June 1, 1993

LIB

Herbert Eser (Herb) Gray

Liberal

Hon. Herb Gray (Windsor West):

Madam Speaker, the minister still has not given a satisfactory explanation of why the Conservative government has such a twisted sense of priorities.

Oral Questions

It apparently has millions of dollars for this luxury plane to be used for, it hopes, ferrying around the Minister of National Defence and other Conservative bigwigs, but it has nothing for the unemployed, nothing for the poor, nothing for social housing, in other words nothing for the 1.5 million Canadians who have been suffering because of this Conservative government's policies.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
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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, is the position of Liberals that the Department of National Defence should not have a fleet of aircraft to transport personnel and equipment when needed, when they need to go to peacekeeping missions and so on? If that is the position let them honestly take it.

If it is the position that DND should have them, I am sure the member would recognize that it is important they be, outfitted to carry cargo and passengers. He talks about millions of dollars. Perhaps he would be interested to know that in fact to outfit the planes for passengers costs $2 million and the one with the executive suite, $2.5 million. Hardly the extravagant, multimillion dollar expenditure he is talking about.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
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LIB

Herbert Eser (Herb) Gray

Liberal

Hon. Herb Gray (Windsor West):

Madam Speaker, the minister has not given an explanation that will be accepted by any reasonable Canadian as to why he and the Minister of National Defence and this government authorized the expenditure, he admits, of $2.5 million for a luxury plane, permanently outfitted with an executive board-room and a deluxe bathroom and shower.

The only people who will take a bath with this plane are Canadian taxpayers, and they have already suffered enough under the Conservative government.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
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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, none of my notes or any explanation has suggested there is this luxury bathtub he is talking about. There will be a toilet. There is one on most planes. As a matter of fact there is apparently a small shower as well.

Let me repeat again. Perhaps he did not hear me. To outfit the planes, to put in the modifications to carry cargo, is about $14 million per plane. To outfit them for

passengers is $2 million per plane. This one is $2.5 million. Yes, it costs $500,000 more to have one plane that is capable of taking the Governor General and Her Majesty the Queen.

In other words it could have been paid for if the hon. member when he was minister had taken the Challenger about 20 fewer times than he actually took it.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
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?

Some hon. members:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
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PC

Andrée Champagne (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Madam Deputy Speaker:

I would appreciate hearing what the next member has to say.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
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STEEL INDUSTRY

NDP

Steve Butland

New Democratic Party

Mr. Steve Butland (Sault Ste. Marie):

Madam Speaker, my question is for the Acting Prime Minister. It concerns yesterday's steel ruling by the Canadian International Trade Tribunal.

The government signed a free trade agreement and the Canadian steel industry lost. That was not a surprise. We proposed a bilateral steel agreement. The Americans rejected it. That was a loss for Canadian steel. We were not surprised. The American Trade Commission ruled against the Canadian steel industry last month, imposed duties of 60 per cent, and we lost. That was no surprise.

However when our own Canadian International Trade Tribunal rules that six countries are dumping steel in Canada but not injuring our steel industry we lose again. We are surprised and we are shocked.

Is the minister prepared to implement changes in Canadian trade law that will offer Canadian steel producers support rather than abandonment?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   STEEL INDUSTRY
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PC

Peter L. McCreath (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Peter L. McCreath (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister for International TVade):

Madam Speaker, at least my hon. friend from the NDP is asking a substantive question about something that affects Canadians. Unfortunately he is really stretching when he tries to tag this one to the free trade agreement.

The reality of the situation is that the trade tribunal is an independent body at arm's length from the government. Perhaps it is the suggestion of my hon. friend and his party that this government should interfere with the objective findings of independent bodies. Maybe he would like us to interfere with the courts as well. However that is not the process.

June 1, 1993

If any of the steel manufacturers negatively impacted by this decision wish to do so, thanks to the free trade agreement they may file for a panel under chapter 19 of the FTA.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   STEEL INDUSTRY
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NDP

Steve Butland

New Democratic Party

Mr. Steve Butland (Sault Ste. Marie):

Madam Speaker, I agree the question was one of substance. Unfortunately the answer was not.

I want to cite some statistics that illustrate just how out of whack our system of trade appears to be. Revenue Canada made a preliminary ruling in April that six countries were dumping steel sheet and plate into Canada and duties were levied up to 130 per cent. The CllT came along yesterday and said no injury was occurring.

