House of Commons Hansard #134 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was kosovo.

Topics

Question Passed As Order For Return
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed. .[Text]

Question No. 91—

Question Passed As Order For Return
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Reform

John Cummins Delta—South Richmond, BC

With reference to the antimalarial drug mefloquine administered to Canadian Forces bound for Somalia in 1992-93 and the legal framework under which it was available for use and administered: ( a ) was mefloquine a licensed drug when it was administered to Canadian Forces, if not what was its status, and how was it legally available; ( b ) were the Canadian Forces participating in the Lariam (mefloquine) Safety Monitoring Study during this period; ( c ) was the mefloquine administered in accordance with the Lariam Safety Monitoring Study and the Food and Drug Act; ( d ) who was the “principal investigator” responsible for the Lariam Safety Monitoring Study in the Canadian Forces; ( e ) who was the Canadian Forces physician responsible to the “principal investigator” of the Lariam Safety Monitoring Study; ( f ) what was the role of Canadian Forces physician, Dr. Martin Tepper, in the Lariam Safety Monitoring Study; ( g ) who was responsible for the Lariam Safety Monitoring Study at the Department of Health's Health Protection Branch during this period; ( h ) what was the role and responsibility of the Health Protection Branch under the Lariam Safety Monitoring Study and the Food and Drug Act and its regulations in regard to the use of mefloquine by Canadian Forces personnel; ( i ) when did the Health Protection Branch become aware that mefloquine was being administered to Canadian Forces personnel bound for Somalia; ( j ) what responsibility did the Canadian Forces have under the Lariam Safety Monitoring Study and the Food and Drug Act prior to the licensing of mefloquine to inform the manufacturer of its use; ( k ) what responsibility did the Canadian Forces have under the Lariam Safety Monitoring Study and the Food and Drug Act to the soldiers who were administered the drug; ( l ) did the Canadian Forces fulfil their responsibility to the manufacturer under the Lariam Safety Monitoring Study and the Food and Drug Act prior to the licensing of mefloquine and if so how did they do so; ( m ) what responsibility prior to the licensing of mefloquine did the Canadian Forces have under the Lariam Safety Monitoring Study and the Food and Drug Act to the Health Protection Branch; ( n ) did the Canadian Forces fulfil their pre-licensing responsibilities to the Health Protection Branch under the Lariam Safety Monitoring Study and the Food and Drug Act and if so how did they comply; ( o ) what action did the Health Protection Branch take in regard to the manufacturer on becoming aware that mefloquine had been administered to Canadian Forces in association with subsequent unexpected bizarre homicidal/suicidal behaviour; ( p ) what action did the Health Protection take in regard to the Canadian Forces and Dr. Martin Tepper on becoming aware that mefloquine had been administered to Canadian Forces in association with subsequent unexpected bizarre homicidal/suicidal behaviour; ( q ) what disciplinary action is provided for under the Lariam Safety Monitoring Study and the Food and Drug Act for failure of the manufacturer to comply; ( r ) what disciplinary action was taken against the manufacturer for failure to comply with the requirements of the Lariam Safety Monitoring Study and the Food and Drug Act; ( s ) what disciplinary action was provided for under the Lariam Safety Monitoring Study and the Food and Drug Act for Dr. Martin Tepper or others in the Canadian Forces who failed to comply; ( t ) what disciplinary action was taken by the Health Protection Branch against Dr. Martin Tepper or others in the Canadian Forces for failure to comply with the requirements of the Lariam Safety Monitoring Study and the Food and Drug Act during the pre-licensing period; ( u ) what action was taken by the Health Protection Branch to remedy the failure to comply with the reporting requirements of the Lariam Safety Monitoring Study and the Food and Drug Act; ( v ) did the Health Protection Branch investigate to determine the nature of the adverse reactions that occurred among Canadian Forces personnel; ( w ) what action did the Health Protection Branch take to ensure that the reporting deficiencies in the Lariam Safety Monitoring Study were accounted for in the Study's final analysis of the drug; and ( x ) as a result of the Canadian Forces experience in Somalia with mefloquine, what measures to date has the Health Protection Branch taken to assess the accuracy of the information regarding the nature and frequency of behavioral and neuropsychiatric effects of mefloquine provided to Canadian physicians, in accordance with the Food and Drug Act?

Return tabled.

Question Passed As Order For Return
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Peterborough, ON

I ask, Mr. Speaker, that the remaining questions be allowed to stand.

Question Passed As Order For Return
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Is that agreed?

Question Passed As Order For Return
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Motions For Papers
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Peterborough
Ontario

Liberal

Peter Adams Parliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all Notices of Motions for the Production of Papers be allowed to stand.

