House of Commons Hansard #208 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was crime.

Topics

Kosovo
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in one hour, I will have an opportunity to meet with the Premier of China and I intend to ask him to play a role.

It would be desirable for the United Nations to be involved, for all countries, therefore, to be involved. Since China is on the security council, I would like it to take part.

A few hours ago, the Minister of Foreign Affairs spoke with his Russian counterpart. By tomorrow, or the next day, I hope to be able to speak with Mr. Clinton and Britain's Prime Minister. I have made arrangements to speak with them as soon as possible.

Kosovo
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Foreign Affairs told us that the peace plan proposed by Germany had been discussed by NATO member countries this past weekend.

Never, I repeat never, either in the debate in this House or in his responses to our questions, did the minister so much as mention the existence of this peace plan.

Are there many other important things like this one of which we are not aware because the government is deliberately hiding them from us?

Kosovo
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The word “deliberately” is a bit strong. I ask the hon. member not to use such words.

Kosovo
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the statements made by the hon. member are false.

What I did say was that, last weekend, there was a meeting of senior G-8 staff. A discussion was held at that time, along with an examination of the possibility of proposing a peace agreement. Leaders of governments, ministers of governments, are holding discussions, but there is no specific agreement. A group has presented some ideas.

Kosovo
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, this morning, the Americans were told by their government that the NATO air strikes could continue until the summer, that this could cost them between $4 and $8 billion, and that the President is contemplating calling up several thousand members of the Reserve, and sending over 300 more aircraft.

Can the Prime Minister go beyond mere generalities and tell us whether he knows how many troops and aircraft will be required of Canada, how long our participation will go on, and how much these operations will cost Canadians and Quebeckers? The people are entitled to know this.

Kosovo
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, at this point in time it is impossible for anyone to predict exactly how long the operations will last. If President Milosevic were to agree today to pull out his troops, that would put an end to the problem. We have already said we would then be prepared to send over peacekeeping troops.

At this point, we have 12 aircraft over there, and 6 more have been requested. We have not yet made any decision, but we are going to play the role that is appropriate for us in these operations.

I do not know if it is going to go on until June, July or August. I think such predictions are impossible, and I do not want to create either false hopes or false concerns. I want to stick to today's reality.

Kosovo
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Gordon Earle Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Foreign Affairs recognized that Canadians and people around the world want to see a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Kosovo. Like us, the minister saw hope of achieving that goal in the German peace plan. Unfortunately Germany's proposal has stalled.

Is Canada now willing to press for a diplomatic solution by presenting a uniting for peace resolution to the UN security council?

Kosovo
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has it wrong. I do not think anything has stalled. I think the proposal has now been made public. As I said, there is a series of discussions going on. The Prime Minister indicated his engagement with leaders of other governments. I am engaged in discussions with my counterparts. We also have discussed this with the Secretary General of the United Nations, and the five basic principles he put forward are encompassed in this plan.

As I said to the hon. member's leader yesterday, let us give this particular proposition a chance to work. Let us give it a chance to see where it goes and then we will determine what the next course will be. We are actively engaged to see if we can find a solution.

Kosovo
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Gordon Earle Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, I am truly surprised. The casualties of war are mounting. There is evidence that this peace plan has stalled. Yesterday the foreign affairs minister did not discard the idea of a uniting for peace resolution. He said he was ready to consider this option, but he wanted the German plan to be explored first.

Now that we know endorsement for this plan is limited, will Canada go to the security council, use the uniting for peace resolution and propose an emergency session of the General Assembly of the United Nations?

Kosovo
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I do not know where the hon. member gets his assessment. My sense of it is that there is a very active interest in trying to see how we can gain agreement. That is the essential ploy. There is no point in getting a resolution from the United Nations, whether it is the security council or the general assembly, if there is not agreement by the parties to the dispute to abide by it. We are trying to get that agreement. The essential diplomatic task is to get the Yugoslav government, Milosevic, to agree to withdraw his troops, to stop persecuting his people and to find some international force to make sure that implementation can be properly monitored. That is the issue. Get the agreement.

Kosovo
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

David Price Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of National Defence answered yes to specific training. Our troops in Edmonton, the Princess Pats and the LSH, are training for ground operations and peacekeeping. A force of one infantry battle group, one recce squadron and one helicopter squadron was confirmed by the Liberal government leader in the Senate. The Kosovo observers training in Kingston were told by the J-3 of an option of 2,000 soldiers.

After three confirmations, will the minister admit that this is now fact?

Kosovo
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member does not seem to give up. I clearly pointed out yesterday that what he is relating to is a classroom discussion, not the development of policy. That is developed at National Defence Headquarters and ultimately here in the House of Commons.

The training that goes on and the training he referred to yesterday in terms of the United States is something that has been planned for a long period of time. It is part of our ongoing training, our inter-operability with the United States forces, to keep combat capable. The only troops that we have been talking about in terms of Kosovo have been for peacekeeping purposes.

Kosovo
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

David Price Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government is not showing that it is very serious in defeating Milosevic if diplomacy does not work.

Will the Minister of National Defence confirm the following facts? Some 40 to 50 officers in Kingston were briefed by J-3 operations staff in charge of planning Canada's deployment to Kosovo. On the ground out of class exercises were carried out with a 2,000 force scenario. Is it now the intention of the minister also to deploy more CF-18s?

Kosovo
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, with respect to more CF-18s, we have the matter under active consideration. I expect to be able to say something about that shortly.

With respect to our plans in terms of forces on the ground, our plans are only relevant to a peacekeeping force. If there is anything else, as the Prime Minister has said, as I have said and as others have said on many occasions, then of course there would be full consultation with the House.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

April 15th, 1999 / 2:30 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister for taxes has no clue how much his high tax policies are punishing Canadians.

A 61 year old single woman who earned under $12,000 last year recently sent me her 1998 tax form. The finance minister forced her to pay $661.03 in federal taxes. That ought to be a crime.

Why is it the minister's policy to force a 61 year old woman who is living well below the poverty line to pay any tax at all? Why would that be?