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House of Commons Hansard #96 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was natural.

Topics

Pay EquityOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Marlene Catterall Liberal Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, public service employees in the government were very glad when we were able to reach a settlement of the pay equity complaint last year. Now we find out that many people doing the same work for the same federal government and belonging to the same union are not covered by this settlement.

What is the President of the Treasury Board doing to work toward pay equity for these employees of so-called separate employers?

Pay EquityOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, during the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal hearings on the pay equity complaint, all parties, including the Human Rights Commission and the Public Service Alliance of Canada, agreed that the complaint did not apply to separate employers. The court order applies therefore strictly to employees for whom Treasury Board is the employer.

However, we have also received official requests from four separate employers, including the Office of the Auditor General of Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Public Service Staff Relations Board, to look at a similar request. The Treasury Board Secretariat is reviewing the situation with them.

National DefenceOral Question Period

May 12th, 2000 / 11:40 a.m.

Reform

Peter Goldring Reform Edmonton East, AB

Mr. Speaker, depleted uranium, a radioactive nuclear waste, is a common weapons component on today's battlefields.

A report released by the Royal Military College in Kingston informs us that depleted uranium fallout may lead to cancer, mutations and unacceptable levels of toxins.

Will the Minister of National Defence call for our military to discontinue the use and stockpiling of depleted uranium for the sake of our returning soldiers' health? Has the minister yet enacted any of the report's recommendations?

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle Québec

Liberal

Robert Bertrand LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I want to reassure the hon. member opposite and tell him that the Canadian forces never use depleted uranium.

I also want to tell him that, if there are members of the Canadian forces who think they have been poisoned by this product, they should simply get tested. The Canadian forces will pay for the tests.

The EconomyOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Reform

Philip Mayfield Reform Cariboo—Chilcotin, BC

Mr. Speaker, the best measure of a country's economic progress in international terms is in the value of its currency.

When the Liberals took office in 1993 the Canadian dollar was worth 78 cents U.S. This morning it is worth 67.25 cents U.S., a decline of about 14%, and see-sawing back and forth, struggling for even this poor performance.

Could the Minister of Finance tell Canadians why even in the midst of the economic boom of the past several years he has not been able to protect the value of the Canadian dollar?

The EconomyOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, what the hon. member failed to mention was that against all other currencies in the world except for the American dollar, the Canadian dollar is very strong.

The economic fundamentals in Canada over the past seven years have gone from a situation in which the Wall Street Journal has referred to Canada as being in the class of a third world country to what The Economist of London called the economic miracle of the western world.

We are very proud of the steps that we have put in place, tough though they may have been, in order to restore the fiscal—

The EconomyOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Halifax West.

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Gordon Earle NDP Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, a recent defence audit condemns contracting out. Instead of making decisions based on what is best for the taxpayers' dollars, Canadians, those abroad served by our forces and for the forces and civilian men and women who work so hard for Canadians, the Liberal government seems to base decisions on how many jobs it can cut and how it can whittle down the union.

Will the defence minister learn from this audit and put a moratorium on any current plans to contract out more work to prevent us from being ashamed by yet another audit a few years down the road?

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle Québec

Liberal

Robert Bertrand LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, in the 1990s DND had to dramatically reduce the number of CF members and its civilian employees. Thousands of people accepted a departure incentive package to leave the department. Only a very small number returned to DND. The vast majority of these employees are term, casual or contractors.

In 1992-93 there were few restrictions on Canadian forces members who took a departure incentive from finding employment with the public service or re-enrolling in the Canadian forces.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Greg Thompson Progressive Conservative Charlotte, NB

Mr. Speaker, the government is presiding over the destruction of CBC regional broadcasting. I am holding in my hands the red book one and two, 1993 and 1996. Members can holler all they want, but I am going to quote from the red book which is perfectly legitimate. The Liberals promised in 1993, “Finally, a Liberal government will be committed to stable multi-year financing for national cultural institutions,” including the CBC.

Where is that promise? Did it get lost with the GST promise?

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Ottawa—Vanier Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, funding for the CBC has been stable since 1998. We stabilized the funding over a five year period.

If the member is not aware of that, perhaps he should have done more homework. Since the 1998-99 fiscal year, CBC Radio Canada's funding has been stabilized and in some cases increased.

EmploymentOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Greg Thompson Progressive Conservative Charlotte, NB

Mr. Speaker, I do not accept that answer. I am going to go to a minister who may have an answer on a program that was hugely successful. I will direct my question to the human resources ministry.

There is a program in New Brunswick called NB job corps. It is a joint program between the province of New Brunswick and the federal government aimed at putting older workers into the workplace. I am talking about those workers who have problems finding work because of age. What is the status of that program? Do we have any assurances that it may be developed along—

EmploymentOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources Development.

EmploymentOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Oakville Ontario

Liberal

Bonnie Brown LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his question and the courtesy of alerting me to the subject he wished to speak about today.

We were pleased to fund NB job corps with the Government of New Brunswick. Over the five year life of the project we will have assisted more than 1,300 workers between the ages of 50 and 65. We are also pleased with the program's track record. Lessons learned from this corps will be valuable in addressing the future needs of older workers.

We continue the discussions with our provincial counterparts to address the needs of older workers in a more general way. We will certainly consider the member's suggestion.

Nisga'A TreatyOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Guy St-Julien Liberal Abitibi, QC

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

In December, the House adopted the Nisga'a treaty. Last month, the treaty was ratified by the Senate. Can the minister tell the House whether the treaty was well received by the Nisga'a and whether they signed the agreement?

Nisga'A TreatyOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I can tell the House that yes, the Nisga'a people have ratified the agreement after one of the most prolonged debates in the House of Commons.

After 100 years of the Nisga'a people knocking on the door to come back into Canada, I am proud to say that today at this very hour Canadians from across the country are gathering in the Nass Valley to celebrate their entry back into Canada. We welcome them home.

PrisonsOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Reform

Darrel Stinson Reform Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, the people of Nass Valley never left this country.

Canadian taxpayers have spent $60,000 for scanners in federal prisons that can detect the smallest amount of drugs. Yet when the bells and whistles go off, these people are not arrested nor are the drugs confiscated.

My question is for the solicitor general. If a person visiting an inmate at a federal prison is caught with illegal drugs, the drugs are not even seized and that person is not charged. Why?

PrisonsOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Erie—Lincoln Ontario

Liberal

John Maloney LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the question posed seems very difficult to understand. Perhaps I could have more particulars before responding to it. When a criminal offence is committed then charges should be laid.

Amateur SportOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, barely two months ago, the Secretary of State for Amateur Sport announced with great fanfare that there would be increased funding for elite sport athletes and promised that they would receive their cheque by May 1.

He said “The athletes will not have to think about how many Kraft Dinners they can eat anymore”.

The athletes are still waiting. How does the Secretary of State for Amateur Sport explain this delay? Has the Y2K bug caught up with the secretary or is he simply having a hard time meeting his commitments?

Amateur SportOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalSecretary of State (Amateur Sport)

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

The Bloc Quebecois was pleased as well with our March 20 announcement. Of course, there have been problems. I have waited neither for the hon. member to put her question nor for the news in order to act on the problem.

I personally called the athletes who were having problems in this regard. I can say that as of May 9, at 8.45 p.m., all the cheques were in the mail, and I apologize for the inconvenience.

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of National Defence.

Two days ago the minister said in the House that to his knowledge there are no U.S. nuclear weapons in Canadian waters, but that the U.S. refuses to confirm or deny the presence of these weapons.

I want to ask the minister, why is our military now training for a possible U.S. nuclear weapons accident in Canada at Nanoose Bay or possibly in Halifax? Why will the minister not stand up for Canadians as the New Zealand government has done and tell the United States to keep its nuclear weapons out of Canadian waters?

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the United States does not bring its nuclear weapons into Canadian waters, into Nanoose, into the testing range.

For decades we have been providing a testing range but it does not test nuclear weapons or any warheads. It only goes through testing in that range.

Our personnel are trained in case there could be a nuclear accident somewhere off our coast because there are submarines and other vessels travelling on the high seas. The United States Navy does not indicate whether it has nuclear weapons on board. That has been a longstanding policy. There is nothing new about this.

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, perhaps I can give the minister another chance to say no to the Pentagon hawks.

His colleague the foreign affairs minister said last week, “The U.S. should refrain from unilateral decisions on a national missile defence system that could jeopardize the integrity of the ABM treaty regime and have a negative impact on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation”.

I want to ask the minister, does he agree with the foreign affairs minister? Is he prepared to join with the foreign affairs minister in urging the United States to get off the fence and to say a very clear and emphatic no to the national missile defence system?

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, in fact it has already said yes to the national missile defence system through legislation that has been passed and approved by the United States Congress and by the President. It is a matter of the testing that continues to be done to perfect the technology, then a final decision on deployment will be made at that point in time.

No final decision has been made with respect to that. Canada has not been asked. Certainly the matters that the hon. member raises and which have been raised by the foreign affairs minister are very legitimate concerns, and concerns that need to be addressed. There are other concerns. The defence, the security and the relationship between Canada and the United States must also be taken into consideration.

Grain TransportationOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Progressive Conservative Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Transport.

Further to the $175 million announcement for western provinces' rural roads, what provinces qualify for this money? Will they be required to cost share in the money and who will distribute the $175 million?