House of Commons Hansard #38 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was nisga'a.

Topics

Blood Samples Act
Private Members' Business

11:05 a.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

moved that Bill C-244, an act to provide for the taking of samples of blood for the benefit of persons administering and enforcing the law and good Samaritans and to amend the criminal code, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to speak today to Bill C-244, the blood samples act, also known, for reasons I will get into shortly, as the good Samaritan's act.

I will start by telling the ancient story of the good Samaritan. A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho and he fell among robbers. They stripped him and beat him and went off leaving him half dead. And by chance a certain priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. and likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.

But a certain Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him. When he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him, and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them, and he put him on his own donkey, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

And on the next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper and said “Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, when I return, I will repay you”.

That is the story of the good Samaritan. It is a story of helping the less fortunate, helping society and doing what is right even if you are the only person prepared to follow through on your own beliefs.

A constituent of mine acted as a good Samaritan but unfortunately paid a price for his actions. He now runs the risk of contracting HIV.

His father contacted me to tell of the heroic actions of his teenage son. The young man, whom I will call Tim, was working at a retail store when another man grabbed some items and sprinted away on foot. Rather than just shrugging his shoulders and letting him run away, Tim chased after the thief and tackled and held him until the police arrived.

Unfortunately for Tim, the shoplifter cut himself in the action and a good deal of blood was spilt on Tim as he made a citizen's arrest. It turned out that the thief was also an intravenous drug user, well known to the authorities and a high risk of carrying communicable diseases. Some of the virus may have got into Tim's young body.

I am sure Tim did not wait to see whether or not this person had a communicable disease before he did the right thing and stopped him from stealing. I think he is just wired up that way and that he was taught that way. He was brought up in a home where one does the right thing because it is the right thing to do, not because we weigh the risk to our own person.

It was a tragedy when the police had to break the news to Tim that the thief had refused to give him a blood sample. They told Tim that the law makes it impossible to take a sample unless the person is willing to give it up.

Consequently, Tim was forced into a lengthy, extensive and expensive program of preventive drug therapy just in case the virus was present. The therapy is not 100% effective, of course, but more importantly Tim had to go through this therapy because he did not know one way or the other whether a communicable disease was present.

If Tim could have known what diseases, if any, the shoplifter had, he could have made a more informed decision about his own health and the care that he should have sought. He could have decided whether to continue to take the medical treatment, because the drug therapy carries with it serious adverse effects. Most of all, Tim would have had greater peace of mind and more emotional strength to face the future if he had known what his chances were of contracting a communicable disease.

Unfortunately, Tim's example is not isolated. Let me read a story of Isobel Anderson, an Ottawa police constable who is in the gallery today. We can read her full story in an article by Anna Nicolle in the November 15, 1999 edition of the Ottawa Citizen . I will read a little of that article:

Isobel Anderson's nightmarish experience began when she arrested a man for armed robbery in October 1997. While searching for weapons, she reached into his pocket and felt a stab of pain. She pulled her hand out to find a bloody needle stuck in her palm. “My first thought, was God, I have AIDS,” recalls Constable Anderson, a mother of three.

She then went on to describe the emotional trauma she had as a young mother on her own. As she feared, doctors told her the needle may have infected her with HIV. She was advised that if she started treatment with the anti-HIV medication AZT within hours of being jabbed she might not contract the virus.

Then she learned that the robbery suspect refused to take the HIV test and could not be compelled by law to give a blood sample. Hours later the man agreed to be tested because he was hungry. He said “If you give me a hamburger, I will give you a blood sample”. In other words, Ms. Anderson's life, which was hanging in the balance, was only traded off for a blood sample and a hamburger. It should not have to be that way. The law should specifically state that Ms. Anderson had the right to know whether or not that person had a communicable disease.

Both HIV and hepatitis C can take a long time to develop or incubate. Ms. Anderson continued taking AZT for three days until her initial HIV test results came back negative. Then after consulting with her doctor, she decided not to continue using the drugs. She said that the side effects of her treatment were life changing. The chemotherapy side effects, which involved hives, hair loss and chronic pain, lasted for weeks, to the point where she could not get up out of her own chair.

Today, thankfully, Isobel Anderson is both HIV and hepatitis C negative. It is sad when, under our present legal system, those who help others become helpless, those who sacrifice become sacrificed and the heroes become victims.

That is why Bill C-244 is for people like Tim and Isobel. It is also for the literally thousands of other Canadians just like them: the paramedics, the police officers, the ambulance workers, the doctors, the nurses, the firefighters, the dentists, the dental hygienists, the security guards and volunteers, the different health workers and attendants, the ski patrol, which was at the news conference this morning, all of the emergency workers and thousands of people like Tim who do a good deed just to help people out. It is for those who give the most to help our society but receive little back in return when they are the ones needing help. That is what this bill is about.

How would this bill help Tim, Isobel and the thousands of people I mentioned in the future? In a nutshell, Bill C-244 enables a judge to order the taking of a blood sample from any person who is either accidentally or deliberately contaminated a good Samaritan, health care professional, emergency professional or security professional while in the course of duty. The person's blood would be tested for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. The blood test analysis would only be shared with the individual from whom the blood sample was taken, the contaminated person, a qualified medical practitioner conducting the test and the police officer responsible for executing the warrant. Only those four people would know the results of those three tests. The blood test analysis would be used for medical treatment only.

What would Bill C-244 mean for people like Tim and Isobel? Some people say that it would not mean that much because people might want to take the treatment anyway because relying on the test results of an alleged assailant could provide false assurances.

However, I would ask the following question of everyone in the House. What if it were one of the members who had a high risk exposure to someone else's blood or other bodily fluids? What if it were you, Mr. Speaker? Would you not want to know just what it was that you had been exposed to? Would you not want to know what your chances were of contracting a communicable disease? I would say yes, and I am almost certain that everyone else would say yes. Why is this? I think it is because there are three assurances by getting a blood sample from an alleged assailant's blood.

I will talk about the three true assurances that the blood test results would give. First, knowing whether the source person has HIV, hepatitis B or hepatitis C assures the victim of a better decision regarding his or her own health. The victim has to decide whether to take a very intrusive chemotherapy program to prevent the advance of the disease, and it would help the victim to make that decision wisely because it is a difficult and very traumatic decision to make.

In Isobel's case and in many other cases, once victims or patients discover that the assailant or injured person has tested negative to these diseases, they terminated the treatment. It gives them a better chance of making a good medical decision in their own lives.

From 1996 to 1998, the Toronto hospital assessed 30 possible sharps-related exposures to HIV. In other words, they were mostly pin pricks from needles where there was possible contamination. Here is one quotation from its study, after counselling of these 30 people, “5 persons chose not to take treatment; 8 persons started chemoprophylaxis but discontinued when the source patient's results were negative”. They changed their minds based on that test result. “Rapid HIV testing helped to reduce the duration of the treatment. The remaining 17 persons planned to take one month of medication; 9 of the 17 completed the medications”, and so on.

The study stated that the side effects experienced by all persons on these medications included nausea, vomiting, headaches, diarrhea and insomnia. It is a very traumatic chemotherapy prevention program.

The other serious side effects involve potential harm to reproductive capacity, hair loss, numbness, tingling in the hands or feet, a decrease in the number of white blood cells, anemia, malaise, coughing, abdominal pain, kidney stones and a higher risk of contracting diabetes. All these are side effects from a preventive chemotherapy program.

As we can see, taking these drugs to fight HIV is not like a doctor saying take two aspirins and see me in the morning. The side effects are serious. Taking these drugs is not entered into lightly. I think everyone would want to know whether or not the person who contaminated them had a serious communicable disease. Clearly it is far better for one's health to stop the treatment than to continue taking the medication if one knows about it. At least that is what many people have decided in these test cases.

The second true assurance of testing perpetrators' or people's blood is that they are also assured of treatment if carrying a disease unknowingly. Again that would be their decision. Imagine people who perhaps are intravenous drug users and have not bothered to get a blood test. If this situation came upon them, the blood test results would be shared with them. They might want to say that one should know if one has hepatitis B and have some treatment for it, or the side effects or consequences will be serious. It would help such a person as well.

The third true assurance of testing is that whether negative or positive it provides a greater peace of mind to the good Samaritan, emergency or health professional. Therefore I would argue there are good reasons to take this test and to proceed with it. Testing perpetrators or injured people for communicable diseases will not provide false assurances to the victims and patients. It will provide true assurances and true alternatives for them as they decide what medical treatment they should be taking.

Some people are focused on the negative parts of the bill. They are concerned about charter protection of rights, security of the person and so on. Those are valid concerns that I have tried to address in the bill by making it very difficult but not impossible to get a blood sample from someone who is at high risk of passing on a communicable disease. It is a fair and proper balance between the charter rights of the sick, injured and perpetrators of crime and the charter rights of those who are in service to help others.

Under the present system emergency and law enforcement professionals and good Samaritans have no right to the security of their person. If these individuals have a high risk exposure to a stranger's blood they have no means to determine the likelihood of whether or not they have contracted a disease.

They must anxiously await the incubation periods for HIV, hepatitis C and hepatitis B. In the meantime they can choose to undergo medical treatments with severe health side effects, treatments they probably would not take if they knew that the blood to which they had been exposed had tested negative for HIV.

This situation produces severe mental and physical duress and I believe violates a person's rights. People should have a right to know what virus may have entered their bodies. Bill C-244 would correct this rights imbalance. It does not swing the rights all the way over one way or the other. It tries to find that balance between the rights of a perpetrator of a crime to privacy and security of the person, but it also protects those who are trying to do good in society.

Bill C-244 protects people's privacy in four ways. A judge is the only individual who can order that a blood sample be taken. It is not a police officer and it is not a paramedic. The blood samples can only be analysed for hepatitis C, hepatitis B and HIV. Blood sample results are to be used only for medical treatment purposes and for no other reason. The only people who may have access to the results of the blood test are a peace officer, the medical practitioner, the applicant and the person from whom the sample of blood was taken.

In summary, the blood samples act is about fairness. Presently people do not have the right to know what may have infected their bodies from a third person, and Bill C-244 would correct this.

Second, the blood samples act is about balancing rights. Under the present system only the perpetrator of a crime or the injured or sick person has the right to the security of the person. Bill C-244 would correct this negative situation and make it a balance of rights between both parties.

Third, the blood samples act is about helping everyone involved in this very difficult situation. It is about health care, security professionals of all kinds and good Samaritans. It would also assist the crime suspect carrying a serious virus unknowingly. It is about positive change to our legal system that would provide fairness, a better balance between different rights and assistance for those who are in the service of others.

Tim, Isobel and thousands of other professionals need this bill, this kind of protection, as they go about their work. In the original story of the good Samaritan the only reward was that his name was enshrined in the Bible and he has gone on to become an example of a good Samaritan. Good Samaritan is still in our language today as an example of people who go out of their way to help others when they could have just passed by.

The bill recognizes that those who help the needy in society, health care professionals, and what we commonly call good Samaritans should have the assurance of knowing that when they go about their good work, when they do a good deed, when they help the needy, they will not be penalized and restricted by their knowledge. I ask for support from all sides of the House for the bill.

Blood Samples Act
Private Members' Business

11:20 a.m.

Erie—Lincoln
Ontario

Liberal

John Maloney Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to have this opportunity to speak to Bill C-244, an act to provide for the taking of samples of blood for the benefit of persons administering and enforcing the law and good Samaritans and to amend the criminal code, introduced by the hon. member for Fraser Valley.

The government and all of us in this place are fully aware that some persons in the execution of their duties, which include helping people and even saving human lives, are at risk of being contaminated by the exchange of infected bodily fluids. This is a very sensitive issue.

We appreciate the personal difficulties which these persons who devote their lives to help others may experience. We owe it to these fine Canadians to provide them with a means to regain peace of mind as soon as possible after they have been involved in circumstances that may raise the spectre of contamination. However well meaning, and it is very well meaning, Bill C-244 does not represent the solution to this problem.

The bill is offering to us the creation of legislation that establishes a mechanism for obtaining and executing a search warrant on the human body. Part I of the bill provides that a firefighter, a medical practitioner or a person whose profession is to care for sick people may ask a justice of the peace to issue a warrant authorizing a peace officer to require a qualified medical practitioner or a qualified technician to take samples of blood. These samples would be taken from a person who was assisted by the firefighter or the medical practitioner where there has been contact of body fluid and where the person is suspected of being infected with some disease.

The bill would also cover the situation of an arrest without a warrant by a person other than a peace officer or when a person lawfully assists a police officer. I note in passing that the bill is not clear as to whether health practitioners can be forced to take the sample and, for that matter, whether and how much force can be used to compel the person to submit to the taking of bodily fluids.

The examination of these substances would determine according to the proposed scheme whether the person carried the virus of hepatitis B or hepatitis C or a human autoimmune deficiency virus. In order to issue such a warrant the justice of the peace would have to be satisfied by the person requesting the warrant that four essential elements are present.

First, the justice has to be satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the applicant came into contact with a bodily substance from another person while engaged in the performance of his or her functions in relation to that person, or while assisting that person believing that his or her life was in danger or that the person had suffered or was about to suffer physical injury.

Second, the justice may issue a warrant if by reason of the circumstances in which the applicant came into contact with the bodily substance he or she is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to believe the applicant may have been infected by a virus.

Third, the justice could issue a warrant if he or she believes that by reason of a lengthy incubation period for diseases caused by these viruses and the methods available for ascertaining their presence in the human body an analysis of the applicant's blood would not accurately determine in a timely manner whether the applicant had been infected by such a virus that might have been present in the bodily substances with which the applicant came into contact.

Finally a warrant could be issued if a qualified medical practitioner is of the opinion that the taking of samples of blood from the person mentioned in the warrant would not endanger the life and health of the person.

As we can see the scope of the bill which relates to persons involved in situations where there is an exchange of bodily fluids is remarkably wide. On its face the bill does not apply in cases where an offence is alleged to have been committed but rather in any case where there has been an exchange of bodily fluids.

The bill assumes that no offence has been committed for the power to seek a search warrant. Thus a warrant to obtain a body sample is sought without any offence being committed. Therefore there is no nexus with criminal law.

What criminal law purpose is served by these amendments? Why then are we seeking to amend the criminal code? The search warrants in our law are for the purposes of advancing an investigation of offences. This search warrant is, on the contrary, for the sole purpose of obtaining some information about someone who has not committed any offence. This is an invasion of the privacy of someone, an invasion that is remarkably intrusive, for no reason that would have anything to do with criminal law.

The bill raises important concerns relating to privacy, searches, seizures and human rights guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The taking of bodily substances always raises significant constitutional issues. The taking of bodily substances without any charges being laid or before conviction raises issues under section 7 on life, liberty and security of the person as well as under section 8 on reasonable search and seizure of our charter of rights and freedoms.

Beyond the legal impediments in pursuing the legislation there are also clear limitations as to what can be accomplished from a scientific standpoint even if a warrant could be obtained. Thus another reason for not supporting the bill is that even if it were possible to adopt this kind legislation its value as an instrument to comfort those who fear they have been affected is certainly less than adequate.

The issue of blood samples was studied in depth in relation to criminal law and in the context of sexual assault. The medical experts are of the opinion that the only way a sexual assault victim can be sure that he or she has not been contaminated is to undergo a test to detect the hepatitis B or C virus, or HIV, following the recommended procedures.

There is a variable period of time between the moment of infection and the capacity of routinely available antibody tests to detect the presence of the antibodies to the virus. Experts in the field refer to that as the window period. Accordingly, relying on the test results could provide false assurances to the victim. For example, a person who would be the object of a search warrant may be tested and the results negative. A peace officer or a firefighter who relies on this information might in fact later test positive if the person tested was in the window period when he or she tested negative.

The issue of blood testing clearly belongs to the domain of health. The Department of Justice is actively working with other departments, in particular Health Canada, to ensure that more is done to provide support and assistance to those who may be concerned about the risk of hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV infection. This is where our efforts should be concentrated. I encourage these departments to continue these efforts on an expedited basis.

I certainly appreciate that the sponsor of the bill means well. I acknowledge him for his initiative in this regard. The use of search warrants to invade privacy where nothing of a criminal natural is even suspected should be of grave concern to the House when, on top of that, the information that may be obtained with such a search warrant is at best of very limited value. One questions what can be usefully achieved by Bill C-244 notwithstanding its good intentions.

Blood Samples Act
Private Members' Business

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Peter Mancini Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, like the previous speakers I too am pleased to speak to this private member's bill. A private member's bill is an important avenue for those of us in the House to put forward issues we think are important. I commend the member for Fraser Valley for bringing forward this piece of legislation, Bill C-244.

He began his remarks by talking about and relating the story of the good Samaritan. I suppose it would have been helpful to us all if we had looked back at that time to see if the good Samaritan had taken the gentleman he found in the ditch to be tested for the plague. Then we would not have had to have this debate today. We might have had some guidance from the Divine.

It is a well intentioned piece of legislation and I commend him for bringing it forward. It raises some important questions about people who partake in the kind of activity envisioned.

When listening to his remarks I became a little concerned, and the government member raised some of my concerns. There is a difference between those who engage in criminal activity and the important examples which he has given of those people who in the execution of their professional duties as crime fighters or peacekeepers have suffered or had cause to be concerned about whether they had been infected with hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV.

A great deal of his time was spent referring to the perpetrators of crime. He is right. When someone is committing an offence, should our police forces or security guards not have a right to find out if they have been infected with some kind of disease if in the execution of their duty, which is the protection of society, they encounter some activity that might cause them concern.

Bill C-244 is wider and goes further than that. It does not narrow those affected to those involved in fighting crime and to the perpetrators of crime. The legislation says that a person, not a crime fighter or a police officer, may apply to a justice for a warrant authorizing the taking of a sample of blood from another person who is not necessarily the perpetrator of a crime.

There are numerous examples. We can envisage how wide ranging the legislation would be. For example, it would apply to firefighters who, in the execution of their duties, perhaps saving an individual from a burning building, come into contact with bodily fluid, blood or whatever, and may have cause to wonder if they have been infected in the line of their duty with some disease. The same would apply to health care workers and paramedics. The bill is quite broad. It applies to persons who in their professional capacity may find themselves in that situation.

Like the government member, I wonder if the criminal code is the best way to meet the need that is obviously a real concern for the member and the people engaged in those activities.

I intend to support the legislation to at least get it to committee where it can be examined. However, I wonder if we might better look at labour legislation, because we are talking about the health and safety of individuals engaged in the performance of their professional duties, be they nurses, firefighters, policemen, security guards, prison guards, teachers or people in day care centres help children. We are talking about a wide range of professionals and working people who are faced in 1999 with health and safety concerns that we could not possibly have imagined 25 years ago.

I applaud the intent of the legislation. The purpose of the legislation is good. However, I wonder if working collectively through the committee, members of the Conservative Party, Reform, the Bloc, the NDP and the Liberals might find a better way to ensure that this legislation does what the member wants it to do without running into all kinds of hurdles. Working collectively we may be able to achieve that.

In addition to wondering whether the criminal code is the appropriate piece of legislation, there are certain civil liberties that have been raised by the government speaker.

We may be able to find a way to take the thrust of this legislation out of the criminal code and place it in labour legislation. The government talks about working in tandem with health. I lean toward labour legislation. If we find a way to do that then we may avoid some of the constitutional challenges that could follow as a result of criminal code legislation.

The hon. member in speaking to his bill referred to the perpetrators of crime. However, I remind him, and he obviously knows, that this legislation has a wider ranging.

I am a lawyer and a bit of a wordsmith, and we deal with words all the time. Subclause 3(b) states that a judge can issue a warrant, and it outlines the considerations. Subclause 3(b) goes on to state “by reason of the circumstances in which the applicant came into contact with the bodily substance”. I need to explore that to see exactly what it means. If it is a matter of a criminal code offence, then we know that if, in the execution of his or her duties—and the examples were given by the mover of the legislation—a police officer gets stabbed by a needle or gets bitten, those are compelling circumstances.

However, for a nurse who works in a hospital, in a unit where a number of people suffer from HIV or hepatitis B, are those circumstances sufficiently compelling? No one says, as in some of the criminal cases cited by the member, “I bit you. Now you have HIV” or “I have a score to settle with you and I am going to pierce you with a needle”. How compelling should the circumstances be for the invasion of someone's civil liberties to take a blood sample?

I need some clarification on that. By sending the bill to committee we might very well get some of the clarification that is required.

In summary, there is a serious point raised by the government, and that is the arresting of someone who has not committed a criminal offence. That is a serious matter for us to consider.

In this country one of the things we take pride in is our freedom; freedom from arbitrary arrest, freedom from arrest without the reading of rights and without knowing what we have done wrong. That is where the criminal aspect of this is different than applying it to the civil aspect, to those engaged in health and safety occupations where no crime has been committed.

I applaud the intent of the legislation. I think it should have serious examination in committee. There are some real concerns that I see with it, but I think that working together we may be able to iron them out.

Blood Samples Act
Private Members' Business

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

John Bryden Wentworth—Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The member for Lakeland and I would like to change positions on the order of precedence of our Private Members' Business. He is on for tomorrow and I am about 12 down. Members might recall that my bill is Bill C-206, which is a bill to amend the Access to Information Act. There are about 80 proposed amendments and the bill has all party support from every party in the House. All the backbenchers support it, Mr. Speaker.

But my problem, or our problem, the member for Lakeland and I, is that his position is tomorrow and the rule of Private Members' Business is that there should be 48 hours notice. I would ask the House if I could get unanimous consent to waive the 48 hour rule and replace it with 24 hours notice so that we can make the exchange tomorrow.

Blood Samples Act
Private Members' Business

11:35 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

The hon. member for Wentworth—Burlington has asked for the consent of the House to exchange his bill with another bill in the order of precedence for Private Members' Business. Is there unanimous consent?

Blood Samples Act
Private Members' Business

11:35 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Blood Samples Act
Private Members' Business

11:35 a.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Blood Samples Act
Private Members' Business

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is rather strange. It is as if nothing had happened last Friday, as if nothing had gone on in this House, as if there had not been a major attack on a subject of great importance for Canada and for Quebec: democracy. They are carrying on as if nothing had happened.

This morning we are discussing Bill C-244, a bill that will never get to be voted on, whereas last Friday we learned that the government over there was preparing to use legislation to gag Quebec completely so that it could not decide its political future. I find that rather strange. It is as if nothing had happened; life goes on as before. That is not how things are in real life.

We are now dealing with Bill C-244 and then we will move on to real business. I will read the title of the bill, and hon. members may understand why I have some hesitations. It is entitled an act to provide for the taking of samples of blood for the benefit of persons administering and enforcing the law—and here is where it gets strange—and good Samaritans and to amend the Criminal Code.

The last time I personally read the words good Samaritan, it was in the Bible. It is rather odd that we are talking of good Samaritans here this morning, when the government opposite is certainly a good example of what a good Samaritan is not.

The title is ambiguous, so I thought the contents would be clearer. There are some definitions that I am familiar with because they are the same as those found in the Criminal Code. There is nothing wrong with that. However, let us look at clause 3:

Obtaining and executing a warrant

  1. A person—

Therefore, I could tell anybody that I want a blood sample taken from them because they came too close to me and I think they have AIDS.

Blood Samples Act
Private Members' Business

11:40 a.m.

An hon. member

This is an invasion of privacy.

Blood Samples Act
Private Members' Business

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

It most certainly is an invasion of privacy. I will now resume reading the clause:

  1. A person may apply to a justice for a warrant authorizing the taking of a sample of blood from another person, in order to determine whether that person carries a designated virus, where the applicant believes on reasonable grounds that—

I believe that, yes, he came too close to me. Therefore, by reason the circumstances under which that person came into contact with a bodily substance of the other person, he or she may have been infected by a designated virus.

This bill goes a little bit too far. We are not used to that in a free and democratic society—or at least I think we are in a democratic society despite the government's attack on Quebec with its referendum legislation. This bill goes too far.

We are talking about arresting people without a warrant. We are talking about taking a blood sample from a person. What kind of force will be used to obtain that blood sample? Will we have to tie the person up? Will we use the cane the Reform Party wanted to use on young offenders? Exactly what kind of force will be used? It is an extremely complex process. I read the bill about ten times—and I do not think I am stupid—but it would be rather complicated to enforce. In any case, if I am stupid, there are many people on the other side who also are.

So the process is quite complex, and some of the bill's clauses are extremely difficult to interpret. And, for the first time I am aware of, a person could be required to provide a blood sample even though that person has not been accused of anything and has not committed any offence. This, merely because someone thinks that person may carry the virus and got a little too close to another person.

Just how far are Reformers prepared to go? Do they want to get into people's bedrooms? Whether it is gay or straight people, if someone slept with a person and is upset at that person the next day, will he or she require that spouse or that one night partner to undergo a blood test?

The Reform Party should clarify its views or intentions, because I sincerely think that this would be a violation of fundamental rights.

On the face of it, this bill utterly unacceptable to the Bloc Quebecois. It is not a votable item, so one can say and propose just about anything in the House—our system is rather archaic, in this regard—and, quite often, what is proposed here is meaningless. This proposed legislation is an example of that.

I began by saying that while we are debating this bill, some extremely important events are taking place, and I want to discuss them. It is unacceptable to be discussing such a measure, when last Friday this government inflicted a terrible blow to democracy in Canada and Quebec.

It is getting ready to do it again this week with its much-talked-about bill to prevent Quebecers from making a democratic decision about their political future, and this is unacceptable.

If there is one thing the Liberals have managed to do, it is to unite Quebecers against the Prime Minister and the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. The Minister of Justice is nodding in agreement. I think she understands what I am saying, because I think she is a democrat. She must not support the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.

I am certain that, deep down, this wise woman is on the side of justice. I also think that the entire Liberal government opposite should do some thinking and take a look at what all of Quebec's commentators, journalists and politicians wrote on the weekend and today on this subject. They would see that they are alone on this in Quebec and that they are striking a hard blow to democracy.

In order to give them the time to do a bit of reading and thinking, pursuant to Standing Order 60, I move:

That the debate be now adjourned.

Blood Samples Act
Private Members' Business

11:45 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Blood Samples Act
Private Members' Business

11:45 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

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Private Members' Business

11:45 a.m.

Some hon. members

No.

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Private Members' Business

11:45 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland

All those in favour will please say yea.

Blood Samples Act
Private Members' Business

11:45 a.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Blood Samples Act
Private Members' Business

11:45 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland

All those opposed will please say nay.

Blood Samples Act
Private Members' Business

11:45 a.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

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Private Members' Business

11:45 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland

In my opinion the nays have it.

And more than five members having risen:

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11:45 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland

Call in the members.

(The House divided on the motion, which was negatived on the following division:)

Division No. 534
Private Members' Business

11:55 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

I declare the motion lost.

Division No. 534
Private Members' Business

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, I simply wanted to be sure that my vote was counted with my Bloc Quebecois colleagues. I am not sure my vote was counted, although I was present here in the House and wanted to vote in support of my colleague's motion.

Division No. 534
Private Members' Business

11:55 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

I have checked and the vote has been counted.

Division No. 534
Private Members' Business

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, if the division bells had rung for 30 minutes, I would have been here to vote in support of the motion by my colleague from Berthier—Montcalm. I therefore want my vote to be recorded with the votes of the other members of my party.

Division No. 534
Private Members' Business

11:55 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

The vote was counted.

Division No. 534
Private Members' Business

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like my vote to be recorded as in favour of my colleague's motion.

Division No. 534
Private Members' Business

11:55 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

The hon. member for Jonquière was not in the Chamber.

Division No. 534
Private Members' Business

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, I find it most unacceptable that it has been decided today to make use of a technicality to prevent members from voting.

The members who were in committee—

Division No. 534
Private Members' Business

Noon

An hon. member

The opposition has been gagged.

Division No. 534
Private Members' Business

Noon

Bloc

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

The decision was made to do away with the usual half hour which members need to get back to the House on this occasion—

Division No. 534
Private Members' Business

Noon

An hon. member

Shame on the Liberals.

Division No. 534
Private Members' Business

Noon

Bloc

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

—and I think that the argument of the hon. member for Jonquière in this connection is very valid.

Division No. 534
Private Members' Business

Noon

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

What happened is undemocratic.

Division No. 534
Private Members' Business

Noon

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

I am sorry. I would like to respond in French but it is better that I respond in English for greater certainty.

I have checked with the clerk. The clerk advises me that the bells are up to 30 minutes, but anytime that the chief government whip and the opposition whip advance to the Chair that cuts it off. The request to adjourn debate was in order. The whips' calling the vote was in order. Everything that has been done has been done in order.

We are in Private Members' Business.

