House of Commons Hansard #160 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was crime.

Topics

St. Hubert Military Base
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst
New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it is true that a number of communities were affected by the restructuring, and reduction in the number of military facilities across the country.

However, I think the Government of Canada made a major contribution in the St. Hubert region. I was there about ten days ago, and I saw the facility the Government of Canada set up in St. Hubert. We would have much preferred to have that, in northern New Brunswick, rather than limited economic spinoffs as the result of the closure of the Chatham base.

Manpower Training
Oral Question Period

April 21st, 1997 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Assad Gatineau—La Lièvre, QC

Mr. Speaker, in Montreal a few hours ago, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Human Resources Development, signed an agreement in principle between the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec on manpower development.

Can the parliamentary secretary explain to the House what this agreement in principle means for the men and women of Quebec?

Manpower Training
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Kenora—Rainy River
Ontario

Liberal

Bob Nault Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, today is a very important day for Canada and the Government of Quebec.

As my colleague has said, today we have officially announced the historic labour market agreement in principle with Quebec.

We must consider how many years the discussions have been going on. There is a consensus in Quebec on labour market development. The importance of the agreement is considerable in that some $3 billion will be transferred to Quebec over the next five years. It will have immediate benefits for workers in Quebec.

I think we can say this is an historic occasion. We hope the agreement will be completed very soon and the active measures of the employment insurance system will go toward helping employees and employers put people back to work in the province of Quebec.

Rights Of Victims
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Ted White North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Justice knows very well the Reform Party is not against gun control. We are against the confiscation-

Rights Of Victims
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Rights Of Victims
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Ted White North Vancouver, BC

We are against the confiscation of lawfully held property by the government without compensation.

Now the government is falling over itself to pass anti-gang legislation for Quebec before the Prime Minister calls the election this Sunday.

Could the Minister of Justice explain why the victims bill of rights has languished in his office for more than a year when it could benefit all Canadians? Why has that bill not received the same high priority he is giving to the anti-gang legislation?

Rights Of Victims
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I hope the hon. member heard the

peals of laughter extending across the country from sea to sea to sea as he tried to change the lamentable position of his party at the last minute. His party is against gun control and always has been.

The hon. member asked about victims. I can do no better than to point to the record of the government time after time, whether it is through amendments to the code on sentencing or the gun control bill. I well remember the day when the victims came to this building, having lost loved ones to crimes of violence committed by firearms, guns in the hands of people who should not have had them. They asked us to pass Bill C-68 to provide for the registration of all firearms, a bill and a plea to which his party turned a deaf ear.

I say to him, his colleagues in the Reform Party, the Conservatives and the NDP that they will have to answer to the Canadian people in coming months why they did not listen to the pleas of victims and join with us to adopt meaningful gun control.

Rights Of Victims
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Ted White North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, there is nothing wrong with asking the government to compensate people for confiscated property that was lawfully obtained. The minister can stand there and say people are laughing about that. People are upset the government would take their property without compensation.

In terms of the anti-gang legislation, if the minister would give the same priority to the victims bill of rights it would have much greater impact not just on gangs but on everybody across the country.

Why will the minister not admit he is playing election politics prior to the election and has no intention of ever passing the victims rights bill?

Rights Of Victims
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, what draws laughter is the pretence by members of the Reform Party that they are not against gun control. We all know they are and they are going to pay the price for it, as are the Tories and the NDP.

As for the hon. member's question, he talks about victims rights as though they are something that can be achieved by writing out something on a piece of paper and calling it a bill of rights.

Let me tell him something about victims and their rights. Last week I was in Montreal and I met a woman whose 11-year old son was killed by a bomb explosion on the streets of Montreal. The Reform Party does not like to hear this because it is truth and reality as opposed to rhetoric and superficiality.

That woman whose 11-year old son had been killed in the gang war asked me as the Minister of Justice to do everything I could to get Bill C-95, the anti-organized crime bill, through Parliament so that the police would have more tools to try to find the people who killed her son.

That is what we should do to achieve victims rights and that is what the government has done to achieve victims right. We have passed meaningful legislation that makes a difference instead of just talking a good game.

Singer
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

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

On December 3 of last year, the Minister of Human Resources Development made the following statement: "I would like to reassure the House that, if the former Singer employees take their case to court, our department will proceed with all due speed. I have asked my colleague, the Minister of Justice, to act accordingly, in order to facilitate matters". Notification of the lawsuit was given on December 13, and these pensioners continue to suffer from inhumane delays.

What has the Minister of Justice done, in concrete terms, to settle the situation of the former Singer employees?

Singer
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, that matter is in the hands of the Minister of Human Resources Development. I am sure everything possible is being done to carry the matter forward as quickly as possible.

Singer
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, judging by the minister's response, it is perfectly clear that he is not up to date with the case in the least. Yet, four months ago, he said: "I will proceed with all due speed, as will my colleague". This is not the case at the moment. The average age of these people is 80 years.

When does the Minister of Justice intend to produce his defence? Normally, a defence takes a while to produce, and the federal government's lawyers have not yet produced one. When does the Minister of Justice intend to come up with it? How, once and for all, is he going to settle the case of the former Singer employees?

Singer
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Kenora—Rainy River
Ontario

Liberal

Bob Nault Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, as is normal in this place when former employees are in front of the courts presenting a lawsuit, it would be inappropriate for us to get into the lawsuit per se.

We can say we are willing and we are aware. We are trying to minimize delays. Once we deal with the delays and the court case is through, we would certainly be willing to look at the results of the court case.

Grain
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Elwin Hermanson Kindersley—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have bungled their responsibility for grain transportation. Grain shipment delays have cost prairie farmers almost $100 million this year alone due to demurrage charges and lost sales. The Liberals have created a cash crunch on the prairies.

Tragically the best the minister can do is announce he will merely start to probe the problem sooner rather than later, knowing that we are on the verge of an election call.

In light of his failure to create a more efficient and accountable grain transportation system, and given current world prices for wheat, does the minister intend to increase the interim prices paid by the Canadian Wheat Board?

Grain
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Regina—Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, as the Canadian Wheat Board indicated a short time ago, it has made certain recommendations with respect to initial payments. Those recommendations are in the normal course under consideration at the present time.

The hon. gentleman will know that under this government we have dramatically shortened the response time to that kind of recommendation from the Canadian Wheat Board. Under our predecessors recommendations sometimes took several months to be acted upon. In the case of this government we have shortened the time to a matter of a few days when the consideration is completed.

The Canadian Wheat Board will announce the result in the ordinary course taking into account the very important consideration that one would not want to put the guarantees in jeopardy, which is a matter of very significant concern to the Minister of Finance.