House of Commons Hansard #151 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was amendment.

Topics

Criminal Code
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

An hon. member

I think your melon crop is in.

Criminal Code
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Reform

Jake Hoeppner Lisgar—Marquette, MB

I always like to hear some real good solid comments that can be recorded in Hansard because they will come in very handy when we get on the platform to debate these issues.

A stepfather in Manitoba took a baseball bat and violated the rights of his five-year old stepdaughter to the point that she died, and still it is only called manslaughter. When I see that I am disgusted and ashamed that this is the type of justice system we have. That is something that really shows what the past governments have been doing. They have been watching out for the rights of the criminals but they have never paid any attention to the rights of the victims. It is unbelievable but those are the facts. That has happened once too often and in the next election we will change the system and we will change the government.

I do not know what else I can say to the government and these hon. friends across the way. I would love to have them back but not the way they have been acting for the past three and a half years. Their constituents will make that decision and not me. When we look at the polls today we know exactly what they are saying.

I will still throw the challenge out to you, Mr. Speaker. If you want to come and be a Liberal candidate in Portage-Lisgar I would welcome that because that would show some quality for the Liberals in my riding.

Criminal Code
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Milliken)

I thank the hon. member for his kind offer and comments but I think I will be otherwise engaged.

Criminal Code
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Reform

John Williams St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to debate the amendments that were introduced by the government this morning. As you can see, Mr. Speaker, I do not have a prepared speech because these amendments were brought to me this morning when I thought we would be debating Bill C-17. Now we find that Bill C-17 has been expanded, a very unusual situation. Why? Because the government cannot get its act together.

The government brought in a bill, I believe it was Bill C-41, to give victims certain rights. Then in Bill C-45 the drafting was right out to lunch, it compromised these rights and where are we now? The government is asking for leave to amend Bill C-17 by adding

on these extra changes. We are debating them today to try to get the government's rear end covered for the next election.

This shows the incompetence the country is getting from the government. It has only been three and a half years. We thought we would have a five-year mandate with the huge majority it has but after three and a half years the Liberals are getting a little shaky. They are going down in the polls and they are thinking, "boy we'd better get out there and grab our support before it disappears on us".

Now we find the Liberals are trying to make some last minute corrections to try to save face so they can go tell Canadians they are trying to protect victims when they have through their legislation been protecting criminals for three and a half years.

For three and a half years we have been criticizing the Minister of Justice. Every time he has brought in a bill he has been soft on criminals and ignored victims. What has he done for victims? He has done very very little and what little he did he compromised with Bill C-45. Now he is trying to make some small amends.

This Minister of Justice is a joke. This Minister of Justice has certainly not served the justice system well. He has not served Canadians well. He has not served victims well. He thinks he can sit here and introduce legislation that suits his whims and the whims of the Liberal Party. They will find out in a few short weeks what Canadians think of their ideas on criminal justice.

We may be saying goodbye to quite a few Liberals in the next election. Canadians are fed up to the teeth of this daily ritual of how the Liberals think they are standing up to protect Canadians while at the same time they allow criminals to walk all over them.

We have argued from the day we arrived here that section 745 must go. It is not a big section of the act. It would not take a great deal of effort, just a stroke of the pen by the Minister of Justice, fully supported by everybody in the House I would hope, and section 745 would be gone. Then we would never hear about people like Clifford Olson for a very long time because he would not be in the news, he would be in jail.

Today we have heard about the various things that they have in jail for people like Mr. Olson and others like him, where life does not seem to be that unpleasant.

We know that our society needs to be protected. We know that the government has little or no desire to protect Canadians. We know that it would rather play around with the law. We heard the minister say: "I cannot protect the people of Quebec. I do not know how to write a law that will address these gangs in Quebec who are killing and maiming innocent people". Just think of that young boy who was killed by a bomb in Montreal. The Minister of Justice said: "I do not think I can write a law that deals with gangsters such as these".

I heard today that he is going to bring one in. It must be a sudden conversion. Perhaps an election is in the wind. This type of posturing is not what we want. We are looking for government. We are looking for people who care about the victims.

