House of Commons Hansard #128 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was police.

Topics

Somalia Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Somalia Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley East, BC

Mr. Speaker, whether the hon. minister wants to hear what I have to say or not, he should listen to the words of Justice Létourneau. Justice Létourneau said that he and the Prime Minister both knew ahead of time that shutting down the inquiry would result in a cover-up and a whitewash. What more does he want to know? There is a murder involved. There is a cover-up and he is involved in the cover-up. Why does he not just let the Somalia inquiry do its job so that it can get-

Somalia Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Somalia Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Order.

Somalia Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

I judge that question to be out of order and I am going to pass. The hon. member for Kamouraska-Rivière-du-Loup.

Aéroports De Montréal
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Transport.

In a judgment delivered this morning, the Quebec superior court prohibited the transfer of international flights from Mirabel to Dorval, and ordered that the work under way at Dorval airport be stopped. Mr. Justice Pierre Viau feels that the decision made by the firm Aéroports de Montréal is illegal and even constitutes an abuse of power.

What does the minister have to say, now that a judge has ruled that the transfer could not take place without changing the lease between ADM and the federal government?

Aéroports De Montréal
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question. As the member pointed out, the judgment was just delivered this morning, in Montreal, by the Quebec superior court.

I have not had an opportunity to take a look at it. This decision must be analyzed in depth and in detail before I can comment on it. I certainly hope to do so in the coming days, and I have already instructed my department's officials to take a thorough look at the judgment.

Aéroports De Montréal
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, does the minister intend to hold public hearings to consult with stakeholders from Montreal, as the Bloc Quebecois has been asking, and as was suggested by the judge in his ruling, so as to make a legal decision regarding this issue?

Aéroports De Montréal
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his suggestion but, before making any decision, I must first look at the judgment handed down this morning in Montreal.

I will do so and so will my officials. Once this review is completed, I will immediately inform the hon. member accordingly, and we will take any action required. However, let us not forget that ADM is a local administration and that the Montreal airports come under its responsibility and not that of the federal Department of Transport.

Somalia Inquiry
Oral Question Period

February 12th, 1997 / 2:50 p.m.

Reform

Preston Manning Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, in their responses today neither the Prime Minister nor the defence minister has acknowledged the seriousness of the charges made against the government by the Somalia inquiry commissioners, a commission that they themselves set up: charges of political interference with an independent tribunal, charges of making misleading and unfair statements on the work of the tribunal, and charges of contributing to a whitewash.

Has the government no response to these serious charges other than to ignore them?

Somalia Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst
New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I have a great respect for legal procedures. I have great respect for the judiciary. I have been, as the hon. member well knows, very meticulous in never commenting on how the commission conducts its business, what witnesses it calls or what testimony is presented by witnesses before that commission.

I respect the tradition that governments have responsibilities and commissions of inquiry and commissioners who are members have their responsibilities.

I have no intention on behalf of the government of responding to the comments that were made this morning by the commissioners. I fully understand they can be frustrated and concerned about the way they are going to have to do their work over the next several months.

I think I can say on behalf of many Canadians, both inside and outside the military, that some people may have had some concerns about the way the commission has gone about its business. I am not one of them who is going to comment on it today.

I hope the hon. member will understand that at the end of the day we can do all the squirming and twisting about what he meant in September, he can do all the kinds of exercises that he and his colleagues are going through here today, but he had better decide at some point whether or not he is interested more in the next election or in the future of the Canadian forces. Canadians know where we stand on that.

Somalia Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Preston Manning Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, the net result of all that the minister has said is that he is choosing to ignore the charges made by the commissioners against the government: charges of political interference, charges of making misleading statements and charges of participating in a whitewash.

That being the case, how can the public possibly believe that the government will respond to the final report of the commission when it is already ignoring what the commission is saying about interference, deception and cover-up?

Somalia Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst
New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member changes his approach to this whole question as often as he changes his hairdo. The whole problem is whether or not he understands what is going on.

If the hon. member is asking us to get into a public debate with commissioners conducting a quasi-judicial inquiry, what would he then say about what we were doing? Would he say that it was political interference or does he understand the concept of separation between what the judicial process is about and what government is about?

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Colleen Beaumier Brampton, ON

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

According to a recent Globe and Mail article, the Indian government alleges that many Canadian based organizations are funding militants in Punjab. However, the RCMP indicates that this is not the case.

Could the minister comment on these allegations by the Indian government and explain to the Sikh community why he is setting up a working group on terrorism with the Government of India?

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, over the last several months we have seen the tragic consequences of terrorist activities around the world. One way of dealing with terrorism is to increase the co-operation between Canada and a number of countries to ensure that we share information and work together.

Last summer at the meetings in Paris on terrorism we agreed that we would undertake to enhance these kinds of relationships.

The working group between Canada and India is simply to improve our co-operation. In no way is it tied to any one specific group. In no way is it tied to particularly the Sikh community, which we see as making an enormously valuable contribution in this country. It is so valuable that this January we opened an office in the Punjab so we could take advantage of the enormous opportunities for trade and investment in that area between the Sikh community in Canada and their counterparts in India.

It really is an opportunity for us to expand and develop a new relationship where the Sikh community can make an enormous contribution to Canada as a result.