House of Commons Hansard #203 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebec.

Topics

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Human Resources Development and Minister of Western Economic Diversification

Mr. Speaker, I point out to the hon. member and members of the House that as part of our reform program we are presently engaged in a major reinvention of the way the department provides delivery of services. It is our expectation that by this time next year we will have substantially expanded the level

of service to rural areas by providing more delivery points at areas where they have major responsibilities.

In terms of the special activities under the agricultural employment service, we are prepared to sit down with the agricultural community, the Canadian Federation of Labour and the horticultural society to work out ways to have direct partnerships with the agricultural community in the rural areas and to both have a facility in which we share in the opportunities that the centres can offer for jobs and employment. That is part of the new partnerships we are trying to establish in reorganizing the department.

Public Service
Oral Question Period

May 17th, 1995 / 2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Réjean Lefebvre Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister responsible for Public Service Renewal.

In its budget, the federal government announced that the public service would be reduced by 45,000 positions over three years, including more than 12,000 in the Ottawa-Hull area. The Minister responsible for Public Service Renewal seems to be unable to give specifics about the extent of these cuts, stating that it should be a rather large number, but that he does not know the exact number because it varies from department to department and from day to day.

Are we to understand from what the Minister responsible for Public Service Renewal said that the decision to eliminate 45,000 public service positions was an impromptu, last minute kind of decision?

Public Service
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member from the opposition knew anything about public administration, he would know that, when plans are made that affect departmental administration, it is clear that each department will come up with a different plan and that surplus notices will be sent out on the basis of evolving needs.

It is therefore impossible for any department to indicate today what it has done because, obviously, its plans are implemented on a day by day, week by week basis, and the answer that was provided is correct.

What is important to know is that we are going ahead with our plans to streamline the public service; we are in the process of implementing the measures announced in the budget with efficiency and competence.

Public Service
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Réjean Lefebvre Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, if, as the minister claims, this was not an impromptu decision, does he undertake to release the department by department program evaluation report, which resulted in the decision to lay off 45,000 public servants, and to tell us how the work force adjustment program will be carried out?

Public Service
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the budget tabled before this House clearly spells out the government's fiscal plan and its impact on each department.

The government had the courage to make the decisions required. Unfortunately, this means that certain positions will have to be eliminated. We acted in a humane way, providing programs such as early retirement or buyout packages and, so far, the unions feel that the budget is being implemented appropriately and efficiently, in an effort to accommodate the public service.

Criminal Code
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Sharon Hayes Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, recently an American tourist was acquitted of assault for spanking his five-year old daughter. Every parent in Canada was on trial.

Last June the minister stated that the government was reviewing section 43 of the Criminal Code. This section permits parents and educators to physically discipline their children using reasonable force. The minister also stated: "I know of no plan at present to propose a change to this section".

My question is for the justice minister. Will the minister state today the outcome of the government's review of section 43, and regardless of that outcome will he reaffirm his support for section 43?

Criminal Code
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I am satisfied the section in the Criminal Code complies with our obligations. I can tell the hon. member and the House that the government has no intention to introduce any change to section 43 of the Criminal Code.

Criminal Code
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Sharon Hayes Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have a supplementary question. If the minister has no intention of changing section 43, why in the world is his government continuing to fund the Children's Bureau review of section 43?

Criminal Code
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I made clear in my response to the question when it was last put, because we are signatories to international conventions and treaties we are

obligated like other civilized countries to do an audit of our laws to ensure they reflect the values and the principles to which we subscribe with other nations.

The work to which the hon. member has referred is simply part of that effort and it must be done.

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Nelson Riis Kamloops, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance who will know from press reports today that his present seatmate has said: "Cash means clout. No cash, no clout". He went on to point out that the majority of members of the finance committee agree it is important for Ottawa to maintain the cash transfer to make sure the federal government maintains its influence, meaning the ability to enforce legislation like the Canada Health Act.

Will the Minister of Finance agree with his seatmate that the idea bears merit and that he will consider it in terms of changing the legislation presently before the House?

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance and Minister responsible for the Federal Office of Regional Development -Quebec

Mr. Speaker, I certainly would like my colleague to answer the question and my colleague would like to answer it.

We are delighted as a result of the reform of House of Commons committee rules that we have a very active, dynamic and incisive finance committee of the House.

As to the particular comments of the chairman of the committee, as the hon. member for Kamloops knows, we will be sitting down with the provinces, and quite clearly we do not want to do anything premature in terms of those discussions with the provinces. It is very important for us to hear from the provincial finance ministers on this issue.

Gun Control
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Paddy Torsney Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday morning the justice committee heard moving testimony from Burlington resident Priscilla de Villiers on gun control. In no uncertain terms, Mrs. de Villiers stated: "Let me tell you about inconvenience. The death of your children at the hands of a man wielding a gun is an inconvenience."

I ask the Minister of Justice if he feels the proposed gun registry contained in Bill C-68 will inconvenience Canadian gun owners.

Gun Control
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I think it is telling that the question of the day did not come from the other side of the House, because the witnesses yesterday were victims of violence with firearms and they were not in a position that could be exploited by the Reform.

The very purpose of Bill C-68 is to address the kinds of tragedies the committee heard about yesterday. The point is perhaps best made by comparing on the one hand the inconvenience of filling out a form and mailing it in with $10 over the next five years and on the other hand losing a member of your family.

I am often asked for proof that registration of firearms will achieve something for Canada. For those who ask for proof, I suggest they speak to the parents, the mother who yesterday described the tragedy of losing a child, speak to the children whose mother is dead because she was shot in her home.

This government with this bill stands with the Victims of Violence for Change. This government stands with the police chiefs and the police across this country. We shall not fail them.

Gun Control
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Gun Control
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

This concludes the question period.

I have a point of order from the hon. member for Kindersley-Lloydminster.