February 8, 1994

LIB

Doug Peters

Liberal

Hon. Douglas Peters (Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions))

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 83(1), I wish to table two notices of ways and means motions.

The first respects amendments to the Excise Act, the Excise Tax Act and the Income Tax Act. The second respects amendments to the Excise Tax Act.

I ask that an order of the day be designated for consideration of each motion.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Ways And Means
Permalink
LIB

Jean Chrétien

Liberal

Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister)

Mr. Speaker, it has been almost 100 days since the government took office.

We have established a clear approach of being straight with Canadians, of facing difficult problems head on and dealing with them decisively. That is what we intend to do today. We intend to deal with smuggling and to take steps to re-establish the rule of law. A civilized society requires that the rule of law be respected, that it be enforced and that it apply equally to all citizens.

We are confronted today with a very serious problem which is not limited to tobacco smuggling alone. I want to take a few minutes to explain the magnitude of the problem, to discuss the options and to tell Canadians why we have come to the conclusions we have reached.

Many Canadians in the past days and weeks have been discussing among themselves the whole issue of smuggling and in particular the consequences of cigarette smuggling. I think it is fair to say that no one can be certain of the right approach. We all have doubts about any course of action. We are dealing with a very complex problem of law enforcement and organized crime, with health issues, with federal-provincial relations, even with relations with aboriginal peoples.

This is not an issue of left or right, or English or French, or aboriginal or non-aboriginal. This is an issue in which there is no absolute right answer and no absolute wrong answer.

Governing is supposed to be the art of the possible. What I am announcing this morning is what this government believes is the best possible solution to an almost impossible problem. Let me explain.

Many Canadians and many members of the House may not realize how deep rooted and far reaching the contraband tobacco trade has become. This is a problem that has grown over several years. There was a question asked in the House of Commons in 1990 by the member for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell about this problem. Almost four years later we are still faced with the problem.

This problem has grown over several years. It is no longer a regional problem confined to specific communities and areas. It is now a national problem requiring a national solution.

At first the smuggling was just in Quebec and some Atlantic provinces. It has now spread to Ontario in which 35 per cent of cigarettes sold are now contraband. It is growing in western Canada. It has a foothold in virtually every part of the country and is spreading at an alarming rate.

Let us consider the facts. Illegal tobacco now accounts for about 40 per cent of the $12.4 billion Canadian tobacco market. Organized crime now controls up to 95 per cent of the contraband tobacco entering the country. More than two million Canadians are purchasing this contraband.

More than $1 billion in federal tobacco tax revenues and $1 billion in provincial revenues were lost in 1993. These losses will climb steadily if action is not taken, and the social costs in terms of increased crime and violence in loss of business to law abiding merchants and in lawlessness are considerable and growing.

As the portion of the Canadian market supplied by smuggled tobacco has increased, the average price paid for cigarettes has dropped. Access to cheap contraband tobacco undermines the government's health policy objectives to reduce tobacco consumption, particularly among youth.

I want to stress this last point. The issue is not how to keep prices high so that young people do not smoke. The issue is how to keep cheap contraband cigarettes out of the hands of young people. Quite frankly that is the great dilemma we all face today.

The organized crime networks that control 95 per cent of the tobacco smuggling also supply and distribute smuggled liquor, firearms and drugs. It is essential that we take strong steps to dismantle these organized crime networks. That is what we are going to do starting today.

Our actions today are aimed at these gangs. They are aimed at the tobacco companies that have benefited from this illegal trade and that also bear responsibility. They are aimed at the breakdown in respect for the law that this trade creates. This breakdown cannot and will not be tolerated.

I say to those Canadians who buy smuggled goods, I know they must be frustrated with taxes. They should stop a minute and think of what they are doing when they buy contraband tobacco. They might think it is a victimless crime. That is a myth. When they buy contraband cartons of cigarettes they are not just saving a few dollars for themselves. They are directly supporting organized crime. Every time they light up they are supporting gangs that have committed murders and car bombings, that are smuggling illegal drugs into Canada, that are terrorizing entire communities.

If they do not like some of the things their tax dollars get wasted on, they should think of the investment they make in buying illegal tobacco. They should think of the decent, honest business men and women they are pushing out of business. They should think of the revenues that are not available to the government for health and social services. They should think of the consequences of their actions and they will understand why the government will not allow some Canadians to take the law into their own hands.

