House of Commons Hansard #126 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was harmonization.

Topics

Quebec Culture
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Gaston Leroux Richmond—Wolfe, QC

Mr. Speaker, it seems to me that the Minister of Human Resources Development was speaking much more forcefully in Drummondville on the weekend than he is today in the House. In an arrogant and condescending speech, he displayed his ignorance and self importance for all to see by saying that the Quebec governments from past to present, and I quote "never spent a bloody cent on culture".

How can the Minister of Human Resources Development treat the various Quebec ministers of culture, including his own colleague, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, with such disdain and ignorance, when the Quebec government is one of the major investors in culture, contributing more than even Ontario and the Government of Canada?

Quebec Culture
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Michel
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I spoke these words in Drummondville this week, where I addressed 150 young Liberals as they get ready for the next elections. They were very enthusiastic, and their enthusiasm was catching.

I was explaining to our young Liberals, who do not always have the opportunity to hear all of the arguments in support of Liberal Party policy, that everyone felt in Quebec that the Canadian economic union was grand in all respects and served the interests of Quebecers well. The vast majority recognized that Quebecers benefit enormously from the Canadian social union.

I also showed that, in terms of political association, Quebecers were proud of Canada's foreign policy and could identify therefore with it. What I said was, that in cultural and linguistic terms, the Liberal Party of Canada had set up institutions that have made an exceptional contribution to the growth of the French language in Canada and of culture in Quebec, and I gave as examples Radio-Canada, the National Film Board and the Canada Council.

Quebec Culture
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Gaston Leroux Richmond—Wolfe, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government is suffering from the same malady as its Prime Minister. On television, it is one thing and, in the House, it is another.

In connection with the three institutions mentioned, I remember the government's commitment to provide stable funding, whereas they cut $414 million and 4,000 jobs from the CBC and $20 million from the National Film Board and they moved the board of directors of Telefilm Canada from Montreal to Toronto. That is what this government is all about.

Culture and the French language are the product of the efforts of generations of artists and craftspeople. They were funded, regardless of what the minister may think, by the taxpayers of Canada.

Quebec Culture
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Quebec Culture
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Gaston Leroux Richmond—Wolfe, QC

We can feel the tension in this government on the eve of an election.

Quebec Culture
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

Kindly put your question now.

Quebec Culture
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Gaston Leroux Richmond—Wolfe, QC

By giving Ottawa full credit for culture in Quebec, is the minister not insulting the artists and craftspeople who have produced it and have created the cultural institutions that ensure its dissemination?

Quebec Culture
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Michel
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I must congratulate Quebecers on the extraordinary effort they have put into promoting culture. I never said that they had not contributed to it.

What I did say is that the Government of Canada provided Quebec creators, artists and actors with means they had never had at their disposal. I was looking back to the years when the nationalists, the forebears of the members opposite, saw culture as useless piano players. That is what I was talking about.

No one is more exquisitely aware of the huge contribution Quebecers have made to their own culture than I am. The means given them was first and foremost Radio-Canada and the National Film Board, and now Telefilm, and I am extremely proud of them. Long live Quebecers and long live what Canada has done for them.

Quebec Culture
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

Dear colleagues, kindly shorten your questions and answers a little.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

February 10th, 1997 / 2:40 p.m.

Reform

Val Meredith Surrey—White Rock—South Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are embarrassed by the Liberal's pathetic record in dealing with Nazi war criminals. Now they appear to be taking the same attitude toward a new group of war criminals.

At least 250 suspected war criminals from Afghanistan, Bosnia, Iraq, Somalia and various Latin American countries have been allowed to remain in Canada despite being denied refugee status and having their appeals rejected.

Can the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration please explain why the Liberal government is protecting war criminals?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Beaches—Woodbine
Ontario

Liberal

Maria Minna Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, Canada does not protect war criminals. In fact, Canada is not a safe haven for war criminals or persons who have committed heinous crimes.

As a matter of fact the CIC set up a specialized unit in April 1996 which is in the process of finalizing a report that contains the inventory of modern war criminals now in Canada to assist officials who are taking enforcement actions against them. Action is being taken. These people will be removed. They will not be allowed to stay in this country.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Val Meredith Surrey—White Rock—South Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, we have heard this promise before from the government and it has not done the job.

It has been reported that the backlog for refugee claims has increased 75 per cent since the government took power, that thousands of genuine refugees have to wait years to have their cases heard because of bogus refugee claims made by war criminals, convicted criminals and terrorists.

When is the government going to develop the fortitude to rid the country of all undesirables starting with the 250 war criminals?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Beaches—Woodbine
Ontario

Liberal

Maria Minna Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, first of all, it is not true that the war criminals have not been identified. They have. That is why they are being removed from the country. As soon as they are identified and under which class they fall, they will be deported.

Second, with the backlog in refugees some measures have already been taken by the IRB which has total responsibility for administering the refugee system and addressing the issues.

Furthermore, Bill C-49 which is in front of the House and with which Parliament is dealing, contains provisions that will reduce the refugee division panels from two to one member. This legislation change will improve the efficiency of the IRB while realizing efficiencies in that kind of a system.

If the hon. member would assist us in passing this bill, it would go a long way in dealing with the issue.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of National Revenue.

The new foreign reporting requirements have generated considerable concern in British Columbia. In response to these concerns, the Minister of Finance recently announced that these rules would not take effect until 1998.

Can the minister tell the House why the T-1 income tax form sent to Canadians for the upcoming tax season contains three questions relating to foreign property reporting?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I am glad to have the opportunity to clarify this important point for the House and to say that for the 1996 tax filing year, Canadians will not have to complete the section of the income tax form dealing with the reporting of foreign assets.

As the House knows, Revenue Canada prints its forms in advance, often in anticipation of legislation. In this case, legislation was changed late in the year and Canadians will not have to report on their foreign assets until April 30, 1998.