House of Commons Hansard #153 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was income.

Topics

Linguistic School Boards
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Pierrette Venne Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, how can the Prime Minister deny the consensus expressed by the National Assembly's unanimous draft resolution, when he himself patriated the Constitution in 1982, against the virtually unanimous will of the National Assembly? Does he think a consensus in Quebec means the exact opposite of what the National Assembly wants?

Linguistic School Boards
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is obviously the calling of the hon. members of the opposition, who are getting the feeling this is where they always will be, to do nothing but try to stir up controversy.

At the present time there is a debate going on in the Quebec National Assembly. The MNAs concerned are holding discussions, trying to reach compromises, and will be holding a vote, and there is no controversy. Only one party, whose objective is to block rather than to accomplish, is trying a blocking operation. We are

going to fulfil our responsibilities as we always have, in a very democratic way-

Linguistic School Boards
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Linguistic School Boards
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Saint-Maurice, QC

Yes, and by respecting everyone's opinion. As I have already said, we will wait until the National Assembly decides, before making our own decision.

They would be the first to complain if we were to take a positive or a negative stance before their vote, without knowing what the National Assembly wants to do.

Rights Of Victims
Oral Question Period

April 10th, 1997 / 2:20 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Fraser Valley West, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday child killer Clifford Olson failed in his latest attempt to lift a media gag order, but he has vowed to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court at taxpayers' expense, of course.

Killers like this get every benefit the justice system has to offer while their victims have to fight to get even the smallest of issues addressed.

I would like to ask a question of the justice minister. Why do criminals like Clifford Olson have more rights in the justice system than the rights of the victims?

Rights Of Victims
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, two years ago this month a man from Montreal came to see me explaining that his 15-year old daughter had been sexually assaulted and strangled. He asked me to help him. He asked the government to help him. He asked us to see if we could change the law to provide the police with investigative tools that might help in the prosecution of that offence.

As a result, the Solicitor General and I met with the caucus, discussed the policies of the government, worked very hard and brought forward legislation which added to the criminal law powers for the police to search and to take bodily substances after they get a warrant to test for DNA substances.

That legislation was put into effect in July 1995. The investigation was concluded. A sample was taken. Charges were laid and that case is now before the courts.

That is the way the government responds to the needs of victims.

Rights Of Victims
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Fraser Valley West, BC

Mr. Speaker, I was referring to criminals getting appeals left, right and centre, while victims wait time and time and time again for them.

Yesterday I indicated that Darren Ursel tortured and violated a young woman for an hour and a half. She was lucky to escape with her life. The judge said this sex offender was tender at times and somewhat sorry for what he did, so he gave Ursel a two-year conditional sentence with no time in prison.

Yesterday I asked the justice minister the following question but he evaded the issue. Again I will ask it so that all Canadians can listen carefully to the answer.

Does the justice minister think there is any time in Canada where a woman can be violated and degraded like this and the criminal not receive time in prison?

Rights Of Victims
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, all of us believe that anyone who commits a serious violent crime should be imprisoned as a penalty for that kind of crime.

The case to which the hon. member refers is before the appeal court and he knows that. Let the courts deal with that decision.

Last Monday, because of our concern about the way courts are interpreting some of the provisions of the bill, we asked the House to agree to amendments to the conditional sentence provision in Bill C-41. The hon. member and his party agreed, and those amendments will be adopted and enacted by this Parliament.

I said in answer to the hon. member's questions earlier this week, and I will say it again today, the government has acted to make significant improvements in the criminal law for the interests of victims. My hon. friend knows that. The legislation speaks for itself. We have acted.

Rights Of Victims
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Fraser Valley West, BC

Mr. Speaker, the justice minister is talking about an appeal of a sentence resulting from a law that he legislated. Conditional sentencing should not have occurred in the first place.

Yesterday I was ashamed of the justice minister and the Liberal government. The justice minister would not accept responsibility for implementing laws that make the lives of victims worse.

I talked to this lady yesterday and she told me she was most discouraged by his comments. She felt the justice minister had no concern at all for her well-being.

How is it the Liberal government suggests it has concern for women in Canada and then legislates conditional sentences that allow women to be raped and degraded, with no prison time for the rapist?

Rights Of Victims
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I say the government has acted. I do not ask the hon. member or the House simply to take my word for it. Why do we not ask someone who knows about being a victim and about what rights victims need?

In answer to the hon. member's question, let me read from a letter I received today:

Three years ago a petition was presented to Allan Rock on behalf of 2.5 million Canadians. It called for far-reaching measures to improve public safety and the treatment of victims.

Since then significant steps have been taken to address some of these concerns. Although much still needs to be done, this government has shown a willingness to listen and to act.

We look forward to continuing to work with the justice committee during its comprehensive review of victims issues in Canada.

It was signed by Priscilla de Villiers, president of CAVEAT, Canadians Against Violence Everywhere Advocating its Termination.

Rights Of Victims
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Rights Of Victims
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Fraser Valley West, BC

You should be ashamed of yourself. A woman has been raped.

Rights Of Victims
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Allan Rock Etobicoke Centre, ON

I told the hon. member that he does not have to take our word for it. He can take the word of the president of the most well respected and most credible organization of victims. That is the truth.

Rights Of Victims
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

I caution hon. members about using papers to point.

Organized Crime
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Justice rejected out of hand the text of a bill drafted by the Government of Quebec that would outlaw biker gangs.

However, the very same day, two Hell's Angels were released because of lack of evidence, a murder was committed in Donnacona, there was an attempted murder in Thetford Mines, a Molotov cocktail exploded in Quebec City, and sticks of dynamite were found in a garbage can in Longueuil. This is all connected with the biker gang war in Quebec. Otherwise, it was just an average, care-free day for the federal Minister of Justice.

By using the Charter as an excuse for his lack of political will, is the minister not broadening the scope of the charter so that it protects biker gangs like the Rock Machine and the Hell's Angels more than it does law-abiding citizens?