Division No. 534
Private Members' Business

Noon

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Several of my colleagues were working in various committees that were sitting and, if committees are an extension of the House of Commons and parliament, these members should be given enough time to come back to the House to vote since they cannot do it when they are at committee meetings. I think there is unanimous consent of the House—

Division No. 534
Private Members' Business

Noon

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

The rules of the House were fairly applied to take the vote. The rules of the House were finely applied to have the vote. There will be other opportunities. At this time there are a couple of minutes left in Private Members' Business, so let us please return to Private Members' Business.

Division No. 534
Private Members' Business

Noon

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I have to say that the government whip and the whip of the official opposition failed to show the most basic courtesy by not allowing our colleagues to come back from the committee meeting or from their office outside of this building to take part in this important vote.

In the spirit of courtesy, I ask the unanimous consent of the House to allow all our colleagues who were not here at the time of the vote, who are here now and who want to have their vote recorded, to be recorded as having voted on the motion.

Division No. 534
Private Members' Business

Noon

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

The Chair certainly understands what is going on here this morning. I had said earlier that it is Private Members' Business. I will put the unanimous consent request. But during the course of events, once we have accomplished what was intended to be accomplished particularly in Private Members' Business, it is appropriate to get back to Private Members' Business. I will put the unanimous consent request to the House.

The whip of the Bloc Quebecois has requested the unanimous consent of the House to have the names of all members of the Bloc who were not in the House applied to the vote. Is there unanimous consent?

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Private Members' Business

Noon

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Division No. 534
Private Members' Business

Noon

Some hon. members

No.

Division No. 534
Private Members' Business

Noon

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

There will be no further points of order on this question. There are two minutes left on debate on Private Members' Business.

Division No. 534
Private Members' Business

Noon

Liberal

Mac Harb Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order of simple protocol. I have been standing for approximately 20 minutes and for whatever reason your eyes seem to focus on one side of the House. Should I have been here when the time—

Division No. 534
Private Members' Business

12:05 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

I am sorry but the time for Private Members' Business has expired. Orders of the day.

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Private Members' Business

12:05 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, I do not mean to belabour the point, but I think you misunderstood my request for unanimous consent.

I did not ask for unanimous consent to allow that all members of the Bloc Quebecois be recorded as having voted on that motion, but only those who are here now and who were not able to vote on the motion.

Division No. 534
Private Members' Business

12:05 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

I thank you very much and I stand corrected. The whip of the Bloc Quebecois is quite correct. I did not put the question as it was indicated. I put the question that all members of the Bloc be recorded as being here. The question was that those members presently in the House be recorded.

I will put the question again. The hon. chief whip of the Bloc Quebecois has requested the unanimous consent of the House that all members of the Bloc present now in the House be recorded as having voted in favour of the motion.

Is there unanimous consent of the House to adopt the motion?

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Private Members' Business

12:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Division No. 534
Private Members' Business

12:05 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

Agreed and so ordered. We will need to record the people who were here. The clerk will record those members standing.

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

12:05 p.m.

Kenora—Rainy River
Ontario

Liberal

Bob Nault Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

moved that Bill C-9, an act to give effect to the Nisga'a final agreement, be read the third time and passed.

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to speak to Bill C-9, legislation giving effect to the Nisga'a final agreement.

We are nearing the end of a lengthy process, not only the legislative process in the House and the B.C. legislature, but the journey embarked on by the Nisga'a people more than 100 years ago. I am hopeful that when debate in the House concludes, members will see fit to pass Bill C-9 for its consideration in the other place.

I have followed the debate and the committee proceedings with great interest. I thank the members of the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development for the excellent work they have done.

It is interesting to note that throughout the debate a number of common themes have emerged from those in favour of the Nisga'a final agreement as well as from those opposed. The agreement meets the tests that have been set out. It will provide certainty. It will remove the restrictions of the Indian Act so the Nisga'a people will have greater opportunities to prosper in the future. It will protect the rights of Nisga'a women. It will ensure that the rights of non-Nisga'a people living within Nisga'a lands have been addressed. It will respect and maintain Canada's existing legal and constitutional framework.

The Nisga'a final agreement achieves all of these goals and many, many more. It will provide certainty. By clearly setting out all of the Nisga'a aboriginal rights, the agreement gives the Nisga'a and their neighbours a chance to build a future together knowing that issues of the past have been dealt with in an honourable manner.

The Nisga'a final agreement will settle the ownership of land, not just the land included in the treaty, but the huge expansive territory over which the Nisga'a had originally laid claim. This means certainty for investors which in turn means increased economic activity and employment in British Columbia. Roslyn Kunin, chief economist for the Laurier Institute testified before the standing committee that current uncertainty is costing British Columbians a minimum of $1 billion worth of investment. One billion dollars is the minimum annual cost of not moving ahead.

Let me quote David McLean, chairman of the board of Canadian National, when he addressed the committee. He said: “What appeals to me as a business leader is the certainty it creates”. Of course for the final word on certainty, let me quote the agreement itself: “This agreement constitutes a full and final settlement in respect of the aboriginal rights, including aboriginal title, in Canada of the Nisga'a nation”.

Throughout this debate there has been a great deal of criticism of the Indian Act. Numerous provisions of the Indian Act are not conducive to building successful communities in a modern context. This is especially true as it pertains to land management and economic development.

The Nisga'a final agreement offers a new approach. For all time it will remove the Nisga'a people out from under the Indian Act. With fee simple ownership of land, the Nisga'a will be able to more fully develop their economy.

The achievement of self-government means the Nisga'a will no longer have to seek permission of the federal government to conduct their day to day affairs. The Nisga'a people have chosen to take this step forward. They have agreed to a model of government that provides them with greater authority and with it greater responsibility.

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12:10 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I call for a quorum count.

And the count having been taken:

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12:10 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

The hon. member for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot has requested a quorum call. We have a quorum.

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12:10 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Nault Kenora—Rainy River, ON

They have chosen a path that makes them answerable to themselves and to future generations for the choices they make.

In short, the Nisga'a people have achieved what most of us take for granted. To reject this agreement would take this achievement away. It would force the Nisga'a to remain under the Indian Act, an act which rather ironically has been most persistently denounced by those speaking against this legislation.

Ending the application of the Indian Act to the Nisga'a also represents a significant gain for Nisga'a women. As I have stated in the House, the Indian Act is silent on the rights of women. Its last major revision was in 1951, long before either the bill of rights or the charter of rights and freedoms.

Ending the Indian reserve system and the Indian Act for the Nisga'a will put Nisga'a women on an equal footing with other women in British Columbia with respect to the division of matrimonial property in cases of marital breakdown. The reason for this is that all provincial laws, including the B.C. Family Relations Act, will apply to Nisga'a lands, something that is not currently case for Indian reserve lands.

Once again I will quote the agreement: “The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms applies to the Nisga'a government in respect of all matters within its authority”. Nisga'a women will enjoy the full equality guaranteed by sections 15, 28 and 35 of the charter.

In addition, there are important protections for women in our constitution. Section 35(4) of the Constitution Act, 1982 makes it clear that treaty rights are guaranteed equally to male and female persons. Bill C-9 states in its preamble “The constitution is the supreme law of Canada”. This treaty will operate within the existing Canadian constitutional framework, something which all three parties agree to.

It is clear that not only does the Nisga'a final agreement protect the rights of women, it offers a significant improvement over the status quo.

The relationship between the Nisga'a and their neighbours has probably been the subject of more myths and misinformation than any other aspect of the agreement. Throughout the negotiations leading up to the Nisga'a final agreement great efforts were made to accommodate the needs of neighbouring communities and non-Nisga'a individuals who reside on Nisga'a lands. Almost every chapter in the agreement reflects input that was received in nearly 500 consultation and information sessions.

The agreement does not, as some would have us believe, provide the Nisga'a government with any taxation authority over non-Nisga'a residents. The only taxation authority for the Nisga'a government is found in chapter 16, section 1 of the final agreement, and it only extends to Nisga'a citizens living on Nisga'a lands.

Nisga'a lawmaking authority is limited to matters internal to the Nisga'a people, such as their language and their culture. All Nisga'a laws will be subject to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Nisga'a government will be obliged to consult with non-Nisga'a residents on any proposed measure that substantially affects those individuals who will also, and this is one to remember, have full access to the court system for redress.

Where institutions are established that affect all residents of the Nass Valley, such as school boards or health boards, non-Nisga'a residents will be able to seek election and vote for the candidate of their choice.

Who better to speak to this issue than the people directly involved? Here is what Bill Young, a businessman, Nass Valley Residents' Association member and the largest non-Nisga'a landowner in the Nass Valley had to say about the Nisga'a final agreement when he testified before the standing committee:

Any fears that we have had are alleviated and clearly defined in the treaty documents.

Nisga'a self-government will not have any jurisdiction over land currently owned by non-Nisga'a within the Nass Valley.

I believe that the Nisga'a treaty is a fair and honourable solution that will protect and be fair to all parties.

I ask the honourable members of parliament to ratify this treaty.

Terrace is the city lying closest to the Nisga'a. Here is what the mayor, Jack Talstra, had to say to the committee:

We wish the treaty signed sooner, rather than later, so we might focus our energy and creativity on implementation, rather than past discussion and previous arguments.

Let us move forward with this new treaty.

As hon. members can see, this government is listening to the people most directly affected by the Nisga'a final agreement. Those people are comfortable with the agreement. They have received the assurances and protection they sought. They recognize the benefits that everyone will derive from the treaty. They want us to get on with the job.

Finally, I would like to touch on the relationship between the Nisga'a final agreement and the Canadian legal and constitutional framework. There are those who continue to state that the agreement changes the constitution. As I have before, I would refer them to the agreement itself, which states quite clearly “This agreement does not alter the constitution of Canada”.

The committee held a great deal of testimony from constitutional and legal scholars and experts. There was a general consensus that the agreement does not change the constitution, and the self-government provisions of the agreement serve to define an already existing constitutional right.

As Professor Patrick Monahan of Osgoode Hall Law School stated:

We are not creating a third order of government because on this argument the courts have implicitly already recognized that aboriginal peoples and rights of self-government of aboriginal peoples have constitutional status.

Clarifying the Nisga'a right to self-government sends a positive signal. It demonstrates that this government is serious about the relationship we are trying to build with aboriginal people and it shows what we can accomplish within the existing framework.

I have just quoted the agreement to the extent that it does not alter the constitution. It is also quite clear that the treaty will be subject to the constitution and the charter of rights and freedoms.

Despite the often unfortunate history of our relationship with the Nisga'a people, I have heard Nisga'a tribal council president Joe Gosnell speak about his pride in Canada and in being a Canadian. The Nisga'a people never wanted an agreement that would make them less Canadian. By framing the final agreement within the Canadian constitution they have demonstrated in a tangible way their desire to remain an active part of the Canadian family.

Not only is the agreement clear on the application of the constitution and the charter, it is clear on the application of federal and provincial laws. The self-government provisions of the agreement do not provide the Nisga'a government with any exclusive lawmaking jurisdiction. The Nisga'a government's authorities are clearly defined and the Nisga'a government will only have authority over the matter specifically outlined in the agreement.

The Nisga'a government will have the principal authority to make laws, and I quote the agreement again, “in respect of Nisga'a government, Nisga'a citizenship, Nisga'a culture, Nisga'a language, Nisga'a lands and Nisga'a assets”.

When I appeared before the standing committee I challenged members opposed to the agreement to demonstrate why the Nisga'a should not have primary authority over their language and culture. So far I have heard no response to that challenge. I also challenged those members to demonstrate why the Nisga'a should not have authority over land use planning that is consistent with the authority enjoyed by neighbouring municipalities. Once again I have heard no response.

In some other areas the Nisga'a may adopt their own laws, but those laws will only take precedence if they meet or exceed standards in federal or provincial law. For example, if the Nisga'a decide that they want to include the teaching of Nisga'a language or culture in their schools they may do so. Teacher certification and curriculum standards must meet or exceed provincial standards. This only makes sense.

In the great majority of lawmaking areas either federal and provincial laws will prevail or the Nisga'a will have no authority to make laws. The interests of the Nisga'a and all other Canadians are met with these arrangements. The Nisga'a did not ask for unreasonable authorities and we would not have agreed if they had.

As we enter a new millennium it is imperative for Canada to renew and define its relationship with aboriginal people. Every day we can see the results of the status quo. How we define that relationship will vary from community to community and from province to province. First nations have different circumstances, different needs, and different desires. The arrangements we make with them have to reflect that.

Let me be clear, this government's policy is that the relationship will be developed. We have a fundamental difference of opinion with those, like members of the Reform Party, who do not see the need to develop that relationship; those whose view of equality is to offer people individual cash payments if they agree to give up their constitutional rights; those who deny the balance between individual and collective rights that has made Canada such a unique and successful country; those who see society as a competition where the strongest thrive and the weakest are left to fend for themselves; and those who would perpetuate the mistakes of the past by imposing their belief system on cultures that thrived for thousands of years before the arrival of European settlers. That approach would never lead to the new relationship to which this government is committed. The Nisga'a final agreement proves that we can develop that relationship. It proves that first nations, provincial governments and the Government of Canada can reach honourable arrangements that satisfy the needs of all parties.

It is a promising first step. The adoption of the Nisga'a final agreement will send a clear signal that we as a society are ready to build new relationships based on mutual trust, respect and understanding. The adoption of Bill C-9 and the Nisga'a final agreement will bring one journey to an end, but it will also mark the beginning of another journey, one in which Canada and the Nisga'a enter the millennium together, united as we have never been before in our efforts to build a better society for future generations.

It has been an honour to have the opportunity to speak to a treaty that will go down in history as defining a new relationship with aboriginal peoples based on trust. I think that speaks much to Canada's viability in the future.

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12:25 p.m.

Reform

Mike Scott Skeena, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I would seek the unanimous consent of the House, since we have the minister here speaking at third reading on the Nisga'a treaty, to have a 10 minute question and answer period with the minister.

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12:25 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Is there unanimous consent to have a 10 minute question and comment period?

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
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12:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
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12:25 p.m.

An hon. member

No.

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12:25 p.m.

Reform

Mike Scott Skeena, BC

Mr. Speaker, I listened to the minister speak about the myths and shameful actions of other members of the House. I cannot think of anything more shameful than to deliberately set out to misrepresent to Canadians and British Columbians what this treaty represents.

From being involved in this entire matter for five and a half years, I can say that the Government of Canada, this minister and previous ministers from that side of the House have deliberately set out to misrepresent and mislead Canadians on what the content of the Nisga'a agreement is and what it represents for the future, not only for Nisga'a people but for other aboriginal people in British Columbia and across Canada.

I want to start by talking about the process. I have spoken about it before in the House, but it bears repeating. In 1991 the Government of Canada—

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

12:25 p.m.

Liberal

David Iftody Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The member for Skeena is using very provocative language, with suggestions that people on this side of the House deliberately misled Canadians. I would ask the member to withdraw those statements.

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12:25 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I have been listening very carefully to the hon. member for Skeena and I do not believe he has used unparliamentary language in his speech so far. He has not suggested that the government misled members of the House, which would be unparliamentary. In my view, he was careful to avoid any such suggestion.

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12:25 p.m.

Reform

Mike Scott Skeena, BC

Mr. Speaker, I want to talk about the process which led to this agreement.

In 1991 the federal government, the province of British Columbia and the Nisga'a leadership signed an agreement to negotiate a land claim settlement behind closed doors, out of the public eye. I was not even aware that this agreement had been signed. Most British Columbians were not aware that the Government of British Columbia and the federal government were intent on doing this.

I was elected as member of parliament for Skeena, which encompasses the Nisga'a traditional lands, as it does the Gitksan, the Gitanyow, the Tahltan, the Tsimpsean, the Haisla, the Haida and the Taku River Tlingit. I became aware in 1994 that this agreement had been signed and that there were negotiations taking place behind closed doors. I became rather concerned, because any time government wants to negotiate agreements behind closed doors which have the potential to impact the area that I represent, I feel that I have a duty, an obligation and a right to know what is being discussed. I believe the people in the area that I represent have the same right. They have the right to know what is going on.

I wrote to the minister of the day asking to be included in some form in order to keep abreast and be aware of what was being discussed behind closed doors so I could report back to my constituents.

I received a very curt response telling me that there was a secrecy agreement that the parties were bound to, and that I was not privy to the information, as an elected representative of Skeena encompassing the Nisga'a traditional lands, nor was I about to be given any information with respect to the negotiations.

I felt it was my duty at that point to inform my constituents of what was going on. We held a series of townhall meetings throughout Skeena and then throughout British Columbia during the course of 1994 and 1995 trying to make British Columbians aware of the precedent setting set of negotiations taking place. We recognize, as do most thinking people, that this was a precedent setting set of negotiations. It was the first land claim treaty to be negotiated in British Columbia in modern times. It obviously will set the floor and not the ceiling for other land claim agreements in British Columbia, and across Canada for that matter.

The minister and the Government of British Columbia try to tell us that this is not a template, although Premier Clark, in his more lucid moments, did admit that it was indeed a template.

I ask anybody watching the debate on television how anybody could possibly believe that a native negotiator somewhere in British Columbia negotiating a treaty would not look at what the Nisga'a have received and say that they have at least an extremely strong morale argument, if not a legal argument, to say “we are entitled to the same thing”. How can the Government of Canada deny that?

I and many of my colleagues in the Reform Party from British Columbia attempted, to the best of our abilities, to shed some light on what was taking place. The government steadfastly refused to provide any information, not only to me but to any members of the public.

In 1996, with a great deal of fanfare, the government released jointly with the Nisga'a leadership what is known as the AIP or agreement in principle. From that, we started to get a much clearer picture of what was intended in terms of a final agreement because the framework for the final agreement was before us.

It was at that point that the provincial government put together a parliamentary committee, the committee for aboriginal affairs for British Columbia, and went around the province in what I call a dog and pony show, ostensibly to hear the views of concerned citizens in British Columbia and to take into account what the concerns or views might be in relation to the AIP so that the final agreement could reflect those.

I attended some of those hearings held by the committee. I can tell the House what happened. There was a long list of people who were put in place by the government, who were set up ahead of time, and who showed up and lauded the treaty's benefits and all of its supposedly wonderful clauses and so on. Anybody who showed up and expressed concern or opposition to any of the elements of the agreement in principle were routinely dismissed and often dismissed with the most degrading kind of attacks on their character and their motives because they disagreed with the direction in which the government policy was going.

It is shameful that British Columbians and Canadians cannot go to a meeting and express their views and opposition to the principles incorporated in the AIP without being treated in that manner. That is the way the government and the Government of British Columbia treated citizens not only in my constituency but right across the province. I was there for it. It is a matter of record because it is in the British Columbia proceedings. All the meetings that committee held were recorded and it is a matter of public record. I invite anybody who has any questions whatsoever to access it through the Internet because it is all there.

In August 1998, the federal government, the provincial government and the Nisga'a leadership unveiled the final agreement. We were very anxious to see it. We looked through it and noted right away that as a result of the committee's work in British Columbia and all the public concern, criticism and so on of various components of the Nisga'a treaty, not one major change was made from the AIP to the final agreement. It was essentially the same. It was just the framework fleshed out with the same principles, the same policy, the same direction.

The rank and file Nisga'a people, who this agreement will affect the most, were given a few weeks to consider this agreement before they had to vote on it in the ratification process. They were given a few weeks to consider a final agreement that is 250-some pages long and 450 pages of appendices. They were supposed to evaluate a new Nisga'a constitution, a taxation agreement and other related documents. They were supposed to review all of this and make a decision within a few weeks as to whether or not this was the right thing for them and their families to go.

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12:35 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. This is an extremely important debate and there are not many members in the House. I call for a quorum count.

And the count having been taken:

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12:35 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

I thank the hon. member for Saint-Jean. There is quorum.

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12:35 p.m.

Reform

Mike Scott Skeena, BC

Many Nisga'a people have told us that the ratification process was not fair. This charge was made by people such as Frank Barton. He made these charges when he came before the federal standing committee when it was in British Columbia and there has been no response from any of the parties involved.

The minister talked about what he and the government characterize as the myths in the treaty. The minister stood in the House of Commons and, with a straight face, said that when the federal committee held hearings several weeks ago in British Columbia and Ottawa, there was “general consensus” that the Constitution of Canada would not be altered as a result of this agreement.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The minister knows that and he sits there with a smirk on his face because he thinks it is funny when the likes of Professor Stephen Scott from McGill University, a recognized legal expert; Professor Tom Flanagan from the University of Alberta; Mel Smith, former constitutional adviser to the Government of British Columbia for several decades; Gordon Gibson, the former leader of the Liberal Party of British Columbia; Professor Ehor Boyanowsky from Simon Fraser University; and Liberal leader Gordon Campbell of the current Liberal opposition in British Columbia, all appeared before that committee and said exactly the opposite.

How can government members and this minister sit there with smirks on their faces and say that there is general consensus that this agreement does not change the Constitution of Canada? That is a load of bunk and the minister knows it.

How does it change the constitution? There are at least 14 areas in the agreement where the Nisga'a central government will receive legislative authority that goes beyond the reach of parliament and beyond the legislature of British Columbia and that will be constitutionally protected under section 35 of the Canadian constitution. It will be considered an aboriginal or treaty right. It is right in the Nisga'a treaty itself that this treaty exhaustively sets out section 35 rights. Chapter 11 in this agreement, which deals with self-government, will obviously be considered an aboriginal treaty right and it will be constitutionally protected. It will be entrenched in constitutional concrete, never to be changed.

When I look around the House at the opposition parties that have a solemn duty to uphold the Constitution of Canada and I see what they have done in collusion with one another to override the constitution and to go against the wishes of Canadians, because Canadians said no to this very idea in 1992 in the Charlottetown accord, I am appalled. I am sickened by what members of the House have done or are attempting to do. That is not a myth. Those are the plain facts.

If the government wants to entrench aboriginal self-government as a constitutionally protected right with legislative authority that goes beyond the reach of parliament and the provincial legislatures, it can do it but it has to use the amending formula. It needs seven provinces with 50% of the population to do it. It tried to do that in 1992 with the Charlottetown accord, the same political parties that are here now with the same faces and the same failed ideas, and the Canadian people and British Columbians said “no'. British Columbians had the highest no of all the provinces. Aboriginal Canadians also said no.

What part of no does the government and the other political parties not understand. Why are they colluding with one another to try and get this constitutional amendment through the back door? Frankly, I find that sickening.

In 1950, the Supreme Court of Canada said, in the Lord Elgin Hotel case, if the minister cares to refer to it, “The Constitution of Canada does not belong to the legislatures. It does not belong to the politicians. It does not belong to governments. It belongs to the people of Canada and the people of Canada are the only ones who can consent to these kinds of constitutional changes”. There is an amending formula to determine whether that consent is given or not.

But no, the government and other parties are trying to do an end run around that. They are trying to do an end run around the amending formula and around the constitutional process to entrench aboriginal self-government as a constitutionally protected right with legislative authority that for all time will go beyond the reach of parliament and the reach of the provincial legislatures. That is exactly what René Lévesque was talking about when he spoke about sovereignty association. What this will do is create a semi-sovereign state within the boundaries of Canada.

As a precedent, because the government is pressing ahead with other treaties, not just in British Columbia but in other parts of Canada, what Canadians can expect over time is a large number of semi-sovereign states within the boundaries of Canada where people will live by different rules, different regulations and a different status based on ethnicity. Frankly, I find that idea repugnant.

The idea of legislated segregation has been tried around the world. The minister, instead of sitting there flapping his gums, should get out his history books and read what happened in the United States and in South with legislated segregation. The government can say that this is legislated segregation driven with good intentions. I do not doubt that it is, but legislated segregation driven with good intentions is not acceptable. It is always wrong. That is what the government and the other political parties in the House are in agreement on.

In the history of Canada, from before Canada was a country and before Confederation, in dealing with aboriginal people, there is a history of legislated segregation. Look where it has left native people in the country. We do not have to go any further than the closest reserve. Most reserves are not very desirable places to live. Unemployment is at 70%, 80% or 90%, depending on which reserve we are talking about. There are social pathologies that are unheard of in other Canadian communities. There are people living in squalor, in what amounts to third world conditions, as we have heard so many times in the House.

Why does the government not get the message? Legislated segregation does not work. The people it affects the most are the people this kind of policy is supposed to help. If I were an aboriginal Canadian I would ask the federal government to stop helping me because all the help it has given so far has not been very good. I would ask the government to leave me alone, but it will not.

The Liberals talk about the application of the charter of rights and protecting the rights of Nisga'a women and other aboriginal women in Canada. The minister sits in the House and pontificates. I do not know why he has not bothered to listen to people like Mizie Baker, a Squamish woman who came before our committee because she was not allowed to appear before the minister's committee to testify, or Wendy Lundberg who came before our committee because she was denied the opportunity to go before the minister's committee. He did not want to hear from her. The Liberals did not want to hear from these people. They do not like to hear from anyone who disagrees with them.

It is not unlike some of the more dictatorial regimes we have seen around the world in recent history. They insulate themselves from any kind of opposition or negative feedback from Canadians. People such as Mizie Baker and Wendy Lundberg, as well as a number of other aboriginal women, have told us of their concern and their lack of rights as aboriginal women, as Canadians, not only through this legislation but also through Bill C-49.

Wendy Lundberg wrote a letter to a Liberal member from British Columbia expressing her concern over the fact that her rights as an aboriginal woman were not protected. The response she received from the Liberal member of parliament was that they were working on that. Her letter was written in relation to Bill C-49 and in relation to the Nisga'a final agreement.

How will the charter of rights and freedoms apply? There is wording in chapter 2 of the agreement, the general provisions, which says that the charter of rights and freedoms applies, bearing in mind the free and democratic nature of the Nisga'a government. What do they mean? They sound like innocuous words.

We are not constitutional or legal experts so we took the time to consult with the likes of Professor Tom Flanagan, Professor Steven Scott, Mel Smith and others. We took the time to ask them what it meant in their view. In their view the addition really means that the Nisga'a central government will have a free rein in denying charter rights, bearing in mind the free and democratic nature of the Nisga'a central government.

I do not mean to imply the Nisga'a leadership that negotiated this agreement has ulterior motives. I do not know and I am not trying to make that allegation, but this sets the groundwork for individual charter rights to be overridden in the future.

Under section 35 of the constitution the Nisga'a final agreement will be considered an aboriginal or treaty right. Under section 25 of the constitution in applying the charter of rights and freedoms, aboriginal and treaty rights take precedence over individual rights as expressed in the charter. That is not a myth. Any Canadian can read the charter of rights and freedoms and section 25 of the Canadian constitution. I do not think the minister has read it but I urge him to do so. From the way he talks in the House, I do not think he has read the agreement or is familiar with it.

There is no question that the individual rights of Nisga'a people are seriously diminished as a result of this agreement. There is no doubt about that whatsoever.

Not only Nisga'a people but more and more aboriginal people in British Columbia are coming to understand that. They are concerned about it. They are asking how they can deal with a government that will come along in the future, for example, and ban trade unions like the Kamloops band recently attempted to do in British Columbia.

What happens if a future Nisga'a central government or some other aboriginal government that is working within the same kind of self-government framework as in this document happens to say that trade unions are culturally incompatible with Nisga'a tradition? They have legislative supremacy in the area of culture. In the self-government provisions they have the absolute right to regulate and ban businesses, professions and trades on Nisga'a land. That is not a myth. It is right in the agreement.

If a Nisga'a central government takes that position, what would be the recourse of the people who have attempted to organize the trade unions? They could go to court if they have the money but likely they will not have it to do that. However, if they go to court and say that their charter rights have been violated as a result of the law that has been passed by the Nisga'a central government, the Supreme Court of Canada will have to look at the section 35 rights.

The court will have to apply those rights as they relate to section 25 of the constitution. It will have to look at the wording bearing in mind the free and democratic nature of the Nisga'a government. It will have to look at the provisions that say that the Nisga'a central government has the absolute right to regulate and ban businesses, professions and trades on Nisga'a lands. With all those taken together it is easy to see that the court will have a difficult time upholding the charter of rights of Nisga'a individuals under those circumstances. That is just one set of circumstances.

The Nisga'a will have legislative authority to determine Nisga'a citizenship. That legislative authority goes beyond parliament and provincial legislatures. In other words it is up to the Nisga'a central government to determine who is a citizen and who is not.

What happens if one is a Nisga'a living in the Nass Valley in one of the four Nisga'a communities who happens to disagree vociferously with the Nisga'a central government on an issue or on a range of issues? One becomes what is known as a dissident. This has happened in other aboriginal communities in Canada. We have had letters from people on reserves in the prairies and so on where leadership has determined that in some cases the easiest way to deal with dissidents was to excommunicate them or attempt to pull their band membership.

Right now under the Indian Act and under the current system, which I do not mean in any way to defend, at the very least there is the ultimate protection of the Parliament of Canada for those people if the Parliament of Canada chooses to invoke it. However, under the Nisga'a final agreement that is lost forever.

