House of Commons Hansard #84 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was immigration.

Topics

Situation In Haiti
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Northumberland
Ontario

Liberal

Christine Stewart Secretary of State (Latin America and Africa)

Mr. Speaker, Canada is committed as a I said before to strenghthening existing sanctions against Haiti including an increase to commercial sanctions in terms of the freezing of bank accounts against Haiti. It is our view that sanctions have to be given a full opportunity to be effective.

I just returned from a meeting of the Organization of American States in Belem, Brazil last week and it was also the view of the majority of the states of the hemisphere that sanctions should be given as much support as possible at this time in order that there could be a peaceful resolution to the difficulties in Haiti and that President Aristide can be returned to his rightful place as president of Haiti.

Lumber
Oral Question Period

June 13th, 1994 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, in Le Devoir on Saturday, Quebec's former legal adviser in Washington, Mr. Elliott Feldman, said that trade interests were not well defended in the softwood lumber question and that federal negotiators were more concerned about presenting a pan-Canadian position than about defending provinces whose trade practices are above reproach.

My question is directed to the Minister for International Trade. Would the minister agree that in the softwood lumber question, the federal government should insist that Quebec producers not be subject to countervail measures applied in Canada, since Quebec does not subsidize its exports?

Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke North
Ontario

Liberal

Roy MacLaren Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, as a general comment, the hon. member will know that the matters discussed in the newspaper article to which he refers occurred at a period when this government was not in office. It is difficult for me to comment on the motives and the reasons of the government that was in office at that time.

On the specific issue of softwood lumber, the Government of Canada did support the assertion that Quebec lumber exporters should have a separate rate. Unfortunately, the free trade panel which ruled that Canadian practices do not constitute a countervailable subsidy upheld the decision of the U.S. Commerce Department not to exempt Quebec from the national duty deposit rate.

Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, would the minister agree that if he were prepared to technically treat Quebec as a country-in the meaning of U.S. trade legislation, not in the political sense-he would have saved Quebec lumber producers tens of millions of dollars in countervail duty?

[English]

Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke North
Ontario

Liberal

Roy MacLaren Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, no.

The Family
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

Sharon Hayes Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

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

World-wide and throughout history jurisprudence has confirmed the common understanding of the family. Canadian law also reflects a common understanding. To change the definition of family would be to shift some of the most deeply felt foundational values of our culture.

Could the minister on behalf of the government define family for this House?

The Family
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I think I would refer the hon. member to a much more reliable source of dictionary definition than I can provide. I can tell her that those of us on this side of the House share her sentiments about the importance of family. It motivates what we do. It influences policies we develop. Strengthening the family is a fundamental objective of the government.

Insofar as a definition is concerned, we are quite happy to go with the commonly accepted definition. I commend the dictionary to the hon. member if she wants more detail than that.

The Family
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Sharon Hayes Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Dictionary of Canadian Law gives this definition: "Family includes a man and a woman living together as husband and wife, whether or not married, in a permanent relationship, or the survivor of either, and includes the children of both or either, natural or adopted-and any person lawfully related to any of the aforementioned-".

The Family
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The Chair is having difficulty in that we are asking for definitions and then giving definitions. The Chair always waits for the final question to come, but I would ask the hon. member to please couch her questions so that they deal with the administrative responsibility of the minister in charge. If the hon. member could please put her question.

The Family
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Sharon Hayes Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, could the minister tell us if he agrees with the definition as found in the Canadian Dictionary of Law?

The Family
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, if that is indeed what the Canadian Dictionary of Law says I am sure that for the purposes of that dictionary it is quite adequate.

I am sure also that, as the hon. member well knows, the English language is a rich and beautiful one which can be used and adapted to suit contexts as appropriate. I am sure the hon. member will bear that in mind.

The Family
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

I am sure that we do have ministers who can deal with the more precise English, but if the question is to be put to a specific minister I would ask that it deal with his or her administration responsibility in government

The Family
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Sharon Hayes Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, not long ago the minister floated a trial balloon suggesting that the Liberal government is considering redefining the family perhaps as households.

Given the historic gravity of such a redefinition, will the minister commit to a broad formal process of consultations with Canadians before undertaking such a monumental task?

The Family
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I can remember testifying before the standing committee on human rights and persons with disabilities, speaking in answer to a question about the prospect of relationships being relevant for the purposes of government programs. I did not deal with households but rather with relationships, a term for which there is a precise definition available.

At the same time I made it clear that we would be consulting, discussing and listening to Canadians as we explore the best possible ways to deliver essential government programs in accordance with fairness and equity.

Peacekeepers In Former Yugoslavia
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Marc Jacob Charlesbourg, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Thursday after visiting Canadian peacekeepers in Visoko in the former Yugoslavia, the Prime Minister hinted that Canada could withdraw its peacekeepers if, in his words, "there is no progress toward peace".

My question is directed either to the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs or the Minister of Defence.

Can the government confirm whether it intends to pull its peacekeepers out of the former Yugoslavia if no progress is made in the peace talks or if the arms embargo is lifted?