June 10, 1993

PC

Michael Holcombe Wilson (Minister for International Trade; Minister of Industry, Science and Technology)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Michael Wilson (Minister of Industry, Science and Technology and Minister for International Trade):

Madam Speaker, my hon. friend asked two questions. The answer to the first question on why we are using the GATT negotiations to resolve the questions on subsidies

June 10, 1993

Oral Questions

is that we have seen we can get a greater response from the Americans in the broader context of the Uruguay round than we can in the discussions and negotiations on the FTA.

That is why we are focusing our attention there. If my hon. friend reads the proposals in the Dunkel paper on the Uruguay round negotiations, the GATT negotiations, he will see they are very positive as far as Canada is concerned.

My hon. friend raises a question about the steel industry. The Deputy Prime Minister and I met with steel industry representatives last night. We have agreed on some matters which will be discussed with their representatives. Indeed the representatives of the industry met with officials earlier today to address the problems they have, problems and concerns that we share. We believe we can address this matter much better in a co-operative way as we have agreed last night.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT
Permalink

STEEL INDUSTRY

LIB

Robert (Bob) Speller

Liberal

Mr. Bob Speller (Haldimand-Norfolk):

Madam Speaker, my question is for the same minister. The minister is aware through his meeting yesterday with the Canadian steel industry that the industry is hurting and that it does not have access to the American market.

What immediate action is the minister prepared to take to put Canadian steel workers back to work and to make sure our Canadian steel industry continues to be viable?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   STEEL INDUSTRY
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PC

Michael Holcombe Wilson (Minister for International Trade; Minister of Industry, Science and Technology)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Michael Wilson (Minister of Industry, Science and Technology and Minister for International Tbade):

Madam Speaker, again my hon. friend is demonstrating ignorance of the issues.

My hon. friend is saying that Canadian companies do not have access to the market. What he ignores when he says that is the level of exports, the market share Canadian companies have in the U.S. market, has gone from about 3.25 per cent recently to the 4 per cent to 5 per cent range. There is access. He cannot blame the problems of the steel industry on lack of access.

If he wants to address what the problems of the steel industry are there is a range of issues he can address, many of which are in the hands of the steel industry and the steel unions themselves and not matters that are the responsibility of governments.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   STEEL INDUSTRY
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LIB

Robert (Bob) Speller

Liberal

Mr. Bob Speller (Haldimand-Norfolk):

Madam Speaker, our steel industry is as competitive as any in the world as long as the minister stands up for it.

The minister should be aware that the recent ruling against the Canadian steel interests by his Tory appointed trade tribunal has hurt the Canadian industry. Canada has been known as the dumping ground for steel from all around the world.

Will the minister send a strong message to the international community and to his trade tribunal that Canada will not be a dumping ground for steel from all around the world?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   STEEL INDUSTRY
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PC

Michael Holcombe Wilson (Minister for International Trade; Minister of Industry, Science and Technology)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Michael Wilson (Minister of Industry, Science and Technology and Minister for International TVade):

Madam Speaker, let me make a point about what my hon. friend has just said.

We have been taking as strong a position as we possibly can in representing the steel industry in discussions it has had with the United States and in objectives it has in dealing with the United States market.

The issue my hon. friend has raised relates to a decision by a quasi-judicial board.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   STEEL INDUSTRY
Permalink
LIB
PC

Michael Holcombe Wilson (Minister for International Trade; Minister of Industry, Science and Technology)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Wilson (Etobicoke Centre):

My hon. friend says: "Nonsense". There again is a demonstration of the ignorance of the people on the other side of the House when they ask these questions.

The point is that the decision was taken by an independent quasi-judicial board. My hon. friend may have disagreements with that. The industry may have disagreements with that. The industry can appeal. It is not the position, the role or the possibility for governments to direct that quasi-judicial board on what might or might not be the results of its decisions.

June 10, 1993

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   STEEL INDUSTRY
Permalink

HEALTH CARE

NDP

James Capsey (Jim) Karpoff

New Democratic Party

Mr. Jim Karpoff (Surrey North):

Madam Speaker, my question is for the Deputy Prime Minister.

The Canadian Hospital Association today released a report on health care reform entitled An Open Future, A Shared Vision which clearly states that after eight years of Tory rule the state of Canada's economy is a threat to our health care system and a threat to the health of Canadians. It recognizes the link between unemployment, poverty and poor health.

Both leading contenders for the Tory leadership have supported the government's economic policy and have promised to stay the course.

In view of the report by the Canadian Hospital Association, will the government now change its economic policy and implement a full employment policy as called for by the Leader of the New Democratic Party?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   HEALTH CARE
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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, one of the reasons the leadership candidates are wisely taking the position they are going to stay the course in terms of the government's economic policy is the fact that again today we see the Statistics Canada composite leading indicator rising by .8 per cent. That is the largest increase in two years. That is further testimony to the fact that in the fourth quarter of 1992 we had a gross domestic product growth in real terms of 3.5 per cent and almost 4 per cent in the first quarter of 1993.

