June 14, 1993

NDP

David Stupich

New Democratic Party

Mr. David D. Stupich (Nanaimo - Cowichan):

Madam Speaker, it seems to me the minister mentioned a very crucial difference when he says we lost. That is quite different.

We are dealing with an industry with 30,000 employees. One-fifteenth of our production of hogs has been going to the United States. This is going to be a dramatic blow to the farmers producing those hogs.

Does the minister have in mind any changes that can be made within Canada so that we will not lose our access to that American market? There are three more years being studied. At $18 million a year out of sales of $175 million, three times more, that is another $54 million; $72 million in total. The farmers cannot stand that.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   YOUTH EMPLOYMENT
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 Trade):

Madam Speaker, let me point something out to my hon. friend before he throws all sorts of doom and gloom on this whole picture.

Canada has won five of the panel decisions on agrifood issues. In that regard I think my hon. friend would rightly agree with me that the panel system has served the agricultural sector extremely well in this country.

My hon. friend has asked whether there are some changes that should be made. If he has some proposals lo make in that regard, we would be very happy to listen to them, but they obviously have to be consistent with international trade rules.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   YOUTH EMPLOYMENT
Permalink

FISHERIES

LIB

Roger Simmons

Liberal

Hon. Roger C. Simmons (Burin -St. George's):

Madam Speaker, I have a question for my friend, the minister of fisheries.

His fisheries adjustment measures in the gulf have to be a real cruel hoax. The plan does not come anywhere near what is needed there. The criteria are quite unreasonable and discriminatory. Thousands of fishermen and plant workers will not qualify for the compensation. To add insult to injury, because of the bungling of

Oral Questions

the minister and his department nobody even seems to know who qualifies for these measures.

I want to ask the minister: Will he now agree to review the program so it can be delivered quickly and a little more fairly than is the indication right now?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FISHERIES
Permalink
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, this is a program of assistance in areas outside the northern cod area where the situation is quite complicated, where there is no moratorium on the fishery, where the allowable catch levels have had to be reduced because of the state of the stocks, where there is a mixed fishery, where for the most part fishermen do not fish just for groundfish but other species as well.

We are attempting to assist those who are dependent primarily on groundfish. The criteria are not that complicated. The fisherman who got 50 per cent of his landings of fish last year from groundfish stocks is eligible for assistance. We think about 2,000 fishermen will qualify for the assistance. That is about 5 per cent of the 44,000 active inshore fishermen in Atlantic Canada. There are a great many others receiving the northern cod assistance. There will be 5,000 to 5,500 plant workers who are working in plants that receive at least 25 per cent of their throughput in groundfish.

In addition we are reviewing the situation to see if more needs to be done. There is never enough time for fishermen or fisheries. We are reviewing the program to see if any more needs to be done or what more can be done to assist in this complicated situation.

Never in the history of Canada have such large programs of assistance been put in place for the fishermen of Atlantic Canada.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FISHERIES
Permalink
LIB

Roger Simmons

Liberal

Hon. Roger C. Simmons (Burin -St. George's):

Madam Speaker, the minister should talk to his department. He in his own mind may know who qualifies. He may know what the criteria are, but why does he not go and ask his department why it does not have the paperwork done on this? The department is still fumbling around as to what the procedure ought to be.

Tonight at Port-aux-Basques there are going to be community leaders, fishermen and plant workers by the hundreds on the southwest coast of Newfoundland demonstrating against this latest bungled effort of the minister. They are doing so because they have been

June 14, 1993

Oral Questions

victimized by the quota cuts and by the unfairness of the program that the minister has just been talking about. They know that in the end most of them are going to be denied funding assistance under this latest program.

I want to ask the minister when he is going to finally answer their cry. All they are asking for is some help. His latest promise was that he would have this program in place by May 15. Tomorrow is June 15. When is he going to get moving on this one?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FISHERIES
Permalink
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, you will realize that the the hon. member's comments are grossly exaggerated.

Yes, there will doubtless be a demonstration in Port-aux-Basques and there will be demonstrations all over Atlantic Canada as the demonstrators say that the assistance they are getting is inadequate. It was ever thus. If we double the assistance there will be demonstrations saying that the double assistance is not enough. If we quadruple or quintuple it there will be demonstrations to say that the assistance is not enough.

Why does the hon. gentleman not make some constructive suggestion? Why does he not suggest to the provincial Government of Newfoundland and Labrador that it do something to assist. There is no law that stops the provincial governments of Atlantic Canada from assisting. Why do they not supplement our assistance? Why do they not do something about the fish processing industry? Why does the hon. gentleman not turn his attention to the Liberal Government of Newfoundland for failing the people of Newfoundland abysmally?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FISHERIES
Permalink
LIB

Maurice Brydon Foster

Liberal

Mr. Maurice Foster (Algoma):

Madam Speaker, that is a real rant.

My question is for the Minister for International Trade. Last week the government struck out again in its relations with the United States when the United States imposed a countervail duty of $20 per hog for the 1989-90 year. This is going to cost the Canadian pork

producers some $14 million dollars over and above the $4 million which they have already paid.

I want to ask the minister: Is this not simply another failure of the free trade deal? What is the government going to do to stop this constant harassing of Canadian pork producers which has been going on since 1985? What is the minister going to do?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FISHERIES
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, my hon. friend delights in talking about failures. Let us talk about the successes. Let us talk about the fact that agrifood exports are 67 per cent higher under the free trade agreement than was the case before 1989.

