This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #91 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was park.

Topics

Newspaper IndustryOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government welcomes a public debate on the question of newspaper ownership and especially of newspaper concentration of ownership in Canada. The method of that public debate has yet to be established. We would welcome suggestions from the members opposite for establishing a process that will lead to a debate from coast to coast to coast on the importance of newspapers in communicating to Canadians what is important.

HealthOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Michelle Dockrill NDP Bras D'Or, NS

Mr. Speaker, for seven months members of the House, Albertans and all Canadians have been waiting for the answer of the Minister of Health and his government to bill 11. Time has run out; the product is here. Will the minister tell Canadians and members of the House, does bill 11 violate the Canada Health Act? Yes or no?

HealthOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, in November we said we would not stand by and let health care be privatized by stealth. In March I went to Calgary and spoke, criticizing the policy behind bill 11 and saying why it will not solve the problems in our health care system. Last month I wrote to the Alberta government suggesting specific amendments to the bill so that we could avoid some of the dangers it presents.

One thing is clear. No matter what happens in that legislature next week, this government will protect the principles of the Canada Health Act by monitoring and by enforcing.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Question Period

May 5th, 2000 / 11:50 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Mark Muise Progressive Conservative West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, local newscasts are the lifeline of many rural communities in Canada. They are the one source of information that links many of our smaller communities together.

With unity being a primary concern within this country, can the Minister of Canadian Heritage tell us why she is willing to allow the CBC to sacrifice rural newscasts for the benefit of urban Toronto?

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Ottawa—Vanier Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, if the member had listened to the minister's answers to questions, he might wish to pose a different one.

One has to understand and respect that CBC has an arm's length relationship with the government. It would be rather untoward to dictate how it is managed.

Having said that, we and I believe CBC are fully aware of its mandate as it is prescribed by law. I would invite the member to refer to section 3.1 of the Broadcasting Act and he will have his answer.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Mark Muise Progressive Conservative West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, I would have liked an answer.

The minister turned her back on the magazine industry through the concessions to Bill C-55. She appears willing to allow foreign ownership in our newspaper and broadcasting industry and she screams content to allow the CBC to withdraw from local newscasts.

Can the Minister of Canadian Heritage tell us which foreign investor will be charged with telling our Canadian stories to our Canadian children?

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Ottawa—Vanier Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Canadian Heritage has got to be the Canadian that is most proud of our ability to tell Canadian stories and not having to be dictated by foreigners.

I do not really understand where the member is coming from on that. Time and time again the minister has stood in the House and presented bills and interventions to support Canadian cultural industries. We will continue to do so and we will support her in her efforts to do so.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Mac Harb Liberal Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians rely on the CBC to find out about what is happening in their communities. Can the parliamentary secretary reassure Canadians that in fact local news coverage managed through regional offices will continue to be an integral part of CBC?

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Ottawa—Vanier Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, in response to both questions, I wish to refer to section 3.1 of the Broadcasting Act which says that the CBC must “reflect Canada and its regions to national and regional audiences, while serving the special needs of those regions”.

The board that was to meet next Monday or Tuesday I gather has postponed its meeting. This provides an opportunity for CBC to engage in a dialogue with Canadians from coast to coast to coast on the nature of the services they wish to have from their national broadcaster.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Reform

Gurmant Grewal Reform Surrey Central, BC

Mr. Speaker, foreign affairs was so insecure about the Prime Minister's inability that it commissioned a survey. Angus Reid found that Céline Dion is the best Canadian to represent our country, not the Prime Minister. She sung her way into our hearts, not the Prime Minister. The survey found that Canadians are embarrassed by the awkward Prime Minister on the international stage.

Will the minister take the advice from that department's poll and send Céline on the next international trip and not the Prime Minister?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should be the last person to give advice to the Prime Minister on foreign affairs after his spotty record in advising the Government of Liberia.

Rcmp InvestigationsOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, an investigation into the infiltration of the Canadian immigration office in Hong Kong by Chinese triads was apparently covered up by RCMP officials.

Robert Read, in charge of the investigation until 1997, was apparently sidelined after discovering weaknesses in Immigration Canada's computer system that might pose a threat to national security.

How can the solicitor general allow such a situation unless he is covering up another blunder by the government?

Rcmp InvestigationsOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the House is well aware that there was an investigation conducted by the RCMP. There was nothing to indicate any wrongdoing.

