House of Commons Hansard #149 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was first.

Topics

Criminal Code
Government Orders

6:10 p.m.

Bloc

Odina Desrochers Lotbinière—L'Érable, QC

It bothers many of my colleagues opposite when I resort to humour to tell them what they are like.

As I said, in this Parliament we have “Parliament and Reality”. This means that we are dealing with a two-headed government. This is a very popular expression these days. This happens when there is one king on his way out and a future Liberal king to be crowned within two weeks. That is what a two-headed government is all about. Do you know what “Parliament and Reality” is about? It is when there is no one taking their responsibilities in this place.

We could also call this the “Martin Story”, with parallel caucus meetings. No one is making decisions here anymore. But when it comes to invading areas of provincial jurisdiction, it is a different story.

Criminal Code
Government Orders

6:10 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, on a point of order.

Criminal Code
Government Orders

6:10 p.m.

Liberal

Claude Duplain Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member was supposed to talk to us about Bill C-46. What he is talking about is of no interest. He is talking about reality television and it is irrelevant.

Criminal Code
Government Orders

6:10 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-De- Beaupré—Île-D'Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, I think the member for Lotbinière—L'Érable should be given the time to express his thoughts.

With all due respect, my colleague from Portneuf did not even let him finish his sentence. He wanted to make an analogy or use an allegory to illustrate his point. An allegory, by definition, is a figure of speech used to make us aware of reality. I think that is what my colleague from Lotbinière—L'Érable wanted to do. Out of respect, he should be given time to make his point.

Criminal Code
Government Orders

6:10 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Is there anyone else who wishes to speak on this point of order?

The rule of relevancy is very generous and flexible. However, as we say at home, do not push your luck.

I have no objection to setting the tone, preparing arguments and other things, but we still have to come back to Bill C-46 that is currently under consideration. The member for Lotbinière—L'Érable is probably leading into his arguments, as is common practice among his colleagues from both sides of the House. I am certain that soon, he will start to talk about Bill C-46.

Criminal Code
Government Orders

November 3rd, 2003 / 6:10 p.m.

Bloc

Odina Desrochers Lotbinière—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank you very much for your kind words about me. You know that I am an experienced parliamentarian and I did have a previous career in radio, so I sometimes like to add a little humour, and mix humour and reality. I was talking about nation building.

I come back to nation building. It is not very complicated. At present there is legislation in Quebec governing this whole issue of the regulation of financial markets, as discussed in Bill C-46.

The government now wants to have federal prosecutors in charge of prosecutions. That annoys us a little, because since 1993, every time there is a crisis, every time there is a world-shaking event, every time there is a conflict between the provinces and the Canadian government, every time something happens between another country and Canada, this government intervenes, legislates, and uses the opportunity to come and encroach on provincial jurisdictions.

The government has acted this way ever since 1993. That is what we mean by nation building. I am coming to the bill now.

The provision that it will be federal prosecutors who prosecute the offences—

Criminal Code
Government Orders

6:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Criminal Code
Government Orders

6:10 p.m.

Bloc

Odina Desrochers Lotbinière—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would appreciate it if the members opposite would take the time to listen to me. It does not upset me; I will just raise my voice. I am used to controversy; it does not bother me one bit.

If these people think they can distract me and get me off topic, we will be talking for a long time, because I do not need notes to speak about nation building and all the interference of the federal government in provincial jurisdictions. I could talk about it for a long time. They will cut me off and tell me my 20 minutes are up. If it bothers the members opposite when I tell the truth, that is their problem.

Thus, I was saying that the regulation of financial markets comes under the jurisdiction of Quebec and the provinces. That is clear. Sometimes I have the impression that even though they patriated their beautiful Constitution by force in 1982, they are not familiar with it, or if they are, they interpret it badly. The way they interpret it, they can interfere in Quebec's jurisdiction all they want.