We will not allow this breakdown of respect for the law to continue. That is why I am announcing a four point action plan to combat smuggling. The four elements of this action plan are an enforcement crackdown, a reduction of consumer taxes on tobacco, special action on tobacco manufacturers and the most intensive anti-smoking campaign in Canadian history.

As I speak, the RCMP is dramatically stepping up enforcement, particularly at key spots along the Canada-U.S. border. The government will substantially increase RCMP and Customs personnel dedicated to fighting smuggling. Along with these resources are new strategies to crack down on organized smuggling groups and to increase surveillance of these groups.

The Department of Justice will increase prosecutions, and make full use of proceeds of crime legislation. The RCMP and other enforcement agencies will focus their resources on the major player controlling smuggling: organized crime.

This enforcement will be applied everywhere-and anywhere-there is illegal smuggling activity. There will be no refuge for criminals. "No go" areas are not acceptable in Canada.

There will be no "no go" zone in Canada.

This is one country with one set of laws that applies to all citizens and in all communities. Increased pressure on criminals in the contraband trade will succeed in disrupting illegal trade in alcohol, drugs and firearms, as well as tobacco. But this is only part of the answer.

While we will put great effort into enforcement we also need to weaken the market for smuggled tobacco products. At present the demand is high and so are profits: $500 for a case of contraband cigarettes, half a million dollars or more for a truckload. We need to change this. Nothing would please me more than to be able to address the problem simply through law enforcement combined with an export tax.

The best advice the government can get is that law enforcement and an export tax alone is simply insufficient to curb the growth in smuggling activities. It is advice that I accept with great reluctance. If the House agrees I would like to table the letter of the commissioner of the RCMP, addressed to me, and ask that it be printed as part of today's Hansard . In his letter the commissioner said very clearly to me that if we want to resolve this problem in short order we have to do this. With the permission of the House I would like to table a copy of this letter so that it can be printed in Hansard .

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Tobacco Products
Permalink
?

The Speaker

Is it agreed that this letter be printed?

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Tobacco Products
Permalink
?

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Tobacco Products
Permalink
LIB

Jean Chrétien

Liberal

Mr. Chrétien (Saint-Maurice)

Therefore, much as we may all regret the necessity of lowering cigarette taxes, we must do so at least until we have put the smuggling networks out of business. Then we will be able to restore the appropriate level of taxation that the situation needs.

We have taken steps today to immediately lower the federal excise tax by $5 a carton. We have also informed the provinces that we will match dollar for dollar any reduction they make above $5. The total federal reduction will not exceed $10 per carton.

The provinces will be able to choose their own rate of participation. Of course, the largest reduction in taxes will occur in provinces where the problem is most severe.

The cost to the federal government is significant. Smuggling has steadily eroded federal revenues each year for the last three years. The best estimate of the Department of Finance is that today's tax cuts will reduce revenues in fiscal year 1994-95 by approximately $300 million.

But this action, combined with the enforcement measures planned, will stop this tax revenue erosion and stabilize the contribution which tobacco taxation makes to the federal treasury, and eventually to restore an effective taxation level to help discourage smoking. In the short term we will no doubt lose revenue.

The cost of inaction will be much higher. Federal and provincial governments will continue to lose huge and growing amounts of revenue. We will have lost more than the money I indicated we are losing anyway and, of course, organized crime will flourish.

We do not want tobacco manufacturers to receive any benefit from the difficult decision we have made today. The fact is the that Canadian manufacturers have benefited directly from this illegal trade. They have known perfectly well that their tobacco exports to the United States have been re-entering Canada illegally. I believe they have not acted responsibly.

It is going to end now with taxation and regulatory measures. The government is imposing immediately an export tax of $8 per carton on Canadian tobacco exports. This export tax reflects the fact that 80 per cent of cigarettes being sold on the black market are Canadian cigarettes that were manufactured for export. The new export tax will work to reduce the profitability of tobacco smuggling.

