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House of Commons Hansard #121 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was moved.

Topics

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. member for Calgary—Nose Hill.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Reform Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, worse is that the increase will come straight from the pockets of struggling low income workers, needy EI claimants and employers who pay job killing premiums.

Why do the Liberals think they can get away with such blatant manipulation of Atlantic Canadians?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as everyone knows when we started, the premiums were $3.07 and now they are down at $2.40. It shows what we have done.

And for enlightenment, I checked in Alberta because we have received a lot of complaints about investments. I have a list of about 19 golf courses in Alberta that have received money due to the good office of the Leader of the Opposition today.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. member for Québec.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Human Resources Development issued a very unfair ruling for seasonal workers who lost their jobs between July 9 and September 17 in the Lower St. Lawrence, North Shore, Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean and Charlevoix regions.

How can the minister allow a double standard whereby workers who lost their jobs after September 17 will get 32 weeks of benefits, while those who lost their jobs in the two preceding months will only be entitled to 21 weeks of benefits? Let us hear the minister's definition of fairness.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, indeed we listened to the concerns of seasonal workers in that part of Quebec. That is why we implemented a phasing in of the changes to the employment insurance boundaries.

That is also why we are implementing transitional measures, precisely for the men and women to whom the hon. member makes reference. That too is why we are working in the community, myself and the Minister of National Revenue, with employees and employers to find new opportunities for the men and women living in that part of Quebec. I wish the hon. member would join us in that endeavour.

Post-Secondary EducationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Wendy Lill NDP Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister has said that the government would deal with the issue of post-secondary student debt to the extent of its resources.

Last week when the minister was boasting about having $12.3 billion more than he had expected, why did he not act to reduce the level of student debt that has increased on his watch? Is it that the minister has had a hard time keeping his promises, or is it that he agrees with the Leader of the Opposition that student debt is just a personal problem?

Post-Secondary EducationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Etobicoke North Ontario

Liberal

Roy Cullen LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, in the last few years the government has taken strong action to relieve some of the burden on students with their debts by elongating the period in which they can pay the loans and by deductibility of interest.

At the end of March this year we had a $12.3 billion surplus which automatically goes against the debt. That means that as a result of the payment of the debt in the last two budgets, we are saving $1 billion a year in interest costs. That is to the benefit of all Canadians.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

September 25th, 2000 / 3 p.m.

NDP

Angela Vautour NDP Beauséjour—Petitcodiac, NB

Mr. Speaker, unlike the Reform Party that is totally heartless when it comes to seasonal workers, I would like to ask the Prime Minister when he will bring about changes to the employment insurance program so seasonal workers in our communities can feed their kids during the wintertime and all year round?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Again, Mr. Speaker, the hon. member makes a good point. Men and women in this country want to work and they want to work year round. That is why, in the hon. member's region and the region surrounding her area, my officials are working with employees and employers to find new opportunities so that Canadians can work all year round.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Waterloo—Wellington Ontario

Liberal

Lynn Myers LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Kootenay—Columbia raised a point of order last week to which I would now like to respond.

I would like to emphasize that during question period I was not reading from or directly quoting the SIRC report, which is a classified report, as the House knows. I can advise the House that the solicitor general has asked the Security Intelligence Review Committee to make as much of that report available as possible, subject to any national security concerns.

The solicitor general has advised me that he will be tabling the resulting report as reviewed by the Security Intelligence Review Committee once that is available.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

As I understand it, after a review with the clerk, the hon. member for Kootenay—Columbia asked for the production of documents. Now the parliamentary secretary is responding that he did not quote from an official document. By our rules, there would be no need to lay these documents upon the table.

I do not know how the hon. member for Kootenay—Columbia could have more information at this time, but if he does, I am willing to listen to him.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Reform Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, I might request that you might want to take a look at Hansard for that particular day. I do not have a copy handy with me this second, but in the parliamentary secretary's response he said point one, point two, point three and it says this, it says this, it says this. We will not know whether or not he was quoting from the document until the document is tabled.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

What we have is one hon. member claiming one thing and another hon. member saying that it is not a document. As your Speaker, I must of course abide by the rules of the House and respect and believe, as we always do, all hon. members. Therefore, as far as I am concerned, we have a statement made by the hon. member that he did not quote. Therefore, we will let it rest at this point.

Government Response To PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Scarborough—Rouge River Ontario

Liberal

Derek Lee LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 15 petitions.

Interparliamentary DelegationsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Parkdale—High Park Ontario

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34, I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, reports from the Canadian branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association concerning the 39th Canadian regional conference which was held in Prince Edward Island from July 15 to 21, 2000.

Interparliamentary DelegationsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Comuzzi Liberal Thunder Bay—Nipigon, ON

Mr. Speaker, to comply with the requirements under Standing Order 34, I have the honour today to present the annual report of the Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group which took place between May 19 and 23, 2000.

Needless to say, there were five ongoing working groups that worked between those periods of time. They dealt with e-trade, transborder issues, crime across the border and all those things that deal on a day to day basis with our relations with our friends in the United States.

I have the honour of presenting this report. It is such an important committee that I would ask that every member of the House should belong to it.

Holidays ActRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

John Bryden Liberal Wentworth—Burlington, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-496, an act to amend the Holidays Act (Christmas Day).

Mr. Speaker, the purpose of my bill is to make Christmas Day into a heritage day holiday and not just a religious holiday.

One of the sad things is that so many Canadians who are not Christian cannot celebrate Christmas Day. By making it into a legal holiday, we celebrate the fact that Christmas Day is not only a religious holiday, and indeed is not a religious holiday to many, but is part and parcel of being Canadian. This goes back to the very early days of Canada to our ancestors who in the wilderness when the winter was upon them sat and huddled around the fire, drank, ate and felt fellowship and good cheer. That is part of the Canadian tradition. My bill, I hope, will enable those people who are not Christians to celebrate Christmas with the rest of Canadians.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition signed by well over 900 people who are exasperated by gasoline prices and are asking that the federal government do something about it, such as funding research projects on alternative energy sources, and exercising its international influence so that the oil cartel lowers prices.

I believe this is an excellent petition and I endorse it.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise today in the House to table a petition calling on the Canadian Parliament to enact an immediate moratorium on the cosmetic use of pesticides in Canada until such time as these chemicals have been scientifically proven to be safe for the health and quality of life of Canadians.

It is my pleasure to present this, particularly as I have a private member's bill that calls on the same issue.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, I also have a second petition which has been signed by 25 residents of Canada calling on the Canadian government not to support the U.S. national missile defence, NMD program, which the U.S. wishes to operate in the North American Aerospace Defence Command by NORAD.

The petitioners call on parliament to declare that Canada objects to the national missile defence program of the United States and that parliament play a leadership role in banning nuclear weapons and missile flight tests.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Bloc

Hélène Alarie Bloc Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have another petition calling upon parliament to quickly pass legislation making it mandatory to label all foods that are totally or partially genetically modified.

This petition is in addition to the considerable number of petitions tabled in this House with the hope of a favourable response to our request. This one is signed by 437 people.

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Scarborough—Rouge River Ontario

Liberal

Derek Lee LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, we will be answering Questions Nos. 100 and 101 today. .[Text]