This is also true with regard to the administration of justice. I hope that the Minister of Justice is listening. Quebec and the provinces have responsibility for this. Once again, there is an attempt in Bill C-46 to give the federal government responsibilities that do not belong to it. In terms of the proposed reforms, the Attorney General of Canada would be responsible, jointly with the provinces and the territories, for laying charges related to certain kinds of fraud under the Criminal Code.

Here again we have nation building at work. Under the pretext of establishing excellent cooperation between the federal government and the provinces, areas belonging to the Quebec government is being taken over.

Initially, the Bloc Quebecois was in favour of Bill C-46. The Bloc Quebecois tried once again to trust the Liberals. However, once again, the Bloc was forced to change its mind, because every time the Liberal government does something, Quebec suffers. It is always encroaching on Quebec's areas of jurisdiction. Bill C-46 is no exception, on the contrary. It consolidates the Liberal efforts since 1993, and particularly since 1996, when the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs arrived. He is trying to ensure nation building at Quebec's expense and in order to get involved in Quebec's responsibilities.

As I said when I started, this is not reality Parliament, it is the sad truth. This proves that, day after day, everything this government does is designed to ensure that Quebec is diminished and reduced to being a province like the others.

I remember what the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food said. Quebec agriculture has a distinct character. Quebec has vested rights. What did the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food say in response? “It will be treated like any other province.”

Clearly, nation building is omnipresent. No one wants to admit it. This leads me back to the motion introduced by my colleague from Trois-Rivières. We asked if Quebec was a nation, and they all said, “No”. Even the 25 federal Liberal members answered no, while the National Assembly unanimously answered, “Yes”. There is no consistency.

My time is running out. I should conclude my remarks. With all the interruptions, could the Chair inform me of how much time I have remaining?

Criminal Code
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Ten minutes.

Criminal Code
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

Bloc

Odina Desrochers Lotbinière—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, 10 minutes is not long, given the circumstances.

Criminal Code
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

An hon. member

It is so short that he is wasting his time instead of using it.

Criminal Code
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

Bloc

Odina Desrochers Lotbinière—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, as for what I am hearing in this House, I will never allow an adversary to crush Quebec once more. Never. That is, I think, perfectly clear.

The purpose in life of the members of the Bloc Quebecois is to defend the interests of Quebec, and in so doing to promote the fact that one day we shall have our own country, Quebec.

Returning to Bill C-46, as hon. members are aware, the Bloc Quebecois was putting pressure on the federal government as long ago as the fall of 2002 to take steps to tighten up the provisions of the Criminal Code—their responsibility— in order to better equip the authorities to deal with corporate fraud.

Everyone will remember the sad events in the U.S., the scandals with Enron and other companies, in which people lost their fortunes, lost every cent they had, because there were no provisions in place, no laws to protect them. We in the Bloc Quebecois therefore called upon the Canadian government to pass legislation in this area. Since the fall of 2002, moreover—and now here we are in the fall of 2003—the bill has not yet been passed. There is a lot of foot-dragging going on, but all we know is that we are being rushed headlong toward the end of this week.

If that does happen, we will be able to talk about the democratic deficit. It will mean that we will barely have sat at all in 2003. Virtually nothing will have been accomplished here because, once again, we are dealing with the two leader phenomenon. With that going on, there is constant tension between the two people involved, and Canada and Quebec are the ones who are paying for it.

Criminal Code
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Criminal Code
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

Bloc

Odina Desrochers Lotbinière—L'Érable, QC

Once again, they are trying to get me off track. I have no problem telling them that Bill C-46 does not offer a response to the problems we are experiencing with people likely to run into situations like those that have occurred in the States.

The only thing that Bill C-46 does is to give the Canadian government more leeway. I am repeating myself over and over again, because that is how parents sometimes have to talk if they want to be heard. If we want to convince the Liberals over there, who have been acting like kids for the past few minutes, then I will have to keep saying the same thing over and over again. I want to convince them that Bill C-46 addresses an area that is under provincial jurisdiction, not federal.

Criminal Code
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.