If in the future the Nisga'a central government determines that people are not citizens for whatever reason, they are no longer entitled to be considered Nisga'a or to receive or partake in the benefits of this treaty. In fact they become exiles in their own lands. Aboriginal people in British Columbia have told me of their concerns about being exiles in their own lands. That is an absolute fact.

In terms of principle, individual rights versus collective rights is at the core of this treaty. Fundamentally that is what is the most wrong with it. The province of British Columbia and the Government of Canada, but primarily the Government of Canada, see aboriginal people as collectives. They do not see them as individuals.

They do not realize or choose not to realize that the 400,000-odd aboriginal Canadians who live on reserves in Canada today are all individuals. They do not think the same way. They do not want the same things. They are like everyone else. They have many different aspirations, hopes, dreams and goals.

How will they be able to reach those aspirations, dreams and goals when collectivities with centralized decision making will have enormous control over assets, land and wealth? Very little of it will flow to individuals. Most of it will flow to collective ownership. How will these people tap into that as individuals and get ahead?

I talked about legislative segregation a few minutes ago. Collectivities have been tried all over the world. In east bloc countries it was known as communism or state socialism. It has been a demonstrated failure everywhere it has been tried.

What makes these people so arrogant as to believe that they somehow have a new formula for recreating a failed idea and making it work? Who will suffer the most? It will be the very people that the agreement ostensibly sets out to help.

Why cannot the government think outside the box? Why can it not stop for a few minutes? Why cannot the minister and the department stop and re-evaluate where they are going with aboriginal policy, where they have gone, where they would like to go, and do it in a manner that is intellectually honest? With this agreement and with the policy coming from the government we have seen a tremendous amount of intellectual dishonesty.

We have seen a government that routinely tries to downplay and conceal the extent of accountability problems on reserves, which exist because the government has set forth policies that allow them to happen and create the environment for them to happen.

Why cannot the Government of Canada just once look at aboriginal people as individuals, not as collectives? Why cannot the government resolve these claims which we all agree need to be resolved with a generosity of spirit, a fairness of mind, and bearing in mind the horrible position in which aboriginal people have been placed as a result of legislated segregation in the country? The real crime perpetrated against aboriginals in Canada is legislated segregation.

Why cannot the government look at individuals and come up with a policy that says in resolving these outstanding claims and in trying to set things right it will try to the greatest extent possible to compensate individuals with land, cash and other assets? At the end of the process aboriginal people who freely choose of their own accord to stay together in communities will be provided with a municipal style government not unlike that of the city of Toronto, the city of Brantford or the city of Kamloops, British Columbia. What is wrong with that?

Why does the federal government and the province of British Columbia insist on having a form of government which can only be called a semi-sovereign state with legislative authority that goes far beyond that of any municipality in the country? Why cannot they see aboriginal people as individuals? Why cannot they go in that direction?

I do not think most Canadians would object in any way to a true municipal style of aboriginal self-government for aboriginal people. It would give aboriginal people who choose to stay in aboriginal communities the tools they need to run their communities as much as it gives the people who freely choose to live in the city of Ottawa as a group of citizens the tools they need to have a city that functions, that provides transportation corridors and transportation services, snow removal, and all other things we expect from a city.

At the same time it would also provide them with the absolute protection of the Canadian constitution, most particularly the charter of rights and freedoms. It would also break from the notion of centralizing collective ownership and decision making in the hands of a few people.

I am puzzled, frustrated and completely unable to understand why the Government of Canada cannot see that. Why can it not pause and go through an intellectual debate that is honest and willing to look at history, even recent history, and look at the failure in that recent history and learn from it rather than repeat it over and over again? I am appalled that the Government of Canada wants to continue to march down this road; damn the torpedoes, not a care about what British Columbians think or what other aboriginal people think.

The rudest comments are made about those who disagree with it. Their character and motives are trashed. They are called bigots, anti-Indian, racists. I could go on and on. That is what the other parties in the House either imply or sometimes directly say when they talk about anybody who expresses opposition to the principles contained in the agreement.

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1 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I respect the right of the hon. gentleman from Skeena to give his point of view, but to indicate in any way, shape or form that our party would call him or his party racist in a public forum would be completely out of line. I would like him to retract that statement, please.

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1 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

It is a matter for debate. I was listening very carefully to the member for Skeena. He made the comments in a reflective manner. He was not impugning motive. He was saying what has happened. In my opinion the words as presented were quite in order.

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1 p.m.

Reform

Mike Scott Skeena, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have respect for the hon. member who just rose. However, I would like to point out that the member from Kamloops, who is not here right now, not a week ago in public, in a widely circulated media interview, said exactly that. I would ask the hon. member in all fairness to look up what the hon. member from Kamloops said. I am not making it up.

And it was not just once. It has been over and over again. Members on this side of the House have said this about Reformers in the House. That is a matter of public record. I am sorry if it offends people, but it is the truth. That is what happened and it happened with the member from Kamloops not 10 days ago in an interview. They should be ashamed of themselves. We should be able to engage in honest, intellectual debate without getting into that kind of mudslinging and name calling.

I will conclude my remarks by saying that at the end of the day in discussing this treaty the people we ought to be considering the very most is the Nisga'a people themselves. They are going to have to live with this for all time because it will be set in constitutional concrete.

I say that individual Nisga'a people, and I think there are more of them who are coming to understand it, are going to recognize that this is not a good deal for them. It is not a good deal for their families.

It is going to be a good deal for people who are involved in Nisga'a central government for sure. It is going to be a good deal for lawyers as my colleague points out. It is going to be a good deal for all those hangers on in the Indian industry in this country who have been sucking millions upon millions of dollars out of the taxpayers' wallets and out of the aboriginal communities for decades now. It will be a good deal for them.

It will be a good deal for the courts. The Marshall decision was based on a treaty that was half a dozen pages in length. Imagine the amount of litigation that will come out of this kind of an agreement.

The minister even said in his remarks a few minutes ago in the House that people have access to the courts. What kind of answer is that for a minister of the crown to be giving? It is almost as if the Liberals are inviting and expecting legal challenges. They want to see it happen. Maybe all their friends in the legal profession are rubbing their hands together waiting for this to get passed so they can all make a buck on it.

This will not be a good deal for Nisga'a people. That will become evident very quickly. It will not be a good deal for other aboriginal people in Canada because the precedent has been set in terms of the government's provisions in this treaty, in terms of collective ownership of land and collective control over finances. At the end of the day it is supposed to be the Nisga'a people who benefit from this.

Let the record show that the Reform Party was the only party that stood in the House and said that not only is this deal unprincipled, not only is it unconstitutional, but it is wrong for the country and for all Canadians. Let it be said and never forgotten that the Reform Party was the only party that stood in this parliament and said that this agreement is bad for Nisga'a people. History will prove us right.

We know the Liberals have the majority. We know that they can ram this through. That is the way our dysfunctional parliamentary system is operating in Canada these days. We know that the Liberals can get away with it. We have mounted the best opposition that we could. We have done everything within the powers that are granted the official opposition to highlight the defects in this deal and to bring it to the attention of Canadians.

Let the history books show that we did our jobs while other members of this place sat in their seats. They would not hold the government accountable. They were in collusion. They were intellectually dishonest. At the end of the day they failed not only to serve Canadians, but they failed to serve the best interests of the Nisga'a people.

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1:05 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, I usually begin my speeches on Indian affairs by saying that I am very pleased to address the issue, but today it is with somewhat mixed feelings that I do so.

I am pleased because this is a historic day—and I know that a number of Nisga'a are in the gallery today—a day when we will finally vote to give the Nisga'a the opportunity to shake off a yoke called the Indian Act. The Nisga'a have been constrained by that act for over 100 years, and today the Bloc Quebecois, along with other parties in this House, will enable the Nisga'a to free themselves from that act.

I have mixed feelings however because, while we are about to do this for the Nisga'a, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs wants to put Quebecers under a yoke. This threat is the reason why it is somewhat difficult for me to be totally pleased on what should otherwise be a happy occasion.

The Nisga'a will understand that if the Bloc Quebecois supported their quest for self-government, it must also protect the Quebec people, another very important people in Canada but who many in this House will not recognize. I will elaborate toward the end of my speech.

I first want to salute Joe Gosnell and Harry Nice, who co-ordinated the entire negotiation team which is here today. I know this is a very important day for them, bringing to a close a long negotiation process.

Earlier I listened to the hon. member for Skeena, who said that negotiations first began in 1981, but in fact we must go back much further than that. We must go back to the end of the 19th century.

Even then aboriginal leaders were trying to convince the British crown in London of the importance of greater autonomy. This dragged on for over 100 years. I agree with the member that the pace has picked up in the past 20 or 25 years. Now we are reaching a conclusion with the signature of a final agreement and the necessary endorsement of the Parliament of Canada.

I first heard about the Nisga'a people at the time the agreement in principle was signed. I went to their territory and was shown around. These people were very happy about the signing of the agreement in principle, but I do not think they had any idea that, even after signing an agreement with the federal government, a whole series of stumbling blocks would remain before the final stage of third reading in the House of Commons, not to mention Royal Assent in the Senate. Today, they have made it through all these hurdles and the Bloc Quebecois has been with them all the way.

When parliament signed the final agreement last spring—the former Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development signed it—I again visited the Nisga'a territories and received the same welcome. It is an amazing area, with the Nass River that I mentioned earlier.

This far north in British Columbia, the water is the most amazing shade of blue-green. This is the result of mineral salts in the water. The Nisga'a attachment to the land of their birth, to the Nass River and the entire river valley, which is of extreme importance to them, is understandable.

Every time I have been there, I have had a chance to see what they call the lava beds. There is a fable relating to these waterways. I have read this fable; nearly 2,000 Nisga'a died 500 years ago because of a volcanic eruption.

According to the fable, the children had lost contact with nature and were mistreating animals. They were extremely cruel to the animals. The elders apparently told them “Stop your cruelty or the Creator will get angry if we are too cruel to the animals.” According to the fable, the volcano then erupted and two whole villages were engulfed by the lava, killing close to 2,000 Nisga'a villagers, who now lie under the lava beds of the volcano.

It was all explained to me during my visit. I was told about the importance of fishing, especially salmon fishing using the famous salmon wheel. When the salmon swim upstream, they swim into a sort of paddlewheel, which scoops them into a box where they can be kept fresh for days until they are caught. I thought this was an invention of the native people of the Yukon, but the Nisga'a have assured me that they are the ones who invented it. This goes to show how important fishing and this wheel is to the Nisga'a.

My guide on my latest visit was Eric Grandison, and with the usual warm welcome one gets from the Nisga'a, he took me to his mother's home to see the family smokehouse, where we sampled some excellent smoked salmon. This was not frozen smoked salmon like Price Club salmon. This was salmon that had been caught only a day or two before and then fully smoked. The taste was exquisite and this was something that one can rarely, if ever, get here.

Unfortunately, I would have had the opportunity to taste it again here last week but the Bloc Quebecois Christmas party was the same night as their salmon party so I could not attend.

During my two visits there, I could see that a rush on the natural resources on the Nisga'a lands was under way. The first time, when I visited the lands of the Chilcotin and Carrier Sekani, hundreds of trucks were hurrying to cut down the forests as quickly as possible before the land was handed over to the aboriginal people.

The Nisga'a will now have control over their own forests, but I also want to speak up for the Carrier Sekani and the Chilcotin, whose land claims are ongoing and who are unfortunately the victims of this rush on natural resources.

The agreement in principle and the historic bill were presented. After second reading, we travelled to British Columbia. We went to Terrace, Prince George, Smithers, Victoria and Vancouver. I will admit that it was a bit of a shock to Bloc Quebecois members. The hon. member for Manicouagan was also with me.

Of course, we asked for interpretation services. The witnesses who spoke in support of aboriginals and aboriginal people themselves were treated shoddily at the hearings. Bloc Quebecois members were stunned whenever they were asked to “speak white”. This was very shameful.

I do not want to make any generalization, but I think those who said that are best described as “rednecks”. My feeling is that these people came out to treat the Nisga'a, the aboriginals and French speaking people in a malevolent way. However, after speaking with many people in Terrace, Victoria and Vancouver, I am convinced that these rednecks were a very small minority.

I raised these incidents with Phil Fontaine, the first nations chief, when he made his presentation on the Nisga'a. His response was “You were told to “speak white” during one or two days, while this is the attitude we have been confronted with all our lives. How do you feel when you are being treated like that?”

We did not like it, of course, but it helped us better understand the Nisga'a issue and understand how long aboriginals have been in that situation, and what should be done to correct that situation, to change it and turn the page so that these people can now decide their own future.

The Bloc Quebecois showed its compassion and understanding. I think the Nisga'a will agree that we have always supported them. There are Nisga'a representatives here today, but I must warn them that they are in a turbulent zone and that the turbulence will keep increasing.

I can promise members of the federal Liberal Party that this will get worse, probably tomorrow, if the minister introduces his bill. We are warning them. They need to tighten their seatbelts because I think we are in for quite a ride. If they have never seen what stuff Quebecers are made of, they will now. We are as proud to defend our people as the Nisga'a were to defend theirs. That is all I wanted to add.

As to the concept of a people, I also heard the member for Skeena earlier cite an eminent constitutional expert by the name of Tom Flanagan. Mr. Flanagan tabled a brief before the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development. Throughout the trip, I brought up the concept of peoples with those I met. Opponents of the bill have always thrown two arguments at us: the uncertainty caused by this debate and the agreement's lack of equality. We often hear that everyone must be equal in Canada.

I asked Mr. Flanagan whether he believed that there were several nations and several peoples in Canada and his answer was that, like Pierre Elliott Trudeau, he thought that there was only one people in Canada, the Canadian people. So there was no point in supplementary questions on the rights of these nations, if we were hung up on that.

I think that this is the trouble with the Reform Party. It does not think that there are other peoples and other nations in Canada. It is proving its point with the Nisga'a issue, as well as its stand with the members of the Liberal Party to put Quebec into a straitjacket. Reformers no more believe in the concept of a Nisga'a people than they believe in a people of Quebec. For them, everyone must be treated equally. Quebec is as important as Prince Edward Island.

We disagree completely on this and that is why we are perhaps in a better position to understand the native peoples' move toward autonomy because we are taking those same steps ourselves. It is easy for us to understand them. When aboriginals approach the Bloc Quebecois and announce that they are working for greater self-government, it is only natural that we understand where they are coming from.

During my tour, I tested their concept of nation by asking people whether they believed that there were several nations and peoples in Canada. Their answer was yes. If there is recognition for this concept, it follows that these nations and peoples have specific rights. This is recognized in international law. With recognition as a people or nation comes recognition of specific rights.

Defining specific rights requires partnership agreements. As we see it, the final Nisga'a agreement is a partnership agreement between two, even three peoples.

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1:20 p.m.

Liberal

David Iftody Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rose on a point of order a few minutes ago with respect to the comments of the member for Skeena who, in reference to the minister and the government, used the words “deliberately” and “misrepresent”.

In normal situations it is regretfully normal that one may, I believe, refer to the government or political parties, but I will read for the Chair the Hansard blues which I obtained a few minutes ago. The member for Skeena said: Mr. Speaker, when I listened to the minister speak and talk about myths and shameful actions of other members in the House, I cannot think of anything more shameful than to deliberately set out to misrepresent to Canadians and British Columbians what this treaty represents.

It goes on to say in the next paragraph: This minister and previous ministers before him have deliberately set out to misrepresent and mislead Canadians on the content of the Nisga'a agreement.

That is the end of the quote from the Hansard blues. I ask, based on the new information before the House, that the member for Skeena apologize to the minister of Indian affairs and withdraw those unparliamentary comments.

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1:20 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

The Deputy Speaker was in the chair when the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development rose on his point of order and subsequently waited to have the draft blues of Hansard to review.

Before the Deputy Speaker left and I took the chair we discussed exactly that because it was, in his opinion, very close to the line but it did not cross the line. It did not cross the line because of the tone and the context. It was a question of what had brought us to this point today.

I have discussed this at great length with the Deputy Speaker because it is a question worthy of being discussed at great length.

I invite the hon. member for Skeena, only if he chooses, to clarify those remarks to ensure that I and the Deputy Speaker have interpreted his remarks accurately. I would invite the hon. member for Skeena to do so, if he so chooses.

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1:20 p.m.

Reform

Mike Scott Skeena, BC

Mr. Speaker, first, in my remarks I was responding to the government's position that the Reform Party was propagating myths, and I did not ascribe my remarks to any individual in particular. I was ascribing my remarks to a government policy and position that I felt was going over the line in terms of how it was trying to represent an issue to Canadians which was not correct.

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1:25 p.m.

Reform

John Williams St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I find it rather unfortunate that a member, in this case the member for Skeena, has to stand to defend his remarks in the House. As he has since pointed out, he was clearly talking about government policy and the way that this whole treaty has been handled. It is rather unfortunate that a parliamentary secretary would cast aspersions on the member for Skeena. I think this whole matter should be laid to rest. The government should withdraw its allegations and let the member for Skeena—

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1:25 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

We are not getting into debate on this matter. The Deputy Speaker ruled at the time that in his opinion it was not unparliamentary. I am ruling, after reviewing exactly the same draft and after having heard the interventions, that it was not unparliamentary. We will resume debate with the hon. member for Saint-Jean.

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1:25 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have serious questions regarding the relevance of points of order that have nothing to do with me. I was making an important speech for my Nisga'a friends and I was interrupted by a parliamentary secretary who raised a point of order about something another member had said. I hope you counted the time this exchange took and that you will extend my time accordingly.

I was wondering about the relevance of a point of order that does not concern me. Can you clarify that for me? I am talking about the point of order. Is it relevant to interrupt my speech to raise a point of order that does not concern me? I would like you to clarify that for me before I go on with my speech.

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1:25 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

The point of order was in order.

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1:25 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, if I understood your signal correctly, you will be extending my time to compensate for the time lost during this point of order. How much time do I have left?

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1:25 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

You have 25 minutes left.

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1:25 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

I invite my colleagues to show respect to those members who speak in the House. If there is a point of order that concerns me, I will be glad to hear it. However, if a point of order is in no way related to my speech, I would ask members to wait until the end of my speech to raise it, if that is possible.

I was talking about the concept of peoples and nations. I was saying that, if the Nisga'a are recognized as a nation or a people, or if Quebecers are recognized as a nation or a people, there are some specific rights that must be recognized and defined in a partnership agreement.

The Nisga'a treaty is exactly the type of partnership agreement that must exist between peoples. I was always supported in that belief, except by Mr. Flanagan, as I was saying earlier, who believed there was only one people in Canada, the Canadian people. Obviously, it is impossible to go very far in this assessment of reality.

If there is a partnership agreement, that creates some certainty, for people are wondering “What is going on with the aboriginal question, the land claims and the self-government issue?” That may be what creates the uncertainty. When a partnership agreement has been signed, people know exactly where things stand.

As for the question raised by the Reform Party on the importance of certainty and equality, I believed it was my duty to raise those same concepts in order to show that, in our opinion, their fears are unjustified.

I also raised some points that were somewhat controversial throughout the discussions. One of these was the matter of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Some people hold that the charter does not apply.

However, I brought out some interesting sections, including the one I want to quote here, section 9 of chapter 2. In it, it is stated in black and white that:

...the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms applies to Nisga'a Government in respect of all matters within its authority, bearing in mind the free and democratic nature of Nisga'a Government as set out in this agreement.

The answer is, therefore, fairly clear to me. Is this agreement subject to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms? Well, that is set out in the agreement itself. There were also some fears expressed that it was not included in the act and that this could mean that it only applied loosely, but I shall explain later the link between the agreement and the act.

It seemed very important to me that an overview of the history of the charter was necessary in order to state that, yes, it is applicable. I have just read the exact passage where it is written that it applies, for those who say that it is not.

Now for the protection of aboriginal women. This is another contentious issue that kept being raised throughout the proceedings and the bill clearly states that the provincial legislation will apply in this regard. The British Columbia legislation deals with all issues relating to the breakup of a marriage, including the division of matrimonial property. There is also similar legislation in Quebec.

There is definitely a major problem for those who are not parties to the Nisga'a treaty. I agree—and we raised this issue in the House before—that there is a problem for all other aboriginals, for all other reserves in Canada that come under the Indian Act. There is a grey area, a legal vacuum, as was illustrated several years ago by the Derickson ruling, in which a woman who had separated from her husband was not entitled to anything.

The court ruled that the matrimonial property act does not apply to reserves. The Indian affairs minister claims that he wants to settle this issue as quickly as possible. We raised it with the former minister and this is an urgent matter. But for the time being, it is also not true that, under the agreement, Nisga'a women are not protected.

Another very contentious issue is territorial overlap. As we know, there are many land claims in British Columbia. Reform Party members said that at the time 125% of British Columbia's territory was the subject of land claims by aboriginals because of this overlap.

There were aboriginal peoples that told us that the Nisga'a land claims overlapped their own. This is what we heard in Smithers, where the Gitksan and Gitanyow came to present their views.

I have a number of comments. First, the Nisga'a also claimed 100% of their traditional lands but the final figure in the agreement was 7%. They settled for 2,000 square kilometres or 7% of what they had asked for.

The Government of British Columbia is taking a somewhat similar view. At the time, Mike Harcourt said that the Government of British Columbia was prepared to give up 5% of the province's territory to accommodate all native land claims in British Columbia.

Seven per cent is not far off. The problem with the Gitksan and the Gitanyow is that they are still going after 100% of their traditional lands and naturally there is a part in the northern area of Nisga'a lands that the Gitksan say should belong to them.

There are A and B categories of lands—and I do not want to get into defining them—but there are lands where jurisdiction is more shared, and some of them are also being claimed by the Gitksan and Gitanyow.

This has been a bit complicated and very emotional because lands are involved. There were some very good presentations and here again I refer to the agreement.

The agreement contains provisions on what is to be done in case of overlapping claims. It must be pointed out that the Nisga'a had repeatedly tried to come to an agreement with the Gitskan and the Gitanyow on how to share this territory.

We have a letter signed by the eight hereditary chiefs of the Gitksan people showing that they had reached an agreement under which the northern border of the Nisga'a land was to be drawn the way it is today. We have no qualms about people making claims, but we are not always in a position to rule on everything.

The sections I am going to read say what is to be done. I will start with section 34.

If a superior court of a province, the Federal Court of Canada, or the Supreme Court of Canada finally determines that any aboriginal people, other than the Nisga'a Nation, has rights under section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 that are adversely affected by a provision of this Agreement: a . the provision will operate and have effect to the extent that it does not adversely affect those rights; and b . if the provision cannot operate and have effect in a way that it does not adversely affect those rights, the Parties will make best efforts to amend this Agreement to remedy or replace the provision.

The section that follows, section 35, is very important: a . Canada or British Columbia, or both, as the case may be, will provide the Nisga'a Nation with additional or replacement rights or other appropriate remedies;

This is very clear. Whenever there is overlapping, the Gitskan and the Gitanyow can go to court. I just mentioned the various courts they can appeal to. If the courts tell them “You are right, these lands belong to you”, then what this section says to the Nisga'as who entered into this agreement and who will be dispossessed of these lands is that through British Columbia and the Parliament of Canada, they will receive other lands and compensation to make up for the loss of these lands.

In our opinion, this was enough to say that one could not prevent the conclusion of this final Nisga'a agreement based on possible overlapping we find it very difficult to assess. Let the courts rule on such matters. If the Gitksan and the Gitanyow feel they are disadvantaged and that part of their lands have been taken from them, they may go to court. If they make a good case and the courts decide they are right, then the Nisga'a will be compensated for losing part of these lands.

It was very important to be able to put this issue aside because it was one of the major issues we were faced with.

Many people could say to me “As the member for Saint-Jean, you are referring to the final agreement, but that is not the act”. Some people say “We would like the provisions in the agreement to be transferred in the act”. On that point, the bill is again very explicit. I must point out two very important clauses stating that this final agreement is included in the act and even takes precedence over the act. I will read clause 4:

  1. (1) The Nisga'a Final Agreement is approved, given effect and declared valid and has the force of law.

The agreement I was referring to earlier has the force of law. Clause 6 goes even farther:

  1. In the event of an inconsistency or conflict between the Nisga'a Final Agreement and the provisions of any federal or provincial law, including this Act, that Agreement prevails to the extent of the inconsistency or conflict.

This is clear. The final agreement takes precedence over the act. It is included in the act, and in case of misinterpretation or if there are interpretations to be made between the act and the agreement, the latter will prevail. It is very clear and this refutes one of the arguments of our adversaries who say “What is included in the agreement is not necessarily included in the act”. I have just demonstrated the opposite.

I could dwell on several provisions of the agreement, for example the whole issue of the fishery, where we will at last have some certainty about the fishery issue. It is not a quota. There is no determined number of pounds of salmon or shrimp or any other kind of fish that will be allowed, but a percentage of the fish stock in the Nass River, I think, is 27%.

That means that protection of the resource has been taken into consideration. The stock is protected in the sense that if, in a given year, the stock is low, the allowable catch will still be 27% but the amount of fish caught will be lower. If in the following year there is plenty of fish, the allowable catch will stay at 27%, but in that case the amount of fish caught will be higher.

The part on migratory birds is a very interesting one. The fish sector is also interesting because under the agreement the Nisga'a will have their say in developing the Canadian position in international negotiations. We believe that it is very important for a people, a nation, to have its say in the signing of international treaties.

Considering the numerous provisions included in the agreement to manage the situation, we believe that they will translate into certainties when the agreement is implemented after third reading and adoption in the Senate.

Provisions concerning Nisga'a governments and relations with third parties are clear and precise.

There is another point I really must deal with. Some people said that there should be no taxation without representation. It is another myth that we have been hearing for a long time. Some people who are not Nisga'a will live on Nisga'a lands. They will not pay taxes to the Nisga'a government. They will continue to pay their taxes at the federal, provincial and municipal levels but they will pay no taxes to the Nisga'a. Therefore those people cannot demand to be part of the Nisga'a government if they do not pay taxes.

This was another argument that was often raised by the bill's opponents and I had to refute it.

There are also many other areas, such as economic and political activities defined in the accord, that ensure that there really is a partnership between parliament and the Nisga'a nation.

We white people often tend to have a certain conception of values. I recall that when Mr. Bouchard named me critic for Indian affairs, I wondered what I was going to do. I discovered that the issue of Indian affairs was an extremely important one because it forces us to look into our hearts and it greatly changes us.

I think it also changes our values system. For us, the measure of one's success is often having a Mercedes, a mansion, a cottage and a big bank account. The Nisga'a and other native peoples do not have the same values.

I am really happy when these people give me the opportunity to discover new values. It makes me happy when they take me fishing salmon in their boat for part of the day. For me, that is very important. It is a concept of values that we white people forgot long ago.

If more of my colleagues went fishing with the natives there would be less arguing in the House. People's values would probably change and animosity would probably disappear.

One has to see how these people react to animosity, to all those rednecks yelling at them to speak white or telling them to go back to their reserves, as we heard before. Almost all of these people went to residential schools. They have a great inner peace because they all experienced a lot of problems. Today they are enthusiastic and determined to conclude these agreements. They are immune to all the snide remarks and insults hurled at them. They are convinced that they will succeed, and having been around them, I too am convinced that they will.

It is the Mercedes versus the small boat to go salmon fishing, the Mercedes versus the moose hunt, the fishing camp versus the mansion. But, as far as I am concerned, one can certainly be as happy in a fishing camp as in a castle on the Loire because communing with nature is easier.

These people taught me that. As for gathering berries, they have always taken me to the places where the best berries are to be found. They are probably better than the ones served at banquets in the Château Laurier here in Ottawa because they are eaten in the wild and in a traditional way that we do not know about.

I find that the values that these people help us discover are important. Nature is important for them. It is important for them to live happily in the wild and in perfect harmony with nature.

I started my speech by saying that the Bloc Quebecois was willing to take one of the keys and to open the cage in which the Nisga'a people have been locked for several centuries now. The Indian Act is at least 125 years old. They have been subject to this act since the beginning. It is important for us to accompany the Nisga'a people on the road to self-government. In fact, we said, in the language of the Nisga'a:

[Editor's note: The member spoke in Nisga'a]

That means “We walk with the Nisga'a people”.

We never stopped walking with the Nisga'a people since the beginning, but now I also want the Nisga'a people to understand, and they are here today, that we are going through some turbulence, as I said this earlier, and if we are happy that they obtained their autonomy, the greatest autonomy possible, we, the Bloc Quebecois, are very unhappy with the turn of events concerning our own people. People must understand each other.

As I said earlier, the Reform Party denies the existence of several nations in Canada. It is quite obvious that the Reform Party wants to gag Quebec, to lock it up, like the Liberal Party, in the cage of status quo. We, too, want out of this cage. The Nisga'a people must understand that Quebec wants out of this cage, that it wants to free itself from this trap, that it wants to look to the future from a different perspective, from the perspective that I explained earlier, whereby a sovereign Quebec will maintain a partnership with its Canadian friends and with the native people with whom we have shared the same territory for a very long time.

