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House of Commons Hansard #85 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Canada Development CorporationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, those minutes belong to the private sector, but those minutes also dealt with everything about the subject in hand.

If the hon. member has any other questions, he could easily ask them of the ethics counsellor. He should see the ethics counsellor. That is the long answer.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

April 13th, 2000 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, months after we first heard of the scandalous situation at HRDC, Canadians still do not have answers. The only transparent aspect of the whole mess is the government's mishandling of it.

That is why today the four opposition parties put out their own report calling for an independent public inquiry. Apparently the minister feels it is just ranting and raving. I can assure the minister that upholding the public interest is not ranting and raving. It is called getting to the truth. Why is the minister so afraid to hold a public inquiry to get at the truth?

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, it would seem that opposition members are still confounded by the fact that the government did its own internal audit; that the government made that audit, with all its shortcomings identified, public; and that the government is implementing a plan to fix the problem.

Let us remember that we presented a plan. The auditor general accepted it and is working with us to implement it. I would ask the opposition to work along with us so that we can fix this problem and continue to provide good service to Canadians citizens and improve our accountability to the taxpayers.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Wendy Lill NDP Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Human Resources Development. I have constituents with disabilities who have taken an IT training course from a private company funded by HRDC. The company took their money but provided no accommodation for their disabilities, produced no graduates and found them no jobs.

How could the minister justify funding for-profit training companies that produce no graduates or jobs when non-profit public sector organizations—

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I would ask that the loudness that is going on in the House cease and desist. I think we deserve the right to listen to the question and hear an answer.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Wendy Lill NDP Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, how could the minister justify funding for-profit training companies that produce no graduates or jobs when non-profit and public sector organizations are screaming for more funding and have up to 95% success rates in providing real training and real jobs at the end of it?

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, let me begin by saying that the government takes very seriously the role that we can play in ensuring that Canadians with disabilities do get jobs. That is why I was very pleased to see in the budget the continuation of permanency given to the opportunities fund, a very important fund that supports Canadians with disabilities.

I am unaware of the particular case to which the hon. member makes reference, but if she would like to provide me with the details I will look into it.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy Progressive Conservative South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans is negotiating fishing agreements with the first nations in Atlantic Canada but continues to ignore the Atlantic Fishing Industry Alliance.

Processors and fishermen must be a part of the negotiations in order for the negotiations to have a chance of working. Will the minister commit to fewer press releases and more industry consultation?

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I have met with the alliance and its views were taken into consideration when we had a plan researched.

We also had an assistant federal representative who continually communicated and dealt with the industry to make sure its views were taken into consideration. When I met with alliance representatives they said that the minister should have access through a voluntary retirement program and should make sure they have the same regulations.

The access we have now is through a voluntary retirement program and every agreement we have signed so far is based on the same regulations and the same seasons. That is exactly what they wanted when I met with them last year.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy Progressive Conservative South Shore, NS

I appreciate those comments, Mr. Minister.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. member for South Shore will be address his remarks through the Chair.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy Progressive Conservative South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, I will try again. I have some respect for what the minister is saying, but the fact remains that signed agreements are being distributed freely among the aboriginal community and the same government refuses to share these same agreements with processors and fishermen.

Will the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans meet with the fishing industry to brief it on the eight signed agreements and include it in the negotiations that will affect its future?

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, we do not negotiate in public. It is a responsibility of the federal government to negotiate directly with the first nations.

I outlined to the fisheries committee the total number of licences we have purchased and the amount of money we have spent. At the appropriate time we will ensure that all the information gets out for all the groups to look at, but right now we want to make sure those agreements are negotiated. They are negotiated not in public but directly with the first nations bands. We will continue to do that.

Wine IndustryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Walt Lastewka Liberal St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. A recent vintners enterprise study out of Niagara says the wine industry in Canada is waiting for federal recognition of the VQA standard for wine.

Canadian access to European markets is hampered because we do not have this national standard. What is the minister doing to ensure that Canadians wines are recognized and when will he bring in a national VQA standard?

Wine IndustryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food is working with the provinces, grape growers, producers and consumers to develop a national standard for wine. That certainly includes Vintners' Quality Alliance wines as well.

When that standard is completed and when it is developed, it will certainly improve the opportunities for interprovincial trade. Following successful negotiations that we are aiming for with the European Union, it will certainly increase our opportunities for export of wine to Europe as well.

Canada Development CorporationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Dale Johnston Reform Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, both the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance stood in the House and promised that they would release the minutes of the CDC board meetings for the time that the finance minister was a member of the board. Now the ethics counsellor seems to be stonewalling us.

Are these documents so damning that the finance minister is prepared to break his promise to the House to table these documents?

Canada Development CorporationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member's question simply makes no sense whatsoever. The fact is that the ethics counsellor has released all pertinent documents in this particular case. The hon. member has all pertinent documents.

Option CanadaOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre De Savoye Bloc Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Tuesday, the Bloc Quebecois asked the solicitor general to launch a police investigation into the Option Canada affair. He replied that he would read our letter and get back to us.

Has the solicitor general now asked the RCMP to investigate Option Canada?

Option CanadaOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague is well aware that there is a process in place such that when I receive any letter of this nature I refer it to the RCMP, no matter what it contains.

I know my hon. colleague does not want to leave the impression in the House that this has anything to do with whether an investigation will or will not take place. In fact, my hon. colleague could refer the letter directly to the RCMP himself.

BankingOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Lorne Nystrom NDP Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance. The Royal Bank has announced that there will be a hike in service charges on July 1. This comes at a time when the banks are making billions of dollars in profits. Meanwhile the National Council of Welfare has stated that banks could easily provide Canadians with a minimum 16 basic charges a month for a fee of $2.

In light of that, will the minister send a message today to bankers to tell them that financial services legislation will be introduced in the House next month and that the legislation includes a guaranteed access for all Canadians to a low cost, no frill account that is available to everyone in the country.

BankingOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, when the legislation will be tabled it will deal with those issues exactly.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

David Price Progressive Conservative Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday with regard to the possible closure of CBC Montreal the heritage minister said:

Not only have no options been made, but we have certainly discussed nothing about it.

Yet a CBC spokesperson in Montreal says the closure is an option, but I guess the government is completely unaware, even though the decision will be made in two months. Will the minister tell us why eliminating local English language television would even be an option?

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, what I said yesterday was we had not been aware of any information. In fact we have not discussed any such option.

Frankly, although I very much respect the arm's length relationship of the CBC to the government, I do agree with the hon. member that I think it would be a tragedy if English television in Montreal were not operating.