October 16, 2000

LIB

Jane Stewart

Liberal

Hon. Jane Stewart (Minister of Human Resources Development, Lib.)

Indeed, Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member points out, we will have doubled parental leave benefits for Canadians, men and women, by the end of this year. At the same time, we will reduce the number of hours required for women to get these special benefits.

Again I point the hon. member to the changes in Bill C-44 which deal with the issues of clawback and others that specifically relate to the impact of employment insurance on women.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Parental Leave
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NDP

Svend Robinson

New Democratic Party

Mr. Svend J. Robinson (Burnaby—Douglas, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

I want to commend the government for supporting the recent UN security council resolution 1322 on the tragic events in the Middle East, particularly the call for an impartial international inquiry into the violence in the territories illegally occupied by Israel since 1967.

In light of this, can the minister explain to the House why Canada shamefully abstained on the vote to call a special session of the UN commission on human rights on these tragic events? Why did Canada not support the call for a special session of the UN commission on human rights into the situation in the Middle East?

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, I am sure I speak for all members of the House in hoping very deeply that the summit, which is taking place today between the parties, will result in a step back from the violence and the killing and that we can begin to resume serious discussions on a peace process.

Canada has been very active in the last several days making calls to try to support that process. The Prime Minister called his counterparts in the Middle East, along with President Clinton. I spoke yesterday to Syrian and Lebanese representatives to talk about the kidnapping of the Israeli soldiers and to see if we could have some return in those areas.

We met with the Israeli envoy today to talk particularly about how we can assist as Canadians in trying to restore peace. This is the important thing.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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NDP

Angela Vautour

New Democratic Party

Ms. Angela Vautour (Beauséjour—Petitcodiac, PC)

Mr. Speaker, I believe that everyone would recognize that the government has failed badly when we talk about women and children. There are more women and children living in poverty today than we have ever seen, especially since 1993.

Will the Minister of Finance recognize these women in crisis and introduce solutions in his upcoming budget so that we can put an end to the suffering and the unfairness that women and children are facing in this rich country? We should not have one woman or child living in the kind of poverty we are now seeing. Will the minister introduce something—

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Poverty
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?

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Finance.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Poverty
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LIB

Paul Martin

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the situation in which many Canadians find themselves, despite the fact that our economy is very strong, is one that is obviously of great concern to all Canadians and certainly this government.

The hon. member must recognize that because of that, this government, in a recent federal-provincial agreement, put $2.2 billion into early childhood development. After creating the national child tax benefit, this particular government has consistently increased it. The government has put money into prenatal nutrition and community welfare organizations and it will continue doing those kinds of things because we share—

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Poverty
Permalink
?

The Speaker

The hon. member for Charleswood St. James—Assiniboia.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Poverty
Permalink
LIB

John Harvard

Liberal

Mr. John Harvard (Charleswood St. James—Assiniboia, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the President of the Treasury Board.

The minister was in western Canada last week. In that regard, I would like to know whether she can provide the House with details of infrastructure agreements she signed on behalf of the federal government with the provincial governments of the four western provinces.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Infrastructure
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LIB

Lucienne Robillard

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to report that we signed agreements last week with the Governments of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia under the infrastructure Canada program. The total value of the four agreements is $1.6 billion.

The priority of investment will be the green infrastructure to improve the quality of air and water for our citizens. This is a very good example of all different levels of government working together for the benefit of Canadians.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Infrastructure
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IND

John Nunziata

Independent

Mr. John Nunziata (York South—Weston, Ind.)

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Deputy Prime Minister. The Prime Minister is about to call an election, an election that nobody wants, not even his backbenchers.

This will be the third election in seven years. It is a cynical and arrogant move on the part of the Prime Minister. Why is the government calling an unnecessary election when it still has two years to run in the mandate it was given in 1997?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Federal Election
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LIB

Herb Gray

Liberal

Hon. Herb Gray (Deputy Prime Minister, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, my hon. friend's question is purely speculative and hypothetical.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Federal Election
Permalink
REF

Diane Ablonczy

Reform

Mrs. Diane Ablonczy (Calgary—Nose Hill, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, the information commissioner's report is very damning to the government. Especially troubling is a section that says:

The future careers in the public service of the Commissioner's staff have, in not so subtle terms, been threatened.

This development in inexcusably unprofessional and profoundly troubling. If members of the public service come to believe that it is career suicide to work, and to do a good job, for the Information Commissioner, the future viability and effectiveness of the Commissioner's office is in grave jeopardy.

Why is the government attacking—

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Report Of Information Commissioner
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?

The Speaker

The hon. President of the Treasury Board.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Report Of Information Commissioner
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LIB

Lucienne Robillard

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, these are very serious allegations. It has always been a policy of this government to support the role of the information commissioner. It is very clear that if there are grounds for these allegations, we will act accordingly, but we will ask the commissioner to supply the relevant information.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Report Of Information Commissioner
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BQ

Monique Guay

Bloc Québécois

Mrs. Monique Guay (Laurentides, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the legislative provisions having to do with pay equity are still too timid and the way in which the legislation is now being applied is short-changing the majority of women.

My question is for the President of the Treasury Board. What is the government waiting for to abandon the judicial approach to pay equity and adopt proactive legislation that would speed up the resolution of disputes and force the parties, employees and employers alike, to sit down and negotiate pay equity in good faith?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Pay Equity
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LIB

Lucienne Robillard

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I am very happy that we have resolved the pay equity dispute involving all employees of the Public Service of Canada.

When this dispute was resolved, the Minister of Finance and myself announced that we would be reviewing the legislation specifically with a view to a much more proactive pay equity mechanism. We are most certainly going to follow up on this commitment.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Pay Equity
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NDP

Dennis Gruending

New Democratic Party

Mr. Dennis Gruending (Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, there is a disaster unfolding right before our very eyes on the Canadian prairies. We are told by Statistics Canada that we have lost 22,000 farmers in the past year. In Saskatchewan alone we have lost 12% of our farmers and Manitoba has lost 15%.

The Liberal government has to bear responsibility for this disaster. Will the agriculture minister commit today to a doubling of support to Canadian farm families?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Agriculture
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LIB

Lyle Vanclief

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, in the last two years we have increased the support and the safety net to Canadian farms by 85%. We said that we will pledge to continue to support Canadian farmers in every way we can, both domestically and internationally, in trade talks. It will take the work of all of us, and a very diligent and strong effort, to do so. We will continue to do that on behalf of Canadian farmers.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Agriculture
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PC

Peter MacKay

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Peter MacKay (Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, PC)

Mr. Speaker, as costs skyrocket, the gun registry continues to be a cumbersome failure on the part of the government.

Can the Minister of Justice provide absolute assurances that there has been no breach in the security of the gun registry databank? Such a breach would provide a government sponsored road map for criminals who choose to steal guns. Could she provide that assurance today?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Gun Registry
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LIB

Anne McLellan

Liberal

Hon. Anne McLellan (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, first let me take the opportunity to say that more gun owners in this country continue to comply with the gun registry than ever before.

As we always knew, legitimate gun owners are committed to gun safety and to complying with the gun registry and licensing provisions.

Let me inform the hon. member that to the best of my knowledge there has been no security breach. I would appreciate hearing from the hon. member rather than having him raising fears and scaremongering.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Gun Registry
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October 16, 2000