House of Commons Hansard #108 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was students.

Topics

Somalia Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, it would appear that this government is leaking like a sieve.

The minister's own justice officials gave a confidential letter that was dated May 4 to the department of defence. On April 28, Justice Barbara Reed threw out some of the findings of the Somalia inquiry because the inquiry's representatives from the Department of Justice did not file adequate affidavits. The department has an obligation to represent the client with diligence.

Is the justice minister prepared to fully defend the client, the Somalia inquiry, and to announce that she will be appealing the commission's findings?

Somalia Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, because in fact this government is in the process of making a decision as to whether we are going to appeal the decision of Madam Justice Barbara Reed, I will not comment on the specific case.

Let me assure the hon. member that the client in this case is not Mr. Justice Létourneau. The client is not the Somalia commission. In fact the hon. member as a lawyer should know that the commission is functus. The client in this case is the Government of Canada.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, yet another terrible mess is coming to light in the defence department. Not only do women and men in the military suffer appalling living conditions and subsistence wages. It has now been revealed that the government has been sitting by while military officials regularly cover up cases of rape and physical abuse.

Why is the Liberal government condoning such abuses by its years of inaction?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, let me say unequivocally that the government will not tolerate matters of sexual abuse or sexual harassment in the Canadian forces.

The government is taking action. We have established harassment advisers in each of the units across the country to help us deal with these issues. We have established the national investigation service which provides for military police independent of the operational chain of command to be able to investigate these matters.

Very soon I will be announcing—

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Calgary—Nose Hill.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister thinks a little high flown rhetoric will cover up the Liberal government's complicity and the suffering and humiliation of victims in our military.

Is it not true that the minister is more interested in political damage control than in any real control of abuse in the military?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton Minister of National Defence

Absolutely not, Mr. Speaker. We want justice to prevail in these cases. We want to fully integrate men and women into the Canadian forces. We want them to be able to work side by side in a harassment free and an abusive free environment.

We have put new training procedures into effect. We will do whatever is needed to make sure in future the message is clear that there will be no such discrimination in the Canadian forces.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

May 25th, 1998 / 2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, while the Minister of Human Resources Development keeps trying to defend the indefensible, while he is trying to convince the unemployed who cannot collect benefits that the reform is good for them, the surplus in the employment insurance fund continues to grow. Between the beginning and the end of oral question period, the surplus will have increased by $700,000.

Will the minister admit that, if the surplus increases at the incredible rate of $700,000 per hour, it is, among other reasons, because there are 500,000 more people than before who are contributing to the fund, even though they have little chance of ever collecting benefits?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, when we took office, there was a $6 billion deficit in the employment insurance fund. We had to eliminate this deficit and that is what we did.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Martin LaSalle—Émard, QC

Yes, we did. I am very pleased to say that there is now a surplus, a reserve in the employment insurance fund. This is our guarantee against an increase in premiums.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

An hon. member

Another liar.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, instead of chatting endlessly with technocrats in the comfort of their offices, why do the ministers not undertake to meet tomorrow morning the unemployed coming to Ottawa to tell us about the disastrous consequences of the government's reform?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I had the opportunity to travel across the country, to meet with Canadians and discuss the impact of our reforms with them.

Before I left and upon my return, I noticed that members of the opposition promised to put to us in this House any question they may have. They were very active last week and we will be pleased to hear what they have to say.

The unemployed know full well that the purpose of the transitional job fund, along with the active measures, is to get them back to work as quickly as possible and to help them once they are back in the labour force.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Peter Goldring Edmonton East, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of National Defence.

When some female soldiers in the Canadian forces complained of being sexually harassed, they were ushered out of the military and given what was called a trauma based disability pension.

Is it not true that this trauma based disability pension is just another way of saying to some sexual harassment victims “If you leave without making a fuss, we will pay you some hush money?”