November 18, 1997

LIB

Jim Peterson

Liberal

Hon. Jim Peterson (Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions), Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, we acted after 15 years of inaction. We were the government that was able to work with the provinces to put the Canada pension plan on a sustainable basis. If we had not acted, the premiums would have gone to over 14%.

None of us like tax increases, but more than anything else we have sustained the viability of the Canada pension plan and we are proud of it.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Canada Pension Plan
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REF

Diane Ablonczy

Reform

Mrs. Diane Ablonczy (Calgary—Nose Hill, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, this new CPP tax will take out of Newfoundland $860 million more. Out of Saskatchewan it will take nearly $2 billion extra. Even out of the Northwest Territories it will take nearly $200 million extra dollars.

The taxpayers' federation says that the government's proposed reforms are not sustainable, not affordable and patently unfair.

When will the minister simply admit how unfair this plan really is?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Canada Pension Plan
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LIB

Jim Peterson

Liberal

Hon. Jim Peterson (Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions), Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, talking in terms of fairness, this is the party that had no plans to deal with the $600 billion of unfunded liabilities in this plan. It then finally comes along and the hon. critic who has just spoken says “there is a mess and we need to look at perhaps paying some of the unfunded liability out of general tax revenues”. She was then muzzled. We have taken the responsible course. It was something we did in consultation with the provinces.

Our senior citizens can rest assured that they have an indexed pension—

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Canada Pension Plan
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?

The Speaker

The hon. member for Saint-Jean.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Canada Pension Plan
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BQ

Claude Bachand

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Claude Bachand (Saint-Jean, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Human Resources Development.

The federal government is stalling for time in the matter involving the former employees of the Singer company. We must remember that the Minister of Human Resources Development has always maintained his compassion for them and his diligence on their behalf.

Where are the minister's compassion and diligence as he drags people whose average age is 82 before the courts instead of providing a settlement?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Former Singer Employees
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LIB

Pierre Pettigrew

Liberal

Hon. Pierre S. Pettigrew (Minister of Human Resources Development, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, we are acting totally responsibly. I have instructed our lawyers to act diligently and quickly, and we are not in a position to settle out of the court because we cannot acknowledge a responsibility that was not ours with respect to the Singer pension fund.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Former Singer Employees
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LIB

Roger Gallaway

Liberal

Mr. Roger Gallaway (Sarnia—Lambton, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the secretary of state responsible for financial institutions.

At the stroke of midnight on Halloween night, the Toronto-Dominion Bank passed all of its customer information to its insurance, mortgage and security subsidiaries unless each customer said no to its negative option marketing demand.

Will the secretary move by legislation to stop this invasion of privacy?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Privacy
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LIB

Jim Peterson

Liberal

Hon. Jim Peterson (Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions), Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, as the member knows, from 1990 to 1996 the Canadian Standards Association, which consists of management, labour, consumers, provincial and federal governments, worked to draw up a code of privacy for our financial institutions.

I am pleased to say that in this instance the guidelines of the Canadian Standards Association were met. However, privacy is an issue which is of very great concern to us. We hope the task force is going to look into it and, of course, the finance committee would welcome their views.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Privacy
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REF

Bob Mills

Reform

Mr. Bob Mills (Red Deer, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, in the House the Liberals are fond of standing up, beating their chests talking about how great they are with the UN, about how good they are at attacking Saddam Hussein, but they are letting a billion dollar trade deal sneak through and hopefully nobody will see it, leaving it to the UN to decide what to do.

When will this government stand up and let Saddam Hussein know exactly where it stands on that issue?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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LIB

Lloyd Axworthy

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, we already have. We have made it very clear that they must live up to all their obligations under the United Nations.

I want to point out to the hon. member that the proposal to exchange goods is for humanitarian purposes, to help the children of Iraq, not Saddam Hussein.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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REF

Bob Mills

Reform

Mr. Bob Mills (Red Deer, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we heard the Deputy Prime Minister say that they let the UN decide whether this was a good deal or not, whether trucks were all right and whether trucks could be used for humanitarian purposes or used by the military. That is the question.

