House of Commons Hansard #135 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was young.

Topics

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Pallister Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, we know that United States troops use anti-personnel landmines to defend themselves. The minister has just given a non-answer. It says explicitly in our laws in Canada that Canadian troops are prohibited from using landmines or participating in joint operations where landmines are used.

The official opposition has obtained a memo signed by General Maurice Baril which says “Were Canadian forces personnel to engage in such activities, they would be liable to criminal prosecution under Canadian law”.

Will the Minister of National Defence assure the House with absolute certainty that no Canadian soldier will face prosecution because of--

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of National Defence.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton Minister of National Defence

I can give that assurance, Mr. Speaker, because our people are well prepared and well trained. They have rules of engagement. They understand the laws of Canada. They know in fact that they cannot be involved in any landmines. That is against Canadian law.

However it does not mean they cannot work with the United States regardless of it having another position. That would not lead to any prosecution of Canadian troops because they would be following Canadian law at all times.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Pallister Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, the minister's picture is not next to prepared in the dictionary. Our Canadian soldiers are being sent to the Afghan desert in forest coloured uniforms and they will not be the only ones working in the dark.

The defence minister is in the dark when it comes to the activities of the JTF2. The officer in charge of those troops, which will be deployed in two days, said today that they were still in the dark about the rules of engagement and the rules for handling prisoners. The Prime Minister is being kept in the dark by the minister.

When will the Prime Minister step up and turn on the lights as far as this deployment is concerned? Canadian people want to know.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the rules of engagement were approved yesterday. They are now being dispersed to the troops. Furthermore, they have been training on draft rules of engagement since October. Since they were stood up in November to be prepared within 48 hours, they have been working on the possibility of a mission in Afghanistan, initially on the possibility of one in Kabul, but in the last weeks they have clearly been working on rules of engagement that are relevant to this current mission.

Those rules of engagement, after the reconnaissance mission of two weeks ago, have now been finalized and distributed to the troops.

Young Offenders
Oral Question Period

January 30th, 2002 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, all those who have anything to do with young offenders in Quebec, regardless of their political allegiance, are in agreement: Quebec must be allowed to opt out of the federal young offenders legislation so that it can hang on to the gains it has made over more than 30 years.

Why does the Minister of Justice feel that respecting what Quebec has achieved over 30 years in connection with young offenders poses a threat to Canadian unity?

Young Offenders
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I think that is going too far. Obviously, they think they have found a weak point here and they are once again trying to exploit it for the sole purpose of advancing their own political doctrine to the detriment of young offenders. I find this extremely unfortunate.

What must be understood is that the enforcement of the existing legislation in Quebec has actually been successful. What we are saying, after many months of discussion and more than 160 amendments is that, with Bill C-7, the approach can in fact be just as flexible and the system's emphasis on diversion maintained.

Young Offenders
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, by taking this approach, what the Minister of Justice does not realize is that he is sacrificing 30 years of efforts in Quebec to build a system for young offenders, in order to advance his own political career.

Why is the minister, who comes from Quebec, suddenly turning such a deaf ear to the cries from all stakeholders regarding the protection of young offenders, just because he wants to deliver the goods to his Prime Minister? That is the question.

Young Offenders
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, obviously I will not be replying to some of the comments made.

I will focus essentially on the bill—

Young Offenders
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Young Offenders
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Martin Cauchon Outremont, QC

Please allow me to finish. They are trying to oppose a bill that would make diversion possible. They are trying to oppose a bill whose primary focus is rehabilitation. They are trying to oppose a bill that will now prevent referral to an adult court, which is becoming increasingly frequent in Quebec. I find this quite appalling.

In conclusion, it is not the bill which is before the House but an amendment concerning aboriginal youth. I would like—

Young Offenders
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Langley—Abbotsford.

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Randy White Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, last March the government along with all opposition parties committed to establish a national sex offender registry by January 30, 2002. That is today. To develop such a program, the government only had to do two things: develop software and table enabling legislation to implement the registry.

Why has no software been developed? Why has the government not even drafted legislation, much less tabled it in the House?

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Cardigan
P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I think my hon. colleague is well aware we have one of the most efficient databases in this country called CPIC. He is also well aware that this is done in co-operation with the provinces and territories.

We had a meeting last September and another meeting last month. We have a working group working on it. We have committed $2 million to $3 million to ensure that offenders are searchable by addresses. This was requested by the provinces and the territories.

We are working with the provinces and the territories to ensure we continue to have the best database system in the world.

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Randy White Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, that is just so much hogwash. Despite the federal government, Ontario has implemented a sex offender registry. Let us see what the officer in charge said: “CPIC does not provide jurisdictional searches, radius searches, searches by physical description or the ability to take photographs. These are the key cornerstones of investigative value and they are missing”.

How can the government commit to all the parties in this House and all Canadians to develop a national sex offender registry and not even make a decent attempt to do it?