House of Commons Hansard #130 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was children.

Topics

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is an old ruse, taking everything away and then giving a little bit back. Then they can say: "See how generous we are. Look at what we have just given you".

They have played the same game with transfer payments. They cut something like $1.3 billion, and then they come along with $215 million. This is a government that is an expert at giving out trifling amounts.

Is the government aware that the recycling of old promises from the dead book, to which the Prime Minister does not even refer any more, is just the old shell game, for this same government has, since 1993, chopped the CBC budget like no other government has ever dared do?

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Minister for International Cooperation and Minister responsible for Francophonie

Mr. Speaker, I believe the Bloc Quebecois and their friends in Quebec are in a very poor position to give any sermons on this matter. Radio-Québec has also cut its staff by close to 50 per cent.

Let us also keep in mind the words of the hon. member for Rimouski-Témiscouata. On March 16, 1995, she said, and I quote: "If any cuts are needed, there are big ones to be made at CBC".

No such big cuts were made, and we have ensured that there is long term funding, after making some cuts, of course, which were required. But, contrary to the Bloc Quebecois, we have not made, nor do we intend to make, big ones.

Culture
Oral Question Period

February 14th, 1997 / 11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Gaston Leroux Richmond—Wolfe, QC

Mr. Speaker, we should remember that the cuts the hon. member suggested were to be made at headquarters, not in the lower echelons. The government understood the message perfectly. It cut $414 million and 4,000 jobs. That is what happened.

My question is directed to the government, to anyone who can answer. After the Minister of Canadian Heritage, we now have the Minister of Foreign Affairs on the national unity bandwagon. With his new rules for awarding grants, from now on the minister will only fund projects that will promote Canadian unity abroad.

Culture
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Douglas Young Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Hear, hear.

Culture
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Gaston Leroux Richmond—Wolfe, QC

The Minister of National Defence says hear, hear, but what he is saying is "get out" to Quebec culture and Quebec artists. That is what it means.

Since this funding policy is discriminatory and antidemocratic, will the minister, so as to refrain from all political interference, remove this criterion from the objectives of the foreign affairs cultural relations program?

Culture
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Minister for International Cooperation and Minister responsible for Francophonie

Mr. Speaker, how typical of a member of the Bloc to think that promoting Canada abroad is undemocratic. That is what the hon. member opposite said.

I would urge him to think about what he said. I am sure the hon. member knows perfectly well, as we all do, that promoting Canadian culture includes promoting Quebec culture and, of course, this is also a cause all Canadians, I believe, should fully support.

If the reverse occurred, I am sure all members and taxpayers in this country would see this as totally inappropriate. The role of the Government of Canada is to promote Canada. That is clear.

Culture
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Gaston Leroux Richmond—Wolfe, QC

Mr. Speaker, I may remind the minister that is not what they said on the Canadian heritage committee to, for instance, Marie Laberge and our Quebec film makers when they accused them of making anti-Canadian films.

The government should set its sights a little higher and allocate money for promoting culture abroad on the basis of the quality of the works and projects submitted by the artists and not in terms of the political propaganda sought by this government.

Culture
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Minister for International Cooperation and Minister responsible for Francophonie

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member did not ask a question. However, I would like to comment on what he said.

The hon. member is apparently suggesting to the members of this House that it is totally correct and appropriate, in his view, for the government to subsidize or otherwise advance money to artists who are sending messages that do not support Canadian unity and that proposals supporting Canadian unity would be unacceptable to him. I have trouble understanding the hon. member's logic.

Somalia Inquiry
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Reform

Bob Mills Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, the defence minister is trying to rewrite history in the Somalia scandal. Yesterday he said:

There is no one in Canada who believes that there was or there is today a cover-up of a murder.

The minister's arrogance knows no bounds. Does he think that documents shredded themselves? Why does he think the Somalia inquiry wanted to hear from Bob Fowler, Kim Campbell and John Anderson?

How can the minister possibly claim that no one tried to cover up the beating, torture and murder of Shidane Arone?

