House of Commons Hansard #53 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was police.

Topics

Refugees
Oral Question Period

April 20th, 1994 / 2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Osvaldo Nunez Bourassa, QC

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

The dramatic situation persisting in Rwanda could bring many refugees from that country to Canada. We know that 800 Rwandans from the Tutsi minority already live in Canada, most of them in Quebec.

Can the Deputy Prime Minister tell us what the Canadian government's policy on Rwandan refugee claims will be and can she promise that every case will be carefully examined so that the people responsible for the massacres cannot seek asylum in Canada to escape justice?

Refugees
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment

I think that the hon. member shows a good knowledge of the very difficult situation in Rwanda.

Clearly, our government has always had a very open policy regarding the warm welcome extended to those who are forced to flee their country, but we will also have to be very efficient at turning away the people who contributed to terrorism.

I think we will take his suggestion and refer it to the minister of immigration who has already done some work on this very important issue for Canadians.

Refugees
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Osvaldo Nunez Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, given the terrible situation now prevailing in Rwanda, can the Deputy Prime Minister promise to put in place special family reunification measures, as was done in 1992 for nationals of Somalia and the former Yugoslavia?

Refugees
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, in the absence of my colleague, the minister of immigration, I am happy to inform the House that one of the main points of the new immigration policy recently announced by the minister was an increase in the family class.

Our red book recognizes that it is important for families to be reunited here in this country, both for their integration and for the good of Canada. I am sure that the minister will consider the suggestions of the hon. member opposite and act accordingly.

Tobacco Products
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Margaret Bridgman Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health.

Recently, after having asked the House Standing Committee on Health to study the issue of plain packaging of tobacco products, the hon. minister publicly stated: "I would like to see us move on that as quickly as we possibly can" and "I feel that it would do a lot to discourage young people especially from taking up smoking".

Could the minister tell the House why she has requested both her department and the health committee to study this issue, at considerable expense to the taxpayer, when it is apparent from her statements that she has already decided to go ahead with the plain packaging?

Tobacco Products
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Sudbury
Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for her question.

In January 1994 the Canadian Cancer Society released a report "The Effects of Smoking on Young People". This report concluded that it would discourage young people from taking up this terrible habit of smoking.

In February 1994 when we released our anti-smuggling strategy, the Prime Minister announced in the House that we would look at the issue of plain packaging. The Standing Committee on Health is looking at that at this time. I await with great anxiety and I am anxious to hear the results of what the committee is doing. I am sure it will have some very valuable information to give to all of us.

In the meantime, I have asked the Department of Health to undertake a research project, a very specific marketing project, to look into allegations that it would discourage young people from smoking. As the member knows, if we can prevent just one death it is very worthwhile. In this case every year 38,000 Canadians die as a direct result of smoking.

Tobacco Products
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Margaret Bridgman Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the minister's answer. Considering that the Department of Health has publicly stated that its study would take until the end of the year and that the committee on health care was also looking at this, is it fair to assume that the government will not make a decision on this issue until those reports are in?

Tobacco Products
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Sudbury
Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I can tell the hon. member that no legislation has been drafted at this time. I must add that when I met with provincial ministers of health there was a great deal of interest on their part to look into the matter of plain packaging. It is not just the federal jurisdiction that is interested in doing some work in that area. We will continue this as I truly believe that plain packaging will

have an effect in influencing young people not to take up this habit.

Transport Canada
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Ron MacDonald Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport.

Transport Canada has just issued a notice to airmen and the marine industry advising of the possibility of space debris re-entering the atmosphere and crashing off the east coast of Canada, specifically the east coast of Nova Scotia.

What information could the parliamentary secretary give the House concerning this matter, more particularly whether it is the view of the government that this re-entry poses any threat to the safety of Canadians on the east coast of Canada?

Transport Canada
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

London East
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Fontana Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for giving me this opportunity of advising the House that Transport Canada has been advised by Cape Canaveral that there is a possibility that some space debris may re-enter the atmosphere and crash into the ocean off Nova Scotia and Newfoundland on Thursday, April 21, 1994, between 1200 and 1500 hours, eastern daylight time.

This is a serious and important issue and Transport Canada is working with the departments of National Defence, Foreign Affairs and our respective American counterparts to monitor the path of this debris. As the member mentioned, notice has already gone out to the marine and aviation industries.

I also advise the House that it is intended that the departmental satellite re-entry contingency plan, which provides for Transport Canada emergency staff, will give the authority to take whatever action within its sphere of competence to-

Transport Canada
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Transport Canada
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

One would hope that contingency plans are also in place to protect us here in Ottawa.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Reform

Elwin Hermanson Kindersley—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order under Standing Order 18 to bring to the attention of the House a very serious matter with respect to statements made by the hon. member for Carleton-Gloucester both in and outside the Chamber.

Standing Order 18 states in part that no member shall use offensive words against either House or any member thereof.

I refer to Hansard of Monday, April 18, 1994, page 3175:

The Reform Party proposes a form of ethnic cleansing.

Also, in response to a question I had asked the hon. member, I refer to page 3176 of Hansard :

I think you are a bunch of bigots.

The hon. member later withdrew this but only after the Deputy Speaker insisted.

Also, in response to my colleague, the hon. member for Nanaimo-Cowichan, the hon. member for Carleton-Gloucester stated: "The Reform member should not have worn a dark suit to address the House today but rather a white sheet". Erskine May 21st edition of parliamentary practice also states that insulting language of a nature likely to create disorder is unparliamentary.

The only reason that these remarks did not create disorder which has been seen so often in the House is that the Reform Party has too much respect for Parliament and for the Canadians who elected us. However, the words spoken by the member for Carleton-Gloucester are offensive in the extreme. This type of language has no place in the parliamentary forum or anywhere else.

I would also like to draw to the attention of the House that today outside the House the member for Carleton-Gloucester once again-

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

As to the remarks outside the House, whatever is said outside the House as a general rule we do not deal with in here.

Does the member have something to add to the primary?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Reform

Elwin Hermanson Kindersley—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, I agree with what you said. What I was saying was that while these remarks were made outside the House they were similar to those remarks made in the House.

While I recognize, Mr. Speaker, that you cannot rule on comments made outside the House, the repetition of remarks made in the Chamber does nothing for the level of decorum that Canadians expect from their parliamentarians.

Finally I would ask that you make a ruling on this unacceptable language in the House.