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House of Commons Hansard #233 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was amendments.

Topics

Radio-CanadaOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, when one looks at what the public expects from Radio-Canada, one realizes that there is a consensus on the quality of radio programming.

There is currently no advertising on the radio. Therefore, why does the hon. member claim that the quality of the programming is dependent on advertising revenues? I do not agree with that claim.

Publishing IndustryOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

John Finlay Liberal Oxford, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Canadian Heritage.

This week the minister used Canadian Bride as an example of a magazine that calls itself Canadian but contains very little Canadian content. The National Post , the Financial Post and the Ottawa Citizen all attacked the minister, saying there is no such magazine. This proves how little the minister knows about Canadian magazines.

Who is right, the people at Conrad Black's newspapers or the minister?

Publishing IndustryOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I have never accused the National Post of letting the facts get in the way of a good story.

Yesterday it said “There is no such magazine as Canadian Bride ”. I have here a copy of the magazine that does not exist. The magazine that does not exist asks readers who have questions about Canadian Bride to direct their questions to its office in New York City.

With the consent of the House, after question period I would be very happy to table a copy of this non-existent magazine.

Customs ActOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Reform

Jake Hoeppner Reform Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, in 1996 the government passed an order in council to close a loophole in the Customs Act that led to the acquittal of David Sawatzky for exporting his own wheat into the U.S. without a wheat board export permit.

Crown prosecutor Clyde Bond categorically stated that the crown would have to appeal the decision in order to prosecute the other 100-plus farmers for the same violation. The government lost that appeal.

Why is this government still prosecuting these 100-plus farmers?

Customs ActOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, to be certain of the facts as alleged by the hon. gentleman I would need to check the course of the various legal proceedings.

I can assure the hon. gentleman that this government in no way interferes in the appropriate administration of justice. That is entirely an arm's length process and is administered without any involvement by me or any other minister of this government.

Customs ActOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Reform

Jake Hoeppner Reform Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, the minister knows very well that I am not asking him to comment on individual cases. I am asking him whether the crown prosecutor is above the law. If not, why is he still prosecuting these farmers?

Customs ActOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. gentleman would care to give me the specifics of the cases he is referring to I will refer them to the Minister of Justice for a complete answer.

Publishing IndustryOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Bev Desjarlais NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, two days ago the heritage minister said “For the first time in history the U.S. has recognized our right to promote Canadian content”.

The minister insists this means majority Canadian content. Today's Inside U.S. Trade quotes the written agreement as stating “a substantial level of original editorial content”.

Which is it? Was the minister's parliamentary secretary just confused yesterday when he said that the deal specified majority content? If not, will the minister table that signed agreement with the U.S. along with that bride magazine in the House today?

Publishing IndustryOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, the regulations that accompany the package that was distributed yesterday, the draft regulations, specify majority Canadian content.

Publishing IndustryOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Bev Desjarlais NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, the minister has told Canadians that the U.S. has agreed not to pursue Canada in any trade forum for any measures Canada takes that are part of this deal to assist Canadian industry. Today we find out that not only does the U.S. not agree with this interpretation, but her pal, the Minister for International Trade, disagrees with her.

Now U.S. trade officials and publishers say that they have the right to access any subsidies Canada makes available to our publishers.

How does this minister intend to stand up for Canada on this one?

Publishing IndustryOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, first I would like to underscore a comment that was written not in a Canadian newspaper but in the Washington Post yesterday when it said in a line story:

—for the first time the United States was forced to accept the principle that, even in a free trade environment, foreign countries could take steps to limit access to their markets by American firms in an effort to protect the viability of local culture, in this case the Canadian magazine industry—

That precedent could eventually come into play as the United States continues its campaign to tear down barriers—

This is a first not only for Canada but it is a first in international agreements. The U.S. should respect the agreement that it signed on subsidies and countervailing duties which specifically denies national treatment in the area of subsidies. It is as simple as that.

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rick Borotsik Progressive Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, the minister of agriculture has acknowledged that there is a disaster taking place in southwestern Manitoba. We have much too much water, two million acres are in jeopardy of not being planted and the possibility of a $400 million loss in the economy in the area.

In 1998 the government rightfully put forward a compensation package for farmers during the ice storm in Ontario and Quebec. Can the minister tell me please what kind of compensation package will be put forward for disaster assistance in Manitoba and Saskatchewan?

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, we assisted producers in Manitoba at that time as well. They were assisted through the disaster funding assistance agreement with the provinces which, if requested by the provinces, deals with the loss of assets.

In this case I am certainly not happy with the fact that there is that much land which is being flooded. Hopefully the weather will clear in order to allow the farmers to seed as much of that as possible.

