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House of Commons Hansard #126 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was benefits.

Topics

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Gruending NDP Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, with values like this, who needs the Alliance?

The minister's government signed away powers to Mike Harris in 1997. The minister has given his officials no time line to report back to him on an assessment and he has simply ignored the first nations impact of the mine. What a great environmentalist. He cannot get his endangered species bill passed let alone stop 20 million tonnes of garbage being dumped into the water table.

Will the minister stop making excuses and finally announce a federal environmental assessment?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, given the performance of the New Democratic Party, it is understandable why the endangered species legislation is very high on their minds.

I would suggest to the hon. member that we will not unduly and improperly pressure agencies which parliament set up to be independent of the executive of the Government of Canada.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Jean Dubé Progressive Conservative Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, last year, the auditor general asked the government how the employment insurance commission set the EI premium rate.

My question is a very simple one. Why is this not indicated in Bill C-44? What is the government hiding?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it should be clear to the member from the legislation introduced by the minister that all this will be examined. A response will be provided in due course.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn Progressive Conservative St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Human Resources Development. The premium rate is much higher than necessary, even according to HRDC's own actuary. Will the government take decisive action on this hidden tax on employment and reduce the premium to at least $2 right now?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member would take a look at the history of decisions taken over the last number of years, he will see that what we have done is to adopt the recommendations of the commissioners. That is the way the situation worked. What he should also take a look at is that each and every year since we have taken office those premiums have come down. In the seven years prior to our taking office, the seven years in which his party was in office, every single year those premiums went up.

ChildrenOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Nancy Karetak-Lindell Liberal Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, by now most Canadians are aware that on September 11 the Prime Minister and the first ministers reached a historic agreement on health care. What has not received quite as much public attention is that an equally important agreement was also reached to help young children and support their families.

Can the Secretary of State for Children and Youth please tell the House what the government hopes to achieve with the agreement on early childhood development?

ChildrenOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Western Arctic Northwest Territories

Liberal

Ethel Blondin-Andrew LiberalSecretary of State (Children and Youth)

Mr. Speaker, on September 11 the Government of Canada entered into a $2.2 billion agreement with the provinces and territories. The agreement reached covers four areas: promoting healthy pregnancy and infancy; improving family support; strengthening early childhood development; and strengthening community support.

Public reaction has been very positive. This new partnership approach is social policy that will make a difference and will bring hope to all children of the country.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Reform Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, I want to give the HRDC minister one last opportunity to explain, giving a simple explanation, as to why write-offs of money owed to her department have increased so dramatically, 700%, since she became minister. We are suggesting that she cannot do her job. Perhaps that is wrong. There may be a good reason for this.

Would the minister please clear this up so that Canadians will know what they can expect from the minister?

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, first I would let the hon. member know that we have a two year project with treasury board to do our best to clean up outstanding debts. That is why she has seen an increase in write-offs.

Since she asked me the very question about whether or not I can do the job, would she ask her leader why during the time he was treasurer there was over $409 million in total write-offs to companies like Centennial Food Corporation for $11.7 million, to Gainers for $421,000, to North Saskatchewan Riverboat for $500,000, to ALPAC, and there are more. The point is—

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Rosemont—Petite-Patrie.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont, QC

Mr. Speaker, again relating to the transfer of grant money from Rosemont to Saint-Maurice, the minister seems to be hiding the truth from us.

For some months now—

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I would ask the hon. member to be very judicious in his choice of words.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the transfer of grant money from Rosemont to Saint-Maurice, there is one thing that appears clear, and that is that for some months now the minister has always refused to answer our questions.

The public accounts report is clear: there is a figure of $165,984 under the heading “Losses of public money due to an illegal act”. My question is a simple one: Is the minister telling us the whole truth and what is it she wants to cover up in Saint-Maurice?

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, again I would respond that the hon. member knows that this file is under investigation. He full well knows that it would be inappropriate for me to make any further comments.

Auto IndustryOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister for International Trade.

Despite many assurances that free trade agreements like the WTO and the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement would not affect managed trade like the auto pact, we are now in a situation where the WTO has ruled against the auto pact and will be making further regulations as to how Canada can comply with that ruling.

What does the government intend to do to protect the jobs of all those auto workers who have a right to expect that security which they have become accustomed to and which was the backbone of the Ontario economy? What is the minister going to do to protect those jobs in the auto industry?

Auto IndustryOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, we are of course extremely pleased with the health of the auto industry in Canada. It is extremely dynamic and is doing very well. I can tell the House that we are absolutely confident that the industry will continue on its very healthy progress of the last few years.

As for the WTO decision, we had asked for ten and a half months to implement the decision. We were very pleased that we were given eight months. We will respect that international commitment to the WTO that protects Canadian interests around the world all the time because we need a rules based system.

Health CareOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Norman E. Doyle Progressive Conservative St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, the premier of Newfoundland, Mr. Tobin, has been very critical of the government's health care package, saying that it is no bonanza because funding will not be fully restored to 1994-95 levels until the year 2006.

What is the minister going to do to address the health care problems of small provinces like Newfoundland that cannot wait until 2006 to have its health care funding restored to 1995 levels?

Health CareOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Anjou—Rivière-Des-Prairies Québec

Liberal

Yvon Charbonneau LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the September 11 agreement was signed by all the provincial premiers and at this time, the health ministers and the federal Minister of Health are meeting in Winnipeg in order to put in place all the provisions of the agreement as promptly as possible.

All the health ministers are engaged in discussions with the federal minister on the conditions for implementation of this agreement, and things are going very well.

Prisons And PenitentiariesOral Question Period

October 4th, 2000 / 2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I think all members of the House know that drugs pose a real problem in our prison system.

I would like to ask the Parliamentary Secretary to the Solicitor General just what are you doing to help deal with this problem and prevent drugs from entering our prisons?

Prisons And PenitentiariesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

I remind the hon. member to please address her questions to the Chair.

Prisons And PenitentiariesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Waterloo—Wellington Ontario

Liberal

Lynn Myers LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as you know Correctional Service Canada has zero tolerance when it comes to drugs. As a result of its good work and the work of the Government of Canada we have done three things. The first is to have ion scanners in place. The second is that planning is in place for drug dogs to sniff out drugs. The third is random searching. As a result of this great work, positive testing for drugs has gone down from 39% in 1993 to 12% last year. This is great news.

Presence In GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

I draw the attention of hon. members to the presence in the gallery of the Right Hon. Geoffrey Hoon, Secretary of State for Defence of the United Kingdom.

Presence In GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.