House of Commons Hansard #221 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was trade.

Topics

Labour
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Scott Fredericton—York—Sunbury, NB

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

Because of an increasing use of technology in the workplace we have witnessed an increase in global structural unemployment. In response to this the government struck an advisory group last fall to make suggestions to the government on working time and the distribution of work.

Would the minister inform the House of the government's intentions relative to the recommendations of the Donner report on working time and the distribution of work?

Labour
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Henri—Westmount
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, the question by the hon. member for Fredericton-York-Sunbury is particularly relevant, because it concerns a matter currently under consideration in a number of workplaces: hours and distribution of work. The report was distributed widely, in a number of areas to encourage public debate by provincial governments, unions and business.

Certain advisory bodies are currently examining the report, including the Canadian Labour Force Development Board and the Canadian Labour Market and Productivity Centre. We also plan to support pilot projects at the Department of Human Resources Development on testing hours of work. Finally, there are also recommendations on changes to the Canada Labour Code, and we have submitted them to the advisory group, which comprises labour and management, for recommendations to the Minister of Labour.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Art Hanger Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the immigration minister told this House a week ago that in 1994 he had issued minister's permits to about 7,000 people who were initially denied entry into Canada. We have obtained a list of just who those people are and I find it and the minister's actions deeply disturbing.

Why did the minister give permits to 147 people who were caught working illegally, to 129 people who came into Canada with fraudulent papers and to 354 people who have engaged in a pattern of criminal behaviour?

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 distorting the purpose in the execution of the ministerial permits.

Clearly, we do not go looking for people with fraudulent documentation. In fact, this government has been proactive on interdiction. In 1990 there were some 8,000 illegally documented individuals coming into Canada. Through that active program, last year we reduced it to some 3,000 individuals.

If the interdiction program is bad, why is it then that governments in the United States, Holland and Australia want to duplicate what Canada has been able to do and do well?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Art Hanger Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, permits were issued to 524 people who posed a health threat. Seven people were engaged in acts of terrorism and subversion, 1,049 were convicted of an offence that carries less than a 10 year sentence and 10 people had been previously deported. I have just scratched the surface.

Why has this minister refused to intervene even once to kick dangerous criminals out of the country when he intervened 7,000 times last year to let these sorts of people in?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

York West
Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, when the hon. member scratches the surface, other people scratch their heads in disbelief.

Ministerial permits are used across the country and internationally. They are not simply permits which are at the discretion of the minister, the discretion is also delegated to officials. The fact that they have been used 7,000 times for legitimate purposes is very different from the kind of accusation which is being levelled by the hon. member.

When he suggests that we allowed in seven individuals who had been active in terrorism he is, in a certain sense, misleading Canadians into believing that somehow their security is at risk. Some of these individuals were called by the House of Commons human rights committee. Some individuals came here for multilateral peace discussions from the Middle East. Some individuals came to testify to various human rights committees about the situation in Latin America. Some individuals came here to fundraise for the Jesuit college. These are the kinds of individuals who were let in. It was for the right reasons, not for the kind of innuendo for which the hon. member and his party are well known.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Laurentides, QC

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

On June 9, the minister said, and I quote: "We have taken the position at the EPA hearings currently going on in Washington that we would rather see to the disposal of our PCBs ourselves".

Will the minister admit today that the Canadian government never participated in EPA hearings, contrary to what she claimed in this House?

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I personally wrote these words to Carol Browner while these hearings were being held. I have the letter, if the hon. member wants to see it.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, how can the minister reconcile her answer with the contents of a letter by Tony Barney, chief of operations at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, who maintains that no Environment Canada official appeared before the panel he chaired, and that no letter was received from this department?

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, perhaps he should talk to his boss.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Question Period

June 19th, 1995 / 2:50 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley East, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Human Resources Development.

The minister is adamant that he must bring in Bill C-64, the employment equity bill and he is equally adamant that this will not mean hiring quotas, but he is not right. Let me give him an example. Seventy-four per cent of all new recruits to the RCMP training academy in Regina this fall must be from the designated groups. In other words the RCMP has declared the winners before it has even held the exams.

How can the minister say these are not quotas and how can he be sure these people will be the best qualified to be RCMP officers?

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
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, first I would like to point out to the hon. member that my very distinguished colleague, the solicitor general, is responsible for the RCMP. I am very pleased to see that he is already taking measures before the legislation is even passed by the House to ensure that fair and equal opportunity is being provided through the various services of the federal government.

The mythology and illusion the Reform Party perpetrates throughout the country is that somehow quota is part of the bill. I want to underline that quota is not mentioned in the bill. It is not designed for that purpose. It is designed to set up a system whereby we can work with employers in both the public and private sectors to ensure that barriers which apply to all workers can be reduced. In that way everyone can be given the full opportunity to advance to their level of talent and ability. It will ensure that nobody is discriminated against as they have been in the past.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley East, BC

Mr. Speaker, everyone wants to ensure equal opportunity but the trouble is that this type of policy and this bill will enact quotas in Canada. Let me give the exact figures to the minister for his consideration. This fall 112 new recruits will be visible minorities, 112 must be aboriginal and 95 recruits must be women. It could me more. Maybe it should be more, maybe less.

The point is this: Why does the minister continue to say that there are no quotas when there are numbers like this that must be filled and prove that his bill and his policy means quotas for Canada?

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I say with deference that the hon. member's second question shows how ignorant he is of what is in the bill.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.