What is most encouraging and most important is that this growth is occurring in the goods producing sector, that sector that will generate jobs today and in the future.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   HEALTH CARE
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NDP

James Capsey (Jim) Karpoff

New Democratic Party

Mr. Jim Karpoff (Surrey North):

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

The report by the Canadian Hospital Association states that in order to prevent the Balkanization of our health care system there must be stable federal government funding of health care at a level that will allow the federal government to enforce national standards.

In view of this statement will the government now commit that it will restore the established programs funding for health care?

Oral Questions

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   HEALTH CARE
Permalink
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, as I have indicated in the House many times between the period 1984-85 to 1992-93 transfers to the provinces have grown at a rate of 5.2 per cent per year. That has caused almost a doubling in the amount of transfers made by the federal government to the provinces.

Something in the order of $40.5 billion in cash and tax point transfers will be made to the provinces this year. Even though our program expenditures will grow in real terms at zero or 1.5 per cent nominal, the growth in transfers to the provinces over the next five-year period will be just under 4 per cent. That is clear indication based on past statistics and future projections that the funding will be provided in an orderly and acceptable fashion.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   HEALTH CARE
Permalink
NDP

James Capsey (Jim) Karpoff

New Democratic Party

Mr. Jim Karpoff (Surrey North):

Madam Speaker, because of the cutbacks in federal transfer payments by the government the report outlines a number of alternatives for financing of health care which include direct user charges or, as we would call them, user fees. New Democrats of course will oppose such altering of funding.

Will the Deputy Prime Minister again confirm that in spite of the waffling from the Tory leadership candidates that his government will not allow the provinces to introduce user fees?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   HEALTH CARE
Permalink
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, to reiterate the point that I made earlier, the growth in federal transfers to the provinces has risen from $25.6 billion in 1984-85 to $40.5 billion in 1993-94. It continues to grow at a rate of something just under 4 per cent.

What has to be said here is that most of the stakeholders in the health care sector are suggesting that it is not necessarily a matter of more money, it is a matter of spending the money more effectively and using the resources more effectively and efficiently. That is precisely what the HEAL organization is all about and I suspect is what is really underlying some of the recommendations that are enshrined in this report.

June 10,1993

Oral Questions

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   HEALTH CARE
Permalink

NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT

LIB

Roy MacLaren

Liberal

Hon. Roy MacLaren (Etobicoke North):

Madam Speaker, the government has repeatedly justified pushing NAFTA through Parliament before the negotiation of the side accords on the ground that the agreement would not be altered by the two side accords.

Now the United States has said NAFTA will be "modified" and "interpreted" by the side accords.

Does the minister not agree that this confirms what the Official Opposition has been saying all along, that the United States fully intends to alter NAFTA through the negotiation of the side accords?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT
Permalink
PC

Michael Holcombe Wilson (Minister for International Trade; Minister of Industry, Science and Technology)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Michael Wilson (Minister of Industry, Science and Technology and Minister for International TVade):

Madam Speaker, I am not quite sure to what my hon. friend is referring.

But I can say that time and time again the President of the United States, the President of Mexico, the Prime Minister of Canada, ministers responsible, have all said and agreed on many occasions that there will be no reopening of the NAFTA by any agreement among the three countries. What we signed on December 17 last year is what is being legislated.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT
Permalink
LIB

Roy MacLaren

Liberal

Hon. Roy MacLaren (Etobicoke North):

Madam Speaker, I do not know then what the United States means by the words "modified and interpreted".

Let me ask the minister this. Despite the fact that the negotiation of the two side accords on the environment and labour standards has already reached an impasse, the United States now says it will soon unveil its proposal for a third side accord on import surges, to which the Leader of the Opposition referred just a moment ago.

There is also growing pressure in some areas of Congress for a fourth side agreement on monetary policy co-ordination, whatever that may mean.

Were such issues discussed? Were import surges discussed at the recent Washington meetings? If so, what is the Canadian government's position? Do we oppose the idea of further side agreements on import surges and possibly monetary co-ordination or do we not?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT
Permalink
PC

Michael Holcombe Wilson (Minister for International Trade; Minister of Industry, Science and Technology)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Michael Wilson (Minister of Industry, Science and Technology and Minister for International TVade):

Madam Speaker, let me quote something from Reuters. "If you were to ask me if we've reached an impasse I would say no", said chief U.S. negotiator Rufus Yerxa.

On the question of monetary policy co-ordination, I have never heard of that. That may be something that someone in Congress has floated in the course of some comments on the NAFTA. It has never been a point of discussion and certainly would be a non-starter as far this government is concerned.

On the question of import surges I commented in relation to a question that his leader has put to me. The question of import surges was raised last October. The Americans have some views on it but we agreed that there would be no basis for discussing anything on import surges if it resulted in a reopening of the agreement. Ambassador Kantor has said on a number of occasions he agrees that the matter of import surges is well covered in the NAFTA agreement itself.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT
Permalink

June 10, 1993