Motions For Papers
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Is it agreed?

Motions For Papers
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

The House resumed from September 28 consideration of the motion that Bill C-51, an act to amend the Criminal Code, the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Criminal Code
Government Orders

October 7th, 1998 / 3:30 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

In accordance with the order made earlier this day, we will resume the debate.

Criminal Code
Government Orders

3:30 p.m.

Reform

Keith Martin Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, again it is a privilege to speak to Bill C-51, an act to amend the Criminal Code, the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and the Corrections and Conditional Release Act. It is an omnibus bill.

Let me say this at the outset. When we look at the legislative agenda and when we look at this bill we realize the great potential that this bill has to deal with issues such as gambling, homicide, child prostitution, conditional sentences and organized crime. Does this bill actually take this issue with both hands and try to implement constructive solutions to deal with these important issues? No, it does not. That reflects the ongoing problem that we have in this House. The problems that are occurring in our country are at best being nibbled at around the edges and at worst are being ignored.

We simply are not getting our hands into the meat of the issue and presenting constructive solutions that are out there in this country and around the world which we could implement.

Bill C-51 deals with gambling. Does it deal with gambling as an addiction? Does it deal with the huge problems that gambling is wreaking on certain families? Does it deal with the increasing problem of gambling as a health issue? No.

What does the bill do? It deals with permitting casinos on cruise ships to remove the prohibition on dice games. Surely we have better things to do in this House of Commons than to deal with that issue.

We could be dealing with constructive issues on how to help people who are having problems with gambling, rather than seeing gambling as just another tax grab, which in fact it is in many areas. It is causing huge problems in many societies and some on aboriginal reserves.

Are we dealing with violent crime? Are we dealing with ways to prevent violent crime? Are we dealing with ways to prevent innocent Canadians from getting hurt? No, we nibble around the edges and put this pithy amendment that will ensure victims no longer have to die within a year for it to be called a homicide.

We certainly support that, but surely the government could have put forth more constructive solutions in this bill to protect Canadians. Surely the government could have developed ways to adopt the idea of the Liberal member who put forth a private member's motion. The member is from Toronto and her motion deals with consecutive sentencing for violent crimes rather than the concurrent sentencing that currently exists.

Those convicted of violent crimes too often receive concurrent sentences. What kind of message does that send to people who commit murder or violent offences? It tells them that if they kill one person or rape one person, if they commit assault causing bodily harm to one person, it is the same as if they do it six times.

The government could have dealt with that. It could have implemented the private member's motion but it chose not to. What an embarrassment.

Child prostitution is a huge problem in our country. Prostitutes as young as 11 or 12 are being procured. Many are being put on drugs as a way to force them into lives of prostitution. It ruins their lives or, worse, it kills them through violence or through the acquisition of AIDS.

What has the government done concerning child prostitution? It has invoked suggestions and amendments to ensure that wiretaps are allowed. Our party has been putting forward constructive solutions for years.

Why do we have mandatory minimum sentencing for anybody who is pimping children? Why could the government not take this bill and put forth mandatory sentencing for people who are hooking children on drugs, who are pimping 11 and 12 year old girls and boys, who are grossly abusing these children for life? Why could the government not put forth a bill to address that?

I encourage and implore the government to listen to the constructive suggestions that are coming not only from our side but from all parties. These are constructive solutions on child prostitution. I challenge the Minister of Justice, whom I know is very interested in this, to go out on the street. She should not speak to the people on top, she should find out what is happening on the street from the prostitutes, the people whose lives are utterly ruined by this scourge. She should go to Vancouver or Toronto. She should see what is occurring on the street.

Let us consider conditional sentencing. I cannot believe the government did not adopt the motion put forward by a government member who had a constructive private member's bill that dealt with consecutive sentencing for violent offences.

Let us consider organized crime. The public would be interested in knowing that an individual who is sentenced can get parole after one-sixth of their sentence is up.

Criminal Code
Government Orders

3:35 p.m.

An hon. member

They have to apply for consideration for parole.

Criminal Code
Government Orders

3:35 p.m.

Reform

Keith Martin Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

But the fact that anybody can apply and receive a release after serving one-sixth of their sentence is appalling. What kind of message does it send to the RCMP and the police officers around this country when criminals can be out after serving one-sixth of their sentence after police put their lives on the line and worked hard to get the criminals arrested and convicted?

This bill ensures that people who are members of criminal organizations have to serve more than one-sixth of their sentence. Why are people involved in organized crime, racketeering, prostitution, scams and murder being released after serving one-sixth of their sentence? That is no way to give the Canadian people the confidence they require in the justice system in order for them to be able to say they feel safe in their country.

