House of Commons Hansard #74 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was mmt.

Topics

Canadian Forces Search And Rescue
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Jack Frazer Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the disabled vessel Alexis le Trotteur declared an emergency in 100 kilometre plus winds and two storey waves off the coast of Nova Scotia. First a Hercules and then an Aurora maritime patrol aircraft arrived but high winds and rough seas prevented rescue. Even a nearby container ship was unable to respond.

When the Canadian forces search and rescue helicopter arrived, the size of the Alexis and the rough seas forced them to abandon their usual procedure. A crewman jumped into the huge waves and swam with a lifeline to hoist four men and women, one at a time, to safety. This 40-minute dangerous rescue left the Labrador at critical fuel levels so they flew to St. Pierre and Miquelon.

This is yet another example of exemplary performance and heroism by a Canadian forces search and rescue team. Their dedicated teamwork, training and bravery made possible their success. Despite ancient and severely limited equipment, their professionalism shone through.

Canadian forces search and rescue units deserve our recognition and praise, but even more they need new tools to help them do their job.

Quebec Economy
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, the list of individuals and organizations condemning the separatist threat as a major cause of Quebec's economic instability is getting longer.

Yesterday, it was the mayor of Montreal, Pierre Bourque, who raised the issue of economic uncertainty generated by the sovereignist threat. The mayor said: "It goes without saying that we need stability. We need confidence. The economy is largely based on a climate of confidence".

Montreal, which is still referred to as Quebec's economic engine, can no longer put up with the adverse socio-economic impact of the PQ and the Bloc Quebecois' separatist obsession. Montreal and the province of Quebec need political stability, but as long as the separatist threat hangs over Quebec, no socio-economic summit and no minister from Montreal will be able to put a stop to this sad decline.

Terry Fox Run
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Sharon Hayes Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, on June 28, 1991 Canada mourned the loss of a courageous young man from Port Coquitlam: Terry Fox.

Although Terry's cancer prevented him from finishing his marathon of hope, the legacy of hope he left is one that is carried in the hearts of all who participated in the Terry Fox run this year in Canada and around the world. They have taken up his quest for a cure for cancer.

The spirit of Port Moody-Coquitlam was evident again last Sunday as 5,700 local residents participated in the 16th annual Terry Fox hometown run. This year over $9 million will likely be raised by an estimated 600,000 Canadians at 4,200 run sites, including 2,600 school events. Thanks to the 1,700 volunteers who were also involved.

Shortly before his death Terry said: "You don't have to do like I did-before you take the time to find out what kind of stuff you're really made of. You can start now".

In tribute to this man and the potential in every Canadian and every member of the House, I challenge us all to get involved in a fight to find a cure for cancer.

Raymond Villeneuve
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Sheila Finestone Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, the threatening comments made by convicted criminal Raymond Villeneuve particularly against the Jewish community on the eve of their holiest day, Yom Kippur, was an act of hatred and anti-Semitism that cannot be tolerated.

The Montreal police investigation is a welcome first step in this finger pointing vilification of a targeted community group. But this action is not enough.

Where is the voice of the premier of all Quebecers? Where is the voice of denunciation even if this is a marginal group?

For as history has sadly shown us, when political discourse turns to invective, tragedy follows. I believe Villeneuve should be prosecuted under Canada's anti-hate legislation.

And by pointing a finger at the cultural communities, particularly the Jewish community, this former FLQ terrorist is obviously inciting people to violence, and showing a total lack of respect toward all Quebecers.

I call on Premier Bouchard to continue to denounce extremists like Villeneuve, Bourgeault and other subversives in the separatist movement and to put an end to exclusion and hate mongering.

Presence In Gallery
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Dear colleagues, I wish to draw your attention to the presence in our gallery of a parliamentary delegation from Quebec's National Assembly, headed by Speaker Jean-Pierre Charbonneau.

