House of Commons Hansard #27 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was institutions.

Topics

Tran Trieu Quan
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Philippe Paré Louis-Hébert, QC

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

The government's carelessness in the Tran Trieu Quan matter has gone on for too long. The day before last, in an about-face designed to give the impression it is acting on this matter, the government asked Vietnamese authorities to demand that Paul Morgan be extradited. Just last week however, they claimed the matter was in the hands of Mr. Quan's counsel.

Given that the government is dragging its feet in this matter and failed to act until a reporter tracked down Paul Morgan, could the

minister tell us what the government and the RCMP were doing during all that time?

Tran Trieu Quan
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, first of all, I would like to say that we share the member's concern about the serious situation Mr. Quan is in. But it is incorrect to say that the government did not act on this matter. We did take several steps.

The Prime Minister took the matter up with the prime minister of Vietnam. The former Minister of Foreign Affairs also raised the question. I myself discussed the matter with the ambassador.

This week, the Minister of Finance, who was in Vietnam, expressed our government's concerns to the deputy prime minister of Vietnam and asked that Mr. Quan be released. Meanwhile, I wrote Mr. Christopher requesting co-operation on the part of Vietnamese authorities in sharing information. At that time, We spoke with Mr. Morgan's lawyers with a view to getting the information and sharing it with the minister.

Tran Trieu Quan
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Philippe Paré Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, around noon today, one of the foreign affairs minister's own colleagues stated that the government would not act.

Now that it has been revealed that CIDA recently granted $7.5 million in assistance to Vietnam through the good offices of lobbyist Marc Lalonde, does this not prove that trade relations clearly take precedence over human rights in the eyes of the Government of Canada, even when the rights in question are those of a Canadian citizen?

Tran Trieu Quan
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the position of the Canadian government has been to ensure that the assistance it gives goes to help the people of Vietnam in their development.

I do not think the hon. member or the members of the Bloc Quebecois would want to deny the kind of assistance that helps the health, safety and security of people who are coming out of a serious war situation and who are trying to rebuild their country.

It is important we dispel many of the myths the hon. member and others have been trying to perpetrate that action has not been taken on behalf of Mr. Quan. There has been a wide variety of representations. We have been working with Vietnamese authorities and American authorities to get the information.

We have made every effort possible to ensure that his rights within prison are demanded. We made the representations as recently as this week. We will continue to work on behalf of all Canadians abroad to ensure their rights are protected wherever they may be.

Lebanon
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Assad Gatineau—La Lièvre, QC

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

Given the tragic situation and the human suffering caused to the Lebanese people by an occupation force, will the minister reaffirm Canada's position regarding UN resolution 425, which provides that Lebanon's territorial integrity and sovereignty must be ensured?

Lebanon
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question.

The situation in Lebanon is indeed extremely serious. We support Lebanon's territorial integrity and we are asking that resolution 425 of the UN security council be implemented, in the context of peace negotiations.

We have also asked for a ceasefire in that region. In light of the current terrorist acts and conflict, next Monday, I will present Canada's positions at the Luxembourg meeting, asking for a reduction in the conflict, as well as for the protection of human rights in the Middle East.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Mike Scott Skeena, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans is holding a gun to the heads of commercial fishermen in British Columbia. He has told them they must make a decision on license buy back before June but he will not set allocations until the fall at the earliest.

How can fishermen in British Columbia make rational decisions about their future in the fishery unless they know beforehand the rules of the game? Will the minister extend the buy back offer until after the allocations are set, as fishermen have demanded?

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Fred Mifflin Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question. The program is a voluntary program recommended by the industry, which is in great difficulty. I do not think he would dispute that.

The proposals were made by the industry as a result of a report, 70 stakeholders and a report of 27 recommendations.

In an industry going through so much difficulty, incurring such a loss of money, a potential loss of $10 million this year, we have to start somewhere. We started here. Many people are in support of this program. In response to the hon. member's question, regrettably not.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Mike Scott Skeena, BC

Mr. Speaker, at least we got a straight answer.

The federal government is currently reallocating the salmon resource in British Columbia through native land claim agreements, as seen in the Nisga'a agreement in principle. The overwhelming majority of British Columbians object to a racially based, separate commercial fishery. The native only fishery is not supported by either the Constitution or the decision of Canada's courts.

Will the minister not admit he is reallocating the resource at a time when he is asking the commercial fishing industry to downsize by 50 per cent? Will he abandon this bizarre policy of two commercial fisheries in British Columbia separated by race?

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Fred Mifflin Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I have to refresh the hon. member's memory on what really took place.

In the consideration of the Nisga'a agreement in co-operation with all the partners in the resolution of an issue ongoing for 100 years, it was agreed the food fishery would stay in the Nisga'a agreement in principle and that the commercial harvest for the Nisga'a nations would give the Nisga'a less than they would have if they had ratcheted it up in succeeding years. It was put in the agreement in principle not specifically as commercial fishing but to be included in a harvest agreement to be looked at specifically.

There are not separate fisheries based on racial considerations. I think it improper that the hon. member would even suggest that.

Coast Guard
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Bernier Gaspé, QC

Mr. Speaker, intereted parties from the St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes regions continue to appear before the standing committee on fisheries and oceans to oppose the new fee structure for coast guard services which the Minister of Fisheries wants to impose. Since his appointment, the minister has always refused to meet those affected by the new fees.

How can the minister explain his systematic refusal to meet these interested parties, given that formal requests were made to him, among others by the Government of Quebec and by five presidents of aluminum producers in Canada, which have sales totalling $4 billion and which provide over 45,000 direct and indirect jobs? How can the minister justify his refusal to meet these people?

Coast Guard
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Fred Mifflin Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, this matter is before the committee, but I will answer the question.

In consideration of this matter the coast guard and the consultations, of which there were more than 350, looked at four different systems: port specific, national, east-west, and east-west and Laurentian. There have been many iterations but each iteration results in a refinement process.

The process now in place is the best process to address a fair and equitable balance among all those who will pay the marine service fee in response to the services provided by the Government of Canada.

Coast Guard
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Bernier Gaspé, QC

Mr. Speaker, this does not answer the question, but since the minister wants to talk about the four different systems which he intends to create, I will give him a chance to explain what is going on in his neck of the woods. Why does the minister give preferential treatment to his province by granting substantial rebates for navigation aids to ships that will dock in Newfoundland, at the expense of the other regions, including the St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes, which already absorb half of the costs related to navigation aids?

How does the minister explain that? He creates three or four different systems and subsidizes his province in the process.

Coast Guard
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Fred Mifflin Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, that is absolute tommy-rot and the hon. member knows it.

Canada Pension Plan
Oral Question Period

April 17th, 1996 / 2:55 p.m.

Reform

John Williams St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Deputy Prime Minister said: "It is the policy of the Liberal government to protect the Canada pension plan for seniors and its viability in the long term".

What right does she have to say she can protect the Canada pension plan and maintain seniors' incomes before she has the approval from the taxpayers to increase CPP premiums from 5 per cent of their income to 15 per cent of their income?