Some Hon. Members:
Sub-subtopic: LETTER FROM CANADA EMPLOYMENT CENTRE-INVASION OF PRIVACY
Hon. Jean J. Charest (Minister of State (Youth) and Minister of State (Fitness and Amateur Sport)):
Mr. Speaker, the Hon. Member will not be surprised to find out that I do not know of the particulars of that case. I would not presume that any Minister of the Crown would be expected in all reasonableness to have knowledge of such a specific case as it came up in Question Period. I will certainly be very happy to have the Department of Employment and Immigration look into this matter as rapidly as possible and get back to the Member as rapidly as possible.
The Hon. member. A short supplementary.
Ms. Dawn Black (New Westminster-Burnaby):
I would like to know if you find the letter as offensive-
Mr. Clark (Yellowhead):
Mr. Jean-Guy Guilbault (Drummond):
Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of State for Agriculture and relates to the alarming statements we have been reading or hearing on radio and TV since yesterday about the precarious situation of Quebec farm producers.
Can the Minister tell the House whether it is true that, as a result of the recent decision of the federal Government to freeze milk prices, Quebec farmers are now in such a predicament that some of them can no longer produce?
Hon. Pierre Blais (Solicitor General of Canada and Minister of State (Agriculture)):
Mr. Speaker, alarming statements have indeed been reported in newspapers in recent days. Canadian and Quebec farm producers can rest assured that the Canadian Government will honour its commitment to maintain marketing boards and re-inforce GATT section 11.
The commitment was made a number of years ago and this Government will stick to it. As a matter of fact, the work that was done Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister was one of the leaders who raised the issue of surplus control at the international level. The fact that world surpluses were reduced last year has meant $70 million more in the pockets of dairy producers in Canada and in Quebec. These are facts and achievements.
There will be a single question each from the Hon. Member for Winnipeg North Centre and the Hon. Member for Churchill.
Mr. David Walker (Winnipeg North Centre):
Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister responsible for the Wheat Board. It may be raining here in
May 12, 1989
Ottawa but it is not raining anywhere in the West. It is not raining in Carman, Manitoba, in the Minister's constituency, or anywhere else.
Forecasters are already predicting that another year of drought is at hand. At page 65 of the Budget papers, the Government makes it clear that there will be no emergency assistance for drought-affected farmers. As well, a discussion paper on crop insurance given to MPs yesterday stated that the province will be asked to bear more of the load for crop insurance. Will the Minister assure the western farmers that the Government will be there for them this time, and state what form that assistance will take?
Hon. Charles Mayer (Minister of Western Economic Diversification and Minister of State (Grains and Oilseeds)):
Mr. Speaker, the PFRA has been monitoring moisture conditions on the Prairies on a regular basis for over two years. We know that the situation is certainly less than ideal in much of the Prairies.
The Hon. Member should know that in a good part of Alberta there is adequate moisture; Saskatchewan has the poorest conditions of the three prairie provinces as far as moisture is concerned, and in southern Manitoba there is enough moisture for germination.
It is very early in the year. We understand the concern and appreciate the question. We are monitoring the situation. The Government has been there to help in the past and if the situation develops at all in the way it looks in the last two days, we will have to be dealing with the situation on a regular basis.
The Hon. Member should know that this is very early in the growing season. No one on the Prairies has ever lost a crop in May yet. We will be watching the situation to see what we can do.
Mr. Rod Murphy (Churchill):
Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans is quoted in the Halifax paper this morning as saying that he is proposing changes which would give fishermen an incentive to sell fish to Canadian processors rather than selling it whole to exporters who ship fish products to the Boston market.
Will the Minister responsible answer how that can be done under the GATT rules and explain exactly what will be done to help the people in the fishing industry in the Atlantic region?
Hon. John C. Crosbie (Minister for International
Trade): Mr. Speaker, the situation is that there is a considerable amount of fish sold in the United States in a fresh state by individuals who catch the fish in Nova Scotia. I believe the amount last year was some 80 million pounds. If sold in Nova Scotia, it would be a considerable help to fish plant workers in Nova Scotia.
Of course, there is quite a difference between trying to provide incentives for people to sell fish to the local domestic Nova Scotian fish plants and putting in place regulations or legislation to do that, which could well be challenged under the GATT.
Hon. Jake Epp (Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources):
Mr. Speaker, pursuant to the Standing Orders I wish to table in both official languages the corporate plan for Petro-Canada for the planning period 1989-93, and the capital budget for the 1989 budget year.
Hon. Tom Hockin (Minister of State (Small Businesses and Tourism)):
Mr. Speaker, next week is National Tourism Awareness Week.
Under the direction of the Tourism Industry Association, all across Canada, Canadians who make their living from tourism will be telling their fellow Canadians the facts of tourism and emphasizing that Canada grows with tourism.
The facts of tourism tell of an enormous Canadian success story. They tell the story of an industry which is of vital importance to the Canadian economy.
