April 3, 1998

LIB

Ted McWhinney

Liberal

Mr. Ted McWhinney (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, we have established the child labour challenge fund which rests on a voluntary code of conduct for businesses. It does provide financial inducements to corporations.

We do recognize the need for sanctions. We are negotiating directly with the International Labour Organization in Geneva for a new international convention. We expect it to be completed next year. Implementing legislation by the Canadian Parliament will follow immediately.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Child Labour
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REF

Jack Ramsay

Reform

Mr. Jack Ramsay (Crowfoot, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, I see that the Liberal backbenchers are only allowed to ask those kind of softball questions.

Cynthia Applegarth does not want another cover-up to occur on the Tsuu T'ina reserve. She just wants to know why her sister Connie Jacobs and her son died. She wants to know whether or not the poverty and the social conditions in which they lived contributed to this horrible incident.

Would the government House leader assure the House today that the inquiry into the death of Connie and her son will also include an examination of the social conditions in which the family lived?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Aboriginal Affairs
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LIB

Don Boudria

Liberal

Hon. Don Boudria (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, the precise terms of the inquiry have not yet been fleshed out. We will take his suggestion as representation.

I would like him to know that this inquiry is going to be under the direction of a judge of the province of Alberta, Judge Thomas Goodson, an aboriginal judge. I am sure the representation the hon. member is making will be duly noted and will probably assist all those interested.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Aboriginal Affairs
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BQ

Monique Guay

Bloc Québécois

Mrs. Monique Guay (Laurentides, BQ)

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

In Kelowna, British Columbia, the Heritage Canada office is designated bilingual, but no public servant there is capable of providing service in French. A study was carried out in order to identify those employees suited to learning French. The Kelowna office of Heritage Canada will therefore be providing services in French in two years.

Will the government admit that it must respond to the Fédération des francophones de la Colombie-Britannique and provide services in French to the francophones of that province earlier than two years from now?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Official Languages
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LIB

Don Boudria

Liberal

Hon. Don Boudria (Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the government takes the matter of official languages in Canada very seriously.

Evidence of this is our recent creation of a task force headed by Yvon Fontaine, in response to a recommendation by the Commissioner of Official Languages that the quality of official languages in the public service be improved, particularly in areas involving privatization, but also in all others.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Official Languages
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NDP

Wendy Lill

New Democratic Party

Ms. Wendy Lill (Dartmouth, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, over 30 years ago our government set up independent drug testing in the wake of the thalidomide disaster, a disaster which made Canadians realize we needed control over drug safety and that health outranked cost considerations.

Today, rather than protect public safety, the government is interested in the controlling of costs at all costs. To save a few bucks the Liberals threaten to put many more Canadian lives in jeopardy by giving effective control over drug approval to the drug manufacturers themselves. How does the health minister justify substituting commercial and corporate interests for the public interest?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Health
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LIB

Allan Rock

Liberal

Hon. Allan Rock (Minister of Health, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, for Health Canada, public safety is the bottom line. We have excellent professionals in the department who conduct the appropriate tests and investigations before any drugs are approved.

To remove any doubt and to ensure public confidence in the excellence of their work, I have appointed a science advisory board chaired by Dr. Roberta Bondar, herself a distinguished scientist. They will look at the science capacity in the department. They will report to me and I shall make public their report on the question of whether we have the people we need in the Department of Health to fulfil our important public responsibilities.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Health
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PC

Mark Muise

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Mark Muise (West Nova, PC)

Mr. Speaker, in 1995 the Liberal government eliminated the feed freight assistance program. This decision has had a serious impact on the hog industry in West Nova. For one farm alone in my riding this decision means an additional cost of $65,000 per year.

Can the minister of agriculture tell this House if he is prepared to offer hog farmers any assistance with the high cost of freight?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Agriculture
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LIB

Don Boudria

Liberal

Hon. Don Boudria (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I am answering on behalf of the minister of agriculture. The Government of Canada has had a long interest in assisting the agricultural industry in particular with feed freight assistance. As to the detail of the hon. member's question, I will have to note it and the minister of agriculture will respond at an appropriate time.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Agriculture
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LIB

Mac Harb

Liberal

Mr. Mac Harb (Ottawa Centre, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, on Saturday, March 28, volunteers from the Certified General Accountants Association of Ontario held a tax clinic for seniors in my riding. These dedicated men and women provided an excellent service to over 80 seniors by helping them prepare their tax returns.

