House of Commons Hansard #144 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was say.

Topics

Israel
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Northumberland
Ontario

Liberal

Christine Stewart Secretary of State (Latin America and Africa)

Mr. Speaker, as I said, Canada does remain committed to supporting the peace process in the Middle East.

When the parties to the conflict have negotiated solutions we would hope in the name of peace that they stick to their own commitments.

We with the international community are concerned when there are deviations to the negotiated settlements and we would hope that they will remain at the table to overcome their differences and assure the world community that peace will come to the region.

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Myron Thompson Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, in today's Ottawa Sun Gary Rosenfeldt, who is with us today, whose

son Daryn was one of Olson's victims, said: "We don't feel [Reformers] are exploiting us at all. They are the ones standing up for us, speaking out for us. If there is anyone who is exploiting this situation it is the justice minister. He is the one who should be ashamed. We are confident that all Canadians will remember that Clifford Olson's platform was built and maintained by the Liberal Party of Canada".

Being as the Liberals voted not to apologize, just what does the Prime Minister have to say to these victims today?

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Prince Albert—Churchill River
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Gordon Kirkby Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question.

The Minister of Justice has met with many people who have lost loved ones and friends. It is out of respect to these loved ones and friends and out of respect to the victims that certain changes have been made to section 745 of the Criminal Code.

First, the code was changed to allow for victim impact statements in these hearings. Second, there was a change to prohibit serial or multiple murderers from making use of this application. It was also changed to put in a screening process so that frivolous applications would not be allowed. Third, it was changed to ensure that the jury verdict had to be unanimous in order for an applicant to receive a reduction in parole ineligibility.

Finally, the minister has sent letters to his provincial counterparts requiring that all prosecutors tell people who have lost loved ones exactly what the circumstances of section 745 are at the time of sentencing.

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Myron Thompson Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, when we refer to a rinky-dink finance minister we should refer to a Tinkerbell justice minister. Tinkering around with this stuff is not the answer.

Two days ago on "Canada AM" Jana Rosenfeldt, the sister of one of Olson's victims, said: "Actually we met with the justice minister last year. He had a chance to stop this. He basically spit on the graves of all these kids. He had a chance to stop it, he left it to the last day in Parliament and of course it didn't go through. I blame him".

Ms. Rosenfeldt is referring to Bill C-45. Why did this government not move immediately to ensure that Jana Rosenfeldt and the families of other victims did not have to relive their nightmares by listening to Clifford Olson?

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Prince Albert—Churchill River
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Gordon Kirkby Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, what I view as absolutely appalling about the situation is that the hon. members of the Reform Party indicate to these people who have lost loved ones tragically as a result of crimes that if section

745 could somehow be removed from the Criminal Code in the future they would not have to undergo the trauma of these hearings.

I have news for Reformers. Why do they not tell the victims of crime the truth? If this section were removed from the Criminal Code today all people who are in the system already could still apply up to 25 years in the future. That is the abuse of the victims.

Government Programs
Oral Question Period

March 13th, 1997 / 2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre De Savoye Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Tuesday March 4, at 4.30 p.m., a company in the process of setting up operations in my riding learned from the mouth of the president of the local Liberal Party of Canada association herself that it would be receiving over $50,000 in grants, and learned this less than an hour after the minister had signed his agreement. The following day, the offices of the Minister of Human Resources Development and the President of Treasury Board released to the press certain confidential information on the business plan of that company.

Can the Minister of Human Resources Development, or the President of Treasury Board, explain in this House how it happens that, on the eve of an election, the Liberal riding president,Mrs. Mathieu, is the one to announce grants to the riding of Portneuf, on behalf of the government?

Government Programs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I am not familiar with the facts referred to. I would ask my hon. colleague to provide them to me.

However, I believe that, if there any accusations to be made about MPs who have revealed infrastructure program projects before all parties have approved them, these would be directed to the party across the way.

Government Programs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre De Savoye Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, to set things straight, first of all, the fund involved was the transition job creation fund. Second, the money does not come from the Liberal Party, but from the people. What I am referring to is not a favour from the Liberal Party, but application of a non-partisan government program. You will have understood, what we are talking about here is political morality.