We are imposing, effective immediately, a substantial increase in corporate taxes on Canadian tobacco manufacturers. We are imposing a three-year health promotion surtax on tobacco manufacturing profits. The surtax will increase the federal tax rate on manufacturing and processing tobacco products from 21 per cent to 30 per cent. Companies will pay 40 per cent more federal tax on manufacturing profits than they have in the past and the federal government will receive up to $200 million in extra revenue over the three years.

The money generated by this surtax will fund the largest anti-smoking campaign this country has ever seen.

The government will also require manufacturers to clearly mark their cigarettes to distinguish those for domestic use from those for export use. This will greatly help our enforcement efforts because smuggled cigarettes will be easily recognizable.

It is quite simple: if people smoke legal cigarettes in Canada, every one around them will be able to tell they are smoking legal cigarettes. I think that, once the distinction between legal and illegal cigarettes has become obvious, many people will prefer to be seen smoking legal cigarettes rather than illegal ones, and smuggling will decrease accordingly.

Through legislation, regulation and education, the government will take action to discourage Canadians, especially children, from taking up smoking or continuing to use tobacco products.

For years the government's policy of forcing up the price of tobacco through taxes resulted-it did-in a steady decline in the number of Canadians who smoke. It was particularly effective at keeping young people from starting.

But the fact is that today cheap, contraband cigarettes are readily available to Canadians everywhere. Under such circumstances, controls on the distribution, sale and consumption of cigarettes are useless.

The government recognizes that lower taxes and therefore lower prices for legally purchased cigarettes may prompt some people, particularly young Canadians, to smoke more.

That is why the government will take strong action to discourage smoking, including legislated and regulatory changes to ban the manufacture of kiddie packs targeted at young buyers, raise the legal age for purchasing cigarettes, increase fines for the sale of cigarettes to minors, drastically restrict the locations for vending machines, and make health warnings on tobacco packaging more effective.

We will also examine the feasibility of requiring plain packaging of cigarettes and will also ask the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health to make recommendations in this area.

We are also launching immediately a comprehensive public education campaign including a national media campaign to make young people aware of the harmful effects of smoking; new efforts to reach families, new parents and others who serve as role models for children; support of school education programs; increased efforts to reach young women who are starting

to smoke; and new approaches for reaching groups who have not responded to earlier campaigns.

We are determined through the four point national plan I have outlined today to eliminate smuggling as a significant national problem. Even more, this program will help restore respect for the laws of the land, will help restore safety in our border communities and will help destroy smuggling rings.

I will be honest with Canadians. This has not been an easy decision for the government or for me. I know it is not a perfect solution but, more important, I know there is no perfect solution. We have come up with a fair, workable, decisive action plan. I am convinced it is the right thing to do.

I ask members of the House and all other Canadians for their help and support. It is our responsibility to end this unacceptable situation that is destroying all the values in our land. Three or four years of tolerance of smuggling and people defying the law is unacceptable. We have to restore order and respect in our land. This is what we have decided to do and we shall succeed.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Tobacco Products
Permalink
BQ

Michel Gauthier

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Michel Gauthier (Roberval)

Mr. Speaker, I will start by apologizing for the absence of the leader of the opposition, who had a previous engagement in Montreal North, made more than two months ago, while we only had a 24-hour notice of the Prime Minister's statement.

I would also like to say that I deplore the government's lack of courtesy, considering that for the past three weeks, it was the Official Opposition that moved this issue along, patiently asking question after question, day in day out, to make the government and the Prime Minister realize there was a problem.

I may add that despite our contribution, the government gave us only 24 hours notice that there would be a statement, ordering a briefing session behind closed doors at 9 a.m. today. Our members did not come out of the lockup until 10 a.m., when the Prime Minister started his statement in the House. Obviously, we would have liked to examine carefully every aspect of the action plan announced by the Prime Minister. We would have liked to provide a thorough analysis-based on the figures-of each of these measures, because there are measures that would require further study.

At this stage, we cannot do much more than give our impressions of several aspects of the plan. I may recall that three weeks ago, in response to our first questions in this House, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance said that the tax on cigarettes would not be changed. Three weeks ago, the Prime Minister told us that the RCMP was doing its job and was doing it very well. It was arresting all smugglers, and if the opposition had any names, it should say so. Three weeks ago, the Prime Minister told us that the law was being enforced throughout Canadian territory, without any problems.

