House of Commons Hansard #143 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was federal.

Topics

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Western Arctic
Northwest Territories

Liberal

Ethel Blondin-Andrew Secretary of State (Training and Youth)

Mr. Speaker, as a follow-up to the signing of the national framework agreements with the Inuit, Metis and the First Nations, out of a possible 41 regional bilateral agreements to date, we have signed 29. Tomorrow we will be signing three more with three Inuit groups, the Baffin Inuit Association, the Kivalliq Inuit Association and the Kitikmeot Inuit Association.

It goes a long way in showing the sensitivity we have toward empowering aboriginal people. I think that bothers the Reform Party but that is all right, we will continue on with our good work.

Next year we will have expanded. When we sign all these agreements it will be a total of $200 million. I know that all members in the House will congratulate us on our good work.

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Jack Ramsay Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, in a split decision today in the Federal Court of Appeal, Justices Linden and Henry decided that the Canadian standard for the issuance of a search of warrant was required to be satisfied before the justice minister submitted the letter of request to the Swiss authorities to search and seize Karlheinz Schrieber's bank documents and records.

In laymen's terms, the Department of Justice was on a fishing expedition without a legal base to do so. This has resulted in an expenditure of millions of dollars of taxpayer money defending unjustified actions.

Is the Prime Minister going to waste more taxpayer dollars to appeal this case to the Supreme Court in an attempt to carry on the pretence that he and his government have a legal leg to stand on?

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I just heard of this judgment. I think that one would want to have it carefully reviewed by the law officers of the crown. The principles involved in my view are rather important and one should not reject categorically the possibility that this case should be appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Customs Duties
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Terrebonne, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister for International Trade.

In December 1995, the Canadian government unilaterally eliminated customs duties on car parts manufactured outside the country, but assembled here. The companies that benefitted from this measure would now like the Liberal government to eliminate customs duties on finished vehicles.

Given that Canada has a substantial automobile industry employing over 500,000 people and generating billions of dollars in the economies of Quebec and Canada, will the minister commit today to not reduce or eliminate customs duties on imported vehicles?

Customs Duties
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I will respond for the three of us. The matter is under consideration. We will make an announcement as soon as we are ready.

Heritage
Oral Question Period

March 12th, 1997 / 2:55 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Kootenay East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the public conflict of interest code states that friends of public office holders should receive no preferential treatment in relation to any official matter.

Joe Thornley is the chair of the Liberal Agency of Canada overseeing millions of dollars in contributions, making him one of the highest ranking Liberals in the country. He is also a friend of the heritage minister and was a senior member of her 1990 Liberal leadership bid. Only when the minister assumed her post as heritage minister did Thornley begin to receive heritage contracts.

Does the minister expect Canadians to believe he got no preferential treatment from her in her department?

Heritage
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, if the member does not believe the statement I made in the House yesterday then I would like to quote a statement made about the contracts: "They were let in a proper manner".

That statement was made by the member for Kootenay East on March 11, 1997 outside the Chamber.

Parks Canada
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

NDP

Len Taylor The Battlefords—Meadow Lake, SK

Mr. Speaker, the department of heritage is apparently preparing to spend a lot of money to give the Parks Canada mascot a new image. At the same time people who work at the national parks and our historic sites are losing their jobs.

Could the minister justify the spending on this image makeover when the quality of service at our parks and national historic sites is deteriorating?

Parks Canada
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, if the member is drawing his question from the article I read in the paper, it spoke about a beaver upgrade that was to modernize the symbol of the beaver.

It cost about $30,000 over a period of about two and a half years. It predated my arrival in the department, but I can say that if the department is looking for a symbol Canadians will recognize from coast to coast to coast, without having to pay a penny, we have that symbol. That symbol is right over there. It is called the Canadian flag.

Canada Labour Code
Routine Proceedings

3 p.m.

Saint-Léonard
Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano Minister of Labour and Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, an agreement could not be reached under the provisions of Standing Order 78(1) or 78(2) with respect to third reading of Bill C-66, an act to amend the Canada Labour Code (Part I) and the Corporations and Labour Unions Returns Act and to make consequential amendments to other acts.

Under the provisions of Standing Order 78(3), I give notice that a minister of the crown will propose at the next sitting a motion to allot a specific number of days or hours for the consideration and disposal of proceedings at the said stage.

Canada Labour Code
Routine Proceedings

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

It is a disgrace.

Government Response To Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Fundy Royal
New Brunswick

Liberal

Paul Zed Parliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to seven petitions.

Public Gallery
Routine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Sault Ste. Marie
Ontario

Liberal

Ron Irwin Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a matter of grave injustice that occurred yesterday in the public gallery of this place.

As you have pointed out, Mr. Speaker, a young Micmac woman, Melissa Labrador, who was visiting us as a participant in the Forum for Young Canadians, was refused entry to the public gallery while carrying a sacred eagle feather.

Traditionally an eagle feather represents courage, strength, wisdom, vision, and is sacred. It is the closest connection to the Creator. The presentation of an eagle feather is the highest honour a person can receive. The eagle flies highest and sees the farthest.

This morning I had the opportunity to offer my personal regret to Melissa Labrador for this unfortunate moment. However the hurt goes deeper. Melissa has asked for a public apology from the government and I am prepared today, on behalf of the government, to extend an apology to all aboriginal people.

I am pleased that you, as Speaker of the House, as keeper of the conscience of the House, are ensuring that no such incident every occurs again in this place.

Public Gallery
Routine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

On a statement by ministers, if representatives of the two official parties wish to make a statement they have the same amount of time as the minister.

I put a question to the member for Lethbridge. Are you rising on the statement by this minister?

Public Gallery
Routine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Lethbridge
Alberta

Reform

Ray Speaker Lethbridge

Yes, Mr. Speaker.