March 16, 1979

PC

Robert Lorne Stanfield

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stanfield:

Mr. Speaker, I must compliment the Deputy Prime Minister in one respect at least. I think he is being honest: he is not predicting any reduction in the rate of inflation, although he sees some hopeful signs. I do not want to misinterpret him, but in view of the policy of the government which is, as far as one can see, the establishment of a Mickey Mouse surveillance operation, and in view of the position of

March 16, 1979

the Deputy Prime Minister today that while he sees some hopeful signs, he is not able to give the Canadian people any assurance, is it not fair to assume that we have to expect, under this government, the continuation of a rate of inflation around 8.5, 9, 10 or 11 per cent?

Can the Deputy Prime Minister give us any reason to believe that with the policies of this government, or the policies he has described this morning, we can look forward to the return of a sensible degree of stability?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR PREDICTION OF FUTURE RATE OF INFLATION
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LIB

Allan Joseph MacEachen (Deputy Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MacEachen:

Mr. Speaker, may I add to the very positive signs I mentioned to the hon. member the fact that the government did, through a ways and means motion tabled by the Minister of Finance, affect the prices of a wide range of imported fruits and vegetables. That will have some effect.

I believe the hon. member is more pessimistic than I would be when he talks about a range of inflation for 1979 of 9, 10, 11 and 12 per cent. That is much too pessimistic in my view. I think our performance will be better than that, because it is better now than the United States. The hon. member will be pleased to note that the year to year, 12-month performance of Canada with respect to the United States is somewhat better, and the performance of the Canadian index is considerably better than the United States in the non-food component. However, we are faced with strong pressures on the food component of the cost of living index for reasons which I have described, which in my view will be moderate for reasons I have also described.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR PREDICTION OF FUTURE RATE OF INFLATION
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EXTERNAL AFFAIRS

LIB

William Ross Milne

Liberal

Mr. Ross Milne (Peel-Dufferin-Simcoe):

Mr. Speaker, I am sure many honourable members and many other Canadians are very concerned about the negative impact that the proposed move of Air Canada from Heathrow to Gatwick, in London, will have.

1 would ask the Secretary of State for External Affairs: in addition to the strong and welcome statement made recently by Mr. Martin, the Canadian High Commissioner, will the government back Air Canada and its president, Mr. Taylor, should they decide to deny tendering privileges to United Kingdom suppliers of their intended purchases and any other actions they might be able to take to resolve this issue in favour of Air Canada retaining landing rights at Heathrow?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   SUGGESTED MOVE OF AIR CANADA FROM HEATHROW TO GATWICK AIRPORT-GOVERNMENT POSITION
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LIB

Donald Campbell Jamieson (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Hon. Donald C. Jamieson (Secretary of State for External Affairs):

Mr. Speaker, I have said on previous occasions in the House and I have conveyed to the British authorities our wish to keep the issue of Heathrow versus Gatwick separate from any negotiations that might be going on or any other relationship we might have in air matters.

Oral Questions

However, I am quite prepared to agree with the conclusions drawn, I gather, by Mr. Taylor and by others who have spoken on this matter, including some members opposite, that if we find there is no willingness on the part of the British government to renegotiate this matter, then obviously it is going to have an effect on the over-all relationship in air matters between ourselves and the United Kingdom.

I want to make it perfectly clear that we are not at this moment threatening one against the other. In other workds, what Mr. Taylor was saying in his speech-and I have no ground for argument with what he said-was that there is a wide range of alternatives open to the government and to Air Canada in the event the British government refuses to co-operate. However, he did not link the two. Consequently, I do not propose to do so formally at this point. I think it is perfectly clear that if there is a failure on the part of the British government to accommodate Canadian interests in this matter, obviously it will have a spillover effect on other matters involving both countries.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   SUGGESTED MOVE OF AIR CANADA FROM HEATHROW TO GATWICK AIRPORT-GOVERNMENT POSITION
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PC

Donald Frank Mazankowski

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Don Mazankowski (Vegreville):