Consequently, we have to increase the opportunities for partnership. It is not acceptable to say to Quebecers “We are locking you up in a cage and throwing away the key; you will stay there and nothing will change”. We gave up the idea of changing things a long time ago. We believe that we must achieve full independence now, and that is why we have some mixed feelings today.

We are happy for the Nisga'a people. Obviously the Bloc does not want to block this bill. We cannot do that to a people that is moving toward self-government. However, as I mentioned earlier, there are distortions and zones of turbulence.

That is why I move the following motion:

That the House do now adjourn.

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

1:45 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

Order please. I am sorry, but to be clear, I have to respond in English.

Because the House is under special order on Bill C-9, I have to find out whether or not the request is receivable by the Chair. I further point out that the special order relates to closure on Bill C-9. Obviously this motion would be receivable if the House were not under special order on closure for the vote on Bill C-9 today. That is the ambiguity I need to address.

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I would like to know when the Chair will make a ruling. We cannot go on waiting like this all day long. I totally agree with my colleagues from across—

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

Sometimes it takes time to conclave the mavens. The mavens have been conclaved and the motion is receivable.

Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
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1:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
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1:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

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1:50 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

All those in favour will please say yea.

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
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1:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
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1:50 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

All those opposed will please say nay.

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
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1:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
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1:50 p.m.

Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

In my opinion the nays have it.

And more than five members having risen:

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
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1:50 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

Call in the members.

And the bells having rung:

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

I have to explain in English because this is a complicated problem.

As members will recall, when the motion was first presented, I asked for time to consult. It was my opinion that because the House was under a special order on closure on Bill C-9, a motion to adjourn would not be receivable. I was informed that the motion was receivable. I have been subsequently informed after further research that under Standing Order 25 a motion to adjourn is only receivable if given by a minister of the government.

I made a mistake earlier this morning in not presenting a motion for unanimous consent correctly. I made another one now in receiving a motion that was not receivable. Under the standing orders of the House, the motion is not receivable. Therefore, with my apologies to those who have been called to the House early, there will not be a vote on that motion. The motion is not receivable.

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
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1:55 p.m.

An hon. member

I rise on a point of order.

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
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1:55 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

There can be no point of order on this ruling. The ruling has been made and that is that.

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1:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

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1:55 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

The member for Chambly on a point of order.

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1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Lebel Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is not this ruling that worries me, but the other one you handed down this morning. At that time, was it a minister who proposed that we adjourn or interrupt the procedures?

You say you made—

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

I must say to the member for Chambly that the situation which prevailed this morning was in no way similar to the present situation.

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Speaker

It being 2 p.m., the House will now proceed to statements by members.

Mna For Abitibi-Est
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Guy St-Julien Abitibi, QC

Mr. Speaker, on November 23, in an interview with Denis Labrecque of the Parlemenu , the daily newspaper of Abitibi's Vallée-de-l'Or, André Pelletier, the Parti Quebecois member of the National Assembly for Abitibi-Est made a statement in connection with a recent survey in which 59% of respondents reported they would have voted no in a referendum on Quebec independence. He said “The results will be far different when the real question is asked”.

According to PQ MNA André Pelletier, the real question should be “Do you want to disappear?”

Who is it that this MNA wants to see disappear? Once again this PQ MNA is stirring up fear and uncertainty, wanting to see Abitibi separate from Canada.

He will never get me to disappear, as a native of Abitibi, a Quebecer and a Canadian.

The culture of Abitibi is going to stand up steadfastly against the cynical threats by PQ MNA for Abitibi-Est André Pelletier.

Revenue Canada
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Reform

Lee Morrison Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, Revenue Canada's knights of the double standard are off on a fearless crusade against non-profit community associations in rural Saskatchewan.

Apparently having solved all the minor problems like movement of major corporate assets offshore, they now have time to go after the really big stuff: recreational facilities provided for children by groups of volunteers.

Many such groups contract local individuals to maintain skating and curling rinks.

Contractors are personally responsible for remitting income tax and payments till now have been exempt from EI and CPP deductions. Suddenly arrangements that have worked well for years are being questioned. Service clubs are being billed for thousands of dollars in back payments for EI and CPP, money that they do not have.

Thanks to Liberal policies, few Saskatchewan farmers have taxable income. Revenue Canada is recovering a tiny fraction of the shortfall by putting the boots to rural communities.

Communities In Bloom
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

John Richardson Perth—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise in the House today to speak about people, plants and pride, the slogan of Communities in Bloom, an organization which seeks to provide a national focus for established provincial and community based beautification programs across Canada.

Launched in 1995 with 29 municipalities participating, this year's edition had the involvement of all provinces and territories. Hundreds of municipalities were involved at the provincial level, while 94 municipalities competed at the national level. With competitions designed to build a spirit of community and to increase civic pride, Communities in Bloom has popularized environmental awareness and heritage conservation.

It gives me great pleasure to announce that the town of Mitchell received four out of five blooms in this year's competition and was a national finalist in the 2,000 to 5,000 population category.

Canadian Executive Services Organization
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Augustine Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, many of the constituents of Etobicoke—Lakeshore share their skills and expertise with others around the world in the Canadian Executive Services Organization, CESO.

Today I would like to take this opportunity to recognize and congratulate two of my constituents, Dr. Gordon Agar and Mrs. Regina Pearce. Dr. Agar spent one month in Lima, Peru, where he provided training to the ministry of energy to overcome environmental problems caused by mercury and cyanide contamination. Mrs. Pearce shared her expertise with municipal leaders and business persons in Russia to improve the quality of their services.

On behalf of the people of Etobicoke—Lakeshore I am proud to extend my hearty congratulations to both Dr. Agar and Mrs. Pearce for a job well done.

Divorce Act
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Special Joint Committee of the Commons and Senate on Custody and Access recommended that the Divorce Act be changed to become more child centred and to affirm the fact that both parents have an important role to play in the lives of their children, even after divorce.

According to a 1996 study in the U.S., children in fatherless homes account for the following: 63% of youth suicides, 83% of children with behaviour disorders, 71% of high school dropouts, 85% of youths sitting in jails, and 80% of rapists.

The list goes on. It is clear that children are the real victims of divorce. I support the recommendations of the special joint committee, in particular the requirement for mandatory parenting education prior to the granting of a divorce.

Children do have rights. We as legislators have a duty to protect those rights.

Logging
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Gary Lunn Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, Helen Point on Mayne Island is a postcard of British Columbia's natural beauty. It is viewed by millions of ferry passengers travelling through Active Pass.

Today Helen Point is being logged. This situation could have been avoided if it were not for the complete inaction of not one, not two, but three federal cabinet ministers.

The Minister of the Environment refuses to intervene. The Minister of Canadian Heritage referred to the Gulf Islands as “the jewel of Canada”. Completely out of character, she then fell silent. The Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development promised on November 18 that there would be no logging until all requirements had been met, this two weeks after he had already issued the permit.

The local Islands Trust stated that this situation “requires jurisdictional leadership of the Government of Canada”. I could not agree more. There is considerable goodwill on all sides, if only the government would investigate alternatives. Unfortunately the only finger the government lifted for British Columbia was the middle—

Logging
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Laval East

Minister Of Intergovernmental Affairs
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Maud Debien Laval East, QC

Mr. Speaker, in September of 1994, a certain political science professor stated, with regard to the referendum process in Quebec, that the referendum question was sufficiently clear. First about-face: today this professor, who is now the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, is proclaiming the opposite, loud and clear.

He also said that Ottawa's insistence on the use of the term separation in the question had no legal basis. For this person, who is now threatening Quebec with an anti-democratic bill, this is the second about-face.

Finally, he stated that the terms “sovereignty”, “independence”, “separation” and “secession” were all synonymous. In his third about-face, this person who has since become a minister is now claiming the contrary.

Who is right, the minister or the professor? There is a lack of clarity here, as is obvious in the bill requiring clarity tabled by the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, the confusion and obscurity of which are striking.

Club Italia
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Gary Pillitteri Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Wednesday, December 8, while the Reformers were filibustering in the House of Commons, a group of constituent members of the choir of Club Italia performed in the rotunda of Parliament Hill and delighted us with their talent.

The choir is well known in the Niagara area as it often performs in senior citizen homes and hospitals. It is a must in our riding's Canada Day celebrations.

The members of the choir worked hard on their own time holding a series of events to raise the funds necessary to travel to Ottawa. They were proud and thankful of having the privilege of performing on Parliament Hill in the very heart of the nation.

The Club Italia choir embodies what is so great about our country. By keeping their traditions alive, fostering our present culture and wrapping it altogether in an attractive package, the members of the Club Italia choir showed us that diversity is the stuff that unites us and makes Canada strong.

Thérèse Perrier
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Assad Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate Thérèse Perrier, a resident of Masson-Angers in my riding of Gatineau, for her volunteer work in a medical school located in Ishevsk, Russia.

As a professor of health sciences, Mrs. Perrier helped train the staff in administrative and organizational methods. She visited medical schools and hospitals to show how similar methods work in Canada.

Mrs. Perrier made presentations to medical school students on nursing techniques relating to pediatrics and gynecology. She also made recommendations to improve the health care system.

Congratulations to you, Mrs. Perrier, for your dedication, and good luck in your future endeavours.

Canadian Forces
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Art Hanger Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to congratulate the men and women of our armed forces who are returning from a six month NATO deployment in Kosovo. They are to be further congratulated given the fact that our military members are often deployed with inadequate clothing and equipment.

While the much lauded clothe the soldier program is overdue and overbudget, military personnel are still being sent to combat zones without proper clothing. The Coyote, the light armoured vehicle, remains a liability if faced with heavy enemy fire. Twelve of these vehicles broke down with steering problems last summer.

These chronic problems are well known to rank and file members of our Canadian forces who just get on with the job. They should be as well known to this indifferent government that denies any responsibility for this crisis.

During this Christmas season it is time to pay tribute to our soldiers, sailors and airmen who are regularly sent overseas to enforce Canadian military commitments. They often return home with the barest of public recognition, appreciated only by their families and friends.

Let it be otherwise—

Canadian Forces
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Hull—Aylmer.

Children
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, this morning, UNICEF released a report on progress made over the past century in improving the plight of children. This progress is very real but, unfortunately, it is jeopardized by scourges such as AIDS and military conflicts.

The report calls on governments around the world, and on our collective and individual conscience, to find concrete solutions to the problems experienced by children all over the world.

Canada is making great efforts to alleviate human suffering. For example, our country is taking part in several military missions to maintain peace in various parts of the world. We also contributes to economic and social development projects in poor countries.

A tremendous amount of work remains to be done to reduce human suffering. However, we can be proud of the leadership role played by our government in improving the quality of life of children around the world.

Bilingualism
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Harris government's decision to ignore advisor Glen Shortliffe's recommendation that Ottawa become a bilingual city, and now its intention to appeal the Montfort ruling, are insults to the Francophonie of Canada and Ontario.

As the nation's capital, Ottawa must reflect the bilingual nature of our country. As well, francophones and anglophones living in our capital must have access to services in their mother tongue.

Since this shocking announcement, we have had a motion from the Standing Joint Committee on Official Languages calling for bilingual status for Ottawa. But the Prime Minister prefers to wait until he has a chance to speak to Mr. Harris.

Our Prime Minister must show leadership and intervene immediately with Premier Harris in order to defend the bilingual nature of Ottawa.

There is nothing tricky about it: Canada's national capital must be bilingual.

President Of The Treasury Board
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

René Laurin Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, we read in the weekend newspapers that the President of the Treasury Board said she was delighted with her government's bill to fetter the Government of Quebec.

But, on November 27, 1991, the President of the Treasury Board, then a member of Quebec's National Assembly, voted in favour of a motion that the National Assembly call on the federal government to respect the process set in motion by Bill 150 and reaffirm the right of Quebecers to take responsibility for their own destiny and determine their own political and constitutional status.

Such an about-face should not surprise us. In 1995, as the minister responsible for the UNITY operation, she spent the $4.8 million her government gave Option Canada, in contravention of Quebec's referendum legislation.

Clearly, when it came to choosing between the Canadian limousine and the rights of Quebec, the member for Westmount—Ville-Marie went for the limousine.

Economic Development Of Montreal
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Paradis Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, I wish to speak today of an excellent initiative taken by our government to develop Montreal's international vocation.

On December 6, the member for Outremont and Secretary of State responsible for Canada Economic Development announced that our government was contributing $24 million to ensure the development of the international quarter of Montreal, a strategic growing point for the orientation Montreal has set for itself.

This $60 million plus short-term project will generate more than $1 billion in property investment in the long term.

Through the project, Montreal will develop into a world-wide pole of attraction for international organizations.

It represents a clear commitment by our government to the future of Greater Montreal. I am sure that the economic benefits will spread as far as Brome—Missisquoi and throughout Quebec.

Agriculture
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rick Borotsik Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to report back to the House on last week's informative committee hearings in western Canada on the farm income crisis. The hearings were very revealing, to say the least.

In a committee meeting in Dauphin, Manitoba, we heard one of the witnesses comment on the Reform Party. The farmer stated that the Reform Party had very clearly stated that it was opposed to subsidies, did not think government should be supporting agriculture out of taxpayer dollars, and was not speaking on their behalf.

Not only was the Reform Party not speaking on their behalf but its chief agriculture critic did not show up for any of the meetings. What was even more revealing were comments made by Liberal members of the committee. Perhaps they should have checked with the minister before speaking.

The Liberal committee chairman stated “AIDA has been an absolute failure and we have got to get out of the ad hoc programs”. The Liberal rural caucus chair also went on to say “I am ashamed”. I too am ashamed and I hope that the government will now place agriculture in a much higher priority on the national agenda.

Big Ben
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Ian Murray Lanark—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I wish to pay tribute today to Big Ben, Canada's most famous show jumping horse that died on Saturday at Millar Brooke Farm at the age of 23.

Big Ben, ridden by Ian Millar of Perth, won two World Cup titles, two Pan-American Games gold medals and appeared in three Olympic Games. He was one of only two animals, Northern Dancer being the other, to be inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame. Big Ben retired from competition in 1994 following a national farewell tour.

Canadian interest in show jumping was greatly enhanced through Big Ben's international appearances, and the pride inspired by his spirited competition will long be remembered.

National Unity
Oral Question Period

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, we support the bill to clarify referendum rules. There are ways to improve that bill. There should be a clear question in the bill.

Why does the Liberal government not lay out one clear question as a suggestion for a province that might want to secede?

National Unity
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we appreciate the support of the Reform Party for our measure. I would suggest that the hon. member wait for the debate to begin on the bill. There will be an opportunity to consider the point of view of the hon. member.

Basically our approach is that this should be something taken through a decision by the House of Commons after due consultation. I hope that on reflection the hon. member will continue to support that position.

National Unity
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, we support the bill to clarify the referendum rules but there is room for improvement. The required majority is not at all clear.

Why does the government continue to be so vague about such an important issue?

National Unity
Oral Question Period

2:15 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, the bill is not about the clarity of a referendum. It is about this Chamber's responsibilities relating to the possibility of negotiating secession.

According to the bill, if it is clear, the government will negotiate, and if it is not clear, it will not. The conditions of clarity are what would lead the government to negotiate. That is what the bill is all about.

National Unity
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, this referendum bill has no focus on improving the federation, no improvement to the way parliament works, no improvement to the way our court system works and no improvement on democracy.

Why is the bill so silent on the issue of improving the federation?

National Unity
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have already been carrying out a number of important steps to improve the federation. There is a resolution of this House on Quebec being a distinct society. There was the bill adopted by the House on the matter of a veto on constitutional reform for Quebec, British Columbia and other regions. There was the development of the social union framework.

We have been doing a number of important things to improve the federation, and this is shown by the fact that most Canadians, including Quebecers, continue to believe that Canada is the best country in the world in which to live. We will continue to work to ensure that is the case.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, now that the government is moving our way on unity, maybe it will move our way on taxes.

Canadians are now paying record high taxes. They have never paid taxes higher than they are today and they want immediate tax relief. The grassroots Liberal resolutions made at their spring convention are calling for record increases in spending, just as the Prime Minister has said and just as we saw in the throne speech.

Does the finance minister agree with the Prime Minister and with grassroots Liberals that tax relief should be pushed to the bottom of the agenda?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has made it very clear, as have the Liberals on the finance committee and grassroots Liberals from coast to coast, that they support the necessity of bringing down tax cuts. They support the government and the last two budgets have brought down tax cuts.

In terms of who is moving whose way, we brought them down. The Reform Party policy in Fresh Start was not to bring down taxes.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, after all these years it should be fairly clear that nobody likes Christmas fruitcakes.

We want some clarity now on the finance portfolio. The hon. minister's party does not believe in tax relief. The Prime Minister does not believe in tax relief. Apparently this minister himself does not believe in tax relief or he would not keep raising taxes.

With taxes going up again on January 1, why should Canadians believe for a moment that the minister wants to cut taxes?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, speaking of Christmas fruitcakes, it is a pleasure to respond to the Reform Party. This government brought taxes down in the last budget and in the budget before that.

The basic issue that Canadians want to know is why the Reform Party stands up in the House and pretends that it is in favour of tax cuts when a clear statement in its own election platform, Fresh Start, says that it would not cut taxes before the year 2000.

Referendums
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the draft bill introduced by the government on Friday does not include any objective test. It is up to Ottawa, Ottawa acting as both judge and jury.

Will the Prime Minister recognize that this draft bill is unique and that it is a paradox, since Ottawa will enjoy all the flexibility, while Quebec will have all the constraints?

Referendums
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, the answer is no.

The draft bill fully respects the rights of the National Assembly, which can ask any question it wants to Quebec voters. However, it is not just any question that can lead to negotiations on secession.

This is what the Supreme Court of Canada said and it only makes sense.

Referendums
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister says he likes consensus. There is a large consensus against the federal legislation among all democratic groups in Quebec, including all political parties at the National Assembly and the overwhelming majority of Bloc Quebecois, Progressive Conservative and NDP members who represent Quebec in this House. Democrats are opposed to that measure.

The Prime Minister finds himself in a provocative group, with allies such as the Reform Party, Keith Anderson, Bill Johnson, Howard Galdanov and Guy Bertrand. Does the Prime Minister feel comfortable with such allies?

Referendums
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, we are very comfortable with the vast majority of Quebecers who believe it would be better not to have a referendum. But if there is to be a referendum, then it should be on separation, not on a confusing question, and that it would be totally irresponsible to try to achieve separation with 50% plus one.

This is the view shared by the vast majority of Quebecers and, again, it is consistent with the supreme court opinion.

Referendums
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, one consensus is emerging in Quebec against the government bill, while another is emerging in the rest of Canada in favour of it, just like in 1982 with respect to patriation of the Constitution and in 1999 with respect to adoption of the social union framework, which saw Quebec and the rest of Canada go their separate ways.

Does the Prime Minister realize that, whenever Quebec and Canada differ on an important issue, he sides with the rest of Canada against Quebec?

Referendums
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, this bill is pro-Quebec. This bill is pro-democracy. This bill guarantees us Quebecers that we will never lose Canada through trickery, that we will be able to remain part of Canada for as long as we wish, because we built this country. It is ours and we will not give it up.

Referendums
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, by going ahead with this bill, as he means to do, is the Prime Minister admitting that what he is trying to do is give the House of Commons an actual veto over decisions made by the people of Quebec and over the authority of the National Assembly, a veto over Quebec's democracy?

Referendums
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, Quebecers are fortunate to have two governments with constitutional powers, two parliaments with constitutional powers, and Quebec's democracy finds expression here as well. Each member of the House has the constitutional and moral responsibility to look out for the interests of all Canadians, including Quebecers.

Child Poverty
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, today the National Council of Welfare and UNICEF slammed our Prime Minister for ignoring poor children.

In Canada today 60% of young families are poor; 1.4 million children are living in poverty. That is the legacy of the government. That is the legacy of the Prime Minister, turning his back on poor children.

Is that how the Prime Minister wants to be remembered?

Child Poverty
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, historically there is an unwarranted and faulty premise in the hon. member's questions. We have worked actively for poor children. A major example is the national child benefit. We put billions of dollars into it. We will do more. We will continue working for poor children and we will build on the good record we have already achieved.

Child Poverty
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the government's record is 1.4 million children living in poverty. The government is in denial. The Prime Minister is in denial. He does not believe that child poverty is real. I wish the Prime Minister were half as obsessed with child poverty as he is with his poor performance in the 1995 referendum.

Children are a nation's future. A child growing up in poverty will never have an equal opportunity in life. I implore the government to make the elimination of child poverty its first priority.

What will it take to get the government to do that?

Child Poverty
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as was stated clearly in the throne speech, our priority is the elimination of child poverty and the improvement of conditions for all Canadians.

To show how out of touch the hon. member is, instead of standing up and supporting our position on clarity and keeping Canada together, she makes an unwarranted and inaccurate slur on the fine work of the Prime Minister in making sure that the referendum was won by people who want to keep Canada together. Where is she when she has to stand up for Canada in the House? Nowhere.

National Unity
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

Will he advise the House whether, prior to Friday's release of the so-called clarity bill, he not only consulted with but sought the opinion of all provincial premiers on the bill and if he has not, will he be convening a first ministers conference prior to putting this matter to a vote in the House?

National Unity
Oral Question Period

2:25 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, we are speaking with the provincial premiers and governments about every file, including unity issues.

Referendums
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

André Bachand Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, this country was built upon common interests by and for the people here.

We cannot allow the House of Commons to introduce a bill which, in reality, provides a recipe for destroying this country.

Does the government realize that this draft bill is an avowal of failure by this government as far as the future of the federation is concerned?

Referendums
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

No, Mr. Speaker. This bill is a follow-up to the supreme court judgment referring back to the political stakeholders the responsibility to establish the conditions of clarity under which they would agree to negotiate the secession of a province from Canada, and it seems to me that one of those stakeholders is the Canadian House of Commons.

Transitional Jobs Fund
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, even after the Prime Minister found nearly $1 million in federal grants and loans for the Grand-Mère Inn in his riding, it is out of money again. There are lawsuits over unpaid debts, and now it is even up for sale.

Fortunately for the Prime Minister, Mr. Duhaime was taking the Prime Minister's money losing hotel off his hands at that time, but unfortunately for the taxpayers, it looks like their so-called investment is about to go down a black hole or into cyberspace, depending on what we like to call it.

Why did the Prime Minister give Mr. Duhaime $1 million in the first place? How much money will taxpayers lose over this latest fiasco?

Transitional Jobs Fund
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, while the majority of Canadians are celebrating the lowest unemployment levels that we have had in almost a decade, 6.9%, there are areas in the country that are not benefiting from this.

The opposition would have those regions suffer due to a lack of employment opportunities. That is not our approach. We have supported the transitional jobs fund and the Canada jobs fund.

Transitional Jobs Fund
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, in the words of Yogi Berra, it is déjà vu all over again.

This time Mr. Duhaime owes the federal government $66,000 in back taxes; Revenue Quebec, $61,000; the town of Grand-Mère, $46,000; the city of Shawinigan, $15,000; and a local contractor, $80,000.

The last time Mr. Duhaime was in this much trouble his first hotel burned to the ground and the Prime Minister came up with $1 million to get him back in business. Will the Prime Minister assure us that the fire trucks are standing by, that there are no more grants for Mr. Duhaime, and will he tell us how much money this will cost the taxpayers?

Transitional Jobs Fund
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I remind the hon. member that the unemployment levels in that area are very high. I also would remind the House that this project was contracted in good faith based on a business plan and on the advice and support of the whole community. In support of this project, we were with the provincial government, Caisse Populaire Le Rocher, the Fédération des Travailleurs du Quebec's solidarity fund, the Groupe Forces, a private sector investor and the Business Development Bank of Canada.

Referendums
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, clause 2(2) of the draft bill by the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs on the Quebec referendum calls for determination of the majority to be based on the size of the majority, not specified, the percentage of participation, again not specified, and “any other matters or circumstances it considers to be relevant”.

Can the minister, that friend of Galganov and Guy Bertrand, tell us what the matters and circumstances relevant to the evaluation of the majority might be? What is this saying between the lines?

Referendums
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

It is very difficult, Mr. Speaker, in the calm of a united country, in the situation we find ourselves today, to predict all of the circumstances, probably difficult and troubled ones, that would occur after a referendum that led to a yes vote, which the government of the province would have deemed a sufficiently clear majority to call for negotiations on secession.

The first ones to make that assessment would be the government of the province. One might think, for instance, that government might be sufficiently forward looking not to want to proceed if the figures were within the zone for a recount; that is one example.

Referendums
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government will decide if the majority is sufficient and if the question is clear enough, taking into consideration the opinions of the political parties in the National Assembly, the governments of the provinces, the governments of the territories, and the Senate, as well as any other opinion it might deem relevant.

Has the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs not made sufficient provision for different opinions in order to be absolutely certain that one of them at least would back him up in not following through on the referendum?

Referendums
Oral Question Period

2:30 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, for secession to be achieved, a great deal of calm and a great deal of reasonable action will be necessary. Most of all, motives must not be judged; faith must be placed in the intentions of others, and they must be worked with.

If an aggressive approach is taken, calling names and insulting others, then of course secession may go off very badly.

I would invite the leader of the Bloc Quebecois and his team to give Quebecers proof that they have sufficient statesmanship to carry out secession properly, because that is not the case at this time.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Howard Hilstrom Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, the farm income crisis rages on while the government looks for bureaucratic ways to fiddle with its wounded AIDA program.

Let me read some quotes from the Liberal chairman of the agriculture committee: “AIDA has been an absolute failure” and “we have got to find a way of fixing it or at least coming up with a sequel that will do a better job”.

Since he will not listen to farmers, why will the Prime Minister not listen to his own caucus members and help farmers now?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows that I was meeting with the ministers of agriculture from across the country last week. I wish we could have reached consensus at that point. We still have more work to do. I am working with the safety nets advisory committee to improve the situation, to find other ways, new ways and better ways to assist Canadian farmers. We know they need the help. We know the importance of the industry and we will do all we can.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Howard Hilstrom Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, listen to this quote: “AIDA has been a disaster all on its own. It still has over $1 billion in the pot, yet only $500 million has been distributed so far”. Those are not my words. Those are the words of the agriculture committee chairman in a statement made last week. Even the member for Hastings—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington said that he was ashamed of AIDA.

Does the Prime Minister agree with his caucus colleagues that he has failed farmers, or is this just another example of the Liberals saying one thing out west and doing a different thing here in Ottawa?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I remind the House, farmers, and all Canadians of the opposition party's election promise that it would take some $600 million out of support to agriculture. In the last 12 months we have added $1.1 billion.

Referendums
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the supreme court recognized the legitimacy of the Quebec sovereignist project. However, with its bill, the federal government is attacking that legitimacy.

By introducing its referendum legislation, is the federal government not trying to send to the international community and to the rest of Canada the message that if Ottawa is not the one that sets the rules, the referendum exercise will be a fraud and will not be valid? Is the federal government not trying to tarnish the image of democracy in Quebec, which makes us so proud?

Referendums
Oral Question Period

2:35 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, the National Assembly is free to ask any question it wants to voters. There is absolutely nothing in the bill that questions the National Assembly's prerogatives.

But everyone, whether in Quebec, in all of Canada or in the world, would find it unreasonable that the government of a country would be forced to negotiate the breakup of that country on just any question. It will take a clear question on separation to negotiate separation.

If the hon. member wants to travel the world to try to condemn that, she will be told everywhere “but Madam, this is obvious”.

Referendums
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

Dear colleagues, I remind you that you must always address the Chair.

Referendums
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, in 1995, the Quebec referendum process was thoroughly examined by the whole world.

Is the federal government not sending to the international community the message that it is not acting in good faith with Quebec, that it does not want to act in good faith, and that regardless of what we do or say, it will find excuses to refuse to negotiate?

Referendums
Oral Question Period

2:35 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, the confusing process used in 1995 was indeed thoroughly examined. The hon. member should read the book written by sociologist Maurice Pinard on the confusion that the question generated among voters.

As for the international community, I think this bill will be perceived as something very liberal and open regarding secession, which is not at all a popular concept around the world, so much so in fact that many very respectable democracies have declared themselves indivisible.

Prisons
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, an internal Correctional Service Canada survey obtained through access to information proves that the prison drug prevention strategy is a failure. Correctional Service Canada staff confirmed what the Reform Party has been saying for months. Only 31% of them rated the drug strategy as successful. In other words, almost 70% of his own staff think the program is a failure.

When was the solicitor general planning to tell Canadians that his drug strategy plan is an abject failure?