Can the parliamentary secretary to the minister of revenue tell the House what Revenue Canada is doing to help seniors and the disabled, those least able to cope with complicated tax procedures?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Taxation
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LIB

Sue Barnes

Liberal

Mrs. Sue Barnes (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Revenue, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I wish to thank the hon. member for his question.

Revenue Canada does have special programs especially at this time of the year. The community volunteer program has over 15,000 volunteers across the country helping over 282,000 people prepare their tax returns. I stress that Revenue Canada employees, on their time, help train these volunteers. That is very commendable and it works well.

Telefile is enabling about eight million people with very straightforward simple tax returns to do their tax files from their homes.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Taxation
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REF

Diane Ablonczy

Reform

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

Mr. Speaker, why does the minister not just send out a news release?

Does anyone in the government care enough to listen to the message sent by the death of Connie Jacobs and her young son? Her family hopes something good will come out of this tragedy if living conditions on the wealthy Tsuu T'ina reserve can be improved. This is exactly what Bruce Starlight's letter warned the minister about.

The minister ignored Bruce Starlight's warning. Please tell us that the minister will not also ignore the appeals of Connie Jacobs' family.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Aboriginal Affairs
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LIB

Don Boudria

Liberal

Hon. Don Boudria (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member and indeed all hon. members opposite know what the government has been doing to assist and to improve the lot of Canadians living on reserves.

The hon. member will know, of course, of the commission of inquiry which has completed its report. She will know that First Nations governments have received assistance from the Government of Canada. She will also know of the progress that has been made in the communities and of our continuing interest in this area.

Cutting a billion dollars from native programs, which is what the Reform Party wants, will not assist anyone.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Aboriginal Affairs
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BQ

Maurice Dumas

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Maurice Dumas (Argenteuil—Papineau, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, despite what the government says, the francophones in Kelowna will have no services in French until two years from now.

How does the government explain its failure to comply with its own Official Languages Act?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Official Languages
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LIB

Don Boudria

Liberal

Hon. Don Boudria (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member opposite knows full well that the government's official languages policy works and works well.

Naturally, there are parts of the country where discrepancies need to be rectified. That is why we have a commissioner of official languages.

I would remind him of the words of his former leader, Lucien Bouchard, who said that the official languages program in Canada was a success. He said that when he was responsible for Canada's Secretary of State.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Official Languages
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?

The Deputy Speaker

That concludes oral question period.

I would like to thank hon. members first for their co-operation and for sticking within the time limits.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Official Languages
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LIB

Paul Martin

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 83(1), I wish to table notice of a ways and means motion to amend the Excise Tax Act.

This amendment provides sales tax relief for the purchase of motor vehicles specially equipped to transport persons who use a wheelchair.

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

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Ways And Means
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LIB

Ovid Jackson

Liberal

Mr. Ovid L. Jackson (Parliamentary Secretary to President of the Treasury Board, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 84 petitions.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Government Response To Petitions
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LIB

Paul Szabo

Liberal

Mr. Paul Szabo (Mississauga South, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to present to the House today. The first petition comes from a number of Canadians, including some from my own riding of Mississauga South.

The petitioners would like to draw to the attention of the House that the Food and Drugs Act is designed to protect Canadians from the harmful effects of alcohol consumption and that the consumption of alcoholic beverages may cause serious health problems. In particular, fetal alcohol syndrome and related birth defects are 100% preventable by avoiding alcohol consumption during pregnancy.

The petitioners are therefore petitioning parliament to mandate health warning labels on the containers of alcoholic beverages.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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LIB

Paul Szabo

Liberal

Mr. Paul Szabo (Mississauga South, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the second petition has to do with the family. The petitioners would like to draw to the attention of the House that managing the family home and caring for preschool children is an honourable profession which is not recognized for its value to our society.

The petitioners particularly point out that the Income Tax Act does not take into account the real cost of raising children for families who provide care in the home to their preschool children.

The petitioners therefore petition parliament to pursue initiatives to eliminate tax discrimination against families who decide to provide care in the home to preschool children.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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April 3, 1998