Mr. Speaker, I have a supplementary question for the Secretary of State for External Affairs. The president of Air Canada said that the main leverage the Canadian government has in the Gatwick airport dispute lies in the right of British Airways to operate in Canada. Is this a matter presently under active consideration by the federal government of Canada? Are any contingency plans being considered by the Ministry of Transport in relation to this matter?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   SUGGESTED MOVE OF AIR CANADA FROM HEATHROW TO GATWICK AIRPORT-GOVERNMENT POSITION
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LIB

Donald Campbell Jamieson (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Jamieson:

Mr. Speaker, I am sure the honourable member will appreciate, because he has been very co-operative on this issue, that I have chosen my words this morning quite carefully. We are not formally negotiating and saying that either we stay in Heathrow or such and such a thing will happen. I am most anxious, in the interests of good relations between Canada and the United Kingdom, to deal with the Heathrow issue on its own merits. Consequently, we have not in a sense imposed any threats or any hints of sanctions of that nature in a formal way.

I reiterate the point that if there is no response to this quite reasonable and, I think, fair representation made by our High Commissioner and now by the president of Air Canada, clearly we will have to look at alternatives. That should make it clear to the hon. member that an examination has been made of what are those alternatives. He can be assured that Canadian interests in this matter are being very, very carefully looked at.

I emphasize once again that I still have confidence the British government will recognize that Air Canada was one of the first airlines to use Heathrow, that there is a strong, centuries-long relationship between us and that consequently, as a senior member of the Commonwealth, we deserve better treatment than to be tossed out of Heathrow.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   SUGGESTED MOVE OF AIR CANADA FROM HEATHROW TO GATWICK AIRPORT-GOVERNMENT POSITION
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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

80050-S4

March 16, 1979

Oral Questions

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   SUGGESTED MOVE OF AIR CANADA FROM HEATHROW TO GATWICK AIRPORT-GOVERNMENT POSITION
Permalink
PC

Donald Frank Mazankowski

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Mazankowski:

1 appreciate the answer of the minister. However, the diplomatic exchange method seems to have failed. Is the Canadian government now considering ways and means to beef up the Canadian arsenal in support of Air Canada in this very important matter?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   SUGGESTED MOVE OF AIR CANADA FROM HEATHROW TO GATWICK AIRPORT-GOVERNMENT POSITION
Permalink
LIB

Donald Campbell Jamieson (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Jamieson:

Mr. Speaker, I would not want to acknowledge that efforts have failed. I told the House some time ago, in response to a question by the right hon. member for Prince Albert, that representations had been made at the highest level and that I had obtained an interim response from the foreign secretary, Mr. Owen, which did not slam the door, in effect. It indicated that further negotiations and discussions were going to take place. I hope I will have an opportunity to talk to Mr. Owen in New York when we proceed there for the Namibia talks over the weekend and that I can, indeed, keep this matter under negotiation. In that context, it certainly has not been a total rejection or even a partial rejection of the Canadian representations to this point in time.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   SUGGESTED MOVE OF AIR CANADA FROM HEATHROW TO GATWICK AIRPORT-GOVERNMENT POSITION
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CONSUMER AFFAIRS

NDP

Lorne Edmund Nystrom (Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Lome Nystrom (Yorkton-Melville):

Mr. Speaker, in the absence of the Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs I will direct my question to the Minister of Agriculture. It concerns the CPI increase of 13 per cent in the price of bread over the last few months.

A letter we have from the minister of consumer affairs states that the price of flour is up by 25 per cent. When the wheat subsidy was taken off bread, which amounted to about 3.2 cents per loaf, the price of a loaf of bread went up by seven cents. The subsidy on flour was 22 cents for 5Vi pounds. The price went up by 44 cents. Can the minister explain why the market at the retail level went up twice as high as the actual increase in the cost of the raw material, which was flour?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CONSUMER AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   INCREASE IN PRICE OF BREAD-EXPLANATION THEREFOR
Permalink
LIB

Eugene Whelan (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Hon. E. F. Whelan (Minister of Agriculture):

No, Mr. Speaker.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CONSUMER AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   INCREASE IN PRICE OF BREAD-EXPLANATION THEREFOR
Permalink
NDP

Lorne Edmund Nystrom (Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Nystrom:

Mr. Speaker, I am almost speechless. This is the first time we have had an honest answer and a short answer from the Minister of Agriculture. He has lost his bull.

