November 8, 1996

REF

Bill Gilmour

Reform

Mr. Bill Gilmour (Comox-Alberni, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, I would invite the minister to tell the families out of work what a good deal this is. They tend to disagree and disagree strongly.

The reason for the losses of thousands of jobs is not that the lumber mills overproduced, as the minister said, but that the quotas allotted to those mills came in at far below expected levels.

Yesterday the minister refused to table a full list of quota allocations for the mills all across the country. I suspect the reason for the secrecy is that in this way only the minister and his staff know the whole picture. There is a large unallocated portion of the quota sitting in this minister's pockets.

It appears that the minister is refusing to disclose the entire allocation list because he wants to reward his Liberal friends with the unallocated-

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Forestry
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Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Forestry
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The Speaker

Order. The hon. member should not impute motive. I would ask the hon. member to go directly to his question.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Forestry
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REF

Bill Gilmour

Reform

Mr. Gilmour

Mr. Speaker, I would ask that the minister avoid the secrecy and table the allocation documents in this House now.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Forestry
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LIB

Art Eggleton

Liberal

Hon. Arthur C. Eggleton (Minister for International Trade, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, as I said a few moments ago, even before he asked the question, we tabled all the information relevant to how the allocation was arrived at and what the allocations are per province.

In terms of the individual companies, it is up to them as to whether they want to divulge their figures.

Let me say, because jobs are very important, that some of the companies have known full well what the formula is and that a great amount of the basis for the formula has been their past experience and they know what their past exporting is. However, they have chosen to rush the border and thereby create a problem for their employees. I am sorry that some of them have done that because that is outside what the industry wanted to have happen.

Notwithstanding that, there are two things they can do. They can continue to ship. It is a question of what is free quota. They can continue to ship and pay the quota fees. There is nothing stopping them from doing that. Further, we have provided for a very small quota bank so that we can help these firms if they are-

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Forestry
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BQ

André Caron

Bloc Québécois

Mr. André Caron (Jonquière, BQ)

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

Yesterday, the minister said he could consider relaxing the rules to allow American Airlines to acquire a bigger share of Canadian. He said he was waiting for an application before reviewing the matter. However, yesterday, the Canadian Auto Workers who represent 4,000 employees from Canadian International urged the

federal government to relax foreign investment rules so that American Airlines could buy a bigger share.

Can the minister give us the assurance that if the rules are relaxed he would give Air Canada equal access to destinations currently served by Canadian International, thus putting an end to its partisan patronage in favour of a company which will be getting more and more americanized?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Air Transportation
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LIB

David Anderson

Liberal

Hon. David Anderson (Minister of Transport, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member may have misunderstood what I said yesterday. The government policy has not changed. No decision has been made. There is no review concerning the participation of an American company in the airline industry, none at all.

The hon. member also mentioned CAW. No American company has made an application to invest or increase its investments in Canadian International. This is a purely hypothetical issue.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Air Transportation
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BQ

André Caron

Bloc Québécois

Mr. André Caron (Jonquière, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, at least, the minister was not being hypothetical when he clearly stated yesterday that he did not intend to provide financial assistance to Canadian International.

However, we were told that his government awarded an extension of 30 days for the repayment of a loan granted in 1992. Is the minister about to financially assist Canadian International, by giving it an extension of 30 days to repay the money it owes the federal government?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Air Transportation
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LIB

David Anderson

Liberal

Hon. David Anderson (Minister of Transport, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has an incredible imagination.

What we said was that we had absolutely no intention of investing in Canadian International. The reason is obvious: this company which has incurred losses year after year is in need of some restructuring. The structure of the company needs to be changed, its contracts with American Airlines need to be changed, its routes need to be changed, and a lot of other things need to be changed before this company can begin to show a profit.

This is what I want to tell the hon. member. We mentioned no investment from the Canadian government. We have have received no application for an increase in American investments. No amount of Canadian or American money could help a company faced with structural problems.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Air Transportation
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LIB

Warren Allmand

Liberal

Hon. Warren Allmand (Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Justice.

Within a few weeks the United Nations will vote to establish a permanent international criminal court to try individuals who commit serious violations of human rights and crimes against humanity, including genocide and ethnic cleansing.

I know the government supports this measure but it requires an amendment to our domestic legislation to permit the referral of accused Canadians to the new international court. In order to give impetus to a positive vote at the UN, when will Canada amend its domestic legislation to facilitate this matter?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   International Court
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LIB

Lloyd Axworthy

Liberal

Hon. Lloyd Axworthy (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, if I might be allowed to provide an answer for the hon. member, at the United Nations general assembly this fall in the statement we totally endorsed the idea of an international court and indicated that we would do everything possible to facilitate its development.

