House of Commons Hansard #79 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Minister Of Intergovernmental Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have been saying the same thing all along. We have always explained clearly the headway we were making.

The Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, like the other ministers, talks about the federal agenda globally. The Bloc Quebecois refuses to recognize that we have transferred manpower, that we have improved the situation on five, six or seven issues, that we have passed a resolution in the House of Commons recognizing the distinct character of Quebec, that we have passed a bill giving a veto to the five regions. Each time, the Bloc Quebecois voted no.

Minister Of Intergovernmental Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, at the beginning of the convention, the Prime Minister made a candid remark, stating that there was not plan B, that it did not exist, that it had been made up by the press.

How can the Prime Minister stand behind this kind of statement when, as soon as the Liberal weekend party was over, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs reinstated all the means of intimidation in the government's plan B?

Minister Of Intergovernmental Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:20 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, I stated yesterday that, should Quebec secede unilaterally, the Quebec government would not be in a position to take over all the functions currently available to all Canadians without the agreement of the federal government. I presented an argument to this effect.

If the opposition leader can see a flaw in my argument, he should point it out, but he must understand that, failing this, he is wasting the time of the House by asking totally unfounded questions.

Minister Of Intergovernmental Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are going to carry on wasting time. I am going to quote the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.

In his role as adviser to the Prime Minister not so long ago, his theory was to make Quebec suffer. Yesterday, the day after the Liberal show on the weekend, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs went back to his old line.

Are we to understand that it is not the Prime Minister or the other ministers who set the tone in the government, but rather the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs? Whose idea it is to punish Quebec and who gave us plan B.

Minister Of Intergovernmental Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.

Minister Of Intergovernmental Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:20 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, that is a false accusation and slanderous.

Minister Of Intergovernmental Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

My dear colleagues, I ask you to be very careful in choosing your words.

Minister Of Intergovernmental Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs made the statement, in case he has forgotten, on March 15, 1995 in Toronto before a group of intellectuals. He said “The more it hurts, the less support there will be for sovereignty”.

Is he now going to deny that his entire speech and the government's plan B are based on his long held belief?

Minister Of Intergovernmental Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:20 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, I still believe the member to be an honest man and I will give him the opportunity to prove it.

Two days later, a correction appeared in the same papers to the effect that I had never spoken these words ascribed to me at the time.

Secondly, on another matter, what I said yesterday I said because I am a Quebecker and because I do not want my society to find itself in a situation that flies in the face of democracy in which a government would be trying to grab all jurisdictions not its own in an unacceptable state of confusion.

The Senate
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Lorne Nystrom Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, Andrew Thompson has finally said adios and bid goodbye to the Senate in order to collect his pension. Instead of using talk about Senate reform as an excuse for not acting, I want to ask the Prime Minister the following question.

Why not seize the opportunity of this vacancy, which now creates a vacancy in the upper house, and announce today that he will not be filling this vacancy as the first step toward the abolition of the unelected, unaccountable Senate of this country?

The Senate
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have tried and are willing to try to reform the Senate. We have a system of two houses in Canada. The member is proposing something that I cannot do. If I have an institution, I have to use it.

If some day Parliament were to decide not to have it, of course it would be different. But it is not what we are proposing at this time.

The Senate
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Lorne Nystrom Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister could easily decide not to appoint a senator and bring a resolution before this House as the first step toward the abolition of the other place. If he does that, he would have the support of our party, he would have the support of several premiers and the support of the Canadian people.

Instead, he wants to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to renovate the Parliament Buildings, millions of that to move the senators to a temporary home and renovate the Senate. Why not save that money, bring in a motion to abolish the other place and do it now?

The Senate
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows very well that the government cannot abolish unilaterally the Senate. It needs the consent of the 10 provincial governments.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

March 24th, 1998 / 2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the fisheries committee tabled the east coast report. The committee recommended that senior DFO personnel who are viewed by the fishing community as being responsible for the crisis in the fishery be removed from the department.

Does the Minister of Fisheries agree with this recommendation?

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Malpeque
P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the minister when he comes back to Ottawa will certainly be reviewing this report and responding at an appropriate time.

I can say one thing for certain. The minister is not going to get into finger pointing and witch-hunting. He will be wanting to develop things forward in a positive fashion for the future.