September 1, 1988

PC

Donald Frank Mazankowski (Deputy Prime Minister; Minister responsible for Privatization and Regulatory Affairs; Vice-President; President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Don Mazankowski (Deputy Prime Minister and President of the Privy Council):

Mr. Speaker, the answer remains the same. I invite the Hon. Member to reread it.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   MINISTERIAL DECLARATION
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LIB

Sheila Maureen Copps

Liberal

Ms. Copps:

You did not answer it yesterday.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   MINISTERIAL DECLARATION
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CANADA-UNITED STATES FREE TRADE AGREEMENT-REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS

NDP

Jack Harris

New Democratic Party

Mr. Jack Harris (St. John's East):

Mr. Speaker, the Government has long claimed that the trade deal would have no effect on regional development programs. For example, the

Oral Questions

Minister of Finance stated in the House on October 16, 1987, as reported in Hansard at page 10087:

Our ability to deliver regional development programs to all parts of Atlantic Canada will remain absolutely unchanged and unaffected by this agreement.

This morning on Canada A.M. the Minister for International Trade admitted that the trade deal provides no protection for regional development programs, and that under the deal the next five to seven years will define subsidies, and we will then know what is permitted and what is not.

My question to the Deputy Prime Minister is the following. Will he not now be forthright about this and admit that the end result of this trade deal will affect regional development programs? Why not be honest about it?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES FREE TRADE AGREEMENT-REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS
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PC

John Horton McDermid (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. John McDermid (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister for International Trade):

Mr. Speaker, we are being honest about it, and it does not affect regional programs.

I am surprised at the Hon. Member for St. John's East saying that, after this Government committed itself to help Hibernia and the people of Newfoundland. I am absolutely surprised. That came in long after the free trade agreement was signed. What is the Hon. Member talking about?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES FREE TRADE AGREEMENT-REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS
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ATLANTIC CANADA OPPORTUNITIES AGENCY

NDP

Jack Harris

New Democratic Party

Mr. Jack Harris (St. John's East):

Mr. Speaker, we were also told that water was not in the deal, Mr. Speaker.

We know that ACOA is five-year program which some government Ministers have already called the last kick at the can for Atlantic Canada. Coincidentally, this Five-year period is the same period in which subsidies are to be defined under the trade deal.

Will the Minister, or his representative, not come clean and admit that ACOA could in fact be the last regional development program for the Atlantic provinces, because of this trade deal?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   ATLANTIC CANADA OPPORTUNITIES AGENCY
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PC

John Horton McDermid (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. John McDermid (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister for International Trade):

Mr. Speaker, first, no, I will not admit that. Second, the free trade agreement in itself is a regional development program, and it will help the Maritimes grow. It will create employment in the Maritimes. It will protect the industries that have been harassed all along.

The Hon. Member is away off base. No, it will not be the last regional development program for eastern Canada. This Government is committed to all regions of the country, and will continue to be.

September 1, 1988

Oral Questions

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   ATLANTIC CANADA OPPORTUNITIES AGENCY
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REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

LIB

Jean-C. Lapierre

Liberal

Hon. Jean Lapierre (Shefford):

Mr. Speaker, my question is also directed to the Deputy Prime Minister. A few weeks ago, we had a statement by the Deputy Minister of Finance. Today, we have a senior official responsible for regional development confirming our worst fears, namely that regional development programs would be jeopardized by the free trade agreement. What I want to know from the Deputy Prime Minister, since today, the senior official who told the truth probably had to do what a number of Conservative Members have done before him and issue a clarification, and I imagine the responsible Minister called him to ask him to change his story, like Peter White did . .. What I want to know from the Deputy Prime Minister is this: Could he inform the House today why senior officials who administered the program have to consider criteria for U.S. subsidies, while the Government says the exact opposite?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Sub-subtopic:   EFFECT OF FREE TRADE AGREEMENT ON PROGRAMS
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PC

Donald Frank Mazankowski (Deputy Prime Minister; Minister responsible for Privatization and Regulatory Affairs; Vice-President; President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Don Mazankowski (Deputy Prime Minister and President of the Privy Council):

Mr. Speaker, the Minister responsible has explained that very well. I do not know why Hon. Members across the aisle want to malign distinguished public servants who have served this country and governments over the years.