When I heard that Clifford Olson described to the parents of one of his victims the last moments and how that child died, I cannot think of the horror and tragedy they were forced to relive. Can you imagine, Mr. Speaker? I hope the Minister of Justice will think about it. He has not said publicly what he thinks, but I know that I cannot imagine the horror of being in that situation. If my child had been murdered and I had to listen to the murderer tell me about my child's last moment on this earth, I would be devastated. I am sure that the parents of these victims are absolutely, totally devastated. That is why my colleague from Surrey said we support the amendments. It is a small measure, not because we like it, but it is a minuscule thing.

We have begged the government for three and a half years to eliminate section 745 of the Criminal Code, to protect society from these people, to prevent the parents from having to relive the horror once more.

It goes on. When Olson is denied his parole, we know he is going to be back again on another day. The victims will have to go through it maybe one, two, three or four times. Who can tell?

I sincerely hope that the Minister of Justice will take our comments and the comments of all Canadians under advisement, listen to what we say and make the appropriate amendments.

Criminal Code
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Speaker

As it is 2 p.m., we will proceed to statements by members.

Huron Park Secondary School
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

John Finlay Oxford, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate the students of Huron Park Secondary School in Woodstock for working to broaden their horizons.

Students from the grade 9 and 10 enrichment program invited representatives of nine embassies and consulates to present information about their countries as part of the school's international day.

These international visitors toured farms and industries in Oxford county before attending a banquet and student variety program in the evening.

The next day over 600 students had the opportunity to hear these visitors from Italy, France, Brazil, Japan, Germany, South Africa, Sweden, Slovakia and Australia. They learned about these other

cultures and gained an appreciation of the role Canada plays in the international community.

To the students of Huron Park Secondary School I would like to say how proud I am of them for investing so much time and spirit in this initiative.

Sable Island
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Reform

Dave Chatters Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, the hearings into the Sable Island gas project began in Halifax yesterday with accusations of political interference by the Prime Minister and his government.

The Prime Minister's very public repeated statements of support for routing Sable Island gas through Quebec brings into question the panel's ability to determine the future of the project free of serious political influence. The panel must be allowed to determine the future of the project based on the long term interests of Atlantic Canadians, instead of on the political interests of central Canada.

This blatant interference could jeopardize the entire project and Nova Scotia would be cheated out of $3.5 billion worth of royalty wealth and thousands of well paid jobs.

The Reform Party will continue to speak out against any and all moves by the government to rob Atlantic Canadians of the opportunities for prosperity because of the Liberal shortsighted political agenda.

Railways
Statements By Members

April 8th, 1997 / 1:55 p.m.

NDP

Len Taylor The Battlefords—Meadow Lake, SK

Mr. Speaker, the railways on the prairies are preparing to sell off or abandon a number of branchlines. There is already some talk of establishing short line railroads to replace the lost services.

I appreciate the concern being shown to maintain service on these lines. The railways and the local elevator system provide critical economic benefits to a lot of communities and the thought of hundreds of more trucks on rural highways is horrifying.

However, this could not be coming at a more inopportune time. Farmers are facing increased costs every way they look. Many are anxious to find ways to finance new value added facilities. At this time farmers should not have to be concerned about financing or running short line systems all over the prairies.

Therefore we should not forget that recent Liberal policy gave the railways the right to abandon our lines without concern for the public interest. If the Liberals were serious about safe and productive grain movement, they would insist on existing railways maintaining responsibility for rural grain lines.

Hockey
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Roger Gallaway Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, last Friday at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit we saw the first of a new college hockey tradition. The World University Hockey Championship pitted U.S. born players against Canadian college players. The final result: Team Canada defeated Team U.S.A.

Media on both sides of the border proclaimed that it was a better game than the NHL contest the night before. Canadians who could not attend the game were thrilled by the television coverage of TSN.

We as Canadians congratulate the NCAA in the U.S. and the CIAU in Canada, the governing bodies of university sport in North America; the Toronto based CAP and Gown Productions; the many corporate sponsors; as well as mayors Mike Hurst of Windsor and Dennis Archer of Detroit.

