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House of Commons Hansard #109 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was employees.

Topics

Public ServiceStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Paul Forseth Canadian Alliance New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, as the public service modernization act works its way through Parliament, it must be noted that the Canadian Alliance values the professional public service and our nation will continue to benefit from public administration based on political non-partisanship and the merit principle, where these values are respected and independently safeguarded.

We affirm the transparent accountability of service delivery and accountability to Parliament through ministerial responsibility. We recognize the need for public administration that strives for excellence, which is able to serve with integrity and efficiency in the official language of need where numbers warrant.

We are committed to a public service that is characterized by fair employment practices, facilitative management-labour dialogue, personnel development, and recourse systems structured to amicably resolve conflict.

Protection of the public interest is paramount and effective management-labour relations are a cornerstone of sound human resource management.

Free collective bargaining is the preferred method to establish terms and conditions of employment.

Politicians should not play politics with the lives of public employees. Together we can build a better Canada.

Ernest Alvia “Smokey” SmithStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Wood Liberal Nipissing, ON

Mr. Speaker, on May 23 in his hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia, Ernest Alvia “Smokey” Smith received a Minister of Veterans Affairs commendation.

In citing Mr. Smith's achievements, the minister stated that Smokey has become an invaluable and enormously effective remembrance ambassador. He has represented veterans with distinction during many overseas pilgrimages and in countless commemorative ceremonies across this country.

Smokey Smith is the last Canadian Victoria Cross recipient alive today. A selfless individual, over the years, Smokey has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to ensuring that Canadians, and especially Canadian youth, forever remember the service and sacrifice of his comrades.

We are thankful for Smokey Smith. We can think of no finer individual worthy of this recognition by the Minister of Veterans Affairs.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian Alliance Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the mad cow outbreak has had a devastating effect on a national industry in Canada, losing millions of dollars. Many of the provinces are frustrated by the lack of federal leadership from our Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister has reportedly met with President Bush twice in the last few days. Could the Deputy Prime Minister tell us whether or not he has finally remembered to bring up the issue of mad cow?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, at this point I think both heads of government are dealing with the issue in the appropriate way, which is that there are extensive discussions and consultations going on between the two levels of government.

The presence here and assistance of U.S. representatives has been helpful in planning the ongoing process. I think we will be awaiting the continued development of the response based on science until the appropriate intervention point arises.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian Alliance Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, from that answer I would say the Prime Minister has not said a single word about mad cow to the President of the United States.

Four hundred workers in my riding at Cargill have just been laid off. The government seems to believe that they can just be abandoned.

My question is specific. Will the government suggest the two week waiting period for employment insurance be relaxed for those people who lose their jobs due to this serious problem with BSE?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I think that the hon. member ventures down a path which could cause some very great difficulties. I think the distinction between enabling people to voluntarily go into quarantine in circumstances which arose in the context of the SARS outbreak is quite different from people who are experiencing layoffs due to business conditions.

I would urge the member to think of the implications of eliminating the two week waiting period for all Canadians, because in fact, there is no reason to distinguish at that point among anyone or any reason for layoff.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian Alliance Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, an outbreak is an outbreak.

Thousands of animals are ready for market and there just now is no market. While the industry is on hold, thousands of workers are losing their jobs. The government could easily remove the two week EI waiting period.

The Liberal government was quick to act when the city of Toronto was affected by an outbreak, and rightly so. Why is the government refusing to act when rural Canada has an outbreak?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I know that the hon. member wants to score some political points, but I really do urge him to note the distinctions between those people, and there are many of them--

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Canadian Alliance Crowfoot, AB

Shame on you. Wake up, John, this is a whole industry we are talking about.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Order. It is time for the Chair to score some political points and get some silence in the chamber. We cannot hear the Deputy Prime Minister's answer because there is so much yelling on every side. I am not a judge of political points but we will want to be able to hear the answer and see if it is in order.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

John Manley Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, at some point we have to be responsible. The inability of the hon. member to distinguish between people who we are urging to voluntarily go into quarantine and those who are laid off as a result of conditions that arise in an industry, if he is asking for a waiver of the waiting period in the conditions in which he is describing, then he should be urging it for those in the tourism sector for example, who have also faced layoffs as a result of the SARS outbreak. If we start that--

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Crowfoot.