Prisons
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Cardigan
P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as my hon. colleague is well aware, the drug initiative program by the Correctional Service of Canada has not been a failure. We have been working full time to make sure all the actions taken by the Correctional Service of Canada to address the drug problem are worked on and improved as we go on.

Prisons
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, I will tell you what the solicitor general has been working on. It is a $2.5 million building to research drugs placed in his riding in Prince Edward Island where there are no prisons. Meanwhile, just a few miles down the road at the closed base CFB Summerside, there are more than 11 buildings closed.

Is it not true that the solicitor general does not give a damn about drugs in prisons, but is preoccupied about patronage—

Prisons
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. It is probably acceptable in most circumstances but I would ask hon. members to stay away from very strong language today. I will let the hon. solicitor general answer the question.

Prisons
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Cardigan
P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated a number of times in the House, when I was appointed—

Prisons
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Prisons
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Cardigan, PE

Mr. Speaker, they asked the question. Why do they not listen to the answer?

This is a serious problem. Quite simply, when I was appointed Solicitor General of Canada, 70% of the people in our federal institutions were alcoholics or had drug problems. It would make great sense to address the major problem in our federal institutions. That is what this government is going to do. We are going to address the addiction and drug problems in the federal penitentiaries.

Referendums
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the minister wanted to talk about the international community, let us do that.

For at least ten years now, the federal government has insisted internationally that existing borders be maintained in the recognition of new sovereign states. But its draft bill on the Quebec referendum calls Quebec's borders into question.

What is different today that the federal government has abandoned its traditional position? Might it be because, this time, its own turf is involved?

Referendums
Oral Question Period

2:40 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, borders have been known to shift during secessions. These shifts have been carried out successfully.

The Czech Republic and Slovakia shifted their borders slightly after negotiations. Latvia agreed to review its border with Russia.

This sort of thing happens. It is really not desirable, but it can happen that, in order for a separation agreement to take place in the least unfavourable conditions possible, there must be an agreement to shift borders.

Treasury Board
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Roger Gallaway Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the President of the Treasury Board.

A large number of industry and commercial groups state this government's rules concerning cost recovery are not transparent, are usurious, generally unfair and an additional burden on the cost of doing business in this country.

Will the minister lend her support to a parliamentary committee study which would examine all government departments and agencies and how they recover costs?

Treasury Board
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, cost recovery by the Government of Canada is implemented all the time after large consultations with stakeholders, through economic impact and according to a fair and transparent process. Right now there is a review of the policies which will involve everyone, including parliamentarians, businesses, consumers, NGOs, federal departments and agencies that are concerned by this.

Coast Guard
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Myron Thompson Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, according to Saturday's media reports a man lost his life off the coast of Newfoundland while a coast guard rescue ship was preparing for a lavish party for Correctional Service Canada officials.

Why does the coast guard put a higher priority on parties rather than saving lives?

Coast Guard
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby
B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the women and men take pride in the work they do and they do an excellent job when it comes to search and rescue.

As I said to the House last week, search and rescue is a priority for the coast guard and our rescue centre. There was a young man who lost his life on the shoreline in Newfoundland. The RCMP, the coast guard, as well as a DND helicopter responded according to the guidelines. They made every effort to respond to the situation.

Coast Guard
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Myron Thompson Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, let me remind the minister of his statement in Hansard last week. He said: “Mr. Speaker, I want to make it very clear to the members that no lives were at risk at any time”. Well, a person drowned.

What I want to know from the minister is why are they using coast guard ships for parties? Where are their priorities?

Coast Guard
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby
B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, it is typical of the Reform Party to use such sleazy tactics in a very—

Coast Guard
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Coast Guard
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I ask the hon. minister to withdraw “sleazy”.

Coast Guard
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal Vancouver South—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, I withdraw it.

As I said last week, no lives were at risk. The coast guard ship Cape Roger attended to this as soon as it was alerted. The RCMP, which has jurisdiction because of the action on the shoreline, responded, and the DND helicopter from Gander also responded. They responded exactly in accordance with the rescue standards which we have established in this country.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, on Friday the Alberta government replied to the health minister's questions about its move toward a privatized two-tier health care system.

If members have had a chance to look at the reply they will see that it does not allay Canadians' fears one bit that the Alberta plan will erode our public universal health care system. Yet, Alberta sees no problems and still plans to proceed.

Does the health minister find Alberta's answers to his questions satisfactory? If not, what action will the government take to keep Alberta from unilaterally destroying our public health care system?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we have received the letter from Minister Jonson of Alberta and it is under consideration. We will react to it as soon as we have completed our examination of it.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, we would like a little more information. This is an urgent situation. On the one hand the minister stands to defend medicare and says that he will protect our universal health care system, and on the other hand we have the Liberal dominated finance committee whose members tell us that the government will not be spending its surplus on much needed money for our health care system.

What are Canadians to believe, the nice empty words of the health minister or the contradictory financial policies of the government that are driving us toward privatized two-tier health care just as surely as any provincial government policy today?

Can the health minister tell us whether his government will back up the Canada Health Act with financial resources?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, a few months ago this government gave Canadians 11.5 billion reasons to believe in our commitment to medicare.

At that time the Minister of Finance said when he tabled the budget in the House that as our balance sheet improves we will do more. That is a commitment that Canadians can take very seriously.

Coast Guard
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Charlie Power St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, I listened attentively to the answer of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to the question just asked.

I ask the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans if anybody has been disciplined for taking the search and rescue vessel J. E. Bernier off active search and rescue duty. Nobody can tell me that the lives of Newfoundlanders were not at risk when that vessel went out on a cruise. Has anybody been disciplined?

Coast Guard
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby
B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, as I said last week, we have informed our managers that what happened on the J. E. Bernier was not acceptable. However, let me say that the Cape Roger , which was in the vicinity, was the closest coast guard vessel to respond to the rescue centre, along with the RCMP and the Canadian forces' helicopter from Gander.

All the standards were fulfilled. Unfortunately the young man, Mr. Collins, died. I think all members of the House would want to express their condolences to Mr. Anthony Collins' family.

Coast Guard
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Charlie Power St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, the minister is not getting the right information from his officials in Newfoundland and Labrador. The Cape Roger did not respond to the search and rescue. The Cape Roger was going offshore 200 miles for conservation duty, and when this tragedy occurred it had to come back to the waters of Newfoundland and Labrador.

It was 4.09 p.m. when the distress call came in. The cruise started at 5 p.m. Why was the cruise not cancelled and the J. E. Bernier put back on search and rescue?

Coast Guard
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby
B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, as I said, the closest ship that could have responded was the Cape Roger . It was appropriate to make sure that we called the closest ship that could have gone to the destination in the quickest fashion, and that is exactly what happened.

Children
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Mac Harb Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Speech from the Throne made several commitments to address the needs of children living in Canada.

I ask the Minister of Health what he is doing to address the needs of children. What is he doing to implement the commitments made in the Speech from the Throne?

Children
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I am working with the Minister of Human Resources Development and with my colleagues in caucus to fulfill the ambitious agenda which the Prime Minister set out in his speech in the House, which is contained in the Speech from the Throne.

It is an agenda for children. By December of this year we hope to have in place a framework agreement with our provincial colleagues on early childhood development. In doing this we will build on the efforts already in place: the 20,000 women every year who are beneficiaries of the prenatal nutrition program and the 40,000 women and their children every year in community action programs for children. These programs make a difference and we will continue this work.

Rcmp
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Cadman Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, two weeks ago I asked a question of the solicitor general regarding the city of Surrey's request to be compensated for overtime paid to the RCMP, costs resulting directly from budget slashing by the government. Surrey is now considering its own municipal police force.

In dismissing my question as being trivial and for show only, the parliamentary secretary insulted the 330,000 citizens of Surrey. This was a question posed by them through their city council, their mayor and their member of parliament.

My question involves the overtime bill in Surrey. Will the solicitor general honour this request and reimburse the RCMP overtime costs?

Rcmp
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Cardigan
P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I think my hon. colleague is well aware that the resource review has taken place. It is in the hands of the government. It will be dealt with in the next budget. If my hon. colleague had listened to the Speech from the Throne he would have realized that there was a commitment from the government to provide the tools to the RCMP to do their job.

Referendums
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, in 1991, the current President of the Treasury Board supported a resolution in the Quebec National Assembly calling on the federal government to respect the process set in motion by Bill 150, which reaffirmed the right of Quebecers to take responsibility for their destiny and to be the only ones to determine their political and constitutional status.

How can the President of the Treasury Board now support the federal government's bill to lay down the conditions for Quebec's next referendum? Would it be because she has opted for the limousine over Quebec's interests?

Referendums
Oral Question Period

2:50 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, there is not a single political entity in Canada that wishes to keep Quebecers in Canada against their will. That is not the issue.

Accusing one of our colleagues of turning her back on this fundamental principle whereby Canada is a country founded on mutual respect is particularly unfair of the member.

Canada Health And Social Transfer
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Wendy Lill Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance.

The minister knows that his surplus was created by withdrawing important services to Canadians. His draconian transfer cuts shredded the social fabric of Nova Scotian communities. Nova Scotian citizens are hurting. Last month over 10,000 children were fed from Nova Scotian food banks. Thousands in Dartmouth live in substandard housing and the health and education systems are in tatters.

Nova Scotians want their money back as well as their quality of life. Will the minister today commit to a complete restoration of social spending transfers to Nova Scotian communities?

Canada Health And Social Transfer
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, one of the first things which the government did as we began to approach the elimination of the deficit was to restore and introduce a new floor protecting the Canada health and social transfer. In last year's budget we put $11.5 billion toward the Canadian health and social transfer.

At the same time, the government has invested close to $2 billion in the national child tax benefit. We have put money into CAPC. We have put money into prenatal nutrition. The government understands full well the problems that families have in raising young children, especially low income families. The government has stepped up to the mark.

Natural Resources
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Natural Resources stated in the House that points raised by the Premier of Nova Scotia in his letter to the minister were rhetorical positions only.

Nova Scotia wants an interim agreement to allow exploratory drilling for Nova Scotia and Newfoundland in the Laurentian sub-basin.

Is the minister accusing the Premier of Nova Scotia of deliberately misleading Canadians?

Natural Resources
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The way the question was posed it is acceptable, but I would ask the hon. member to please stay away from the words “deliberately misleading”.

Natural Resources
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, what I said was that the dispute about a boundary line offshore in eastern Canada is a matter for the provinces, first and foremost, to resolve.

If they are not able to resolve the matter, then there are provisions for the Government of Canada to resolve it through arbitration. I will receive by the end of this year a report from the facilitator who has been working on the potential terms of arbitration. If the provinces continue to be unable to resolve their own problem, then the Government of Canada will move forward with arbitration to solve it for them.

Industry
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Walt Lastewka St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada's productivity can best be increased by assisting small and medium size businesses to adapt to new and innovative technologies.

We know these businesses are the engines of our economy and the future of economic growth. What is the Minister of Industry doing to assist SMEs to foster growth through new technologies?

Industry
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I do not think that any member of the House has been more determined in support of small businesses and understanding their needs than the member for St. Catharines.

He will know that the contribution that needs to be made to productivity in the Canadian economy will depend very much on how rapidly we can enable our small business sector to adapt to new technologies, to reach out to find new discoveries and to use the resources of connecting Canadians to make them more efficient. That is why he has supported programs like the industrial research assistance program of the National Research Council, TPC and IRAP. The student connections program is helping small businesses get connected to the Internet. That is where the differences will be made.

National Unity
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Independent

John Nunziata York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is the government's position that it will refuse to negotiate separation unless the Government of Quebec puts forward a clear question.

My question is for the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. In the event that the question is not clear, is it the intention of the federal government to participate in the referendum campaign, or would it be the position of the government that it would boycott a referendum that did not include a clear question?

Would he not agree that it would be illogical not to negotiate while participating in the referendum campaign?

National Unity
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

That is a hypothetical question. However, if the minister wants to respond, I will permit it.

National Unity
Oral Question Period

2:55 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, one possibility would be to do exactly what was done by the Prime Minister of Canada in 1980.

Prime Minister Trudeau said to Premier Lévesque:

“Mr. Lévesque, if you go the route of sovereignty-association, there will be no negotiation”.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, Mackenzie, a small, remote town in the Rocky Mountains, is being discriminated against. Although further north, more isolated and with far less amenities than nearby cities to the southeast, Mackenzie residents do not qualify for the northern residents' tax deduction.

During a visit to my riding last spring the finance minister promised to review this blatantly unfair practice. Will he now correct the problem so that the citizens of Mackenzie can enjoy the same rights and benefits as other northerners?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, when the previous government established these lines, obviously there were those who won and those who did not.

In fact, the hon. member is right. In a meeting with people in his riding I discussed this and we did undertake to review it.

Referendums
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the Prime Minister began his political career, Quebec sovereignty was supported by 6% of voters. At the last referendum, over 49% of people voted in favour of sovereignty.

Given these results, are we to understand that the Prime Minister has come to a conclusion that justifies, in his mind, the tabling of a bill which seeks to put Quebec and its National Assembly in a straitjacket?

Referendums
Oral Question Period

3 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, the hon. member is showing just how confusing the whole issue is, because it is obvious—as everyone knows—that on October 30, 1995, separatists did not account for 49% of the Quebec population.

Criminal Code
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Justice. Last month Robbie Peterson, a young law student in Fredericton, New Brunswick, was brutally attacked on a downtown street simply because he is gay. Similar bashings occur across this land.

When will the minister finally bring forward her long overdue omnibus bill on equality for gays and lesbians? Will she assure the House that the bill will amend the criminal code to outlaw propaganda which promotes violence and hatred based on sexual orientation?

Criminal Code
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, I had the opportunity to discuss the issue of hate propagated against gays and lesbians with my provincial and territorial colleagues last week.

Let me say that the Attorney General of British Columbia, Ujjal Dosanjh, has brought this issue to my attention. The provinces, the territories and the federal government are working together. We will be the making necessary changes to the criminal code in the coming months.

Natural Resources
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is again for the Minister of Natural Resources. Would the minister kindly explain the reason for the need of a mediator regarding the Nova Scotia—Newfoundland boundary when in 1982 under the Canada-Nova Scotia agreement on offshore oil and gas resource management and revenue sharing such a boundary was defined?

Is the minister saying that he has no faith in the principals of the day who signed the agreement: the then Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau and his minister of energy who was none other than Jean Chrétien?

Natural Resources
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

I always ask members not to use each other's names in the House of Commons. That will terminate question period for today.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, following the Prime Minister's announcement to introduce a bill denying the fundamental rights of Quebecers, I am asking for the unanimous consent of the House to table a document that will enlighten the House.

The document is a very thorough newspaper article published on October 20, which shows the real intentions of the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs concerning Quebec's future.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

Does the hon. member have leave of the House to table the document?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, following the Prime Minister's announcement to introduce a bill denying the fundamental rights of Quebecers, I am asking for the unanimous consent of the House to table a document that will enlighten the House.

The document is a partnership agreement between the Parti Quebecois, the Bloc Quebecois and Action démocratique du Québec. This agreement—

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

Does the House give unanimous consent for the hon. member to table the document?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, further to the Prime Minister's announcement that he wants to introduce a bill denying Quebecers their fundamental rights, I ask for the unanimous consent of the House to table a document that will clarify matters for the House. It is an article from today's La Presse outlining criticism of the bill by Quebec's labour unions.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

Is there unanimous consent of the House for the hon. member to table the document?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

There will be a few more points of order concerning tabling of documents, but I think the results are similar. Perhaps members will try once again.

The hon. member for Jonquière.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, further to the Prime Minister's announcement that he wants to introduce a bill denying Quebecers their fundamental rights, I ask for the unanimous consent of the House to table a document that will clarify matters for the House.

It is—

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

Is there unanimous consent of the House for the hon. member to table the document?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Independent

John Nunziata York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, at about 11.30 today the bells calling in the members for a vote started to ring. It was indicated on the parliamentary channel that the vote would take place 30 minutes from the moment the bells started ringing.

Within a matter of minutes both the opposition whip and the government whip were approaching the Chair and the vote commenced. I would submit that breaches the parliamentary privileges of members of parliament who were not present in the House at the time.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. That particular problem was dealt with earlier in the day. A decision was made and it rests there.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

René Canuel Matapédia—Matane, QC

Mr. Speaker, further to the Prime Minister's announcement that he wants to introduce a bill denying Quebecers their fundamental rights, I ask for the unanimous consent of the House to table a document that will clarify matters for the House.

It is an article from the December 11, 1999, issue of Le Journal de Montréal , in which Pierre—

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to table the document?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The answer is pretty much the same every time. I will accept a few more, but I do not want to use all the time we have for debate today on these points of order.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, an article from the December 11 issue of The Gazette questions the fact that under the bill to be tabled today a no will have more weight than a yes. Following the announcement of the tabling of this bill, I ask the unanimous consent of the House to table this article from The Gazette .

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

The Speaker

Is there unanimous consent?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, it seems to me that you are trying to be fair in a situation that may seem delicate at first glance, but I think it is the role of the Chair to allow members to speak in the House, a role that you have always played properly.

Nobody can assume what request will be made and nobody can decide in advance whether a member may or may not ask for the unanimous consent of the House to table a document of some kind, given that all the documents tabled by my colleagues or regarding which unanimous consent was requested were basically all different.

Either you go beyond the standing orders and presume that members of the Bloc Quebecois cannot ask for the unanimous consent of the House or you declare that the government is so stubborn and narrow-minded that it will never give consent for any document.

I do not know on what basis you can sincerely assume that my colleagues' requests are out of order or inadmissible.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, in the holiday spirit of co-operation, it might help the House if I said right now that the government does not intend to give consent to have any document tabled today. This might help the Chair in his decision later on.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, I sincerely and honestly thought I had seen it all in this House.

Not only does the government House leader hold the all-time record for the number of closure and time allocation motions in this parliament, not only, contrary to the usual practice, has he reneged on his word last week to deceive the Bloc Quebecois and trample Quebecers' basic rights, but today we have this unique, extraordinary situation where, for the first time in living memory, a parliamentarian, the government House leader to boot, is forewarning the House, saying “Today, we will not accept any document whatsoever, whatever the topic”. That is closure at its worst.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

The Speaker

I remind the hon. members that the Chair will decide as appropriate how many points of order we will have. I believe it would be irresponsible to have much more than 10, or 20 at the most.

Let us hear a few more and see what happens.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Guy Chrétien Frontenac—Mégantic, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is in the same vein as what the Parti Quebecois House leader said. Following last week's announcement by the Prime Minister, who tabled a draft bill, I am asking for unanimous consent to table a report. I urge the government House leader to think twice before saying no.

It is part of a report on Quebec's territorial integrity in the event of sovereignty, which was tabled before the committee to examine matters—

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

The Speaker

I am sorry to interrupt the member.

Is there unanimous consent?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, before introducing its draft bill undermining the basic human rights of Quebecers, the government across the way obviously did not take the time to go over the new modern and exciting Quebec-Canada partnership proposal put forward by the Bloc Quebecois and distributed throughout the province of Quebec.

I ask for the unanimous consent of the House to table the document so that the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs can read it.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Is there unanimous consent?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, for the benefit of the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, I ask for the unanimous consent of the House to table a document that should enlighten the minister and all the hon. members. It is the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, the basis of democracy and equality in Quebec.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to table this document?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs having stated his intent to introduce a draft bill undermining the basic human rights of Quebecers, I ask for the unanimous consent of the House to table a document that should answer some of the questions the House might have. It is a document entitled “Chantier de réflexion sur la citoyenneté et la démocratie”.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to table this document?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, I just remind the Chair, the House and the viewing audience today that we are dealing with a very important piece of legislation, Bill C-9, an act to implement the Nisga'a treaty. Time allocation has been called on this legislation. British Columbians' voices have gone largely unheard during debate. I have some colleagues who are waiting their turn to get their points made on this legislation on the last day that they will have a chance to debate the legislation.

If the Bloc Quebecois intend to go on with this all afternoon, will it agree to sit tonight and add those hours to the debate on Bill C-9 so that debate can go on?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Hon. member for Prince George—Peace River, are you asking for unanimous consent to put this motion?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Yes, Mr. Speaker.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Does the hon. member for Prince George—Peace River have the unanimous consent of the House to put the motion?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Lebel Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am sure the minister reacted too quickly when he turned down our request for unanimous consent. The document I want to table with the unanimous consent of the House will certainly be reflected in some of the answers he will be giving us in the future. It is in his best interest to allow me to table it.

It was written by a reporter who is on his side. The document is entitled “The 53.1416% question”.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Is there unanimous consent?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, now that the Prime Minister has announced his intention to introduce a bill negating Quebec's fundamental rights, I would like to table a list of auto dealers for the benefit of the President of the Treasury Board, who will soon have to give up her limousine.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Is there unanimous consent?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Fournier Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister having announced his intention to introduce a bill negating Quebec's fundamental rights, I ask the unanimous consent of the House to table a very informative document.

This is a news story that appeared in the National Post of October 20, in which the intergovernmental affairs minister warned Quebecers against—

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Is there unanimous consent?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

Bloc

Pierrette Venne Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have here a story from the December 11, 1999 issue of Le Droit , which clearly indicates how the government intends to stop Quebecers from deciding freely their own future.

I am asking for the unanimous consent of the House to table this document which will—

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Is there unanimous consent?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

Bloc

Antoine Dubé Lévis, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have here an article published in La Presse concerning the negative reaction of Jean Charest, the leader of the Liberal Party in Quebec, to the bill the Prime Minister has announced.

I am asking for the unanimous consent of the House to table—

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Is there unanimous consent?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Godin Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, further to the Prime Minister's announcement that he wants to introduce a bill denying Quebecers their fundamental rights, I ask for the unanimous consent of the House to table a document that will clarify matters for the House.

It is an article from the Journal de Montréal which explains very well the counter-offensive—

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Is there unanimous consent of the House?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

Bloc

Odina Desrochers Lotbinière, QC

Mr. Speaker, further to the Prime Minister's announcement that he wants to introduce a bill denying Quebecers their fundamental rights, I ask for the unanimous consent of the House to table a document that will clarify matters for the House.

It is an article—

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Is there unanimous consent of the House?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have here an article from the December 11, 1999 issue Le Devoir which describes the mobilization efforts made by all the sovereignist groups in Quebec to counter the offensive project of the Prime Minister and his Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.

I ask the unanimous consent of the House in order to table this document.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Is there unanimous consent of the House?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

Bloc

René Laurin Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, I found in my documentation a document entitled “Quebec and its Territory”, which explains why Quebec borders will be guaranteed after Quebec becomes sovereign.

Since this document will surely enlighten the House, I ask its unanimous consent to table it.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Is there unanimous consent of the House?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have here the text of a speech given by Joseph Facal, the Quebec minister, on the right to democracy and sovereignty, in response to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.

I ask for the unanimous consent of the House to table this document now.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Does the hon. member have unanimous consent to table the document?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like the leader of the government in the House to listen to this quote from Étienne Parent, a Beauport journalist in the 19th century.

We all know that in the 19th century, the people of Quebec were referred to as French Canadians. He said “It is the fate of the French Canadians not only to have kept their civil liberties, but also to struggle—”

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

The Speaker

Is there unanimous consent of the House?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gérard Asselin Charlevoix, QC

Mr. Speaker, further to the announcement made by the Prime Minister of the introduction of a bill denying the fundamental rights of the Quebec people, I request the unanimous consent of the House to table a document that would enlighten the House.

It is the report of Quebec's director general of elections on the results of the 1980 referendum, to which 85.6 % of the registered voters participated. That is democracy.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

The Speaker

Is there unanimous consent?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Berthier—Montcalm has already had his turn.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

Bloc

Hélène Alarie Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to present to the House an article from today's La Presse, which points out that the Prime Minister found the 1980 and 1995 questions clear. I request the unanimous consent of the House to table a document that would enlighten the House.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

The Speaker

Is there unanimous consent?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, I ask for the unanimous consent of the House to table a newspaper article which comments on remarks made by the Premier of Quebec and which shows how much damage will be done to Canada's international reputation if the—

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

The Speaker

Is there unanimous consent of the House?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Godin Châteauguay, QC

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Châteauguay has already had his turn.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, as a result of this bill whose purpose is to deny the Quebec people their fundamental rights, I ask for the unanimous consent of this House to table—

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

The Speaker

Is there unanimous consent of the House?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre De Savoye Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have here a background document on the main events that led to the federal government's appropriation of provincial jurisdictions since 1882. I would like to table this document. Do I have unanimous consent to do so? .

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

The Speaker

Is there unanimous consent of the House?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have here an article from Le Devoir dated December 11, 1999, which explains very well the attack on Quebec this bill constitutes.

Consequently, for the benefit of the leader of the government in the House, I ask for the unanimous consent of the House to table this document which will enlighten the minister and the House.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

The Speaker

Is there unanimous consent of the House?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have an editorial that was published last weekend in Le Devoir and that condemns the bill to be introduced today. I ask for the unanimous consent of the House to table this document.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

The Speaker

Is there unanimous consent of the House?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Charlesbourg, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have here an article by an excellent journalist who is following our debate from the press gallery today, Graham Fraser. I ask for the unanimous consent of the House to table this article.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

The Speaker

Is there unanimous consent of the House?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Cardin Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have here an excellent document entitled “En marche vers un pays, le Québec.”

I ask for the unanimous consent of the House to table this document.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

The Speaker

Is there unanimous consent of the House?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have here a very important article that could in fact be used as a guide by the Liberal Party in the next few days.

It is entitled “Sleepless in Ottawa”. I ask for the unanimous consent of the House to table this.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:30 p.m.

The Speaker

Is there unanimous consent?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:30 p.m.

The Speaker

How many more are there?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:30 p.m.

Bloc

Maud Debien Laval East, QC

Mr. Speaker, following the announcement by the Prime Minister, who wants to introduce a bill denying the fundamental rights of Quebecers, I ask for the unanimous consent of the House to table a document that—

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:30 p.m.

The Speaker

Is there unanimous consent?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:30 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphan Tremblay Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have here the report by a great democrat, the chief electoral officer, a great democrat just like you, on the results of the 1995 referendum where 93% of registered voters exercised their right to vote. That is democracy, I believe.

I ask the unanimous consent of the House to—

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:30 p.m.

The Speaker

Is there unanimous consent?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:30 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have here a document that is extremely interesting and important for the House. It is the position of Quebec's three central labour bodies on the bill the government is supposed to introduce today. This article is entitled “A slap in the face of democracy”.

I ask the unanimous consent—

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:30 p.m.

The Speaker

Is there unanimous consent?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:30 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Bernier Bonaventure—Gaspé—Îles-De-La-Madeleine—Pabok, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am glad you saved me for last. Do not forget that Canada evolved from Gaspé. Therefore, I am pleased to have the last word in this first round in the House today.

The Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs is still listening to us and he is certainly one who likes to see what is happening in other countries. Maybe he would find it interesting to know what was signed in Paris on May 8, 1992 by Thomas Frank, Rosalyn Higgins, Alain Tellet, Mrs. Malcolm—

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:30 p.m.

The Speaker

This is a fine dessert, but the question has to be asked. Is there unanimous consent?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:30 p.m.

The Speaker

Has everybody had one turn?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yes.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:30 p.m.

The Speaker

Maybe we will have another day like that. It is a fine afternoon. Thank you, but enough is enough.

Order In Council Appointments
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Scarborough—Rouge River
Ontario

Liberal

Derek Lee Parliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table, in both official languages, a number of order in council appointments recently made by the government.

Pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order 110 they are deemed referred to the appropriate standing committees, a list of which is attached.

Government Response To Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Scarborough—Rouge River
Ontario

Liberal

Derek Lee Parliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to four petitions.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the first report of the Standing Committee on Natural Resources and Government Operations.

In accordance with its order of reference of November 30, 1999, your committee has considered Bill C-10, an act to amend the Municipal Grants Act, and has agreed to report it with amendment.

An Act To Give Effect To The Requirement For Clarity As Set Out In The Opinion Of The Supreme Court Of Canada In The Quebec Secession Reference
Routine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-20, an act to give effect to the requirement for clarity as set out in the opinion of the Supreme Court of Canada in the Quebec Secession Reference.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Criminal Code
Routine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Reform

Art Hanger Calgary Northeast, AB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-401, an act to amend the Criminal Code (no parole when imprisoned for life).

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to reintroduce this private member's bill so that a life sentence will actually mean life. It amends certain provisions of the criminal code relating to life imprisonment. The bill is supported by many on this side of the House in my party. It would eliminate any provision for early parole, early release or parole eligibility for a criminal who is sentenced to life.

The bill is about justice: justice for families of victims, for those who have suffered an irreplaceable loss at the hands of killers. For them, knowing that the offender will never walk the streets again as a free person will bring a sense of relief and an element of closure to a sad chapter in their lives.