It is hoped that next year it becomes a two-game event with a contest in Toronto as well as Detroit and that in two years time university and colleges from Europe and Asia will make it a truly world class promotion.

Course Destination Monde
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Philippe Paré Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, Radio-Canada rounded off the Course Destination Monde with prizes for the best productions. The Bloc Quebecois would like to congratulate the eight young people on their perseverance and skill.

Since its inception, the Course Destination Monde has been an interesting forum for bringing major international development issues to the attention of television viewers. The survival of the program is all the more relevant in the context of the abolition of CIDA's public awareness programs.

In particular, I would like to offer my congratulations on the quality of the reporting on international development. Anne-Marie Cadieux, Alexis Turgeon, Pascal Brouard and Antoine Laprise shared the CIDA, IDRC, Développement international Desjardins, International Centre for Human Rights, Union des producteurs agricoles du Québec, ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec and Inter Pares prizes.

Congratulations to all the winners.

National Wildlife Week
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Rose-Marie Ur Lambton—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, this year marks the 50th anniversary of National Wildlife Week in Canada. From April 6 to 12 Canadians will make a commitment to safeguard wildlife and celebrate its tremendous significance through various events and activities.

The 1997 theme for National Wildlife Week is ecological sustainability and the Canadian Wildlife Federation chose "Wild Things Need a Place to Grow" as this year's slogan for all promotional materials.

This reminds us that we must sustain healthy places for wildlife to live and grow if we want our animal life to remain in existence for years to come.

As in past years, National Wildlife Week co-ordinators from each province and territory helped spread the conservation message throughout communities.

For example, what began in Ontario with a few individuals discussing wildlife issues around a table has now grown so that museums, tourist areas, conservation centres, schools, youth groups and municipalities across the province will be spreading the message of the need for sustainability of all our wildlife.

Montfort Hospital
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Réginald Bélair Cochrane—Superior, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Harris government has announced its intention to close the Montfort hospital in Vanier, the only hospital to provide specialized medical care entirely in French. This hospital is the institution chosen by people who need treatment in French in areas such as psychiatry, orthopaedics, surgery and so on.

There are many communities in my riding that are completely or partially francophone. Many doctors in northern Ontario regularly refer their patients to the Montfort simply because it is the only hospital that can provide service totally in French, that is, in their language. Patients can communicate and be cared for, understand and be understood on the subject of the treatment they have come for.

I could say more about the loss of efficiency, but it has already been said. Needless to say, I strongly protest this closure, which is particularly unfair to francophones throughout Ontario.

We must realize-

Montfort Hospital
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

The Speaker

I am sorry to interrupt the hon. member. The hon. member for Lisgar-Marquette.

Waterhen Reserve
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Jake Hoeppner Lisgar—Marquette, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Waterhen Reserve in Manitoba is dangerously divided. Tensions have been running high between two factions on this reserve for several years.

One faction broke from the chief after claiming it found misappropriation of federal funds in an independent audit of the band's records. It has held several blockades to draw attention to its complaints.

As a result, violence and distress have gripped this community. The latest blockade has resulted in criminal charges being laid. About 300 people had to move from the reserve and leave their homes and livelihood. The Liberal minister of aboriginal affairs promised to do something years ago but has done nothing.

We send troops overseas to protect the rights of people to return to their homes. Yet the government does nothing to protect the rights of 300 Manitobans who are afraid to return to their homes and their livelihoods.

Hockey
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Beth Phinney Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to offer my congratulations to members of the Canadian Women's hockey team who continued their perfect record by winning their fourth consecutive world championship.

This team demonstrated true character, determination and great skill. They were undefeated in the tournament and won the gold medal game against the United States by a score of four to three in overtime on Sunday night.

The World Championships held in Kitchener demonstrated again Canada's outstanding ability to organize such an event and the tremendous emotion and support Canadians have for our hockey teams.

I am sure all members will join with me in congratulating this fine Canadian women's hockey team for this year's victory. We look forward to seeing them next year at the Winter Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan.