House of Commons Hansard #163 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was federal.

Topics

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Terrebonne, QC

Mr. Speaker, we conclude then that the discussion has not been held yet.

I remind the minister that Egypt is a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and, as such, has obligations to meet.

Can the Minister of Foreign Affairs tell us if he will invoke the Convention on the Rights of the Child with his Egyptian counterpart to convince him to send back to Canada the eldest Robitaille child, who is seriously ill?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, certainly the responsibilities under the convention are setting a mandate but they do not have a legal, binding obligation. That is the difficulty.

Within a matter of a day or two we will be engaged in finishing our negotiations with the Egyptian government on a new consular agreement. This would substantially enhance our ability to make representations on behalf of the Robitaille children.

I understand the frustrations. I feel them as well, but we have to pursue it through the venues of the international forums we have. I will keep the hon. member fully informed of each step along the way.

Montfort Hospital
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Intergovernmental Affairs Minister.

For several weeks now, people in eastern Ontario have shown in different ways their total opposition to the closure of Montfort Hospital.

Since the federal government has assumed the mandate to speak for linguistic minority rights everywhere in Canada, could the minister tell the House what the position of the government is, regarding the closure of Montfort Hospital?

Montfort Hospital
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the position of the government is that linguistic minorities all across Canada should not only be entitled to basic services in their own language but should also have the right to control as many institutions as possible which are essential to any community, such as schools, colleges, hospitals, co-operatives.

Like some of my colleagues, I informed the Government of Ontario of my position on the proposed closure of Montfort Hospital the very first day it was announced. As Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, I will keep asking the Government of Ontario to take into consideration the serious consequences for the Franco-Ontarian community of the closure of the only French language hospital in Ottawa.

Premier Harris has proven to be a great Canadian by giving francophones of Ontario control over their schools. I do hope that he will be guided by the same principles in the case of Montfort, the only French language teaching hospital in Ontario.

Justice
Oral Question Period

April 24th, 1997 / 2:50 p.m.

Reform

Jack Ramsay Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, in 1992 a 17-year-old was convicted in adult court for the murder of a father of four. He was sentenced to life imprisonment with no parole eligibility for 25 years.

Thanks to the justice minister and Bill C-41, this young offender can be paroled after serving a mere 10 years. That is the Liberal record of getting tough on crime.

My question is for the justice minister. Why send young killers into adult court for adult sentencing when adult penalties do not apply?

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:50 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 the question.

As he is aware, a decision was recently rendered by the court of appeal. As an appeal could still be possible it would not be appropriate to comment on it.

The record of the government and the minister is very clear. There have been more effective changes to the Criminal Code to toughen it up, changes to toughen up the young offenders law, changes to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, and changes to help victims, than have been made in the history of the nation by any single parliament. That is something we are very proud of.

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Jack Ramsay Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, how in the world could the parliamentary secretary claim they are getting tough on crime when they change the law so that it does not really make any difference if a young killer is transferred from young offenders into adult court? It simply does not make sense.

Nevertheless I have a supplementary question. This 17-year old killer was convicted in 1992, two years before Bill C-41 was passed. This offender was granted the benefit of a law passed retroactively. Yet the justice minister claimed Bill C-45 could not be applied to Clifford Olson because of the principle of retroactivity.

Why does retroactivity apply to killers only when it is in their favour?

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Prince Albert—Churchill River
Saskatchewan

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated, the government has brought forward many effective measures to improve efficiency and effectiveness. It has taken many measures to improve the criminal law. It is far more effective, efficient and legal than that contained in the Reform platform, Operation Crime Spank or whatever it is called.

We have worked with the provinces, victims groups, police organizations, many other groups and individuals across the country to improve the criminal law. When it comes to the criminal law the Reform Party reminds me of proud parents watching 10,000 marching soldiers and noting with pride that their son is the only one in step.

Vedran Smailovic
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Osvaldo Nunez Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

The Department of Citizenship and Immigration has refused to grant a visitor's visa to Vedran Smailovic, the world renowned cellist from Sarajevo. Immigration officials rejected Mr. Smailovic's request for a visa because he does not have a valid reason to visit Canada, although he has been invited to come by a journalist to co-author a children's book.

Why is Immigration Canada refusing admission to this country to Vedran Smailovich, a man of peace?

Vedran Smailovic
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Henri—Westmount
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, if the member for Bourassa has not yet understood our immigration laws since 1993, we have a serious problem here. He is fully aware that the Privacy Act prohibits any public discussion of a particular case.

Vedran Smailovic
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Osvaldo Nunez Bourassa, QC

The minister has discretionary powers in this matter, but this is not all. Canadians and Quebecers will judge this government harshly because of its discriminatory policy regarding visas.

Mr. Smailovic has visited several countries and has never sought asylum there. He has undertaken to not do so when he comes to Canada. Will the minister reconsider and grant a visa to Mr. Smailovic?

Vedran Smailovic
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Henri—Westmount
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, again, I will set the member for Bourassa straight. The minister has no discretionary powers to publicly reveal private information. Therefore, I shall not discuss this case in public.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Dale Johnston Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister of agriculture will know that in a rare spirit of co-operation dairy producers, dairy processors and the government agreed that a move to one-price adjustment per year would occur on February 1. This scenario will leave dairy producers in a six-month period where they will be producing milk below their cost of production.

What possible rationale can he give for announcing that the consumer subsidy phase out would start August 1 rather February 1, 1998?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Regina—Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the provision the hon. gentleman is referring to was contained in the 1996 budget. Since the budget has been in the public domain and subject to public discussion, dairy producers and dairy processors have made the argument, which has behind it some considerable force of logic, that it would be more convenient and more economically efficient in our dairy system to consider any appropriate price changes at the beginning of February, not on January 1 but on February 1 as opposed to August 1 which has been the tradition over a number of years.

The recommendation of both the processors and producers is under active consideration by the government. As soon as we are in a position to confirm the appropriate arrangements we will make them public.

Given the tenor and tone of the hon. gentlemen's question, I welcome his very strong endorsement of supply management.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Dale Johnston Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, obviously the minister did not pick up on my tenor and tone very well.

As I am sure he already knows, producers have agreed to forgo a 2.1 per cent increase in the price of milk which amounts to a $40 million saving to Canadian consumers. I am not talking about an endorsement of supply management but about keeping up his end of the deal.

Will the minister agree to do that today? A lot of dairy producers would like to see him keep up his end of the deal.