Air IndiaOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Canadian Alliance Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, the disclosure of documents detailing the 15 year criminal investigation into the Air India bombing suggests that CSIS knew about the bombing of Air India flight 182 before it occurred but failed to report it to the RCMP.

Will the Solicitor General immediately initiate a full public inquiry to ensure that there was full disclosure on the part of CSIS?

Air IndiaOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Malpeque P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, protecting Canada and Canadians from acts of terrorism has been a primary mandate of CSIS since its inception in 1984. To suggest that CSIS, for any reason, would pull back from an ongoing counterterrorism investigation and jeopardize the lives of Canadians and others is absolutely absurd.

Air IndiaOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Canadian Alliance Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, the RCMP claims that CSIS erased wire taps, that it destroyed files to cover up the fact that it knew about the plot of the bombing of Air India flight 182. Allegations are surfacing that a CSIS agent may have been involved in the conspiracy to blow up flight 182.

The Solicitor General is the minister who is in charge. He is the minister in charge of this department. When will he initiate an inquiry to either prove or dispel the allegations against CSIS?

Air IndiaOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Malpeque P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I have never seen anyone or any party in the history of Parliament that could get hung up on allegations, rumours and innuendo like that party over there can.

The fact of the matter is this has been the longest, most costly investigation in Canadian history. My interest and Canadians' interest is to see that it is carried out to its conclusion through the courts. I will not in any way potentially jeopardize the case by making comments that might be misconstrued. I am therefore not commenting on this case.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

June 2nd, 2003 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, ten days or so ago, Canada submitted a counter-offer to the United States in the softwood lumber dispute. Although there were plenty of rumours, the Minister for International Trade, who has always called for a total return to free trade, has not yet indicated what that Canadian proposal contained.

Can the minister assure us that Canada will not conclude any agreement that will voluntarily limit its exports, as was the case in 1996?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I greatly appreciate the opportunity afforded me by the leader of the Bloc Quebecois to clarify our government's position on softwood lumber, which has always been an unconditional preference for total free trade in the U.S. market.

This, we feel, is of great importance to Canadian producers, and we absolutely want to see the same rules of free trade apply to softwood lumber that apply to the rest of the Canadian economy.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in Quebec, since the beginning of the softwood lumber crisis, some fifty businesses have been affected and 9,000 workers have lost their jobs.

Does the minister realize that the softwood lumber industry is a victim of the financial strangulation strategy of the United States, which intends to drag out the process so that Canada cannot hold out until the end?

It is high time, now that victory is at hand, for the government to help the companies and the workers to hold out until the end, and not to give in, even with an interim agreement, as it did in 1996. That would be going back to square one.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, any potential interim agreement that we might contemplate at this time would not be at all like the one signed in 1996. If it were, we would inevitably find ourselves five years down the road not knowing where we were headed.

We have negotiated forestry policy interpretation bulletins with the Government of the United States. The Government of Quebec has made a remarkable contribution as well. I hope these bulletins will make it possible for the provinces to be able to put in place forestry programs and systems, recognized by the U.S. Trade Department, that will give them full access to free trade in the U.S. market.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, considering that the American strategy in the softwood lumber issue is to drag things out further and slowly kill off the Canadian industry, the Minister for International Trade has no choice but to recommend to his government that it strengthen the position of the Canadian lumber industry.

How is it that nothing is being done to implement phase two of the aid package announced by the government in October, when loan guarantees to the industry are perfectly legal and represent the solution for supporting the Canadian industry?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, and I have replied to his question many times, we have a $110 million package to help communities to adjust. We also have money for R and D. One of the other key areas is to look for new markets. This is an area that we have been focusing on, to make sure that we diversify our trade in this area.

Turning to the hon. member's question in terms of the industry, the best thing we can do is to have a resolution to this problem for the industry. In the meantime we need to move, if we do not get our resolution, to provide further support. We are monitoring the situation closely to see what we can do if we do not get--

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, it is because of remarks like those that the lumber industry and communities are feeling abandoned by the federal government. In spite of the repetitive speech by the Minister of Human Resources Development praising the effectiveness of the employment insurance plan, it is clear that the plan is too restrictive to provide adequate support to the workers affected by the softwood lumber crisis.

With a surplus of $45 billion in the EI fund, how can the Minister of Human Resources Development be insensitive to the needs of workers and refuse to eliminate the EI waiting period for the victims of the softwood lumber crisis?