The bill sends a clear message to murderers and other violent habitual criminals that if they take they life of another they will be locked away for the remainder of their lives.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Competition Act
Routine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Pickering—Ajax—Uxbridge, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-402, an act to amend the Competition Act (abuse of dominant position).

Mr. Speaker, this bill would amend section 78 of the Competition Act with respect to the anti-competitive act of abuse of dominant position. Under this section the competition tribunal may make an order prohibiting certain persons from engaging in anti-competitive acts. The bill expands the definition of anti-competitive act currently listed in section 78.

The bill will permit the competition tribunal to prohibit a person holding a dominant position in the wholesale or retail market from engaging in certain practices that will now be viewed as being anti-competitive, as well as any other abusive anti-competitive practice directed toward a competitor or a supplier.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

moved that the first report of the Standing Committee on Transport, presented to the House on Tuesday, December 7, 1999, be concurred in.

Mr. Speaker, this speech will obviously deal first with air transport but, as you will understand, considering the bill just introduced by the government, it will be very difficult for me not to refer to this sad day for democracy in Quebec and in Canada.

Not to be accused of being out of order, I will have to deal with the first report of the transport committee. At the outset, I would like to tell the men and women who work for the Canadian transportation industry that my colleagues from the Bloc Quebecois and myself, as the transport critic for the Bloc, are very concerned with the uncertainty they now experience, a few days only before Christmas.

This has been particularly true for a number of months, more precisely since August 13 when the Minister of Transport and the Minister of Industry, by suspending the provisions of the Competition Act, created total chaos in the Canadian transportation industry. This situation recently led to the shutdown of operations at InterCanadian, and 900 workers and their families, could perhaps be forced in the very near future to go on welfare.

I think that 14 days before Christmas we, as parliamentarians, cannot remain insensitive to the gloomy situation faced by the workers of InterCanadian, a company based in Montreal.

I could talk for a long time about the content of this report, but I will of course be able to revisit it in the future. Since I am running short on time, am allowed only 20 minutes to make a speech and have already been talking for two minutes, I would like to turn immediately to the second part of my speech since I am afraid to run out of time.

For the benefit of the members in the House and of our viewers, and I know that there are quite a few of them, I would like to go back to a statement made by a person who said “No matter what, Quebec is and will always be a distinct and free society capable of assuming its own destiny and development”.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

These words were said at the Quebec National Assembly—

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, on a point of order.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. With all due respect to my friend from the Bloc Party, as a former airline employee for over 18 years I wish he would get back to the subject of the airline industry so that it can know where the Bloc stands on this very important subject.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I trust the member for Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île-d'Orléans will revert to the topic of the report very shortly.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

Indeed, but I am surprised that my colleague, who used to work for Canadian in Nova Scotia, more precisely in Halifax, who is a member of the NDP, would use dilatory tactics of this kind to cause a member who is doing his best as a parliamentarian and is working on a speech with researchers and a whole team, to lose his concentration.

This is very sad coming from a former unionized employee of Canadian; this is very sad coming from a member of the New Democratic Party that is supposed to be a progressive party. I am very surprised that the NDP would do such a thing. But when the time comes to save Canada, I would like our fellow citizens who are listening to us in Quebec to remember that the NDP is a federalist party just as the Liberals, the Reform and the Conservatives are. They all sing from the same song sheet when it comes to standing up for this great and beautiful Canada they refer to all the time.

On June 22, 1990, someone said in the Quebec National Assembly: “No matter what one says or does, Quebec is today and forever a distinct society, free and able to take its own destiny and development into its own hands.”

This person was the former Liberal Premier Robert Bourassa, a federalist, the day after the failure of the Meech Lake Accord.

Also, a group of individuals said: “The people of Quebec may not be deprived of the responsibility to decide their own future.” This is what the Assemblée des évêques du Québec said on February 22, 1995.

Somebody else said: “It is imperative that Quebec be allowed to retain full authority over decisions regarding its future within the framework of Quebec democratic institutions.” This statement was made by the Conservative senator Jean-Claude Rivest, a former political advisor to Premier Bourassa.

I would like to read one more quote. Somebody mentioned: “One thing is certain, from now on the future of Quebec will no longer be decided in—”

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Reform

John Williams St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I have been listening attentively to the speech by the Bloc member who seems to have lost his train of thought and is now on to bishops and democracy and so on. We are talking about the transport committee's report. I would hope that he would not hijack that report, the ability to talk about the report and the livelihoods of many people when he gets off on tangents.

Mr. Speaker, I am asking that you question the member on the relevance of his speech regarding the transport committee.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for St. Albert is perfectly right. The hon. member for Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île-d'Orléans moved a motion for concurrence in the report of the Standing Committee on Transport. I know that this is what he wishes to talk about and that his comments will deal with the report.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, as to the point of order raised by the Reform member for St. Albert, with whom I sat on the Standing Committee on Public Accounts when I was chair and he was vice-chair of the committee, I want to say that he acted as the watchdog of democracy.

I must say I find it very sad that he is trying to distract me while I am speaking, as I am doing the best I can. I am only a backbencher with qualities and shortcomings, and more shortcomings than qualities, in fact—

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Bloc

René Canuel Matapédia—Matane, QC

It is not true. You belittle yourself.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Reform

John Williams St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Again, I have been listening attentively to the speech of the member from the Bloc. He talked about my defending democracy. In my role as the chairman of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts I have done that and I continue to do so in this House. I wonder why he is challenging my performance here in the House regarding defending democracy because we all have rights and freedoms to speak in this House. But I thought we were talking about transport. I want to hear about transport. I want to hear about how we are going to save jobs for Canadians.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I think we have had the point here but the matter is not one that the Chair can easily resolve. I am urging the member who has the floor to deal with the issue of the transport committee's report and to perhaps stick to that subject since he has proposed the motion for concurrence in that report. I know hon. members will want to hear his views on the report and his reasons for proposing this motion.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, I was just about to talk about the 10% ownership rule in Air Canada. I hope that I will not be interrupted. That rule is essential to maintain a broad shareholder base.

I want to explain that the Bloc does not support the majority report of the Liberals, who want to raise that percentage to 20%. That would have the effect of giving effective control to a single shareholder or a group of shareholders. If we want to maintain a broad shareholder base, we absolutely must keep the 10% limit.

We read in The Gazette “The Liberal hon. member for Vaudreuil said the following. Personally, I think that the limit should not be set at 20%, because that would give the separatist Caisse de dépôt control over Air Canada”.

Across the way, there are people, like the member for Vaudreuil—Soulanges, who will charter buses, just as at the time of the last referendum in 1995, three days before the next referendum, for crowds to come and tell us they love us. Do you think Quebecers are gullible enough to believe such a thing once again?

That reminds me of those members from the Reform Party who were lucky enough to get Canadian Airlines tickets. At the time of the last referendum, Canadian Airlines chartered 747 planes and people came from Vancouver to Montreal, three days before the referendum, just to participate in the love parade.

You want me to speak about air transportation? Let us do so. VIA Rail changed its name; it is now VIA Rail Canada and its engines bear a logo with a big maple leaf. They speak about transportation, but they will not let me finish my speech. I am an impulsive person. I wonder if you have realized that, Mr. Speaker.

The Standing Committee on Transport voted upon a second rule.

Before the President of the Treasury Board leaves, I want to say I am convinced she will agree with me that the 10% ownership rule at Air Canada should not be modified. I am sure she is a true Quebecer, and I am sure she will be against changing that rule.

Unfortunately, since she left the House, I cannot say she is not here, but I want to say there is another important element in this report from the Standing Committee on Transport. It is the 25% foreign ownership rule, which the Liberal majority wants to increase to 49%. This means that Americans could control up to 49% of the airline industry.

This creates a totally ironic situation whereby members from the Bloc Quebecois agree that the foreign ownership rule should remain as it is, and the limit be maintained at 25%. Believe it or not, we will respect the partnership between an independent and sovereign Quebec and the rest of Canada. We are so respectful that we are opposing the 49% rule in order to promote Canada's sovereignty against the Americans.

If we accept the increase to 49%, there will more situations such as those we already witnessed, for example American Airlines which held large blocks of shares and which transferred the positions of machinists, repairmen, and maintenance employees from Vancouver and Calgary to the United States.

The Liberal majority pointed out that it agreed to increase the percentage because we apparently need foreign capital. There is not enough solid capital to justify ownership in Canada, wealth in Canada. And yet one of the proudest achievements of Quebecers, the Caisse de dépôt, is ready to invest in Air Canada, not to take control of it. The Caisse de dépôt's role is to ensure that the savings of Quebecers earn a return so as to provide a future for our children and our grandchildren.

That is the role of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. This is not like the derogatory comments of the hon. member for Vaudreuil—Soulanges who says that he does not want the limit raised to 20% because he does not want to see the separatist Caisse de dépôt take control of Air Canada. These are unacceptable remarks coming from a Quebecer like the hon. member for Vaudreuil—Soulanges, who is as much a Quebecer as I am. That does not prevent him from saying this kind of things. That is where the inconsistency is: it is acceptable for Americans to control Air Canada but not the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

This is terrible.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

The Standing Committee on Transport does not say a word either on air safety. I will finish on a darker note, a little bit more serious—although I should not say serious, because I have been serious since the beginning—but I have making my points in a more casual way. What I want to say is that this report does not say a word about the lack of safety in numerous regional airports. Unfortunately, in the last year and a half, many people have lost their lives in Baie-Comeau, Gaspe and Sept-Îles because Nav Canada closed down control towers.

The transport minister, answering a letter sent to him by the leader of the Bloc Quebecois, the member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie, said “The ministry is prepared to accept and tolerate an acceptable risk”. But what is an acceptable risk? Is it playing Russian roulette? Is every Quebecer travelling in regions of Quebec, such as the Lower St. Lawrence, Gaspe, North Shore, Abitibi or Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, entitled to safe regional air transportation? Do we say “I hope I will not be subjected to unacceptable risk because if that is the case, my plane could crash on the account of there being no air traffic controller”. This should have be mentioned in the report.

The last issue I would like to talk about is this: the Bloc Quebecois asked that regional airlines be subject to the Official Languages Act, as is the main airline, Air Canada. As members know, in the regions of Quebec, 98% of the customers are francophones. Flight attendants act as a link between the pilot and the passengers and are in charge of safety on board. The primary function of a flight attendant is not, as many people think, to serve meals and drinks, but to ensure safety.

It is not enough for flight attendants to know the usual speech and say “Exits are above the wings and lavatories are at the back”. A first grader, the young daughter of my colleague from Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, for example, if taught properly, could say that in front of 700 or 800 people.

It is one thing to teach that to a first grader, but it is quite another to act in an emergency situation like the one we had recently where a Focker 28 from Canadian Regional on a flight from Quebec to Montreal had trouble with its front landing gear and the flight attendant had to go through the emergency landing procedures. And she only spoke English. She knew the usual speech. But when the time came to tell passengers to take off their eyeglasses, their dentures and their shoes and to assume a foetal position, she could not do it. It takes a flight attendant who is capable of communicating in both official languages.

I will finish with a quote that goes back to the second point I raised in my speech. Unfortunately, you interrupted me, but we will have the opportunity to talk about it again later this week. I barely touched on the subject in my speech today.

Someone said that it is up to Quebecers to decide, that the federal government is wrong to try at all costs to impose a way through the courts. This is what Gordon Wilson, constitutional adviser to the Premier of British Columbia, said on February 5, 1998.

I will conclude with a quote from another journalist from Beauport from the 19th century, when Quebecers were called French Canadians. This journalist from Beauport by the name of Étienne Parent said “It is the fate of the French Canadian people not only to try to keep their fundamental freedoms, but also to fight for their very existence as a people. If we do not govern ourselves, we will be governed”.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Liberal

Guy St-Julien Abitibi, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to comment on the motion which states, and I quote:

That the First Report of the Standing Committee on Transport, presented on Tuesday, December 7, 1999, be concurred in.

I have a relevant document. I am referring to page 31 of the report, under recommendation 29. Incidentally, I am an associate member of the committee, and I have tabled a number of motions in the House of Commons. My motions, including motions M-333, M-334, M-335, M-336, and M-337, are listed in today's notice paper. Motion M-337 is important for the large federal riding of Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik. The motion reads as follows:

That, in the opinion of this House, the government should examine the financial assistance available to airports under the Airport Capital Assistance Program, and on what terms, and consider the possibility of extending the Program to operating costs in order to sustain the provision of air transportation services at airports in the riding of Abitibi—James Bay—Nunavik, including the regional airport—

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil, QC

What is the question?

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Liberal

Guy St-Julien Abitibi, QC

It is in that motion. It concerns the regional airports in Val d'Or, Amos, Lebel-sur-Quévillon, Matagami, La Grande, Akulivik, Aupaluk, Inukjuaq, Ivujivik, Kangiqsualujjuaq, Kangirsuk, Kangiqsujuaq, Kuujjuaq, Kuujjuaraapik, Umiujaq, Puvirnituq, Chisasibi, EastMain, Quaqtaq, Salluit, Tasiujaq, Waskaganish and Wemindji.

Could the hon. member tell me whether these airports should have the means to finance emergency response services and receive government assistance for this?

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Bloc

Gérard Asselin Charlevoix, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. You have to agree with me that the question should not be longer than the speech. Since we are talking about air transportation and the hon. member for Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île-d'Orléans is in full flight, will the Chair be kind enough to ask for the unanimous consent of the House to let the hon. member complete his excellent speech?

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

4 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Is there unanimous consent?

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik for his question, which I find interesting in various regards.

The hon. member for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik and I do not see the relationship between Quebec and the rest of Canada the same way, but we both worry about the airports located in subnorthern areas and especially those in my riding. He knows that I am very sensitive to this whole issue.

On the other hand, I am a bit disappointed with the hon. member for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik because I did talk about the constitutional aspect of the relationship between Quebec and Canada in my speech and I would have expected the hon. member to refer to this aspect in his question.

For instance, if the hon. member for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik had asked me if I trust the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, I had a truly remarkable figure of speech ready for him.

As the Germans say “Do not ask the cat to look after the cream”. That is how I see the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.

To give him another example, the Americans say “Do not put the rabbit in charge of the lettuce”. Or “Do not ask Dracula to run the blood bank”. Or still “Do not hand the keys to the hen house over to Colonel Sanders”.

I could also quote from the Three Little Pigs , where the poor wee things hire the big bad wolf as a real estate agent and tell him “Come, we will give you a tour of our houses”.

I would have thought the hon. member for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik would have realized that we ought to ask the federal government to prove that the status quo has more to offer than the sovereignty project we, the sovereignists, are putting forward.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

4:05 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to ask a question of my colleague.

The Prime Minister is using as an example the changes promised in 1980 by Pierre Trudeau, who put his head on the chopping block to make changes, implying that they would be favourable to the Quebec people. In Verdun, the member for Saint-Maurice was again speaking of change, again implying that they would be favourable to the Quebec people. Is my colleague satisfied with the Prime Minister's response?

He is saying “Yes, we have made some changes, we have introduced the concept of the distinct society”. I would like to have the opinion of my colleague from Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île-d'Orléans as to whether he finds this intellectually satisfactory?

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

4:05 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The problem with the question by the hon. member for Trois-Rivières is that it does not deal with the report of the Standing Committee on Transport. That is what is being debated.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

4:05 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, it obvious from the question by the member for Trois-Rivières that we are going through turbulent times.

Since I must stick to the topic of transportation, it ties in with the Prime Minister's personality. He is bound and determined to put Quebecers back in their place. It is unfortunate that Ottawa should recruit Quebecers to do its dirty jobs.

A dirty job does not necessarily reflect on those doing it. In this case however, I believe it does, even though I am not allowed to say so. It is really sad to see what the Prime Minister and the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs are doing. I cannot wait to see how Quebec members will vote on this draft bill.

How is the member for Westmount—Ville-Marie going to vote? How will the member for Papineau—Saint-Denis and the 20 members from Quebec vote? I cannot wait to see how the member for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik is going to vote. How will the members for Outremont and Beauce vote? This is going to be interesting.

In Quebec, we have a great motto. It is on our licence plate. It reads “Je me souviens.”

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

4:05 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, first I would like to congratulate my colleague from Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île-d'Orléans. He is very eloquent.

He speaks with zest and spirit, as we saw this afternoon. He also has a number of ideas on the issue of transportation. He must certainly have ideas on air transportation in a sovereign Quebec. I would like to hear what he has to say about that.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

4:05 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, my colleague who taught constitutional law at the university level knows full well that international routes are given through agreements between countries.

When the level of 200,000 passengers a year to a certain destination is reached, representatives from one country meet representatives from the other country, and a bilateral air transport agreement is signed.

We saw that, in the past, Air Canada suffered from the fact that the federal government always favoured Canadian International Airlines. Members will recall that when we reached the required number of passengers to Hong Kong. The Minister of Transport of the day was the late Doug Young—I say the late Doug Young since he was defeated because of his arrogance. He is still alive, but he is the late Doug Young in this House because he was arrogant.

There was also the late David Dingwall, who was just as arrogant. He was defeated as well. Ordinary people do not like people who are arrogant. They prefer real people, with their qualities and their faults.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

4:10 p.m.

An hon. member

Calm down.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

4:10 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

I will try to calm down. All I want to say is that, when Quebec achieves sovereignty, which I hope will be soon, Quebec as a state will be able to go meet officials from Switzerland, Belgium, Hong Kong or Taiwan to sign bilateral air transport agreements for those companies that will be here and that will want to do business in other countries. I hope everybody recognizes that, in a sovereign Quebec, people will continue to fly. Achieving sovereignty does not mean Quebecers will go back to oxcarts.

We will be the sixteenth industrial power in the world, and I hope nobody thinks that we will go back to steamships or to the kinds of ships that sailed when Marco Polo was alive. So there will be agreements.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

4:10 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

It is my duty, pursuant to Standing Order 38, to inform the House that the questions to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment are as follows: the hon. member for Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, Fisheries.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

4:10 p.m.

Elgin—Middlesex—London
Ontario

Liberal

Gar Knutson Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I move:

That the House do now proceed to orders of the day.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

4:10 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

4:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

4:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

4:10 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

4:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

4:10 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

All those opposed will please say nay.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

4:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

4:10 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

In my opinion the nays have it.

And more than five members having risen:

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

4:10 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Call in the members.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division):

Division No. 535
Routine Proceedings

4:55 p.m.

The Speaker

I declare the motion carried.

Division No. 535
Routine Proceedings

4:55 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I would like to ask you if it is in order to acknowledge that the Reform Party is finally winning votes in the House.

Division No. 535
Routine Proceedings

4:55 p.m.

The Speaker

No comment.

The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-9, an act to give effect to the Nisga'a final agreement, be read the third time and passed.

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

5 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Madam Speaker, I am very proud to rise in the House today to speak to Bill C-9, the Nisga'a final agreement, at third reading. I am proud to say that all members of the federal NDP caucus have supported Bill C-9, and have been very supportive of the process and the debate that has taken place. We have stood firmly in support of the Nisga'a final agreement.

I would like to recognize the work of our aboriginal affairs spokesperson, the member for Yukon. She has played a very positive role at committee with her thoughtful comments, her experience and her deep understanding of aboriginal affairs. I would like to pay special thanks to her for her very dedicated work and participation in the process.

Being from British Columbia, I would like to put on the record that the work of our provincial government on the Nisga'a agreement and on the negotiations which took place also needs to be acknowledged. Two former premiers, Michael Harcourt and Glen Clark, really made this a centrepiece of their agendas. They were personally very committed to seeing a redress of the wrongs that had been done in the past and seeking social and economic justice for the Nisga'a people. Mike Harcourt, Glen Clark, Ian Waddell, the MLA who chaired the B.C. legislative committee that went around the province, as well as Dale Lovick, the current minister of aboriginal affairs for B.C., did a very good job.

It has to be recognized that they took on this job and were faced with a lot of political opportunism, which was seen to be more politically expedient than achieving justice, by the B.C. Liberal Party and the federal Reform Party.

I toyed with the idea of also thanking another former premier of British Columbia, Mr. Vander Zalm, who actually brought the provincial government to the negotiating table in 1991. However, after seeing what he did in the last few years I do not think I could thank him. He basically trashed aboriginal people and the Nisga'a agreement. When the committee was in Vancouver he played a role in the games that were played with his little demonstration. Mr. Vander Zalm brought in the people who hurled obscenities, while he sat there apparently in agreement. He has not played a positive role. He too has sunk to the level of his federal colleagues in the Reform Party in seeing this issue as political opportunism.

Most of all, I would like to thank the Nisga'a people for their patience, not just today with the entire process that has unfolded in the House, but for their patience over the last 20 years and that of the generations before them. If we look back and reflect on the oppression that aboriginal and Nisga'a people suffered and the fact that they had the faith to negotiate an agreement, we know that this is something that is very historic and needs to be acknowledged, particularly in light of what has been a very difficult debate. Horrific statements have been made and thrown at them.

I particularly want to thank Joe Gosnell, the leader of the Nisga'a people, as well as the teams of negotiators. As we were doing our business in the House they kept faith in the process. I am sure there were ups and downs. I am sure there were days when they thought that maybe this would not work and people had to compromise. The fact is that the federal, provincial and Nisga'a negotiators arrived at the agreement which is before us today.

Earlier we heard from Reform members that they believe part of the negotiation process which unfolded was somehow a stacked deal, that it was all done behind closed doors. We have said this many times on the record, and let it be said again: no piece of legislation has had as much scrutiny, examination, debate and public hearing as the Nisga'a agreement in principle as well as the final agreement. We know that for the 20 years that negotiations took place, especially the last few years, advisory committees were involved and public hearings were held by various organizations. For example, the labour movement in British Columbia was involved in the advisory committees. It held consultations with its membership on the treaty to get feedback. We have heard the same thing from the business community, as well as the aboriginal community.

The member for Skeena earlier today said that this was a stacked process which was carried out behind closed doors. I cannot think of anything further from the truth in terms of what really took place. Committee hearings were held in B.C. and in Ottawa.

We have to ask ourselves what this agreement is about. There are many ways to sum it up. I believe this agreement is important and significant. It provides the opportunity for the Nisga'a people to assert themselves as a people, to realize their rights, to undertake their own affairs in economic terms, in social terms, in cultural terms and in terms of equality.

The agreement allows the Nisga'a people to redress the wrongs of the past. It allows the Nisga'a people to develop a stewardship of the land and it allows them to develop resource based management from which all Canadians will learn.

The Nisga'a agreement is within the Canadian constitution. It burns me to hear Reform members spreading information again and again that somehow the agreement is illegal.

Earlier today we again heard the member for Skeena say that the Nisga'a final agreement is legislated segregation. In fact the member went on to equate legislated segregation with apartheid. This is really disgusting. I feel that it displays an astounding arrogance.

The member is suggesting to the Nisga'a people that they have accepted a system of apartheid. He has a lot of arrogance to say that after 20 years of negotiation. This agreement is about equality and social justice. This agreement is within the Canadian constitution. I do not know the response to these comments, but to use these terms, to use the word apartheid, to use the term legislated segregation, is a denial of what has really taken place.

We have to ask ourselves why there has been such a vitriolic response. Even today I was still receiving e-mails full of hatred, viciousness, meanness and racial overtones. I ask myself where this information is coming from. We have to admit, unfortunately, that some of the information comes from the media, which has bought into certain arguments of the Reform Party and its cohort in British Columbia, the B.C. Liberal Party. These messages have been repeated over and over until the people have begun to believe them.

Within the media there has also been some very reasoned, thoughtful and reflective debate which has tried to present the agreement as something that can be examined. Yes, there are some criticisms and there are some issues. This is not a perfect document. We should acknowledge that in the sea of misinformation and a campaign full of misrepresentation and divisiveness some members of the media have tried to ensure that there was a balanced debate.

Today we heard the member for Skeena say that the Reform Party was trying to shed light on the Nisga'a final agreement. What does that mean? I came to the conclusion that Reform members have not shed any light on the Nisga'a final agreement; they have only shed darkness. That is what has been very upsetting about the process which we have gone through. Misinformation has been peddled to the media and the message has gone out again and again that somehow women's rights will not be upheld, that this is a constitutional amendment through the back door, that it will be taxation without representation, that it will be legislated separation, that it will be apartheid, and on and on it goes. That is not shedding light; that is conducting a campaign of fear.

When are Reform members going to stop putting out information that is incorrect, information that is designed to divide people and exploit people's fears about change and about what is taking place? From that point of view, it has been a process that has in some ways brought out the best in terms of public debate and certainly has been a model of what negotiation should be about. However, it has also been a public process, regrettably, that has brought out the worst in some people and the worst in some members of the House.

I have supported this agreement from the beginning. I have to say that the Nass Valley is many hundreds of miles from my riding of Vancouver East. I do not have a direct physical connection with that part of British Columbia. However, I feel that there is a very significant link between what happens in the Nass Valley to the Nisga'a people and what happens in my riding of Vancouver East. My riding also contains a very large population of urban aboriginal people. As we know, something like 60% of aboriginal people live off reserve because they have been oppressed by the system, by the way we have conducted affairs through the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.

This agreement provides a way to open up a new door. It is a way for government to sit down in equal partnership with aboriginal people and say that it is going to change the way it does business, that it will be on the basis of equality and that it will be on the basis of justice.

I support the Nisga'a final agreement. To me it is a step forward. However, it is not the end of the road. In some ways it is only the beginning. I am not saying that the agreement is a “one size fits all” for all of B.C. or all of Canada. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The process is important. The process that was conducted needs to be repeated in terms of arriving at negotiated settlements; not conflict and litigation through the courts, such as we have seen on our east coast.

Taking that step forward is a sign of hope. It is a sign that federal representatives, provincial representatives and aboriginal representatives can sit down, work out very complex issues and arrive at something with which we can all live. I hope that we continue along that path. I hope too that we recognize that urban aboriginal people are also in great distress and that their issues need to be addressed.

I ask the government to consider that. We had the royal commission on aboriginal affairs. I do not know how much dust the report is collecting, but it is a job that we need to get on with. There are people in my riding who are literally dying on the street. There are people who are suffering from addiction. There are people who are living in substandard housing. There are people who are living far below the poverty line and are struggling to survive each and every day. It takes a lot of courage and survival skills to do that.

It is important that we see this agreement as a step in a process, a step along the road in dealing as well with those other issues that are very important.

When the member for Skeena concluded his remarks he said that the Nisga'a final agreement was not a good deal for the Nisga'a people. I thought about that. I assume that the member believed what he said, that it is not a good deal for the Nisga'a people. We have to be very careful about the kinds of conclusions we come to.

This is not something that was put together over a few days. This is not something that was prepared by the federal government, the department or the provincial government, which then said “Take it or leave it”. This was a process in which an agreement was negotiated. It was the Nisga'a people themselves, their leadership and the members of that community, who finally at the end of the day decided that this was a good deal. Maybe it is not all they had hoped for. They made many compromises, but it is an agreement they can live with and an agreement they can build their lives with. It is an agreement they can pass on to their children and say that they did the right thing, that they are building and creating their future.

The member for Skeena is dead wrong when he says that it is not a good deal for the Nisga'a people. He needs to go into that community and talk to people. He will find out that it was approved by a very large majority. History will show us 10 or 20 years from now that this was the right way to do something, that it was far preferable to conflict in a legal sense and in a political sense.

I am very proud today that I and all of our members in the federal caucus are supporting this agreement. There has been a lot of stuff out in the media. We have all had responses from some people, but at the end of the day it is important to stand up and do the right thing. The right thing here is to support the agreement, say that it is a step forward and that it is the right step forward.

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

5:15 p.m.

Reform

Leon Benoit Lakeland, AB

Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The member for Wentworth—Burlington and I have agreed to exchange positions on the order of precedence for my motion, Motion No. 20 and Bill C-206 effective for private members' hour tomorrow.

However, to do so I have to seek the unanimous consent of the House to waive the 48 hour notice pertaining to such exchanges and replace it with a 24 hour notice. In the spirit of non-partisanship, we would like to ask for the unanimous consent of the House to make this exchange. I would request that all parties put partisan politics aside and, since this is Private Members' Business, grant unanimous consent.

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

5:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

Is there unanimous consent to proceed in such a way?

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

5:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

5:15 p.m.

An hon. member

No.

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

5:15 p.m.

Reform

Mike Scott Skeena, BC

Madam Speaker, since the member in her intervention repeatedly referred to me and things I have said not only today but earlier on—actually I have been involved in this issue for five and a half years—I feel it appropriate that I respond.

I must point out to the House and to anybody who might be watching out there that the member did exactly what I predicted she would do. She slags anybody who disagrees not on the basis of the issue or not on the basis of the substance of the treaty but on the basis that we somehow have dark motives, that we are somehow people of lower moral character because we do not agree with the government's policy direction. That is the first thing I predicted would happen.

