June 4, 1993

FORESTRY

NDP

Brian L. Gardiner

New Democratic Party

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

Madam Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Forestry. It relates to a decision made by the government in the recent budget to allow forest agreements between the federal government and the provinces to expire once those agreements have run out.

The minister will know from previous statements in the House and other comments on the record that the government had at one time viewed these agreements as an excellent demonstration of effective co-operation between the federal and provincial governments, which have joined with the forest industry and private forest managers to work toward a more economic wood supply, along with providing very important funding for work in replanting, silviculture work, research and the management of woodlots.

June 4. 1993

My question to the minister is this. Will the minister and the government reconsider the decision of the Minister of Finance to allow the forest agreements to expire?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FORESTRY
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PC

Frank Oberle (Minister of Forestry)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Frank Oberle (Minister of Forestry):

Madam Speaker, my hon. friend is right; these agreement did all of the things that the hon. member mentioned.

The fact of the matter is that our needs change, society's needs change, and new arrangements need to be made to satisfy both Canada's public need and the obligations that we have internationally.

The ministers of forestry and the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers are not surprised at this decision because we have been working over the last few years and have designed a more legitimate role for the federal government in forestry, one through which we can make much longer term commitments.

The model forest program for instance is an indication of what the future role of the federal government will be in this area, with increased research and science related activities and it is in these areas that the public demands our activities.

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Subtopic:   FORESTRY
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NDP

Brian L. Gardiner

New Democratic Party

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

Madam Speaker, my supplementary is for the same minister.

The minister and other members of the government will know that the former President of the Treasury Board has conducted, as we understand it from news reports, a detailed internal review of the make-up of the Government of Canada. Some of the leadership contenders from the government side are talking about scaling back the federal cabinet.

I wonder if the minister would have any advice for us as to whether there will be a Minister of Forestry in the future. Does he support keeping the job he has now at least for a short period of time and will there be a cabinet post to protect one of Canada's most important resources in the future?

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Subtopic:   FORESTRY
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PC

Frank Oberle (Minister of Forestry)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Frank Oberle (Minister of Forestry):

Madam Speaker, obviously I cannot predict what a future Prime Minister will do in terms of responding to the clear demands of society to streamline, modernize, and rationalize the operations of government in the same way

Oral Questions

that the private sector and other institutions need to be adjusted to meet modern demands.

The hon. member ought to look at the record of this government over the last eight years in terms of what it has accomplished in forestry, the new national forest strategy, the Canada forest accord, the model forests program, all of these great institutions that have made this department indispensable in terms of how the federal government discharges its obligations. That would give him an indication of where we might be moving in the future.

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Subtopic:   FORESTRY
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DISABLED PERSONS

PC

Bruce Halliday

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bruce Halliday (Oxford):

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

This being National Access Awareness Week it is important we note that one of the greatest obstacles disabled Canadians face is the availability of accessible transportation whether for employment or for recreational activities. It has been a major concern of the Standing Committee on Human Rights and the Status of Disabled Persons.

I would like to ask the minister whether she or the government have had any success in providing assistance to our struggling transportation industries in trying to make accessible transportation more available to disabled Canadians.

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Subtopic:   DISABLED PERSONS
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PC

Shirley Martin (Minister of State (Transport))

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Shirley Martin (Minister of State (Transport)):

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member and the members of all parties who served on this committee for the outstanding work they have done to make life easier for disabled people in Canada.

Certainly within the transportation industry we have made big strides in the last year under the national strategy that was announced by the Prime Minister in 1991.

Just yesterday at Ottawa airport I was able to announce the contribution of $120,000 to Air Canada to provide loading bridges not only at Ottawa but at Moncton, Vancouver and Calgary along with the regional airlines to allow a dignified access to small aircraft.

At the same time there was another $98,000 given to Thrifty Car Rental and to Hertz Rent A Car in Ottawa to provide hand controls and accessible vehicles for wheelchairs.

June 4, 1993

Oral Questions

These are taking place right across the country and I am pleased with the co-operation we have had from the airlines, even under difficult times, to make sure that transportation is better.

There is one disappointment I do have if I may just take this one minute. The national press has not focused on any of the work that has been done in this area, so that those people who are not able to leave their homes are able to see what is available for them and that the world and certainly Canada has opened up to allow them to travel.

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Subtopic:   DISABLED PERSONS
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GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS

LIB

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

Liberal

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

Madam Speaker, my question is for the government House leader and it relates to the issue raised by the member for Humber-St. Barbe-Baie Verte.

