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House of Commons Hansard #18 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was provinces.

Topics

Child Care ServicesOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I can understand the hon. member's concerns. This is a matter of financial policy. I will take it up with the hon. Minister of Finance and get back to her as soon as I have an answer.

Tobacco SmugglingOral Question Period

February 9th, 1994 / 2:35 p.m.

Reform

Jim Silye Reform Calgary Centre, AB

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

Yesterday the Prime Minister stated quite clearly that Canada is one sovereign nation, has one set of laws and these laws will be enforced equally in every part of the country.

These statements notwithstanding, there remains a widespread perception across Canada that there are differing provisions for the enforcement of law depending on whether an infraction occurs on or off a native Indian reserve.

Could the Solicitor General advise the House whether the guidelines to be used by the RCMP in enforcing the government's action plan on smuggling differ depending on whether the infractions occur on or off a native Indian reserve?

Tobacco SmugglingOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I want to repeat and confirm what the Prime Minister said earlier in this question period, that the law will be enforced everywhere in Canada and that is the case. I am happy to say it again here.

Tobacco SmugglingOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Jim Silye Reform Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would like it to be a bit more specific. There is a general perception out there that there are two sets of laws, one on a native reserve and one off a reserve. I would like to have clarification on that.

I have a supplementary question. Does the Solicitor General propose-can you hear me, Mr. Speaker?

Tobacco SmugglingOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

I cannot hear the question being put because there must be noise up here someplace. I know it is not me.

Tobacco SmugglingOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Jim Silye Reform Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, does the Solicitor General propose any alterations to guidelines issued to the RCMP for enforcing the government's action plan on smuggling with respect to the enforcement of smuggling laws on Indian reserves?

Tobacco SmugglingOral Question Period

2:40 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 government has been in place for only three months.

I can say that during this period the only guidelines I am aware of is that the RCMP should do its duty, as it always has, and enforce the laws of Canada everywhere in the country. This is what it is doing.

Softwood Lumber IndustryOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister for International Trade. While successive judgements confirm the Canadian position in the interminable conflict on softwood lumber, the United States announced yesterday that it intends to appeal the decision of the panel established under the free trade agreement. We thought that this decision of the panel would end the dispute which has already cost Canadian producers about $500 million.

Does the minister intend to take this matter up with the American authorities to end the harassment of Canadian softwood lumber producers and does he intend to convince the American trade representative, Mr. Kantor, to end once and for all this conflict which has already gone on too long?

Softwood Lumber IndustryOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke North Ontario

Liberal

Roy MacLaren LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I have met on several occasions with Mr. Kantor about the matter the hon. member raises. As he probably knows, two panels have recently reported in Canada's favour in the softwood lumber case. The possibility is now open to the United States to issue what is called an extraordinary challenge.

I have taken each occasion of my meeting with Mr. Kantor and with U.S. officials to say that we see no basis whatever for an extraordinary challenge.

Softwood Lumber IndustryOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, what with agriculture, western wheat, magnesium, beer, steel and now softwood lumber, does the minister not agree that the American strategy is clear, namely to use every possible recourse to prevent our companies from having access to their markets?

Softwood Lumber IndustryOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke North Ontario

Liberal

Roy MacLaren LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, under both the FTA and the NAFTA there have

been problems of continuing export harassment by the United States. When we decided to continue our consideration of NAFTA we sought solutions to these problems of continuing harassment.

It is for that reason we put in place trilateral groups to work out agreements on anti-dumping and on subsidies so that these opportunities for the United States to continue its harassment of Canadian exports are either reduced or eliminated.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Pat O'Brien Liberal London—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

Several of my constituents have told me of the difficulty experienced by many immigrants in trying to understand the functioning of the Canadian government and its many agencies. Obviously this problem is exacerbated when these newcomers do not speak English.

In order to minimize the sense of isolation felt by many immigrants, will the minister in the upcoming public consultations address this issue and will he undertake to have better co-ordination among all levels of government regarding this important matter?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for his question. I took note of the statement by the member on January 31 with respect to the same issue.

While members of the Reform may laugh, it is very important the member underline the role that settlement plays when we have set levels of immigration. We cannot divorce the two if we want to guide a coherent immigration policy.

I can assure the member that over 300 organizations have entered into contractual agreements with my department to improve those settlement deliveries. In fact one entitled Host was piloted in the member's very own riding.

