House of Commons Hansard #265 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was institutions.

Topics

Manpower Training
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

York North
Ontario

Liberal

Maurizio Bevilacqua Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I do not know where the hon. member gets the impression that we are not willing to reform Canada's social security system. Just as a reminder, it was the federal government that embarked on this very important legislative process to modernize Canada's social security system.

I want to tell the hon. member, who is extremely concerned about the role of the provinces in this particular case, that the provinces will be brought in as very effective partners, along with local stakeholders, to make sure that the type of training Canadians need is in tune with the times and will get Canadians back to work very quickly.

Prisons
Oral Question Period

November 27th, 1995 / 2:35 p.m.

Reform

Art Hanger Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, it was recently reported that the 1994-95 cable TV bill for providing cable services to prisoners at the Mountain and Kent institutions totalled nearly $60,000. That is for one year.

Criminals should be punished for their crimes. Yet we have murderers, thieves, rapists, and drug dealers being treated to such luxury as cable TV, compliments of the taxpayer.

My question is for the solicitor general. Why is he wasting taxpayers' money to provide prisoners with cable TV when many of our law-abiding citizens and seniors cannot even afford to keep it?

Prisons
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I think my hon. friend is mistaken in his allegations. If my recollection is correct, the system is being switched so that the cost of cable TV is being paid for by the prisoners themselves. I think that is something he should be happy to support.

Prisons
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Art Hanger Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Solicitor General should get his facts straight. The salaries the prisoners make in prison are paid for by the taxpayers. It is still taxpayers' money.

Federal prisoners in federal institutions are sitting on their duffs watching cable TV to the tune of $1 million a year. Whatever happened to hard time?

Will the minister show some strength of character and announce immediately that all TVs will be removed from federal prisons, yes or no?

Prisons
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, when prisoners get paid it is basically for work they do or programming they are involved with in prisons. It is part of the process so that when they get out they do not offend again, which I hope is something the hon. member will support.

I repeat, the cost of TV in prisons is being borne by prisoners themselves. I do not understand why the hon. member is more concerned about this than matters of jobs or Canadian unity, but if he wants to be, I am happy to answer his questions.

Environment
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Environment surely knows that her colleague, the Minister of Natural Resources will, as early as mid-December, fob off on the private sector a site located in Quebec which could be contaminated by nuclear waste. Indeed, a public servant involved in the sale wrote that: "If the site is contaminated, we may be forced to decontaminate it, even after the sale".

Is that the kind of practice to which the minister was alluding when she recently said, with great pomp: "We do our best to turn environmental challenges into economic opportunities"?

Environment
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton Northwest
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I must confess that I am not sure I understand the hon. member's question. If she is referring to the sale of part of some 2,500 acres owned by AECL in the province of Quebec, AECL will be selling 250 acres of that site. The contractual negotiations are ongoing at this time.

Environment
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, will the minister, who prides herself on implementing the principle whereby the polluter must pay, give the example by pledging to decontaminate that potentially contaminated site before its final sale? I think my question is clear, Mr. Speaker.

Environment
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton Northwest
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, environmental assessment of the land is a matter for discussion and negotiation between the seller and the prospective buyer. Those discussions are going on now as part of the negotiations for the sale. I do not understand what the hon. member's concern is.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Harold Culbert Carleton—Charlotte, NB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of National Defence.

Now that the report of the special commission on restructuring of the reserves has been tabled, can the minister advise the House and my Carleton-Charlotte constituents the timeframe that can be expected for the new review and possible implementation of the commission's recommendations and the result of same?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Fred Mifflin Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question, which I believe is of importance to all members of the House.

I have to tell the hon. member, and I believe the House is aware, that this spring a special commission was struck on the restructuring of Canada's reserves. The commission was chaired by a retired Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. Two acknowledged experts in the field were his compatriots on the study. The study was completed at the end of last month and was reported to the minister and indeed to the parliamentary committee.

The Standing Committee on National Defence and Veterans Affairs is now in its third week of hearing witnesses with respect to the recommendations that were made on the report, which was tabled in the House about three weeks ago. The hon. member should also be aware that the other place has recently struck a committee and it too will be studying the contents of this very important report.

Regarding the timeframe, both committees are to make a report to the minister by mid-January.

Criminal Code
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Jack Ramsay Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, victims groups, the police, the Reform Party and a majority of the Liberal caucus want the elimination of section 745 of the Criminal Code, which allows first degree murderers to appeal their sentence after serving only 15 years of a life term.

I ask the Minister of Justice, will he support the removal of this unacceptable provision by ensuring that Bill C-226 is brought before the standing committee before this session of Parliament ends?

Criminal Code
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, may I first observe how welcome it is to hear the hon. member asking about a new and important subject.

Last spring, when the private member's bill was before the House, there was in effect a free vote on the question of whether it should go to committee. It went to committee. Shortly afterwards I wrote to the chair of the committee and asked that the committee arrange to have hearings on the bill early on. Those hearings were started just after the House resumed in September.

I have urged the committee to look at the question of section 745 in the broader context of penalties for murder. I hope it does that. I also hope to have something to say to the committee before it completes that deliberation on the whole subject so that we can see the issue in context.

Criminal Code
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Jack Ramsay Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, what motivates, at least in part, my question to the justice minister is my knowledge of his stand on Bill C-226 when it came before the House.

I say to the justice minister that Darrel Crook, the convicted murderer of RCMP Constable Brian King, is appealing his parole ineligibility for first degree murder this February.

Will the minister put a stop to the further torment of Brian King's widow or will he subject her to reliving the brutal death of her husband one more time? Will he support the elimination of section 745 from the Criminal Code? Will he tell us of his intention today?

Criminal Code
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I met last June in my office with Marie King Forest, the widow of Constable King. I had an opportunity to discuss with her firsthand the effect that the application has had on her and her family.

More than anything else, it was my perception that her exclusion from the process was enormously hurtful. That in large part motivated the change in section 745 which I brought before the House in Bill C-41, which guarantees the role for the victim in the section 745 hearing. This change was brought about largely due to my meeting with Marie King Forest.

I do not believe the issue is so simple that it can be dealt with solely by the repeal of section 745. I have made every effort to encourage the hon. member, the House and the committee to see that question in the broader context of penalties for the crime of murder.

As the committee examines that broader question, I shall have something to say by way of what I hope are constructive suggestions as to how it might improve the regime for murder penalties in Canada. This will include the question of the application provided for in section 745.