House of Commons Hansard #117 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was rights.

Topics

Somalia Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Jim Hart Okanagan—Similkameen—Merritt, BC

Mr. Speaker, today the Somalia inquiry has requested that the privy council extend its mandate. The inquiry has yet to complete its study on the deployment and the post-deployment phase of the Somalia mission.

Will the defence minister assure Canadians that his government is not going to shut down the inquiry before it finishes all of its work?

Somalia Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst
New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the commission of inquiry on Somalia has requested the privy council consider an extension of its mandate. Obviously the government will consider that request.

I want to repeat to my hon. friend that I hope all members of this House will express their views on whether or not the inquiry should continue on, if they would like it to go for a year, two years, three years or four years, or if they think there might be some value in trying to learn the lessons of what happened in Somalia so that we can avoid a repetition of the intolerable incidents that took place there.

I guess it is all a question of whether it happens in our lifetime or not.

Somalia Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Jim Hart Okanagan—Similkameen—Merritt, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is very fine that the Minister of National Defence would blame the members of this House for the delay in the Somalia inquiry. We have to remember that it was the Department of National Defence that caused the delays in the work of the inquiry by failing to supply documents that the inquiry had requested in a timely fashion.

Canadians want to know about the post-deployment phase of the mission and what went wrong at national defence headquarters and the Liberal government cover-up.

Why will the minister and his government not prove to Canadians that they care more about the truth than public relations? Give the inquiry the time it needs to do its work.

Somalia Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst
New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I always hesitate to comment on public relations because it is not a skill that I have acquired.

As the government considers this matter I think it will be very important to understand what the position of everyone is with respect to this.

It has been suggested that the government wants to continue the inquiry in order to avoid having to deal with it over the next year or two when an election would have to be called constitutionally. We cannot have it both ways.

If the hon. member through his party wishes to indicate that we should give unlimited time to the Somalia inquiry and the commissioners to do their work, however long that may take, however much it may cost and whatever the results may be, I would certainly ask the government to take that into account. Somehow it does not seem to be consistent with the Reform Party's usual practical and pragmatic and efficient way of approaching things.

Canadian Space Agency
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Pierrette Venne Saint-Hubert, QC

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

Again yesterday, we questioned the Minister of Industry about what is going on at the Space Agency. Once again, he attempted to minimize the allegations against the president of the agency, by reducing them to a mere matter of destroying handwritten notes, but it is far more than that. Obviously, the president of the agency also has a problem with his expense account.

At the time he appointed Mr. Evans to the position of president of the Canadian Space Agency, was the minister aware that he had made an expense account claim which was dubious, to say the least, and which Roland Doré, the former president of the Space Agency, had refused?

Canadian Space Agency
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, it is very unfortunate that this member seems to be manipulated by information being spun out by a former employee of the space agency whose position was terminated in a reorganization, who is in the process of suing the agency and who thinks that the official opposition can be a medium for trying to prosecute his lawsuit.

Canadian Space Agency
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Pierrette Venne Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister is not replying to the question in any way whatsoever.

We will therefore ask him how he can explain that the president of the Space Agency attempted to get reimbursed for a travel and meal claim for a trip to St-Hubert on June 3, 1994, when he travelled as this minister's seatmate on the plane and the meal was provided free of charge?

Canadian Space Agency
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Minister of Industry

First, Mr. Speaker, just to illustrate how silly this is becoming, yes in fact, Mr. Evans did fly to St. Hubert on that occasion with me. No, there was no lunch provided. Second, Mr. Evans did not return on the aircraft. Third, evidently Mr. Evans did drive back to Ottawa. Apparently an expense claim was made. It was not paid and therefore was not improperly paid.

This is getting pretty silly. I would suggest to the hon. member that she let the courts decide whether this friend of hers has a valid complaint or not. The courts can make that decision. She does not need to come into this place in order to try to disparage the reputation of a public servant without having any facts on her side.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Jake Hoeppner Lisgar—Marquette, MB

Mr. Speaker, I have a letter dated December 14, 1995 from the Canadian Wheat Board to a western farmer stating that it has no commercial market for hulless waxy barley.

Could the agriculture minister explain why Alberta and Saskatchewan wheat pools are allowed to grow and market hulless waxy barley into the U.S. outside the Canadian Wheat Board pooling system yet a farmer like Andy McMechan is thrown in jail for doing the same thing?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Regina—Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, it is obviously very clear that under the regulations of the Canadian Wheat Board Act and other pertinent pieces of legislation there is an export procedure provided under the law and under the regulations for the exportation of all wheat and barley. All of those who comply with those rules and regulations may export.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Jake Hoeppner Lisgar—Marquette, MB

Mr. Speaker, Andy McMechan was ordered to refund $55,000 to the CWB pool account, the premiums he gained for selling his grain into the U.S. Yet wheat board officials have directed Saskatchewan farmers to flour mills in Saskatoon who have paid millions of dollars in premiums outside the pool account for unlicensed wheat.

Would the minister of agriculture please explain where in the Canadian Wheat Board Act it allows for some farmers to gain premiums outside the pool and others are thrown in jail?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Regina—Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I obviously am not in a position and would not as a matter of propriety comment upon any particular legal matter which is now before the courts.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Why not?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Regina—Wascana, SK

Opposition members cry out "why not". If they do not understand that fundamental precept of justice, then there is nothing that could possibly save them.

In terms of the particular alleged transactions that the hon. gentleman makes reference to, I would be happy to have the Canadian Wheat Board and the relevant grain companies explain the procedure to him.

Regional Development
Oral Question Period

December 10th, 1996 / 2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Glen McKinnon Brandon—Souris, MB

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

Recently in a statement to the Senate committee on banking, the minister committed to increasing the co-operation between regional development agencies, the Business Development Bank of Canada and other branches of its department, including science and research.

What has the minister done to increase co-operation within Industry Canada to promote effective regional economic development and to support science and research in western Canada?