She admitted in her intervention that the agreement is flawed but did not talk at all about what the flaws are in the agreement. She totally discounted the expert advice we received from constitutional legal experts, such as Mel Smith, Professor Stephen Scott, Professor Tom Flanagan and a host of others. She glossed right over that and said that irrespective of what these people have told us as parliamentarians that she is right, that somehow she has elevated herself to be a constitutional expert and an expert on the charter of rights because she says so and that is just the way it is.

I will ask the member a legitimate question. If she is so sure that this is not an extra-constitutional document, that this document does not violate the constitution, which is the subject of two separate legal challenges in British Columbia, that the charter of rights and freedoms applies and that the charter of rights of the Nisga'a people will not be diminished under this agreement, why would she and her party not support the one amendment we wanted last week above all other amendments, the amendment to guarantee that the Constitution of Canada and the charter of rights and freedoms would apply and that the self-government provisions in chapter 11 would not be constitutionally entrenched? Why did she not support the one amendment that would have guaranteed a higher likelihood of the charter applying and a lower likelihood of this being seen as a back door amending of the constitution?

Why was she and her party not prepared to support that one amendment? Of all the other defects and flaws in the treaty, that was the one we wanted. We are not happy with many of the other defects, but that was one that we felt was important to have so that if there are any problems in the future, and we know there will be problems, they can be fixed. Why was she not prepared to do that?

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5:20 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Madam Speaker, I will agree with the member for Skeena on one thing: I am not a constitutional expert, just as he is not a constitutional expert. I, like other members, rely on all of the opinions that come before us, from the committee as well as information we receive.

I would be very surprised if there was any legal issue in Canada where we could find a whole bunch of lawyers all agreeing on the same thing. Of course there were other opinions, but we have to look at the overall body of evidence. Surely that is what we do as parliamentarians. We look at the history of our country and come to a rational, reasonable conclusion as to whether or not something is right in terms of the constitution. A vast majority of the members in the House, in fact four of the political parties present, came to that conclusion because it was logical and reasonable.

The Reform Party can of course find someone who will disagree with that, but the overwhelming evidence and opinion in the country is that the Nisga'a agreement is perfectly within the Canadian constitution.

I do not think I ever said that the agreement was flawed. I said it was not perfect. Is anything perfect? Is anything in the House perfect? I do not think so, but it is a pretty good document. When we go through it and think of what it took to get to that point, it is as near to perfect as anything can get when there is that kind of process. It is not a flawed document. I wish the member would not misrepresent what I said.

In terms of the amendments that came forward, we went through that charade for many hours? There has been a lot of debate in the House. It is clear that we make up our own minds about what we think is right or whether or not something is constitutional. I can inform the member that the members of the NDP believe very strongly and firmly that the agreement is within the constitution. We therefore did not see the need for any further amendments. It is abundantly clear as it stands now. I wish the member could understand that.

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5:20 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes London West, ON

Madam Speaker, because of all the shenanigans that have gone on in the House over the last number of days, it is likely that as chair of the committee I will not get an opportunity to speak.

I will take this opportunity, having listened to the comments from the member opposite, to say how much I agree with them in most parts. I also thank not only the member's party and her personally for her work on this file, but members from the Bloc, members from the Conservative Party, members from our own party and all the people who worked very patiently and hard. I also second the fact that because negotiations took place over many, many years, a historical context surrounds this agreement that will long outlive noise and confusion.

I am very happy to be part of a real process that will change history in the country. I thank the hon. member for giving voice to some of the sentiments that many of us hold.

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5:20 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. member for her kind comments. We do not always agree with the Liberal members but I think on this issue we see eye to eye. The member chaired the committee in some very difficult hearings. I was only present at some of them, but in other hearings it was very difficult to keep a sense of order and balance with the opposition that came forward. The member did an excellent job in chairing those meetings.

In the committee meetings I attended, I thought the discussions, questions and debates were of an excellent nature. It was the best of what we can expect in terms of parliamentarians doing their work. They listened to the criticisms. There were criticisms as there is on everything. The thoughtful responses and the questions that were provided were very important. Unfortunately, I do not think that was true of the Reform Party which played a very different kind of game. It was executing a political agenda. Fortunately, at the end of the day, it did not managed to get that through and this agreement will be approved and the work of the committee and the members in the House will see that is done. That is a good thing.

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5:25 p.m.

Reform

John Williams St. Albert, AB

Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order with regard to the appropriation bill that will be considered later this day in the House. I will first refer you to subclause 3(2) of the act which states that “the provision of each item in schedules 1 and 2 are deemed to have been enacted by parliament on April 1, 1999”.

However on page 3 of the bill at subclause 6(2) it states:

Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, amounts appropriated by this Act and set out in terms of Schedule 2 may be paid and applied at any time on or before March 31, 2001, so long as every payment is charged first against the relevant amount appropriated under any Act that is earliest in time until that amount is exhausted, next against the relevant amount appropriated under any other Act, including this Act, that is next in time until that amount is exhausted and so on, and the balance of amounts so appropriated by this Act that have not been charged, subject to the adjustments referred to in section 37 of the Financial Administration Act, lapse at the end of the fiscal year following the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000.

Madam Speaker, as you can see, subclause 6(2)—

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5:25 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

I have to advise the hon. member that maybe it would be more opportune for him to bring this point of order later on today when the question is before the House. At this point I do not think it is a good time to do it.

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5:25 p.m.

Reform

John Williams St. Albert, AB

Madam Speaker, there are many times when it is not appropriate to bring a point of order from the Chair's point of view, but it is a point of order that has to be raised. It may require some research, at which time the Speaker may require some additional time prior to the ruling. The voting will be later on tonight and once the bells start to ring there will be no opportunity to rise on a point of order and give the Speaker time to research. Therefore, I think it is appropriate that you hear it and hear it now.

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5:25 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

I will listen to the hon. member but I will ask him to be very brief.

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5:30 p.m.

Reform

John Williams St. Albert, AB

I appreciate your ruling, Madam Speaker. I will continue. As we can see, subclause 6(2) specifically allows the funds appropriated by the bill to be spent up to and including March 31, 2001, even though the bill is deemed effective April 1, 1999. Clearly we are being asked to appropriate funds for a period of two years.

Citation 933 of Beauchesne's states:

The purpose of the estimates is to present to Parliament the budgetary and non-budgetary expenditure proposals of the Government for the next fiscal year.

You ruled last year, Madam Speaker, on a similar point of order at page 16065 of Hansard where you stated:

The multi-year appropriation authority covered in schedule 2 of the bill is based on legislation approved by parliament in 1998 by which Parks Canada Agency is granted the authority to carry over to the end of the 2000-01 fiscal year the unexpended balance of the money for the fiscal year 1999-2000.

The difference with this bill—

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5:30 p.m.

Liberal

David Anderson Victoria, BC

Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The practice of the Reform Party is to filibuster the Nisga'a treaty as it has been doing consistently throughout these debates. It is nevertheless the time of the hon. member of the Conservative Party for South Shore.

The hon. member has been told to be brief. He was told that he was out of order, but he is still persevering. Why is he allowed to take the time—

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5:30 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

The hon. member is making an argument and he is sticking strictly to the point. I think we will have to give him two or three minutes.

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5:30 p.m.

Reform

John Williams St. Albert, AB

I appreciate that ruling as well. As I said, the difference with this bill is that clause 6 makes no reference to a carryover but instead provides for a two year window to spend from April 1, 1999 to March 31, 2001. This is against our financial procedures as explained in Beauchesne's citation 933.

The Public Accounts of Canada must refer back to the authorities voted by parliament if the public accounts are to make any sense to parliamentarians and the appropriation which they voted to the crown. If parliament approves two years together then how can parliamentarians properly examine spending for one fiscal year?

I am trying to be brief but I have to get the complex argument on the record. The President of the Treasury Board said in the House on April 24, 1996, at page 1903 of Debates :

—an example of our proposal to amend the Financial Administration Act to allow us to use multi-year appropriation. If approved, we could use this authority with the three agencies where flexibility is warranted.

However, in Your Honour's ruling of June 8, 1999, you said that the notions of fiscal year and annual appropriation are the cornerstones of our parliamentary financial process. The government wants to change our practice and exceed its authority by seeking multi-year appropriation.

In addition, the title does not reflect what is in the bill. The title reads “an act for granting to Her Majesty certain sums of money for the public service of Canada for the financial year ending March 31, 2000”. Yet the bill contains the specific authority to spend funds up to and including March 31, 2001, with no reference whatsoever that it pertains to funds to be carried over from the year ending March 31, 2000. Beauchesne's citation 626 states:

Although there is no specific set of rules or guidelines governing the content of a bill, there should be a theme of relevancy among the contents of a bill. They must be relevant to and subject to the umbrella, which is raised by the terminology of the long title of the bill.

I am almost finished.

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5:30 p.m.

Liberal

David Iftody Provencher, MB

Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Over three and a half or four minutes ago and into this long dissertation you asked the gentleman to be brief and courteous to the rest of us in the House with his comments.

If the rules of the House suggest that he has to make this comment, would you please use the discretion of the Chair and ask him to conclude or cut him off?

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5:35 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

I am sure the hon. member will be finishing his remarks very shortly.

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5:35 p.m.

Reform

John Williams St. Albert, AB

Madam Speaker, I appreciate your ruling. To sum up, since citation 626 claimed that the title is an essential part of the bill, this bill is flawed and should be ruled out of order because it includes appropriation for more than one fiscal year. Yet the long title would lead us to believe that it is only for one fiscal year.

I would therefore ask, that you rule the appropriation bill out of order because it clearly contradicts the practices and procedures of the House as contained in our standing orders and in Beauchesne's.

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5:35 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

The Chair will take the matter under advisement and come back with a ruling at an opportune time.

The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-9, an Act to give effect to the Nisga'a Final Agreement, be read the third time and passed.

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5:35 p.m.

Liberal

Ted McWhinney Vancouver Quadra, BC

Madam Speaker, the hon. member for Vancouver East gave us an interesting and valuable historical record.

Would she include in that the agreement between the Prime Minister of Canada, Mr. Mulroney, and the Premier of British Columbia, Mr. Vander Zalm, in 1990 that the issue of minority rights was not an appropriate subject for referendum and the guarantee that they gave?

Would she agree that the constitutional principle of good faith, which is judicially enforceable, would require present administrations to honour their undertaking?

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5:35 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, because I know there are other members who want to speak I will answer very briefly. Those comments are very good and obviously concur that minority rights should not be subject to a referendum. I will just leave it at that because I know there are other members who wish to speak.

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5:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre De Savoye Portneuf, QC

Madam Speaker, I have a very brief question to ask and, since the NDP member is very familiar with this issue, I am sure she will be able to give me an answer.

We know that the treaty which is about to be ratified has gone through a long negotiation process carried out even before a referendum was held. Can the hon. member answer the following? How did the Nisga'a people, for whom I am very happy to see that this treaty is about to come true, manage to be better treated that the people of Quebec?

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5:35 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Madam Speaker, I think that is a subject for another day. What is before us today is the Nisga'a treaty and the process that was conducted there. I think the member has other opportunities to raise the other matters, so I will leave my reply at that because I know the other parties also want to speak to this issue.

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5:35 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore, NS

Madam Speaker, it has been a long day. Many of us have waited in the House to speak to this very important piece of legislation. I am certainly proud on behalf of the Progressive Conservative Party to speak to Bill C-9.

With respect to the intervention by the hon. member who spoke previously, which I am sure was an enlightened and intelligent intervention, I would like to comment that the only time I ever heard a sound like that it came out of the south end of a dog that was headed north.

It is time that we debated this issue. It is past time that we debated this issue. We have stood in the House on numerous occasions and talked about the substance of the Nisga'a bill. We have talked about the legislation. We have talked about how it affects taxation, how it affects the charter of rights and freedoms, and how it affects the constitution of Canada.

I listened to the hon. member for Skeena speak about the constitution of Canada. I heard him state in this place that this changes the constitution of Canada. That is exactly what was said, and I have heard it from other members of parliament.

For the members of parliament who have read the legislation, I ask them to turn to page 17 where it references the constitution of Canada. It states in section 8 that this agreement does not alter the constitution of Canada. That is fairly straightforward, clear and pertinent to this discussion.

In subsection 8(a) it goes on to explain it further. This is the type of debate that should be raised. Members should read the statements and the sections of the agreement with which hon. members have a problem. They should be put before the country so that Canadians will hear what we are all listening to and make a reasoned and rational decision. I have no fear whatsoever about depending upon the good, common sense of Canadians when they hear all the points in this issue.

I will read some of the points in the legislation that have been singled out and have been, I think, misinterpreted by members of parliament. I will also describe why I believe they have been misinterpreted. Subsection 8(a) says:

This Agreement does not alter the Constitution of Canada, including: a. the distribution of powers between Canada and British Columbia; b. the identity of the Nisga'a Nation as an aboriginal people of Canada within the meaning of the Constitution Act, 1982; and c. sections 25 and 35 of the

Constitution Act, 1982.

It says further:

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms applies to Nisga'a Government in respect of all matters within its authority, bearing in mind the free and democratic nature of Nisga'a Government as set out in this Agreement.

That is the same way that the charter of rights and freedoms applies to all democratic societies and governments in the country. There is nothing new there. There is no hidden design. I said in debate before that the earth will not open up and swallow British Columbia, not for a moment.

There have been other discussions on the bill. It is very important that we take those discussions a step further, that we look at them in the cold, clear light of day and debate them.

I have no problem with debating the bill. I will debate the bill until Easter without any problem whatsoever but I want to debate the bill. I do not want to debate some fictional caricature of this piece of legislation that on a good day is misleading and on a bad day totally affects the hard work starting in 1887 of the Nisga'a people, the province of British Columbia, the Nisga'a chiefs and successive governments of Canada. Negotiations were entered into in good faith.

The legislation deals with all those issues. Like any series of negotiations there is some give and take. The Nisga'a did not get the agreement they started out asking for, and perhaps on the government side it did not get the agreement either. However in negotiations we ended up with an agreement that is workable. The key ingredient for me is that we ended with an agreement that has some flexibility. This is not entrenched in the proverbial constitutional concrete that we keep hearing about. This agreement is protected by the constitution. It is not a part of the constitution of Canada.

I do not know how many times that has to be said in this place before someone will actually listen to the argument. It is easy to say no. It is easy to say I do not believe that, but if we look at the facts, study the legislation, talk to the legal experts, listen to the informed and often very good debate that occurred in the House on the treaty, we will come to understand that there are significant issues within the treaty that I believe are a template for other treaties.

There are parts of this treaty that I would hope will become a template for further treaties in the country. There are parts of this treaty that we should have as a template.

There is the fact that the Constitution of Canada prevails. The charter of rights and freedoms prevails. The interests of women and children are protected. The Nisga'a will own their land, and let me be very clear about this, fee simple.

There is no such thing as fee simple common. I do not know what that is. That term has been made up. That is one of the myths about this legislation that has been thrown out in debate. Hon. members use it and never have to back it up. They can sit down after they are finished in debate and say, “I have said it and I don't have to back it up. I don't have to go anywhere and defend what I am saying”. I have defended what I have said on this bill on numerous occasions and I am very happy to defend it one more time.

The issue of jurisdiction is extremely important. It is important for parliamentarians to protect the jurisdiction of the crown. It is important for parliamentarians to protect the jurisdiction of the province of British Columbia. Because we have entered into a treaty process with first nations in this country, it is important to protect future jurisdictions that will look at this treaty. It is not a template but we can look at many parts of this treaty with satisfaction and a great deal of pride and say we have done our duty as parliamentarians. We have protected the interests of Canadians.

We have put aside a historic wrong against the Nisga'a people. It started in 1887 when the Nisga'a chiefs paddled their canoes to the B.C. legislature. Hon. members should picture this in their minds. The chiefs dragged the canoes up on the beach, walked to the legislature, knocked on the door and were refused entry. It is unbelievable.

We have continued under the auspices of the Indian Act and other pieces of legislation to, I believe, inhibit opportunities for first nations.

An hon. member referred to Bill C-49. What a novel thought in Bill C-49 that first nations would be in charge, in control of and responsible for the land on their reserves. Several cases have arisen out of some of the legislation in Bill C-49, but here is the principle that land that we own or any first nation owns is their land to do with what they want to, as long as they obey the laws of Canada and the territory or province they are in, that they recognize stewardship and that they look after the environment.

None of us have a spotless record in this place, no group, no party, no individual. We can only work with the facts in front of us. We can only deal with one point at a time. It is great to shove all these points together and somehow throw them out, as if they were broadcasting grain to see which ones will grow and which ones will take root. They nourish those and divide them, spreading fear and innuendo and causing Canadians to ask if there is something wrong with this. Have we passed a piece of legislation in the House of Commons that does not protect the interests of ordinary Canadians? Absolutely not. We have not. That has not been done.

There is the issue of jurisdiction. There is the very important issue of overlap between the Gitksan and the Nisga'a, and the possible overlap with the Gitanyow.

I sat in Smithers and listened to the debate. The record was quoted earlier today. Any Canadian who would like to look at that debate should get a copy of the record and read it. They should read the questions that were asked about possible conflict and if there could be violence. Everything was done that could be done to get one first nation to take a stand against another, one Canadian against another Canadian, one community against another community, sowing the seeds of discontent.

As a private landowner and as a farmer I have been in numerous land disputes. Some of them were not very pretty. In some of those disputes harsh words were said, but at the end of the day there was never any intent on anyone's part not to somehow negotiate a fair and equitable settlement for everyone.

Canadians respect the rule of law. The Nisga'a people respect the rule of law. The province of British Columbia respects the rule of law. At the end of the day the issues of division that still lay undecided in this treaty will be settled because there is a process to settle them. It is not a complicated process and it is clearly laid out in the agreement. On every issue the Nisga'a final agreement prevails. Even if that part of the legislation is not carried over to the government's legislation, it still goes back to the Nisga'a final agreement and the Nisga'a final agreement prevails.

For those of us who have debated it, studied it and worked on it literally for months and months, there is nothing shocking here. There is nothing untoward. Hon. members talk about 14 areas where the Nisga'a will have more jurisdiction than the province of British Columbia or the Government of Canada. I would suggest that members read those issues, read those 14 areas. There is absolutely nothing shocking in the agreement. There is nothing there that takes away rights from ordinary Canadians. There is nothing there that allows for taxation without representation. That is patently untrue.

The taxation agreement with Canada and the province of British Columbia will allow the Nisga'a government to tax Nisga'a citizens. It absolutely does not allow the Nisga'a government to tax non-Nisga'a citizens. It is pretty simple. It even goes so far as to state that in the event that the Nisga'a sell a piece of their property to a non-Nisga'a, because Nisga'a property will be owned fee simple and the band or a member has every right to sell a piece of Nisga'a land, that is their land, they own it, then we go back to the agreement and the jurisdiction will rest for taxation in the hands of the province of British Columbia, not with the Nisga'a government. There is no way we can have taxation without representation. It goes on and on and on.

Most of us were here the other night and we voted. Certainly we showed up for the final vote. Reform members have made a big ruckus of party solidarity on this. I counted the votes on Motion No. 471. I was in the House. Thirty-nine members of the Reform Party voted. I believe if we check the record there are more Reform members than that. I know some of them were tired and I understand that. It is not inconceivable that members of parliament missed that last vote because it was tough. There is no question about it. Thirty-nine members voted. I do not think it is all love and apple pie in the Reform caucus either. I think there are some serious problems there.

We have dealt with jurisdiction. We have dealt with a number of issues. Let us talk for a moment about the fishery. Let us look at the fishery agreement which allows the Nisga'a government 27% of the TAC on the Nass River and 16% of the total TAC, that is offshore TAC.

I have heard this called a race based fishery. I would have to agree with that if the Nisga'a had 100% of the fishery on the Nass River. As long as they do not have 100%—and they do not, they have 27%—it cannot be a race based fishery. Other people will benefit from the stewardship programs introduced by the Nisga'a.

As I have said in the House before, having 27% of the total salmon catch on the Nass River is the same as having 27% of nothing, unless the stock is nurtured and allowed to reproduce and the government does not allow them to be caught on the high seas and they actually get to return to the rivers and spawn. If the resource is looked after, if the salmon population were to double, 27% is very significant. However, the remaining 73% for everyone else would also double.

It is a very fair agreement. It was worked out over time and with great difficulty. If we used this agreement as a template and applied it to every river in B.C., it would still keep the native fishery at 27%. It might be divided between five or six bands. It might be more. It might be 40%. This is why we have negotiations.

This is not a race based fishery. We as members of parliament are not encouraging some type of apartheid system. It is completely and unequivocally irresponsible and patently wrong and misleading to state that.

What is nonsense about this treaty is the number of people I have talked to who are adamantly against it yet they have not read it. They do not understand it and have not listened to one single word of debate. There is always give and take in negotiations. There is always give and take in debate. A good point can always be made. However, it is a lot easier to take cheap shots, to make an outlandish statement and say this treaty is apartheid. That is repugnant to the majority of Canadians. After listening to a member of parliament who should be respected by all Canadians use that word, how many Canadians would feel their skin crawl or their hair stand up on the back of their neck? I would suggest every single one.

This treaty deals with all of the pertinent issues which affect first nations in Canada. It is a tribute to the Nisga'a chiefs and their predecessors who worked long and hard on this treaty. I think it is a tribute to the Parliament of Canada. Many members of parliament were against this treaty and I do not have a problem with that. I have a problem with the fact that it was not debated. I have a problem with closure. I would have continued debating it until Easter without a problem and if we had to go longer than that, we would do so.

When we answer questions one at a time, and after reading the treaty, a lot of substance is removed from that argument. A lot of substance leaves the argument that people are mad and they can drive wedges into society and they can take a wrecking ball to public policy platforms.

On behalf of the Conservative Party, I am happy to support the treaty. Our party will continue to support the treaty. I expect that in 10 years we will look back and say that this was a great treaty.

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5:55 p.m.

Reform

Darrel Stinson Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Madam Speaker, I listened to the member's speech. I have one question for the hon. member with regard to the treaty and land. What does the member say to the Gitanyow with regard to their land claims being lost over this treaty? What does he say to those people now that we have taken their land away from them?

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5:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore, NS

Madam Speaker, with great respect to the Gitanyow, I will say to them what I have said already. Sections 33, 34 and 35 in the treaty allow for overlap. The treaty allows for a negotiated settlement. It also allows for the Nisga'a to be compensated by the Government of Canada and the province of B.C. should they lose property.

It is very clearly stated. The oval issue is recognized in the NFA. It is 1.5 kilometres, a fair amount of property for individuals. I respect both parties here and I hope that they would sit down and negotiate an agreeable settlement between the two first nations. With respect, I stated that very thing to the Gitanyow chiefs who presented their case extremely well.

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6 p.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of the Environment

Madam Speaker, with this legislation we have one of those welcomed occasions when two worthy goals can be reached at the same time; on the one hand, pragmatic economics to help the economy of British Columbia, and on the other, the regaining of a people's dignity. These two are bound together in this one piece of legislation. We will vote on it in one vote.

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6 p.m.

Reform

Ken Epp Elk Island, AB

Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I may be wrong but I am suspicious that the minister is beginning a speech. I think he may not be aware that we are still in questions and comments.

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6 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

We will qualify the matter right away. Is the hon. minister asking a question or commenting?

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6 p.m.

Liberal

David Anderson Victoria, BC

Madam Speaker, I was recognized by you as starting my concluding speech for the last 10 minutes of the debate.

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6 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

I am afraid that I did call for questions and comments. There is still about eight minutes left for questions and comments following the speech from the hon. member for South Shore.

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6 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Liberal

David Iftody Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Madam Speaker, I thank the member for his work on this committee and his travel with us to British Columbia. I wonder if those watching the debate, when the cameras shift from one side to the other, know which party the member belongs to. He is a Progressive Conservative member and that party has properly supported this piece of legislation throughout the debate. The member has done an excellent job for his constituents and I commend him on that.

I appreciate very much what he said, but I want him to go a little bit deeper. He talked about the myths being proposed by the Reform Party members and about some of the ridiculous and foolish things that they have said and argued, notwithstanding testimony by Canada's leading constitutional experts about the fact that the charter does apply and that the constitution is not abridged or broken in any way or offended even slightly by this process.

I ask the member what the interests are of the Reform Party members from British Columbia. Why are they pushing this? Why are they hammering this deal? What is in it for them that they would go to these great extremes to stand up against 80% of the people voting in the House, and therefore Canada, to oppose this deal? Why?

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6 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore, NS

Madam Speaker, I must admit that the hon. member and I have had many good discussions about this piece of legislation. When the Liberals say that we have done a good thing, our spider sense has to tingle a little bit. We are on different sides here.

With respect, it was obviously a treaty that we could all agree on. The greatest thing about this particular piece of legislation and the greatest mistruths that have been stated by the Reform members was to compare the fear that Canadians have that there will possibly be one group of Canadians that will have more rights than another group. They threw that bone out, it did not go anywhere and they tried it again. In my opinion, this treaty does not do that.

It is the fear people have in eastern Canada when they look at a very difficult situation going on with the Mi'kmaq over the 1760 treaty. They feel that somehow this will not be settled in an amicable way and we will not be able to negotiate it. What this treaty does is clearly lay out the rules for negotiation. It protects the interest of Canadians, as the hon. member said. It allows for taxation of first nations. It removes that particular first nation from the Indian Act, which certainly all hon. members would have to agree is a good thing. I do not think that even the Reform members can say it is a bad thing to have the Nisga'a nation no longer under the auspices of the Indian Act.

The fear I have with misrepresentation is if we try to move the issue over and say, “look what is going on in Nova Scotia”. What is going on in Nova Scotia is because there is no treaty, an aboriginal title has not been settled. We are depending on something that went on in 1760 that is a page and a half long and that is open to very wide interpretation. Let us settle these issues. Let us negotiate real self-government for first nations in Canada. Let us understand that all first nations want to be real partners in the Canadian federation. Let us open that door and allow them in. Unlike the Victoria legislature, let us open the door and invite them in.

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

6:05 p.m.

Reform

Mike Scott Skeena, BC

Madam Speaker, there you have it. Self-congratulations is the basis for public policy in this country. The other party members all have a well worn spot between their shoulder blades where they have been patting themselves on the back.

The hon. member discounts out of hand the expert advice we received. He is a member of the committee and he sat there and listened to the advice from the likes of Professor Stephen Scott, a professor of the law faculty at McGill University; Mel Smith, former constitutional adviser to no less than three premiers in British Columbia; Gordon Gibson, the former leader of the Liberal Party in British Columbia; Gordon Campbell, the current leader of the official opposition, the Liberal Party of British Columbia; and Professor Tom Flanagan from the University of Alberta. They are recognized experts in their fields who have said that this is indeed a violation of Canada's constitution. It is the subject of two lawsuits in British Columbia brought by the B.C. opposition Liberal Party and by the Fishery Survival Coalition. The member stands up and completely discounts this out of hand.

Along with the remarks that he has made about the Reform Party and the aspersions he has cast on us, is he casting aspersions on these people as well? Does he put them all in the same boat as the Reform Party? Is he suggesting that these constitutional legal experts are deliberately attempting to mislead Canadians by fabricating myths?

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

6:05 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore, NS

Madam Speaker, the answer is very simple. There are two cases before the Supreme Court of Canada. The supreme court will rule on those cases. I have no fear at all about how that ruling will go.

I ask anyone who may be listening to this debate or anyone who is remotely interested in it to check the record. There were arguments for and against. Those arguments are on the record. People can decide for themselves. I have a point of view. People may disagree with it, which is fine, but I will defend what I have said any day. If the hon. member wants to check the record I challenge him to check it.

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

6:05 p.m.

Reform

Derrek Konrad Prince Albert, SK

Madam Speaker, I have one quick comment. The biggest waste of money in the House is the appropriations for research for the other opposition parties.

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

6:05 p.m.

An hon. member

Out of order.

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

6:05 p.m.

Reform

Derrek Konrad Prince Albert, SK

It is not out of order to make a fair comment.

They only use the press releases by the government for their research and think they have done a job for the Canadian public.

I could say a lot of things but I am really disappointed in the opposition members of the House who just bow and scrape and, as my hon. colleague said, pat themselves on the back and call it public debate.

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

6:05 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore, NS

Madam Speaker, I will be perfectly honest. I never read any press releases by the government and did not have to. I studied this issue, found out the information on it, was prepared to defend it and have on several occasions, and will continue to do that.

As far as the point he started to make about the Marshall decision, the outcome of the Marshall decision is exactly the outcome that will continue in this country as long as we do not have negotiated treaties. A treaty that was passed in 1760 is inappropriate for today. We need to sit down and deal with the serious issues before us in a responsible way for the benefit of all.