We will be working very closely with the Minister of Justice to see what means or measures might be necessary to implement that kind of idea.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   International Court
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REF

Jim Hart

Reform

Mr. Jim Hart (Okanagan-Similkameen-Merritt, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, our Liberal friends are continuing to cosy up to China. Last week the defence minister gave Chinese generals special tours of our military bases and today Canadians were shocked to learn that the government is ignoring its own environmental laws and providing interest free loans to sell CANDU reactors.

Behind closed doors cabinet has jigged the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act to allow this sale.

Instead of scrapping Canada's environmental laws to benefit China, should Canada not urge China to change its laws?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   China
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LIB

Art Eggleton

Liberal

Hon. Arthur C. Eggleton (Minister for International Trade, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, first of all, we are not providing any interest free loan. This is a regular commercial operation. In fact, AECL is expected to make money on it. One hundred Canadian companies will profit from this. It will mean some 27,000 person years in employment.

With respect to the environment there is absolutely no diminishing of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. That act was never intended to apply to the Export Development Corporation's commercial financing operations in foreign countries, and so it does not apply.

Over the years that AECL has produced the CANDU-6 reactor, it has done a great deal of environmental work on it and in fact it is the safest, most reliable, most environmentally efficient nuclear reactor in the world.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   China
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REF

Jim Hart

Reform

Mr. Jim Hart (Okanagan-Similkameen-Merritt, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, the government is breaking its own environmental laws and its red book promises on the environment. The red book

promised to strengthen the enforcement of the Environmental Protection Assessment Act.

Instead, behind closed doors the government is violating and changing its own environmental review requirements. Is ignoring environmental review laws what the government had in mind when it promised in 1993 to protect the environment?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   China
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LIB

Art Eggleton

Liberal

Hon. Arthur C. Eggleton (Minister for International Trade, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, we have greatly protected the environment by putting this act into effect. It was never intended to apply to foreign projects funded by the Export Development Corporation.

We have said that when there is an international environmental agreement with respect to standards, yes, we would want to be a part of that and we have promoted that very thing. We are not going to in an extraterritorial way, like some countries do, apply our law against another country. We continue to do all we can to protect the environment and have the most environmentally friendly products in terms of other countries, and that is what this CANDU-6 reactor is.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   China
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BQ

Paul Crête

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Paul Crête (Kamouraska-Rivière-du-Loup, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance.

On Wednesday, the minister admitted that the tax convention between Canada and the United States was unfair to low-income pensioners by depriving them of 25 per cent of their American pensions.

While waiting for the results of negotiations with the Americans, would the minister be willing to consider the net income rather than the gross income to determine income supplement eligibility so that low-income earners are less penalized by this convention?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Canada-United States Tax Convention
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LIB

Paul Martin

Liberal

Hon. Paul Martin (Minister of Finance, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, as the member knows, this problem has not arisen as a result of the Canada-United States tax convention, but as a result of action taken unilaterally by the American government. I think we all agree that we need to continue to put pressure on the Americans because some people have certainly been treated unfairly as a result of this action.

We are negotiating with the Americans. In fact, on election day, I discussed this issue with my American counterpart. I think the best thing is to pursue these negotiations. We are not making progress as fast as we would like, but we are indeed making progress.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Canada-United States Tax Convention
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BQ

Paul Crête

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Paul Crête (Kamouraska-Rivière-du-Loup, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, even though the minister keeps saying that it is the Americans' fault, it does not change the fact that Canadians are the victims of this unfortunate situation.

Is the minister willing to ask a special parliamentary committee to propose to him, by December 1, 1996, temporary solutions to rectify the situation until negotiations with the Americans lead to a permanent solution?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Canada-United States Tax Convention
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LIB

Paul Martin

Liberal

Hon. Paul Martin (Minister of Finance, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I very much appreciate that there are members on all sides of this House who are very concerned by this matter. In fact, in the negotiations with the Americans the ability of the government to say that we speak with the virtual unanimity of this House gives us a very strong card to play.

The one thing I would not want to do is anything that would slow these negotiations down. Under those circumstances I think we are far better to continue with the course of action with which we are now engaged.

That being said, I very much appreciate the desire of members to participate and I am certainly prepared to sit down with them anytime and discuss the matter.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Canada-United States Tax Convention
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REF

Garry Breitkreuz

Reform

Mr. Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton-Melville, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Justice in this House said we should acknowledge and respect the history and tradition of hunting as a very important economic activity contributing to the prosperity of Canada. Firearms manufacturers, dealers, collectors, tourism outfitters and firearms owners have informed me that the fees proposed by the minister will effectively destroy any businesses and kill thousands of jobs.

Will the Minister of Justice reassure workers who depend on the firearms industry in Canada that the fees he introduces in this House will not result in any job losses nor have any negative economic impact on the industry?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Gun Control
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November 8, 1996