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House of Commons Hansard #76 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was airlines.

Topics

EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Dick Proctor NDP Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, given the minister's answer, why does he not simply tell the ship's captain today to turn the vessel around and head it back to Japan instead of allowing it on Canadian shores at the Port of Vancouver?

EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I really do like the powers that the opposition assigns to ministers of the crown. I can declare that ships will not come to Canada. If I could do that, we would have no problem with illegal immigration. We would have no problem with toxic waste coming to our ports.

When it comes within our waters, we will have some control. It will not come here for another six days. We are currently discussing, with the United States Department of Defence, alternatives to the proposal that has been put forward to ship this waste to Canada.

The hon. member simply does not understand that ministers of the crown cannot, by waving their fingers, have ships turn around in mid-ocean.

TradeOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Progressive Conservative Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Minister for International Trade is aware that a company in my riding, Oxford Frozen Foods, has been for some months seeking relief from a duty that was imposed on February 28 on processed cheese products. This duty is charged even though the binding tariff decision in 1994 said there would be no duty and even though an American product comes to Canada with no duty.

Has the minister resolved this situation, or could he give us an update on it?

TradeOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Cumberland—Colchester for calling my attention to this very important question. He had the courtesy to come to see me this morning with his letter.

I want to tell him that I have already asked my department to look into it very carefully. It is a technical difficulty around a classification problem. I will get back to him next week for sure because this is very important for us. My department is already looking into the case of this classification difficulty that Oxford Frozen Foods is encountering.

TradeOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Progressive Conservative Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for his answer and I appreciate his attention. However, I want to emphasize how important this is because the company has already lost a contract that would have meant 50 full time jobs in my riding and it prevents the company from an expansion which might develop 150 full time jobs.

I would ask the minister to commit the full force of his department to this issue to get it resolved.

TradeOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Yes, Mr. Speaker, I can assure the member that we are very sensitive on this side of the House to job creation. It is very important for us to make sure that Canadians have access to export markets as well, because we have good products and competitive products. One of our objectives is to have a good, solid, rules based system by which everyone would abide.

I can tell the House that this government will commit everything it can to help in this particular situation.

French Language Colleges In OntarioOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Ben Serré Liberal Timiskaming—Cochrane, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Canadian Heritage recently cancelled a very important funding announcement for French language colleges in Ontario.

Could the parliamentary secretary reassure these colleges that they will continue to enjoy the support of the Government of Canada?

French Language Colleges In OntarioOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Ottawa—Vanier Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Canadian Heritage

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

I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to the students and staff of the three colleges for any distress the postponement of the announcement may have caused them.

That having been said, the delay in no way changes our commitment to education for official language minorities in general and to Ontario's three French language colleges in particular. An agreement was signed with Ontario. Its contents will be made public in due course and our support for these communities remains undiminished.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Reform

Ken Epp Reform Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, if a credit card is lost or stolen and it is reported to the bank, the bank cancels it within minutes and the money stops flowing. Yet, the Department of Human Resources Development continues to allow missing social insurance numbers to be used, costing Canadian taxpayers millions of dollars, even after searching for them for two years.

Why is it so easy for the minister to dole out the cash but so hard for her to account for it?

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Oakville Ontario

Liberal

Bonnie Brown LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to assure the House that we have made significant progress in cleaning up the social insurance registry to assure Canadians that the system is well managed.

We have now verified some 5.4 million social insurance cards. The number of files of citizens over the age of 100 has been reduced from 311,000 to 11,000 and we are negotiating with the provincial vital statistics agencies to further reduce this figure.

The bottom line is that HRDC has made significant progress in addressing the concerns raised in the auditor general's report of 1998.

BillboardsOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, I wish to inform the Minister of Transport that, despite what he said in the House, it is the Charte de la langue française that will apply to billboards in Montreal, no matter what company puts them up. He did not sign the contract with Mediacom and the Government of Quebec's moratorium is still in place.

What is the minister waiting for to put the contract on hold, work out an agreement with his counterpart in Quebec and avoid a dispute over billboards?

BillboardsOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, after being asked this question two days ago, I spoke with the president of the Federal Bridge Corporation Limited.

