May 3, 1993

PC

Bernard Valcourt (Minister of Employment and Immigration)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Bernard Valcourt (Minister of Employment and Immigration):

Mr. Speaker, we have already indicated that all the cases that come before the IRB are now subjected to the guidelines that Madam Mawani announced in March. Every case before the final review before deportation made at national headquarters encompasses a review under those guidelines.

The hon. member should thank this government and congratulate us on having updated the guidelines in order to give protection to these people. Indeed all those cases are reviewed in light of those guidelines.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   IMMIGRATION
Permalink

MINING INDUSTRY

PC

Guy St-Julien

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Guy Saint-Julien (Abitibi):

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources. In its federal budget of last week, the government announced that it would not renew the agreement on economic and regional development in minerals.

Can the Minister tell us today whether the Canada-Quebec Mineral Development Agreement, which was signed in December 1992 and represents costs of $100 million, will be maintained until 1998 in Quebec?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   MINING INDUSTRY
Permalink
PC

Michel Champagne (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources; Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Forestry)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Michel Champagne (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources):

Mr. Speaker, I want to reassure my colleague that, indeed, this agreement will be maintained while complying of course with the budget cuts which were announced.

I also want to remind the hon. member that with the Whitehorse initiative, the federal government, the provinces, the company, the workers and all the other stakeholders in the mining industry are presently working to make this sector more competitive again, and this is precisely what we will continue to do in coming years.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   MINING INDUSTRY
Permalink

FORESTRY

PC

Robert Alfred Corbett

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bob Corbett (Fundy-Royal):

Mr. Speaker, yesterday marked the start of National Forestry Week which is sponsored by the federal Department of Forestry.

The purpose is to increase awareness of the importance of forestry to Canada. I participated in the signing of an agreement for the Fundy forest model just last week in my constituency.

I know that many of us are aware of how important the health of our forests are to our tourism sector, our environment and our economy. Our forest sector annually sells $20 billion in exports and supports the economies of hundreds of communities. Yet in last week's budget we learned that the government has decided not to renew the federal-provincial forestry development agreements which have been operating in every province and every territory.

My question is for the Minister of Forestry. Is this an indication that the federal government is withdrawing from forestry? Does the government plan to honour its obligation as part of this government's agenda for sustainable development?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FORESTRY
Permalink
PC

Frank Oberle (Minister of Forestry)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Frank Oberle (Minister of Forestry):

Mr. Speaker, my colleague points to the fact that fiscal realities have forced us to plan a phase-out of the forest resource development agreements over the next four years.

Fortunately most of the objectives that were assigned to these agreements have been met. In fact the volume of our operating forests has increased by 15 per cent over the last 10 years. The area that has been properly regenerated is twice the area harvested. This now permits the federal government to pursue new priorities such as the ones that we have assigned to the model forest program and to our international obligations.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FORESTRY
Permalink

PEACEKEEPING

LIB

Lloyd Axworthy

Liberal

Hon. Lloyd Axworthy (Winnipeg South Centre):

Mr. Speaker, may question is for the Minister of National Defence.

May 3, 1993

I think we can all take some small ray of hope from the peace proposal that was initialled this weekend, brought about in some part by the U.S. administration's threat to use air strikes in Bosnia. What is not clear is Canada's position on this very important decision.

On Friday the Canadian ambassador to Washington said he is opposed to air strikes because of the implications it may have for our troops. Yesterday the minister's colleague, the secretary of state, said that we have not ruled out any options, including the use of air power.

Has the minister been in touch with her U.S. counterpart to discuss this very critical issue? In particular, what implication may it have for the safety and security of Canadian troops? Can the minister say which is the position of the government, that expressed by the ambassador to Washington or that expressed by her colleague, the secretary of state?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PEACEKEEPING
Permalink
PC

A. Kim Campbell (Minister of National Defence; Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Kim Campbell (Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs):

Mr. Speaker, discussions are ongoing today in Washington at several levels. Officials from the Department of National Defence are meeting with their counterparts in Washington and the Prime Minister is meeting with the Secretary-General of the United Nations today on this very subject.

Clearly we are encouraged by the statement of the Bosnian Serbs that they will support the Vance-Owen plan. That must be supported by concrete action; a ceasefire and a commitment to uphold the plan. We are in consultation with our allies on a variety of options should the peace plan break down. The fundamental value which we uphold is the safety of Canadian troops in that theatre.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PEACEKEEPING
Permalink
LIB

Lloyd Axworthy

Liberal

Hon. Lloyd Axworthy (Winnipeg South Centre):

Mr. Speaker, I have a supplementary for the minister. I think we all recognize we will be faced with some very important decisions in a very short term.

In the past the minister has said that Canadian troops would be pulled out if there was any fighting whatsoever in which we had to use arms.

I want to ask the minister this specifically. In discussions with counterparts in the United States, what is the contingency plan that would be used by Canada in order to evacuate our troops in the case of air strikes? Are we prepared to use our troops in major peacekeeping operations under the Vance-Owen plan if it means that we would have to use force to protect civilians?

