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House of Commons Hansard #120 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was pornography.

Topics

Transport Of MoxOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the public consultation process began a month and a half ago. Ample time was given for all of the necessary analysis and indeed the emergency response plan was amended specifically to address the points raised by Dr. Lyman.

AgricultureOral Question Period

September 22nd, 2000 / 11:35 a.m.

Reform

Garry Breitkreuz Reform Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government likes to parade in front of the cameras to impress Canadians with how much money it is giving to struggling farm families, but let us look at the facts.

Only 41% of the money promised to farmers has made it out of Ottawa. In the two hardest hit provinces, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, 58% of the farmers have been rejected outright. Farmers have been waiting many months, yet administration costs are very high at $700 for each processed form.

When will the government live up to its two year old promise to farmers? Is this just another Liberal PR—

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, contrary to the party platform of the opposition which says that it would eliminate subsidies and support to the farmers, the government has shown very clearly that it has increased support to farmers by 85% in just the last two years. That is far more than that party said. I think farmers across the country are pleased that this party is the government and that party is not.

We made the commitment that for the 1998 business year there would be $600 million of support to farmers across the country and that the support available would be up to $1 billion for the 1999 business year. I am confident that all of that money will go to farmers.

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Reform

Rick Casson Reform Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, we will reduce subsidies but we will reduce them in conjunction with other countries, not ahead of them as has been done in the past.

It is this kind of inaction which has caused 26,000 farmers to leave the prairies in the last year alone. The average age of those who left is 60 years. Not only is the government failing to deliver on its promises, it is refusing to lower its staggering tax burden of $100 million on farm fuel. It refuses to allow farmers to process their own grain. It continues to support an antiquated transportation system which is costing farmers millions.

The government continues to be one of the largest stumbling blocks to a viable farm industry. What—

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, not only did we support farmers with the amount of dollars I mentioned a few minutes ago, but also with the changes to the transportation of grain in western Canada this year we have limited and reduced the amount that will be paid by farmers for transportation of their grain this year by $178 million.

As the hon. member should know, farmers pay very few direct taxes. They do not pay direct taxes on fertilizer. They do not pay direct taxes to the government on pesticides. Any GST that they pay on any of their business expenses is fully rebated to them. I am not saying that farmers do not pay a lot of taxes, but the biggest majority of those that they pay are municipal and provincial taxes such as school taxes, property taxes, et cetera.

Gasoline PricingOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to today's newspapers the government might be tempted to settle the fuel crisis by that method so characteristic of the Liberals, particularly when elections are imminent: the short term solution.

Would the government not be better advised and more responsible if it were to avoid short term vote-seeking solutions and to amend the Competition Act instead, thus preventing three refiners-distributors from controlling the market?

Gasoline PricingOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, in terms of the long term functioning of the market, we have established under the Conference Board of Canada a detailed market analysis so that people in government both federally and provincially and the general public can have greater knowledge and understanding about how that marketplace functions and why the price trends occur the way they do. It is that kind of effort that is already being taken by the government to ensure that we do have the right long term policy in place.

Official LanguagesOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada recently issued a request for proposal to select service providers to administer the Canada student loans program.

The September 14 release and the accompanying fact sheet did not make reference to the Official Languages Act.

Could the Minister of Human Resources Development confirm to this House that only those proposals that meet the requirements of the Official Languages Act will be considered so that students from all regions of the country can be served in the language of their choice?

Official LanguagesOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Yes, Mr. Speaker. Our position is clear as regards the administration and management of the program:

—the provider(s) shall dispense services to student borrowers in both official languages, in compliance with the Official Languages Act.

I would like to recognize the work of the hon. member for his intensity and assurance that the official languages are always there and that Canadians have the services they need in the language that meets their needs.

Grain TransportationOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Reform Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government bulldozed its changes to grain transportation last June despite recommendations from the official opposition, farmers and the Estey and Kroeger reports.

As a direct result of not listening, we now have the ridiculous situation where the Canadian Wheat Board is threatening grain companies with legal action if they refuse to handle tendered grain. This means effectively that the wheat board will be using farmers' money to sue farmer owned companies.

Since the wheat board minister refuses to appoint a mediator to correct the mess he has created, will the transport minister?

Grain TransportationOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, a more commercial, competitive and contractual system is emerging in the grain handling and transportation system. That is a big change. All of the players have been accustomed to decades of administration and regulation and they must now function in a much different environment. The request for mediation will be responded to appropriately, but in the meantime the parties should conduct themselves in a mature, responsible, businesslike and good faith manner. I am hopeful that will be the case.

