House of Commons Hansard #92 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was promise.

Topics

American Helms-Burton Law
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, title 4 of the American Helms-Burton law, which this government has not yet attempted to counteract, by the way, forbids the entry into the United States of Canadian businessmen and their families, under the pretext that their companies are supposedly trafficking in American properties in Cuba.

Does the minister not agree that the best way to counteract this definitively is to call for a special working group under NAFTA?

American Helms-Burton Law
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, the two issues, both title III and title IV, are intertwined and will be dealt with together, in terms of the WTO and the NAFTA. We will also be continuing at the OECD where

there is a multilateral agreement on investment. This is very key to the investment rules, the protection of Canadian company assets in other countries.

We will continue to work with other countries. We will continue to use a number of forums to protest Helms-Burton and to get the message across clearly to the United States and other countries that unilateral extraterritorial action attempting to impose their will, their foreign trade policy on Canada or any other country is totally unacceptable.

Liberal Party
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, I cannot believe that the Prime Minister and the Liberals are defending the sleaze and the American-style smear campaign-

Liberal Party
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Liberal Party
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

I would ask hon. members on both sides to be very judicious in their choice of words. I would especially ask hon. members not to use the word "sleaze".

Liberal Party
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

For the record, Mr. Speaker, this government has closed more hospitals than any government in the country with $3 billion in health care cuts. It is time that was on the record.

During the last election campaign the Tories ran attack ads and the Liberals could not believe it. They went ballistic at some of the ads. The entire country went ballistic. We spoke out against it. Now they are doing exactly the same thing. How can the government justify that hypocrisy?

Liberal Party
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Liberal Party
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

Again, my colleagues, there are certain words that trigger responses on both sides. I know the hon. member would not want to use the word "hypocrisy" again.

I am going to permit the right hon. Prime Minister to answer the question as he was on his feet.

Liberal Party
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am very surprised. It was just a political debate. Of course I said that they voted against the gun control bill. Two voted for it. Some of my members voted against it. It was part of the debate, but the policy was my party's, passed by a resolution of the party two years ago and we implemented the gun control legislation.

The Reform Party is opposed to gun control, but two of their members voted for it. That is good. We accept that. All of that was in the article. There was all the normal debate.

When we said that they were very comfortable a year and a half ago when Mr. Gingrich was the new political star in the United States, the member for Calgary Southwest took the first plane and was seen on TV holding hands with Newt and so on. It is amazing that I was not invited by Newt and I do not know why.

It is part of the political debate in the United States when the Republicans talk about a tax cut before they balance their books. We do not subscribe to that. We know that and we think we have to stay the course. Suddenly Reform changes its position. If I am not mistaken Reform has had four different positions on the GST in the last three years so it must have another one for the election. Who knows?

Liberal Party
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has a lot of gall lecturing us on the GST.

When the Prime Minister went to China, we did not accuse him of supporting summary executions in cavorting with the leadership of that regime and that is something they believe in. I want to point out the little inconsistency here.

My question is a follow-up to the question of the caucus chair of the Reform Party. Will the Prime Minister commit to meeting the leader of the Reform Party in a one on one debate out of this place where we can have a full fledged debate on the issues, not on a bunch of smear campaign ideas from the Americans?

Liberal Party
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am here face to face with him every week, so he can ask me all the questions from the Reform Party in question period. He can ask his own members to shut up, and ask all the questions himself and I might reply to them. Sometimes I might feel that my ministers can plug them easily too. It is part of the political debate.

Reformers should learn one thing: In politics it is better to have a thick skin or they will not go very far.

Assisted Suicide
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Daviault Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, we will try to find out if there is still a government or if the election campaign has already started.

At last weekend's Liberal convention, the delegates passed a resolution urging the government to allow assisted suicide for terminally ill patients who often face intolerable suffering. In response to this resolution, the Prime Minister repeated that there was no urgency.

Are we to understand from the Prime Minister's comments that he has decided to avoid all controversial issues, even the most basic ones like assisted suicide, and that he refuses to get involved in the great debates facing Canadian society?

Assisted Suicide
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, it is true that the Liberal Party discussed this complex and difficult issue last weekend.

The Liberal Party of Canada passed a resolution for Parliament to review this matter. We are currently considering it in caucus, in cabinet. We will then decide how to proceed.

Assisted Suicide
Oral Question Period

October 29th, 1996 / 2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Daviault Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, after the Supreme Court gave its ruling two and a half years ago, the Minister of Justice said he would announce later the measures they intended taking.

After Sue Rodriguez died, he again said that measures would be announced. After the Senate committee hearings, he reiterated that they would take action and that the status quo was unacceptable. Once again, they are deferring this until later.

Why is the Prime Minister so intent on deferring this debate until after the next election?

Assisted Suicide
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the Senate committee has been reviewing this matter for the past three years. They have considered the moral, ethical, medical and legal issues. The Senate committee did not reach a consensus on these issues. During last weekend's convention debate, we recognized that this is a very complex matter.

All aspects must be examined. As I said, we as a government intend to review all this in detail in caucus, in cabinet, in order to develop a position.