House of Commons Hansard #197 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was justice.

Topics

International Forums
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, francophones in Canada are not just from Quebec. There are one million francophones who are part of that people but are not living in Quebec. They count on the federal government to represent them.

International Forums
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

International Forums
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

International Forums
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

Order. The hon. member for Roberval.

International Forums
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister will have the opportunity to rise again.

I want to ask him if he will not acknowledge that Quebeckers and the Government of Quebec have always played a leadership role in defending the French fact in North America and that, in doing so, they are fully entitled to be heard in international forums like the one in Belgium with the Walloons and the Flemings.

We exist and we want to have the right to say so.

International Forums
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, French Canadians are very well represented here in the House and throughout Canada, in embassies, and their interests are well protected.

I would point out, because these days there is a lot of talk about Catalonia, that the Spanish constitution does not give to the people of Catalonia the same powers as Quebec enjoys here. The Spanish constitution is based on the indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation, the common and indivisible country of all Spaniards.

When we travel in Spain, we can see that the people of Catalonia would like to have the powers that the Canadian Constitution gives the Government of Quebec.

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Eric C. Lowther Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, a few months ago in this House we strongly endorsed a bill. This bill is now before the justice committee and would give children's organizations a right to know if a convicted child molester applies for a position of trust over children. Yesterday, coincidentally, the solicitor general introduced a bill that proposes the same thing.

I would be willing to take my name off the bill and the solicitor general could put his name on it and we would be a lot further ahead on this whole issue. Will the solicitor general take my bill now so that children can be better protected rather than waiting for another year or more?

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Cardigan
P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, what my hon. colleague should do is read Bill C-69. It is more inclusive. It has a flagging system to indicate if anybody was convicted of a sex offence. It is retroactive. This bill is important for public safety. I certainly await my hon. colleague's support for this piece of very important legislation.

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Eric C. Lowther Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am concerned sometimes when I see power and politics going ahead of the protection of our Canadian children. My bill is exactly the same as the one the minister has put forward. This week there are witnesses here who are presenting evidence in support of our bill.

Why will the solicitor general not do the right thing and protect Canadian children instead of playing power and politics?

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Cardigan, PE

Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what I am doing. It is the right thing. What I am doing is putting a piece of legislation in place that protects the public now. It is also retroactive. It is a piece of legislation that I can only hope my hon. colleague and his party will support.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

March 16th, 1999 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the government says that any surplus in the EI account is part of Canada's consolidated revenue fund and does not belong to contributors.

Can the Minister of Finance explain why his government is appropriating EI fund surpluses when it is not paying one red cent into the plan, when all the money in it comes from workers and employers?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the member knows very well that the government rolled the EI fund into the government's consolidated revenue fund in 1986 at the request of the auditor general. It was done at his request and we are following his rules.

At the same time, the member is also well aware that the Canadian government guarantees the money in this fund.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, either the EI fund's surpluses belong to contributors, which explains why the government is paying interest on them, or they belong to the government, as the government claims.

If so, why is the minister paying interest on a surplus that he claims belongs to him?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, because this was how it was set up at the very beginning.

But I again repeat that the member is well aware that the Canadian government guarantees these payments and, when the fund is in the red, as it has been for 11 of the last 17 years, it is the Canadian government that assumes the load.

Cuba
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Bob Mills Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we saw the effectiveness of this government's soft power foreign policy. Four Cuban dissidents were sentenced to prison after a kangaroo court in Havana found them guilty of subversion.

Given his warm relations with Mr. Castro, why was the foreign affairs minister not able to ensure their right to a fair trial?