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View Maxime Blanchette-Joncas Profile
I can read the motion as amended. The only change is the addition of the words “and Quebec.”
That the committee undertake a study of at least three meetings to investigate and consider options to address the supply and shortage of herring bait in Atlantic Canada and Quebec and to explore new options for bait such as Asian carp as a replacement for the depleting herring stocks.
View Ken McDonald Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Ken McDonald Profile
2020-02-25 9:27
We'll vote on the amendment as proposed, adding the words “and Quebec” into the study.
(Amendment agreed to)
The Chair: Now we'll vote on the original motion as amended.
(Motion as amended agreed to [See Minutes of Proceedings])
View Randy Hoback Profile
Again, that was because of negotiations; we negotiated them out. Now if we don't have a deal, one would assume they're going to treat Canada as a whole. That means they will now be facing tariffs; that industry will be hit.
Quebec, for example, has changed their policy on how they collect stumpage. How is that being impacted? That was one of our recommendations, that it should be one of the considerations. How is that being considered, and how do you negotiate with no consensus? How do you move forward when you don't even have consensus within the industry? It must be tough.
View Denis Lemieux Profile
Lib. (QC)
Is the federal government also examining the possibility of building LNG facilities and setting up LNG projects in eastern Canada?
View Robert Bouchard Profile
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Welcome, and thank you for coming to testify before us about the price of oil.
My first question goes to Mr. Boag. In your text, we read: “In the Atlantic Provinces and Quebec, there is also an overlay of provincial legislation and regulation that limit competition.“
Have these measures in Quebec and Atlantic Canada provided consumers with lower prices, or have they actually helped prices to rise compared with those in other parts of Canada?
View Thierry St-Cyr Profile
Thank you, everyone.
Mr. Busby, as our chairman asked you, you cited some statistics showing the variation in unemployment rates between central Alberta and a place whose name I forget somewhere in the Atlantic Provinces. You mentioned 2% compared to 19%, I believe.
When I sat on the Finance Committee, representatives of the C.D. Howe Institute addressed this problem and that of labour mobility. I think you're looking at things backwards. Perhaps we should talk more about job mobility. People are not livestock that we can move from one end of the country to the other based on economic needs. If people live in the Atlantic provinces, were raised there and have lived there, it's because they prefer the smell of the sea to that of the oil sands. If people from Quebec don't go to Alberta, it's because they belong to a different culture, their language is different, and they don't want to go and live in Alberta. However, other people live there and like it there, and so much the better.
Whether it be through our immigration policies or any other social policy, we should try to establish our economic policy so that it meets our social needs rather than try to move people and adapt our social policies to economic reality. That's what we see these days, and we wonder whether we should continue encouraging the oil sands development, in particular.
I'm not going to go too far in that direction because I'm straying from the subject and our chairman is very touchy about that today. Getting back to immigration, do you think we're not really solving the problem by relying mainly on temporary foreign workers to offset major labour shortages in certain places? Shouldn't we opt instead for an economic policy designed to create jobs in certain regions, thus striking a better balance?
View Michael Chong Profile
I would like to thank our guests for being here.
You mentioned the situation you find yourself in with Radio-Canada in Saskatchewan--that you're listening to traffic reports about Montreal. It's the same thing in Ontario with English-language radio. I can tell you that Radio One in Toronto covers a broad geographic area, so farmers living in the north part of Waterloo region in Wellington County, which is hours away from Toronto, hear traffic reports about street cars being blocked at Queen and Broadview.
So this is not unique to Radio-Canada on the prairies; it's across the corporation.
With respect to funding, I know that some new procedures have been introduced to make it easier for organizations seeking funding for their programming. One of the things they can do, for example, is request funding on a multi-year basis.
Is funding being distributed in all parts of the country in such a way as to guarantee the long-term viability of the country's official language communities?
I ask this question because our analyst, Jean-Rodrigue Paré, has prepared some research for us. I note that the breakdown of the funding across the country is not exactly consistent with the distribution of language minority populations in Canada.
For example, in Ontario, community groups receive about $4 million, yet Ontario has over 500,000 francophones. Across all of the prairies, community groups receive about $10 million, yet there are only about 200,000 francophones. In the Maritimes, community groups receive about $5 million, yet there are only about 300,000 francophones. In Quebec, the anglophone community groups receive about $3 million, when there are over one million anglophones in that province.
Do you think the distribution of funds across the country is done in a way that ensures sufficient support for minority language communities in all regions, including Ontario and Quebec?
View Yvon Lévesque Profile
Good morning, gentlemen.
As you know, I am new. I have to become familiar with a considerable amount of information. In your projections, I would like to know if the amounts you have identified recognize that the harbours are going to deteriorate even faster if they are not dealt with immediately.
You also indicated that you took aboriginal harbours out of your estimates. Nunavut also was mentioned. I have an interest in the situation in Nunavik. Do you keep Nunavik harbours in the Quebec list or are they separate? I have observed that with global warming and the increase in navigation, coastal residents are becoming very worried. If there were an accident at sea, for example, they would have a difficult time rescuing the victims.
I heard at one point that in the Atlantic provinces, ACOA contributes to harbour improvement. In Quebec, we do not have that assistance available. Is there another program that could provide the small harbours in Quebec with the same support that the Atlantic provinces get?
View Jean-Claude D'Amours Profile
Lib. (NB)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I would like to go back to the subject I spoke about earlier. I'm going to submit figures to you and to ask for your comments. As a matter of fact, this applies to all of you.
