May 31, 1993

PC

Gérard (Gerry) Weiner (Minister of Multiculturalism and Citizenship)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Gerry Weiner (Minister of Multiculturalism and Citizenship):

Madam Speaker, we do not condone violence to settle any differences. Canadians are revolted by the hatred that some people are trying to spread. Ottawans are very clearly expressing their displeasure and dissatisfaction with the message.

We established a program some five years ago making racism one of our most important priorities. The hon. member would want to examine what we have been doing over these last five years in terms of heightened awareness and public education.

I want to take a moment and give particular commendation to the city of Ottawa for having reconstituted the coalition for racial harmony. It did this very quickly after some discussion with our officials earlier today. Councillor Mahoney has indicated there will be a very positive and proactive response by this time next week which I am sure all members will be pleased to hear.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REDRESS
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FISHERIES ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

LIB

Francis G. LeBlanc

Liberal

Mr. Francis G. LeBlanc (Cape Breton Highlands - Canso):

Madam Speaker, in the absence of the Minister of Fisheries, I will direct my question to the Minister of Employment and Immigration who shares with him the responsibility for the fisheries assistance program in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

On the weekend, I met the fishermen of Cheticamp who out of frustration are occupying the offices of Fisheries and Oceans, as are their fellow workers in Quebec, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. For

fishermen in the Gulf of St. Lawrence the fisheries assistance program the government announced two weeks ago is an insult. It is inadequate, ill conceived and five months late and it is not even ready yet. Fish stocks in the Gulf of St. Lawrence are in crisis. When will the minister put in place an assistance program that reflects this reality?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FISHERIES ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
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PC

Bernard Valcourt (Minister of Employment and Immigration)

Progressive Conservative

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

Madam Speaker, I suppose it is indeed difficult for any level of government to correct overnight the situation due to the environmental phenomenon of the near-disappearance of several Atlantic fish species. Of the nearly 30,000 fishermen and plant workers in that industry, 7,200 are affected or covered by this program.

As my colleague, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, indicated, many of these programs require consultations with the workers and fishermen to be implemented. Without such consultations it cannot be done. We advanced $191 million to try to help the people. If we can make improvements we will, but it will be done through discussion and not by occupying offices.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FISHERIES ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
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LIB

Francis G. LeBlanc

Liberal

Mr. Francis G. LeBlanc (Cape Breton Highlands-Canso):

Madam Speaker, the fishermen want action, not hand waving. These people are desperate. For many their UI ran out weeks ago. There are no fish. Therefore the fishermen cannot fish and the plant workers have no fish to process. They have no income and the meagre make-work funds that have been promised by the minister's department are tied up in red tape.

When are the fishermen and plant workers in the Gulf of St. Lawrence going to receive concrete proposals from this government?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FISHERIES ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
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PC

Bernard Valcourt (Minister of Employment and Immigration)

Progressive Conservative

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

Madam Speaker, the hon. member is talking as if nothing is happening.

A program has been announced and is being put in place. We are aware of the people who were drawing unemployment insurance whose claims have finished. That is why we have announced measures.

The Liberal way would be to take taxpayers' funds not caring about the deficit or anything and to just throw money at the problem. That is the way they did it for 16 years. However that is not the way to go and it is not what we are doing. We are going to work with that sector

May 31, 1993

in a positive way to try to help them during these difficult times.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FISHERIES ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
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KEMANO PROJECT

NDP

Brian L. Gardiner

New Democratic Party

Mr. Brian L. Gardiner (Prince George-Bulkley Valley):

Madam Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Justice and it relates to the growing scandal surrounding the controversial Kemano water diversion project in northern B.C.

We have learned by way of a letter from officials in the minister's department that the department has issued a gag order on former and current employees of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. It possibly prohibits them from appearing before the B.C. Utilities Commission inquiry into the Kemano project.

My question for the Minister of Justice is this: What is the government hiding? Why will he not allow these employees to appear before that commission and give full testimony and evidence on this project? Will the minister lift that gag order?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   KEMANO PROJECT
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PC

Bernard Valcourt (Minister of Employment and Immigration)

Progressive Conservative

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

Madam Speaker, on behalf of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans I did not receive notice of the hon. member's question.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   KEMANO PROJECT
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NDP

Brian L. Gardiner

New Democratic Party

Mr. Gardiner:

My question was for the Minister of Justice.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   KEMANO PROJECT
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PC

Bernard Valcourt (Minister of Employment and Immigration)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Valcourt:

I can assure him of one thing. If there is a public inquiry taking place it has powers to order the production of witnesses. I am sure the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans has issued no gag order prohibiting people from testifying before any public organizations in B.C.

All I can say is that this is a serious allegation by the hon. member. It will be looked into and the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans will get back to him.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   KEMANO PROJECT
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HOUSING

PC

William D. (Bill) Casey

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bill Casey (Cumberland -Colchester):

Madam Speaker, my question is for the minister responsible for housing.

Oral Questions

The Colchester Rural Housing and Repair Society is very anxiously awaiting release of CMHC funding to continue its important work for the upcoming year. Will the funding be available and if so, when can it expect it?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   HOUSING
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PC

Elmer MacIntosh MacKay (Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation; Minister of Public Works)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Elmer M. MacKay (Minister of Public Works):

Madam Speaker, I appreciate the member's interest in this.

Agencies such as the one he inquired about will be receiving word soon from Canada Mortgage and Housing about their eligibility for funding. In this specific case, I can give him positive news. There will be funding available which will be something in excess of $100,000.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   HOUSING
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AIRLINE INDUSTRY

LIB

Stan Kazmierczak Keyes

Liberal

Mr. Stan Keyes (Hamilton West):

Madam Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Transport and concerns that internal Transport Canada memo of which the minister has been given a copy.

It reveals the overtime pay cuts for air traffic controllers at Pearson International Airport at Toronto. It shows that safety is being compromised in the name of fiscal restraint because cuts mean delays in the busy season and tie-ups for passengers. Cuts mean staff reductions at radar stations and newly constructed terminal control units. Cuts mean that morale has hit a new low. Despite the minister's assurances, safety is being compromised.

Why is this minister, and every minister who I have questioned on this same subject before him, placing fiscal restraint ahead of safety?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   AIRLINE INDUSTRY
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PC

Jean Corbeil (Minister of Transport)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Jean Corbeil (Minister of Transport):

Madam Speaker, I am surprised to hear the hon. member mention that employee morale is low because of overtime cuts. What we have heard in the past is that people do not like to be forced into overtime.

I can assure the hon. member again that cuts in the operating budget of the Minister of Transport will not affect safety in spite of all his fear-mongering. There has been an inquiry on that. It has been declared that the system is safe.

May 31, 1993

Routine Proceedings

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   AIRLINE INDUSTRY
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ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

ORDER IN COUNCIL APPOINTMENTS

PC

Harvie Andre (Minister of State (Without Portfolio); Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Harvie Andre (Minister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons):

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to table, in both official languages, a nomination which was made recently by the government.

This certificate nominates Mr. Richard Cashin as a member of the National Transportation Agency. Pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order 110(2) it is deemed referred to the Standing Committee on Transport.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   ORDER IN COUNCIL APPOINTMENTS
Sub-subtopic:   TABLING OF NOMINATION AND REFERENCE
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May 31, 1993