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House of Commons Hansard #62 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was federal.

Topics

North American Free Trade AgreementOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, in the article the member for Joliette referred to I did not set out the government's position on chapter 11.

In this article, I showed that the Bloc Quebecois' idea man, Jacques Parizeau, the former premier, had supported chapter 11, had boasted that the Government of Quebec, his government, and the Quebec National Assembly had been the first assembly, the first parliament, to pass a resolution to support chapter 11 on implementation.

This is the subject of the article the member for Joliette is referring to.

North American Free Trade AgreementOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, Jacques Parizeau, who supported NAFTA, is intelligent enough to recognize that some things needed correcting, something the government opposite is unable to do.

The minister says that Canada has no position on how to treat investors in the context of the free trade area of the Americas. What the minister is not telling us is that two meetings were held on the subject of investments, and two are planned between now and August.

After holding ten meetings, how can the minister seriously say that there is no Canadian position on investments?

North American Free Trade AgreementOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Parizeau was intelligent enough to listen to the comments and position of our own government.

North American Free Trade AgreementOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

North American Free Trade AgreementOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Liberal Papineau—Saint-Denis, QC

I told the House a year ago that our government wanted to clarify certain interpretations of chapter 11. I undertook a discussion of this with my counterparts in Mexico and the United States. We even discussed this last Tuesday in Washington.

I can assure you that our government is being very vigilant and was well ahead—

North American Free Trade AgreementOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Surrey North.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Cadman Canadian Alliance Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, maybe the minister could answer this question. The Canadian School Boards Association has passed a resolution asking parliament to amend the youth criminal justice act such that justice officials would be compelled to notify school authorities about dangerous young offenders in classrooms.

This amendment would provide for safer learning environments. It would also enable schools to direct necessary assistance to those young persons. Will the Minister of Justice take the step to help school officials provide a safe learning environment in our schools?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is undoubtedly fully aware there is a provision in the proposed youth criminal justice act that permits provincial officials to provide information to principals and others responsible for schools.

That is done in the name of safety. In fact I am very pleased to say that my department helped fund the pilot project with the association of school boards and others to develop a protocol under which information would be provided.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Cadman Canadian Alliance Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, the present Young Offenders Act already provides for discretionary sharing of information in these cases but that process has failed. The new bill simply reintroduces past failures.

The Canadian School Boards Association is supported by its provincial counterparts. Why will the minister not listen to reasonable people from across Canada, people who simply wish to provide every possible support to students and parents who are asking for help?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I have already indicated, there is provision in the youth criminal justice act that permits provincial officials to provide information to school authorities.

I find it very interesting that in response to a question at committee asked by the hon. member for Provencher of provincial deputy ministers on whether or not they thought such a mandatory provision would be appropriate I believe they indicated no because it is provincial authorities who have to provide that information.

Marine IndustryOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, marine transportation is the safest mode of transportation there is, the one which uses the least fuel and produces the fewest air pollutants. The government should therefore help the marine industry to maintain its competitive position.

Will the Minister of Transport admit that the competitiveness of Quebec and of Canada is threatened by his decisions with respect to recovering the costs to the coast guard of ice breaking and dredging operations and that this is detrimental to the St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes marine transportation system?

Marine IndustryOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Algoma—Manitoulin Ontario

Liberal

Brent St. Denis LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member across the way should not doubt Transport Canada's commitment to safety. It is the number one priority of the government.

Whether or not there are fees is an issue we dealt with some years ago, but ultimately safety and the protection of our offshore waters are number one priorities of the government.

Marine IndustryOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, the member did not understand the question.

Is it true that the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans is planning a substantial increase in the recovery of coast guard fees, thus penalizing the marine industry working in the St. Lawrence River, which would have the effect of driving shippers to other ports?

Marine IndustryOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I had the opportunity to meet with the marine sector today to talk about some of these issues. They have made a case as to marine fees.

As the House knows, the minister of fisheries prior to me had frozen marine fees for a three year period. They will be reviewed in October. We will have another look at marine fees and work with the industry closely, as we have been doing for the last few years.

MulticulturalismOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gurmant Grewal Canadian Alliance Surrey Central, BC

Mr. Speaker, the embattled junior minister of multiculturalism refused an invitation to attend an anti-racism conference in Prince George, B.C., next month.

To heal the wounds and have her apology accepted, she should have offered to go to Prince George even before she was invited. By refusing to go, the minister is arrogantly demonstrating the insincerity of her apology.

Does the Prime Minister agree that if she is serious in her apology she must attend the anti-racism conference in Prince George?

MulticulturalismOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Centre B.C.

Liberal

Hedy Fry LiberalSecretary of State (Multiculturalism)(Status of Women)

Mr. Speaker, the conference on racism in Prince George is a priority for me. In fact we funded it.

As well, the dates were changed in April. While I was preparing to go, the dates were changed and they conflicted directly with a longstanding commitment I had made to speak at another conference, and so I was unable to go.

MulticulturalismOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gurmant Grewal Canadian Alliance Surrey Central, BC

Mr. Speaker, attending the conference should have been the top priority on her desk.

The minister has no intention of clearing the air. Her refusal to go to the conference is proof of her lack of remorse for her slurs. She is shirking her cabinet duty. She should go. She has to go. Will the Prime Minister order her to attend the Prince George anti-racism conference or fire her?

MulticulturalismOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver Centre B.C.

Liberal

Hedy Fry LiberalSecretary of State (Multiculturalism)(Status of Women)

Mr. Speaker, as I already said, this conference is an extremely important one. That is why we funded the conference.

I was preparing to go, but the dates were changed. I had a previous commitment to speak at another conference and it was too late for me to cancel.

Para TranspoOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

David Pratt Liberal Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Labour. The people in the national capital region who rely on Para Transpo service are completely fed up with the almost three month old strike, which has tried their patience and caused them immense inconvenience.

Could the minister tell the House what the federal government is prepared to do to ensure that Para Transpo services are restored?

Para TranspoOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Liberal

Claudette Bradshaw LiberalMinister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to inform the House that the parties have agreed to resolve their dispute by submitting it to binding arbitration. I understand Para Transpo's normal service is expected to resume on Friday, May 18.

I would like to express my thanks to my assistant deputy minister, Warren Edmondson, and Elizabeth MacPherson. I congratulate both sides for negotiating in good faith. What is important is that the people most affected, the disabled, can now return to their regular activities.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Lorne Nystrom NDP Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister. A University of Victoria study shows that Canada has one of the worst environmental records in the industrialized world. In fact it ranks us 28th out of 29 OECD countries for 25 different environmental indications. Protecting the environment has been one of the biggest failures of the minister across the way and the Prime Minister.

I want to ask the Prime Minister whether or not his government will commit itself to making Thursday's economic statement in reality an ecological budget and back up that ecological budget with a multimillion dollar plan to clean up the environment.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Kitchener Centre Ontario

Liberal

Karen Redman LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, our government continues to make environmental issues a major priority. That is why last year we put $6 billion into infrastructure programs.

Last year's budget included $1.5 billion as a specific environmental expenditure over the next five years. That includes $5 million for climate change, $180 million for—

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

More, more.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Liberal Kitchener Centre, ON

—$100 million for a sustainable development technology fund, $25 million for a green municipal enabling fund and $100 million for a green municipal investment fund. We are committed.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Lorne Nystrom NDP Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, I guess that is why we are the second worst out of 29 OECD countries. I want to ask the Prime Minister if he will rise to the occasion.

In the last couple of years over $20 billion of the unforeseen surplus was automatically applied to the national debt without a debate in parliament over whether or not spending on the environment and social programs would have been more worth while.

Will the government follow the lead of Saskatchewan and Alberta and establish a fiscal stabilization fund which would, first, receive all the unexpected surplus and, second, allow parliament a full and democratic debate on how the money should be spent, like we should be doing in parliament and not allowing it to be decided by the Minister of Finance?