June 15, 1993

LIB

Ronald MacDonald

Liberal

Mr. Ron MacDonald (Dartmouth):

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

For five years the government through its fiscal and transportation policies has driven business away from the port of Halifax causing millions of dollars in traffic and hundreds of jobs to be lost.

Now that the new premier of Nova Scotia, John Savage, has made the competitiveness of the port of Halifax his top priority, will the Minister of Transport do the same and finally address the regressive taxation and transportation policies that have crippled Canada's east coast ports?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PORT OF HALIFAX
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PC

Jean Corbeil (Minister of Transport)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Jean Corbeil (Minister of Transport):

Madam Speaker, I am happy that the new premier has decided to follow the example of the port of Halifax which has put a team together over the past few years which has

June 15, 1993

searched for new business. The future of the port of Halifax is in securing new business for it. All the infrastructure and proper sources are there for it to become successful.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PORT OF HALIFAX
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LIB

Ronald MacDonald

Liberal

Mr. Ron MacDonald (Dartmouth):

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

Yesterday literally the first order of business of the new government and the new premier of Nova Scotia was for he and his senior cabinet to meet with backers of a private sector proposal which could see the port of Halifax develop as the North American entry point for European cargo.

They confirmed however that the major impediment to this project going ahead was the federal government's policies on rail, diesel taxation and depreciation. These are the same problems that have been raised over and over again with this minister in the House but with no response.

Will the minister now finally respond to this issue before this proposal and the hundreds or thousands of jobs that it may create are driven south of the border to the United States?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PORT OF HALIFAX
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PC

Jean Corbeil (Minister of Transport)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Jean Corbeil (Minister of TVansport):

Madam Speaker, before this hon. gentleman talks about taxation he should know that out of $417 million in taxes collected in this country from rails, $75 million is collected by the federal government, $203 million is collected by the different provinces and $139 million is collected by municipalities.

This is a joint effort and everybody should participate. We will be glad to do so too.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PORT OF HALIFAX
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AGRICULTURE

NDP

Raymond John Funk

New Democratic Party

Mr. Ray Funk (Prince Albert-Churchill River):

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

As far as I know until today the disastrous Order in Council removing barley marketing from the exclusive jurisdiction of the Canadian Wheat Board has not been proclaimed.

Since the Alberta election is today and since the vast majority of prairie farmers are still adamantly opposed to the destruction of the most effective grain marketing system in the world, I would like to ask the minister whether the politics of inclusion, which means listening

Oral Questions

to people, being advocated by his choice for Prime Minister means that he will now let this disastrous Order in Council eroding the power of the Canadian Wheat Board die the natural death it deserves?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURE
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PC

Charles James Mayer (Minister of Agriculture)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Charles Mayer (Minister of Agriculture):

Madam Speaker, I do not think what we are doing is eroding the power of the Canadian Wheat Board. All we are doing is giving producers an option to decide what they should do with their own products.

A lot of people were consulted in this process and the hon. member knows that. It has been a very open process going back almost a year and a half. The result was that a committee was struck which included people from all parts of the industry. The committee basically set its own terms of reference, hired its own consultants and came up with its report. Many groups on the prairies certainly support this.

Just to conclude, this is about giving producers a choice and letting the producers themselves decide in their own wisdom what the best way is to market the product they produce.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURE
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NDP

Raymond John Funk

New Democratic Party

Mr. Ray Funk (Prince Albert-Churchill River):

Madam Speaker, it appears obvious that in spite of all the song and dance about change, about renewal and about inclusion that nothing has changed across the aisle. The corporate giants are still in charge of John Diefenbaker's party.

My supplementaiy question is for the same minister, this time in his role as the minister for co-ops. How can he reconcile his role as an advocate for co-operative principles with his recent decisions on the future of the Canadian Wheat Board and the Crow benefit? He knows full well that these institutions are the pillars which four generations of prairie people have built up in order to maintain a degree of control over their livelihoods and their communities.

How can the minister be advocating policies which are undermining and destroying the very basic idea of organizing society co-operatively which he has sworn an oath to defend within this government?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURE
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PC

Charles James Mayer (Minister of Agriculture)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Charles Mayer (Minister of Agriculture):

Madam Speaker, I should remind the hon. member very simply that the original co-operative on the prairies goes back to the Sintaluta trial in 1904. That established the Territorial Grain Growers' Association which is now the United Grain Growers. It operates in all four provinces, including the Peace River part of British Columbia. The United Grain Growers is very supportive of this decision.

