House of Commons Hansard #116 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was international.

Topics

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the government has never hesitated to make changes and improvements to the employment insurance system.

I would draw to the attention of the hon. member that just this week the small weeks pilots have become a national part of the employment insurance program to the applause of Canadians across the country, including seasonal workers in the hon. member's riding.

Justice
Oral Question Period

November 21st, 2001 / 2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, Clinton Suzack, a convicted cop killer, after serving only six years of a life sentence, was moved to country club fed where he can golf and fish without being monitored. It is still a prison but a liberal style prison. The sentencing judge believes this was wrong. The Ontario legislature believes this was wrong. Even the Liberal leader from the province of Ontario believes this was wrong.

I have a simple question for the solicitor general. Does he condone such a move? Does he believe this is right or wrong?

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Cardigan
P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the individual the hon. colleague is speaking about is in a medium security institution. Of course I cannot discuss the specifics of the case. Correctional Service Canada has evaluated his placing. Correctional Service Canada uses research based tools in order to decide where a person is based. It is not a decision made by politicians.

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, clearly the specifics of this case is that justice is not being served. Killers, especially those who have killed police officers, should be held accountable for their criminal actions, a concept that Correctional Service Canada is ignoring, a concept that the solicitor general has obviously failed to embrace.

Will the solicitor general ensure that justice is served and that the life of constable Joe MacDonald, the Ontario police officer who was murdered in the line of duty, is properly honoured? Will he return Suzack to a maximum security penitentiary where he belongs?

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Cardigan
P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, when individuals are convicted they are evaluated and placed in either maximum, medium or minimum institutions. After they are placed in an institution they are evaluated periodically and placed in the proper institution. That is what took place here.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Nick Discepola Vaudreuil-Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Solicitor General of Canada.

During the past weekend shots were fired at the Kanesatake Mohawk police station and yesterday Grand Chief Gabriel asked the federal and provincial governments for support.

What assurances could the Solicitor General of Canada give Grand Chief Gabriel that peace and public order will be maintained in Kanesatake at all times?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Cardigan
P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the government has taken a serious look at Kanesatake. We are working very closely with the province of Quebec and the community. The community has asked us to cover costs for additional police officers in Kanesatake and I am pleased to say that we are able to cover the federal share.

In addition, we will support any reasonable request for resources that are needed to provide public safety and security in the long term.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, we learned today that the Liberal government may ignore its commitment to reduce employment insurance contributions by 5 cents, even with an $8 billion surplus.

In the past, the Minister of Finance clearly indicated that the surplus in the employment insurance fund was now used to balance public finances.

My question is for the Prime Minister. Does he agree with the Minister of Finance or is he prepared to order his Minister of Finance to remove the payroll tax that he has been imposing for years?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, when we took office, the EI contribution rate for workers was $3.07. It has been reduced every year since. It is now $2.25 and we will see what the Minister of Finance will announce in his budget.

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, my supplementary question is for the Minister of Justice.

Two years ago, after a young law student in Fredericton, New Brunswick was brutally beaten simply because he was gay, the minister promised to add sexual orientation to the criminal laws on hate propaganda and she said that she would do it within months.

After last weekend's brutal murder of Aaron Webster, who was beaten to death by being repeatedly clubbed with a baseball bat, when will the minister finally move to ensure that she adds gays and lesbians to the protections of the hate propaganda section of the criminal code?

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the solicitor general and I will be meeting with our provincial and territorial colleagues next week and this is a matter I will take up with them. We had the opportunity to discuss it some time ago but, after consultation with my provincial and territorial colleagues, if there is general agreement to proceed, we will do so.

Anti-Terrorism Legislation
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the controversial Bill C-36 received some minor watered down changes including a five year re-enactment clause on police powers, yet the sun will not set on the ability of the minister to hide information from Canadians.

An injection of judicial review for ministerial certificates is eclipsed by the controversial costly process. The Government of Canada still can deny the information for broad and potentially political reasons.

Why is the minister prepared to sunset increased police powers yet stubbornly refuses to subject her own information hiding to the same standards?

Anti-Terrorism Legislation
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I can do no better than come back to what the privacy commissioner said in relation to the legislation. He said:

All existing privacy rights of Canadians remain fully safeguarded, the oversight role of the Privacy Commissioner remains intact, and even the issuance of certificates is closely circumscribed and subject to judicial review.

I would like to know what the hon. member's problem is.

Anti-Terrorism Legislation
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is sad to see that another parliamentary watchdog has been brought to heel just like the ethics counsellor.

Canadians should be alarmed as ministerial certificates will allow the cabinet to clamp down on all forms of government disclosure. Institutional and individual accountability will suffer and this further concentration of executive powers signals even more flouting of transparency and openness.

What evidence does the minister have that the disclosure under access and privacy acts have compromised the security of Canadians or our allies? Is this not more about political protection than protection of Canadians?

Anti-Terrorism Legislation
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I find the hon. member's question quite incredible in light of the fact that I do believe the hon. member, last evening at committee, voted in favour of the legislation.