August 11, 1988

LIB

Sergio Marchi

Liberal

Mr. Sergio Marchi (York West):

Mr. Speaker, in the absence of the Minister of State for Multiculturalism I will direct my question to the Right Hon. Prime Minister.

Several days ago the staff of the Minister of State for Multiculturalism openly admitted that the Minister was too busy on a Conservative campaign tour across the country to deal with trying to settle the Japanese-Canadian redress issue which has eluded the Government and four different Conservative Ministers of Multiculturalism for four years, despite the personal assurances and promises made by the Prime Minister.

Rather than having the Minister indulge in a self-flattering campaign tour to bolster a very desperate record, why does the Government not first honour the Prime Minister's commitment to the Japanese-Canadian community on this issue, establish serious, ongoing negotiations with the NAJC, and genuinely try to solve a very sensitive and emotional issue which is affecting so many Canadians across the country?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   VISIBLE MINORITIES
Sub-subtopic:   INTERNMENT OF JAPANESE CANADIANS DURING WORLD WAR II-REQUEST THAT GOVERNMENT NEGOTIATE WITH ASSOCIATION
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PC

Martin Brian Mulroney (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Right Hon. Brian Mulroney (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, my hon. friend says that the solution to the very serious problem involving Japanese Canadians has eluded the Government. I think he would recognize that we began the process of trying to resolve the problem. We have not achieved

August 11, 1988

that yet, but we were the first Government to begin the process of attempting to solve a historic injustice.

We began that work in light of the statement of the former Leader of the Liberal Party in this House in June of 1984, who said that the Liberal Party and the Liberal Government had no intention of ever paying compensation to or looking after the problems of the Japanese Canadians. We are in the process of improving a great deal on that. I hope there will be a solution very soon.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   VISIBLE MINORITIES
Sub-subtopic:   INTERNMENT OF JAPANESE CANADIANS DURING WORLD WAR II-REQUEST THAT GOVERNMENT NEGOTIATE WITH ASSOCIATION
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PRIME MINISTER'S POSITION

LIB

Sergio Marchi

Liberal

Mr. Sergio Marchi (York West):

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has made promises and four of his Ministers have issued dozens of press releases saying that there is progress when there really is not. In the meantime, the American experience of a few days ago has quietly but successfully reached a satisfactory conclusion to the Japanese-American redress issue.

Four different Ministers have failed to come up with a resolution. While the Prime Minister was Leader of the Opposition he gave his very clear undertaking that the matter would be resolved, and he has not involved himself since assuming office.

Therefore, can the Prime Minister now give this Parliament the assurance that he will become personally involved and offer political leadership from the top to try to initiate negotiations for a settlement so that the Government, but more important, Parliament and the country, can successfully close a dark chapter in Canada's history? Will he become involved as he said before the last election that he would?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PRIME MINISTER'S POSITION
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PC

Martin Brian Mulroney (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Right Hon. Brian Mulroney (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, it is very unusual and should be noted that an official spokesman of the Liberal Party is favourably invoking a precedent just signed by President Ronald Reagan. The President will be delighted to hear that.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PRIME MINISTER'S POSITION
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NDP

Nelson Andrew Riis (N.D.P. House Leader)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Riis:

He imposed a minimum corporate tax too, Brian.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PRIME MINISTER'S POSITION
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LIB

Lloyd Axworthy

Liberal

Mr. Axworthy:

You make Ronald Reagan look good.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PRIME MINISTER'S POSITION
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PC

Arthur Jacob (Jake) Epp (Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Epp (Provencher):

Nobody can make you look good, Lloyd.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PRIME MINISTER'S POSITION
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PC

John Allen Fraser (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

Order. The Right Hon. Prime Minister.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PRIME MINISTER'S POSITION
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PC

Martin Brian Mulroney (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Mulroney:

Mr. Speaker, my friends from the NDP who were in the House at the time will remember, because I think they shared our view, that we were all quite aghast at the statement by the Leader of the Liberal Party and the lack of sympathy which he evinced for Japanese Canadians. The NDP and Conservatives spoke very strongly in favour of an attempt to resolve this sensitive and important matter.

We have moved to the point where we have agreed upon an official apology to the Japanese Canadians who suffered by this unjust action, the creation of a fund on behalf of the

Oral Questions

Japanese Canadians to deal with the problem of racism which affected them so tragically, and we have another step to take. I think my hon. friend would agree that another important action taken by the Government was the abolition of the infamous War Measures Act which violated the rights of so many Canadian citizens.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PRIME MINISTER'S POSITION
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CANADA-UNITED STATES FREE TRADE AGREEMENT-AGRICULTURAL INDUSTRY

NDP

Victor Fredrich (Vic) Althouse

New Democratic Party

Mr. Vic Althouse (Humboldt-Lake Centre):

Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of Agriculture. Since last October 5, Canada's major farm groups neither supported nor rejected the free trade agreement with the United States. Instead, they attempted to identify clearly issues which must be addressed to maintain the programs and policies which make Canada's agricultural industry "uniquely Canadian".