Presence In Gallery
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

The Constitution
Oral Question Period

September 25th, 1996 / 2:15 p.m.

Roberval
Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, a few months ago the federal government was backing lawyer Guy Bertrand in his bid to have the last Quebec referendum declared illegal by the courts. At the time, the federal government justified its action by saying that the government of Quebec was also taking an active interest in the Bertrand litigation.

Now we learn that the federal government is preparing to go it alone from here on and ask the Supreme Court to rule on what the government calls the legal issues surrounding Quebec's possible secession. In other words, the government is deciding to take up the crusade begun by Guy Bertrand.

Will the Prime Minister admit that, by taking the issue of Quebec's sovereignty to the Supreme court, the federal government is implicitly admitting that it has lost the political battle and is now trying to set up legal obstacles to prevent the people of Quebec from making their own decisions about their future? In a way, the government is trying to get the judges to do its work.

The Constitution
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government has not officially taken any such decision. When we are ready, we will so inform the House.

A ruling by the Quebec Superior Court raised some very important questions to do with Canadian constitutional law as well as with international law.

Even the Leader of the Opposition said in an interview that the international law aspect should one day be clarified, and obviously one day it will be.

The Constitution
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Roberval
Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government's whole approach consists in asking the judges of the Supreme Court for a ruling on a Constitution.

So how can the Prime Minister invoke a Constitution that is silent on the rules for entering and leaving confederation, a Constitution that has no political legitimacy in Quebec, because it was imposed-he should know something about that, it was his doing-it was imposed and has never been agreed to or signed by any premier, either federalist or sovereigntist?

The Constitution
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should know that the Canadian Constitution dates from 1867 and that it was a law of the British Parliament. So, even back then, parliamentarians were unable to vote.

It has only been since 1982 when we patriated the Constitution, so that Canadians would finally have a Canadian Constitution, that we could change Canada's Constitution to reflect the wishes of the people of Canada. I know that the members of the Bloc Quebecois would have preferred to see us remain a colony of Great Britain, legally speaking.

The Constitution
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Roberval
Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, one thing is certain in Quebec and that is that since 1982 nobody has wanted his Constitution, that is clear.

We know that the federal cabinet is divided on the question of whether or not to refer this matter to the Supreme Court and I can understand, because I want to ask the Prime Minister to give us and the members of his cabinet an explanation, and perhaps then he will be able to bring about unity.

How can the Prime Minister explain that Canada's justice minister has flatly contradicted himself twice in this matter, first in September 1995, when he declared that, in his view, this was not a legal question but a political one, and for the second time in May 1996 when he said that he was intervening in the Bertrand case only because the government of Quebec was doing so, and that otherwise he would not? By becoming involved now, the Minister of Justice will have contradicted himself twice since his initial statement.

The Constitution
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, at the time, the minister said that, if the government of Quebec did not intervene, we would perhaps not have to intervene. But the provincial government did intervene and the ruling was not favourable to the provincial government.

I imagine that if the ruling had been favourable to the government of Quebec, it would not have withdrawn from the case.

The Wording Of The Referendum Question
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierrette Venne Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, to say the least, some clarifications of the lengthy responses we have just been given by the government are in order.

My question is for the Minister of Justice. Does the government intend to go ahead before the Supreme Court to ask its judges for a ruling on the federal government's power over the wording of the referendum question, the percentage required in a referendum, and the use of the power of disallowance?

The Wording Of The Referendum Question
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as the Prime Minister has already said, we have not yet decided, but will do so in the next few days. As I said last week, it is our intention to respect the commitment we made in the Throne Speech, which is that next time, should there be a third referendum on the same subject, the question needs to be clear, the consequences need to be well known, and all Canadians need to be involved.

The Wording Of The Referendum Question
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierrette Venne Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, can the Minister of Justice tell us whether the federal government will seek to obtain a favourable decision from the Supreme Court as to the possibility of holding its own Canada-wide referendum?