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

6:10 p.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of the Environment

Madam Speaker, in the five minutes that remain, I do not have enough time to complete the speech that I had outlined here which indicated the great economic benefits that come from the certainty of having the Nisga'a treaty in place in British Columbia.

There are two major sources of economic uncertainty in British Columbia. One is the unfortunate policies of the provincial NDP government. The other is the fact that aboriginal title in so many parts of the province is uncertain. This treaty is a major step in the right direction in dealing with that second uncertainty. I strongly welcome it on behalf of all those who are interested in B.C.'s economic future.

The opportunity to speak is fast evaporating. However, I would like to suggest that it has been known since the very beginning by non-Nisga'a that this was an injustice done to the Nisga'a people. Let me refer to my own family history.

My grandfather, born in 1880, was a small boy at the time of the 1887 arrival in Victoria of the Tsimsean and the Nisga'a people who came to plead for the land. Later, when I was much his age, he told me based on his experiences and his time in northern British Columbia of that injustice. At that time, when I was a small boy, he persuaded me—an easy job—that in fact there was an injustice to right. I must say how proud I am after all this time that I am here in the House with the privilege of being the last speaker in this debate as the senior minister for British Columbia, pointing out that we will now right that injustice done all those years ago.

Many things have been said about this treaty in the heat of debate which hon. members of the official opposition will not only regret but will be deeply ashamed of in the years to come. They know that if we do not settle this treaty now, which has been discussed, debated and argued in meeting after meeting throughout the province, in the legislature of British Columbia in its longest ever debate, in this House for hour after hour, then it is a case of going directly to the courts.

There is no opportunity for starting the negotiations again. They hold that out as a hope that somehow negotiations will take place and will result in the Nisga'a giving up some of the things they have negotiated for and fairly won in this treaty process.

If we do not wish to go back to court and have these matters determined by the courts alone but to have them determined instead by fair discussion, debate and honest analysis of one another's positions, as has taken place, then we had better approve this treaty. That is the crux of the Nisga'a treaty that is before us today.

The treaty is fair and practical. It will contribute to peace and prosperity in British Columbia. It will facilitate long awaited reconciliation that has been sought for over a century.

As the justices in the Delgamuukw decision said, we are all here to stay so we—

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

6:10 p.m.

Reform

Dick Harris Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I would like to ask for unanimous consent to ask the minister if he knows that over 90% of his own constituents oppose the Nisga'a treaty.

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

6:10 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

That is not a point of order.

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

6:10 p.m.

Liberal

David Anderson Victoria, BC

Madam Speaker, that is clearly debate. It is clearly out of order and it is clearly typical of the way the Reform Party has approached this debate day after day, week after week, month after month. Every opportunity to divert attention from the actual facts of the treaty Reform members have jumped on because they know that faced with a clear examination of this treaty the people of British Columbia know it is in their best interests. We recognize that. The Reform Party does not. It is attempting to conceal this fact and therefore Reform members come up with phoney points of order and phoney—

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

6:10 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

Order, please. It being 6.15 p.m., pursuant to order made on Monday, December 9, 1999, it is my duty to interrupt the proceedings and put forthwith every question necessary to dispose of the third reading stage of the bill now before the House.

The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

All those opposed will please say nay.

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

In my opinion the yeas have it.

And more than five members having risen:

Nisga'A Final Agreement Act
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

Call in the members.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 536
Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

The Speaker

I declare the motion carried.

(Bill read the third time and passed)

Points Of Order
Government Orders

6:50 p.m.

The Speaker

Before proceeding to the next vote on supply I want to make a ruling on a point of order that was raised by the hon. member for St. Albert.

The hon. member raises about the same point that he raised on the consideration of the main estimates last June. He is concerned that the supplementary estimates under consideration today authorize expenditure for the next fiscal year, namely 2000-01.

As I indicated in my ruling on this point on June 8, 1999, at page 16065 of Hansard , the “fiscal year” runs from April to March and a “yearly appropriation” bill must be based on the estimates for the fiscal year to which it relates and must be adopted by parliament to cover the government's expenses for that fiscal year.

I thank the hon. member for bringing up the point earlier in the day so it would give me a chance to look it over. I have looked carefully at the supply bill which is now before the House and I am satisfied that indeed it is based on the supplementary estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000. As in the previous appropriation bill, this appropriation bill provides the same short title “Appropriation Act No. 3, 1999-2000”.

The so-called multi-year appropriation authority provided in schedule 2 of the bill is based on legislation approved by parliament in 1998, by which the Parks Canada Agency and the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency are granted authority to carry over to the end of the 2000-01 fiscal year any unexpended balance of money remaining at the end of the fiscal year 1999-2000.

As was the case last June so also it is the case now. This money is being appropriated for the 1999-2000 fiscal year. It might all be spent in this fiscal year and, if so, it must be authorized by an appropriation for this year. We are talking here about a yearly appropriation bill for the fiscal year 1999-2000.

The hon. member refers to subclause 6(2) of the supply bill now before the House and compares it against the language of carryover that I used last June with reference to the enabling legislation relating to Parks Canada. In my view subclause 6(2) serves the same purpose as did subclause 6(2) in Bill C-86 on June 8, 1999, namely, to reflect the authorization provided in the enabling legislation and a process whereby multi-year spending is to be applied to the applicable appropriations act in sequence.

Accordingly what is included in schedule 2 is already authorized by parliament and is referred to in clause 2 for information purposes only. My ruling is therefore that the supply bill is properly before the House.

I would like to thank the honourable member for his interest in the business of supply. I encourage him to keep on being vigilant and I thank him.

The House resumed from December 10 consideration of the business of supply.

Supply
Government Orders

6:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred division on opposed vote 1, and pursuant to the order made on Thursday, December 7, 1999, the result of that division will be applied to all the remaining motions necessary to dispose of the business of supply.

Supply
Government Orders

6:55 p.m.

Independent

John Nunziata York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege. I would like to address the motion that was passed by the House on December 7, which in the result would apply a series of votes, some 120 votes, with regard to supplementary estimates. I submit that would in effect breach the privileges of independent members of parliament.

The House leaders of the various political parties came together and decided that with regard to their respective political parties the votes could be applied. This motion presumes to anticipate how independent members of parliament would vote on each and every motion before the House.

For that reason I submit that it breaches the privileges, because how could the House know in advance how I would vote on the 120 motions before the House?

If I might conclude, technically it would be my submission that unanimous consent would be required in order to avoid a roll call vote on each of the votes, and if it is the will of the House in effect to apply votes then again unanimous consent would be required.

However, having said that, and in the spirit of Christmas, I am prepared to give my unanimous consent so that all votes can be applied.

Supply
Government Orders

6:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The question is on Motion No. 1.

(The House divided on Motion No. 1, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 537
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

The Speaker

I declare Motion No. 1 carried.

Pursuant to order made on Tuesday, December 7, 1999, the remaining motions relating to concurrence in Supplementary Estimates (A), the motion for first reading for the supply bill and the motion for second reading and reference to a committee of the whole are carried by the same division. Accordingly, the Supplementary Estimates (A) are concurred in, the bill is read a first time, read a second time and referred to committee of the whole.

Division No. 537
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 2

That Vote 5a in the amount of $468,000, under AGRICULTURE AND AGRI-FOOD—Capital expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 2, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 538
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 3

That Vote 10a in the amount of $40,076,870, under AGRICULTURE AND AGRI-FOOD—Grants and contributions, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 3, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 539
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 4

That Vote 15a in the amount of $137,980, under AGRICULTURE AND AGRI-FOOD—Canadian Dairy Commission—Program expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 4, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 540
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 5

That Vote 20a in the amount of $27,072,272, under AGRICULTURE AND AGRI-FOOD—Canadian Food Inspection Agency—Operating expenditures and contributions, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 5, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 541
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 6

That Vote 25a in the amount of $6,040,629, under AGRICULTURE AND AGRI-FOOD—Canadian Food Inspection Agency—Capital expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 6, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 542
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 7

That Vote 1a in the amount of $219,056,271, under CANADA CUSTOMS AND REVENUE AGENCY—Operating expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 7, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 543
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 8

That Vote 1a in the amount of $23,157,750, under CANADIAN HERITAGE—Operating expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 8, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 544
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 9

That Vote 5a in the amount of $116,459,253, under CANADIAN HERITAGE—Grants and contributions, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 9, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 545
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 10

That Vote 50a in the amount of $494,000, under CANADIAN HERITAGE—Canadian Museum of Nature—Operating and capital expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 10, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 546
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 11

That Vote 60a in the amount of $1,432,864, under CANADIAN HERITAGE—National Archives of Canada—Program expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 11, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 547
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 12

That Vote 65a in the amount of $1,057,000, under CANADIAN HERITAGE—National Arts Centre Corporation, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 12, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 548
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 13

That Vote 70a in the amount of $1,932,000, under CANADIAN HERITAGE—National Battlefields Commission—Program expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 13, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 549
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 14

That Vote 75a in the amount of $500,000, under CANADIAN HERITAGE—National Capital Commission—Operating expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 14, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 550
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 15

That Vote 80a in the amount of $45,350,000, under CANADIAN HERITAGE—National Capital Commission—Capital expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 15, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 551
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 16

That Vote 90a in the amount of $2,430,490, under CANADIAN HERITAGE—National Film Board—Revolving Fund, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 16, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 552
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 17

That Vote 110a in the amount of $400,000, under CANADIAN HERITAGE—National Museum of Science and Technology—Operating and capital expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 17, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 553
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 18

That Vote 115a in the amount of $15,677,250, under CANADIAN HERITAGE—Parks Canada Agency—Program expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 18, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 554
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 19

That Vote 125a in the amount of $4,497,500, under CANADIAN HERITAGE—Public Service Commission of Canada—Program expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 19, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 555
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 20

That Vote 130a in the amount of $732,950, under CANADIAN HERITAGE—Status of Women—Office of the Co- ordinator—Operating expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 20, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 556
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 21

That Vote 1a in the amount of $91,634,800, under CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION—Operating expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 21, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 557
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 22

That Vote 10a in the amount of $100,617,900, under CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION—Grants and contributions, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 22, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 558
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 23

That Vote 1a in the amount of $13,951,554, under ENVIRONMENT—Operating expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 23, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 559
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 24

That Vote 5a in the amount of $5,266,124, under ENVIRONMENT—Capital expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 24, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 560
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 25

That Vote 10a in the amount of $10,590,069, under ENVIRONMENT—Grants and contributions, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 25, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 561
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 26

That Vote 15a in the amount of $384,550, under ENVIRONMENT—Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency—Program expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 26, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 562
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 27

That Vote 1a in the amount of $3,821,100, under FINANCE—Program expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 27, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 563
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 28

That Vote 6a in the amount of $600,000 under FINANCE—Economic, Social and Financial Policies, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 28, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 564
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 29

That Vote 25a in the amount of $2,076,257, under FINANCE—Auditor General—Program expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 29, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 565
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 30

That Vote 1a in the amount of $99,167,647, under FISHERIES AND OCEANS—Operating expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 30, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 566
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 31

That Vote 5a in the amount of $7,201,000, under FISHERIES AND OCEANS—Capital expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 31, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 567
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 32

That Vote 10a in the amount of $50,795,773, under FISHERIES AND OCEANS—Grants and contributions, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 32, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 568
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 33

That Vote 1a in the amount of $80,206,553, under FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE—Operating expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 33, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 569
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 34

That Vote 5a in the amount of $43,875,400, under FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE—Capital expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 34, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 570
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 35

That Vote 10a in the amount of $111,983,945, under FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE—Grants and contributions, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 35, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 571
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 36

That Vote 11a in the amount of $45,000,000 under FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE—Grants and contributions, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 36, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 572
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 37

That Vote 20a in the amount of $5,739,152, under FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE—Canadian International Development Agency—Operating expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 37, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 573
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 38

That Vote 25a in the amount of $3,000,000, under FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE—Canadian International Development Agency—Capital expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 38, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 574
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 39

That Vote 30a in the amount of $89,482,266, under FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE—Canadian International Development Agency—Grants and Contributions, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 39, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 575
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 40

That Vote 41a in the amount of $1, under FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE—Export Development Corporation, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 40, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 576
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 41

That Vote 45a in the amount of $4,307,000, under FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE—International Development Research Centre, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 41, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 577
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 42

That Vote 50a in the amount of $354,000, under FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE—International Joint Commission—Program expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 42, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 578
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 43

That Vote 1a in the amount of $1,774,105, under GOVERNOR GENERAL—Program expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 43, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 579
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 44

That Vote 1a in the amount of $59,940,557, under HEALTH—Operating expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 44, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 580
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 45

That Vote 5a in the amount of $7,285,972, under HEALTH—Grants and contributions, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 45, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 581
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 46

That Vote 10a in the amount of $682,526, under HEALTH—Hazardous Materials Information Review Commission—Program expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 46, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 582
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 47

That Vote 15a in the amount of $1,956,355, under HEALTH—Medical Research Council of Canada—Operating expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 47, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 583
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 48

That Vote 20a in the amount of $26,100,000, under HEALTH—Medical Research Council of Canada—Grants, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 48, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 584
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 49

That Vote 25a in the amount of $533,769, under HEALTH—Patented Medicine Prices Review Board—Program expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 49, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 585
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 50

That Vote 1a in the amount of $41,158,557, under HUMAN RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT—Corporate Services—Program expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 50, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 586
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 51

That Vote 5a in the amount of $61,197,045, under HUMAN RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT—Human Resources Investment and Insurance—Operating expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 51, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 587
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 52

That Vote 10a in the amount of $207,418,952, under HUMAN RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT—Human Resources Investment and Insurance—Grants and contributions, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 52, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 588
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 53

That Vote 15a in the amount of $1,690,100, under HUMAN RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT—Labour—Program expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 53, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 589
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 54

That Vote 20a in the amount of $13,664,716, under HUMAN RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT—Income Security—Program expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 54, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 590
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 55

That Vote 25a in the amount of $309,152, under HUMAN RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT—Canada Industrial Relations Board—Program expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 55, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 591
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 56

That Vote 35a in the amount of $569,911, under HUMAN RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT—Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety—Program expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 56, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 592
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 57

That Vote 1a in the amount of $3,140,700, under INDIAN AFFAIRS AND NORTHERN DEVELOPMENT—Program expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 57, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 593
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 58

That Vote 5a in the amount of $17,645,508, under INDIAN AFFAIRS AND NORTHERN DEVELOPMENT—Indian and Inuit Affairs—Operating expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 58, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 594
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 59

That Vote 6a in the amount of $1, under INDIAN AFFAIRS AND NORTHERN DEVELOPMENT—Indian and Inuit Affairs—Loans, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 59, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 595
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 60

That Vote 10a in the amount of $1,253,000, under INDIAN AFFAIRS AND NORTHERN DEVELOPMENT—Indian and Inuit Affairs Program—Capital expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 60, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 596
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 61

That Vote 15a in the amount of $58,546,352, under INDIAN AFFAIRS AND NORTHERN DEVELOPMENT—Indian and Inuit Affairs—Grants and contributions, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 61, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 597
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 62

That Vote 35a in the amount of $36,675,350, under INDIAN AFFAIRS AND NORTHERN DEVELOPMENT—Northern Affairs—Operating expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 62, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 598
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 63

That Vote 50a in the amount of $42,000, under INDIAN AFFAIRS AND NORTHERN DEVELOPMENT—Canadian Polar Commission—Program expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 63, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 599
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 64

That Vote 1a in the amount of $94,894,960, under INDUSTRY—Operating expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 64, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 600
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 65

That Vote 5a in the amount of $49,708,000, under INDUSTRY—Grants and contributions, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 65, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 601
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 66

That Vote 20a in the amount of $6,639,297, under INDUSTRY—Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency—Operating expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 66, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 602
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 67

That Vote 25a in the amount of $10,310,100, under INDUSTRY—Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency—Grants and contributions, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 67, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 603
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 68

That Vote 30a in the amount of $37,110,406, under INDUSTRY—Canadian Space Agency—Operating expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 68, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 604
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 69

That Vote 40a in the amount of $4,625,000, under INDUSTRY—Canadian Space Agency—Grants and contributions, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 69, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 605
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 70

That Vote 50a in the amount of $811,000, under INDUSTRY—Copyright Board—Program expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 70, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 606
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 71

That Vote 55a in the amount of $1,313,646, under INDUSTRY—Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Region of Quebec—Operating expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 71, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 607
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 72

That Vote 70a in the amount of $13,926,810, under INDUSTRY—National Research Council of Canada—Operating expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 72, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 608
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 73

That Vote 75a in the amount of $1 under INDUSTRY—National Research Council of Canada—Capital expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 73, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 609
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 74

That Vote 85a in the amount of $1,923,980, under INDUSTRY—Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council—Operating expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 74, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 610
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 75

That Vote 90a in the amount of $37,941,0 76, under INDUSTRY—Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council—Grants, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 75, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 611
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 76

That Vote 95a in the amount of $1,485,921, under INDUSTRY—Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council—Operating expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 76, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 612
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 77

That Vote 100a in the amount of $15,125,000, under INDUSTRY—Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council—Grants, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 77, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 613
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 78

That Vote 110a in the amount of $33,545,757, under INDUSTRY—Statistics Canada—Program expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 78, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 614
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 79

That Vote 115a in the amount of $7,709,180, under INDUSTRY—Western Economic Diversification—Operating expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 79, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 615
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 80

That Vote 120a in the amount of $33,501,900, under INDUSTRY—Western Economic Diversification—Grants and contributions, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 80, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 616
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 81

That Vote 1a in the amount of $94,698,913, under JUSTICE—Operating expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 81, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 617
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 82

That Vote 5a in the amount of $27,162,000, under JUSTICE—Grants and contributions, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 82, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 618
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 83

That Vote 10a in the amount of $1,775,100, under JUSTICE—Canadian Human Rights Commission—Program expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 83, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 619
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 84

That Vote 15a in the amount of $733,233, under JUSTICE—Human Rights Tribunal Panel—Program expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 84, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 620
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 85

That Vote 30a in the amount of $1,270,100, under JUSTICE—Federal Court of Canada—Program expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 85, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 621
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 86

That Vote 40a in the amount of $2,792,070, under JUSTICE—Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioners of Canada—Program expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 86, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 622
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 87

That Vote 45a in the amount of $774,650, under JUSTICE—Supreme Court of Canada—Program expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 87, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 623
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 88

That Vote 50a in the amount of $235,175, under JUSTICE—Tax Court of Canada—Program expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 88, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 624
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 89

That Vote 1a in the amount of $758,372,230, under NATIONAL DEFENCE—Operating expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 89, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 625
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 90

That Vote 5a in the amount of $68,442,771, under NATIONAL DEFENCE—Capital expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 90, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 626
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 91

That Vote 10a in the amount of $1 under NATIONAL DEFENCE—Grants and contributions, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 91, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 627
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 92

That Vote 1a in the amount of $38,809,393, under NATURAL RESOURCES—Operating expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 92, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 628
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 93

That Vote 5a in the amount of $25,170,000, under NATURAL RESOURCES—Grants and contributions, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 93, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 629
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 94

That Vote 15a in the amount of $4,147,133, under NATURAL RESOURCES—Atomic Energy Control Board—Program expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 94, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 630
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 95

That Vote 20a in the amount of $19,000,000, under NATURAL RESOURCES—Atomic Energy of Canada Limited—Operating and capital expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 95, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 631
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 96

That Vote 22a in the amount of $11,000,000, under NATURAL RESOURCES—Atomic Energy of Canada Limited—Operating and capital expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 96, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 632
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 97

That Vote 25a in the amount of $1,217,150, under NATURAL RESOURCES—National Energy Board—Program expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 97, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 633
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 98

That Vote 1a in the amount of $6,098,824, under PRIVY COUNCIL—Program expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 98, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 634
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 99

That Vote 5a in the amount of $932,565, under PRIVY COUNCIL—Canadian Centre for Management Development—Program expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 99, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 635
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 100

That Vote 10a in the amount of $478,049, under PRIVY COUNCIL—Canadian Centre for Management Development—Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat—Program expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 100, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 636
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 101

That Vote 15a in the amount of $15,371,850, under PRIVY COUNCIL—Canadian Transportation Accident Investigastion and Safety Board—Program expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 101, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 637
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 102

That Vote 25a in the amount of $445,600, under PRIVY COUNCIL—Commissioner of Official Languages—Program expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 102, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 638
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 103

That Vote 30a in the amount of $1 under PRIVY COUNCIL—Millennium Bureau of Canada—Operating Expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 103, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 639
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 104

That Vote 55a in the amount of $385,750, under PRIVY COUNCIL—The Leadership Network—Program expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 104, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 640
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 105

That Vote 1a in the amount of $123,138,676, under PUBLIC WORKS AND GOVERNMENT SERVICES CANADA—Operating expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 105, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 641
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 106

Vote 10a in the amount of $16,570,000, under PUBLIC WORKS AND GOVERNMENT SERVICES CANADA—Old Port of Montreal Corporation Inc. in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 106, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 642
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 107

That Vote 1a in the amount of $2,917,278, under SOLICITOR GENERAL—Operating expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 107, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 643
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 108

That Vote 10a in the amount of $4,248,143, under SOLICITOR GENERAL—Canadian Security Intelligence Service—Program expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 108, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 644
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 109

That Vote 15a in the amount of $42,963,667, under SOLICITOR GENERAL—Correctional Service—Operating expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 109, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 645
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 110

That Vote 25a in the amount of $1,073,637, under SOLICITOR GENERAL—National Parole Board—Program expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 110, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 646
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 111

That Vote 35a in the amount of $52,545,571, under SOLICITOR GENERAL—Royal Canadian Mounted Police—Operating expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 111, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 647
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 112

That Vote 40a in the amount of $4,734,000, under SOLICITOR GENERAL—Royal Canadian Mounted Police—Capital expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 112, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 648
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 113

That Vote 50a in the amount of $3,163,512, under SOLICITOR GENERAL—Royal Canadian Mounted Police Public Complaints Commission—Program expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 113, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 649
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 114

That Vote 1a in the amount of $22,224,700, under TREASURY BOARD—Operating expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 114, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 650
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 115

That Vote 10a in the amount of $4,082,500, under TREASURY BOARD—Government-wide initiatives, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 115, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 651
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 116

That Vote 15a in the amount of $199,429,230, under TREASURY BOARD—Collective Agreements, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 116, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 652
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 117

That Vote 1a in the amount of $8,662,302, under VETERANS AFFAIRS—Operating expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 117, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 653
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 118

That Vote 5a in the amount of $3,500,000, under VETERANS AFFAIRS—Grants and contributions, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 118, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 654
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 119

That Vote 10a in the amount of $785,928, under VETERANS AFFAIRS—Program expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, be concurred in.

(The House divided on Motion No. 119, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 655
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

That Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, except any vote disposed of earlier today, be concurred in.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 656
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

moved that Bill C-21, an act for granting Her Majesty certain sums of money for the Public Service of Canada for the financial year ending March 31, 2000, be read the first time.

(Motion deemed adopted and bill read the first time)

Division No. 656
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

moved that the bill be read the second time and referred to committee of the whole.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 657
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

The Chairman

Pursuant to order made on Tuesday, December 7, 1999, clauses 1 to 7, schedules 1 and 2, the preamble, the title, the bill and the motion that I rise and report are carried by the same division taken earlier this day on Motion No. 1.

Division No. 657
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Reform

John Williams St. Albert, AB

Mr. Chairman, could the President of the Treasury Board please confirm that this bill is in the usual form?

Division No. 657
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Chairman, the form of this bill is the same as that passed in the previous supply period, including a separate schedule for those agencies with multi-year lapsing appropriations.

(Clauses 1 to 7 agreed to)

(Schedules 1 and 2 agreed to)

(Preamble agreed to)

(Title agreed to)

(Bill reported)

Division No. 657
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

moved that the bill be concurred in.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 658
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

moved that the bill be read the third time and passed.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 659
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

The Speaker

Pursuant to order made on Tuesday, December 7, 1999, the supply bill is concurred in at report stage, read the third time and passed by the same division taken earlier this day on Motion No. 1. Accordingly, the bill is concurred in at report stage, read a third time and passed.

(Bill read the third time and passed)

A motion to adjourn the House under Standing Order 38 deemed to have been moved.

Division No. 659
Adjournment Proceedings

7:10 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Madam Speaker, for over two and a half years my party and I have been arguing with the Government of Canada that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is one of the most out of control departments in the entire country. Here are a few examples of where that department is completely out of control.

Recently the amalgamation of the coast guard resulted in one of the coast guard vessels going into Saint John harbour to hold a gala party for correctional officers. Also, since 1988 $4.2 billion has been spent restructuring the east coast fishery to no avail.

When the Marshall decision came down, it was quite obvious that DFO did not have a plan. We said from the beginning when the decision came down that DFO and the Government of Canada should have been prepared. Now we know from internal documents acquired through access to information by reporter Kevin Carmichael that the government had a plan but it did not want to present it to anyone because it did not want to affect, fear or shame anyone in its decision.

It is quite obvious that the government abrogated its responsibility and abrogated its duty to the people of Canada and the aboriginal people of Atlantic Canada.

The current Minister of Fisheries and Oceans has constantly stated in the House that it is better to negotiate than it is to litigate. After the Sparrow decision, the Delgamuukw decision and now the Marshall decision, it seems the only recourse that aboriginal people have is constantly to go to the courts to meet their end means.

If the government truly believed in the fact that it is better to negotiate than to litigate, then I tell the government right now that it had better deal with the issue of non-status aboriginal people when it comes to status aboriginal people, especially in my home province of Nova Scotia. The non-status aboriginals believe quite firmly that the Marshall decision applies to them. There is legal opinion that says it may very well apply to them as well.

As well, the government is focusing on just the inshore aspects of the Marshall decision. We put it quite clearly to the government, and we wish it would stand up in the House and speak to the fact that the Marshall decision should apply to the inshore, the midshore and the offshore sectors. It should not be just one sector of the fishing community that bears the brunt of the decision. It should be a more co-operative approach toward all the fishing regimes so that the aboriginal people can feel like full partners in this industry with fisheries and oceans.

It was no surprise when the former Minister of Fisheries and Oceans left the department fairly quickly. I have said it before and I will say it again that if DFO was on the stock exchange, one could almost accuse the former Minister of Fisheries and Oceans of insider trading because he seemed to leave in such a hurry. We know very well that the former minister, who is now the Minister of the Environment, was fully aware of how the Marshall decision may have come about for the people of Nova Scotia and especially the aboriginal communities of Atlantic Canada.

Because the government was not showing leadership or foresight in the decision making process, there were incidents in West Nova. There were incidents down in Miramichi at Burnt Church. People threatened one another. Boats were burned. It was a really ugly scene in the maritime provinces.

It all could have been avoided had the government only shown some leadership. We have asked time and time again for the government, especially the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, to show leadership when it comes to fishing concerns in Atlantic Canada, especially when it comes to the integration of aboriginal and non-aboriginal people and a common property resource.

We have many ideas on this side of the House on how it should go. We only wish that the government would listen to what we are saying so that all people in Atlantic Canada could share in a common property resource.

Division No. 659
Adjournment Proceedings

7:15 p.m.

Labrador
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Lawrence O'Brien Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to speak about the approach the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans has taken to address the Marshall decision.

Much has been made by the opposition about the fact that the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans has not been on the east coast personally dealing with first nations on commercial access.

The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans appointed Mr. MacKenzie and Mr. Thériault as chief federal representative and assistant federal representative respectively, not because he wanted to send a B team to the Atlantic, as the opposition has suggested, but because these gentlemen bring to the task outstanding qualifications that are so important to the negotiation process.

Mr. MacKenzie has a background in negotiations with aboriginal groups, having been involved in land claims negotiations in my riding of Labrador as the chief federal negotiator for the Labrador Inuit land claims process. He also has extensive experience in holding consultations with diverse groups throughout Atlantic Canada and so is familiar with the issues these stakeholders are faced with.

Mr. Thériault has been involved with the Atlantic commercial fishery in a variety of capacities for the past 25 years. He has been a spokesperson, an adviser and a consultant in a variety of fora related to fisheries issues.

It is for these reasons that the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans determined that they could provide a very important function in negotiating arrangements for the next fishing season that will accommodate the Marshall decision while taking into account the concerns and issues of the existing commercial fishing sector.

Mr. MacKenzie and Mr. Thériault are now engaged in the process of discussing with aboriginal leaders—

Division No. 659
Adjournment Proceedings

7:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

I am sorry but I must interrupt the hon. parliamentary secretary. The motion to adjourn the House is now deemed to have been adopted. Accordingly, the House stands adjourned until tomorrow at 10 a.m., pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).

(The House adjourned at 7.17 p.m.)