Oral Questions

Perhaps most important, will the minister agree on behalf of the government that it is time to have a serious, open, honest debate in Parliament before any more decisions are made that will affect our peacekeeping role in Bosnia?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PEACEKEEPING
Permalink
PC

A. Kim Campbell (Minister of National Defence; Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Kim Campbell (Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs):

Mr. Speaker, I do not believe that is exactly what I said. I did not say that we would pull our troops out if they were fired upon. In fact, as the hon. member will know, we have assured members of this House that should there be a fire situation, our troops are in a position to defend themselves.

We have contingency plans. We are working with our allies on contingency plans. The safety of Canadian troops is uppermost in our mind.

The Secretary of State for External Affairs is in Yugoslavia today through May 5. She is in Croatia today and tomorrow. She will be in Sarajevo on May 5. She is working on the ground to assess the situation. We will participate in whatever operation we can to the extent of our resources where there is an agreement reached through the United Nations.

The hon. member knows that is a very difficult challenge which the international community is grappling with. None of the industrialized countries is in a position to make enormous military commitments to this field. We are looking to secure peace and we are hopeful that the diplomatic process will do that.

We are evaluating the situation on a day by day basis, but I repeat again, the primary priority for the Government of Canada is the safety of our forces in former Yugoslavia.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PEACEKEEPING
Permalink

AGRICULTURE

LIB

John Harvard

Liberal

Mr. John Harvard (Winnipeg-St. James):

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Deputy Prime Minister.

Since the release of the Carter report on barley marketing, four members of the round table have dissociated themselves from both the process involved and the conclusions reached. As well, many farm groups and

May 3, 1993

Oral Questions

economists have expressed serious doubts about the findings and the methodology used by Dr. Carter.

In light of all the controversy created by this report, is the minister now willing to let farmers decide the issue. Can he assure us today that no decision will be made until a consensus is reached among all the stakeholders?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURE
Permalink
PC

Pierre Blais (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada; Minister of State (Agriculture))

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Pierre Blais (Minister of Justice, Attorney General of Canada and Minister of State (Agriculture)):

Mr. Speaker, since my colleague is not here, I will say that, indeed, this study, which was made public on April 19, is being reviewed by officials of the department and that my colleague, the Minister of Agriculture, has had several meetings to that effect.

When we talk about the market for barley, it is important to make a distinction between the national and international markets. This does not at all jeopardize the Canadian Wheat Board and its operations. I believe that, in due course, the Minister of Agriculture will announce how he will follow up on this particular issue.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURE
Permalink
LIB

John Harvard

Liberal

Mr. John Harvard (Winnipeg -St. James):

Yes, and we are concerned about that follow-up, Mr. Speaker. We think it will undermine the Canadian Wheat Board.

My second question is for the same minister. If there were a continental barley market we could not discount the possibility of American retaliation. It is feared that the U.S. would slap on import quotas or fees if private entities are allowed to sell barley directly into their market. If the minister does not want to believe me, he just has to check the record.

Is this not one more reason why the minister should be listening to producers and oppose a continental barley market?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURE
Permalink
PC

Pierre Blais (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada; Minister of State (Agriculture))

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Pierre Blais (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and Minister of State (Agriculture)):

Mr. Speaker, as you know, many companies, producers and associations have indicated that they want to have some alternatives to the Canadian Wheat Board. The

system we have is good but it is not perfect. What we are trying to do is improve it, as we have done in the past.

We have done a lot with the free trade agreement to bring more competitiveness into the North American market. It is working well.

I remember my hon. colleagues opposed everything we did to have a stronger market in North America and in the rest of the world. I think so far, so good. If we can do anything to improve the system we will do it.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURE
Permalink

THE ENVIRONMENT


Mr. Brian L. Gardiner (Prince George-Bulkley Valley): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. It relates to the government's refusal to conduct a full and proper environmental review of the Kemano completion project, a major water diversion project in northern B.C. Officials from the minister's own department say there are some 83,000 pages of information on this project in the government's possession. Will the minister release all of this information to the inquiry that has been launched by the B.C. government so that we can get to the truth behind this project?


PC

John Carnell Crosbie (Minister for the purposes of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency Act; Minister of Fisheries and Oceans)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. John C. Crosbie (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency):

Mr. Speaker, we are perfectly satisfied with the agreement that was entered into by the British Columbia government and the federal government several years ago on this project.

We are co-operating with the provincial inquiry that has been launched into the project. We have told them we will give them any assistance that we can and we will give them any information that is deemed relevant from the point of view of our department. We are satisfied that our responsibilities for environmental assessment have been met.

This inquiry that is now under way is entirely a provincial matter. We are co-operating with them and we will continue to co-operate with them.

May 3, 1993

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE ENVIRONMENT
Permalink

May 3, 1993