September 25, 1997

LIB

Jean Chrétien

Liberal

Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the premier of Newfoundland is the one answerable to the voters of Newfoundland, and it is up to him to defend his proposal.

According to what I have read so far, he has the agreement of the opposition parties to do this. If he is making use of a modern method of consultation, that's fine. Each province will have its own method of consultation.

When the premier of Newfoundland faces his legislature, he will have to justify his consultation formula. It is not up to me to approve or disapprove of it, that is up to his legislature.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Calgary Declaration
Permalink
?

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Calgary Declaration
Permalink
LIB

Jean Chrétien

Liberal

Right Hon. Jean Chrétien

And if the Government of Quebec wants to consult the people of Quebec on the same subject, it can do so, only it is up to the Government of Quebec to decide, not us.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Calgary Declaration
Permalink
BQ

Pierre Brien

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Pierre Brien (Témiscamingue, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, we are very pleased to hear that it is not up to the Prime Minister to decide how the provinces are to conduct their business. At last.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Calgary Declaration
Permalink
?

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Calgary Declaration
Permalink
BQ

Pierre Brien

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Pierre Brien

Since the Prime Minister does not, when it comes down to it, know all that much about how Brian Tobin and his colleagues are going to hold their consultations on the Calgary declaration, how can he use that consultation, whose methodology he does not know, as a pretext, in a major speech, to make yet another threat against Quebec?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Calgary Declaration
Permalink
LIB

Stéphane Dion

Liberal

Hon. Stéphane Dion (President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, there is of course no connection. I believe the hon. member is saying that the procedure relating to a referendum on secession should only be determined by the secessionist government. This is probably what the member has in mind, but he certainly cannot name one country in the world which would accept such a thing.

The hon. member must realize that the consultation process carried out by the premier of Newfoundland has to do with a policy statement which has no constitutional impact and which only involves that particular province, for the time being. In the case of a secession, the territory of Quebec would be excluded from the Canadian legal order and from Canadian federal institutions, something which cannot be achieved through such a procedure.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Calgary Declaration
Permalink
NDP

Alexa McDonough

New Democratic Party

Ms. Alexa McDonough (Halifax, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the prime minister.

Our west coast salmon fishery is in dire straits. British Columbians, indeed all Canadians, are offended at the federal government's weak stance in this dispute.

Last week a congressional committee on the Pacific salmon treaty heard testimony in Washington from key stakeholders. Members of this House deserve to know that Canada was invited to testify at those hearings.

Why did the prime minister fail to send representatives to testify at these hearings and to stand up for Canada's interests?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Fisheries
Permalink
LIB

David Anderson

Liberal

Hon. David Anderson (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I am disappointed that the hon. member, whose experience has been in a provincial legislature rather than in the national legislature, would not understand that in Canada, as in the United States, it is a decision of the committee itself as to who will appear before it. We have no more right to tell American committees who they will have before them than they have to tell our committees of this House who to have before them.

I find it strange that the hon. leader of the New Democratic Party would believe in a principle that would allow other governments the right to attend all committee hearings of the House of Commons and Senate.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Fisheries
Permalink
NDP

Alexa McDonough

New Democratic Party

Ms. Alexa McDonough (Halifax, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, no amount of wriggling and slithering on this issue is going to get the government off the hook. The minister of fisheries knows perfectly well that Canadians were invited to testify and they failed to testify.

My question to the minister of fisheries is when is his government going to stand up for the interests of Canadian fishers in coastal communities?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Fisheries
Permalink
LIB

David Anderson

Liberal

Hon. David Anderson (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I think it is time for the hon. leader of the New Democratic Party to speak with the leader of the New Democratic Party in British Columbia.

We have consistently had from the New Democratic Party of British Columbia rejection of the contacts with Americans that I have made, with every senator from Alaska, Washington state and Oregon, with representatives of the White House, representatives of the state department and the governors of Oregon, Washington and Alaska. They have said no to such contacts.

