June 2, 1993

PC

John Horton McDermid (Minister of State (Finance and Privatization))

Progressive Conservative

Hon. John McDermid (Minister of State (Finance and Privatization)):

Madam Speaker, I understand why the hon. member only asks one question every two weeks. It takes her that long to write it, obviously.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EMPLOYMENT
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?

Some hon. members:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EMPLOYMENT
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PC

John Horton McDermid (Minister of State (Finance and Privatization))

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McDermid:

If she can be cute so can I.

Obviously those at the meeting of the OECD at the present time where a number of countries are represented, including Canada, are seized with the worldwide problems of unemployment and job creation. The problem is that at the same time they are wrestling with

debt and with very serious economic problems in all countries. It is something they are discussing.

It is unfortunate the employment end of things lags recovery. As recovery comes employment follows unfortunately later than recovery. Employment will improve over the next period of time, albeit not as fast as we all would like. It is not just a Canadian problem; it is a world-wide problem.

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Subtopic:   EMPLOYMENT
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LIB

Mark Joseph Assad

Liberal

Mr. Mark Assad (Gatineau-La Lievre):

Madam Speaker, my question was for the Minister of Finance, but since he is not available, I will direct it to the Acting Prime Minister or the Deputy Prime Minister.

One of the Conservative government's worst mistakes was its obsession with monetary policy, which worsened the economic situation, witness the 13.4 per cent unemployment rate in Quebec. The outlying regions are the most affected by business shutdowns, which lead to job losses.

When will the minister correct, improve or change his regional development policy in order to stem the flood of job losses? He could certainly do something.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EMPLOYMENT
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PC

John Horton McDermid (Minister of State (Finance and Privatization))

Progressive Conservative

Hon. John McDermid (Minister of State (Finance and Privatization)):

Madam Speaker, I might remind the hon. member-and I believe he was part of it-on Bill C-91 that was brought forward in the House to help with the job situation especially in the province of Quebec he voted against it. I want the record to show that. Any time we have tried to help the employment situation that hon. member has voted against it, and I want the record to show that. It is very important the people of Quebec understand that.

Second, the construction industry is one industry where we feel that jobs can be created. Housing affordability today is as good as it has been in 25 years. We have also brought in programs to assure low down payments so young couples can buy their homes. We have lower interest rates which have to do with the fight the government has put on to assure that we get lower interest rates and lower inflation so savings are not eaten away and for the creation of jobs. We have assured that RRSPs are used for housing.

Oral Questions

We have done a number of things to improve the situation. If the hon. member took time to study the reports that are coming out, he would know that Canada is poised to have the best record in 1993 and 1994 in recovering from the recession.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EMPLOYMENT
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LIB

Mark Joseph Assad

Liberal

Mr. Mark Assad (Gatineau-La Lievre):

Madam Speaker, I pity the audience which just heard his answer, because it is far from the answer needed for the question I asked. While the minister gives all sorts of explanations that have nothing to do with the question, unemployment goes up and the hope of finding a job goes down. As students arrive on the labour market this summer, the problem will get even worse.

Madam Speaker, I repeat: When will the minister present a real economic recovery plan for the outlying regions which suffer more than all other parts of the country?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EMPLOYMENT
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PC

John Horton McDermid (Minister of State (Finance and Privatization))

Progressive Conservative

Hon. John McDermid (Minister of State (Finance and Privatization)):

Madam Speaker, the employment situation is one that we are concerned about.

I am sure the hon. member would be pleased at seeing the reports that came out today. The one from Bums Fry Limited said its leading indicator of Canadian economic activity rose 3.1 per cent, its highest level since March 1990, and that the help wanted index which tends to be an early indicator of new hiring increased by 9.2 per cent in May, the largest increase we have seen in four years.

All the signals are very positive and we feel very confident that as this year progresses we will see improved employment opportunities in Canada.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EMPLOYMENT
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YOUNG OFFENDERS ACT

NDP

Ian Gardiner Waddell

New Democratic Party

Mr. Ian Waddell (Port Moody-Coquitlam):

Madam Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Justice. I see he is back from his campaigning and in his seat among his caucus.

As the minister is aware, we in the NDP believe that society should take tough measures against violent crime, but as a society we must balance this approach by

June 2, 1993

Oral Questions

putting in place a program to prevent crime in the first place.

The minister is aware there was a meeting last week of the provincial attorneys general in Quebec City. I understand they recommended not only a review of the Young Offenders Act but a process that would bring communities together for a discussion of the whole juvenile justice system.

Did the minister receive recommendations from the meeting of the attorneys general? If so, what was his response to them?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   YOUNG OFFENDERS ACT
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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)):

Madam Speaker, at this meeting last Friday I mentioned to my provincial counterparts that we were contemplating different amendments to improve the Young Offenders Act.

Obviously with the time we have before us it would be very difficult to table legislation. However they agree. I suggested that maybe we could table a proposal, a white paper or something similar. I am contemplating this possibility to ensure that Canadians will be capable of making their point and being part of the consultation process. I will make a final decision in a very short time.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   YOUNG OFFENDERS ACT
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NDP

Ian Gardiner Waddell

New Democratic Party

Mr. Ian Waddell (Port Moody-Coquitlam):

Madam Speaker, the minister will know that I rose in the House a month ago and put before him a resolution from the village of Belcarra in my riding of Port Moody-Coquitlam. They called for a public review of the youth justice system, not just a bill but a public review of the youth justice system.