What we have here is another classic example of, when all else fails, you wallow around in the mud to see if you can find a little dirt to throw at people. That is exactly what is happening, Mr. Speaker.

I would draw the attention of Hon. Members to an article by John Ferguson which appeared this morning. It talks about the manner in which the Liberal Party has distorted, planted fear, and maligned the elements of the trade deal, all for political partisan advantage. Mr. Ferguson states:

Both play on voters' fear of the unknown.

Both claim to be based on a cool analysis of the facts.

And both are dead wrong.

[ Translation]

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Sub-subtopic:   EFFECT OF FREE TRADE AGREEMENT ON PROGRAMS
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NEED FOR APPROVAL BY DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS-GOVERNMENT POSITION

LIB

Jean-C. Lapierre

Liberal

Hon. Jean Lapierre (Shefford):

Mr. Speaker, the Deputy Prime Minister can quote all the newspaper articles he wants, but the fact is that Mr. Lawson's comments are there and they are quite clear.

What I want to ask the Deputy Prime Minister is this: Could he explain why projects are now submitted to the Department of External Affairs before final approval? Could he explain why the Government is taking into consideration the criterion . . .

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   NEED FOR APPROVAL BY DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS-GOVERNMENT POSITION
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?

An Hon. Member:

. . . the free trade test.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   NEED FOR APPROVAL BY DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS-GOVERNMENT POSITION
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LIB

Jean-C. Lapierre

Liberal

Mr. Lapierre:

. . . the free trade test, as the Hon. Member pointed out? Why has this criterion be added to the list? And could he explain why, since the beginning of these talks, we have been told that free trade would have no impact at all on regional development? Why has the Government been lying to us for months?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   NEED FOR APPROVAL BY DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS-GOVERNMENT POSITION
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PC

William Hunter (Bill) McKnight (Minister of Western Economic Diversification; Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Bill McKnight (Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development):

Mr. Speaker, 1 will say to the Hon. Member, as I have said to others, once again, that there are no further obligations required of Canada in regard to subsidies under the free trade agreement than already exist under GATT. The Member asks, "Why does one department of government consult with another as to international obligations?" We consult on every western diversification application proposal and contract-every one-with the Department of Justice, because it is a legal contract-and all government departments consult. We consult with the Department of Communications regarding international obligations in that field. We have also consulted on two or three occasions, as Mr. Waddell from the Department of External Affairs has said, with the Department of External Affairs on international trade obligations.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   NEED FOR APPROVAL BY DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS-GOVERNMENT POSITION
Permalink
?

Some Hon. Members:

Oh. oh!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   NEED FOR APPROVAL BY DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS-GOVERNMENT POSITION
Permalink
PC

William Hunter (Bill) McKnight (Minister of Western Economic Diversification; Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McKnight:

At no time was any project rejected after we had consulted with the Department of External Affairs. Therefore, regional development as well will be built upon with free trade and we will go forward.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   NEED FOR APPROVAL BY DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS-GOVERNMENT POSITION
Permalink

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE

PC

Gabriel Fontaine (Chief Government Whip's assistant; Deputy Whip of the Progressive Conservative Party)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Gabriel Fontaine (Levis):

Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of State (Employment and Immigration) and concerns eligibility criteria for unemployment insurance benefits.

We know that generally speaking, Canadians must have worked fourteen weeks to receive unemployment insurance. We also know that to allow for regional disparities, in some cases Canadians can get unemployment insurance if they have worked less than fourteen weeks. However, the House must first pass a bill, as it has done since 1976.

Madam Minister, do you intend to introduce legislation this year that will allow Canadians to be eligible for unemployment insurance if they have worked less than fourteen weeks?

September 1, 1988

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Sub-subtopic:   PRESENTATION OF LEGISLATION ON QUALIFYING ELIGIBILITY PERIOD-GOVERNMENT POSITION
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September 1, 1988