Oral Questions

I should also remind him that many members of co-operatives of Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba pools support this.

The hon. member stands up and mixes up some of these things. He knows absolutely nothing about which he is talking. This is a good decision. It is made in the interests of the producers themselves. It lets producers exercise some judgment. That will result in better income for individual producers.

That is what this is about. It gives producers a chance to earn more themselves instead of continually coming to the government for hand-outs. We are in favour of that. The NDP is in favour of making everybody wards of the state. That does not work.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURE
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GIANT YELLOWKNIFE MINES

LIB

Ethel Dorothy Blondin-Andrew

Liberal

Ms. Ethel Blondin-Andrew (Western Arctic):

Madam Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Labour.

For more than a year now the city of Yellowknife has been wreaked by increasing tension, violence and utter frustration and the volatile strike at the Giant mine continues. Because the federal government has full jurisdiction over this situation the people of Yellowknife are forced to wait until the minister decides he is ready to work seriously on resolving this crisis.

What additional action is the minister planning to take to alleviate the residents' agony and to avoid another deadly incident in this strike?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   GIANT YELLOWKNIFE MINES
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PC

Pierre H. Cadieux (Minister of State (Fitness and Amateur Sport); Minister of State (Youth); Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Progressive Conservative Party Deputy House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Pierre H. Cadieux (Minister of State (Fitness and Amateur Sport) and Minister of State (Youth) and Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons):

Madam Speaker, as the hon. member knows the Minister of Labour is out of the House today on government business. He will be in a better position to answer the question on his return.

However, I wish to underline the fact that the Minister of Labour has been very much involved with this particular issue. It is a very difficult and complicated one. As far as I can recall he did everything that could be done at the time, bearing in mind the different legalities involved, et cetera.

I am sure the minister will respond personally to the hon. member when he returns.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   GIANT YELLOWKNIFE MINES
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LIB

Ethel Dorothy Blondin-Andrew

Liberal

Ms. Ethel Blondin-Andrew (Western Arctic):

Madam Speaker, this conflict has been simmering for over one year. The minister has not even been to the city of Yellowknife in that year. People are near the breaking point. Violence is on the rise. Nine lives have been lost and the mediation process has not been as successful as we would have liked to this point.

The minister promised to resolve the conflict six months ago but today, the city of Yellowknife has one strike still unresolved and it is facing another possible strike with the other mine.

Parliament recesses tomorrow. What is this minister going to do?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   GIANT YELLOWKNIFE MINES
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PC

Pierre H. Cadieux (Minister of State (Fitness and Amateur Sport); Minister of State (Youth); Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Progressive Conservative Party Deputy House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Pierre H. Cadieux (Minister of State (Fitness and Amateur Sport) and Minister of State (Youth) and Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons):

Madam Speaker, as I just said the minister will certainly get back to my hon. colleague.

Mediation did not go as well as it was supposed to, I can share that with my hon. colleague. As a former Minister of Labour I did not like it when mediation did not go as well as it should have. Mediation involves parties. The parties have to be willing to mediate. I am sure the minister will give it his full attention on his return.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   GIANT YELLOWKNIFE MINES
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UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE

LIB

Joseph Frank (Joe) Fontana

Liberal

Mr. Joe Fontana (London East):

Madam Speaker, the Minister of Employment and Immigration will know of this case. I brought it to his attention about 10 days ago. It concerns a London woman who was denied unemployment insurance benefits because she served almost nine months on a jury.

Betty McIntosh sat for over nine months on a jury in a murder case. When the trial was over she went back to work for eight weeks and she was laid off. Her only reason for not being employed was that she was on jury duty, yet she has been denied full unemployment insurance benefits.

June 15, 1993

Will the minister stop penalizing a Canadian for fulfilling the civic responsibility of jury duty and extend this woman's UI qualifying period to what she is entitled to?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
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PC

Bernard Valcourt (Minister of Employment and Immigration)

Progressive Conservative

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

Madam Speaker, I hope the hon. member can explain to the person in question that the UI act does not provide for the extension of the unemployment insurance qualifying period when a claimant has been on jury duty.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
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LIB
PC

Bernard Valcourt (Minister of Employment and Immigration)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Valcourt:

If the Grits are so good, why did they not introduce it when they made that provision in the act?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
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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 was under the impression that the hon. member for London East wanted an answer. Maybe we could let the minister answer.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
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June 15, 1993