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House of Commons Hansard #128 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was transportation.

Topics

Market Revenue Insurance ProgramOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the minister will know that for thousands of Ontario farmers discussions are not enough. They know and the House should know that StatsCan in August reported that there were on the prairies some 22,000 fewer farmers this fall than there were last fall. That crisis is now spreading to Ontario.

When will the discussions end? Will the minister give us a firm date by which the Government of Canada will announce its unequivocal commitment to extending the MRI program rather than leaving Ontario farmers subject to—

Market Revenue Insurance ProgramOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

Market Revenue Insurance ProgramOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the right hon. member might want to check the support of the province of Ontario to agriculture in the last number of years. They have reduced that support, whereas the federal government has increased its support.

For example, this government increased its amount of support to the province of Ontario for market revenue, crop insurance and NISA from $106 million to $137 million. That is an increase of $31 million.

The province of Ontario has not indicated yet to me or to the farmers of Ontario what they are going to do with that. I suggest that is some money that—

Market Revenue Insurance ProgramOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Peace River.

Atlantic Canada Opportunities AgencyOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Reform

Charlie Penson Reform Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister responsible for ACOA has finally tipped his hand and shown us the real reason that the government loves the regional development agencies.

With an election looming, the minister just could not resist putting his sticky fingers into ACOA's business. He has offered $10 million to Operation On-Line but with the condition that it agrees to move its high tech operations to his riding.

Canadians will no longer put up with this blatant old style politics. When will this minister resign?

Atlantic Canada Opportunities AgencyOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Gander—Grand Falls Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

George Baker LiberalMinister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

Mr. Speaker, if the Canadian Alliance is asking me to sign my name to a piece of paper extending a five year agreement with the provincial Government of Newfoundland to commit $10 million of federal money, Canadian taxpayer money, to support a business for the next five years in an area of relatively low unemployment while the rest of the province has high unemployment, the answer is no.

Atlantic Canada Opportunities AgencyOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Reform

Charlie Penson Reform Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, it seems like these are only poaching jobs, not creating new ones.

It is disgusting that the minister would use funds from an agency that he is responsible for to feather his own political nest. Just like the TJF, regional development agencies are vulnerable to political opportunism.

Believe it or not, this is the minister who is now going to be put in charge of the TJF money transferred to ACOA.

Has pork-barrelling politics become so second nature to this government that its members cannot even see the conflict of interest being created here?

Atlantic Canada Opportunities AgencyOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, could the hon. member explain why he does not apply the terms pork-barrelling and the like to what happened in the town of Red Deer in Alberta over the past 10 years when the current Leader of the Opposition was an Alberta minister? At that time $20,000 went to a limousine service; $10,000 went to a chocolate and wedding supply store; $23,000 went to a tuxedo rental company.

World Trade OrganizationOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Hélène Alarie Bloc Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, dairy producers are worried. Canada made a commitment to defend supply management in its negotiations with the WTO. The Cairns group wants the abolition of supply management. Canada is a member of this group.

My question is for the Minister of Agriculture. Why does he tell us that he wants to defend supply management and the Cairns group that he is fighting against it?

World Trade OrganizationOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the comments that the hon. member is making are not correct. In our initial negotiating position to the next round of the WTO, we made it clear that we will defend and we do defend, as was demonstrated by the challenge that the United States put forward to supply management a couple of years ago in which we worked with the industry to defend our domestic marketing systems and supply management. We always have and we always will defend our position.

World Trade OrganizationOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Hélène Alarie Bloc Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, supply management ensures a decent income for the thousands of Canadian dairy, egg and poultry producers.

Can the government assure us that the trade agreements it plans to sign will not threaten supply management systems?

World Trade OrganizationOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I have to commend the hon. member. She did state that the supply management gives dairy, egg and poultry producers a good return on their investments and risks. I agree with her on that. That is why we we have defended it. We will continue to defend it firmly and strongly. We have demonstrated that very clearly in the past and will continue to do so.

Atlantic Canada Opportunities AgencyOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Reform

Randy White Reform Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like Canadians to listen to the answers to these questions of a very serious nature to a minister.

I am accusing, through proof in a letter, a minister of the government of attempting to force a young high tech company to move to his riding in return for taxpayer money.

I would like to know from the minister if this is current government practice or just one minister's attempt to abuse his portfolio.

