House of Commons Hansard #141 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was reform.

Topics

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

I would ask the hon. minister to withdraw the word "demagoguery".

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Papineau—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member was referring to Saint-Henri, is she-

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

I ask the hon. minister to withdraw the word "demagoguery".

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Papineau—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, I withdraw the word "demagoguery", but I would say with pleasure that we worked hard to solve the problems brought to our attention. Where unemployment is at 10 per cent, there is less likelihood of finding work that would give people longer weeks. The aim of our system is precisely to encourage people to accept as much work as possible.

So, in Saint-Henri, where unemployment is above 10 per cent, the situation is remedied. Where unemployment is less, people are

more likely to work a full week. That is the logic and that is the sort of logic that promotes work.

Somalia Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Bob Ringma Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, like the Canadian public, I found it extremely difficult to know exactly what went on Somalia and even more to know what has gone on here in Ottawa with regard to the events in Somalia.

The minister of defence made it quite clear from his first day as minister that he wanted to get the inquiry over as quickly as possible.

Why did he want it over last September and now why does he want it over? Is it for the good of the armed forces? Is it for the good of the country or is for the good of the Liberal Party?

Somalia Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst
New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, obviously these events and much of what took place around the situation the hon. member refers to occurred under the watch of the previous administration.

To the hon. member, because of his background and his respect for the Canadian forces, in direct response to his question, he has finally recognized on behalf of his party that I indicated immediately upon coming to my position as Minister of National Defence that it was my fervent hope and the government's that the commission of inquiry would end its work as scheduled in March.

When he asks why I felt it should be ended in March, although we have subsequently extended it to the end of June, it is because everywhere I have gone in Canada and abroad, speaking but mainly listening to members of the Canadian forces, I can tell the hon. member that if he spoke with many of his former colleagues he would know that in great part it was time to turn the corner and there is no question that the decision in part was because it is in the best interests of the Canadian forces.

Somalia Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Bob Ringma Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, I certainly share with the minister the interest of the Canadian forces.

As a former member, I have really looked on with a lot of anguish. I have seen members of the airborne regiment, especially the junior ranks, persecuted, prosecuted and otherwise vilified. So I agree with the minister, at least let us clear the air.

But how can we clear the air if the full testimony of the likes of Kim Campbell's staff, Bob Fowler, Major Buonamici and Major Armstrong is not out? What will the minister do specifically to clear the air and get those unanswered questions answered?

Somalia Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst
New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member was a valued member of the Canadian forces for many years and I understand his anguish.

I have never commented, nor will I, on the roster of witnesses or how the commission of inquiry conducted its work. It was entirely within its prerogative to set out its work schedule the way it wanted to. It has done that for over two years.

The hon. member has asked a very pertinent question. He has asked how we intend to move on and how to clear the air. I have undertaken to submit to the Prime Minister, to the government, to the people of Canada and to the Canadian forces by the end of this month a very comprehensive and substantial set of recommendations on the future of the Canadian forces. We have sought and received the input of literally hundreds of Canadians who feel very strongly about the future of the Canadian forces.

I still look forward to hearing that kind of input from the Reform Party, but regardless of that we will make public our position and our recommendations by the end of this month.

Federal Public Service
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Bélisle La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the President of the Treasury Board.

The government has decided to transfer to the private sector the management of the 150 casual employees who were working for its regional cheque printing facilities. These 150 people, who hold precarious jobs, will now have to decide whether to accept a 40 per cent salary cut or stay home.

Given that, in a release dated August 2, the President of the Treasury Board stated that he wanted to act responsibly and in a spirit of fairness regarding the cuts affecting government employees, what does he intend to do to correct such an unfair situation?

Federal Public Service
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, I will have to look into the facts of the situation to which the hon. member is referring. I am not aware of that situation right now.

However, I can assure the hon. member that, in the public service, we have put in place the necessary systems and procedures to make sure government employees are treated properly. Whenever transfers have been made from the public to the private sector, we have strived to respect the rights of all our employees and to treat these employees fairly.

Federal Public Service
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Bélisle La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister says he will look into the facts, but how can he claim to care about the fate of these former public servants, who used to earn $11 per hour and who, because of the minister's agreements with companies such as Drake International, will only get $9 per

hour in Ottawa and $7 per hour in Quebec City, for exactly the same work? Why such an injustice?

Federal Public Service
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, again, I ask the hon. member to send me the facts of the case he is referring to, so that I can look into the matter, because I am not aware of this case. I will then be pleased to provide him with a reply.

Justice
Oral Question Period

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

Reform

Jack Ramsay Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow in Vancouver hearings begin into Clifford Olson's application for early release. This man brutally murdered 11 Canadian children.

Will the minister who is responsible for letting this hearing take place take action to ensure in the future that families of murder victims will not have to relive their pain and agony over and over again?

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

Today we are debating this very motion. I thought perhaps the member would ask a more general question. However it deals directly with what we are discussing today, that is section 745.

If the member can rephrase the question so that it is acceptable, I will permit it.