February 9, 1976

LIB

Bryce Stuart Mackasey (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Hon. Bryce Mackasey (Acting Minister of Labour):

So

far, the position of the government is that the dispute is between the employer, C.N. Railways, and the employees represented by various unions. It is not the government's intention or prerogative at this moment to interfere with the collective bargaining process. As to my reference to the Anti-Inflation Board, I think the hon. gentleman has read too much into it. It is entirely up to the Anti-Inflation Board to pass judgment on a collective agreement, once signed, and this should be the traditional position, I think, unless we want the Anti-Inflation Board unintentionally to assume the role of arbitrator in all disputes before collective bargaining has had an opportunity to function.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THREATENED STRIKE OF RAILWAY EMPLOYEES- GOVERNMENT POSITION ON ESSENTIALITY OF RAIL SERVICE
Permalink

POSSIBLE STUDY BY LABOUR RELATIONS COUNCIL OF ROLE OF ANTI-INFLATION BOARD IN COLLECTIVE BARGAINING

PC

Walter David Baker (Deputy House Leader of the Official Opposition; Progressive Conservative Party Deputy House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Walter Baker (Grenville-Carleton):

Having regard to the fact that this is exactly what has happened in terms of the Anti-Inflation Board, could the minister inform the House whether or not the Canada Labour Relations Council is studying this matter specifically, and, if so, what studies are being undertaken by that Council?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   POSSIBLE STUDY BY LABOUR RELATIONS COUNCIL OF ROLE OF ANTI-INFLATION BOARD IN COLLECTIVE BARGAINING
Permalink
LIB

Bryce Stuart Mackasey (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Hon. Bryce Mackasey (Acting Minister of Labour):

If that is what is happening-and I do not agree that it is-I do not suppose the hon. gentleman would suggest that we encourage it further by asking the Board to interfere in the railway dispute before a strike occurs or before a settlement is arrived at through the collective bargaining process. As far as the Labour Relations Council is concerned, the hon. member will realize that this is an advisory body concerned with government policy in general rather than any particular dispute.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   POSSIBLE STUDY BY LABOUR RELATIONS COUNCIL OF ROLE OF ANTI-INFLATION BOARD IN COLLECTIVE BARGAINING
Permalink
PC

Walter David Baker (Deputy House Leader of the Official Opposition; Progressive Conservative Party Deputy House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Baker (Grenville-Carleton):

A supplementary question, Mr. Speaker. Having regard to the Woods report of 1968, which did make certain recommendations, would the minister ask the Canada Labour Relations Council to study and advise the government on the dangers to the public of a work stoppage in the railways in order that the government can take an early and clear position on whether a strike would be tolerated? Reportedly, the council is

Oral Questions

going to meet this week. Would the minister undertake to advise the council to make such a report?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   POSSIBLE STUDY BY LABOUR RELATIONS COUNCIL OF ROLE OF ANTI-INFLATION BOARD IN COLLECTIVE BARGAINING
Permalink
LIB

Bryce Stuart Mackasey (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. Mackasey:

Mr. Speaker, I cannot speak for the minister. This is not the issue that was introduced by the question. The subject matter has evolved all the way from the railway dispute to the proposed role of this particular council in industrial relations in the future. Certainly, that is something that I do not want to try to anticipate at this moment.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   POSSIBLE STUDY BY LABOUR RELATIONS COUNCIL OF ROLE OF ANTI-INFLATION BOARD IN COLLECTIVE BARGAINING
Permalink

EXTERNAL AFFAIRS

NDP

John Edward Broadbent

New Democratic Party

Mr. Edward Broadbent (Oshawa-Whitby):

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Secretary of State for External Affairs. Given the scale of the human disaster which is befalling the people of Guatemala and the decision of the federal government to give the paltry sum of $75,000 to provide some assistance to this disaster, I should like to ask the minister in all seriousness whether this is the limit of the government of Canada's concern for this situation, and does it not intend to provide some medical or other assistance in the form of food to the people of this unfortunate country well beyond the $75,000 level?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   GUATEMALA-EXTENT OF GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE IN VIEW OF DISASTROUS EARTHQUAKE
Permalink
LIB

Allan Joseph MacEachen (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Hon. Allan J. MacEachen (Secretary of State for External Affairs):

Mr. Speaker, I believe I indicated to the House last week that the contribution mentioned by the hon. member was an initial contribution to the Red Cross in Guatemala for disposal on an urgent basis. That is not the limit of our effort or our intentions with respect to Guatemala. We undertook on the weekend a shipment of powdered milk to Guatemala. As this is one of the urgent requirements of the government, 30 tons of powdered milk, purchased from the Canadian Dairy Corporation in Winnipeg, are en route to Guatemala at the moment. We are evaluating the situation with the intention of adding to our commitment for food aid. As I also stated last week, we are proposing to make a substantial contribution in food aid to Guatemala.

This afternoon the Canadian ambassador in Guatemala, in company with other ambassadors accredited to the country, will be meeting with the president, and I have indicated to our ambassador to make additional commitments with respect to food aid to Guatemala. An additional requirement at the moment is for blankets. It is one of the coldest Februarys in that country and many people have to remain outside because of the destruction of dwellings. We are considering at the moment what we can do to assist in the provision of blankets to the freezing population.

In addition to that, we are co-ordinating our efforts with the International Red Cross in order to respond to the medical requirements of the situation in Guatemala. We know that there are volunteers in the United States, Canada and other countries ready to go to assist medically, but at the moment there is a limit to the capacity to absorb these facilities. All efforts are being co-ordinated through the International Red Cross so we are advising individuals

February 9, 1976

Oral Questions

in Canada who are interested in serving to have their efforts co-ordinated through the Canadian Red Cross.