Atlantic Canada Opportunities AgencyOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Gander—Grand Falls Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

George Baker LiberalMinister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

Mr. Speaker, this money is in a federal-provincial agreement being renegotiated with a request from the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The question here is this. Do we agree with the Canadian Alliance to put money in areas which do not need economic diversification, where the unemployment rate is low, or do we put it into rural Canada where the money is needed?

We are going to fight this anti-rural Canada attitude on the part of the official opposition.

Atlantic Canada Opportunities AgencyOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Reform

Randy White Reform Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Or, do we agree, Mr. Speaker, that it is appropriate for a minister to force a company to relocate to his riding in return for some money?

It is commonly said that a government that robs Peter to pay Paul can depend on the support of Paul. I wonder if the minister would just stand here today and tell us whether or not this company should really have to relocate in return for some money that it wants, or is it just the minister getting off on abusing his own authority.

Atlantic Canada Opportunities AgencyOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Gander—Grand Falls Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

George Baker LiberalMinister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

Mr. Speaker, this is a federal-provincial cost share agreement that is being renegotiated.

The question is, should Canadian taxpayers have to put $10 million for the next five years into an operation in a low unemployment area while the rest of Newfoundland is suffering? The answer is no, not while I am here.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government is trying once again with employment insurance to give the public a few crumbs only, and this will not work. Once again, the unemployed feel they are being used as election fodder.

Why is the minister, who has in her hands some $32 billion in surpluses taken from the pockets of employees and employers, refusing to listen to those suffering the most as the result of her insensitivity?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, on this side of the House we believe in a balanced approach. We believe we need to have a strong employment insurance program to help those Canadians who, through no fault of their own, find themselves without work. We also believe that the best insurance is a job.

I would remind the hon. member that today's unemployment numbers are positive again for the country and have been reduced again.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, $32 billion in surplus and $500 million for measures is not very balanced.

In order to protect the employment insurance plan from misappropriation by the Minister of Finance before the Minister of Human Resources Development gets involved, an independent fund has to be created and managed by those who pay, that is, employers and employees.

When will the government, which does not invest a cent in employment insurance, let the fund be managed by those paying for it?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, in 1996 we made significant changes to the Employment Insurance Act. We made sure that every single hour of work would count for the benefit of employment insurance. We made sure that poorer families and low income families would have an increased percentage of the benefits, to 80%. We made sure through the diviser rule that Canadians would be attached more directly to the workforce. We are also prepared to make changes when changes are necessary.

Bill C-44, which is before the House, confirms our commitment to make changes when changes are necessary.

Grain TransportationOral Question Period

October 6th, 2000 / 11:40 a.m.

Reform

Roy H. Bailey Reform Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Standing Committee on Transport spent countless hours questioning witnesses on Bill C-34, the grain transportation bill.

The minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board and the Minister of Transport will recall that I predicted chaos. Well, that chaos is here. The wheat board's tendering process is so flawed that only a paltry 7% of the grain tendered has even been bid on.

Why will these ministers not admit that this bill is flawed and that the grain companies should deal directly with the railways to get the grain moving again?

Grain TransportationOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Algoma—Manitoulin Ontario

Liberal

Brent St. Denis LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the member should in fact be congratulating the government for its efforts to modernize the grain transportation system. This is a very pro-farmer government.

The minister has asked the parties to keep working at the problems with the tendering process.

I want to remind the member that the government through Bill C-34 has committed $178 million to farmers because of the revenue cap, $175 million for rural roads on the prairies and much more.

Grain TransportationOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Reform

Roy H. Bailey Reform Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, some farmers did not get any of that money and the hon. member should know it.

Some 22,000 western farmers have been forced off the land and more will be forced off the land. To make matters worse, the government has ignored virtually every stakeholder in the industry. It is the farmers who have to pay for this needless delay in grain shipment.

When will this ministers and this government allow the grain companies to deal directly with the railways so the farmers can at least get a few precious cents in their pockets?

Grain TransportationOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Algoma—Manitoulin Ontario

Liberal

Brent St. Denis LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the premise of the member's question is that he is against the wheat board. This government clearly supports the efforts of the wheat board to support the sales of prairie grains.

I say again that this is a very pro-farmer government. Our attempts to modernize the grain transportation system are real. It is up to the parties to solve the problems we are seeing right now with the tendering process, and we expect them to do so.

Women's PovertyOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, everyone is outraged at how hard poverty is hitting women because of the EI restrictions being imposed, despite the $32 million surplus available to the minister.

While her colleague, the Minister of Finance, is toying with the idea of a mini-budget, will she admit that the only way to fight poverty among women is to demand that this minister take concrete and immediate action?