House of Commons Hansard #225 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was development.

Topics

Quebec Referendum
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, no one that I know of has talked more about Canada and Quebec. I know they will vote for Canada even with this ambiguous question. Therefore, I do not want to spend my time replying to these hypothetical questions. We will campaign in Quebec and Quebecers will know that it is in their best interests to remain in Canada.

I do not understand why the Reform Party is trying to score political points when it is time for all Canadians to be on the same side in convincing Quebecers to stay in Canada.

Quebec Referendum
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, strangely enough, the Prime Minister did say-although it is not so clear today and I am not too sure any more-that he acknowledged the legitimacy of the referendum process under way in Quebec. Unlike the Minister of Labour and the chairman of the No committee, Daniel Johnson, however, he still refuses to recognize the eventual results of this referendum process through which Quebecers will decide their political future.

How can one logically reconcile acknowledging the legitimacy of a democratic public consultation process, take part in it and at the same time refuse to recognize its eventual results?

Quebec Referendum
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I said several times already, we have asked for a clear question and none was forthcoming. They do not even have the courage to tell Quebecers that they are separatists. They looked for and coined a word to describe themselves, which is not even in the French language. They call themselves "souverainistes". It is nowhere to be found in the dictionary.

They do not have the courage to let Quebecers know that they want to separate. They are trying to disguise their option and they want me to play their game, when I only want them to ask the people, I challenge them to ask them this question because the debate is not over in Quebec: Do you want to separate from the rest of Canada? Period. Then I would be the first one to admit that they were honest enough to put an absolutely unequivocal question to Quebecers.

Quebec Referendum
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, are we to understand from all the answers given by the Prime Minister that, as far as he is concerned, the Quebec referendum will only be valid if the results are what he is hoping for? Is that his idea of democracy?

Quebec Referendum
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is the Leader of the Opposition who says that a No vote does not mean No, but that a Yes vote means Yes. They are the ones who say that. They refuse to respect the people's wishes. They say they will go on and on.

Quebecers have heard as much as they can take about referendums and constitutional issues. They want politicians to deal with job creation, provide sound public administration and give them an honest and competent government. That is exactly what they lack in Quebec and that is why they will be voting for Canada on October 30.

Camp Ipperwash
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

John Duncan North Island—Powell River, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian agenda includes a lot more than the Quebec referendum.

Documented lawlessness was occurring at Camp Ipperwash since the native occupation on July 29. The local community is feeling betrayed by the total absence of military policing. This absence culminated tragically and unnecessarily in the death of Dudley George at the adjacent Ipperwash Provincial Park.

Why did the Department of National Defence allow the 2,000-acre military camp to go totally unpoliced after a 16-year old crashed the bus into the camp buildings area?

Camp Ipperwash
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, members of the band occupied part of Ipperwash in the fall of 1993.

In the budget of 1994 the government took the decision that Camp Ipperwash would close. It was surplus to our needs. We then entered into dialogue with the chief of the Kettle Point Band, Mr. Bressette, to talk about transferring ownership as part of the original agreement. Those discussions were rather long and involved questions of compensation about environmental clean up, all of which the government was committed to do.

When the rest of the renegade group, which does not accept the main band and the chief, occupied the camp some time ago-I guess it was in the month of July-the commander on the spot took the correct action. Rather than have confrontation where there would be loss of life, and given the fact that the camp was not being used by the military, the military agreed to withdraw temporarily, pending negotiations.

Those negotiations have borne fruit with the discussions that were held last week by the minister of Indian affairs. Everyone should congratulate him on the job he did in bringing a resolution to this subject.

Camp Ipperwash
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

John Duncan North Island—Powell River, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister was begged by the town, by the province, by the Reform Party, and the chief and council of the band to militarily police the camp and instead left a policing vacuum over lands under his jurisdiction.

The minister swore an oath as a cabinet minister and privy councillor to uphold the laws of Canada. When is the minister going to do that?

Camp Ipperwash
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, rather than listen to the inflammatory remarks of the hon. member, what we

have seen in the recent events is that only with dialogue and negotiation with Canada's First Nations can we resolve these disputes.

There was division within the aboriginal community on the question of entitlement to that piece of land the federal government wants to give back.

After the negotiations conducted by my colleague, the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, this now appears to be on the way to a satisfactory resolution.

Quebec Referendum
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Rimouski—Témiscouata, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week, the Minister of Labour responsible for the Quebec referendum made the following comment: We always said that Quebecers have the right to express their views on Quebec's future, whether that future is in or out of Canada. We live in a democratic country; consequently, we will respect their wish.

My question is for the Minister of Labour. Does the minister responsible for the Quebec referendum still stand by her statement to the effect that she will recognize the result of the referendum vote?

Quebec Referendum
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Henri—Westmount
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, I have said, and I am proud to say it again in the House of Commons, that Canada is a democratic country and this is why I hold it so dear, as a Quebecer as well. Let us never forget that.

Mr. Speaker, we have always said that Quebecers have the right to express themselves in a clear and democratic way regarding their future. Where is the clear question? Where is the clear question from our colleagues? Why are they hiding what is really at stake with this referendum? What are they hiding?

They are hiding studies. What else are they hiding? Why do they not want to tell the truth to Quebecers? The answer will be clear on October 30.

Quebec Referendum
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Rimouski—Témiscouata, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's reprimand was heard clearly. The fact is that when the minister said she would respect the wish of Quebecers, she knew what the question was.

Quebec Referendum
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Quebec Referendum
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Rimouski—Témiscouata, QC

So, will the minister recognize that, rather than treading on her own principles, she should have had the courage to resign to stand for her beliefs, express her attachment to Canada and preserve her own credibility?

Quebec Referendum
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Henri—Westmount
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, I will repeat what I was just told. I do not need any advice on democracy. I was just told, as Yves Duhaime once said: Is she a true Quebecer, since she was elected by the people of Saint-Henri-Westmount? Since English speaking people voted for me? Mr. Speaker, this is what was just said.

You can see the kind of moral standards and ethics we are dealing with. Do we have the courage to tell the truth to Quebecers? They can decide for themselves. If you ask them "Do you want to separate from Canada?", the answer will be no.