House of Commons Hansard #209 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebec.

Topics

Government Appointments
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Kootenay East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I can redefine it this way. In making appointments of law firms to work for the justice department, my understanding is that the justice minister would go to the minister or some Liberal in that area.

Does he not think that when considerations such as I put forward come into play it calls into question the ability of the justice department to be able to put the very best law firms at the beck and call of the Canadian people, instead of it going to the drug dealers who can afford to buy the best?

Government Appointments
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, when the government goes to the legal profession to hire agents to help us with legal cases the fundamental criterion is competence and merit. That is as true in

British Columbia as it is in Newfoundland and as it is here in Ontario.

I take this opportunity to tell the hon. member that during the last 18 months this government has made a number of significant changes in the way we retain agents in the legal profession to do work for us. They are changes that are very much in line with the principles he has described.

For example, there has been a significant decrease in government expenditures on agents. Spending was reduced by 25 per cent in 1994 compared to 1993, when the other government was in power. The number of agents was reduced over the country from 550 to 400. Agents have been replaced by staff counsel-

Government Appointments
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

A brief question, the hon. member for Kootenay East.

Government Appointments
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Kootenay East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the fact of the matter is that an experienced undercover officer has said that this is a complete and utter farce. He has said that this is a definite blow to drug enforcement in the area we are talking about.

Did the justice minister have any prior knowledge of the excessive contributions to the revenue minister in the election campaign prior to making that decision?

Government Appointments
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The question is out of order.

Air Navigation
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Transport. Transport Canada is about to sell the air navigation system to a non-profit organization. The minister indicated that the organization would not be subject to all provisions of the Official Languages Act. Quebec air transport associations have warned the minister against a possible deterioration of French-language services, as they feel that his plans do not do enough to guarantee the use of French in Quebec airspace.

What does the minister plan to do to ensure that French language services are maintained in the air navigation system, thereby fully meeting the demands of Quebec air transport associations which have expressed concern about the fact that the minister may not be imposing adequate requirements?

Air Navigation
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst
New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we intend to table before this House a bill to authorize the commercialization of the air navigation system. I can assure my hon. colleague that every provision of the Official Languages Act currently applying to this system will be maintained in the new structure.

Air Navigation
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, I hope this goes for the Magdalen Islands and the Lower North Shore of Quebec as well. So, to prevent a decrease in French language services in Quebec airspace and ensure honesty on the part of the future air navigation system operator, does the minister undertake to submit to public scrutiny, at the Standing Committee on Transport, the whole process and the English only charter drafted in secret by his department for the new non-profit organization?

Air Navigation
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst
New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young Minister of Transport

First of all, Mr. Speaker, I want to assure my hon. colleague that, as I have repeated time and time again, every existing provision aimed at protecting the interests of people who speak either official language of Canada will be maintained in the new organization.

As far as ensuring that all views are represented and that all concerned can be heard, we will certainly see to that. I would like to point out that it is practically unheard of to have the support of every sector in the air industry, as we do for commercializing the air navigation system in Canada. I hope that my hon. colleague will come forward with any suggestion he may have, because we intend to have a totally transparent process.

Student Exchanges
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Rey D. Pagtakhan Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources Development.

It is critical in an increasingly global economy that the Canadian workforce become more knowledgeable about other cultures. Student exchange programs and recognition of international credentials could facilitate the acquisition of this knowledge.

What action has the government taken in this area so vital to the economic and social well-being of Canada?

Student Exchanges
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

York North
Ontario

Liberal

Maurizio Bevilacqua Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for Winnipeg North for his question. I know he has worked very hard to improve Canada's recognition of foreign credentials.

I am very pleased to report to the House today that the Minister of Human Resources Development, along with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, this morning at a conference in Alberta on NAFTA announced the establishment of a three-year program for North American mobility in higher education. The program will involve approximately 60 Canadian institutions and the private sector. Thanks to this program, 400 students will

be able to spend periods of study in the U.S. and Mexican post-secondary educational institutions.

This is yet another example of the Liberal government's global and forward looking policies.

Air-India Disaster
Oral Question Period

June 1st, 1995 / 2:40 p.m.

Reform

Val Meredith Surrey—White Rock—South Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, two years ago, while Leader of the Opposition, the Prime Minister promised that the Liberals "will continue to press the government to create a royal commission to look into the Air-India disaster".

Yesterday while the RCMP was announcing a $1 million reward for information about the bombing of Air-India, the solicitor general advised that a royal commission will not be held while a criminal investigation is still under way.

My question for the Prime Minister is was his earlier promise to create a royal commission into the bombing of Air-India solely to garner votes?

Air-India Disaster
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

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

No, Mr. Speaker.

Air-India Disaster
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Val Meredith Surrey—White Rock—South Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, everyone in the House wants to see the murderers brought to justice. Yesterday's announcement of a $1 million reward is being viewed as a further delaying tactic to avoid a royal commission.

Will the solicitor general give the House his assurance that a royal commission will be called and a deadline for creating this commission, criminal charges or no criminal charges?

Air-India Disaster
Oral Question Period

2:45 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 announcement of the reward yesterday was made by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police representing the professional judgment of the mounted police as to the appropriate steps taken to advance the investigation to a stage where hopefully charges could be laid.

I do not think it would be appropriate for me to replace the professional judgment of the RCMP on this matter with my own by setting deadlines. The hon. member should know better than to make such a suggestion if she is serious about bringing the criminals to justice.