House of Commons Hansard #255 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was federal.

Topics

The Constitution
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, obviously the government speaks with one voice, whether it does through the Prime Minister, who is in charge, the Minister of Justice or myself. Furthermore, the questions now being asked by the hon. member for the opposition are about purely speculative matters on which the government is not prepared to commit itself.

The Constitution
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we will keep trying to find out a little more about the vacuum that exists on the other side.

Does the Minister of Justice realize that this plan to hold federal referendums that might amend the Canadian constitution means that his government intends to go over the head of the Quebec National Assembly, as it did in 1982?

The Constitution
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, the purpose of a referendum is to find out how the public feels. We know how the public feels. People want to stay in Canada, and they want changes made within Canada. They expressed their opinion. It is over. Because we believe in democracy, we concluded that their no was a real no, and we are acting on that basis. That is why we are going to put reforms in place in Canada.

The Constitution
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Justice refuses to rule out, as a scenario for amending the constitution, the possibility that the federal could hold its own referenda in the five regions of Canada, including Quebec.

My question is for the Minister of Justice. In this context, are we to understand that the right of veto for Quebecers the Prime Minister of Canada referred to would consist in violating the authority of the Quebec national assembly by flouting its prerogative to hold its own referenda?

The Constitution
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment

No, Mr. Speaker.

The Constitution
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Everyone but the Minister of Justice answered, Mr. Speaker.

My second question is for the Minister of Justice. Is this federal initiative not an indication that Ottawa is trying to pave the way for another dirty trick like the one it played on us in 1982 by amending the constitution without the consent of the Quebec national assembly? They are at it again.

The Constitution
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment

No, Mr. Speaker.

Security Of Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, all Canadians were shocked to hear of the break-in at 24 Sussex Drive on Saturday night.

The Prime Minister deserves to be protected. He must be protected, especially in his own home. The more Canadians learn about this, the more outraged they are at this breach of security.

I ask the Solicitor General of Canada, where in the world did our security system go wrong on Saturday night?

Security Of Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

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

Madam Speaker, this is a very unfortunate situation.

I met with the commissioner yesterday and discussed it with him again this morning. I can confirm that I have asked for a full investigation and he has agreed that such an investigation be carried out into the security of the Prime Minister and that of all official residences.

A full investigation is being carried out into this incident by a senior officer of the RCMP not connected with the management of the security system. The purpose of this investigation is not only to find out what happened but to make sure it does not happen again.

Security Of Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister says it was an unfortunate incident. In fact it was terrifying. I have my sympathies for Mrs. Chrétien, who went to the door and found such a frightening thing. It is not acceptable that it just be deemed unfortunate, especially on the heels of the tragic murder on that same day of the Israeli Prime Minister.

It took the RCMP almost 10 minutes to respond. If Mrs. Chrétien had called the fire department, their response time would have been three and a half minutes. Why did it take so long?

Security Of Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 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 have already pointed out that this incident is totally unacceptable.

The commissioner of the RCMP had a press conference earlier today and expressed his shock and dismay at what happened.

Obviously a full investigation has not been completed. It would appear that the RCMP officers on the site did not follow procedures. Instead of moving immediately to the house, they surrounded the house before going in and arresting the person who had broken into the house and placing him under control.

Security Of Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, platitudes and investigations and all these kinds of things are one thing, but Canadians are demanding more. They are demanding action, not just reports and tabling reports and all that. They do not feel safe in their own homes. Now they find out that their Prime Minister is not safe in his.

How can the solicitor general assure Canadians that this government has taken immediate steps so that this will never happen again? Will he commit today to tabling the report that is brought forward so that all Canadians can look at it?

Security Of Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the report is going to be made to me by the commissioner. I will review it. To the extent that information can be made public without undermining security, I will certainly attempt to bring it forward to this House.

I can also confirm to this House that enhancements and improvements to the security at 24 Sussex have already been made. The RCMP and the government are not waiting for the report before making necessary improvements in security.

Above all, this incident is shocking and dismaying. It is unacceptable. As far as I am concerned, everything possible will be done to make sure it never happens again.

The Constitution
Oral Question Period

November 6th, 1995 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre De Savoye Portneuf, QC

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

Saturday he confirmed that the federal government is opposed to any constitutional recognition of the distinct status of Quebec and that it is preparing instead to table in the House of Commons a simple and inconsequential resolution which will not change anything concretely for Quebec.

Are we to understand that the fact that only one Canadian in three outside Quebec would be prepared to modify the constitution explains the federal intention to offer Quebecers only a simple resolution on the distinct society which will serve no useful purpose to the men and women of Quebec?

The Constitution
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I never said that, but it is our intention to respect the Prime Minister's commitments.

As my colleague stated today, the most important thing is to ensure good government; then another referendum campaign will not be necessary.