We are fully sympathetic with giving people a chance. We are fully sympathetic with understanding that some people can at times in their lives run afoul of the law and have a lot of angst about what they have done. But organized crime has little to do with having sympathy for a teenager who falls afoul of the law for a misdemeanour. It has little sympathy for somebody who has been abused during their life, who does something wrong and is convicted.

This has to do with people who commit murder. This has to do with people who take money from immigrants in our country and rob them for the promise of protection. This has to do with gross abuse of innocent civilians in our country. Those are the people we need to be hitting hard. Those are the laws that need to be made tougher and those are the people we need to be putting behind bars.

The bill deals with some issues, but it also misses some. The Reform Party is in favour of good constructive laws that protect Canadians from firearm violations. We do not approve of gun registration for the simple reason that it is going to make our streets less safe. It is taking money out of the functional arm of justice and putting it into something that is not going to make our streets more safe. If gun registration was going to make our streets safer then we would support it. But the cold hard facts support very clearly the notion that gun registration will not make Canadian streets safer.

We need to hire 350 RCMP officers in British Columbia, but they will not be hired because of a lack of funds. However, the government is pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into something that will not work.

The government had an opportunity to deal with crime prevention. I know the Minister of Justice has started up a very good program in Edmonton dealing with crime prevention and I compliment her for doing that. I think it is a move in the right direction. The member for Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe has been a leader in the national head start program, which she and her husband have put together, and she deserves to be complimented for that.

Those ideas and ideas from all opposition parties have been put forth for some time, including Private Member's Motion 261 that I introduced in May, which passed unanimously in the House. They need to be looked at, examined and adopted quickly, because we are simply not dealing with the root causes of crime.

For example, it has been proved that dealing with children in the first eight years of life can have a dramatic, profound and positive effect in making sure these children stay in school longer. It reduces crime by 50%. It reduces teen pregnancy by 60%. There is a net saving to the social programs because fewer of them are on welfare. It saves the taxpayer $30,000 per child. How can hon. members disagree with that? The proof is there from Moncton to Hawaii to Ypsilanti, Michigan where effective programs have been implemented to prevent crime.

Why did the government in Bill C-51 not utilize the good suggestions that have come from across party lines, from within its own caucus, and implement them in a constructive and coherent fashion across this country?

The government has an enormous leadership role. Although it is true that many of these programs should indeed be in the realm and the purview of the provinces, it is within the government's power to call together the first ministers of health, of justice and of HRD and ask them to bring to the table what programs they already have. Then they could find out what does not work and eject those programs. They could keep what works and integrate those programs into a national program.

Not one single province, not one premier, not one minister in any province has the power to do that. It is only the ministers who are sitting across from us today. Those ministers have the power, have the duty, have the responsibility to exert the leadership that has been bestowed upon them by the Canadian people. They and only they have the power to call those ministers together and hold that meeting that will have a most dramatic and profound effect on the lives, health, welfare and future of young Canadians today.

Let us get on with it. Let us not see a bill such as Bill C-51. Let us stick our hands into these issues and problems and implement solutions that have been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to work and to save money. They are win-win situations across party lines.

Let us stop introducing politics into these issues and deal with the facts. If we dealt with the facts and if we managed to have some semblance of debate on the facts, we would be able to achieve to the greatest advantage the potential of members across party lines in this House.

I implore the government to look at the suggestions that are going to come from members in the Reform Party, that are going to come from members on the government side and from members of the other opposition parties. Look at those constructive solutions. Look at those solutions based on facts and implement them.

The government could also deal with the horrendous situations on aboriginal reserves. The member for Wild Rose and the member for Skeena have repeatedly brought up constructive solutions to deal with those situations.

I spent some time this summer working as a physician dealing with aboriginal people in emergencies. They had been beaten up, had overdosed, had attempted suicide, had been abused or sexually abused. The responsibility falls on the shoulders of the non-aboriginal leaders of this country and the aboriginal leaders in pursuing a course that in my personal view, and I am not speaking for the Reform Party, is leading their people absolutely nowhere.

They need to start dealing with the facts. They need to deal with the horrendous situations that are occurring on the reserves. They need to break the cycle of an institutionalized welfare state that we have implemented and which continues to shackle the aboriginal people in this country.

We need to ensure that the resources that are put forth by the department of Indian affairs are going where they are supposed to go. Many of my colleagues and I have aboriginal reserves in our constituencies. Aboriginal people have been looking for answers as to where the moneys have gone that they have generated and which have been given to them by the department.

Are these moneys being used for education? Are they being used for substance abuse issues? Are they used for training? Are the moneys being used on the Pacheedaht reserve in my riding to repair the septic tanks that are overflowing with sewage? The health department is aware of this yet nothing is done. People turn a blind eye. They stick their heads in the sand.

