House of Commons Hansard #9 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was equality.

Topics

Canadian Armed Forces
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Reform

Jim Hart Okanagan—Similkameen—Merritt, BC

Mr. Speaker, one thing is very clear from the Liberal government. It has placed the blame for Canada's growing debt on the men and women of the Canadian armed forces and that is wrong.

The government has promised to foot the bill for some $23 million for a mission in Haiti and it will not even seek reimbursement from the United Nations, which is normal practice. At the same time it is gutting the defence budget by some $800 million which will put Canadian sovereignty at risk.

Will the minister agree to reassess each and every overseas mission until it can adequately fund the Canadian Armed Forces or at least make the UN contribute to our costs?

Canadian Armed Forces
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Reform Party in the last election championed massive spending cuts. In fact, the leader of his party in reply to the Minister of Finance this week said the government is not going fast enough. Now we are told that we should not be cutting in certain areas.

In fact, the Reform Party tried to pose this week as the guarantors of health and other social programs. Canadians will see through this rhetoric.

Chinese Orphanages
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Maud Debien Laval East, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs. So as not to jeopardize its trade, the Canadian government is closing its eyes to the treatment of babies in Chinese orphanages, abandoning them to their fate. It would appear, however, that people in Canada and Quebec disagree.

Could the minister tell us what kind of concrete measures his government intends to take to put an end to the blatant abuse of human rights in Chinese orphanages?

Chinese Orphanages
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Northumberland
Ontario

Liberal

Christine Stewart Secretary of State (Latin America and Africa)

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to respond to the question.

Federal government officials have visited China. During conversations with officials the issue of the situation with babies and small children in China has been raised. We have told them of our concern about the deplorable conditions we learned about in which some Chinese children are living. We have offered our assistance to help them deal with this situation. We have also referred them to UNICEF. We understand that right now China is in dialogue with UNICEF and that UNICEF will be providing some assistance.

The Government of Canada supports UNICEF financially and we will keep an eye on this issue to make sure there are improvements being made.

Chinese Orphanages
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Maud Debien Laval East, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister knows full well what we want, and what the Bloc Quebecois has been condemning for many months now. We want an unequivocal condemnation by the Canadian government of children's human rights abuse in Chinese orphanages. Behind the scene dealings will not protect Canada's reputation in the world.

I would like the minister to tell us when her government is finally going to adhere to a consistent policy on the issue of trade and human rights, in order to protect the reputation Canada used to have, and I do mean used to have, throughout the world?

Chinese Orphanages
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Northumberland
Ontario

Liberal

Christine Stewart Secretary of State (Latin America and Africa)

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada is very sympathetic to the issues that the member raises with regard to human rights issues worldwide. We have officially addressed abuses to human rights in China. Among those, we have raised the issue of the conditions in which children and babies find themselves.

The United Nations Human Rights Commission will be convening shortly. The Minister of Foreign Affairs will be attending that meeting in Geneva, along with, we hope, other parliamentarians. We will all have an opportunity to address these very serious issues, not only in China but in other areas of the world where we have serious concerns.

The Canadian government, through CIDA, has also put together a policy on human rights, democratic development and good governance. I would be very happy to share this with any parliamentarian here.

Justice
Oral Question Period

March 8th, 1996 / 11:50 a.m.

Reform

Jack Ramsay Crowfoot, AB

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

On January 24 the minister appointed Mr. John Desotti of Sudbury, judge of the Ontario court in Sarnia. At the time of this appointment, was the minister aware that a three-year-old, unresolved complaint alleging professional misconduct was pending against Mr. Desotti before the Law Society of Upper Canada?

Justice
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Yes, Mr. Speaker. In order to be fair to the man and fair to the facts, I hasten to add that I was also aware that the complaint had been investigated and dismissed by the Law Society of Upper Canada.

Justice
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Reform

Jack Ramsay Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is absolutely clear that it was a three-year case, that a review into the matter was under way and that the appointment by this justice minister simply threw a cloak of immunity over Mr. Desotti and the Law Society of Upper Canada lost jurisdiction as a result of this appointment.

Because of his actions, which violated the fundamental principle of due process and violated the right of the complainants in this case to a fair hearing, I ask the minister what action he will take to have the appointment of Mr. Desotti rescinded until the complaint or the complainant receives a fair and just hearing and to ensure the ethics of the newly appointed judge are no longer in question?

Justice
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, involvement in public life brings a certain responsibility, including a responsibility to be fair to the reputation of people. I invite the hon. member to bear that in mind.

What is required of us, as responsible public officials, is more than simply to cobble together bits of phrases that sound very righteous and to combine them with indignation.

Justice
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Reform

Jack Ramsay Crowfoot, AB

Here is the file.

Justice
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Allan Rock Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I know the facts of this case, so let me tell the House and the hon. member what really happened.

A client complained to the Law Society about Mr. Desotti when he was in practice. The Law Society investigated that complaint and found it without foundation and decided not to proceed. In those circumstances, having regard to the fact that finding had been made and looking at the facts and the nature of the complaint, I exercised my judgment and I brought the man's name forward to cabinet because he is going to be a good judge.

The client, unhappy with the fact that the complaint had been found without merit, asked for a review by a lay bencher of the Law Society. It was while that review was pending that the appointment was made.

Our judgment and our determination was that the appointment was appropriate and I invite the hon. member to be fair to Mr. Desotti and to the system.

Canadian Armed Forces
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Len Hopkins Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday it was announced that non-commissioned members of the Canadian forces will receive a 2.2 per cent pay catch-up to bring them in line with federal public salaries. This is welcome news to the men and women who have dedicated their lives to serving of our country.

Will the Minister of National Defence tell the House when these truly deserving members of the Canadian forces can expect this measure to take effect? This is another good news story to follow up on his clarification of the purchase of equipment which he made just a few minutes ago.

Canadian Armed Forces
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke for his intervention.

Very few other members in the House have had such a long and distinguished record in support of Canada's armed forces and I think that should be recognized.

Canadian Armed Forces
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.