House of Commons Hansard #76 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was mmt.

Topics

Constitution
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Justice said yesterday that he would recognize the will of Quebec if certain conditions were met.

Could the Minister of Justice tell us in no uncertain terms whether the federal government intends to determine the wording of the question and the percentage required to recognize a referendum?

Constitution
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we intend to act on the commitment we made in February in the speech from the throne, that if there was a third referendum in Quebec, there would be a clear question, full discussion of all the consequences, a fair and equitable process and an opportunity for all Canadians to have some say on the future of their country.

Constitution
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Justice also said that all Canadians would have their say. However, he would not tell us whether he was considering holding a pan-Canadian referendum to determine Quebec's future.

Could the Minister of Justice tell us today whether the government has dismissed the possibility of holding a pan-Canadian referendum on the future of Quebec? Yes or no?

Constitution
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, if the Government of Quebec insists on a third referendum after twice the population of Quebec voted for a united Canada, the first issue will be to determine the will and wish of Quebecers. We have said time and again that we are confident they will choose a united Canada.

The hon. member pretends that in such an event the population of Quebec would choose a different course. We are saying that in any such unlikely eventuality, all Canadians have a stake in what would then happen, which is the settlement of the issues that would be outstanding on separation, not partnership. All Canadians must have a voice in determining those issues.

Canadian Armed Forces
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Reform

Jim Hart Okanagan—Similkameen—Merritt, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister and the defence minister have demonstrated to Canadians their lack of leadership, and by their lack of leadership they have allowed morale in the Canadian Armed Forces to plummet.

Instead of restoring morale, they have been lining the pockets of their Liberal campaign workers. The defence department budget was meant to protect Canada's interests, not as a personal slush fund for friends of the Prime Minister and his cabinet.

To the acting Prime Minister, why is the Liberal government spending more money rewarding its friends than it is restoring morale in the Canadian Armed Forces?

Canadian Armed Forces
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, there are rules for these contracts which are clear. Each department has delegated authority to assign some contracts according to rules which are provided by the Treasury Board. These rules have been followed by the minister of defence.

I am assured that all the rules that were in place have been followed. In this case, the rules that apply are similar to the rules

that apply to the Leader of the Opposition and to the leader of the third party. These contracts have to meet certain criteria. I am informed they have all been met.

Canadian Armed Forces
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Reform

Jim Hart Okanagan—Similkameen—Merritt, BC

Mr. Speaker, again Canadians will not be happy with the fox writing his own rules when it comes to guarding the chicken house.

The Prime Minister and the defence minister clearly are putting their self-interests ahead of leading the Canadian military by failing to uphold ethical standards. By rewarding Joe Thornley and Stephanos Karabecos with lucrative contracts they have shown that they put their personal self-interests and financial betterment of friends above rank and file troops in our Canadian Armed Forces.

To demonstrate to members of the Canadian Armed Forces that their interests and their morale are paramount, will the government conduct an official review of the tendering process for the Thornley contract?

Canadian Armed Forces
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, the allegations of the member opposite are simply incorrect.

Yesterday the Prime Minister indicated the number of contracts that have been allocated to people who were ex-candidates for the Reform Party. The criteria have to do with efficiency, ability to meet the requirements of the contract within the moneys allocated. This is what has been done.

Canadian Armed Forces
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Reform

Jim Hart Okanagan—Similkameen—Merritt, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister knows that he is clearly trying to confuse Canadians. He is comparing apples and oranges. We are talking about the executive branch of government issuing untendered contracts; leadership and responsibility with accountability, not interest at all costs.

While the defence minister was stuffing the pockets of his Liberal buddies, the family of Corporal Neil MacKinnon was trying in vain to find out exactly how its son was killed.

First, Mr. and Mrs. MacKinnon were lied to and then the lie was covered up for over a year. The command inspector will not be investigating this shameful incident. People have been charged in Corporal MacKinnon's death but no one is being held accountable for the lies his parents had to endure for over a year.

Why does the defence minister's leadership stop at the bank for his Liberal friends when it never made it to the home of Corporal Neil MacKinnon?

Canadian Armed Forces
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Perth—Wellington—Waterloo
Ontario

Liberal

John Richardson Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member opposite has imputed a lot of motives. The facts do not flow directly or logically. He is trying to evolve a web here that is so convoluted it is very difficult to answer his question.

Simply put, the accident that took place with Corporal McKinnon was a tragic accident. Upon its discovery, immediately the armed forces took forthwith a board of inquiry to get to the bottom of it. They have followed through to the very end with charges. People have been charged with negligence of duty. One cannot be more responsible than that.

Jerusalem Tunnel
Oral Question Period

September 27th, 1996 / 11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Maud Debien Laval East, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Deputy Prime Minister.

The opening of the tunnel in Jerusalem sparked a wave of violence which so far has claimed nearly 100 casualties. In a situation where Jewish colonization has started again and negotiations on the definitive status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are threatened, the opening of this tunnel constitutes a genuine provocation that further compromises the peace process in the Middle East.

Could the Deputy Prime Minister indicate whether, as other governments have done, the Canadian government intends to ask Israel to close the tunnel in order to restore calm and thus contribute towards resumption of the peace process?

Jerusalem Tunnel
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Papineau—Saint-Michel
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister for International Co-operation and Minister responsible for Francophonie

Mr. Speaker, Canada is very concerned about the surge of violence in the Gaza Strip and on the West Bank. I very much appreciate the concern shown by the hon. member of the opposition.

We are dismayed by the increasing number of casualties over the past few days. Canada is asking for an immediate ceasefire.

I can also inform you that today, the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs is attending a special session of the UN Security Council on this important question. My colleague, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, will present Canada's position, which is to ask Israeli and Palestinian representatives to resume direct negotiations and take immediate steps to restore calm.

The minister also met with senior Israeli representatives yesterday in New York to press them to refrain from any pressures that may be unhelpful to the Middle East peace process. I can also inform the member that some senior officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs met yesterday in Ottawa and gave the same message.

Jerusalem Tunnel
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Maud Debien Laval East, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister for International Co-operation just told us that the Canadian government, through the Minister of Foreign Affairs, intends to ask for a ceasefire. I asked a very specific question, namely whether he intends to ask for the tunnel to be closed.

Furthermore, does the minister also intend to support the request by Yasser Arafat for immediate intervention by the Security Council on the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip?

Jerusalem Tunnel
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Papineau—Saint-Michel
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister for International Co-operation and Minister responsible for Francophonie

Mr. Speaker, the presence of the Minister of Foreign Affairs before the UN Security Council today is very important, and at this time I would not wish to commit Canadian diplomacy as specifically as the hon. member for the opposition would have us do, since these discussions are now taking place in New York.

Consultations are proceeding at extremely important levels, and I believe we would not be acting very responsibly by making a commitment at the very moment the Security Council is discussing this question.

Quebec
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Justice is sending out some fairly confusing signals. Yesterday and today he suggested that Canadians would have a full voice on any developments surrounding the future of their country in the event of Quebec's secession. However, today he stopped short of saying that Canadians would be involved and have a voice in a referendum campaign in the event of Quebec's secession.

Is it the government's position that a full and meaningful voice would mean that they would have a vote in a referendum campaign?