Today, the government said, basically, that there is a problem with cigarette smuggling. The law is not fully enforced throughout Canadian territory, and so far the RCMP has not been able to prevent these unlawful sales of cigarettes and tobacco. That is what we heard this morning. Today the Prime Minister hit the jackpot, after three weeks of making what proved to be totally inaccurate statements.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Tobacco Products
Permalink
?

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Tobacco Products
Permalink
BQ

Michel Gauthier

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Gauthier (Roberval)

Mr. Speaker, we are sceptical, because the Prime Minister says that from now on the law will be enforced throughout this country, no exceptions.

The RCMP's has figures that both confirm and emphasize the figures of the Official Opposition, according to which in 1993, only one per cent of contraband cigarettes were seized by their officers. I repeat, one per cent, while today we heard, as we were told in the lock-up, that 70 to 75 per cent of this unlawful trade was being carried on through Mohawk territory in southern Quebec and southern Ontario. Seventy-five per cent of this trade is carried on in those territories. So far, the RCMP has been unable to improve its score of one per cent interception, and today we are told that 350 additional officers should be able to deal with the matter.

It may be a significant improvement, but there are a number of very serious questions that have yet to be resolved. We have chiefs of Amerindian nations and the Mohawks saying they have arms on the reserves and that any police intervention might cause a blood bath. It might lead them to use the illegal weapons now on the reserves. The question that I should be asking the Prime Minister, and one that will most certainly be put to him, is this: Good God, what means does the RCMP have now that it did not have before to intervene and intercept the remaining 99 per cent of smugglers who conduct their business virtually in broad daylight? Is it that it lacks the means to intervene or does it fear reprisals from persons who are illegally armed?

The Prime Minister informs us that an $8 export tax will be imposed on each carton of cigarettes. I will remind you that a similar tax was introduced in 1992, only to be withdrawn two or three months later because it proved to be completely ineffective. Why could the government not come up with a more original solution that simply to reintroduce a tax that only a short while ago proved to be totally unworkable, inadequate and unenforceable?

In addition, the government has stated forcefully that tobacco manufacturers would be hit with a surtax in order to finance a health promotion campaign. We fully endorse a health campaign. However, what the Prime Minister has failed to say is that there is a danger that the first chance they get, manufacturers will pass on the cost of the surtax to consumers through a price increase. Has the Prime Minister received any assurances that the surtax to be paid by tobacco manufacturers will not, at some point, be passed on to Quebec or Canadian consumers? The Prime Minister was silent on this matter and the whole issue remains unresolved.

Does the Prime Minister not realize that these two measures, namely an export tax and a surtax on tobacco manufacturers, could drive jobs out of Canada. Manufacturers could be inclined to produce the same quality of cigarettes somewhere else where they would not have to pay the surtax or the export tax. Does he not see the danger not only of failing to take highly effective means to get to the root of the problem, but also of driving our manufacturers out of the country? Has the Prime Minister received assurances that manufacturers will go along with this measure, stay here in Canada and pay taxes to finance the health promotion campaign? This question too remains unanswered.

Is there not some risk that the refusal of the other provincial governments to participate in the Prime Minister's action plan will create a serious problem elsewhere than in Quebec? Is there not some risk that the smuggling network, the contraband activity and the illegal sale of cigarettes will move to southern Ontario and to other Canadian provinces since measures will be in place in Quebec to curb this illegal activity? Has the Prime Minister made provision for a mechanism which would ensure that the problem is simply not shifted elsewhere? I remind him that his government would then also be responsible for the illegal cigarette trade outside Quebec. His government would then have to take measures that would be applied everywhere in Canada.

In conclusion, I would simply like to say that the Prime Minister's action plan will have a limited effect. First, only Quebec has agreed so far to come on board. Second, the plan would drive away well paid jobs in the tobacco manufacturing sector. Third, it is not likely that the RCMP will succeed in properly controlling the contraband tobacco trade which is taking place mainly on native reserves. I remind you that thus far, the RCMP's success rate in this area is one per cent. Fourth, I want to say that the opposition supports the anti-smoking measures which have been announced.