I will be having discussions as early as today with the minister in Manitoba to discuss how we can assist through existing programs to help those farmers.

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rick Borotsik Progressive Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the minister's comments about assistance. An emergency request was made by the province of Manitoba just yesterday to the PMRA to have aerial spraying take place as opposed to land spraying because obviously they cannot get on the land.

My question is for the Minister of Health. What is his department prepared to do to help these farmers who in fact may get some of those acres planted but they need an emergency registration?

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the member was kind enough to raise this issue with me yesterday directly. After our conversation I learned that the application will be considered on its merits.

As the member knows the PMRA has to balance public safety and environmental concerns against the needs of producers and growers. We will do the very best we can and the agency will respond as soon as possible.

FinanceOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Mac Harb Liberal Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, as you may know, there is no international standard for public accounting. When the Government of Canada issues its financial statement, tangible assets such as properties are not included in the balance sheet.

Can the Minister of Finance tell the House if he is concerned about the lack of standards? Would he support the efforts of the public accounts committee in this area?

FinanceOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, given the hon. member's great experience in this area, he is fully aware that transparency in financial statements by governments and indeed by private sector corporations is essential if we are going to have a sound international system.

As a result of this, consistent accounting standards have to be consistently applied. Therefore we certainly support the role of the public accounts committee in this area and certainly support the efforts of the hon. member in this area.

I am delighted to see that the International Accounting Standards Committee is going to report on this very soon, but this is something in which Canada will certainly take a lead.

JusticeOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Reform

Chuck Cadman Reform Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, once again Canadians are outraged by the ease with which our laws allow people to escape accountability for their actions.

Bert Stone killed his wife because she insulted him. Yesterday the supreme court upheld his lenient sentence and in effect accepted his provocation defence. A discussion paper on this issue was distributed a year ago. The Stone case was not the first and others have occurred since.

The provocation defence is archaic. Canadians want it eliminated entirely or at the very least severely restricted in its use and they want some action now. Will the Minister of Justice act immediately to put a stop to these travesties?

JusticeOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I want to clarify for the hon. member that the Supreme Court of Canada in Stone as I understand it did not deal with the defence of provocation. However the hon. member is right that we are consulting on the defence of provocation as well as the defence of self-defence. I hope to be able to release the results of those consultations and proposals for changes to the law in the coming months.

Water ContaminationOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Fournier Bloc Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is the third time that I rise in this House to talk about the terrible problem of water contamination by the Department of Transport around the beaches of Sept-Îles.

The Secretary of State for Economic Development for the Regions of Quebec came and promised residents of Sept-Îles that the Minister of Transport would meet them.

My question is for the Minister of Transport. Considering that mothers must wash their babies with bottled water, does the government not realize that mere talking is no longer enough and that immediate action is required to repair the damage it has caused?

Water ContaminationOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, water contamination in Sept-Îles is a very important issue into which our government is looking.

I will relay the hon. member's question to the secretary of state responsible for economic development and to the Minister of Transport, to see if they can provide him with a more detailed reply.

Canadian Grain CommissionOral Question Period

May 28th, 1999 / 11:50 a.m.

NDP

Dick Proctor NDP Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food knows that the Canadian Grain Commission has existed for decades to serve prairie grain farmers. Now however the commission is running a $10 million deficit and many farmers are concerned that on-site grain inspection will be a victim of this financial shortfall. Farmers fear cost cutting would do real harm to Canada's excellent reputation as an exporter of top-notch grains.

Given all that, could the minister assure all Canadians that our reputation as a world class supplier of grain will never be compromised?

Canadian Grain CommissionOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I will definitely assure Canadian farmers as well as those in the international community who buy our excellent product that our reputation will be maintained.

The Canadian Grain Commission is having some stress financially, I agree. It has carried out a thorough set of consultations. My officials and I are meeting with the commission. Any changes and improvements that are made will in no way, shape or form jeopardize the quality of its work.

DevcoOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy Progressive Conservative South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Northside Futures Group states that since 1968 a 25 cent per tonne royalty has been set aside on every tonne of coal mined by Devco. These moneys were set aside to benefit workers upon eventual closure of the mine.

My question is for the Minister of Natural Resources. What has happened to these millions of dollars? Were these millions of dollars included in the package offered to the Devco miners?

DevcoOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the specific point the hon. gentleman refers to, I will have to double check that proposition to determine exactly the truth of that matter.

I can assure him that all factors were very carefully taken into account by the government in arranging the final package with respect to the Devco situation. It includes very generous provisions with respect to human resources issues as well as a further package for regional economic development to find alternatives in the area.