Now that groups such as the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, Prairie pools, the Wheat Board Advisory Committee, the Union des Producteurs Agricoles de Quebec, the National Farmers' Union, the Maritime Farmers' Council and others say that their concerns over that period of time have been ignored, will the Minister explain why the Government chose to ignore all these important farm groups?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES FREE TRADE AGREEMENT-AGRICULTURAL INDUSTRY
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PC

John Wise (Minister of Agriculture)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. John Wise (Minister of Agriculture):

Mr. Speaker, if the Hon. Member is fair, I think he would withdraw the final part of that comment. This Government has not in the past and will not in the future ignore Canadian farm problems. I challenge him to examine the record. To date we have taken some 660 initiatives delivering over $10 billion. That is a record that is unchallenged in the past.

I recognize that some general farm organizations have some difficulty with the bilateral trade agreement. However, if we look to see what the commodity organizations are saying about the agreement, we find that there are about 100,000 grain farmers in the country who support the agreement. There are about 80,000 beef farmers in the country who support the agreement. There are about 70,000 hog farmers in Canada who support the agreement.

Supply management is secure. Since we went forward with the amendments to the CAPS Act that the previous Government did not have the courage to proceed with, there are about

25,000 horticultural people who recognize that the bilateral trade agreement is in their interest.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES FREE TRADE AGREEMENT-AGRICULTURAL INDUSTRY
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POSITION OF CANADIAN FEDERATION OF AGRICULTURE

NDP

Victor Fredrich (Vic) Althouse

New Democratic Party

Mr. Vic Althouse (Humboldt-Lake Centre):

Mr. Speaker, the Minister seems to have ignored or is perhaps unaware of the fact that the Canadian Federation of Agriculture which

August 11, 1988

Oral Questions

speaks for nearly all the groups he just cited said: "The CFA cannot support implementation of the FT A in its present form". That is dated July 30, 1988.

Since this is the position of the CFA and the position of most of the component groups of the CFA, will the Minister tell us what, if any, changes he proposes at the last minute to make this agreement acceptable to the farm groups?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   POSITION OF CANADIAN FEDERATION OF AGRICULTURE
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PC

John Wise (Minister of Agriculture)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. John Wise (Minister of Agriculture):

Mr. Speaker, I am very much aware of the recent statement issued by the Canadian Federation of Agriculture. I have to take issue with certain of their observations because I think they are false. The future picture of the agri-food marketing systems and supply management in Canada is not in jeopardy at all because they are secure under the bilateral trade agreement.

They also challenge the integrity of the Canadian Wheat Board. I believe that is false. They also made some observations about the quality standards of Canadian agriculture commodities. They are not in jeopardy at all.

They recognize as well that we have to take some action to tie up some loose ends. I recognize that, particularly as it relates to the hatching egg industry. We have given a commitment to that industry and we have fulfilled our commitments to the agricultural industry in the past. We have every intention of fulfilling the commitments in the future, including many that are mentioned here.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   POSITION OF CANADIAN FEDERATION OF AGRICULTURE
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PROTECTION OF POULTRY SECTOR-GOVERNMENT POSITION

NDP

Victor Fredrich (Vic) Althouse

New Democratic Party

Mr. Vic Althouse (Humboldt-Lake Centre):

Mr. Speaker, what is the Government doing to protect the processing and poultry sectors, as requested by the Union des producteurs agricoles in their meeting with the Senate yesterday?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PROTECTION OF POULTRY SECTOR-GOVERNMENT POSITION
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PC

John Wise (Minister of Agriculture)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. John Wise (Minister of Agriculture):

Mr. Speaker, I recognize that there are some loose ends to be tied up. We recall that we were challenged on the fact that we would not proceed to transfer a number of dairy items from the tariff list to the import-export list. We gave a commitment to that industry that we would go forward and do so. Of course, the Opposition Parties should recognize that we have already carried that out.

The other loose ends to which I have referred are the other commodities under the feather industry. We will continue to consult with the industry in order to arrive at a sensible action that will again transfer those items from the tariff list to the import-export list. We have made a commitment on this side to ensure continued day-to-day operation of supply management in Canada. We have full intentions of carrying that out.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PROTECTION OF POULTRY SECTOR-GOVERNMENT POSITION
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UNITED STATES OMNIBUS TRADE BILL

August 11, 1988