We are pleased to see that the questions we raised in this House and the work we have done on this side to compel the Minister of Health to assume her responsibilities have prompted the Prime Minister to include a health promotion component in his action plan. This concludes our comments at this time. However, we will very likely come back to this subject because in our opinion, the government has been trying for three weeks to hide the truth. Now that it has its back against the wall, it proposes solutions that are a long way from being the most effective. A more comprehensive analysis of the situation would have been in order.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Tobacco Products
Permalink
REF

Preston Manning

Reform

Mr. Preston Manning (Calgary Southwest)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by commending the government for its response to, as the Prime Minister said, a very complex problem and also to thank the government for the briefing provided to us earlier today on the details.

Our understanding of the government's program is that it consists really of four components: first, a stronger enforcement of the laws against smuggling; second, a stronger anti-smoking educational campaign to be financed by a surtax on tobacco company profits; third, an export tax on tobacco exports; and, fourth, the reduction of federal taxes on cigarettes consumed in Canada.

Our initial response to this program is this. First, we commend the government on its program but want to point out one missing element in the presentation the Prime Minister made this morning and in the briefing package presented to us. That is a detailed estimate of the cost of the program. How much is it going to cost? Who is going to pick up the tab?

Our understanding in going through the material is that the net impact of the tax changes is in the vicinity of about $300 million a year. It is my understanding that the implementation of the other parts of the package are probably in the vicinity of about $150 million per year. Therefore we are talking about a package of about half a billion dollars net cost per year.

I would like to encourage the Prime Minister and the finance minister that when these programs are presented to the House, no matter what their merits, that they be accompanied by a more detailed presentation of the cost implications because of the financial situation that the government is in.

We find ourselves in support of about three-quarters of the government's program, three of the four major items. We find ourselves supportive of stronger enforcement of the laws against smuggling, supportive of the stronger anti-smoking educational campaign and supportive of the concept of reinstating the export tax on tobacco exports.

I do have to tell the government that the majority of our members believe the majority of their constituents are not convinced at this point in time of the wisdom and viabilityof the

fourth point in the government's program, namely the reduction in federal taxes on cigarettes consumed in Canada.

We share the concern of many of the health groups that tax reduction will encourage smoking. We recognize this proposal is not yet supported by a majority of the provinces which is necessary to affect the differential between the price of cigarettes in the United States and in Canada.

We question the reduction is really sufficient, particularly without full provincial co-operation to deter smuggling activity. We assume the revenues lost through the tax reduction will be compensated through tax increases in other areas. We would very much like to know what those tax increases are and who will be paying them.

We recognize that the tobacco tax issue is becoming, as the Prime Minister said, more than a tax issue. It is becoming a justice issue. It is becoming a social issue. It is becoming an aboriginal issue. It is becoming an issue of interprovincial relations, but at the root of it is overspending that leads to overtaxation in the first place and all these side issues.

We believe the House and the government have yet to deal with the root of the problem which is the overspending. We expect and hope that will be dealt with in the budget presentation in a couple of weeks.

The Reform caucus will be reviewing the government's program in detail tomorrow morning and we hope to have further contributions in the days ahead.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Tobacco Products
Permalink
NDP

Audrey McLaughlin

New Democratic Party

Hon. Audrey McLaughlin (Yukon)

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I wonder if I might seek unanimous consent of the House to make a very brief response to the Prime Minister's statement on behalf of my party.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Tobacco Products
Permalink
?

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Tobacco Products
Permalink
NDP

Audrey McLaughlin

New Democratic Party

Ms. McLaughlin

The New Democratic Party knows that smuggling is a very complicated problem. It is not a very effective way of solving the problem, but I have a few comments concerning the government's plan.

The first point I would like to make in response to the statement of the Prime Minister is that while we recognize this is a very complicated problem, we think it is based on several assumptions.

One assumption is that this is a problem related only to cigarettes and tobacco products. It is clear, as we heard from the alcohol manufacturers, that they are gearing up their campaign for similar treatment. It seems to me this is a very slippery slope, reducing the tax on cigarettes, the government has embarked upon without a full framework of all the ramifications on other products as well.

The assumption that this issue will be dealt with is a major assumption indeed since there are other products, other manufacturers, other issues that are going to be affected very quickly. The government should in my view have brought in a plan which would deal with the whole issue and all the products that might be included.