We need to send a message to Iraq on where we stand and that we are with our allies, standing up for the sanctions the UN is going to impose.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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LIB

Lloyd Axworthy

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is clearly out in space on this.

The reality is that under the UN sanctions we first consider any application that comes to us and whether it meets the criteria. It is then referred to the UN and comes back to us to see if it fits our export and import laws.

I would suggest that before the hon. member asks those kinds of questions that he first learn what goes on in Canada and not making fabrications to try and suggest that something is happening which is not happening.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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NDP

Pat Martin

New Democratic Party

Mr. Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Public Works angrily condemned the Canadian Union of Postal Workers for refusing to allow Canada Post to eliminate 4,000 jobs. His comments indicated a clear bias in favour of the corporation and an open hostility toward the working Canadians who are fighting for their jobs.

Will the minister withdraw his damaging statements of yesterday and let the parties conclude a new agreement free of interference and free of the kind of threats that we heard yesterday?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Canada Post
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LIB

Alfonso Gagliano

Liberal

Hon. Alfonso Gagliano (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, what I said before in French I will say now in English. The two parties have been in negotiations since yesterday. They negotiated and according to reports I have, they are doing very well. I hope that very soon we will have a negotiated settlement.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Canada Post
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NDP

Pat Martin

New Democratic Party

Mr. Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, the biggest single obstacle in this round of bargaining stems from the Liberal government demanding that Canada Post pay dividends of over $200 million over the next five years. Canada Post wants to meet those demands by eliminating jobs.

Since when is Canada Post supposed to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in profits when its mandate is to put revenues into better service for Canadians?

Will the minister and his government withdraw this unreasonable demand for profits, take away the need to eliminate jobs and thereby move us toward a speedy settlement in this round of bargaining?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Canada Post
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LIB

Alfonso Gagliano

Liberal

Hon. Alfonso Gagliano (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, what this government and this minister want is a very viable postal service for all Canadians so that Canadians can continue to receive the mail and Canadian workers can continue to have jobs and create new jobs. That is what we are doing. That is what is on the table.

I hope that the hon. gentleman with his connection to the union will speak to his friends so that we can have a negotiated settlement as soon as possible.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Canada Post
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PC

Charlie Power

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Charlie Power (St. John's West, PC)

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

Yesterday was a great day for Newfoundland and, indeed, all of Canada as Hibernia oil flowed for the first time. A new industry was born which will produce billions of dollars for the Government of Canada.

On October 18, 1994 the Prime Minister stated in the House in response to a question on Hibernia financing “If we had to do it all over again, perhaps we should have not gone ahead”.

Will the Prime Minister now acknowledge that the Hibernia project was a great project for all the people of Canada?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Hibernia
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LIB

Jean Chrétien

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, when I was minister of energy I worked very hard to make sure that we would proceed very quickly. I was trying to get an agreement which was denied by the then Conservative government of the Province of Newfoundland.

If that had happened, production would have occurred in Canada 10 years ago.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Hibernia
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PC

Norman E. Doyle

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Norman Doyle (St. John's East, PC)

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Human Resources Development.

Undoubtedly the minister will be aware—and if he is not aware, he should be—that his department has delayed the issuance of employment insurance payments in Newfoundland. These payments are due tomorrow, but because of a looming postal strike, they will not be issued until next week. He should know that these people are living from cheque to cheque and from week to week. They need their money now.

Will the minister give these people assurances that payments due this week will be issued this week, postal strike or not?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Employment Insurance
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LIB

Pierre Pettigrew

Liberal

Hon. Pierre S. Pettigrew (Minister of Human Resources Development, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, of course we hope very much that there will not be a postal strike but indeed for people who are to receive the benefits, my department will do its very best to deliver all payments as usual as we do as the posts are still working for the time being.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Employment Insurance
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November 18, 1997