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 #116 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was banks.

Topics

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the minister talks about a solution when, in fact, she is keeping the workers in suspense by postponing cuts for a few months for lack of political courage. This is a fine example of Liberal compassion.

Will the minister admit that postponing EI cuts for a year is an admission of failure and that her reform is ridiculous and cannot be implemented in the regions without great hardship to workers and their families?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Not at all, Mr. Speaker. Today, I met with representatives of those workers and we had a good discussion on the problems faced by seasonal workers. I can say that we share the same objectives. I invited them to work with my department to find lasting local solutions and I hope they will accept the invitation.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

John Cummins Reform Delta—South Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, the fisheries minister appointed Bob Rae as mediator in Burnt Church. However what is at issue here is not a matter for mediation. It is a matter of conservation.

Miramichi Bay is closed to commercial fishing for conservation reasons. The minister's own office admits that the 40,000 pound quota he allowed during this closed time has been caught. It was caught weeks ago.

Why will the minister not act to protect the lobster in Miramichi Bay and remove the illegal traps?

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question as it gives me the opportunity to update him and the House.

Since the Marshall decision last year a lot of progress has been made. I am happy to report to the House that we have 29 agreements with the first nations out of 34. Twenty-nine first nations have signed agreements. The government has made a major commitment with the $160 million initial investment to respond to Marshall.

I want to tell the hon. member and the House that conservation is a priority. We will ensure that we uphold the law, but we want to resolve these issues with dialogue and co-operation, not through confrontation.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

John Cummins Reform Delta—South Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister is trying to sell mediation but he is ignoring conservation. He is creating confrontation. When will he haul the traps?

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, an eminent Canadian, Bob Rae, former premier of the province of Ontario, is there mediating. He is bringing the parties together. He is working with the community. He has asked for a few additional days to bring the parties together.

We should respect that request and make sure that we make every effort to resolve the matter in a peaceful and co-operative way. That is exactly what we are doing.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Fournier Bloc Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, the economy is in good shape and yet seasonal workers in the regions have again been the victims of federal government cuts.

Likewise, the average rate of unemployment among the Montagnais Innu workers is 35%, and all too often they cannot claim employment insurance.

When will the Minister of Human Resources Development propose permanent solutions, real ones that take the regions and the activities found there into account?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, indeed the hon. member is correct. The economy is doing extremely well. We want to make sure that the economy does well in his part of the country as well. That means for sure having employment insurance there for seasonal workers when they need it, but it also means working on the ground with employers and employees to build a new economy on the north shore of Quebec.

I have asked the hon. member to join me and his constituents and employers to deal with the issue because if we do not things will just carry on as is. For this side of the House that is unacceptable.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes Liberal London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week in Winnipeg dozens of young people from war torn countries came together to share the horrific realities of their lives with delegates to the international conference on war affected children. One could not help but be extremely moved by their plight.

Will the Minister of Foreign Affairs tell us the outcome of these important meetings attended by delegates from 120 countries and other multilateral organizations?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

September 18th, 2000 / 2:45 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for London West for having come to the conference and helping to make a contribution along with the many guests that we had from other countries.

I can report to the House that a 14 point action plan was put in place that will bring together governments, NGOs and young people in a network that will begin to develop a major momentum toward a special UN session that will take place next year.

One concrete way was that we were able to successfully negotiate an agreement with the governments of Sudan, Uganda and Egypt and ourselves to begin the release of abducted children who have gone into Sudan. The release actually started to take place yesterday. It is a good example of how Canada can provide real leadership in the world.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Reform Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal ethics counsellor was surprised that René Fugère escaped prosecution. He was an unregistered lobbyist who documents show helped at least seven different clients get over $1 million in HRDC grants.

It turns out there has never been a successful prosecution under the weak Lobbyists Registration Act. In spite of this, the Liberals just issued new rules requiring grant applicants to identify anyone lobbying on their behalf.

Will the HRDC minister tell Canadians how new grant rules under an unenforceable act can possibly help to protect the money of Canadians?

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I will try to clarify a couple of things here.

First, the provisions of the Lobbyists Registration Act will be reviewed by the industry committee in the upcoming months as was forecast when the bill was enacted in the House early in the administration of the government in its first mandate.

Second, I believe that any rules with respect to bidding on government contracts are in compliance with Treasury Board rules.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Reform Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister has just admitted that the act is ineffective. That is probably why just recently there have been three cases of unregistered lobbying by businessmen with close ties to the Liberal Party. These cases were all dismissed and no action was taken.

Yet just last week the HRDC minister said that new rules under the act were part of the overall tightening of the grants and contributions system. Why does the minister think unenforceable rules can help to protect the money of Canadians?

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, very clearly the Minister of Industry has indicated that he will take action in this regard.

Let me say again that on a number of occasions in the House I said very clearly that the administrative weaknesses in my department were unacceptable. I would note however that we have implemented and are implementing an aggressive and comprehensive program. Most recently, a third party in PricewaterhouseCoopers has identified that we are on track in meeting our commitment to Canadians.