However, there is one committee in the United States which we believe to be a domestic affair of the congressmen in the United States and she then says that of course we have not done enough. Is she following the policies of the New Democratic premier or is she announcing a different policy here?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Fisheries
Permalink
PC

Jean Charest

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Jean J. Charest (Sherbrooke, PC)

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

He is preparing another team Canada trip for January. The Prime Minister will know that notwithstanding these trips, trade with Brazil has gone down 10 p. cent, with Mexico 19 p. cent, Indonesia 11 p. cent, China 24 p. cent. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce in the meantime continues to repeat and argue that these trade barriers within Canada cost Canadian families on average $1,000 per year and cost us jobs.

When will the Prime Minister show the same enthusiasm of breaking down trade barriers within Canada as he shows for charting up air miles outside Canada?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Trade
Permalink
LIB

Jean Chrétien

Liberal

Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, when I travel abroad I travel with all the premiers of Canada who are always very delighted to travel on team Canada. The business community of Canada is lining up to be on the trip.

In terms of trade barriers within Canada, the Minister of Industry has worked very hard with the provinces and the provinces have worked very hard among themselves to come close to an agreement. If the hon. member is telling us not to respect the provincial governments and just impose a regime, we will look into that.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Trade
Permalink
PC

Jean Charest

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Jean J. Charest (Sherbrooke, PC)

Mr. Speaker, I think the Prime Minister has his priorities wrong. My question was not for the premiers accompanying him. It was not for the business community that is going to be accompanying him. It is for the taxpayers who will be paying the bill for the people on the trip; the people who pay $1,000 a year on average because of trade barriers in Canada.

An internal memo of the Department of Industry established that only 13 percent of the trade barriers had been struck down in the last agreement. When is the federal government going to assert its powers and leadership and deal with internal trade?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Trade
Permalink
LIB

Jean Chrétien

Liberal

Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to inform the leader of the fifth party that when we travel on these trips all the business people pay for their trips. There is no big cost to the government.

Wherever we go everyone says it is the biggest trade mission they have ever received. There is nothing better than having all the premiers and the Prime Minister of Canada working together to create jobs for Canadians. However, I know the leader of the fifth party is not in favour of the provinces and the federal government working together.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Trade
Permalink
REF

Jim Gouk

Reform

Mr. Jim Gouk (West Kootenay—Okanagan, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, Reform has just learned that the conciliator in the Canada Post labour dispute filed his report with the minister last Monday. When was this government planning to get around to telling the Canadian people that they are now on a 21-day countdown for a national postal strike?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Canada Post
Permalink
LIB

Lawrence MacAulay

Liberal

Hon. Lawrence MacAulay (Minister of Labour, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the conciliation officer has reported to me. I will evaluate the report and make a statement before October 7.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Canada Post
Permalink
REF

Jim Gouk

Reform

Mr. Jim Gouk (West Kootenay—Okanagan, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, a postal strike is extremely devastating for Canadian business and non-business alike. A strike shuts down Canada's entire mail delivery system.

The minister has already interfered in the bargaining process and he has failed to notify the Canadian public of the imminence of this strike. What is he going to do to protect Canadians from the impact of this national postal strike?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Canada Post
Permalink
LIB

Lawrence MacAulay

Liberal

Hon. Lawrence MacAulay (Minister of Labour, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I am certainly disappointed that my hon. colleague feels that there is going to be a strike. The collective bargaining process can work and will work. I certainly encourage both parties to work together to have a collective agreement that will be beneficial to both the union and the post office.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Canada Post
Permalink
BQ

Michel Gauthier

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Michel Gauthier (Roberval, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, we learned through the newspapers that the premiers, including the premier of Newfoundland, have decided to consult their fellow citizens regarding the Calgary declaration. To this end, they will use fax machines, 1-800 lines and the Internet. These are all modern tools, as the Prime Minister said, but they are ill-chosen for a serious consultation on what should be a serious issue.

Does the Prime Minister realize that the fact that the premiers have chosen such inadequate tools for a consultation of this nature says a lot about how little importance they attach to their own Calgary declaration?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Calgary Declaration
Permalink

September 25, 1997