House of Commons Hansard #106 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebec.

Topics

Krever Commission
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Canada Evidence Act gives the minister the required authority. Under the terms of that statute, the minister may ask the President of the Privy Council to intervene in order to overturn a decision by the Clerk of the Privy Council to refuse to make these documents public, and to have them finally turned over to Judge Krever so that he may get to the bottom of this tragedy.

Krever Commission
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, section 39 of the Canada Evidence Act stipulates that cabinet confidences may not be disclosed for 20 years, meaning that it is unfortunately impossible for us under the law to meet this demand.

Indian Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, last Friday in this House the minister of Indian affairs said that he could not send treaty entitlements directly to grassroots Indian people who live on reserves. He said that is not the way his government deals with other levels of government.

Ottawa routinely sends individual entitlements and benefits directly to other Canadians, including GST rebate cheques, child benefit cheques, pension cheques and so on.

Why is the minister afraid to give treaty Indians a choice about how they want to receive their treaty entitlements, either directly from the government or from the chief in council? Why is he denying Indians the same rights as every other Canadian?

Indian Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Sault Ste. Marie
Ontario

Liberal

Ron Irwin Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, let me explain this to the hon. member. First, treaty land entitlement is direct to the individuals through a process.

But under treaty we have not yet scoped out the meaning of health, the meaning of education, the meaning of economic development. There are four processes going on in this country that I hope would have something.

What the hon. member wants me to do-I explained it to her colleague last week-is pay the money directly to 300,000 or 400,000 aboriginal people. We do not deal that way. We deal government to government. We do not do that with provinces. Provinces do not do that with municipalities. They elect people. They decide on the priorities, whether hospitals, schools or roads. This is the way they do it.

Certainly the hon. member is not suggesting that the Minister of Finance take the money he collects and send a cheque to each Canadian so they can decide what to do with the money. The people elect us to come to the House of Commons to make decisions. Aboriginal people elect chiefs in council to make decisions. It is quite simple.

Indian Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have an example. The First Nations accountability coalition is comprised mainly of treaty Indians who receive old age pension cheques. They are now able to speak out because they are not totally beholden to the chief and council for their survival. Their pension cheques have given them a real voice and real power for the first time in their lives. These people are demanding financial accountability of their own leaders. I am not asking this, they are asking.

Some of them have been threatened and beaten; some have had their houses shot at. When they complained, the minister's own

officials in Saskatchewan told the coalition: "Do not take it personally; it is happening all over". This is not good enough.

When will the minister finally give authority to the auditor general to look into these complaints of financial mismanagement? When will he make sure that aboriginals are treated fairly and equally in this country?

Indian Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Sault Ste. Marie
Ontario

Liberal

Ron Irwin Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is probably the last person to be asking that question. These are the same types of questions which are asked of the Minister of Justice. Reformers take one isolated case and say because this happened, people cannot handle their own responsibilities and that we should look at what is happening.

Reformers refuse to look across the country at the 80 per cent of First Nations that do a good job of managing. They refused to look at the B.C. treaty process which was a success and which Reformers opposed. They refused to look at the Manitoba dismantling which they opposed and which is a success. They refused to look at treaty scoping out and they even refused to support legislation in the Yukon. Yet they come here and ask when there is going to be fairness for the aboriginal people. They are the wrong people to be asking that question.

Zaire
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

There is seemingly endless pussyfooting around the urgent action awaited in eastern Zaire and the international community's hesitation casts some shameful doubts on its willingness to act. After three days of meetings, the governments represented in Stuttgart must now assess the options that have been defined.

In the context of an estimated 250,000 refugees still stuck in eastern Zaire and another 300,000 having gone west, could the minister give us an update and tell us which option he favours to resolve the current deadlock?

Zaire
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, following weekend talks, we received the recommendations made by the military groups. As we speak, the Minister of National Defence is in Washington. I myself am consulting with several European and African ministers to determine the best way to implement the recommendations developed by the military groups in Stuttgart.

Zaire
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, with Kigali still opposed to any intervention by a multinational force on its territory, could the minister tell us how many more meetings

will be needed and how much longer refugees will have to wait before the international community takes action?

Zaire
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the hope is that an agreement among the various coalition partners can be arrived at within a matter of a day or so.

The meetings which were held last week were very important in terms of determining the needs. Last week there was a high level of confusion about how many refugees were left, what their condition was and where they were located.

That decision was consolidated during the meeting at Stuttgart. The Minister for International Cooperation held a very good meeting in Geneva which helped to co-ordinate the assistance plans for Rwanda. We are presently talking with a number of the coalition partners to determine exactly what the most appropriate response would be based on the information arrived at this weekend.

I share the hon. member's degree of frustration. It is important that we move as quickly as possible to help, but we cannot move by ourselves. We must move in partnership with the other coalition members. That is what we are working on at the present time.

African Great Lakes Region
Oral Question Period

November 25th, 1996 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Bonin Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, this weekend, the Minister for International Cooperation chaired a meeting held in Geneva to discuss the situation of refugees in Africa's great lakes region. Canadians would like to know about the outcome of this meeting and the measures to be taken regarding this issue.

African Great Lakes Region
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Minister for International Cooperation and Minister responsible for Francophonie

Mr. Speaker, on Saturday, over 135 officials from 20 countries met in Geneva, in addition to organizations representing 15 multilateral groups, to discuss the humanitarian assistance effort in Rwanda and in eastern Zaire. Several proposals were put forward.

A follow-up meeting will take place in Kigali, in a few days. I hope to be able to make an announcement to this effect, perhaps in the next 24 or 48 hours. Meanwhile, the following measures were approved: increasing support to professional monitoring of human rights protection.

African Great Lakes Region
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Excluded.

African Great Lakes Region
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

No, Mr. Speaker, hundreds of thousands of people do not want this to be excluded.

The list goes on: increasing legal assistance to victims and, third, providing help to promote peace and reconciliation in Rwanda.

Transportation
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Jim Gouk Kootenay West—Revelstoke, BC

Mr. Speaker, the employees of Canadian Airlines have been very loyal to their company. They have made sacrifices in the past and are being called upon to make yet another. That decision is up to them.

I believe that the Minister of Transport's suggestion that he might remove the domestic fuel tax if they accept the restructuring plan is offensive. These employees should be able to see the value of their sacrifice in advance and know that the overall restructuring plan will work. That means the fuel tax should be removed before they make their decision.

Will the minister do the honourable thing and remove the aviation fuel tax in the manner promised with the introduction of the GST before Canadian's employees have to make their final decision?