At that time 400 municipalities in Canada had agreed to it. There are 12 more in British Columbia, bringing the total to about 136. There are another 400. Now there are 536 municipalities and the provincial people.

I call upon the minister on behalf of our party to show some leadership on the national level and hold a national, non-partisan inquiry into the youth justice system. Why not announce that now before the end of this Parliament?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   YOUNG OFFENDERS ACT
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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)):

Madam Speaker, my hon. colleague knows that at this very moment in committee I think we have eight justice bills being looked at by parliamentarians here and in the other place.

The proceeds from crime bill will be here in a couple of days. We have the stalking legislation on which some of the member's colleagues are working on a daily basis. We also have the child pornography legislation. We have taken a lot of major steps in the protection of society.

I understand what my colleague is saying about the Young Offenders Act. I think we amended the Young Offenders Act last year. I will make public in a few days what are the intentions of the government in this area. I share with my colleague that this is an ongoing concern in the population and we will address it.

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Subtopic:   YOUNG OFFENDERS ACT
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THE ENVIRONMENT

LIB

Marlene Catterall

Liberal

Mrs. Marlene Catterall (Ottawa West):

Madam Speaker, my question is for the Minister of State for the Environment.

Yesterday environmental groups gave the Minister of the Environment failing grades for breaking the environmental promises made at the earth summit just one year ago. It is a miserable record: no sign of the law to guarantee the safety of Canadian drinking water, no legislation to prohibit the wholesale export of Canadian water, no national plan to freeze greenhouse gas emissions, no action to protect old growth forests and constant cuts to green plan funds.

When will the minister get back to his desk and campaign for his first responsibility, the environment?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE ENVIRONMENT
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PC

Mary Collins (Minister of Western Economic Diversification; Minister responsible for the Status of Women; Minister of State (Environment))

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Mary Collins (Minister of Western Economic Diversification and Minister of State (Environment) and Minister Responsible for the Status of Women):

Madam Speaker, I am really glad my hon. colleague raised that question.

The report the Sierra Club provided was interesting. I actually felt that it really had not done its homework. I do not think it attended the meeting on Monday when our Canadian ambassador for environment and sustainable development, Mr. Campeau, brought out the report card on what we have done on the UNCED follow-up.

June 2, 1993

We have met our commitments. We are the first industrialized country to ratify the climate change convention and the biodiversity convention. We are already implementing both of those and we are developing national plans. We have been the lead in the development of the United Nations Conference on High Seas Fisheries, a very critical component.

One of the most important things which is often forgotten is that the Minister of the Environment, concerned about the dynamics of the UNCED followup, convened a meeting in April bringing together 12 of the environment ministers from around the world representing most of the industrialized countries. From that he has created a real political push to ensure that the meeting of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development to be held in June will indeed be a success.

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Subtopic:   THE ENVIRONMENT
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LIB

Marlene Catterall

Liberal

Mrs. Marlene Catterall (Ottawa West):

Madam Speaker, my supplementary question is for the same minister.

Lots of meetings, lots of press conferences, lots of words and not much action. When the environmental ambassador does what he is supposed to do, he paints a rosy picture of Canada's inaction.

The major piece of environmental legislation of this Parliament, the Environmental Assessment Act, was passed a full year ago and has still not been proclaimed. Now we know that other cabinet ministers are hacking away at the regulations that will put teeth into protecting the environment.

Will the minister please get back to his real job, fight off the ambush from his cabinet colleagues and make sure the Environmental Assessment Act gets proclaimed and not gutted?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE ENVIRONMENT
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PC

Mary Collins (Minister of Western Economic Diversification; Minister responsible for the Status of Women; Minister of State (Environment))

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Mary Collins (Minister of Western Economic Diversification and Minister of State (Environment) and Minister Responsible for the Status of Women):

Madam Speaker, again I am sure my hon. colleague will remember that the bill came back from the Senate with a number of recommendations. It asked that they be implemented before the act was proclaimed.

One is the development of all the regulatory requirements. Doing things in the real way, the open and transparent way, we went through a major consultative process.

Oral Questions

We have just received the report from that stakeholders group and we will be using that. We will be working with colleagues toward the ultimate proclamation of the act and the implementation of the regulations.

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Subtopic:   THE ENVIRONMENT
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Hon. Chas. L. Caccia@Davenport

Madam Speaker, my question is for the same minister.

A year ago at the United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development the Minister of the Environment and the government declared climate change a top priority.

Yesterday environmental groups released a report card giving the government and the minister a D as in dismal on the follow-up to climate change.

Can the minister tell us when Canada will release its detailed national action plan to stop global climate change and explain the delay?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE ENVIRONMENT
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PC

Mary Collins (Minister of Western Economic Diversification; Minister responsible for the Status of Women; Minister of State (Environment))

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Mary Collins (Minister of Western Economic Diversification and Minister of State (Environment) and Minister Responsible for the Status of Women):

Madam Speaker, again perhaps those who prepared the report overlooked some of the tremendous number of activities that we have taken in the past year with respect to the climate change convention.

Not only were we the first country to ratify it but we will also have this month the publication of our first national report on climate change which has come about as a result of multisectoral discussion.

In fact I attended the recent meeting of environment ministers. We are now working with the energy ministers for a plan this fall to ensure that we are working together to achieve our objectives federally and provincially.

Just think of some of the other things we have done: the tree planting program, the energy efficiency program-

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE ENVIRONMENT
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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 think we are getting into a speech. The hon. minister may have the possibility to continue on a supplementary.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE ENVIRONMENT
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June 2, 1993