I am asking my question of the minister, who has just opened the door to me. Yes, I will provide the information, and does he commit, in this House, to investigating his own department and that of his colleague in Human Resources Development, to find out how information provided confidentially to a departmental employee ended up in the newspapers?

Government Programs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I will look into the facts once I have them, in order to see if there are any grounds whatsoever for what the opposition member is claiming.

I wish to repeat here that, no matter what the program, if one wants to find examples of the people's money being given out for partisan purposes, these will be found in the party of the opposition.

Grand Rapids
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Elijah Harper Churchill, MB

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

The community of Grand Rapids is located north of the 53rd parallel and is a four hour drive north of Winnipeg. In 1990 the Mulroney government decided that Grand Rapids was a southern community and that taxpayers there did not qualify for the northern tax benefit. The full impact of this Tory decision has been felt for over a year now.

Will the minister listen to the people of Grand Rapids and consider changes to the northern tax zones?

Grand Rapids
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Churchill for his question. He has been a very fervent advocate for northern residents on this issue. I have certainly appreciated his efforts and I will continue to listen to him and indeed to the residents.

I should, however, like to provide some history on the topic. The current northern resident reduction was implemented in 1991 following the report of a task force that was set up. It concluded that the original community based approach was unfair and unworkable. It proposed that only residents of broad northern intermediate zones receive tax benefits. These zones were defined using objective criteria relating to both environmental factors and community characteristics.

While I appreciate that members of the community may well be disappointed, they were set up on the basis of an objective system which was regarded to be substantially superior to the old system which was much more subjective.

Somalia Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Jack Frazer Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, previous allegations and recent testimony before the Somalia inquiry leave many serious unanswered questions about decisions made and actions taken at senior levels in the defence department.

Neither the committee of four nor the military justice review can resolve responsibility or culpability of the individuals concerned. With the inquiry terminated, serious issues will be left hanging.

How does the minister intend to overcome the loss of trust that comes with the perception that senior leadership has escaped investigation?

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 indicated in the past to the hon. gentleman who brings a great deal of knowledge to the way the Canadian forces work that obviously I would not be able to comment on the way the commission of inquiry conducted its agenda or relate to the specific testimony of any witnesses.

However, I want to thank the hon. member and his party. I have been looking for input because he asked how we could deal with some of the problems and challenges facing the Canadian forces.

Finally, I have a document that I gather is from the Reform Party called "The Right Balance" by Andrew Davies who I understand is a candidate for the Reform Party. In his article he asks what is wrong with the Canadian forces. I encourage Canadians to read this article because it is input from the Reform Party on what it thinks is wrong with the Canadian forces and what it thinks some of the solutions would be. It is very illuminating and I would be happy to table this document.

Somalia Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Jack Frazer Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I did not hear an answer to my question. I was not talking about the Somalia inquiry. I was asking what the minister intends to do to restore trust in the Canadian forces by completing this investigation. Without full disclosure, these issues will never be resolved. This is far from being in the best interest of the defence department or the Canadian forces.

How do we fix something if we do not know what is broken? The inquiry was following terms of reference laid down by this government. Having disrupted that process, does the minister now intend to let the matter just drop and hope it will go away?

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, obviously I think it will be a very long time before the very deep wounds that were inflicted on the Canadian forces and its reputation go away.

However, I do think we have to begin the healing process and put in place the corrective measures that are required to ensure that this kind of situation does not occur again.

With respect to that, we have asked a retired chief justice of the Supreme Court, Brian Dickson, to bring to the government and to the people of Canada specific recommendations, and they are wide ranging, with respect to the reform of the military justice system and the military police and their role.

In addition, we will be submitting to the government and to the Canadian people a wide ranging set of recommendations with respect to how we can deal with problems and challenges facing the Canadian forces. We will do that before the end of March, as I undertook to do on December 31. Then the Canadian people will be able to see what people who are serious about the future of the Canadian forces have done and proposed.