June 10, 1993

LIB

Ron J. Duhamel

Liberal

Mr. Ronald J. Duhamel (St. Boniface):

Madam Speaker, my question is for the Secretary of State.

Given that the public accounts committee, chaired by my colleague from Ottawa-Vanier, has shown the inadequacy of the current Student Assistance Program, that the 3 per cent tax on student loans should be removed as promised by the government, that the cost of living criteria for student allocations have not been adjusted since 1984, that students will be applying for student aid in August under old rules and an inadequate program, why is the government not bringing forth legislation that will correct these problems in the student aid program?

Why is the government not doing what it has promised to do for years now?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   STUDENT AID
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PC

Monique Landry (Secretary of State of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Monique Landry (Secretary of State of Canada):

Madam Speaker, I think all members of this House will admit that over the years, the Canada Student Loans Program has done what it was supposed to do, which is to help an increasing number of students finish their education.

Oral Questions

In his budget last year, the Minister of Finance announced a complete restructuring of the program in order to focus on two objectives. These were to enhance and increase support for students and thus give them a wider range of opportunities, but always within our budgetary limits. In fact, we are now finalizing the plan. I have had some fairly extensive consultations recently, and I believe that we will soon be able to announce certain improvements.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   STUDENT AID
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LIB

Ron J. Duhamel

Liberal

Mr. Ronald J. Duhamel (St. Boniface):

Madam Speaker, my supplementary is directed to the same minister. Why will the government not introduce this legislation? I do not understand. Is it afraid how the general public will react to the subsidies it will give the banks to manage the Student Loans Program or is the government afraid of the criteria for bank loans as they will be applied to students? Will it cancel the 3 per cent guarantee fee? Why will the government not act? There seems to be no good reason. This plan has been in the works for years.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   STUDENT AID
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PC

Monique Landry (Secretary of State of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Monique Landry (Secretary of State of Canada):

Madam Speaker, the bill is being prepared, the requisite approvals have been given, and our negotiations with the banking community concerned how we would share the risk involved in student loans. Negotiations are at an advanced stage, we are very confident they will soon be finalized. I am sure the hon. member will appreciate the additional flexibility in this program, which will help students plan their week-to-week expenses, and also help those students with special needs. The hon. member will get some very good news shortly.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   STUDENT AID
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CRIME PREVENTION

PC

Louise Feltham

Progressive Conservative

Mrs. Louise Feltham (Wild Rose):

Madam Speaker, two months ago the Minister of Justice held a symposium on community safety and crime prevention. The participants at the symposium called for quick action by the federal government in many areas pertaining to community safety.

I would like to ask the minister what progress he has made in following up on the recommendations made at the symposium.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CRIME PREVENTION
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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, as my hon. colleague knows, the gathering of close to 300 people in Toronto in March

June 10, 1993

Oral Questions

from police forces, provincial governments, and federal departments, plus interest groups of the Elizabeth Fry Society and Bay Street and so on was a great success.

I think this will interest the members on the other side. Twenty-five to 30 people from that group are now working on a national strategy on crime prevention. It is very good to get those people together to help us to define the parameters to improve and to spend in a better way the money we have on crime prevention.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CRIME PREVENTION
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EMPLOYMENT

NDP

Joy Langan (Deputy Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Ms. Joy Langan (Mission-Coquitlam):

Madam Speaker, I have here a copy of a confidential report produced in the winter of 1993 by the International Monetary Fund which I will be happy to table with the House.

This report was done in co-operation with the Minister of Finance and the Governor of the Bank of Canada, Mr. Crow. The report cites a figure of 8.75 per cent as the natural rate of unemployment in this country. This is apparently a figure accepted by this government as a benchmark for Tory economic policy making.

My question is a very simple one for the minister. Can he explain to this House what exactly natural unemployment rate is?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EMPLOYMENT
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PC

Donald Frank Mazankowski (Deputy Prime Minister; Minister of Finance; Vice-President)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Don Mazankowski (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance):

Madam Speaker, I have not seen the document to which the hon. member is referring.

If she wants to send it over to me I will take a look at it and see in what context it is being used. If the hon. member is asking me about the unemployment situation I can tell her very clearly that the current level of unemployment is too high as far as I am concerned.

We are taking every reasonable step possible and available to ensure that that is turned around. It starts with low interest rates, low inflation, getting the fundamentals right and fiscal consolidation along with the kinds of adjustment programs necessary to facilitate the restructuring to ensure that we can continue to be competitive, productive and a major exporting nation.

That is exactly what is happening. That is why we are seeing growth in the goods producing sector and that is why we are going to see jobs and more jobs.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EMPLOYMENT
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NDP

Joy Langan (Deputy Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Ms. Joy Langan (Mission-Coquitlam):

Madam Speaker, I find it fascinating that the Minister of Finance would suggest that he does not know that the current use of the term natural rate of unemployment is that the government is accepting the lowest level that can be expected in Canada.

At a recently held conference hosted by the institute for research on public policy attended by senior government representatives and academics it became clear that the government is comfortable with a natural rate of unemployment in the range of 7 per cent to 8 per cent. The entrenchment of a high rate of unemployment is seen by this government as a good thing to establish its policies and to keep inflation down.

My question is this. How can this government willingly embrace and promote the misery of almost a million unemployed Canadians by establishing a policy that has an 8 per cent unemployment rate being okay? Is it just going to wipe out the unemployment line like it did the poverty line?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EMPLOYMENT
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PC

Donald Frank Mazankowski (Deputy Prime Minister; Minister of Finance; Vice-President)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Don Mazankowski (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance):

Madam Speaker, the hon. member is incorrect in her assumptions.

If she would look at page 40 of the budget that was tabled in April 1993 she would find that we are projecting an unemployment rate of 7.5 per cent average in the period 1995-98.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EMPLOYMENT
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FISHERIES


Mr. Francis G. LeBlanc (Cape Breton Highlands- Canso): Madam Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Fisheries. It is now three weeks since the minister of fisheries announced details of his so-called adjustment measures for Atlantic fishermen and plant workers. These same fishermen and plant workers are still being forced to endure endless and arbitrary delays by this minister and his department in implementing what is already a meagre aid package. June 10, 1993



Fishermen cannot fish. Quotas have been cut by 70 per cent. In the month of May no less than three 10-day closures were imposed in the gulf because of small fish. Many fishermen are in their fourth week without any income. Will the minister finally admit that this situation is a de facto moratorium and come forward now with an appropriate and more substantial aid package?


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):

Madam Speaker, there is no moratorium of course on the fishery in the area that the hon. gentleman mentions. There was an-

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FISHERIES
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LIB
LIB
PC

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

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Crosbie:

The hon. gentleman opposite is not from a fishing area and he does not know what he is talking about.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FISHERIES
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PC

Elmer MacIntosh MacKay (Minister of Public Works)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MacKay:

But he flounders around a lot. Knock him off his perch, John.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FISHERIES
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June 10, 1993