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House of Commons Hansard #40 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was foreign.

Topics

Government ContractsOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, what is clear from all this, even if the Prime Minister informs us that politics under him will never be the same again, is that there is no difference at all between the old and the new government.

Will the government acknowledge that the old and new governments are linked by the same old common thread, and that the Liberal way is first and foremost to help its friends to public funds?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, again I go back to the fact that if we look at this documentation, it is about ensuring the best, most open, most competitive process for the Canadian taxpayer.

I have reviewed these documents and they are all about identifying any firm that might be interested in bidding and making sure their name gets on the list.

I go back to the fact that the request for proposals had clear criteria. Everything here was transparent and everything here was done to ensure the highest--

Government ContractsOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Verchères--Les-Patriotes.

Apparel IndustryOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, a study by the Canadian Apparel Federation confirms that the sector may lose between 19,000 and 50,000 jobs in Canada over the next five years. Montreal will be particularly hard hit because 58% of apparel industry jobs are located in Quebec.

Is the government going to do its part to save the apparel industry from extinction and, to do so, is it prepared to eliminate the tariffs on textiles that are not produced in Canada and thus reduce costs for Canadian apparel manufacturers?

Apparel IndustryOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalMinister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I would like to say that—

Apparel IndustryOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Apparel IndustryOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. Minister of International Trade.

Apparel IndustryOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Jim Peterson Liberal Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is true that this is a very important industry, and the Minister of Industry recognizes that international competition presents great challenges for these industries. That is why the minister has already acted in this area.

Apparel IndustryOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, on a related topic, if we want the safeguards to have their full effect and not cause problems for the textile industry, they must necessarily be narrowly focussed.

Accordingly, does the government intend to impose temporary import barriers on certain textile products manufactured here, as the WTO agreements permit, as a safeguard?

Apparel IndustryOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalMinister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, it is obvious that changes must be made to deal with international competition. That is why the Minister of Industry has already announced—this year and last year—over $80 million for adjustments.

I shall continue to work with the textile industry to help the workers in that sector.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Charlie Penson Canadian Alliance Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, days before the Prime Minister and the Minister of International Trade travel to Washington, Canadian softwood industry groups are sounding the alarm that the government is willing to sign a deal that will sacrifice Canadian sovereignty. The U.S. Department of Commerce wants to dictate to the provinces how to manage their resource.

Do the Prime Minister and the Minister of International Trade not realize that accepting this deal will mean the surrendering of Canadian economic independence?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalMinister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, as I have said in the House many times, this is such an important industry to all of Canada and this is why I am very pleased the hon. member has asked this question.

We will continue to pursue our two-track policy on this. One is litigating before the WTO and the NAFTA, and the second is to come to some type of negotiated settlement.

So far we have not had a prevailing view in Canada as to what that type of negotiated settlement would be and therefore it is quite premature for him to prejudge what we would be doing.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Charlie Penson Canadian Alliance Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, any deal has to respect Canadian sovereignty and according to news reports the trade minister believes a deal may be close. However the December proposal from the U.S. would have given the American softwood lumber companies about half of the $2 billion paid in duties by Canadian companies. This is not only insulting, this has been ruled illegal by the World Trade Organization.

Does the government not realize that handing over softwood lumber duties to our American counterparts is no way to achieve free trade in softwood lumber?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalMinister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I very much appreciate the hon. member's interest in this file because it is so important to all of us. I can assure him that I carried the provinces' view to the United States on January 11, and one of the reasons that this was rejected unanimously was for one of the reasons that he stated.

Fisheries and OceansOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Lunney Canadian Alliance Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, onshore processing of Pacific hake marketed as Pacific whiting means hundreds of jobs to Canadians, most of whom live and work in Ucluelet and Port Alberni, coastal communities in my riding. It also means spinoff employment and improved environment through proper waste management and optimal management of a fragile biomass.