Second, this was not a plan developed in conjunction with the provinces and the territories in a way that there could be a coherent plan across the country. Clearly, if provinces set different tax rates, we are going to see that there will be a similar problem between and among provinces.

I want to say that we are very much in favour of the export tax and the surtax proposed by the government. We are not in favour of lowering taxes on cigarette products. However, it is based on the assumption that the cigarette manufacturers will not raise their prices to compensate for the increased tax. I just raise that as a problem.

The third point I would like to make is on enforcement. Our party very strongly believes there needs to be increased enforcement both for those who buy contraband products and those who sell them. However, the government will know there has been a significant reduction in financial resources both to the RCMP and to customs officers. The question this raises is: What is the capacity of the RCMP and customs officers with the reductions in their own budgets that they have felt over the last few years? What is their capacity?

We oppose the reduction of taxes on cigarettes because this is not within the framework of a full plan. Clearly the statistics on health and, as the Prime Minister mentioned, young people are clear. The higher cost has resulted in a reduction of the use of tobacco products. There are over 37,000 Canadians a year who die from the use of tobacco products. I believe this plan will be very detrimental to health care in Canada.

Finally, this morning we heard many provincial commentators saying that they are concerned that the unilateral plan of the government without full consultation and a joint plan with the provinces may undermine the national health forum. The government has undertaken an attempt to solve a very difficult problem. However I believe it is on a slippery slope when it simply sees the reduction of the cigarette tax doing this.

The other areas are very important and I hope the government will not, as the previous government did, back down on the export tax when manufacturers start to complain about it.

I would say that we in Canada are left with a very serious problem regarding smuggling of a number of products not included in this plan. We are still left with a significant health

care problem that I believe we had found a way to address but now that way is being undermined by the government's plan.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Tobacco Products
Permalink
LIB

Bob Speller

Liberal

Mr. Bob Speller (Haldimand-Norfolk)

Mr. Speaker, I know we allowed unanimous consent to allow the leader to give a statement. I am wondering if there might be unanimous consent for me to also give a brief statement.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Tobacco Products
Permalink
?

The Speaker

Of course the Chair is always in the hands of the House. Unanimous consent has been sought by the member for Haldimand-Norfolk to intervene in a minister's statement. Is there unanimous consent?

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Tobacco Products
Permalink
?

An hon. member

Agreed.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Tobacco Products
Permalink
LIB

Bob Speller

Liberal

Mr. Speller

Mr. Speaker, I will be brief. I want to thank hon. members on all sides of the House. Many members realize the work I have put into this issue over the past number of years.

My riding has the majority of the tobacco farmers in the country. They are farmers who are looking very intently at this policy. They tried for a number of years to push the previous government actually to crack down on this issue.

I also have the Six Nations Reserve in my riding, which is the largest native reserve in the country, one whose communities have been fraught with a number of smugglers in this country.

In my riding alone I have 200 smoke huts on the reserve. I have had many people including the band council and most people on the Six Nations say: "Mr. Speller, would you please do something about this problem. This problem is hurting our community. We are getting a bad name across this country because people are blaming this problem on natives". I was glad that the Prime Minister today pointed out that 95 per cent of this problem is organized crime and it is not with natives in the country.

I was also pleased to learn that the Solicitor General had sought to have the head of the RCMP to sit down with my community of the Six Nations and discuss ways in which this problem could be resolved. I commend the Solicitor General for that.

In terms of my tobacco farmers who have a large concern with this because of the problems that they have been having in the tobacco communities and the surrounding infrastructure, we have a number of people within my community and the surrounding ridings who consider this to be a very important issue. I know they will be pleased today to learn that the government has finally taken the initiative to come forward and has given a commitment to work with these communities in order to resolve the problems of adjustment that may occur because of some of the policies that have come forward today.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Tobacco Products
Permalink
LIB

Fernand Robichaud

Liberal

Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Secretary of State (Parliamentary Affairs))

Mr. Speaker, I rise to seek unanimous consent to permit the Minister of Human Resources Development to introduce a bill to provide for the maintenance of west coast operations.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Tobacco Products
Permalink
?

The Speaker

Is there unanimous consent?

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Tobacco Products
Permalink
?

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Tobacco Products
Permalink
?

The Speaker

Agreed and so ordered.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Tobacco Products
Permalink

February 8, 1994