House of Commons Hansard #10 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was care.

Topics

War Criminals
Oral Question Period

October 3rd, 1997 / 11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

Today, the media are reporting that a committee appointed by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration has stated that Canada makes it too easy for war criminals to enter the country.

Can the minister tell the House how many war criminals her department has currently identified in Canada?

War Criminals
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, let me to correct the facts. The statement was not made by a committee appointed by the minister. It is found in a report written by an officer to his director. The officer is a member of the department's war crimes section.

This shows that we do have a departmental war crimes section, where an inventory of about 300 suspected people was made, and I emphasize the word “suspected”.

Dairy Industry
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Laval West, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

The United States have announced that they will challenge our dairy production system before the World Trade Organization, on the grounds that we subsidize our dairy product exports.

What measures will the minister take to protect Canada's dairy industry?

Dairy Industry
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, first of all I would like to congratulate the member for her election to the House. I look forward to working with her which she has already shown enthusiasm to do.

The government and the dairy industry are already putting a strategy together to deal with the section 301 challenge that the United States has put on a track toward the WTO. If that challenge does go through the whole process and to a final panel, we will use those strategies to defend the dairy industry as we did in the NAFTA panel. I remind everyone Canada received a unanimous decision in our favour. We will again defend the Canadian dairy industry vigorously.

National Revenue
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Reform

Rob Anders Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, customs staff were pulled away from inspecting planes for drugs and contraband so that Federal Express shipments could be fast tracked. The Minister of National Revenue says that they want more facts. We have a statement on legal stationery confirming that Dennis Coffey will provide sworn evidence exactly to this effect.

How many kilos of cocaine and pounds of pot were smuggled into Canada because planes from Jamaica went uninspected?

National Revenue
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

London West
Ontario

Liberal

Sue Barnes Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, Revenue Canada is responsible at the customs border points. Between the border points we have RCMP co-operation. A lot of our information is intelligence based. We work co-operatively on our anti-smuggling initiatives. There are money and resources behind this and Revenue Canada works on assessing high and low risk and will not be letting smugglers know how we do this in this House.

National Revenue
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Reform

Rob Anders Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, speaking about higher risks, how about high priorities in terms of sisters of employees and whatnot making money on the taxpayer in that department?

We have learned that one of the top officials of the Minister of National Revenue is trying to gag Mr. Coffey, threatening him with disciplinary action and making these allegations public before the appeal board. In fact the government has the letter. We tabled it yesterday.

If Mr. Coffey's evidence is not true then why is the minister and his staff trying to shut out and shut up Mr. Coffey? Why are they doing that?

National Revenue
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

London West
Ontario

Liberal

Sue Barnes Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I will reiterate and hopefully it will be clearer this time. The employee in question has filed an appeal with the Public Service Commission Appeal Board that he was inappropriately denied an acting appointment.

While this appeal is ongoing we will not be commenting on the particulars of this case no matter how many times members of the opposition ask.

Labour
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

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

In what the front page of the New York Times calls “a child labour victory”, the U.S. Congress is set to ban the importation of goods made by bondaged child labourers.

In light of the fact that there is an estimated 15 million children working in Southeast Asia and in light of the fact that the APEC conference seeks to increase our trade with these countries, will the minister use the weight of his office to pass comparable legislation that would outlaw the importation and sale of goods manufactured by child labour?

Labour
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, while I compliment the member on question, I would like to remind him that last year we set up a special fund to encourage Canadian enterprises and organizations to come forward with a series of initiatives to deal with the importation of products made by child labour.

Second, we are now working with the ILO to come up with a new draft convention dealing with children working in hazardous industries.

Third, as he probably knows, Canada is one of the few countries which has passed legislation that gives us the right to prosecute Canadian citizens who go abroad to exploit children.

Labour
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the White House has also initiated a process that has led to a workplace code of practice for monitoring the garment industry in that country. In our country some garment contractors use sweatshops and homeworkers on piece work often in violation of wage and labour standards.

Will the minister and his cabinet colleagues commit to develop a similar code of conduct to end the exploitation of sweatshop workers and to help the many fair Canadian manufacturers who suffer from this unfair competition?

Labour
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I would like to give the hon. member three pieces of information. First, we are working actively to have an international standard through the Oslo convention. Canada is sponsoring one of the founding meetings that is leading toward that international code.

Second, we have worked to develop a code of conduct for private businesses. They announced it about a month ago and our department was very much involved in pulling it together.

Third, we are attempting to develop specific projects overseas through the work of CIDA to help remove children from hazardous child labour and provide alternative working opportunities for them in company with local NGOs in those areas.

Rcmp Investigations
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Deputy Prime Minister would have us believe that the Minister of Human Resources Development is to be congratulated for taking the initiative of calling the RCMP.

My suggestion is that this is simply not enough. Just to bring it to the attention of the RCMP is not enough.

What we would like to know is who knew, when did they know and what have they done in the meantime to ensure that this practice has stopped?

Rcmp Investigations
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member's question was answered in part yesterday and I answered the rest of it in my earlier responses to other members of the House.

Rcmp Investigations
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question surrounds the contradictions that seem to exist. There is information that suggests that the Prime Minister did not know and then there are other suggestions that he did.

What we want to know is who in the government was aware of this illegal practice? The investigation was under way. Why did a person in the employment of the parties continue to work for the party?