At this crucial time the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans is under pressure to reinstate foreign offshore factory ships and to double the total allowable catch. This would benefit a small cadre of commercial fishing interests but it would endanger our plants, our local economies and sustainability of the fishery.

Will the minister honour his commitment to shore base processing by continuing the moratorium on offshore foreign fleets?

Fisheries and OceansOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Halifax West Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I met recently with my provincial colleague in British Columbia, Mr. John van Dongen, the minister there, about this topic. We both agreed to work together on this issue with interested stakeholders to find a resolution before the season begins.

Fisheries and OceansOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Lunney Canadian Alliance Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, the U.S. has prudently decided to harvest only half of its total allowable catch. Local communities, the union and my own office have all asked the minister to do the same.

Why would the minister put the interests of foreign offshore commercial fleets ahead of our coastal communities, the environment and sustainability of the resource?

Fisheries and OceansOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Halifax West Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that I am working with the province of British Columbia on this matter. We both consider it an important issue. The moratorium remains in place for the time being. If we make a decision to change that, we will let my hon. colleague know.

LabourOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Sophia Leung Liberal Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Labour.

I understand that the Council of Marine Carriers and the Canadian Merchant Service Guild reached an impasse yesterday in their collective bargaining negotiations to end the labour dispute that is affecting shipping in British Columbia.

What is the Minister of Labour doing to help the parties conclude a settlement and restore normal shipping service to the west coast of Canada?

LabourOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Liberal

Claudette Bradshaw LiberalMinister of Labour and Minister responsible for Homelessness

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I asked the mediator to make written recommendations to settle this dispute. The mediator provided the parties with his recommendations for settlement last night and asked the parties to respond to him by 4:30 Vancouver time today.

The union has accepted the mediator's recommendations for settlement and is prepared to return to work immediately if the employer accepts them. I am currently waiting for the employer's response to the recommendations. I urge the employer to accept these recommendations and take the steps necessary to bring this dispute to a rapid conclusion.

FinanceOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, shares optioned to the officers and directors of a company as part of their executive compensation constitutes a significant liability that shareholders and investors deserve to know about.

In the interest of restoring confidence in our equity marketplace, will the government agree that the Corporations Act should be amended so that stock options must be listed in the expense column of a company's annual financial statements?

FinanceOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalMinister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his excellent suggestion. I know that many changes have already been made in this area so that stock options have to be expensed.

Turks and CaicosOral Question Period

April 23rd, 2004 / 11:45 a.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, three decades ago the NDP championed a formal relationship between Canada and the Caribbean islands, the Turks and Caicos.

Yesterday the Nova Scotia legislature adopted a motion unanimously to invite the Turks and Caicos to join the Canadian federation. New Democrats support this initiative provided that we treat the citizens of Turks and Caicos as full partners in the Canadian family, either as part of Nova Scotia or as a separate territory, not as a colony.

Now that the Prime Minister's Office has been considering this proposition, is the government ready to support the Turks and Caicos as part of the Canadian family?

Turks and CaicosOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I think it is very important in matters like this that we should get an indication from the people of Turks and Caicos as to whether they wish to join Canada.

This matter was studied by a parliamentary committee some years ago. We have looked at the issue. The Prime Minister has had a telephone conversation with the leader of the Turks and Caicos.

We are more than happy to consider this issue and discuss with the people of the Turks and Caicos, as Canadians, how we can work with them, whether it is by way of an association or by working with all of our Caribbean partners to make the Caribbean a better place for all of us.

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Canadian Alliance Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, last week I wrote a letter to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food urging him to address the avian flu crisis by announcing a compensation plan that would cover more than just the cost of the birds. It needs to address the farmers' lost revenue. It should address the concerns of other dependent industries impacted by the government's depopulation order. Finally, we need it now, not months or years from now.

Everyone's first priority is to get rid of the disease. Now, after two months, can the minister tell us the details of the compensation plan that he has designed to help all of those affected by this outbreak of the avian flu?