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House of Commons Hansard #242 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was culture.

Topics

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Bloc Charlesbourg, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will get to the question if I am allowed to continue.

Why is the solicitor general refusing to ask the RCMP to conduct an investigation? Is it to protect the Prime Minister? If not, he should ask the RCMP to conduct an investigation, because that is the solicitor general's responsibility.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

We are getting very close to imputing motive here.

If the solicitor general wishes to reply, he may.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I think the Prime Minister has displayed quite openly that he can very well defend himself.

TaxationOral Question Period

June 10th, 1999 / 2:40 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Reform Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, according to the Prime Minister, Canada does not have a brain drain problem and all those people out there who say that we need tax relief to stop it are just part of a big conspiracy. I bet that Elvis is probably in on it too.

Is that why the Prime Minister will not cut taxes, because he thinks it is part of a vast right wing tax relief conspiracy against him?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this government has already started to cut taxes. We do everything in a balanced way. We have promised that half of the surplus that we are earning, because we have run a good administration so far, is going to debt reduction and tax reduction. We have reduced the taxes since we were elected by $16 billion over a period of three years, including billions of dollars of reduction in the EI premiums that people pay.

We still have social and economic problems to deal with and we intend to have a balanced approach.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Reform Medicine Hat, AB

Boy, he really is in fantasy land, Mr. Speaker.

It is the grassy knoll and black helicopters and now all these secret meetings between Canadian business people plotting this strategy.

The Prime Minister had better drop the paranoia act. I hope it is an act anyway.

On the last day of parliament, is it really this Prime Minister's message to Canadians that he is not going to cut taxes, that everybody is against him? Is that really his final message to Canadians on the last day of parliament?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I say again that it is the policy of the government to reduce taxes.

What the Government of Alberta did before us was to balance the books before cutting taxes, something that was not done in Ontario. The responsible thing to do is to balance the books.

In the last two budgets the Minister of Finance has reduced taxes by more than $16 billion over a period of three years. I would like to congratulate the Minister of Finance for that.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government's requirements in terms of morality take various forms.

In the Airbus affair, the facts were a lot less serious, precise and corroborative than here. However, the Liberals did not hesitate to undertake an investigation and pay a lot in damages.

My question is for the Prime Minister. In order to avoid a repetition of this painful experience, does the Prime Minister not realize there is a very simple solution that would save taxpayers' time and money, and it is for him to table the sale contract?

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have already answered this question about 50 times.

Mr. Wilson clearly described the situation before the committee. I have nothing to add.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Sarkis Assadourian Liberal Brampton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, in February, in answer to my question in the House on the Armenian issue, the Minister of Foreign Affairs indicated that he had held a consultation process which involved members of parliament, concerned Canadian communities, historians and others.

Could the Minister of Foreign Affairs please inform the House of any conclusions that have been reached as a result of this consultation?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Liberal

Julian Reed LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member and all others who worked on this process.

On behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs I wish to inform the House that together with all Canadians we remember the calamity afflicted on the Armenian people in 1915. This tragedy was committed with the intent to destroy a national group in which hundreds of thousands of Armenians were subject to atrocities which included massive deportations and massacres.

May the memory of this period contribute to healing wounds as well as to the reconciliation of present day nations and communities and remind us all of our collective duty to work together toward world peace—

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Selkirk—Interlake.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Howard Hilstrom Reform Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, once again the agriculture minister is showing callous indifference to western farmers. Over two million acres of farmland are under water in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Farmers cannot plant their crops and will have little or no income for 1999. The minister's poor performance on the AIDA program has destroyed western farmers' confidence in this government.

Will the minister look past the Ontario border and declare the flooded region a disaster area?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Egmont P.E.I.

Liberal

Joe McGuire LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, as a result of the reports from western Canada as to the flooded areas, the minister will be taking a personal trip out there tomorrow to view firsthand the results of the flooding and to talk to producers on the ground about what should be done next.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Howard Hilstrom Reform Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, I think the agriculture minister already knows how serious the flood is. The agriculture minister has been saying that farmers gave nothing back to the country in the good years, implying that they should receive no help today. However, farmers have shared their hard-earned profits through excessive Liberal taxes.