A few moments ago the minister refused to answer the question in regard to the statement of the Minister of the Environment yesterday who said "the people working on our campaign are not on the government payroll as is the case from what I understand for those who are working on other campaigns".

The next statement was the following: "Mr. Charest did not say which of his opponents he was referring to". In other words, which of his opponents was cheating taxpayers.

The minister has to answer the following questions: Has he been made aware of the charges made by the Minister of the Environment? What is he doing to protect the taxpayers as is his duty as Acting Prime Minister today?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS
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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, I did answer the question, if the hon. member had chosen to listen. He knows full well that the rules of the Progressive Conservative Party, as set down by the Prime Minister, are very clear. Nobody shall work on a campaign during the time they are being paid to work for the government in any capacity. He knows those are the rules.

I would ask the hon. member, since he stood up in the House with his colleague from Newfoundland and slandered Mr. David Small and Mr. Tim Ralfe, whether he would have the decency to stand up and apologize for those slanders.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS
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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 will let you decide whether the minister can make that claim of slander without any backing to make that charge against another member of the House. You may do that at the appropriate time.

Right now the minister has to answer, not about accusations I made but accusations made by the Minister of the Environment, accusations that he refused to elaborate upon when he was asked to do so by Andre Picard of the Quebec bureau of The Globe and Mail.

Will the minister now finally answer the question that has been asked here today? Will he tell us what he intends to do to find out from the Minister of the Environment who the Minister of the Environment was referring to about the breach of the rules and about the fact that people on government payroll, according to him, were bankrolling campaigns of other Conservative candidates? Will he answer that question?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS
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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, to begin with I would suggest that the hon. member reread what was said. It was not the Minister of the Environment who made that statement, it was Andre Picard.

The reality is, and particularly with respect to this leadership campaign, that which is written by reporters is sometimes a significant departure from what in fact actually happened.

I would ask the hon. member again, if he is suggesting that the allegations that he and his colleague made in respect to Mr. Small and Mr. Ralfe are substantiated and he believes them to be true, to make those allegations and take the traditional posture that if he turns out to be wrong in his allegations he will do what tradition requires and resign his seat.

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Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS
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FOREIGN AID

?

Hon. Chas. L. Caccia@Davenport

Madam Speaker, my question is for the Minister of External Relations.

June 4, 1993

Privilege

As we all know, if the global environment is to be protected, poverty in the developing world must be reduced. One year ago in Rio at the earth summit this government made a commitment to provide additional funds to the Third World.

How is it possible for Canada to do that if it is cutting its foreign aid?

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Subtopic:   FOREIGN AID
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PC

Monique Vézina (Minister for External Relations; Minister responsible for La Francophonie; Minister of State (Seniors))

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Monique Vezina (Minister of External Relations and Minister of State (Seniors)):

Madam Speaker, CIDA continues and is determined to pursue and actively support the program approved at the Rio summit. The environmental guidelines for sustainable development published in 1992 have been observed in all CIDA programs.

I also wish to confirm here in the House that sustainable development, as a fully integrated policy component, is a priority and indeed a requirement in all our international development assistance programs.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FOREIGN AID
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?

Hon. Chas. L. Caccia@Davenport

Madam Speaker, the minister has difficulty in dealing with my question.

In an op-ed article today in The Globe and Mail the minister herself praises her foreign aid policy program but does not mention the poor nations.

The question therefore is this: Is it still this government's goal to help the poorest countries as promised in her department document Sharing Our Future! How does the minister explain the cancellation of aid to Ethiopia, Madagascar, Burundi, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania?

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Subtopic:   FOREIGN AID
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PC

Monique Vézina (Minister for External Relations; Minister responsible for La Francophonie; Minister of State (Seniors))

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Monique Vezina (Minister of External Relations and Minister of State (Seniors)):

Madam Speaker, as we have repeated time and time again since December last year, there were some difficult decisions to make, following the cuts in funding for international development assistance. We have maintained our government priorities, including, of course, aid to the poorest nations.

Through our programs we are maintaining our support for the poorest nations, who need the assistance of the Canadian government. We have set up special programs under which these nations can request assistance. These include environmental programs and programs with an economic and commercial framework.

Very briefly, Madam Speaker, the government is meeting its commitments, protecting sustainable development and helping the poorest countries throughout the world.

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Subtopic:   FOREIGN AID
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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 have received notice of a question of privilege.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FOREIGN AID
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PRIVILEGE

June 4, 1993