House of Commons Hansard #124 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-20.

Topics

Apec Summit
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I think it is important for members of all parties to recognize that, in Canada, Canadians have the opportunity to challenge the authority of the RCMP in this case. There is a process in place. It was set up by the previous government and it deserves the right to do its job.

Apec Summit
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, today Canada welcomes President Nelson Mandela, who spent his life fighting for human rights and civil liberties.

Canada's former prime minister, Brian Mulroney, stood up with President Mandela in that noble struggle. Today we have a Prime Minister who appears to care less about civil liberties and more about sparing dictator embarrassment.

Will the Prime Minister, like Mr. Mandela, do the right thing? Will he give this House a full account of his role in the RCMP actions against Canadians at the APEC summit?

Apec Summit
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I can see that the hon. member is moving from blue to almost red at this moment. We know that she understands the party has to evolve a bit.

Yes, I am happy to say that Prime Minister Mulroney, like his predecessors, starting with Prime Minister Diefenbaker, were working strongly against apartheid in South Africa. And we are very happy that Nelson Mandela is coming here.

With respect to human rights, I would like to tell the hon. member that I was the one, as the minister of justice, who worked for months with attorneys general and the House of Commons to have—

Apec Summit
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. leader of the Conservative Party.

Apec Summit
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, section 19 of the Immigration Act prohibits security personnel who work for a government engaged in gross human rights violations from entering Canada unless the immigration minister is satisfied these people are not detrimental to the national interest.

Indonesia under Suharto killed countless people. Since the Prime Minister will not answer my first question, will the minister of immigration tell us if she believes it was in Canada's interest to let in Suharto's so-called goons with guns, the same goons who asked the RCMP if it was okay to shoot Canadians?

Apec Summit
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, once again the hon. member displays a real lack of understanding as to the process in place. The public complaints commission established by her government, the last government, was established specifically so Canadians would have recourse. They have it and I feel strongly that we need to protect the integrity of that process so that we can get to the truth.

Apec Summit
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, so far the Prime Minister has been hiding behind the solicitor general under the assumption of the Canadian public that this is actually going to be a public inquiry. It is not. It is under the public complaints commission of the RCMP act. It has no ability to be able to go after the Prime Minister and the political interference.

I ask the solicitor general to quit guarding and hiding the Prime Minister under his assertions and do the right thing, a judicial inquiry so we can uncover this affair.

Apec Summit
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I would ask the hon. member to quit undermining the integrity of the public complaints commission and let it do its job.

Apec Summit
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, it will be of interest to this House to realize that under the Canada Evidence Act, which this inquiry is working under, in section 37 a minister of the crown may object to disclosure of information.

What kind of an inquiry are we going to have if the minister, the Prime Minister, decides that he wants to withhold information? This minister has a responsibility as the solicitor general. He is not just a cabinet minister. He is the Solicitor General of Canada for all Canadians.

Apec Summit
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott Solicitor General of Canada

That is quite right, Mr. Speaker, and I am very much aware of that. That is the reason I am protecting this process from the slams it is receiving from the other side.

Apec Summit
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, we recently learned that the members of dictator Suharto's entourage were arrested, heavily armed, and even wearing commando fatigues.

My question for the government is the following: Does the fact that these people feel so free to behave as they wish in Canada not indicate that the Minister of Foreign Affairs went too far in the guarantees he gave Mr. Suharto and his entourage that nothing would be done to make his visit in any way unpleasant for him?

Apec Summit
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the security arrangements around the APEC conference were the responsibility of the RCMP. The RCMP have a system to do an inquiry into the actions of the RCMP. That is the inquiry that is in play right now. It deals specifically with the kinds of allegations being put. If we will allow them to do their job I think the interests of Canadians will be served as was intended when the PCC was struck.

Apec Summit
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, just as, in our opinion, the Minister of Foreign Affairs went too far in meeting the demands of Suharto and his gang, did not the Prime Minister also go too far in his directives to the RCMP, which authorized its officers, they claim, to arrest young Canadian students merely wishing to exercise their civil rights before they had even done anything?

Apec Summit
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the security arrangements are the responsibility of the RCMP and the RCMP are being investigated in the broadest possible way by the public complaints commission. We will get to the truth, as Canadians expect. This is an institution that was struck by this House and I think it deserves the respect of this House.

The Senate
Oral Question Period

September 23rd, 1998 / 2:30 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, for months now the Prime Minister has treated Ralph Klein and Alberta's Senate election as if they were a joke. The final slap in the face came last week when he appointed a senator just weeks before a vote. The Prime Minister says he believes in a triple E Senate. Really?

Our candidates are here today. They are off and running. Can the Prime Minister name one tiny thing that he has done since he became Prime Minister to bring about real Senate reform, just one thing?