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, by the health minister's own admission the future of medicare requires predictable, significant federal funding as well as plans for renewal.

Some progress has been made. We acknowledge that in terms of past transfers. However we also know that the future of universal public health care depends on national home care and a national drug plan. Neither of those issues are on the radar screen of the federal government.

My question today is simple. When will we see action on those two long overdue problems? What is the next step of the health minister?

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I invite the hon. member to look again at the health accord that the Prime Minister negotiated last week. In that health care agreement among all governments in the country both home and community care and pharmaceutical issues are dealt with expressly.

Governments gave their commitments to work together on both to strengthen investments in home and community care and to work to find a way to manage the cost of pharmaceuticals so that price or cost is not an impediment to access for Canadians anywhere in the country.

This is an unprecedented accord with 14 governments signing on, all moving in the same direction, combining more money with a sensible plan.

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I do not need to tell members of the House that the deal struck on September 11 offers very little hope for Canadians in the way of a national drug plan or home care.

Our question today is simply to try to find out when the government intends to live up to its seven year old commitments to national home care and pharmacare. When will the minister live up to the words he said in March 1998, that home care is the next frontier for medicare?

Will the minister at least give the House assurances that these issues will be placed on the agenda of the next meeting of health ministers due to take place in two weeks' time?

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I am astonished to hear how the member characterizes this remarkable agreement.

Fourteen governments including three NDP governments signed on to this agreement, which means a 35% increase in federal cash transfers for health, targeted funding of $1 billion for equipment renewal, $800 million to accelerate primary health care reform which the member knows is fundamental, and $500 million for information technology to integrate the system and make it more effective.

It is apparent that Canadians are better off taking the advice of Roy Romanow's NDP than the NDP sitting opposite in the House.

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Greg Thompson Progressive Conservative Charlotte, NB

Mr. Speaker, the latest infusion of money into the health care field is the best example yet of the Prime Minister's quick fix. He is basically saying “take the money and run, and by the way don't get in my way because I am getting ready for an election”.

When can we expect a comprehensive national plan to deal with the future of health care? We are tired of the quick fix. When can we expect a date for a national plan?

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, members of the Progressive Conservative Party ought to be the second last people in the House to be critical of this health agreement. The last people, of course, ought to be Alliance Party members.

The Conservatives and the Alliance in their election platforms in 1997 said that if they were ever elected they would change the system so that all the money through tax points would go to the provinces and Ottawa would have no role and no means of ensuring the principles of the Canada Health Act are respected. That would be the end of medicare in the country. That would be the end of access across Canada to health care services.

The hon. member, his party and the Alliance should be ashamed of that position and Canadians should be very proud of the Prime Minister.

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Greg Thompson Progressive Conservative Charlotte, NB

Mr. Speaker, this is the minister that has taken a wrecking ball to health care in the country. With all this money we are going back to 1994 levels. Think about it for just a minute. How can he be proud of that record?

Canadians want a plan for the future, not a quick fix. When will he show some leadership on this file? We want a plan, a plan for the future, as do all premiers of the country.

The document to which he alludes was written by Homer Simpson, presently the aide to the minister.

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we can refer to the commentary last week by experts throughout the country who looked at the Prime Minister's achievement in negotiating this unprecedented agreement and confirm that it is good news for Canadian health care.

Michael Decter, former deputy minister in Ontario and now chair of the Canadian Institute of Health Information, said this was an agreement with substantive progress for medicare renewal in Canada.

It is clear, as we have always said, that a combination of more money with a coherent plan where governments work together toward reforming, improving and modernizing medicare is what the Prime Minister has achieved.

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Ovid Jackson Liberal Bruce—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. Last week the Government of Canada reached a remarkable agreement with governments of all political stripes across Canada.

That initiative will infuse $21 billion into the Canada health and social transfer to the provinces. Could the minister tell us about this initiative and explain to all Canadians, including my constituents of Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, how this initiative will help the health care of all Canadians?

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, it does bear repeating. We have been saying for some time that the difficulties facing medicare require not just money but a plan, and now we have that.

There is $21 billion of additional money, targeted money for specific priorities, but perhaps most important of all is that the Prime Minister negotiated an agreement that expressly acknowledges the role of the Government of Canada in the process of medicare renewal. The federal government is a full partner and participant in renewing medicare.

Unlike the Alliance and unlike the Conservatives, the Prime Minister recognizes there is a national interest in the country. Medicare is a national undertaking and the Government of Canada has an essential role to play in protecting that interest.

Public Works And Government ServicesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Werner Schmidt Reform Kelowna, BC

Mr. Speaker, last week the minister of public works was caught red handed doling out $1 million to his old Liberal friend, Michele Tremblay.

The minister claims these contracts were legitimate, but it was a non-tendered contract that guaranteed two more contracts to Madam Tremblay. The Liberal government issues non-tendered contracts, over $1 billion a year, contracts the auditor general says should have been tendered. Why does the minister continue to use non-tendered contracting as a billion dollar patronage business?