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House of Commons Hansard #133 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was nafta.

Topics

Minister Of IndustryOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Reform

Charlie Penson Reform Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask a question of the new Minister of Industry, but since he is not a member of the House of Commons, can the Deputy Prime Minister tell the House what kind of signal the Prime Minister is sending to Canadian businesses and workers by appointing an industry minister who, as premier of Newfoundland, managed to scuttle a billion dollar mining project and 1,300 jobs at Voisey's Bay in his own province?

Minister Of IndustryOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the new Minister of Industry when he was premier of Newfoundland led his province to record growth and record prosperity. I understand that of all the provinces, Newfoundland under his leadership has the best growth record in the country.

I am sure he will work with the rest of his colleagues to ensure that type of record of growth and achievement continues to be the case for all Canadians, both in terms of investment and in terms of low unemployment, high employment, high investment and prosperity for Canadians in every part of our country, working together as part of the Liberal team.

Minister Of IndustryOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Reform

Charlie Penson Reform Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is some record.

We know of Mr. Tobin's vast political record and experience, but what I am questioning is his economic record and experience. After all, his last provincial budget in Newfoundland finished $35 million in the red.

The Prime Minister has demonstrated an extreme arrogance by appointing this non-elected friend to a key economic post. Why does the Prime Minister not admit that this appointment is just to enable Captain Canada to become the new prince of pork in the House?

Minister Of IndustryOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the province of Alberta, when the Leader of the Opposition was part of that government, lost $441 billion on only one company. I think the Alliance ought to have some modesty in trying to raise these kinds of questions without sound premises.

By the way, so far the official opposition members have given the government a vote of confidence on its economic record and its economic policies, because they have not asked one question about the provisions of the economic update of the Minister of Finance. That economic update brings in lower taxes for lower and middle income Canadians, pays down the debt, and also adds to our programs to help Canadians have better lives.

Economic PolicyOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

The Liberals were not elected to give $500,000 to the president of the Royal Bank. They were elected to ensure a just society for each and every Canadian family.

Why reduce the $34 billion employment insurance surplus by making a big handout, giving the jackpot to the president of the Royal Bank?

Economic PolicyOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, this is what we have done with employment insurance.

Economic PolicyOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Nothing is what you have done.

Economic PolicyOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Jim Peterson Liberal Willowdale, ON

There has been a reduction from $3.07 to $3. Then it dropped to $2.95, and $2.80, and $2.70, and $2.55. Today it is down to $2.25. That is eight drops in a row. This means $6 billion a year for workers and small and medium businesses. Those are real tax cuts.

Economic PolicyOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

An hon. member

You have robbed the workers.

Economic PolicyOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

The Speaker

This is the last day, dear colleagues, but I do not want to hear the word robbed in the House of Commons. It is not acceptable.

Economic PolicyOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, with a $15 billion surplus, there is not one cent for the unemployed. The Liberals were not elected to cut the capital gains tax rate by 40% for the rich earning in excess of $250,000 annually. They were elected to reduce the gap between rich and poor.

Why give billions to the banks, while leaving the country with 70 new food banks that have had to start up in the past five years?

Economic PolicyOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

The hon. member across the way—and I thank him for it—gave his agreement this morning for passage of Bill C-44 to help the unemployed.

I know, of course, that he wanted to see that bill pass. He knows very well, however, that after four attempts by the government to get the bill passed, both the Canadian Alliance and the Bloc Quebecois this morning refused to allow this legislative measure of such importance to workers to proceed.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Angela Vautour NDP Beauséjour—Petitcodiac, NB

Mr. Speaker, last year I asked the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to have an environmental impact assessment on the impact of Metz Farms in Sainte-Marie-de-Kent. That was denied. Last week the same department ordered water testing. Has anything been learned from Walkerton? It has acknowledged it made a mistake last year. The people of Sainte-Marie and the surrounding area are requesting that the government compensate Metz Farms, a hog factory, and close it down and make sure that these communities can survive.

We cannot have hog factories with tourism and the health problem it is bringing. We need it closed now.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, monitoring is currently taking place to determine the situation at the Bouctouche River. If it is indicated that there is a deleterious substance entering the water as a result of the pig farm, of course it will be instructed to take remedial measures. If it does not, then appropriate measures will be taken.