Ms. Reynolds, you spoke about individuals who receive EI regularly. They become unemployed because of the season, and not because they feel like receiving EI benefits. I'm going to give you an example. The Canadian Nursery Trades Association appeared before us this morning. The president and the CEO told us they tried to combine their Summer working season with the Winter season of another industry. Now, the other industry needs the workers before the end of the Summer season. In the same way, when the Winter season ends in the other industry, the nursery and horticultural season has already begun. Those people try to make the system work but they haven't found yet with which industries they could match in order to cover the 12 months of the year without any overlap.
Did you know that in Quebec, 55 percent of businesses are concerned about a skilled labour shortage? Across the country, it is in the Maritimes that the unemployment rate is the highest. Did you know that 48 percent of P.E.I. entrepreneurs foresaw that this would be a problem in the long term? We are talking about 43 percent of New Brunswick entrepreneurs. Did you know that over the next 12 months, in the Maritime provinces, we would need to increase by 67 percent the number of full-time employees? Did you know that in the Maritimes, thus in New Brunswick, in Nova Scotia and in P.E.I., the estimated total of long term vacancies was 12 percent, namely the totality of Canadian needs? Now, we represent, I think, 5 percent of the Canadian population.
I would say that, for your industry, the construction industry, or for any other industry you are representing here, the solution lies maybe elsewhere. Other areas are going through the same thing. In fact, everybody has the same problem. Maybe we should accept to use immigration directly if the are no candidates.
View Rick Dykstra Profile
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I'm going to jump right at this. We sure don't get much time to ask questions; we try to get as much as we can out of it.
One of the points Mr. McCallum made was in reference to comments Mr. Ignatieff has made. One of the concerns in Ontario that a lot of us have had, in the province I've lived in my whole life, is the impact the separation or the sovereignty of Quebec would have on the eastern provinces. This week-end he was certainly talking a lot about nation building in Quebec, and from an economic perspective.
Could each of you give us a perspective on what type of impact that would have on the east, especially here in Newfoundland?
View Paul Crête Profile
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
My question is for Ms. Blenkhorn or Mr. Irving. In my riding, several companies like Maibec are exempted because they harvest U.S. wood. Of course, this aspect of the agreement is interesting, but these businesses think that the agreement needs to be reworked because the possible denunciation period of the agreement has become so short that they will not cash the profit which would result from their exemption.
Can you explain to me the difference between the situation of those people and yours? In my riding, we feel the effects of the Maritime exemption: during a conflict, our lumber goes indirectly or otherwise to your area, which makes that there are less jobs in our area. This is the reason why we wanted the matter to be settled definitely.
View Dominic LeBlanc Profile
Lib. (NB)
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Welcome, Minister. In the middle of Parliament's summer recess, thank you for coming back to Ottawa. Thank you, colleagues. As Helena mentioned, thank you for taking time to study this important issue.
Minister, in my questions I wanted to touch on three issues. My colleagues in subsequent rounds are going to talk about some of the concerns we have--for example, money ending up in the hands of the U.S. industry and the treatment of the Canadian industry--but my colleagues will come to that.
Minister, I wanted to touch on three issues. The first one is that as an Atlantic Canadian--and I see my colleagues Mr. Casey and Mr. Eyking are here as well--I think we need to recognize that the Atlantic industry, the Maritime Lumber Bureau, and the provincial governments in my region of Canada have endorsed the agreement because the historic exemption of Atlantic Canada has in fact been preserved. I say that candidly and without reservation; for Atlantic Canada, this was an important moment. There have never been allegations of subsidy made against the Atlantic industry, for reasons that you understand very well, in terms of stumpage rates and private land holdings, so as an Atlantic Canadian, I'm certainly pleased that this agreement protects the rights we have fought hard to ensure are protected.
As an official opposition, we're concerned that other regions of the country--like yours, Minister--don't seem to have the same level of confidence in this agreement. I'm sure that as a member of Parliament from British Columbia, you're concerned with the reaction of your region.
Specifically with respect to the Atlantic exemption, I think that in previous comments you have resisted a separate agreement for the Maritimes similar to the 1996 exchange of letters that became known as the maritime accord. Now that the Maritimes are included in the main agreement, if, as you said in your closing comments, decisions are made by industry or by Parliament and this agreement does not go ahead, would you be prepared to look at a mechanism separate and apart from this issue that would preserve and protect the Maritimes exemption? That is certainly a question people in the industry in my part of Canada are asking.
Another issue, Minister, is with respect to the termination clause. You touched on it in your comments. Many industry spokespersons, and you've seen them as well as we have....
As regards Quebec, I heard the comments made by Mr. Chevrette and the industry in that province with respect to the need for more than a 23-month agreement. In Quebec and other regions of the country, the termination clause is causing a great deal of concern.
You have said that other free trade agreements have six-month cancellation provisions, for example, but there has never been such a litigious set of circumstances as those that apply to softwood lumber. Surely in all the different trade and sector agreements, for reasons you've identified, softwood lumber has been a very contentious and litigious moment.
Don't you worry, as do other representatives of the industry, that this termination clause in fact guts the argument of the Prime Minister and your own argument that it brings seven to nine years of stability? From our perspective, the termination clause renders moot the idea that there is a sustained and long period of stability and predictability, so that remains something we hope to improve.
A final point, Minister, is that you have said negotiations effectively ended with the initialling of your agreement in Geneva. We're very much hoping that's not the case. We, the official opposition, think you can still make improvements. We're not opposed to any agreement; we're opposed to an agreement that we believe is bad for the industry and bad for Canadian workers. We're hoping you can confirm for us today that some discussions are taking place, either among industry groups with the U.S. coalition or perhaps among provincial governments and the American government; that we may see mechanisms that could improve this agreement; and that perhaps that might be why the Prime Minister and the President didn't sign the agreement earlier in July--because you too are hopeful that we can bring some improvements to this agreement.
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