Money is given without accountability. Who do they abuse? They abuse the aboriginal people who have no recourse because when they go to the department they are told to go to their councils. When they go to their councils, a blind eye is turned on them again.

I do not know if many of the members on the other side understand the profound tragedy that is occurring and what their actions are doing to these people. The answer is to perform forensic audits on some of these reserves, not to go on a witch hunt, not to find a scapegoat, but merely to find answers so that the available resources are going to the people so they can stand up on their own two feet and take care of themselves.

The minister mentioned last week that her proposals and the way her government is pursuing this is a way to integrate and bring together aboriginal people. In my province of British Columbia the Nisga'a deal is going to do the exact opposite. It is going to be the wedge that will split aboriginal and non-aboriginal people apart. Aboriginal and non-aboriginal people have to come together in an environment of mutual respect and tolerance so they can work together to build a stronger constructive society where everybody can reach their fullest potential.

I have visited reserves where people are being shot. People are being sexually abused. They have no recourse.

Money that is supposed to go to them for educational purposes is somehow disappearing. It is alleged that it is going into the hands of the council. Does anybody look into this? No, no one does. Who pays for it? Certainly the taxpayer, but more importantly the aboriginal people on those reserves who in some cases are being abused by absolute and utter thuggery. Does anybody listen to them? No. Why? Because we are being hamstrung by political correctness and we are afraid to.

We have to overcome this fear, not for ourselves but for the aboriginal people who live in our country in conditions equivalent to third world conditions. I challenge any member on the other side to look at this.

Does Bill C-51 have anything to do with dealing with the violence that is occurring on the reserves? No, absolutely nothing. Does it deal with the rape, the sexual abuse, the abuse of children and the violence that is taking place? No, it does nothing.

Whose confidence do we lose? We lose the confidence of the grassroots aboriginal peoples. They are looking and pleading for leadership. They are crying out for help. And what do we do? We toss some money over to the council, to the Assembly of First Nations, a political body and not necessarily a body for the people.

Grassroots aboriginal people have been looking for years for people to champion them so they can stand on their own feet. They are not that interested in land claims but they do want to live in safety. They want jobs. They want to work. They want to keep their culture and have their language preserved. They want to be the masters of their destiny. They want what we want.

Why have we continued to pursue a course of separation and apartheid in Canada? Why have we done this? I ask members on the other side to look into their souls and find this out.

I know my time is over, but I hope the government members will work with us and all members in the House to make some constructive changes to justice for all people instead of sticking our heads in the sand and dealing with absolute pith.

Criminal Code
Government Orders

3:50 p.m.

Reform

Howard Hilstrom Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, in regard to the native issues that have been going on around the countryside on the reserves, I have seen examples from being on many reserves in my day and currently visiting many during the time I spend in my constituency. After an election, people who had jobs on the reserves are arbitrarily fired the day after the election, obviously for having voted wrong or supported the wrong person. Hydro has been pulled out from a given residence. These are documented cases.

The problem seems to be a lack of democratic accountability. That democratic accountability does not seem to be as much as what we have in our municipal, provincial and federal governments. Those governments are not perfect in accountability in regard to access to information and labour laws and those kinds of things, but I would ask the member to comment in regard to that type of democratic accountability. Is there room for improvement in all provinces in that regard?

Criminal Code
Government Orders

3:50 p.m.

Reform

Keith Martin Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, that question hits at a very important issue which many grassroots aboriginal people are concerned with. It deals not only with what is occurring now but what will occur in the future after land claims are settled. It deals with the issue of democratic accountability.

On Vancouver Island three grassroots bands have come to me, the Becher Bay band, Pacheedaht band and the Kwicksutaineuk band. These three bands and many others have been asking their members of parliament to find answers for them. The issue comes to accountability, not only for the way the bands are run but also for where the resources are going.

Right now many bands are run very well but many are not. Money is going to band councils and it is being put into the pockets of band council members. When band members ask where the money has gone, they receive a dismissive note or worse, they are abused. Some people have had their houses broken into. Some people have had violence committed against them and their families when they ask questions.

When those aboriginal people go to the department of Indian affairs, the minister slams protected on her letters and says “I do not see anything wrong here. Go to the RCMP if there is a problem”. The RCMP are unwilling to enter into this. They do not have the resources.

The bottom line is as my hon. friend mentioned. The grassroots aboriginal people are caught between a rock and hard place. No one is helping them out. If the minister of Indian affairs does not deal with this issue quickly, she will be in trouble because we will not stand for it any longer.

It is passing strange that members from the government are not even attempting to stand up on these very important issues on justice to ask even one question.