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Bev Desjarlais NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, the transport committee has found a number of problems with last December's deal between the transport minister and Air Canada on the takeover of Canadian Airlines.

Small communities are only protected for three years and then thrown to the wolves. There is forced divestiture of Canadian Regional Airlines for no good reason. There is nothing to ensure a smooth transition for airline employees.

As the minister knows, these problems are in the deal with Air Canada, not in the bill itself. Our committee can only recommend amendments to the bill. Will the minister please tell the House what he can do to address the problems with the deal?

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, first of all, the fact is that the agreement was negotiated between the competition commissioner and Air Canada pursuant to the Competition Act. The government accepted the agreement.

The alternative last December was to have the bankruptcy of Canadian Airlines within two days with 16,000 employees being thrown out of work and creating absolute chaos to the air system in the country. Yes, there have been problems. That has been acknowledged by Air Canada. The fact is the result we have today is much better than the result we would have had had we followed the hon. member's advice.

We have to get the bill through to give the competition commissioner power to protect the public—

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for West Nova.

Disaster AssistanceOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Mark Muise Progressive Conservative West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, damage caused in Nova Scotia by the 1998 ice storm was not deemed significant enough to qualify for emergency federal funding. On January 21 another winter storm severely damaged five wharves and still there is no federal assistance.

My question is for the Deputy Prime Minister. Why is it when residents of Quebec and Ontario are faced with tragedy the federal government is quick to provide assistance yet it can turn a blind eye to Atlantic Canada?

Disaster AssistanceOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member did not give me notice of this rather detailed question. It is my understanding under the arrangements nationally that the provincial government makes the initial request and it is considered by the federal government. I will have to check if such a request was made. I will get back to my hon. friend with the fullest possible information.

TransportOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Larry McCormick Liberal Hastings—Frontenac—Lennox And Addington, ON

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

Since the inauguration of the St. Lawrence Seaway system 40 years ago, the creation of a marine transportation system became a shining example of international co-operation between Canada and the United States that is the envy of the world. Canada has maintained the option of building an all Canadian seaway system throughout this period. Can the minister please tell the House whether or not this option is still necessary?

TransportOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, it is unnecessary and that is why this morning in Cornwall I announced the termination of plans for an all Canadian seaway route.

The fact is that this was a negotiating tactic used by the former Liberal government headed very successfully by Mr. St. Laurent against the U.S. in the early 1950s to overcome Congressional objections to the building of the seaway. As a result, the seaway is working very efficiently today and we do not need all of the land for an all Canadian route. That is why I made the announcement today. Three hundred acres of land, some of it very beautiful along the shores of the St. Lawrence, will be returned to its natural state and will be used for the benefit of future generations of Canadians. It will enhance that beautiful city.

International TradeOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Reform

Deepak Obhrai Reform Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, a 1997 internal audit of the trade association element of the program for export market development revealed a number of shortcomings including a lack of program priorities and methods of assessing results.

The minister has had more than two years to implement recommendations in the audit but has failed to do so. In the meantime, the minister has spent $14.7 million of the taxpayers' dollars. Why?

International TradeOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, we will look into the audit that my hon. colleague is referring to.

I have had a number of discussions with my deputy minister in the last few weeks and months. I am told that we have implemented everything that was needed to make sure that the distribution of grants and contributions in the Department of International Trade respected very elevated criteria to make sure that they served the purpose of the programs that we have created to help Canadians to do better in international trade around the world.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government is currently reviewing the Environmental Assessment Act, which it uses to interfere in all sorts of provincial matters.

However, this same government is refusing to submit major federal projects such as the export of nuclear plants or the import of plutonium to a full environmental assessment.

Will the Minister of the Environment agree to submit the export of nuclear plants and the import of uranium to a full environmental assessment?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

Noon

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada is quite confident that the procedures and practices it follows at the present time, and has followed in the past, are in full compliance with all legal requirements.

As the hon. member knows, there is some outstanding litigation at the present in time and therefore it would be inappropriate to comment further other than to say that from the government's point of view we are confident of our legal position.

Liberal PartyOral Question Period

Noon

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal caucus of the Atlantic said “Let's catch the wave, let's make changes to the employment insurance if we want to win the next election”.

At the March convention the Prime Minister said that the Liberals lost the Atlantic provinces because they cut employment insurance and that changes were needed to get them back.

Could the Deputy Prime Minister tell us what the Prime Minister meant when he made those statements to Canadians.