I can assure the hon. member and the House that the specific subject of settlement will be an integral part of the consultation process. The subject will also be the focus of an expert panel to ensure that we are maximizing our settlement programs and seeking modifications where they are needed.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question is also for the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. Should our immigration numbers be based on first, a percentage of Canada's population or, second, the country's current economic conditions and needs?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, when we announced the levels we talked about a balanced approach. If one is to consider a number of different variables I am not sure we should put more emphasis on one or the other.

We need to have a balanced approach that serves the interests of our country, that serves the interests of families and family reunification, that serves the interests of job creation and investment as we have done through the increase of independent skills and business workers.

The other slant of immigration policy has to do with maintaining a tradition of keeping our obligations to those who seek assistance so there is a humanitarian aspect to immigration. Only when we have a balanced approach do we have a good healthy immigration policy.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, an interesting response, considering I put the same question to my constituents last weekend with very interesting results.

My supplementary question is for the same minister. Would he undertake to put this question to all Canadians through an approved polling process and table the results in the House?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, we have just been through the most exhaustive consultation process. It is called a national election. The last time I checked the Prime Minister had won a decisive national mandate. Immigration was part of the red book.

On top of that we have announced an unprecedented consultation process which will not only talk to organizations and experts but also allow Canadians to have their say in developing the policy because after all this is their country as well.

International Development AssistanceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Philippe Paré Bloc Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Even before initiating the vast public consultation process, and before setting up the parliamentary committee in charge of reviewing the Canadian foreign policy, the minister has indicated that cuts are to be expected in international development assistance.

Considering that development aid through NGOs represents barely 10 per cent of all Canadian aid, and that the minister indicated that he would rely more on NGOs, can he tell us what proportion of the aid he intends to provide through NGOs in the future?

International Development AssistanceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Michel Québec

Liberal

André Ouellet LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I must say that the hon. member's question is premature. He has every reason to support the initiatives of non-governmental organizations, which are making exemplary contributions throughout the world. I can assure him that we will do our very best not only to maintain, but perhaps even to increase the percentage going through NGOs.

However, I cannot be more specific today. Like everybody else, we have to wait to see the budget of the Minister of Finance. In this regard, all Canadians will certainly be concerned by the fact that the government must, while being just and fair, curtail the budgets of all its departments and agencies, including the Canadian International Development Agency.

International Development AssistanceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Philippe Paré Bloc Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, does the minister intend to pursue the previous government's policy and continue to tie development aid to human rights?

International Development AssistanceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Michel Québec

Liberal

André Ouellet LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I assure the hon. member that this issue remains a priority for our government. It is one of several aspects which the Canadian government must consider in its diplomatic relations throughout the world. Of course we must raise this issue whenever we can, but isolating countries which do not share our views will not necessarily help our position with their leaders.

International Lesbian And Gay AssociationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Dave Chatters Reform Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

In July of last year Canada's representative on the UN's Economic and Social Council voted in favour of granting roster status to the non-governmental organization called the International Lesbian and Gay Association, which is an umbrella group representing a number of organizations, including the North American Man-Boy Love Association. This organization promotes sexual freedom between men and boys and opposes age of consent laws and other restrictions which deny men from having sex with boys.

I would like to ask the minister if his government endorses the decision of Canada's representative on the UN committee that voted in favour of granting status to this umbrella group.

International Lesbian And Gay AssociationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Michel Québec

Liberal

André Ouellet LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for giving me notice of his question. I want to tell him that when Canada, the United States and western European countries voted in favour of giving consultative status to the ILGA, they were not aware the North American Man-Boy Love Association was affiliated with the International Lesbian and Gay Association.

I am now informed that corrective action has been taken.

International Lesbian And Gay AssociationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Dave Chatters Reform Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have a supplementary question. I would like to ask the minister if he would instruct Canada's representative on the UN committee to rescind our endorsement of this umbrella organization.

International Lesbian And Gay AssociationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Michel Québec

Liberal

André Ouellet LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it is important to realize that the goal of the ILGA in seeking consultative status at the UN was to raise the issue of human rights abuses against lesbians and gay men.

Irrespective of the affiliations of which we were not aware, we believed it was important that corrective measures be taken and this was done to our satisfaction. I also understand it is to the satisfaction of other countries who supported the same resolution.