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House of Commons Hansard #104 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was children.

Topics

Family TrustsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Lucien Bouchard Bloc Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

The Minister of Finance cannot keep track of dates, so it is not surprising that he cannot keep track of deficits.

Does the Minister of Finance not admit that he is flouting the most basic principles of fairness by maintaining this tax privilege for the rich, when he is thinking of increasing the tax burden on the middle class by taxing RRSPs while getting ready to reduce the level of social protection for the poor?

Family TrustsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance and Minister responsible for the Federal Office of Regional Development-Quebec

Mr. Speaker, there were a record number of deficits while the Leader of the Opposition was a member or friend of the Conservative Party.

It is very clear that we, in our last budget, eliminated loopholes such as the $100,000 capital gains exemption. We understand full well that there may have been some inequities in Canada's tax system. That is why we are launching the most open prebudget consultation process ever seen and I hope that the opposition leader's colleagues will, for the first time, offer constructive suggestions.

Unemployment Insurance ReformOral Question Period

October 5th, 1994 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Bernier Bloc Gaspé, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Human Resources Development. His colleague, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, decided on a ten-week lobster fishing season to protect that resource. Consequently, fishermen have no choice but to comply with the limit imposed by the federal government. However, following changes made to the UI program, lobster fishermen are no longer eligible to benefits and they cannot fish other types of resources, because of the conservation measures imposed by Ottawa.

Indeed, while the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans limits lobster season to 10 weeks, his colleague, the Minister of Human Resources Development, imposes a minimum of 12 weeks of work for lobster fishermen to be eligible to UI benefits. Does the minister admit that his unemployment insurance reform forces lobster fishermen to rely on social assistance?

Unemployment Insurance ReformOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development and Minister of Western Economic Diversification

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to be able to assist the hon. member in giving him information that he clearly does not possess.

Last Monday I announced a major employment enhancement program that will affect the Atlantic region, Quebec and other provinces. In Quebec alone we will be adding an additional $28 million which will be used for people who are facing difficulty getting employment, those who are having trouble getting full weeks, offering a number of options and choices in training and new employment.

It demonstrates once again for the hon. member and his colleagues that this is a government that is very sensitive to the concerns of all working people, particularly those in the resource industries. That is why we made the announcement we did.

Unemployment Insurance ReformOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Bernier Bloc Gaspé, QC

Mr. Speaker, I think the Minister of Human Resources Development did not understand the question. Does the minister admit that he acted without taking into account the constraints imposed by his colleague, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and will he recognize that the plight of lobster fishermen reflects the spirit of his reform, which is to eliminate the unemployed instead of eliminating unemployment?

Unemployment Insurance ReformOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I am afraid that we on this side are trying to understand the proposition of the member opposite.

Is the member saying that if a section of the fishery lasts 24 weeks, the qualifying period for unemployment insurance ought to be 24 weeks; if another section lasts 12 weeks, the qualifying period ought to be 12 weeks; however, if another section lasts only two or three weeks, the qualifying period should be two or three weeks; in the case of 40,000 people displaced because of resource loss, the qualifying period ought to be zero weeks?

If that is the position of the Bloc Quebecois, it should come forward and say it cleanly and clearly. Let me tell those members, it is foolish.

José MendozaOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

Preston Manning Reform Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, last year a government official advised Tasha Peirson to stay a sexual assault charge against José Mendoza in exchange for his deportation.

It was the government's policies that then allowed Mendoza back into the country and reapply for refugee status. It is the government that is paying for the process that Mr. Mendoza is using to stay in Canada. Yesterday it was a government official who admitted that the immigration department was responsible for his escape.

I ask the Prime Minister, since it is the federal government that has been responsible for the mishandling of this case from start to finish, what responsibility will the government now assume for the safety and shattered lives of Mr. Mendoza's victims?

José MendozaOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Léonard Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano LiberalSecretary of State (Parliamentary Affairs) and Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration who is out of the country on official business, I would like to tell the leader of the Reform Party that the minister gave a detailed answer to the question yesterday.

Let me repeat for the benefit of the Reform Party and the House that the Federal Court made a decision in this case and the minister concurred with that decision. As the hon. member knows, the minister did everything possible under the law to protect the public in this case. Furthermore-

José MendozaOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

José MendozaOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano Liberal Saint-Léonard, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Reform Party is not interested in trying to find out the truth and the answer.

We cannot discredit the whole immigration system for one case like the Reform Party is doing. There is a Canada-wide arrest warrant for the individual in question. Once he is apprehended, we will be proceeding in due course.

José MendozaOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

Colleagues, I would appeal to you for short questions and short answers.

José MendozaOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Preston Manning Reform Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, this is not just one case. It is typical of many cases and the issue deserves an answer from the Prime Minister.

The federal government has spent over a quarter of a million dollars supporting the so-called right of Mr. Mendoza to drag out his stay in Canada. Now the privacy commissioner has launched a taxpayer funded inquiry to determine whether Mr. Mendoza's right to privacy has been infringed upon by immigration officials, the media and the member for Fraser Valley West.

I ask the Prime Minister, compared with the hundreds of thousands of dollars being spent on Mr. Mendoza's behalf, how much is being spent to repair the lives of Mr. Mendoza's victims.

José MendozaOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Léonard Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano LiberalSecretary of State (Parliamentary Affairs) and Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I can only repeat the answer the minister gave yesterday and the answer I just gave. There is a

Canada-wide arrest warrant for the individual in question. Once he is apprehended we will proceed under the due process of the law.

José MendozaOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Preston Manning Reform Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, the answer to my question was not on the paper, and so it was not necessary to read the paper. My last question is still to the Prime Minister.

The immigration minister and the Prime Minister cannot dog responsibility for Mendoza and similar cases. They cannot continually shift the blame for these cases to the police, the courts or the refugee board.

As the head of the government, when is the Prime Minister going to hold the minister of immigration directly and personally responsible for the multiple failures of his department?

José MendozaOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have laws in this land and we have a Charter of Rights and Freedoms that protects the citizens of Canada and the people who are legally in Canada. We respect the law.

This man is not legally in Canada at this moment. He will be found. We have asked the police to find him. We have issued a warrant for his arrest across the country. When he is arrested due process of law will follow.

Canadian Security Intelligence ServiceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

François Langlois Bloc Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Solicitor General. Last night, while watching the Fifth Estate , Canadians were stunned to discover that the committee monitoring CSIS was aware of the activities of informant Grant Bristow long before what was recently revealed. Back in 1992, the department of the Solicitor General already knew about the illegal activities.

Will the Solicitor General explain why Mr. Jacques Courtois, chairman of the Security Intelligence Review Committee, said in his last public statement that he did not know that Mr. Bristow was working for CSIS?

Canadian Security Intelligence ServiceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we are dealing with allegations about matters that took place years before this government took office and before I became minister, but I will try to be helpful to my hon. friend.

I did not see the program. I am informed there is a reference in it to a matter reported on in the public report of the Security Intelligence Review Committee in its 1991-92 report. That was tabled in Parliament. It is a matter of public record and it speaks for itself.

Furthermore, Mr. Courtois is the head of a committee operating at arm's length from the department and the government. I think he is in a better position to explain his answers.

Canadian Security Intelligence ServiceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

François Langlois Bloc Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, what is going on at CSIS? How can Canadians have confidence in CSIS when the president of the Security Intelligence Review Committee refuses systematically to answer legitimate questions from members of Parliament?

Canadian Security Intelligence ServiceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the chairman of the committee is bound by the law passed by Parliament. He is in no position to ignore it unless and until Parliament amends the law.

The Security Intelligence Review Committee informs me that it is looking into all the allegations contained in the CBC report of yesterday evening. I do not think it is fair or reasonable to pass judgment on the work of SIRC in this matter until we have the report. At that time we will be in a better position to pass judgment on its work.

So far I think we should let the committee finish its work. It wants to make a report this month. I look forward to receiving it so that, if any corrective action is necessary in the light of factual findings showing definite problems, I will be able to take that action.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Art Hanger Reform Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister of immigration said in his speech to police chiefs that the buck stops here. He has promised to get tough on those who abuse Canada's immigration and refugee systems.

I ask the Prime Minister: When will he hold his minister of immigration to that self-imposed standard of accountability?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Léonard Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano LiberalSecretary of State (Parliamentary Affairs) and Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the great majority of the House and I believe that the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration has done a very good job.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano Liberal Saint-Léonard, QC

The minister consulted with Canadians and right now before the House is a bill that would definitely help the minister to take action, but the member and the Reform Party are not supporting the bill. Maybe they should support the bill and move fast.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Art Hanger Reform Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the minister of immigration was asked about the release of José Mendoza. The minister responded: "I think once he will be found he will pay the price".

There is a young woman in Abbotsford who is in fear of her life. Police are now watching over a member of Parliament.

I ask the Prime Minister: What will it take? Will it take the death of an MP like occurred in Australia or the death of another innocent Canadian? What is he going to do to clean up the immigration department?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Léonard Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano LiberalSecretary of State (Parliamentary Affairs) and Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the minister repeated yesterday and I am repeating twice today that the Prime Minister said we have a law in Canada and we have to respect the law.

There is an arrest warrant for the individual in question. As soon as he is arrested we will follow the due course of the law.