House of Commons Hansard #89 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was new.

Topics

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Jack Ramsay Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, Bill C-42 will confer upon Chief Justice Lamer and his wife Madame Justice Tremblay-Lamer a pension benefit that does not exist under the current Judges Act. This has raised a concern that a perception has been created that the impartiality of the chief justice may have been compromised.

University Professor Ted Morton has stated:

Without imputing any illicit motive to anyone involved-the timing of this proposed change could not be worse. Sceptics will claim it is unacceptable that a chief justice who is about to benefit from the justice minister's proposed pension policy change now sits in judgment on the justice minister's Quebec reference-the most politically sensitive constitutional case of the decade.

Did the justice minister anticipate that his proposed pension reform could undermine the perception of impartiality of the chief justice and, if not, would he care to comment on Professor Morton's concern?

Justice
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I should first caution the hon. member that he is speaking about the office of the chief justice of Canada, the highest office in our legal system in this country.

I caution the hon. member that he is speaking about a person who occupies that office, the Right Hon. Antonio Lamer, who for over 30 years as a judge has demonstrated an unimpeachable character and integrity. I caution the hon. member to approach this issue with those factors in mind.

By raising this issue in this way, this hon. member has demonstrated more than anything else his own lack of judgment and his own regrettable approach in the business of politics.

This bill, as the hon. member well knows, is a technical amendment identified years ago, indeed before there were even any spouses on the bench. It was brought forward in Bill C-42 at the first appropriate time.

Justice
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

An hon. member

This is not an appropriate time.

Justice
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Allan Rock Etobicoke Centre, ON

It deals not just with the chief justice and his spouse. There are other judges on benches in Canada who are married to each other.

Justice
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

An hon. member

Who? Name one.

Justice
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Allan Rock Etobicoke Centre, ON

It does nothing more than bring judges' pensions into line with all the other public service pensions, including members of Parliament's pensions.

Justice
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Justice
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Allan Rock Etobicoke Centre, ON

I suggest that the hon. member should do his homework, learn the facts and not come to this House with suggestions that call into question the integrity of the chief justice of this country.

Biosphere Reserve
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson Burnaby—Kingsway, BC

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

The minister is aware that there is strong support from the government of B.C., the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations and other key stakeholders for the establishment of a United Nations international biosphere reserve in Clayoquot Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Will the minister tell the House and Canadians whether the Government of Canada supports the designation of Clayoquot Sound as a biosphere reserve and, if so, whether the government will contribute a fair and equitable share to help make this a reality?

Biosphere Reserve
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

York West
Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, let me thank the hon. member for his question and his concern. It is an issue that obviously touches a very passionate chord in British Columbia and indeed with all Canadians.

The government is currently looking at this. I know my colleague the minister of heritage, myself and others in government, together with the ambassador for the environment, a proud resident of British Columbia, the Hon. John Fraser, are working hand in glove.

We hope at a very early juncture to bring a very successful conclusion to this very real issue.

Food And Agriculture Organization
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Murray Calder Wellington—Grey—Dufferin—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

According to the United Nations Agriculture and Food Organization, there are 800 million hungry people in developing countries. Next week at the world food summit what is Canada going to do to help the world's hungry?

Food And Agriculture Organization
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Regina—Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, Canada takes the world food summit to be held in Rome in November very seriously for a number of reasons.

Canada played a pivotal role in the founding of the FAO in 1945. We hosted the 50th anniversary ceremonies of the FAO in Quebec City in 1995 where the foundation for this summit was laid. It is also worth noting that Canada is one of the world's most productive nations in food and food products so we have a particular responsibility as we head to the Rome summit in November.

We will be emphasizing the principles of peace, democracy and human rights in our presentation.

We will be talking about the proper functioning of the world trading system so that it will be reliable from both the point of view of exporters and importers. We will be talking about the contributions to be made to productivity and sustainability by organizations like the PFRA and CIDA and private organizations like the UPA. We will also want to talk with both exporters and importers about

how we can all work better together on security of supply in the world and a vastly improved distribution system.

Presence In The Gallery
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

I would like to draw the attention of members to the presence in the gallery of Dr. Michael Ausserwinkler, Deputy Governor of the Province of Carinthia of Austria.

Presence In The Gallery
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Government Response To Petitions
Routine Proceedings

October 23rd, 1996 / 3:05 p.m.

Fundy Royal
New Brunswick

Liberal

Paul Zed Parliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to seven petitions.