House of Commons Hansard #121 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was park.

Topics

Accueil Bonneau
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, at this very moment, the funeral ceremonies for the three victims of the accident at Accueil Bonneau are being held in Montreal's Notre-Dame Basilica.

I join with all my colleagues in the House of Commons in offering our most sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims.

Accueil Bonneau makes a magnificent contribution to the lives of thousands of disadvantaged Montrealers. The three victims can never be replaced, but many courageous and determined volunteers have already rolled up their sleeves to ensure that these good works will continue.

Our thoughts go out at this time to the three who lost their lives in this terrible accident, to whom we must be grateful for their unceasing devotion to humanity.

Fortunately, however, thanks to the great solidarity shown by so many Quebeckers in the hours since the tragedy, the work of Accueil Bonneau will go on.

Liberal Party
Statements By Members

June 12th, 1998 / 11:15 a.m.

Reform

Ken Epp Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is the end of the semester and it is time to give this Liberal class its evaluation.

For fulfilling the election promise to elect a senator, f . The Prime Minister makes appointments and makes excuses.

For fixing the Young Offenders Act, f . The assignment is now over one year late.

For providing hope to victims of crime, f . They only talk but nothing has been done.

In basic accounting, f . They are listing items in the expenditures column that should not be there according to the auditor general.

For cutting government spending, f . They cut mostly in transfers to provinces.

For caring and compassion, f . For fixing up the problems in the military, double f . For planning to reduce the debt and interest payments, f . For attendance in the House, d . For respect and deportment, f .

With ten f s and one d they fail. The next class, the Reform class, will pass.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, it took a lot of courage for Private Ann Margaret Dickey to come forward and tell her story of abuse in the military, but what has been the reaction of the minister of defence? He blames the victim. Instead of following up on Private Dickey's complaints, the minister has the nerve to come forward and question her credibility.

Why should any woman ever come forward with allegations of sexual assault in the military when she knows she will be put on trial by the minister, his department and the media? Why is that?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the head of the national investigative service, Colonel Patricia Samson, confirms that an investigation is under way into the allegations referred to by the hon. Reform member.

This investigation is carried out by a body at arm's length from the chain of command. I suggest we let the investigation take its course and not raise it in the House of Commons in a way that may prejudice its appropriate and successful outcome.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, we would love to let the investigation take its course, except the minister spoke out and talked about zero tolerance and how terrible it is for any sexual assault to occur. Then he had the nerve to come forward and taint that investigation by saying that her whole story is not credible.

I want this minister to answer the question. Why should any woman ever come forward with allegations of sexual assault when she will have to go on trial by the minister, his department and the media?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I do not accept the insinuations and premises of the hon. member's question.

The minister said on behalf of the government that we want to have a professional and harassment free atmosphere for all members of the Canadian armed services.

That is why, following the recommendations of the Somalia commission and former Chief Justice Dickson, the government set up the arm's length national investigative service which is actively looking into the allegations in question.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, the biggest barrier to women coming forward with these kinds of allegations is absolute fear that they will not be believed, and the government knows it.

Dickey has run up against this problem at every turn for two years. First of all it was her commanding officer. Then it was the military investigators. Now it is the minister himself who is blaming her and asking about her credibility.

When will one of these so-called defenders of human rights over there stand and tell the minister that he cannot deal with sexual assault victims by blaming the victims?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I do not think we can accept the insinuation of the hon. member that the minister is saying we should blame the victim.

It is not my understanding of what he said at all. In fact the minister is very interested in making sure the investigation is carried on properly under the leadership of Colonel Patricia Samson, head of the national investigative service at arm's length from the chain of command.

If the hon. member believes that there should not be interference in an investigation in a way that harms those who make complaints, she should not be raising it wrongly in the way she is in the House of Commons today.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Reform

Leon Benoit Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, I frankly do not believe what we are hearing hear today.

The Deputy Prime Minister is saying that he cannot comment on the case because it is under investigation. Yet the minister is commenting on the case to all the media right across the country and he is blaming the victim.

How could Private Dickey ever get a fair hearing when the minister is questioning her credibility through the media right across the country?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I do not agree with the hon. member's interpretation of the minister's words that he is blaming the victim. I do not think he is doing that at all.

In any event, the minister is not directing or running the investigation. It is being carried on at arm's length by the national investigative service under the command of the chief provost marshal, Colonel Patricia Samson, herself a member of the same sex as the complainant.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Reform

Leon Benoit Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, maybe the minister ought to read the newspapers today. The headlines say that the minister is blaming the victim, and the minister is blaming the victim.

The minister has prejudiced the case. He has questioned Private Dickey's testimony in public. Now Private Dickey cannot possible get fair treatment within the military system.

I want to ask the government what specific plans it has. What will the government implement to give Private Dickey a fair hearing outside the military justice system?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, at this stage an investigation is under way at arm's length from the chain of command of the armed services. The investigation is not completed.

My hon. friend's questions would make more sense if they were asked once the investigation was completed. He wants to play this out in the headlines. I do not think that is fair to the complainant or any complaint of this kind.

Canada Information Office
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Rimouski—Mitis, QC

Mr. Speaker, recently, the Prime Minister gave the Minister of Public Works, the chief Liberal organizer in Quebec, responsibility for the Canada information office, the CIO.

This morning we learn in the papers that the minister intends to use the CIO's considerable resources to get involved in the upcoming election campaign in Quebec.

Will the Minister of Public Works confirm what we learned from the Canadian Press agency this morning, namely that the CIO will be hugely involved in the upcoming election in opposition to the current Government of Quebec?

Canada Information Office
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel
Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, what I said in the interview to one journalist is that, first of all, the upcoming election in Quebec is a provincial one, not a federal one, and that, if the Government of Quebec or any other political party were to misinform people about the Government of Canada, we would be there to provide the facts. That is all.

However, I am surprised the member is asking the question, because her leader said all Bloc members would be canvassing door to door in the fall as part of the election campaign. So they can get involved, but we cannot—

Canada Information Office
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Rimouski—Mitis.