House of Commons Hansard #83 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-23.

Topics

Middle East
Oral Question Period

April 11th, 2000 / 2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

André Bachand Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is obvious that the Prime Minister will not receive any Nobel Peace Prize for help in building peace in the Middle East. Instead of supporting the creation of a new Palestinian state within the peace process, the Prime Minister endangers the peace process by saying that he will recognize a UDI by Palestinians.

These comments were improper and show dramatic change in Canadian foreign policy. Is it not time for parliament to call the Prime Minister back to Canada before he further jeopardizes Canada's international reputation with respect to foreign policy in the Middle East?

Middle East
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the position of the Prime Minister in the Middle East and at home is to urge the parties to strive in good faith to reach a negotiated solution.

That is his position at home. That is his position in the Middle East. Surely that is something all should not object to, instead of being like the Conservatives and trying to make political capital out of efforts to reach a just solution in the Middle East.

Middle East
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

André Bachand Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Deputy Prime Minister should explain the Canadian position to the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister claims to like clarity, but he generates confusion. After having always condemned the threat of a unilateral declaration of independence by Quebec, he would now give his blessing to such a declaration by Palestine.

There is no doubt that Palestine's situation may be different from that of Quebec but, according to the Prime Minister, there are similarities. In the case of Palestine, the Prime Minister says that if negotiations are no longer conducted in good faith by Israel, Canada would be prepared to recognize a unilateral declaration of independence, just as France seems to be prepared to do.

In the case of Quebec, paragraph 155 provides that if Canada refuses to negotiate in good faith, a declaration of independence by Quebec could be recognized, including by the international community. Is this a policy change?

Middle East
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, here in Canada, there is no occupied region. There is no colony, and our situation is totally different from that of Middle East regions. I wonder why the hon. Progressive Conservative member fails to see the difference.

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, the new auditor general's report is out and it looks like the government is trying to outdo Rocky for bad sequels. This time it is the Department of Finance and the revenue agency that are starring in boondoggle four, revenge of the bureaucrats.

His report points out that $2 billion have been mismanaged by those two departments in the application of the scientific research and experimental development tax credit program. Why does the government think a $1 return for every $40 invested is a good return on taxpayer money?

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon Minister of National Revenue and Secretary of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, I guess I will have to repeat over and over. First, there is no boondoggle in human resources and there is no boondoggle in the revenue agency.

Second, if they would take the time and opportunity to properly read the auditor general's report, they would see that back in 1994 a decision was taken to fix the 18 month delay in the production of SRTED claims. At that time we received over 16,000 demands in four months.

The auditor general said that we were stuck with a political and administrative nightmare, and we—

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Medicine Hat.

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, that nightmare has become the taxpayers' nightmare under this government. Obviously HRDC was not an isolated incident. It was the template for the massive abuse of taxpayer dollars by the government.

Two billion dollars were mismanaged by finance and revenue. How many more of these disasters do we have to discover before the government figures out, in the words of the finance minister, that government cannot pick winners but losers sure can pick government?

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon Minister of National Revenue and Secretary of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, I believe I have said it and I will keep saying it. The SRTED program we have in Canada is one of the best tools in the world to help economic development in the centres and regions across the country. I stand by that.

Second, we have been facing an administrative nightmare. When I hear what they say on the other side of the House, I know that we would not have such a tool. It would be a political nightmare to have the Reform Party in government.

Young Offenders
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, stakeholders from all regions of Quebec came to condemn Bill C-3, to repeal the Young Offenders Act.

It is thanks to these people if Quebec has the lowest juvenile crime rate in North America. Following their representations, the Minister of Justice moved amendments to Bill C-3 last Tuesday.

Are we to understand that these amendments are the minister's response to the opposition expressed by these stakeholders before the committee?

Young Offenders
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we believe that our new youth justice legislation provides a flexible framework within which jurisdictions can implement the legislation in light of their local needs and preferences.

As the hon. member knows, I have asked him to identify any existing policies or programs in Quebec that could not continue under the new legislation. So far I have not heard from him.

Young Offenders
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, does the minister realize that her amendments do not at all meet the concerns raised by Quebec stakeholders—and there is a clear consensus on this issue—and that the only way to meet these concerns is to allow Quebec, by an amendment to Bill C-3, to continue to implement the Young Offenders Act in the same fashion?

This is what Quebec has been asking for a long time.

Young Offenders
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated, Bill C-3 is a flexible piece of legislation that will permit Quebec to continue to do those things in the area of youth justice it is presently doing.

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Mike Scott Skeena, BC

Mr. Speaker, the auditor general reporting on the state of aboriginal education says:

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada cannot demonstrate that it meets its stated objectives to assist aboriginal students living on reserves in achieving their educational needs. The situation is complex and urgent. At the current rate of progress, it will take over 20 years for aboriginal children to reach parity in academic achievement with other Canadians.

My question is for the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. How can he look aboriginal children in the eye in the face of such failure?

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Kenora—Rainy River
Ontario

Liberal

Bob Nault Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, I agree with the auditor general that in fact we are going too slow. That is why in 1998 we brought in reforms called Gathering Strength to reform the education system.

In the next few years when we bring all these changes into the House I hope that member votes for them, for a change.