Let us talk about the export value of beef cuts being up 127 per cent under the free trade agreement. Let us also talk about the five panel decisions that came down in favour of Canada in the agrifood sector.

These are the things that my hon. friend will never talk about because he does not like success.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FISHERIES
Permalink
LIB

Maurice Brydon Foster

Liberal

Mr. Maurice Foster (Algoma):

Madam Speaker, my supplementary question is for the Minister of Agriculture.

Now that the binational panel has ruled that the tripartite stabilization program is illegal and subject to a countervail duty by United States law-and of course this is only one, it covers beef and many other commodities as well-I want to ask the minister if he is planning to take any action to make sure that stabilization programs by the government are not going to be constantly harassed by the United States as they have been with pork since 1985.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FISHERIES
Permalink
PC

Charles James Mayer (Minister of Agriculture)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Charles Mayer (Minister of Agriculture):

Madam Speaker, we have had some problems with the Americans on national tripartite, but to point out again, we won two panels on live hogs and pork that saw I think over $20 million of refunds to Canadian producers.

I should tell the member that the department has been doing some work with various provinces. We hope that at the federal-provincial meeting coming up in the early part of July we can make some pretty good progress in getting additional commodities to be part of the NISA process as a way of supporting.

June 14, 1993

The prospects for both beef and horticulture are good. The hon. member will know what I am talking about because he has been very involved in this. We appreciate his involvement. Hopefully if we can make the progress we think we can, it will be a much better program for producers. Certainly it will be more in compliance with the international trade rules.

We are making some progress in the area about which he is showing some concern.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FISHERIES
Permalink

SMALL BUSINESS

PC

Louise Feltham

Progressive Conservative

Mrs. Louise Feltham (Wild Rose):

Madam Speaker, my question is addressed to the Minister of State for Small Businesses and Tourism.

We recognize that small business is the greatest creator of new jobs and that many small businesses have expressed concerns about the availability of funds under the Small Businesses Loans Act.

My question for the minister is this. What assurances has he received from Canadian banks that they will promote the Small Businesses Loans Act and help small business to obtain the financing it needs to create jobs?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   SMALL BUSINESS
Permalink
PC

Thomas Hockin (Minister for Science; Minister of State (Small Businesses and Tourism))

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Tom Hockin (Minister for Science and Minister of State (Small Businesses and Tourism)):

Madam Speaker, what a fine question that is.

It is relevant because she knows that 85 per cent of all new jobs created in Canada have been created by small business. It is the engine of the economy.

I want to tell her what happened last week. I met with the banks to ask them what they were doing to promote the Small Businesses Loans Act. They indicate that all their branches are fully trained now. They have their brochures out. The Government of Canada will have a stuffer in its national revenue mailings.

More important than that, in April registrations under the act were up 47 per cent over the previous year. In May they were up 88 per cent over the previous year. The banks now predict they are going to do over $1 billion more business under the SBLA this year than they did last year.

Oral Questions

This program is working extremely well. It is a strategic and effective way to stimulate the economy through the small business sector.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   SMALL BUSINESS
Permalink

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE

NDP

Steve Butland

New Democratic Party

Mr. Steve Butland (Sault Ste. Marie):

Madam Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Employment and Immigration. It concerns the subject of UI appeals.

I have an example of many thousands across the country. A group of workers at a local paper mill in my constituency won an appeal at the board of referees recently. The government has decided to appeal this positive decision, thus suspending the benefits for the workers.

We are not surprised with the actions of the government but we are surprised that the appeal at the umpire will be held in two to three years. Was the minister aware of the delays? If so, does he accept them? If not, what is he going to do to clear up the backlog?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Permalink
PC

Bernard Valcourt (Minister of Employment and Immigration)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Bernard Valcourt (Minister of Employment and Immigration):

Madam Speaker, the hon. member refers to a government decision.

We had a very long meeting to decide whether or not to appeal it. The hon. member is trying to picture this as something out of the usual course of administration of the UI act.

The question of delays will be addressed because contrary to what members argued when we tried to reform the UI act a few years ago and most recently in Bill C-113, the number of cases being appealed is not actually increasing as was predicted would happen. The early numbers indicate a drop in appeals. That should result in fewer delays for appeals.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Permalink
NDP

Steve Butland

New Democratic Party

Mr. Steve Butland (Sault Ste. Marie):

Madam Speaker, I have a supplementary question.

I am glad the minister paid particular attention to this appeal. He is likely aware there are 4,358 cases waiting to be heard across Canada at the umpire level. Earlier this year the minister stated: "The vast majority of cases are being dealt with expeditiously and within a reasonable length of time".

June 14, 1993

Oral Questions

We had a labour dispute at Algoma Steel in 1990 and the appeal may be heard in October 1993. How can the minister possibly defend a backlog of three years and 4,358 cases?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Permalink
PC

Bernard Valcourt (Minister of Employment and Immigration)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Bernard Valcourt (Minister of Employment and Immigration):

Madam Speaker, Canadians should know that a little over 3,000 cases-

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Permalink
?

Some hon. members:

Four thousand cases.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Permalink

June 14, 1993