When the minister goes out there, is he going to also meet with the agriculture ministers of Manitoba and Saskatchewan so that this disaster can be declared immediately and help be forthcoming immediately?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Egmont P.E.I.

Liberal

Joe McGuire LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the minister of agriculture has stated that in good years farmers should be contributing to the NISA program which are 50-cent dollars and that in bad years they should be withdrawing those NISA dollars because they are bad years. That is the purpose of the program.

When the minister goes out to see the extent of the devastation on those two provinces, he will then take further action after consultations with the producers on the ground.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Dick Proctor NDP Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, last week the minister responsible for western diversification indicated that a new aid program could be in the works for waterlogged Manitoba and Saskatchewan farmers. Yesterday however the federal minister of agriculture talked only about the possibility of building a little flexibility into either of the two existing programs.

My question is for the Prime Minister. What does the government intend to deliver, a new aid program, top-ups to the existing programs or more likely nothing at all?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint Boniface Manitoba

Liberal

Ronald J. Duhamel LiberalSecretary of State (Science

Mr. Speaker, it was I who made the statement which was that the minister of agriculture was showing some leadership on this file, that he would be going to Manitoba, that he would be assessing the situation and subsequent to that would be reporting back to cabinet as to what if anything could be done in order to help the farmers affected. That is what was said.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Dick Proctor NDP Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, it is interesting. There is one minister over there responsible for western diversification and the rest of them are responsible for promoting western alienation.

We agree with the minister of agriculture when he says that farming is a risky business. Therefore farmers need some safeguards and protection.

Why will the government not acknowledge that there is a full-fledged crisis in southeastern Saskatchewan and southwestern Manitoba and put out a disaster assistance payment on an unseeded acreage basis and do it tomorrow?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint Boniface Manitoba

Liberal

Ronald J. Duhamel LiberalSecretary of State (Science

Mr. Speaker, the two individuals involved here, myself and the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, have been giving the same message. It is a critical situation. It is being examined. Subsequent to that examination, the government will make a decision. It is clear. It is precise. It is exact.

Ferry ServiceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the Marine Atlantic ferry service in Newfoundland is in crisis. Traffic and freight backlogs are causing havoc. Tourism, an important growth industry in the province, is being hampered every day by an inadequate ferry system between the isle of Newfoundland and the mainland.

The Newfoundland tourism minister, a Liberal, has said “the four Liberal MPs from Newfoundland are sleepwalking through this debate”. He has called on them publicly to come out of their comas and do what is right for Newfoundland.

Is the transport minister prepared to commit today to the purchase of a new ferry as the wide awake Liberals in Newfoundland have recommended?

Ferry ServiceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, there is a bit of a silver lining in this. The fact is the pressure on Marine Atlantic is due to the increase in tourism to Newfoundland as a direct result of the buoyant economy and the policies of this government. However, this does pose quite a challenge as to capacity requirements. We are reviewing it. Over the summer I propose to go to Newfoundland, travel on the ferry, meet with the workers, and learn firsthand what has to be done.

Ferry ServiceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, section 32 of the terms of union between Canada and Newfoundland commits Canada to maintain a suitable passenger and freight service between Port-aux-Basques and Sydney. Does the Liberal government believe that the current cattle car level of service lives up to this commitment by the Canadian government, or is the minister willing to accept his responsibility and purchase the ferry that is available to give Newfoundland the service that it deserves?

Ferry ServiceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, as I said, Marine Atlantic is assessing its capacity requirements and that could include getting a new ferry. We just do not make knee-jerk decisions based on political requests of the opposition. What we do is thoroughly analyse the demand. We will do that and that may mean a new ferry, but we will do things in an orderly systematic fashion.

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Ian Murray Liberal Lanark—Carleton, ON

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

This week the Craig family of Dunrobin, Ontario launched “Sandrine's Gift”, a campaign to raise awareness about organ donation in memory of 11 year old Sandrine Craig who died as a result of a school bus accident.

Can the minister tell the House what he is doing to promote and encourage organ donations?