Somalia Inquiry
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Acadie—Bathurst
New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, there have been a number of results where people have paid a significant price as a result of judicial processes arising out of the shootings and the beating of Somalian citizens.

What I said yesterday and what I am sure the hon. member knows I said is that Canadians who are interested in this matter know what happened on the ground in Somalia when these incidents occurred that resulted in the death of Somalian citizens.

I also went on to say-and the hon. member does not make reference to it-what happened subsequent to that. Not just the courts martial and the fact that individuals who were directly involved in the killings and the torture were dealt with, but it was totally unacceptable how the institution and the organization reacted subsequent to those incidents.

That is why we are taking very dramatic action to try to develop systems and procedures to ensure that when any intolerable or unacceptable incident occurs there is a proper and appropriate response by the Department of National Defence and by the Canadian forces.

Somalia Inquiry
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Reform

Bob Mills Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, what the minister does not say is that he is shutting down the inquiry, thus covering up what happened at the top. That is what Canadians are saying the problem is.

We know the documents were hidden, shredded or altered. Military police were misled and senior officers and bureaucrats tried to intimidate cabinet ministers and keep the Canadian public in the dark.

If that was not an attempt to cover up a murder I do not know what was. There was a murder. There was a cover-up and this government is trying to cover up that cover-up by shutting down the inquiry.

Why is the government so afraid of the truth? Why will it not let the Somalia inquiry get to the bottom of the murder cover-up?

Somalia Inquiry
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Acadie—Bathurst
New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we are dealing with an extremely serious and complex situation.

If the hon. member is suggesting the incidents that occurred on the ground are unknown or were covered up, he should know, as do most Canadians who are interested in the matter, exactly what happened. It has been written about in books. It has been reported in news coverage. It has been discussed at the Somalia inquiry.

Somalian citizens were shot. A Somalian citizen was tortured to death. Murders occurred. Action was taken through the military justice system to deal with those issues. That is well known.

It is totally unacceptable to Canadians and we must at some point come to grips with it. The government is prepared to ensure that what happened subsequent to the murders and the torture not ever be repeated in the Department of National Defence or in the Canadian forces.

The hon. gentleman refers to a number of allegations of shredding and of attempts to disguise what had taken place and to cover up, to use his term. That is what happened after the murders were very much made aware of, when the murderers or the people involved in the act that resulted in the death of Somalian citizens were dealt with.

We have always said-and I continue to assure my hon. friend-that the government is absolutely committed to cleaning up a system that did not respond appropriately to the murders and the torture that occurred in Somalia.

Somalia Inquiry
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Reform

Bob Mills Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister only goes so far. As soon as we start moving up the ladder we shut it down. That is the point and he is missing that point.

When the defence minister said yesterday that there is no one in Canada who believes there was a cover-up, did he actually expect Canadians to believe that? Does he not understand the gravity of what is happening or that he will never get the military reformed if he does not deal with the whole situation at this point?

In my office we are hearing from Canadians. They are concerned about the cover-up and now the whitewash of the cover-up. Will the minister stop blustering, come clean with the Canadian people and let the inquiry get to the truth?

Somalia Inquiry
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Acadie—Bathurst
New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we also are getting calls. I received a call at my office from a gentleman in Smiths Falls who said that he supports what we are doing in bringing the Somalia inquiry to a conclusion.

He also said that he had been talking to some people in the hon. member's party who said there should be an inquiry into why the Somalia inquiry was closed. If an inquiry was not appointed to do that, there should be another one appointed into why there was not a second commission appointed, because apparently Reformers are into inquiries these days.

Aéroports De Montréal
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup, QC

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

In response to a decision throwing out the transfer of flights from Mirabel to Dorval, the Minister of Transport once again insisted that ADM, a local administration, was responsible for managing the Montreal airports and not the federal Department of Transport. For almost a year now, the federal government has been hiding behind ADM to avoid public consultation and to avoid committing itself in this matter where its record for the past 30 years has been pitiful.

Is the minister aware today that his inaction and irresponsibility are leading us once again to a standoff in the matter of the Montreal airports?