House of Commons Hansard #19 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was fisheries.

Topics

Environment
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Bill Gilmour Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, she simply will not answer the question.

The environment minister said in the House yesterday that she is going to strike a deal in Kyoto and only then get the co-operation from the provinces. This is clearly unacceptable to the provinces. Alberta's environment minister has publicly stated that Alberta will not accept legally binding limits arrived at this manner.

I ask the environment minister once again, will the minister commit to getting the agreement of the provinces before she goes to Kyoto, yes or no?

Environment
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Northumberland
Ontario

Liberal

Christine Stewart Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, in discussing this issue with my provincial counterparts yesterday, including the minister from Alberta, I believe that we are satisfied that we are working together on this issue in a transparent manner. I also believe that the minister of the environment in Alberta is very concerned about the negative impact of climate change on his province.

France-Quebec Agreement On Collection Of Support Payments
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have just learned that the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs is insisting on blocking the agreement between Quebec City and Paris for the simple reason that the Canadian agreement has yet to be signed and is therefore not yet in existence.

How can the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs block an agreement negotiated in good faith between Quebec City and Paris just because there is a Canadian agreement that has not yet been signed, that does not have force of law and that does not therefore exist?

France-Quebec Agreement On Collection Of Support Payments
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra
B.C.

Liberal

Ted McWhinney Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the master agreement between France and Canada exists. The basis for that is international public law.

So no agreement between Quebec and France can have legal force outside Canada without the support of the Government of Canada. The Government of France has already indicated that the federal government's agreement preliminary to the signing of a legal agreement—

France-Quebec Agreement On Collection Of Support Payments
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

I apologize for interrupting the hon. member. The member for Roberval.

France-Quebec Agreement On Collection Of Support Payments
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the secretary is very kind, but he must realize the Government of Canada is in the process of changing 20 years of international practice, because other agreements have already been signed and there is a way to approve them.

My question is for the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. I do not want him to dodge the issue, I would like him to answer. How can he base his position on an agreement that does not exist, that is, the one between Canada and France, thus denying women and children in Quebec their child support? How can he do that?

France-Quebec Agreement On Collection Of Support Payments
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I have answered this question a number of times, and the answer is that Quebeckers can only have rights that have force in law in France under a treaty signed by two governments.

I would add one thing. The fact that things have dragged on so long is due to the partisanship of the other side.

France-Quebec Agreement On Collection Of Support Payments
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

France-Quebec Agreement On Collection Of Support Payments
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

We keep trying to practice empty-chair politics. Between 1994 and 1996, Canada negotiated with France, and the Quebec government refused to take part. Now it has tried to negotiate a parallel agreement, which cannot have force of law in France because of French, Canadian and international provisions.

Correctional Service
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Myron Thompson Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, we have some prison guards with us today, including Roy Tremblay. Roy recently was asked to relocate an inmate from one cell to another. In the process of moving this inmate and relocating him, he got poked with a needle. This inmate has full blown AIDS.

The guards have been after the system for days and days to provide them with puncture safety gloves, which it has failed to do. Will the solicitor general scrap his idea of a tattoo parlour for the cons and provide these guards with the material they need to do their jobs?

Correctional Service
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I believe the entire Chamber is aware that I am very concerned for the employees of the Canadian corrections service. I think they do good work. I support them regularly. I will take under consideration the suggestion of the member.

Correctional Service
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Myron Thompson Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, they have been asking for these things for a long time. Talk is cheap. They had better turn the lights on in the second row as well.

A few days ago we were talking about knives and cleavers in the kitchen. Remember that? They heard the plea and guess what? They got some cord and they attached the knives and cleavers to the tables like we asked. Isn't that neat? The knives can cut the cord.

Will the solicitor general provide us today with some information that will say to the guards who are present that we will chain both of these knives to the tables so they cannot be turned into lethal weapons against the people who work there?

Correctional Service
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the Union of Solicitor General Employees has brought the issue to the attention of the management of CSC and the knives have been attached to the tables.

Quebec-France Agreement On Support Payments
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil, QC

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

In his desire to place the Quebec-France agreement on collection of support payments within an umbrella agreement, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs is creating a situation which is extremely prejudicial to the women and children of Quebec.

Will the minister confirm that the umbrella agreement under which he wishes to place the Quebec-France agreement contains no provisions for access to legal aid by Quebec women in the territory of France, as there is in the agreement between Quebec and France he is willfully blocking?

Quebec-France Agreement On Support Payments
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra
B.C.

Liberal

Ted McWhinney Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, there is an umbrella agreement between Canada and France on which there has been practice for 30 years. The juridical force of judgments of Canadian courts in France depends on this umbrella agreement.

Without an agreement between Quebec and France being concluded within the framework of that agreement, no judgments of Canadian courts can be applied in France.

Therefore, it is the single mothers and their children of Canada who cannot receive payments in France because the Quebec government will not conform to the agreement.