In view of the tremendous increase in the price of bread and flour in this country, will the minister try to persuade the cabinet to inquire why the retail price has gone up so much when the price of the raw material was much lower? At the same time, will he try to persuade the cabinet to reinstate the subsidy on bread, milk and flour, which commodities are so vital to Canadians?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CONSUMER AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   INCREASE IN PRICE OF BREAD-EXPLANATION THEREFOR
Permalink
LIB

Eugene Whelan (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Whelan:

Mr. Speaker, I would say, even before the day that tomorrow is going to be, maybe we can have the little people help us, because the hon. member certainly is not

helping us. We should have full information on this. The hon. member wants a simple answer to a very detailed question. We know, for example, that if we give our wheat away it will only lower the price of a 32-ounce loaf of bread by 11 cents. All the other costs involved are in relation to production, transportation, distribution and so forth.

We do not hear very much about waste, but I am told that in the large metropolitan Toronto area, well over 100,000 loaves of bread which are not consumed and which become stale are thrown away. They go into either incinerators or the garbage. That is part of the cost involved. If the hon. member wants a more detailed answer, there is enough information that I could go on even until tomorrow.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CONSUMER AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   INCREASE IN PRICE OF BREAD-EXPLANATION THEREFOR
Permalink

NATIONAL SECURITY

PC

William Herbert Jarvis

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bill Jarvis (Perth-Wilmot):

Mr. Speaker, in the absence of the Solicitor General I will direct my question to the Deputy Prime Minister. As a result of a specific government direction in 1969, certain political groups, including the Parti Quebecois and others, became the objects of security service investigation. The first report as a result of that investigation which identified these groups and described them in some detail was described by the Prime Minister as, and I quote, "a damn good piece of work".

Given that specific direction, given government knowledge as to which groups were involved and their nature, did no solicitor general, minister of justice, prime minister or any member of the cabinet committee on security and intelligence ever ask the security service what methods and procedures it was using to fulfil the mandate the government had given it?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   NATIONAL SECURITY
Sub-subtopic:   METHODS AND PROCEDURES FOLLOWED BY SECURITY SERVICE
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LIB

Allan Joseph MacEachen (Deputy Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Hon. Allan J. MacEachen (Deputy Prime Minister and President of the Privy Council):

Mr. Speaker, I cannot really answer the latter part of the question because I do not agree with the premise of the question.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   NATIONAL SECURITY
Sub-subtopic:   METHODS AND PROCEDURES FOLLOWED BY SECURITY SERVICE
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PC

William Herbert Jarvis

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Jarvis:

Mr. Speaker, obviously the Deputy Prime Minister does not agree with sworn testimony before a royal commission established by the government. Giving the benefit of any doubt as to lack of government knowledge-and one would give the benefit of that doubt only because of a series of incompetent solicitors general-what is government policy with respect to senior public servants and their continued employment when such public servants withhold deliberately vital information from the ministers to whom they are responsible?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   NATIONAL SECURITY
Sub-subtopic:   METHODS AND PROCEDURES FOLLOWED BY SECURITY SERVICE
Permalink
LIB

Allan Joseph MacEachen (Deputy Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MacEachen:

Mr. Speaker, more than once in the House the Prime Minister and I have had occasion to express the opinion that it is unwise at this stage to comment upon sworn testimony, even before the McDonald commission. The last time we debated this question we spent a day debating the testimony of a particular witness whose testimony had not even

March 16, 1979

been completed and who had not been cross-examined by any of the other solicitors. It seems to me that that is a very unwise procedure in the House of Commons, and certainly it would be unwise for me to comment upon what the hon. member describes as sworn testimony which to my knowledge may not yet be completed.

The hon. member's first question was based upon the premise that an investigation, as I understood it, had been ordered by the government into political parties of this country, or a political party. I want to assure the hon. member that that is not the case and never has been.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   NATIONAL SECURITY
Sub-subtopic:   METHODS AND PROCEDURES FOLLOWED BY SECURITY SERVICE
Permalink

March 16, 1979