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Reform

Charlie Penson Reform Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadian prairie farmers are facing severe hardship due to low commodity prices and international subsidies. The government's answer appears to be to allocate $1.7 billion to the problem, but only pay out one-third of that. What a cruel joke.

Does the government have no social conscience? What does it want? Does it want the farmers to go broke and now import our food from the United States? Is that its answer?

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I know the hon. member has been in the House all through question period. I thought he would have listened to the answer I gave a few minutes ago.

When that program was put in place we said that it would provide $600 million in assistance to farmers for the 1998 business year. It did. That would leave up to $1 billion for assistance as a result of the situation in farm businesses for the 1999 business year. It will and it is in the process of being paid to farmers at the present time.

We even had to extend the deadline by 29 days so that farmers would get their applications in, even though they knew way back in the spring that they had—

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Bras d'Or—Cape Breton.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Michelle Dockrill NDP Bras D'Or, NS

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have been devastated by the government's assault on the unemployed. Since elected the Liberal government has left a trail of discrimination against women, youth, older workers and seasonal workers. Now we have a huge surplus of which over $7 billion was built on the backs of these same individuals.

Over the last few years we have heard the Liberal government talk the talk but refuse to walk the walk about the EI changes. Will the government commit today to make the necessary changes to EI so that more unemployed Canadians will qualify?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the government's record when it comes to unemployment is very good. We see the fact that two million more Canadians are working today than there were in 1993 when we took office. We see the levels of unemployment at historic lows. We see the job growth numbers increasing on a regular basis.

This is as a result of investments we are making in the economy. This is as a result of the work we undertake with employers and employees, and we are talking about seasonal workers and women. Again I remind the hon. member that when it comes to employment levels for women in Canada, the results are ever increasing. We should be proud of that.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Michelle Dockrill NDP Bras D'Or, NS

Mr. Speaker, I said unemployed, not employed. The Minister of Human Resources Development says she needs evidence. Only 40% of those unemployed qualify. How is that for evidence?

The Prime Minister talks about changes. The leader in waiting says “Don't touch it because it helps build a surplus”. Who is calling the shots? Will the government do what Canadians have been asking for and change the EI system to put money back in the pockets of working Canadians instead of in the pockets of the finance minister?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, on an ongoing basis we review the Employment Insurance Act. As part of that act there is a monitoring and assessment report done every year. We review the results of that report. If the program is not working as efficiently as it needs to be, we will make changes.

FisheriesOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy Progressive Conservative South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans talks the talk about conservation but he does not walk the walk.

Did the minister approve or know about the money offered to Miramichi fishermen to ignore the illegal fishery or, more literally, to turn their backs on conservation?

FisheriesOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, as I responded to this question yesterday, the mediator, the hon. Bob Rae, is meeting with all the parties to look at what options are available for them. A mediator was put forward by Burnt Church and he was exploring the options with the parties.

We certainly did not approve any option which required a payout to the commercial fishermen, but the mediator is looking at all the options he could bring to the table to get a final agreement. Unfortunately we did not get an agreement and we have no agreement at this time.

FisheriesOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Angela Vautour NDP Beauséjour—Petitcodiac, NB

Mr. Speaker, I have to tell the minister that trying to buy off the fishermen to turn a blind eye to conservation should never have been put on the table.

The minister is saying he was not aware that it was being put on the table. What we need to know now is what is the mandate of the negotiator. Will the minister table that mandate so we know exactly what he is planning on doing?

FisheriesOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, first let me say that when the hon. member was on this side of the House her questions were much better than they are now.

The other point is that I do not know where she has been because our plan has been laid out. In fact the former federal fisheries minister, Mr. Crosbie, said that our plan was working and that we should stick to it.

Just last week I received a letter from the hon. member for West Nova saying “Allow me to commend both you and your department for the tremendous efforts you have devoted toward enforcing fisheries regulations along the coast of Burnt Church and New Edinburgh”. This is a letter from the member for West Nova, a member of her own party, just last week.

InfrastructureOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

David Pratt Liberal Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board. The absolutely stunning performance of the Canadian economy over the last seven years is beginning to put stresses and strains on Canada's infrastructure.

It has been six months since the last budget and the announcement of infrastructure funding. What is the government doing to get this money out to communities across Canada?