In brief, Mr. Speaker, we are operating urgently on a number of fronts and we will be increasing our commitments as needs are more clearly evaluated and presented to us by the Guatemalan authorities.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   GUATEMALA-EXTENT OF GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE IN VIEW OF DISASTROUS EARTHQUAKE
Permalink
NDP

John Edward Broadbent

New Democratic Party

Mr. Broadbent:

Mr. Speaker, the minister says "in brief", but in all of that the only commitments I heard were for some powdered milk and $75,000 which the government has already committed itself to spending. Since the initial earthquake took place almost a week ago, could the minister be more specific as to what other food commitments the government has in mind and, secondly, in terms of medical assistance is it making plans to send medical personnel of a variety of kinds, plus the supporting equipment to that country? If that is so, how much and, more specifically, within that context, will it be assisting the Montreal medical team which has indicated that it wants to go to help?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   GUATEMALA-EXTENT OF GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE IN VIEW OF DISASTROUS EARTHQUAKE
Permalink
LIB

Allan Joseph MacEachen (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MacEachen:

Mr. Speaker, the commitments in the future, in addition to the sums mentioned by the hon. member, are quite considerable. I have undertaken with the officials of CIDA to make an increasing commitment in food aid to the situation in Guatemala. Today at the meeting with the President of Guatemala the ambassador will be authorized to commit an additional $300,000 in food aid to that which has already been made available. Depending on the needs, we will be prepared to go beyond that, so there will not be any slackening of effort in respect of the food aid portion of our assistance. On the medical side, I repeat that experience has taught in previous emergencies that the most efficient way by which medical supplies can go into the area is through the coordination of Red Cross societies which can evaluate the personnel and resources becoming available from all countries. We encourage those who wish to go to present their intention to the Red Cross, and we will assist the Red Cross in any way that seems appropriate and desirable at the present time.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   GUATEMALA-EXTENT OF GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE IN VIEW OF DISASTROUS EARTHQUAKE
Permalink

NATIONAL DEFENCE

NDP

John Edward Broadbent

New Democratic Party

Mr. Edward Broadbent (Oshawa-Whitby):

Mr. Speaker, I have a final supplementary for the Minister of National Defence. Since in the white paper entitled "Defence in the 70's" published in 1971 the government stated its commitments to the use of Canadian armed forces for international disaster situations like the one that has unfortunately befallen the people of Guatemala, would the minister advise whether the Canadian armed forces now have at their disposal field hospitals, field kitchens, ground transportation and medical supplies that can be made available in such a disaster? If we do have those supplies, has the Department of National Defence taken any steps to make sure that these will be offered to the people of Guatemala in the existing circumstances?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Sub-subtopic:   AVAILABILITY OF MEN AND MATERIALS TO ASSIST EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS IN GUATEMALA
Permalink
LIB

James Armstrong Richardson (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Hon. James Richardson (Minister of National Defence):

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, on a number of occasions since the white paper was issued the armed forces have been of assistance in international emergencies, but that assistance has been primarily in the form of transport. In the present emergency we do have three Hercules standing by and ready to move supplies to Guatemala. To date we have not received a specific request for particular items to transport. We are not ourselves collecting the kind of medical equipment to which the hon. member has referred. That would be the responsibility of others and we would be primarily responsible for transportation.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Sub-subtopic:   AVAILABILITY OF MEN AND MATERIALS TO ASSIST EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS IN GUATEMALA
Permalink

EXTERNAL AFFAIRS

PC

Robert Hylton Brisco

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bob Brisco (Kootenay West):

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Secretary of State for External Affairs. First may I preface it by congratulating the minister's staff on their dedication over the weekend in looking after inquiries regarding Canadians missing in Guatemala.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   GUATEMALA-EFFORTS TO FIND CANADIANS MISSING FOLLOWING EARTHQUAKE
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   GUATEMALA-EFFORTS TO FIND CANADIANS MISSING FOLLOWING EARTHQUAKE
Permalink
PC

Robert Hylton Brisco

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Brisco:

Given that, Mr. Speaker, I wonder whether the minister would assure the House, and perhaps reassure the Canadian public, that every effort is being made to locate those Canadians who have still not reported into the Canadian embassy, in order to determine the safety and condition of health or otherwise of those Canadians still missing there?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   GUATEMALA-EFFORTS TO FIND CANADIANS MISSING FOLLOWING EARTHQUAKE
Permalink
LIB

Allan Joseph MacEachen (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Hon. Allan J. MacEachen (Secretary of State for External Affairs):

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his words of commendation for the members of the External Affairs Department who are working on this problem at this particular time. It is impossible to give precise figures, but we believe there are approximately 500 Canadians in Guatemala. So far the embassy has been in touch with more than 400 of these Canadians to confirm that they are safe. That information is being communicated by telephone on an urgent basis to their relatives in Canada. The embassy staff is continuing its efforts to locate additional uncontacted Canadians and that information will also be conveyed. I should mention that communication is not normal at the present time and over the weekend it has been difficult both by telephone and Telex to be in touch with the embassy because of the frequent breakdown of communications.

February 9, 1976

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   GUATEMALA-EFFORTS TO FIND CANADIANS MISSING FOLLOWING EARTHQUAKE
Permalink

AGRICULTURE

February 9, 1976