He told me that I was right. The corporation is a federal body and that the federal Official Languages Act applies. But in this case the member is right, because the billboards are the responsibility of a provincially regulated private company. In this case, Bill 101 applies.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Bev Desjarlais NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.

The aboriginal healing fund is supposed to help communities recover from the pain of abuse at residential schools. Unfortunately, few aboriginal people in Manitoba have been able to access the fund. Of the 104 projects funded by the Aboriginal Healing Foundation, only two have been in Manitoba.

I know the aboriginal healing fund is at arm's length from the government. That is why I have written to the foundation, asking it to fix this inequality and fund more projects in Manitoba.

Will the minister join me in the name of healing and fairness? Will he call on the Aboriginal Healing Foundation to ask it to fund more projects in Manitoba?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Liberal

David Iftody LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, two years ago the Government of Canada set up a healing fund of some $350 million in consultation with first nations communities across this country.

The existence of the fund is well known. A few months ago there was a meeting in Vancouver involving all of the elders across Canada and first nations people to discuss an implementation strategy which would be sensitive not only to the regions of the country, but to those particular victims who would be participating in the fund.

FisheriesOral Question Period

March 31st, 2000 / 11:55 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy Progressive Conservative South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, obviously the Minister of the Environment's knowledge of the fishery has not improved since he left the fisheries portfolio.

Yesterday, David Bevan from the DFO informed the fisheries committee that expropriation would be used to provide aboriginal access to Quebec crab if they could not buy existing licences.

Who is correct, the Minister of the Environment or those in the know at the DFO?

FisheriesOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has once again changed the terms of his question.

To the original terms of the question the answer was no. He has changed the terms of the question to have me comment upon testimony made yesterday. I will be happy to do that, but I am only allowed 35 seconds on the floor of the House. I do not have time to do that. Let the hon. member go back to the committee and pose the questions himself.

Nuclear DisarmamentOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Ted McWhinney Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Will the minister tell the House what are the implications of the U.S. proposal for a national missile defence system on the international law of nuclear disarmament, in particular the anti-ballistic missiles treaty and interim agreement on protocol of 1972, but also the non-proliferation treaty negotiations that resume in late April?

Nuclear DisarmamentOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, beginning this coming month the nations of the world will come together to talk about the reinforcement of the non-proliferation treaty.

The position we take in Canada is that we have to do everything possible to encourage the nuclear states to live up to the commitment to continue to disarm.

Anything that would interfere with that, which would suggest that there is a retreat from that kind of commitment, I think would have a very serious impact on our security as a country and on the security of other countries, because one of the most scary threats that we still face is the threat of nuclear proliferation.

Human Rights Tribunal Annual ReportOral Question Period

Noon

The Speaker

I have the honour to lay upon the table the 1999 Canadian Human Rights Tribunal Annual Report.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

Noon

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Reform Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, some of the members on the government side have not noticed that political events have moved passed them and that we have formally and democratically changed our name. I wonder if it would be appropriate for you to ensure that our proper and appropriate name is used in the House in light of the events that have just happened.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

Noon

The Speaker

I would be happy to ensure that all proper names are used for all parties in the House. If we could be forgiven, we need a few days to get ourselves used to the new name. The name of the former Reform Party in the House is now recognized as the Canadian Alliance. That is how I would ask all of you to address it.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

Noon

Liberal

John Cannis Liberal Scarborough Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I know you have done your utmost to clarify this, but I know there is some confusion. When referring to the official opposition as the Canadian Alliance, will that be the name on the ballot sheet? My constituents are asking me and I do not know what to tell them.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

Noon

The Speaker

I do not have an answer to that but I am sure the Chief Electoral Officer will make that decision. For us in the House, the decision has been taken and I would simply request that you follow the decision.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

Noon

Liberal

Ted McWhinney Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would take the point that this House has plenary powers, through the Speaker, to determine the name of parties within the House. The electoral commissioner and other officials have no bearing on our decision.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

Noon

The Speaker

I, of course, will take the advice of the hon. member for Vancouver Quadra because of his great experience in this area. Until I hear officially, one way or the other, I am apt to sit back and wait to see what happens. We can decide what takes place in the House. I suggest that what takes place outside the House is in someone else's purview. I thank the hon. member for his intervention. It is always good to hear from him.