May 12, 1989
In fact, there are 60,000 tourism businesses in Canada employing 600,000 Canadians, and another 500,000 people who depend on tourism for at least part of their livelihood.
This sector has a record of job creation unmatched by any other industrial sector. In fact, tourism ranks second, right behind the auto industry in terms of job creation.
Tourism in Canada is a $21 billion a year business. Of every dollar spent in Canada on consumer goods and services, 6.7 cents is spent on tourism goods and services.
Tourism is also Canada's second largest export industry. It brings in more than $6 billion from foreign travellers.
The tourist industry extend across Canada and ranks among the first in every province and territory. And its future is as promising as its past, Mr. Speaker. According to the Conference Board of Canada's Institute on tourist resources, unemployment in the tourist industry should grow by 16 per cent through 1992.
In fact, by 1994 we expect to have an increase of 2.1 million foreign visitors a year.
The revenue from the increase in foreign visitors is expected to rise from $6.3 billion in 1987 to $13.6 billion in 1994, which means an extra $1.6 billion in tax revenue and the creation of about 145,000 new, full-time jobs.
This Government is committed to working with the industry and the provinces to ensure the continued growth of the Canadian tourism industry.
Together we organized the Tourism Tomorrow Conference, at which the private sector and the provincial and federal Governments reviewed priorities and strengthened co-operative ties.
We organized the Tburism Marketing Council and we sponsored the most ambitious and thorough study ever done of the American pleasure travel market, and shared the results with the provinces and the private sector.
The Free Trade Agreement with the United States will make travel between our two countries easier. This is important for the tourism industry because Canada's largest tourism customer is the United States.
Tourism is very much a small business industry. Eighty five per cent of the 60,000 businesses in the tourism industry in Canada are small businesses. That is they have annual revenues of less than $2 million and employ fewer than 100 people.
This Government is always mindful of the entrepreneurial basis of the Canadian tourism industry. This is an industry filled with risk takers and solid entrepreneurs. Our commitment to encourage and stimulate entrepreneurship will help the tourism industry grow. As we have seen, Canada does indeed grow with tourism.
I am committed to telling parliamentarians, legislators, business people and all Canadians about the importance of tourism to Canada.
Tourism is an important industry which touches every Canadian. We must encourage and an awareness of the industry's importance and an understanding of its challenges and its rewards.
Let us hope that National Tourism Awareness Week will bring about a greater understanding of this industry and a greater appreciation of its importance to the Canadian economy.
I urge all Members of the House and all Canadians to join me in paying tribute to the men and women of the tourism industry, and to help promote Canadian tourism next week.
Mr. Mark Assad (Gatineau-La Lievre):
Mr. Speaker, my colleagues and I on this side of the House would like to express our appreciation to the men and women who work in the tourism industry in Canada. Many have to work long hours to maintain their small businesses. Not only do they need recognition during National Tourism Awareness Week, they need sustained assistance, co-operation and a sympathetic ear to the multiple small but irritable problems that prevent growth in the industry.
The Minister said in his address that by 1992 there would be growth of 16 per cent. This does not concur with the figures of the Tourist Industry Association of
May 12, 1989
Canada which disputes that figure. The Association is very critical of the new taxes set out in the latest Budget. It has said that those taxes will have an adverse affect on the industry and that that figure will not be attained.
On this side of the House, Mr. Speaker, we would like to join other Members to extend to everyone in the tourist industry our best wishes during the coming Canadian Tourist Week. We would like to hail all those who work long hours to ensure their business runs well because they invest a lot of time and energy to make sure the Canadian tourist industry remains healthy.
I would like to emphasize that the Canadian tourist industry criticized the last Budget, and I would like to quote just one sentence here: Increased costs and reduced marketing expenditures are bad news for the $21 billion Canadian tourist industry. Tourism Canada's international marketing budget will be slashed by a third over the next three years, at a time when there is serious competition internationally for the tourism dollar and its benefits. According to Mr. Rowe, chairman of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, we have now reached a point where the Americain States individually are spending more than the Canadian Government to promote tourism. To take one example, Mr. Speaker, the State of Illinois is spending more than the Canadian Government on tourism promotion.
Therefore, Mr. Speaker, there are a number of aspects in the tourist industry on which we could focus. It was taken for granted over the years that the tourist industry could go on automatically. This is not the case. The fact is those industries create jobs. They sometimes need to be supported, but they would like above all to be consulted in order to make adjustments. Certainly, if the Minister took the time to consult the various Canadian tourist associations, he could learn a lot of things to improve the situation of the very important Canadian tourist industry.
In conclusion, I bring to the attention of the House the fact that there is a great deal of competition internationally to get tourist dollars. Everyone recognizes that, especially those in the tourist industry. However, when we see that one single state of the United States, the State of Illinois, spends more than the Government of Canada to promote tourism, I think the time has come to review our tourist promotion program and to sit down to
listen to those who make their living from tourism. They are the experts in the field. From what I have seen over the last few weeks, after having consulted with those people they will be only too glad to join with the Government in seeing that their industry is kept alive and vibrant.