House of Commons Hansard #236 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-64.

Topics

Oceans Act
Government Orders

5:25 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I declare the motion carried. Accordingly, the bill is referred to the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans.

(Motion agreed to and bill read the second time and referred to a committee.)

A motion to adjourn the House under Standing Order 38 deemed to have been moved.

Oceans Act
Adjournment Proceedings

5:25 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, in September I asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs whether in light of the French government's decision to resume nuclear tests he would call for a boycott of products made in France. The minister replied that although deploring France's decision to test it is more important that next year France sign the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty.

Last May in Geneva, 25 years after the nuclear non-proliferation treaty was signed, 178 nations voted to extend it and make it forever illegal for any member country beyond the original five nuclear powers to develop nuclear weapons. In return, nuclear powers would sign a permanent test ban treaty next year, a first

step in dismantling their nuclear arsenals as required under the non-proliferation treaty.

While negotiations for a comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty are under way, France has embarked on a course of action that threatens to destabilize this important treaty process. When these actions are combined with a reopened debate in the United States on whether nuclear tests below 500 pounds of explosives should be allowed under the proposed treaty, you can see why non-nuclear nations are wondering whether nuclear powers are truly committed to a comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty and the eventual elimination of their nuclear arsenals.

The government of President Chirac argues that the principal reason the present tests are necessary is to provide data for developing nuclear test simulation software. I repeat: nuclear test simulation software. By contrast, in 1991 President François Mitterrand ordered that nuclear test simulation software be developed without further tests. In addition, the American and British governments have already developed nuclear test simulation capabilities. The fact that the technology for nuclear test simulation already exists renders current tests by France unnecessary.

As we talk in this chamber, the O.J. Simpson trial and other recent murder trials command more attention than the actions taken by the French government, which threaten the comprehensive test ban treaty process and the South Pacific environment. Such actions should not just be deplored, they ought to be forcefully criticized, as the Australian and Japanese governments have done.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs ought to call in the ambassador for France and ask that the French government stop all further tests. If this is unsuccessful, Canadians can register their disapproval by simply boycotting products made in France, from wines to perfumes, from cheese to fashion, from cars to tourism.

In Sweden the voluntary actions of citizens have resulted, I am told, in an 80 per cent reduction in the sale of French wines. Canadians as consumers can express their disapproval too. It is the only weapon we have as citizens to convey our sentiments about a primitive use of power or about an action that is best described as the pornography of power.

Oceans Act
Adjournment Proceedings

5:30 p.m.

Parkdale—High Park
Ontario

Liberal

Jesse Flis Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Davenport for reminding the public of the importance of this subject.

With respect to French nuclear testing, the Government of Canada has expressed its view on the matter in a clear and unambiguous manner. We deplore the resumption of these tests and have made our position known to France in no uncertain terms. When China resumed its tests earlier this year, we also expressed our views on that matter.

Our position is clear. We call on all nuclear weapons states to stop these tests. We call for a speedy progress toward the signature of a comprehensive test ban treaty, the CTBT, which is the best way to ensure the end of all tests for all time.

Canada's position with respect to nuclear testing is not a recent one. This is a bedrock policy that we have had since the days of former Prime Minister Trudeau when he set out the strategy calling for the suffocation of nuclear arsenals. The hon. member was here at the time and helped to develop this policy.

We are one of the few countries in the world that has the capability yet has decided as a matter of policy not to develop nuclear weapons. We have also chosen not to have any nuclear armed weapons stationed on our soil.

Having succeeded in getting the non-proliferation treaty extended for an indefinite period we are now working very hard to ensure a truly comprehensive verifiable nuclear weapon test ban, the CTBT, is signed by June 1996.

We are very heartened to learn that so far three of the five nuclear weapons states, the U.S., the U.K. and France, have come out supporting a zero option CTBT, which the hon. member will be pleased to hear. This means a treaty which will allow no nuclear explosions whatsoever.

Again I congratulate the hon. member for helping Canada develop our policy in banning all nuclear weapons from this planet.

Oceans Act
Adjournment Proceedings

5:30 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The House stands adjourned until tomorrow at 2 p.m.

(The House adjourned at 5.35 p.m.)