February 23, 1998

LIB

Jane Stewart

Liberal

Hon. Jane Stewart (Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the best I can do is reiterate what the Minister of Health said on the issue last week in the House.

He said that no one would be happier than he with a compensation package for hepatitis C victims. He said that victims were best served with a package of compensation that involved both levels of government, and he said that he was prepared to wait a little longer to see if we could get that agreement.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Health
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NDP

Bev Desjarlais

New Democratic Party

Ms. Bev Desjarlais (Churchill, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, the President of the Treasury Board has acknowledged the findings of the advisory committee on senior level retention and compensation in the Public Service of Canada. He says that the government values top quality executives in the public service.

Why is it that the government will accept the findings of the advisory committee but refuses to accept the ruling of the human rights commission on pay equity?

Is it because the government does not value the work of female employees, or does it just not care about low and middle income workers?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Pay Equity
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LIB

Marcel Massé

Liberal

Hon. Marcel Massé (President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the simple truth is that the commission has not made a ruling.

What is important now is that we have made an offer of $1.3 billion for pay equity. The union has refused to put it to a vote by its members. For the common good, I once again ask the member to put pressure on the syndicates and the unions so they will put this offer to their members.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Pay Equity
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PC

Charlie Power

Progressive Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, it is obvious to everyone in the House that the mysterious millennium fund is nothing more than an ego fund for the Prime Minister. It should be more properly called the “me lend my name” fund. Students want an education fund that addresses the issues of all students today, not the ego of their Prime Minister.

My question is for the Deputy Prime Minister. While students of the next millennium might benefit, what do students of this millennium have to look forward to?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Education
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LIB

Pierre Pettigrew

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, we have said time and again that student debt is a major problem. We have been working hard at it. Tomorrow our budget might be interesting.

I find the millennium fund absolutely extraordinary. I was in London last weekend at the G-7 meeting. I listened to the debate on how to celebrate the millennium. They are building a very expensive dome that will cost millions of pounds while this Prime Minister is choosing to invest in the great brains of our young. That is what he is doing and that is a good thing.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Education
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LIB

Carolyn Bennett

Liberal

Ms. Carolyn Bennett (St. Paul's, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the recent release of the 1996 census report has raised serious concerns among our newest Canadians. They, finally having become Canadian citizens, are still being asked their race and ethnic origin.

I have a question for the Secretary of State for Multiculturalism. Why does the government collect this data and how is it used?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Census
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LIB

Hedy Fry

Liberal

Hon. Hedy Fry (Secretary of State (Multiculturalism)(Status of Women), Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the issue of the census is set up to find the demographics of the country.

A census is the way of defining the demographics of the country. Canada is not a homogeneous country. It is a country that is made up of people from every corner of the world. Canada is also a country that believes strongly in its social programs and equality and knowing our census—

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Census
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?

The Speaker

The hon. member for Cypress Hills—Grasslands.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Census
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REF

Lee Morrison

Reform

Mr. Lee Morrison (Cypress Hills—Grasslands, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, on Thursday almost 400 Saskatchewan reeves, mayors and municipal counsellors at a transportation meeting in Saskatoon voted unanimously to ask the government to delay rail line abandonments until Mr. Justice Estey had completed his review of the system. If piecemeal fragmentation continues, there will be nothing left worth shortlining. Mr. Estey's work will be essentially academic.

Will the minister show some leadership and table legislation—we will support it—to address the concerns of these producers?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Railways
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LIB

David Collenette

Liberal

Hon. David M. Collenette (Minister of Transport, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, we are very well aware of the concerns of farmers in Saskatchewan as well as others across the country.

In discussions I have had with the railways, I have alerted them to the need to be very sensitive about the way they go about the abandonment process. There is no organized or systematic plot going on, to use the hon. member's words, to abandon these lines before Justice Estey reports.

I think the hon. member should work with his commission. I think in the end we will see that the results will be good for all concerned.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Railways
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BQ

Jean-Guy Chrétien

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Jean-Guy Chrétien (Frontenac—Mégantic, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, since January 1997, over 3,000 sheep have been slaughtered in Quebec because they were found to have scrapie, which fortunately is not transmittable to humans.

Does the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food intend to investigate why this disease was not detected by inspectors until recently, and will he report back to the House?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Diseased Sheep
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LIB

Lyle Vanclief

Liberal

Hon. Lyle Vanclief (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, first I inform my colleague that there has been no scientific guaranteed proof that there is a connection between the disease he is referring to and humans.

To be on the safe side, when sheep are found in a flock in Canada, even if there is one sheep found in the flock of many, we destroy the complete flock. We have the best control of that disease of any country in the world and we will continue that for the protection of Canadians and their health.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Diseased Sheep
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NDP

Rick Laliberte

New Democratic Party

Mr. Rick Laliberte (Churchill River, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, the environment minister states that the harmonization accord signed last month will improve co-operation with the provinces and will increase Canada's environmental protection standards. Contrary to the minister's assurances, Canadians are witnessing a loss of environmental protection across the country. The federal cuts have continued beyond program review, including the protection of atmospheric sciences.

Will the environment minister explain to the citizens of Canada which departments will be stopping hazardous waste dumping in Ontario sewers?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   The Environment
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LIB

Christine Stewart

Liberal

Hon. Christine Stewart (Minister of the Environment, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the federal government and my department have a great concern about hazardous wastes and whether they are crossing borders or being dumped anywhere in the country.

We watch all cases very carefully to make sure that anybody that is perhaps not complying with standards is made aware of what the federal regulations and rules are. We will assure all members of this House that we are following through with our supervision, inspections and maintenance of standards.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   The Environment
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PC

Jean Charest

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Jean J. Charest (Sherbrooke, PC)

Mr. Speaker, in question period today the Minister of Human Resources Development said the number one problem facing young people was staying in school or getting an education. If the government thinks that is the issue, I want to know whether or not it will reinstate the very successful stay in school program that was launched in 1990 to help prevent young people from dropping out of high school.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Youth
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LIB

Pierre Pettigrew

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I can demonstrate very well that our youth employment strategy and our youth service Canada have been doing wonders for many of the youth who deserve a second chance. Our record is very good as far as that is concerned.

I would like to tell the Tory leader that there are a lot of students out there who find it very difficult to continue their studies precisely because they have a hard time financing their studies. If we can help them, we will do our very best. That is the priority for this government.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Youth
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?

The Speaker

I would like to bring to members' attention the presence in the gallery of members of a delegation led by Mrs. Leni Fischer, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

Also my colleagues, I would like to bring to your attention the presence in our gallery of the Hon. Pat Binns, Premier of the Province of Prince Edward Island.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Presence In Gallery
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?

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Presence In Gallery
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NDP

Wendy Lill

New Democratic Party

Ms. Wendy Lill (Dartmouth, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I would like to ask the member for Medicine Hat to retract a statement which he made regarding “the crazy aunt in the attic”.

As the New Democratic critic for persons with disabilities and as an aunt myself, I find this reference sexist and demeaning to persons with disabilities. I think we should lead the way in this House to fight against offensive stereotypes. I would ask for a retraction from the member for Medicine Hat.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Points Of Order
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?

The Speaker

My colleague, many times in the course of debate we use words that are not exactly unparliamentary but which border on it. I would urge all hon. members of course always in their choice of words to be very judicious.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Points Of Order
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February 23, 1998