House of Commons Hansard #87 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was plan.

Topics

Human Rights
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Reform

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Supreme Court of Canada launched an unprecedented attack on democracy and on our constitutional order in what can only be described as an exercise of raw judicial power.

In the name of the charter of rights and freedoms the court ruled that Albertans do not have the right or freedom to govern themselves. In the name of the Constitution the unaccountable justices created a law that had been explicitly rejected by Alberta's elected officials and they did so basing this judgment on a right that cannot be found in the Constitution and one which was explicitly rejected by this parliament and the legislatures when the charter of rights was ratified.

In the name of protecting basic rights, the court has violated the rights of people to freely associate around common values in a private religious institution.

The Vriend decision was not about interpreting the Constitution. It was not about protecting rights. It was about unelected and unaccountable justices taking upon themselves the position of elected legislators and legislating from the bench.

Abraham Lincoln said that the candid citizen must confess that if—

Human Rights
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Laurentides.

Member For Sherbrooke
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the former Conservative leader announced he was in the running for the leadership of the Quebec Liberal Party, he said he was ”fed up with the endless squabbles cultivated and maintained by the sovereignist leaders, which are sapping our energies”.

Between 1960 and the present, the sovereignists have been in power about 12 years and the federalists more than 25. Did Fulton-Favreau fail because of the “nasty separatists”? Did Victoria fail because of the “nasty separatists”? Was the 1982 patriation and Pierre Elliott Trudeau's rejection of the Quebec Liberal beige book the fault of the “nasty separatists”? Were the failures of Meech and Charlottetown the fault of the “nasty separatists”?

If we have been up to our ears in squabbles since 1960, this is because the federalists are incapable of getting along together. That is why the only solution left is sovereignty.

The former Conservative leader claims he is going to succeed where all those before him have failed. We are anxious to know exactly how he will go about this, because at the moment we are simply faced with a big black hole.

Hepatitis C
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the health minister has used the word “compassion” dozens of times this week when he was asked why he abandoned thousands of hepatitis C victims.

The arguments he advances for justifying the government's position are legal arguments, accounting arguments and political arguments. There is no real compassion in either the government's position or in the minister's deeds.

Where is the compassion in abandoning tens of thousands of victims of poisoned blood who were infected through government negligence?

Hepatitis C
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government does have compassion. The government is concerned. It is expressing its compassion and concern in a practical way by putting forward $800 million aimed at helping tens of thousands of victims of this tragic situation.

Hepatitis C
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, it is a reflection on compassion. Just a few weeks ago this is what the health minister was saying to victims of poisoned blood.

He said “We have to remember what this is about. It is not about fiscal federalism. It is not about politics. It is about providing compassionate and fair and appropriate compensation to people who were injured through no fault of their own and we have to keep our eye on that goal”.

Why did the health minister take his eye off that goal?

Hepatitis C
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, all governments in the country that worked together on this difficult problem kept their eye on the goal of doing the right thing in accordance with sound public policy. All governments, all ministers of health, worked together toward showing compassion as the Deputy Prime Minister has said.

We have now created an offer of $1.1 billion for the direct benefit of over 22,000 victims of this tragedy. That, in the judgment of every government in the country of every political stripe, is the appropriate response to this tragedy.

Hepatitis C
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, there used to be a day when ministers would actually resign rather than violate the principles.

If the health minister actually believes that this decision should have been based on compassion and morality rather than on legal or accounting arguments, why did he not go in to the Prime Minister and say “these are the principles I am committed to. If you can't accept them and if the cabinet can't accept them, then find someone else to do your dirty work?”

If the minister is really committed to compassion and morality, why did he not resign rather than violate those principles?

Hepatitis C
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, is the Leader of the Opposition saying that Premier Ralph Klein of Alberta lacks compassion and morality when he said about this deal, referring to Premier Clark of British Columbia, “Without wanting to sound critical of Premier Clark, it seems to be sort of late in the game to start to change the rules and to express concerns?”

Is he saying that Premier Klein of Alberta lacks compassion?

Hepatitis C
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, during the health minister's meetings with victims of hepatitis C he said that he would be their guardian. He said in fact that he would be their champion.

Today those victims ended up here on Parliament Hill and the minister somehow did not meet them. They ended up pounding white crosses into the lawn in front of his office to tell him what they think of him.

Did the minister fail to meet with those victims because he is ashamed to look them in the eye?

Hepatitis C
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should know that in the course of the past several months I have met with many victims of the tainted blood tragedy, spoke to them directly, spoke to them about the approach being taken toward compensation and personally explained to those victims, as I have in the House of Commons, the reason for the approach taken by all governments in the country toward the issue of compensation.

I explained to them that as the ministers of health looked at the history of these tragic events they found there was a period between 1986 and 1990 when governments could and should have acted and did not, and that is the basis on which compensation is being offered.

Hepatitis C
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, we have a solution for the public relations nightmare the minister is facing.

B.C. has said that it is ready to move. Saskatchewan is now ready to have a conference call on the issue. Why does the health minister not just lead a new charge for a supplementary compensation package for all the victims of hepatitis C so that he can once again look those victims straight in the eye?

Hepatitis C
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, every provincial government stands solidly behind this agreement. Every provincial government respects the agreement that they themselves negotiated, including British Columbia and Quebec. Every province and both territories stand solidly with the agreement that they negotiated.

Last Friday we sat opposite victims, looked them in the eye and told them, as we believed, this was the right approach to the issue.

Option Canada
Oral Question Period

April 3rd, 1998 / 11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, Howard Bullock, Canada's ambassador to China and the senior official responsible for operation unity at the time of the referendum told the Bloc member for Repentigny, currently in China, that the Bloc Quebecois could ask all the questions it likes on Option Canada, it would find out nothing, because it was he who spent the money.

My question is for the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. What can the minister, his boss at the time of these events, tell us about Mr. Bullock's statement?

Option Canada
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is very simple. We, and most Quebeckers and other Canadians, support the Canadian option. The leader of the Bloc Quebecois opposes it and he is mistaken.