I want to ask the minister or the parliamentary secretary a question. If there is dumping with margins up to 130 per cent how there can be no injury to Canadian steel? How does he reconcile these figures?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   STEEL INDUSTRY
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PC

Peter L. McCreath (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Peter L. McCreath (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister for International TVade):

Madam Speaker, I suggest that my hon. friend wait until the tribunal issues the reasons for its finding, which it will do over the course of the next couple of days.

I would ask him, though, to tell me if it is the policy of his party that the Government of Canada should interfere with the decisions of independent arm's length adjudicative bodies.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   STEEL INDUSTRY
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NDP

Steve Butland

New Democratic Party

Mr. Steve Butland (Sault Ste. Marie):

Madam Speaker, I am asking for a change in the legislation to give Canadian steel producers a break.

To further illustrate the imbalances in the Canada-U.S.A. system the Cll l conducted hearings on this ruling for 11 days. It ruled against us. In the U.S.A. we were given 15 minutes to defend a multimillion dollar case at the trade commission. It is a kangaroo court. It is free trade for Americans and no trade for Canada.

Canadian steel producers are only too aware of this government's failures. What is the parliamentary secretary's next step?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   STEEL INDUSTRY
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PC

Peter L. McCreath (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Peter L. McCreath (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister for International TVade):

Madam Speaker, I guess my next step is to say that is absolute bunk and nonsense. The member just said there were 11 days of hearing during which this independent tribunal heard

Oral Questions

the evidence presented as a result of the complaint filed with Revenue Canada.

I again say to him that we cannot have a system of independent adjudication of disputes on the one hand and then say on the other that we want the government to change the law or interfere any time we lose.

As for FTA panels I would remind my hon. friend that Canada has won over two-thirds of those. The system has served us well.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   STEEL INDUSTRY
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GOVERNMENT APPOINTMENTS

LIB

Mary Catherine Clancy

Liberal

Ms. Mary Clancy (Halifax):

Madam Speaker, we understand that Ami Thorsteinson is to resign today from the board of the Bank of Canada.

My question is for the Minister of Public Works. Why was this man appointed in the first place, 16 days after it became public knowledge that his company's financial problems could cost the taxpayers up to $6 million?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT APPOINTMENTS
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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, it is common knowledge that various market conditions in different parts of Canada have caused a lot of people to have difficulties.

Under the circumstances, Mr. Thorsteinson's organization has indeed been having some difficulties. I understand if Mr. Thorsteinson has not tendered his resignation, he is about to do so. It is important, as the House knows, without casting aspersions on anyone, to make sure that the probity at the Bank of Canada is maintained.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT APPOINTMENTS
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LIB

Mary Catherine Clancy

Liberal

Ms. Mary Clancy (Halifax):

Madam Speaker, what is clear is that Mr. Thorsteinson's Tory credentials outweighed his financial credentials. Last week my colleague from Glengarry-Prescott-Russell was

excoriated for even daring to bring up these credentials.

I want to know how could this appointment have been approved by the Prime Minister, by the cabinet and by the minister himself given this man's unfortunate financial history?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT APPOINTMENTS
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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, the member opposite is exaggerating. I certainly did not excoriate the member for Glengarry- Prescott-Russell. I think it is rather mean spirited and unfair to attribute any motives to this process. After all, the opposition quite properly pointed out some difficul-

June 1, 1993

Oral Questions

ties. Upon consideration of them, it does appear that it is not appropriate for Mr. Thorsteinson to continue with this appointment.

I think the process has been duly served.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT APPOINTMENTS
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PUBLIC WORKS

LIB

Don Boudria (Deputy House Leader of the Official Opposition; Liberal Party Deputy House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Don Boudria (Glengarry-Prescott-Russell):

Madam Speaker, I have in hand another statement of claim, I might add, filed in the Federal Court of Canada against Public Works. It concerns the lease of the Martel building in Ottawa which was terminated against the recommendation of Public Works staff in favour of another company represented by a prominent Conservative leasing agent.

I want to ask the government why did this lease change thereby favouring a leasing agent who was the chairman of the Prime Minister's dinner and who is also the Ottawa fund raiser for the leadership campaign of the Minister of the Environment?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PUBLIC WORKS
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June 1, 1993