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House of Commons Hansard #27 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was children.

Topics

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, first, in October we tabled an economic statement that led to the largest tax cuts in Canadian history, the largest amount of stimulus we have ever seen.

If I might be allowed, the organization WEFA which is one of the leading forecasting organizations in the country, one which we have used and one which in fact the Alliance used to look at its own information, said:

Because the economy is expected to be moving at reasonable pace...in the latter part of this year, it is not advisable to reduce taxes beyond the reductions currently scheduled.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Canadian Alliance Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, we have seen how the markets have responded to that October financial statement, but the finance minister continues to live in fantasyland when he tells us again and again that the economic fundamentals are right. He sounds like Michael Wilson 10 years ago.

Canada continues to have the highest income taxes in the G-7 and the second highest level of debt in the developed world. We are moving inflation beyond the target set by the Bank of Canada, and we continue to suffer with a 65 cent dollar.

How could the finance minister tell us that we are well prepared for the choppy economic waters ahead when in fact all economic fundamentals are wrong in the country?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it is pretty clear that the hon. member has been sleeping for the last 10 years. The fact is that our capital gains taxes are lower than those of the United States. They are much lower than they were 10 years ago. Our corporate taxes are lower than they were 10 years ago.

We have reintroduced indexation of the tax system. Our unemployment is four points lower and two million jobs have been created since that time. I could go on.

The fact is our inflation is low and our interest rates are lower. The fact is we will do better than the United States. That is the fundamental difference between today and 10 years ago.

International Co-OperationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Augustine Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, a year ago at a benefit reception held on Parliament Hill, parliamentarians and others demonstrated their generosity in helping to raise funds for the flood victims of Mozambique.

Today, Mozambique is facing a second year of flooding. Could the Minister for International Cooperation tell us what Canada is doing to respond to the international call for help by Mozambique?

International Co-OperationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa—Orléans Ontario

Liberal

Eugène Bellemare LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister for International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, Canada is very concerned about the flooding in the southern part of Africa.

We have contributed to date $2 million in humanitarian relief for essential basic needs for flood victims in Mozambique and Malawi as well as logistics support and airlift capacity for relief operations.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

March 13th, 2001 / 2:40 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, 190 workers from Star Metal will be refused EI benefits because the employer is in no hurry to call back the workforce after a lockout. Also 50 workers from Aradco in Windsor cannot receive EI benefits because of regulation 53 of the EI act.

The Department of Human Resources Development said it is reviewing this regulation. Could the Minister of Human Resources Development tell us if she is in favour of changing the regulation? Yes or no.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, we are in favour of ensuring that employment insurance benefits are not used in favour of one or another party when there is a labour dispute.

I would note that the 85% rule is the court's interpretation of a fair business resumption and is now recognized in legislation as regulation 53. Indeed it provides an objective test of when unemployment caused by a labour dispute has ended. It does not favour either the employer or the employees.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Dick Proctor NDP Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, last month the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food said in the House that farm income for the grain and oilseed sector was the challenge. He mentioned that some sectors like dairy, poultry and livestock were doing reasonably well. However 12 days ago, in announcing a stopgap measure which even he acknowledged was not enough and that he would like to have seen more, the money was spread across all sectors.

Knowing the money was insufficient and that some sectors were doing reasonably well, why would the money not have been targeted to those people, the grain and oil seed sector, who need it most? In the answer I ask the minister not to give us the bromide about we cannot do it. The Americans are doing it. The Europeans are—

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the money will be distributed to the provinces to use in companion programs. If the government in the province that he comes from wishes to use that in a companion program to support the income of grains and oilseed producers it will have that opportunity.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rick Borotsik Progressive Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow thousands upon thousands of farmers will be protesting across the country in cities such as Saskatoon, Regina, Swift Current, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Guelph and Pickering. They are protesting not in support of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food but against the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and his inability to provide the necessary support programs for farmers.

I would like the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food to tell the House why he failed to deliver $900 million minimum to farmers. What will he tell the protesters tomorrow here in Ottawa?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the hon. member how successful we have been. Three and a half years ago this government gave $600 million in support to farmers. We are now giving $1.6 billion, the highest amount since 1995. When the provinces put in their portion it will total $2.66 billion in income support to farmers this year. This goes along with the announcement last week that farmers will be able to borrow up to $50,000 interest free to help put their crop in the ground this year.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rick Borotsik Progressive Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, let me tell you just how successful this government and this minister have been. We have lost 22,500 farmers. With the package the minister has put together now it is anticipated we will lose many more producers before the spring of this year, before planting.

