House of Commons Hansard #145 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

Colleagues, please be sure to address your questions to the Speaker.

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the fate of Clifford Olson and his application, as I have already said, will be determined by a jury in the courtroom. That is where such matters should be dealt with.

I want to be clear in response to the hon. member's more general inquiry. This government has on many justice issues stood four square with victims of crime. Victims of crime were in this very building the day that Bill C-68 came up for a vote in the House of Commons, the gun control bill. My hon. colleague and his fellow members of the Reform Party voted against the gun control bill.

Victims of crime were one floor away in tears as they recalled their tragedies. They implored the members of the Reform Party to vote for gun control, and the members of the Reform Party voted against it. This government stood with the victims. The government stood with the victims when it amended the Young Offenders Act to provide for victim impact statements at sentencing, and the Reform Party voted against it.

Let me close by saying that at times there have been differences with victims on matters of principle, but victims know the government stands with them in strengthening the criminal law of the country.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Jesse Flis Parkdale—High Park, ON

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

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization will meet in Madrid this summer to decide on the entry of new members to the alliance. Could the minister tell the House how the Canadian government will decide its position on NATO enlargement and how he sees NATO enlargement reinforcing European security?

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for the question and take the opportunity, in light of his recent statement about voluntary retirement, to pay special tribute and to say thanks for the major contribution he has made to Canadian foreign policy over the years.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Winnipeg South Centre, MB

As parliamentary secretary and chairman of the defence board he has played a major role, particularly in his concern about applying standards of security and democracy in central and eastern Europe.

On the specific question, the Prime Minister has taken a very strong position in relation to the broadest and widest application of membership. That is now being discussed in certain circles.

We have also supported the notion of a special arrangement with Russia. Just a week ago in a meeting with the Prime Minister the Ukrainian foreign minister was given the assurance of a special relationship with Ukraine.

All these initiatives support the initiatives the member has taken over the years to ensure that Canada has an important role to play in the expansion of democracy in eastern Europe.

Transport
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

NDP

Vic Althouse Mackenzie, SK

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

In moving grain to the west coast it is obvious the railways have failed to perform. Yet they bear no responsibility. The $65 million of losses due to demurrage and non-performance of contract are borne by farmers. Non-performance is not the fault of farmers, of grain companies or of grain handlers. Only the railways were responsible.

Does the government now realize this and is it prepared to amend the Transport Act to rebalance the relationship between shippers and railways by including the right of shippers to performance guarantees with appropriate penalties for poor rail performance?

Transport
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to report to the House that there have been very dramatic improvements in the shipment of grain to the coast. Rail car unloads for the last week for which I have figures were at 4,500 cars as compared to under 4,000 for the previous week.

Things are improving and I hope we will soon have the backlog dealt with. There is a reduction in the ships waiting on the west coast from 39 to 30.

However I have been requested by the ministers of transportation of three of the four western provinces to look into the issue by way of an inquiry. I am in discussion with them on whether that is

the best approach. Our objective in government is to make sure we come up with new approaches which will prevent the types of delays we had this winter.

This will take the co-operation of all parties. I reject out of hand the suggestion of the New Democratic Party of simply pointing the finger of blame at one of the various parties. We have done that for 110 years and the result is the problem we had this winter.

Presence In Gallery
Oral Question Period

March 17th, 1997 / 3 p.m.

The Speaker

I bring to the attention of the House the presence in our gallery of His Excellency Ahmed Attaf, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria.

Presence In Gallery
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Presence In Gallery
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

I also bring to the attention of members the presence in the gallery of Dr. John H. Gibbons, Science and Technology Adviser to the President of the United States.

Presence In Gallery
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3 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 rise on a point of order.

During question period a Reform member alleged that Clifford Olson had a fax machine, word processor and telephone. I want to inform the House that the hon. member's information, like most of what the Reform members say in this regard, is totally incorrect.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Reform

Lee Morrison Swift Current—Maple Creek—Assiniboia, SK

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I would request that the Prime Minister be required to withdraw his slanderous inference that the Reform Party would do away with old age pensions.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, if every time the Reform Party says something about me that is not the way I like it, I would be up on my feet quite often.

I will let the people of Canada decide within 18 months. Get ready.