House of Commons Hansard #154 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was justice.

Topics

Justice
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

No, Mr. Speaker.

If the hon. member looks at the cases he referred to last November, he should look at the appeal court decisions from those results. If the hon. member is suggesting that any time a judge somewhere in Canada makes a sentencing decision that he does not agree with we should pass another law, then he does not understand the criminal justice system.

Judges are to apply the criminal law which includes penalties up to life in prison for serious violence, including sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault. The tools are there. They are spelled out in the code for the courts to apply.

I urge the hon. member to reconsider what the purpose and nature of the criminal justice system is.

U.S.-Canada Tax Treaty
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of Finance.

The Bloc Quebecois welcomes the fact that Canada and the United States have reached an agreement on amendments to the tax treaty between our two countries. However, retroactive payments will not be made until the agreement is ratified by the Senate.

Is the minister prepared to pay an advance to people on low incomes who will otherwise have to spend nearly two more years deprived of 25 per cent of their U.S. pension income?

U.S.-Canada Tax Treaty
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I previously said that we need to set up a system because of the rather complex administration involved. We have already taken the requisite steps to ensure that, if an agreement is not reached in time for the U.S. Senate to be able to act, we are prepared, once the system is set up, to make payments on an interim basis.

U.S.-Canada Tax Treaty
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, am I to understand from the minister's reply that he thinks it would be normal for a person whose sole income amounts to $10,000 annually to receive some compensation so that he will not have to live on $8,000 a year for two years, while waiting for retroactive payments because of an unfair tax treaty?

U.S.-Canada Tax Treaty
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

No Mr. Speaker, I think the hon. member did not understand the answer.

I said we needed to set up a system in order to have the data required to make these payments. Now if there were some delay in the U.S. Senate and the system is ready to go and we have the data, then we will make these payments. So the delay is not due to a matter of principle on our side but is purely administrative.

Military Bases
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Reform

Mike Scott Skeena, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in question period the Minister of National Defence told the House that Canada was involved in negotiations with the United States over the clean-up of abandoned military bases across this country. Now we have learned that there are not any negotiations taking place and none planned for the future.

Why did the Minister of National Defence mislead the House?

Military Bases
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Acadie—Bathurst
New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I know the hon. member is in the grip of this monumental question that was resolved last fall. The fact is an agreement has been achieved with respect to the clean-up of a number of bases, including distant early warning systems at Argentia, Goose Bay and a couple of others. However, it is a contingent agreement because it still remains to be dealt with by the American government.

What we are looking at is, hopefully, that there will be a resolution on the basis of this tentative deal, but we are still making sure that there is progress toward a final resolution which will include the decision of the Government of the United States through the U.S. Congress.

Military Bases
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Reform

Mike Scott Skeena, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadian taxpayers are being stuck with a $500 million tab to clean up American garbage. I cannot believe the subject did not come up when the Prime Minister was smiling for the cameras and sipping white wine with his close friend Bill Clinton.

We would appreciate the straight goods this time. Will the government force the Americans to clean up their own mess or will Canadian taxpayers be stuck with toxic waste and a $500 million tab?

Military Bases
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Acadie—Bathurst
New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I think the only thing toxic is whatever the hon. member is sniffing.

What we are trying to achieve here is an arrangement whereby the American government takes some responsibility for a situation that has developed over the last 40 or 50 years.

The hon. member may have a slight capacity of recall that there was a second world war. Subsequent to that there was a cold war, during which time American military establishments were set up in various parts of the country.

We have come a long way in trying to negotiate a deal with the American authorities to assist us in the clean-up of a number of these sites.

The number he referred to, specifically the $500 million figure, was not a number put forward by the Canadian government. It was a number that may have been put forward by someone else. The $100 million U.S. that has been agreed to, contingent on approval by the American Congress is, we feel, a significant improvement over what anybody else has been able to negotiate with the Americans subsequent to their deployment to various parts of the world.

I know if the hon. gentleman took on this cause and went to Washington to meet with his friend Newt Gingrich and others, he would scare the hell out of the Americans and would get whatever he wants.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

April 11th, 1997 / 11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Jean H. Leroux Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of National Defence.

Before the Easter recess, in answer to my question about employment insurance benefits for members of the reserve, the Minister of National Defence said he would let us know as soon as possible why members of the reserve did not pay premiums for service in class A or for contract jobs with a duration of less than 30 days.

Could the minister finally explain why members of the reserve are excluded from the Employment Insurance Act, while all other workers are not?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Acadie—Bathurst
New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for the question he asked a few weeks ago.

I would like to point out, however, that all employees are not necessarily covered by the act because if I am not mistaken, the Sûreté du Québec is not covered, since the Quebec government decided it would be better for employees of the Sûreté not to be covered.

However, since the hon. member raised a matter I thought was very important, we looked to the whole picture. Since it is a fundamental principle to ensure that all Canadians who have a job have access to the employment insurance program, we are now changing the regulations at the Department of National Defence to give members of the reserve access to the employment insurance program, even for a period of less than 30 days.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Jean H. Leroux Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, once again the Bloc Quebecois has made major gains. We are often in the House to push this government to do things, and we do that on a regular basis.

Since the minister agrees that the government should change the regulations for members of the reserve, will he promise that he will take action as soon as possible, in other words, by the end of this month?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Acadie—Bathurst
New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we will do everything we can to act as quickly as possible.

My only regret is that the hon. member is surrounded by people who once sat on this side of the House as members of the Conservative government, including the leader at headquarters in Quebec City, and all these people let this situation go on for many years. However, we will act a lot quicker than the hon. member may think, and I want to thank him for recognizing the fact that we reacted appropriately to a problem that had to be dealt with.

Infrastructure Program
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Michel Dupuy Laval West, QC

Mr. Speaker, not so long ago, the minister responsible for the infrastructure program announced the federal government's offer to continue the program for a year. Provinces have been signing agreements for a number of weeks now.

Could the minister tell the House how negotiations are going with Quebec?

Infrastructure Program
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce that the Government of Canada has reached an agreement with the Government of Quebec on continuing and expanding the infrastructure programs.

Under this agreement, $185 million dollars from the Government of Canada will be spent on municipal infrastructures over the next twelve months, and we hope to create over 5,000 jobs with this expanded program. It will enable municipalities to put in place the infrastructures that are vital to all Quebecers.