, and I am surprised he is not, of the new regulations with respect to recreational boating safety. These have received wide coverage and go a long way to dealing with some of the problems we have had and some of the 200 deaths per year in the recreational boating area.

The coast guard does not compromise safety. We are doing the absolute maximum we can for safety and search and rescue in every area. Obviously there are budget limitations. We could always do more if we had more money. But within that budget we are doing an excellent job. I want the member to pay attention to that.

Government Response To PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

Noon

Winnipeg South Manitoba

Liberal

Reg Alcock LiberalParliamentary Secretary to President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table in both official languages the government's responses to 14 petitions.

Committees Of The HouseRoutine Proceedings

Noon

Liberal

Ian Murray Liberal Lanark—Carleton, ON

Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present in both official languages the 16th report of the Standing Committee on Industry.

In accordance with its order of reference of Tuesday, October 20, 1998, your committee has considered Bill C-235, an act to amend the Competition Act (protection of those who purchase products from vertically integrated suppliers who compete with them at retail) and agreed on Thursday, April 15, 1999 to report it with the following amendments: delete the clauses and the title of the bill.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

April 16th, 1999 / noon

Liberal

Mac Harb Liberal Ottawa Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, as the consequences of death, separation or divorce, often grandparents cannot have access to their grandchildren. The provinces of Quebec and Alberta have a provision now which will guarantee that grandparents have access to their grandchildren.

The petitioners would like to see the House of Commons support a private member initiative, Bill C-340 so they can have the same right as it exists in some provinces.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

Noon

Reform

Inky Mark Reform Dauphin—Swan River, MB

Madam Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to present five petitions on behalf of the people of Dauphin—Swan River.

In the first petition the petitioners pray that parliament enact legislation such as Bill C-225 so as to define in statute that a marriage can only be entered into between a single male and a single female.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

Noon

Reform

Inky Mark Reform Dauphin—Swan River, MB

Madam Speaker, my next petition is timely due to the young offenders legislation. The petitioners pray that the House of Commons will support the changes to the Young Offenders Act.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

Noon

Reform

Inky Mark Reform Dauphin—Swan River, MB

Madam Speaker, my next petition deals with the port at Churchill. The petitioners request that parliament advise the Canadian Wheat Board to deliver its grain shipments to the port at Churchill as that offers the most advantageous costs to producers and to require conveyers to guarantee seamless car interchange between CN, CP, Hudson Bay railway and other short lines.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Reform

Inky Mark Reform Dauphin—Swan River, MB

Madam Speaker, this petition deals with the gun control bill. The petitioners request that parliament repeal Bill C-68 and redirect the hundreds of millions of tax dollars being wasted on licensing responsible firearm owners to more proactive programs such as putting more police on the streets, more crime prevention programs, more suicide prevention centres, more women's crisis centres, more anti-smuggling campaigns and more resources for fighting organized crime and street gangs.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Reform

Inky Mark Reform Dauphin—Swan River, MB

In my last petition, Madam Speaker, the good people of Dauphin—Swan River request parliament to advise the government to summon a fit and qualified person democratically selected by Canadian citizens who are residents of Manitoba, to take their place in the Senate of Canada when seats become vacant.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I am pleased to present a petition on behalf of a number of Canadians, including from my own riding of Mississauga South.

The petitioners would like to draw to the attention of the House that human rights abuses continue to be rampant around the world in countries such as Indonesia and Kosovo. They also acknowledge that Canada is recognized internationally as the champion of internationally recognized human rights. The petitioners therefore call upon the Government of Canada to continue to speak out against human rights abuses around the world and also to seek to bring to justice those responsible for such abuses.

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Winnipeg South Manitoba

Liberal

Reg Alcock LiberalParliamentary Secretary to President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Madam Speaker, we will be answering Questions Nos. 197 and 206 today. .[Text]

Question No. 197—

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

John Herron Progressive Conservative Fundy Royal, NB

With regard to the upcoming influx of 220 newly unemployed Canadians which will result from the impending closure at Lantic Sugar in Saint John, New Brunswick, does the government have a plan to assist them in finding new jobs and, if so, what is the plan?

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

The Lantic Sugar plant is scheduled for closure on December 31, 1999.

Since the announcement of this closure, the provincial Department of Labour put in place an adjustment committee to assist affected workers. Both union and management are represented on this committee and the following types of services have been provided to workers to date: assistance with the writing of resumes; counselling assistance; self assessment, labour market information, job interview, role playing and job search technique sessions; and assistance on how to contact potential employers and followup.

Representatives from the local Human Resources Centre of Canada, HRCC, have been meeting with company and union officials since May 15, 1998 on this issue and a designated HRCC employee has been meeting with union officials to answer any questions workers have related to Employment Insurance, EI, benefits.

The HRCC has also offered to hold information sessions for all Lantic Sugar employees, in conjunction with union and management, to discuss EI and severance packages. The first session was scheduled for March 18, 1999 at 9 a.m., with subsequent sessions on March 25, 26, 29 and 30. These sessions took place on the employer's premises and involved approximately 20 employees per session. There were also special arrangements made to assist affected workers to apply for EI benefits as the date for the layoff approached.

In addition, the adjustment committee is working with companies in the Saint John area that may consider applications from some Lantic Sugar employees, which could result in the hiring of some of these affected workers.

HRCC staff, in partnership with the adjustment committee, are always available to provide information and assistance. These employees are encouraged to take advantage of the services provided by the adjustment committee and the HRCC.

This assistance was conducted through the new Labour Market Development Agreement, LMDA, through which the Government of Canada is now providing the province of New Brunswick with over $240 million for the next three years to help people get back to work.

Question No. 206—

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gilles Bernier Progressive Conservative Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

With respect to the Parliamentary Precinct Directorate of the Department of Public Works and Government Services Canada: ( a ) how many public servants are employed with the Directorate: and ( b ) how many staff departures have there been since June 1997?

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

(a) A core group of nine Public Works and Government Services Canada, PWGSC, employees is permanently assigned to the Parliamentary Precinct Directorate. These are management and administrative people reporting to the Director General of the Parliamentary Precinct. This core group is responsible for the planning and management of all the department's real property related work on Parliament Hill.

The majority of real property work on Parliament Hill falls into two streams: project management, which includes planning and delivering major projects; day to day management of the buildings, which includes operating the buildings and responding to user requirements.

PWGSC employees with expertise in either project of day to day management are assigned to the Parliamentary Precinct from personnel pools known as Centres of Expertise. These assignments are for short or long duration, depending on the nature of the work. Upon completion of their assignment, employees return to their Centre of Expertise for reassignment.

At present 40 full time equivalent positions are working in the project management stream and 52 are in the day to day management of the buildings stream. These employees come from a broad range of professional and technical backrounds and include architects, engineers, project managers, plumbers, carpenters, administrators and others.

The Parliamentary Precinct is comprised of the Centre, West and East Blocks, Library of Parliament, Wellington, Victoria, La Promenade, Justice and Confederation buildings.

(b) There have been 27 departures in personnel since June 1997. The reasons for these departures include transfers, new jobs, reassignments, retirements and executive interchange.