I would like to know how the minister can stand in the House and say that he has been so successful when in fact he has not been. Again I ask him, what will he tell the producers tomorrow who unfortunately will not be able to seed this spring?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I will tell the farmers tomorrow what I and this government have been telling them all along. As resources become available we will put as much there as possible to support farmers. We have increased that a tremendous amount. I will not go over the figures again. Obviously the hon. member does not want to listen. However, no government since 1995 has given as much support to farmers as we are at the present time.

LumberOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gary Lunn Canadian Alliance Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, some in the U.S. forestry industry are asking their government to impose billions and billions of dollars on duties against the Canadian softwood lumber industry.

I would like to ask the minister just exactly what his plans are on April 2 when these threats could become a reality. How does he plan to back up our industry? What will he do for the Canadian industry?

LumberOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, we hear all kinds of noises coming from the United States right now where U.S. producers are saying all kinds of things about the nature of our industry in Canada.

Some of them might be preparing to impose tariffs and countervailing duties on our industry. I am telling the American producers that time and again they have been proven wrong in their allegations that we subsidize our industry.

The government will stand by its industry which is much better organized than it has ever been to meet the challenges of the U.S. producers.

LumberOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gary Lunn Canadian Alliance Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, the U.S. administration has told our Minister for International Trade that it is prepared to back its industry to the wall.

Just what exactly does the minister plan to do for our industry? How will he back up our industry? How will he protect our industry from having these billions of dollars of duties imposed on it which could cripple our forest industry here in Canada?

LumberOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, we will continue to monitor the situation very closely with them in Washington and we will continue to lobby the congress in the United States to find allies for our Canadian producers because we have allies in the United States. We have homebuilders and homeowners who want and need our wood.

This government will stand with its industry from coast to coast to coast and we will again unite to meet the challenges that the American producers are putting to us.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the Amadeo affair, the Minister of Justice is trying to get us to swallow the story that the rules require her to conceal from a Cabinet colleague the fact that she had received an application for a citizen's extradition, someone considered a dangerous criminal.

My question for the Minister of Justice is this: Will she rise in this House and tell us just what rules require her to keep to herself some extremely revealing information on a criminal likely to become a Canadian citizen if she does not speak up? Under what rules is she protecting criminals?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite has it wrong again. The RCMP conducted an investigation. Once it had the evidence it gave the information to Citizenship and Immigration Canada which got a warrant and detained the individual who is now awaiting a deportation hearing. Those are the facts.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

Here we have a justice minister who claims that her duty to Cabinet, as Minister of Justice, is to keep secret the information she has on a criminal, to conceal it from her Cabinet colleagues.

I am asking the Prime Minister, the one responsible for his team and a former Minister of Justice, if he considers that the Minister of Justice has a duty to keep information of this type quiet, even if the individual involved becomes a citizen of Canada as a result.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is obviously not listening. Let me clarify it for him and the House. What we are dealing with in an extradition request is a state to state communication. The rules around state to state communications prohibit me from making the contents thereof public.

Research And DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Preston Manning Canadian Alliance Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, the throne speech committed the government to supporting the new economy and the scientific infrastructure required to sustain it.

There is broad agreement among the research community that Canada needs a new neutron generating facility at Chalk River as part of that 21st century scientific infrastructure, but this requires a decision from the Department of Finance to fund it.

Is the minister prepared to fund the Canadian neutron facility in Chalk River?

Research And DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, first, I want to pay tribute to Mr. Hec Clouthier, a former member of parliament, who was and remains a vigorous advocate of this particular project.

The government is examining the funding requirement for a neutron facility with all due diligence and care. It could well become a very important part of the research establishment within this country. We will be considering in due course where it fits within the important priorities of research for the future.

Research And DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Preston Manning Canadian Alliance Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, I think the voters of that riding paid tribute to Mr. Clouthier.

There is some urgency to this matter. The old Canadian neutron generator is scheduled to be shut down in four years. Even if the government made a decision today to proceed with the new facility, it would take five or six years to construct. That means there is a gap in which Canada loses clients for this facility and, more important, the scientists who are needed to make it work.

What is required is a financing decision. In order to finance this facility is the finance minister prepared to make that decision?