I would remind the hon. member that initially this was analyzed by DFO. It said there was no impact on habitat directly and that it was inappropriate to put in a restriction on the use of land within the province which would have affected farming in the province and the provincial jurisdiction.

Digby WharfOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Progressive Conservative Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Department of Transport gave a cash lump sum payment of over $3.2 million to a not for profit corporation to run the Digby wharf in Digby, Nova Scotia. Now there is an accusation by a government official that the board of directors of this not for profit corporation held a board meeting at taxpayers' expense in Disneyland.

Will someone in this Mickey Mouse government shut this Goofy operation down before all the money is gone?

Digby WharfOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the government is confident that its administrative procedures are sound. Where errors are discovered either in the administrative processes of the government or through the activities of review agencies such as the auditor general, the appropriate corrective action is taken.

We are a responsible government, responsible Canadians. Where there are issues to be addressed, we address them to ensure that the public administration of the country is solid.

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Ovid Jackson Liberal Bruce—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, since the inception of this great country, farmers and farm families have provided good quality, safe food at a fair price to Canadians. Over the last five years, through no fault of their own, due to poor commodity prices and bad weather conditions, they have looked to governments for help.

Can the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food tell the House exactly what he intends to do in terms of the income disaster program to help in additional funds for our farmers?

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, in the last couple of years alone the government has increased the support and the safety net to farmers by 85%.

I am pleased to announce today that those who have applied and met the criteria of the 1999 AIDA program, the agriculture income disaster assistance program, will have the initial payment increased on the federal portion from 50% to 80%.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

October 20th, 2000 / 11:55 a.m.

NDP

Gordon Earle NDP Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question concerns the residential school issue. We welcome the Deputy Prime Minister's involvement. We understand that since his involvement there have been several productive and positive meetings.

However a problem persists. Government lawyers in the field have been actively and aggressively countersuing the churches, engaging in litigation causing immense legal fees and driving the churches toward bankruptcy.

I ask the Deputy Prime Minister, have orders gone out or will orders go out to the Department of Justice lawyers to cease such action so that a resolution may be found which will be fair to the victims of abuse and the churches?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question.

First, I have been looking into this further. It is my understanding that more than 70% of the cases which involve churches involve them because the claimants, former students in residential schools, sued not only the federal government but also the church organizations.

It is not correct to say that in all the cases, or even in most of them, churches have been added because of federal government action.

I am looking into this matter further. In the meantime, I am glad he is confirming that the discussions I have had so far with the church leadership have been useful.

Information Commissioner's ReportOral Question Period

Noon

Reform

Lee Morrison Reform Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, I have a brief quote from the infamous 1993 Liberal red book indicating that people are irritated with governments that disregard their views or that try to conduct key parts of the public business behind closed doors.

Mayday, mayday, in the year 2000 information commissioner's report it says that the Prime Minister's Office denied the information commissioner's request to review files. No other minister in 17 years has refused to co-operate.

When the government will not live up to its 1993 promises why should anybody treat seriously the promises that it is making now?

Information Commissioner's ReportOral Question Period

Noon

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have great respect for the Office of the Information Commissioner and the rules under which he operates.

At times a difference of opinion will arise on how these rules are to be interpreted and sometimes we have to ask the courts to interpret these rules. There has just been a court ruling which seems to go in the direction of the government's point of view.

I can assure my hon. friend that we will continue to respect the work of the information commissioner in a very constructive fashion.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

Noon

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Before you leave the chair, I hope, in the light of my position over the years in the House, that I can add to the comments made yesterday.

I want to express my personal appreciation for your work as Speaker and for your support of the institution of parliament. I think I reflect the views of parliamentarians and Canadians who wish you well in future endeavours.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

Noon

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Bloc Rimouski—Mitis, QC

Mr. Speaker, during the course of Oral Question Period, the government House leader said that our party was the only one to not understand what happened yesterday.

We may not have understood, but I would like to tell you what I have understood so you can tell me whether I have indeed. It is important—

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

Noon

The Speaker

Yesterday I indicated that a decision on the matter was required.

I made it after asking the House leaders of the government and the Bloc Quebecois to approach for an explanation. I am told this took place today. It is not for me, Madam, to explain it to you, but you may ask the clerk.