House of Commons Hansard #43 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was rights.

Topics

Natural Resources
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Bob Mills Red Deer, AB

Elected senators?

Natural Resources
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Anne McLellan Edmonton Northwest, AB

Would you be quiet?

Natural Resources
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Natural Resources
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Kilger)

I do not think we have moved the Chair yet. The hon. minister.

Natural Resources
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Anne McLellan Edmonton Northwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, I apologize. I think the hon. member raises a very important question which deserves an answer. That is the point I was trying to make.

Let me reassure the hon. member we intend to deliver on our promise in the speech from the throne. What this promise is about is sorting out appropriate responsibilities between the federal government and provincial governments. It talks about determining who can most appropriately do what functions in the area of forestry and mining.

My department for the past two and half years has been hard at work on this and we will continue to work on it.

I ask the member to consider that my department by 1997-98 will be reduced by some 60 per cent and 1,500 employees. It seems pretty clear to me-

Natural Resources
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister was quite right to call the Reform Party to order, but she could have taken the time to reply to the question, and especially to read the throne speech, which clearly says "withdraw from its functions". But yesterday the minister said the opposite, a bit like the former Deputy Prime Minister. I quote her again:

"Let there be no mistake that there are key federal areas where we will continue to be involved in both forestry and mining".

This contradicts point by point what was said in the throne speech.

So that no mistake is made, could the minister and this government be clear on this issue? Will she admit that the promise made in the throne speech means no more than the red book promise with respect to the GST? Will she realize that she has no more credibility than Sheila Copps?

Natural Resources
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton Northwest
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, let me reiterate to the hon. member that we intend to keep this promise and we are keeping this promise.

This promise is about sorting out responsibilities. I assure the hon. member those areas that we continue to be involved with in forestry are within federal jurisdiction, for example the 25 per cent of forests on federal crown lands, the First Nations and their lands. Forestry is an important aspect of their economic self-sufficiency. National issues in relation to science and technology-

Natural Resources
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Kilger)

The hon. member for Calgary Northeast.

Benefits
Oral Question Period

May 9th, 1996 / 2:40 p.m.

Reform

Art Hanger Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the justice minister was forced to acknowledge the existence of his secret long term policy agenda listing future initiatives on family, dependant benefits for same sex couples and changes to marital and family status.

Canadians deserve honesty and open debate on these issues. Instead, policy agendas are hidden in the minister's drawer, away from Canadians and even members of his own caucus.

Here is a straightforward question for the minister. Will he table all discussion papers and policy initiatives related to same sex benefits or will he admit today he has no intention of pursuing these divisive policies?

Benefits
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the minister replied very clearly yesterday. We are voting on Bill C-33 at this moment to make sure there is no discrimination against any part of society.

On the rest he gave an explanation that there are and will be cases in front of the courts. Citizens can appear before courts. Of course the Minister of Justice has to defend the Canadian position, and the Canadian position is the human rights act. The courts

decide according to the laws of Parliament. The minister said he is ready to defend the position of the government before any court.

Benefits
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Art Hanger Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, yes, we are talking about the justice minister and the Liberal Party's long term agenda.

Same sex couples and marital and family status were not in the red book or in the throne speech. The justice minister denied intentions to move ahead on these initiatives. The House voted down marital benefits for same sex couples. This is a matter of integrity and democracy. He has demonstrated a profound lack of respect for both.

Will the minister commit today to challenge any future court decision which extends marital or family benefits to same sex couples based on the court's interpretation of amendments to the human rights act, yes or no?

Benefits
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada will always perform in court the duties of the Attorney General of Canada. He is very capable and we are very privileged to have a man of his knowledge and stature as the Attorney General of Canada and Minister of Justice.

Coast Guard
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Bernier Gaspé, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

This afternoon, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans will disclose his new fee schedule for the coast guard. Along with a near majority of Canadian stakeholders, the Great Lakes Commission, a U.S. organization representing the eight states bordering the Great Lakes, sent Raymond Chrétien, the Canadian ambassador in Washington, a letter asking the Canadian government to delay the implementation of its new fee schedule for coast guard services.

Since the unilateral imposition of a coast guard fee schedule could have serious repercussions on trade with the U.S., will the Prime Minister act on this request by the U.S. and ask his minister to delay his decision?

Coast Guard
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Fred Mifflin Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows these fees are not unilateral. They were voted on in the House of Commons. They were put forward in a study done last year. They were put forward by the Marine Advisory Board, which involves members of the industry from across Canada. They were studied. There were consultations with 850 organizations and individuals right across the country. They were tried four different ways. They were rearranged. The were reiterated. They were refined.

Everything possible that could be done with these fees to make them fair and equitable has been done. After the fees are implemented there will be studies to ensure they are fairly done and fairly put together with respect to marine services.

We are looking at 11 per cent of the overall fees for the coast guard marine services and the aids to navigation at less than an average of 3 per cent of the overall port charges.

Coast Guard
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Bernier Gaspé, QC

Mr. Speaker, my supplementary question is again for the Prime Minister because the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans has just said once again that he would first implement the new fee schedule and then conduct a review. This makes no sense.

I wish to remind the Prime Minister that, according to the stakeholders who appeared before the fisheries and oceans committee, and according to the Great Lakes Commission, the new fee schedule will have serious consequences.

Does the Prime Minister realize that, by letting his Minister of Fisheries and Oceans blindly go ahead with his new fee schedule, he is endangering thousands of jobs as well as the economies of the regions along the St. Lawrence and around the Great Lakes?