House of Commons Hansard #167 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Irving Whale
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the only one who thinks this is a controversial issue is the company that did not land the contract. What is truly unfortunate for the hon. member opposite is that people called her leader regarding this issue when he was environment minister, and he held public hearings into the matter in Halifax, Dartmouth and on Prince Edward Island, yet took no action.

As soon as we came to office, we acted and we hope to raise the Irving Whale this summer at the very latest.

Irving Whale
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am speaking to the Minister of the Environment who, at present, is the only one responsible for the Department of the Environment, and who is the one who must make the right decisions.

Irving Whale
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Irving Whale
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Laurentides, QC

How can the minister explain her steadfast refusal to have an electronic inspection of the barge's hull done before raising it, which the experts say is the very minimum which must be done to prevent a major ecological catastrophe from occurring if the Irving Whale were to break up during the operation?

Irving Whale
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member had read the documents I provided, all of the material in the public domain, including the 1990 report asking the former minister to take action, she would know that we did have an electronic inspection done last June.

What I find incredibly obscure about the logic of the hon. member is that a few months ago she stood in the House and said we should not wait until next spring. We have to lift the Irving Whale this year. Now that we are moving ahead and have gone to tender, she completely reverses the position she took only a few months ago.

I took a position, unlike her leader. I am going to raise the Irving Whale and finally we will get rid of the ticking time bomb that has been there for 25 years.

Labour
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Dale Johnston Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have been informed the government has finally agreed to Reform's demands for back to work legislation in the current west coast labour dispute.

This addresses the immediate problem for Canadian shipping. What is the Minister of Labour prepared to do to prevent further disruptions?

Labour
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Henri—Westmount
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, in fact the situation has worsened in British Columbia ports. As of midnight last night, there was a complete work stoppage, as hon. members are aware. Yes, since midnight yesterday, the transportation of grain and perishable goods has been halted. In the face of the enormous economic consequences of this problem, the government has decided to act and implement back to work legislation.

We are currently negotiating with the various parties to ensure this legislation is adopted as quickly as possible. I hope that we will obtain everyone's agreement.

Labour
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Dale Johnston Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the minister on her move.

What is needed now is final offer binding arbitration, as put forward in our private member's Bill C-262. Will the minister make a commitment today to support Bill C-262? If not, will she present similar legislation of her own?

Labour
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Henri—Westmount
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, I can understand my hon. colleague's concerns about strikes in British Columbia ports. Today, however, we have a major crisis with grave economic consequences. The government will act as soon as it has the co-operation of the various parties in this House.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

March 15th, 1995 / 2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Philippe Paré Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

Yesterday, the UN Committee Against Torture ruled that Canada's treatment of Mr. Khan, a refugee claimant from Pakistan, violated the international convention against torture, to which Canada itself is a signatory.

Since the decision concludes that this individual would be in danger of being subjected to torture if Canada sent him back to his native country, does the Canadian government undertake not to deport Mr. Khan?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

York West
Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I wish to thank the hon. member for the question. I am aware of the UN committee's decision.

We have asked the UN committee to reconsider its position on the basis that this individual also had a criminal conviction in Canada in 1993. No longer is this simply a case of protection for an individual. There is also the claim that Canada has every right to uphold the protection of the community and society.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Philippe Paré Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, how does the minister explain the fact that the Immigration and Refugee Board apparently did not look into the grounds for Mr. Khan's request, as the UN committee's ruling indicates?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

York West
Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the UN said Canada's system and how it deals with and treats refugee claimants is among the best in the world. With all due respect to the UN, Canada's house is quite clean and quite orderly.

However, it is our right as a country that this decision be not binding on Canada. We have every right to uphold our laws and the protection of our citizens. That is exactly the point we are making to this committee in asking it, even though its decision is not binding, to reconsider the sovereign right of a country to protect its borders and citizens.

Labour
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

David Iftody Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Labour. I appreciated her response on the grain transportation problem.

I stood in the House on February 7 last year with regard to a similar problem. The government passed legislation to put the workers back to work. Now we are dealing with a similar problem again.

What long term measures is the minister willing to employ to ensure that year after year western Canadian grain farmers do not have to go through similar problems?

Labour
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Henri—Westmount
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, I can understand the concerns of the hon. member for Provencher because work stoppages are indeed, might I say, excessively frequent in British Columbia's harbours. I intend to have an industrial inquiry commission look into the various existing collective bargaining procedures with a view to making a very specific recommendation so that we can have-