House of Commons Hansard #199 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was reform.

Topics

Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Warren Allmand Notre-Dame-De-Grâce, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

One hundred and seventy-five nations are now meeting in New York to consider the extension of the 25-year old nuclear non-proliferation treaty. While the non-nuclear states have honoured that treaty and have not acquired nuclear weapons, the nuclear states have not honoured article 6 to reduce and eliminate their nuclear weapons.

In order to assure the extension of this important treaty, could the minister say what is being done to oblige the nuclear states to reduce their nuclear weapons in accordance with article 6?

Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Parkdale—High Park
Ontario

Liberal

Jesse Flis Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question. I also compliment him on the many years that he has been working with other nations on this topic in his membership with the Parliamentarians for Global Action.

Today is a historical day because in New York it was agreed to extend indefinitely the present NPT. The NPT will prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and it is very vital to Canadian security. All hon. members will be pleased to know that it was a Canadian resolution that won the support of more than 100 nations which led to this consensus.

Firearms Legislation
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canada's doctors are experts on saving lives. Bill C-68 is designed to do the same. Today the Canadian Medical Association said that it is "unconvinced that the registration provisions in Bill C-68 will be effective in reducing suicides or homicides".

The justice minister says he will consult the experts. Will he listen to Canada's healers?

Firearms Legislation
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Medical Association presented an extraordinary brief to the justice committee. It testified today making a solid case for every element in Bill C-68. It is true to say that the Canadian Medical Association representatives were not able to say they supported registration. They said that they did not oppose it.

They took no position. That is interesting. For whatever internal reason within the CMA it made it impossible for the CMA to arrive at the logical conclusion flowing from the facts upon which it relied.

What is also important to note is that before the committee this morning were not only the politicians of the profession but also the practitioners, the emergency room physicians and the experts on suicide. As the hon. member knows because of his presence at the committee this morning, the emergency room physicians and the suicide specialists strongly favour registration as well as every other-

Firearms Legislation
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Macleod.

Firearms Legislation
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, when the Canadian Medical Association first looked at this bill it supported its objectives. When it went through the bill thoroughly, it said it was unconvinced about registration. Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and the Yukon all say the same. It is a nice way of saying the bill will not work.

Will the justice minister admit in the House that Bill C-68 on gun control is unravelling?

Firearms Legislation
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, it appears that no one favours this bill except the Canadian people.

Firearms Legislation
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Bravo.

Firearms Legislation
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Allan Rock Etobicoke Centre, ON

The hon. member makes reference to the extraordinary position taken by the attorney general of Manitoba. In taking that position, in opposing registration of guns, the attorney general of Manitoba opposes the position taken by the police chief in Winnipeg, the police chief in Brandon, and the Manitoba Police Association. She takes a position that is adverse to the women's groups in Manitoba. This is a person responsible for the status of women in the province of Manitoba who conceded yesterday to the committee that she did not consult with women's groups before taking the extraordinary position that she opposes legislation that they have supported for many years. The record speaks for itself.

Firearms Legislation
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Osvaldo Nunez Bourassa, QC

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

In his last budget, the Minister of Finance announced that immigrants and refugees would have to pay a $975 tax to be able to gain permanent resident status in Canada. We have learned that the Mississauga processing centre alone rejected over 4,000 applications for settlement, between February 27 and April 28, because claimants could not pay that tax.

How can the Minister of Immigration, who pledged that no immigrant or refugee would be adversely affected by this new tax, explain that 4,000 applications processed in Mississauga were rejected for the sole reason that claimants did not have the means to pay that $975?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

York West
Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is basing his question on an article in La Presse . The report is wrong. The reporter was called and a clarification is forthcoming.

Let me outline for the member and the House the real numbers. Since the budget of February, some 18,000 cases have been processed. Of these, some 3,800 were processed without the landing fees attached. Therefore, they were not rejected. They were returned to the applicant for the fees to be attached. Those fees are now being attached and the applicants are reapplying quickly.

On top of it all, of the 18,000 applications since February, only 3 per cent, some 400 cases out of 18,000, have requested a loan. I cannot suggest, based on those facts, that the fee is imposing the kind of hardship the member wants to impress upon the House.

In addition, applications have gone up since the budget, not down.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Osvaldo Nunez Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, in spite of the minister's denial, which we will look into, the situation is serious and is getting worse.

How can the minister persist in denying the adverse effect of such a tax, given that, in two thirds of the cases, his department rejects loan applications from immigrants and refugees, on the grounds that they are insolvent?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

York West
Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I have just outlined the facts of the case. If the member does not want to accept the facts, that is one thing. If he wants to look at the facts and have a reasonable discussion, that is something else.

He says that the fee will jeopardize refugee cases. Let us look at the situation. A claimant coming to Canada makes a refugee claim to the best system in the world. As a result of the government's action last year, the claimant will also be able to work. If the claimant is accepted, he or she has the most important priority they were seeking-protection, refuge, sanctuary in the best country in the world. And they will get that.

The fee only gets applied after the refugee determination. It is a landing fee with a loan provision if they have a hardship. For what? In order to salvage settlement. The people who use settlement the most are refugee claimants. His proposition would have us do away with settlement and therefore jeopardize refugee claimants even more.

Gun Control
Oral Question Period

May 11th, 1995 / 2:50 p.m.

Reform

Jack Ramsay Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, the James Bay Cree have stated that the justice minister did not consult with them concerning Bill C-68 and by failing to do so has violated section 24.4.26 of the James Bay and Northern Quebec agreement, which forms part of the Constitution of this country.

I ask the Minister of Justice, did he or did he not consult with the coordinating committee of the James Bay Cree on Bill C-68 in the prescribed manner and in accordance with the Constitution of our nation?