House of Commons Hansard #69 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was offenders.

Topics

Sales TaxOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the answer is no. Negotiations have already taken place. In January, finance ministers met in Halifax and discussed this option. Everyone is eagerly awaiting the finance committee's report on the GST.

Olympic GamesOral Question Period

May 12th, 1994 / 2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Nick Discepola Liberal Vaudreuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs. As he knows, Quebec City has filed an application to host the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Given the dual responsibilities of the Minister of Foreign Affairs as Minister responsible for Quebec and head of the Canadian diplomatic corps, what does he intend to do to support Quebec City's efforts to host the Winter Olympics?

Olympic GamesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Michel Québec

Liberal

André Ouellet LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to announce that the Government of Canada will appoint as ambassador a career diplomat whose only mandate will be to help Quebec City in its bid to host the 2002 Winter Olympics.

The Department of Foreign Affairs will provide logistical and technical assistance to Quebec City, as we did in the past for other Canadian cities that wanted to host the Olympic Games. I am convinced that this ambassador, who will be appointed after consultations with Quebec City's organizing committee for 2002, will be an invaluable asset to Quebec City in its bid to host the Olympic Games.

Health CareOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, politicians in Canada are well looked after by the health care system, thanks to the extravagant extended benefits plan enjoyed by political and bureaucratic elites. Maybe that is why the Minister of Health thinks that medicare is free.

Will the minister admit that health care has two tiers, one for regular people and one for the political elite?

Health CareOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, the short answer is no.

If the member is referring to the fact that additional coverage is provided for members of our health plan, it is provided for all employees in the public service. There is an extra $10 charge for people who want supplementary service, the same as is done in the private sector. Therefore we do not believe in that two tier system the member is talking about.

Health CareOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the health minister has stated over and over again that she believes in one tier health care in Canada. To quote her: "You should have access to treatment according to need instead of the size of your wallet".

Could the minister explain why people can jump to the front of the line if their wallets contain a card identifying them as members of Parliament?

Health CareOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

That is absolutely not true, Mr. Speaker. The services we provide for our public service employees are in accordance with what is provided by most employers in the private sector. We want to be a good employer for the public service.

Indian AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, referring to the dispute between the Quebec government and Mohawks in Kanesatake over the collection of gas taxes, the Minister of Indian Affairs stated it might not be a bad idea for Mohawks to go to court to resolve their conflict with Quebec that has shut down gas stations on their reserves.

How can the Minister of Indian Affairs, in his capacity as a responsible member of the federal government, incite people to attack the validity of legislation falling under the jurisdiction of the Quebec government?

Indian AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Sault Ste. Marie Ontario

Liberal

Ron Irwin LiberalMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, there are now two ways that we can get solutions. One is through litigation and one is through negotiation. There is a certain frustration among the aboriginal people. For instance, the Williams case was decided in 1983 and keeps being deferred and deferred with no solution.

To answer the question: Should they go to court? That is an option. If the aboriginal people do not feel we are addressing their concerns in a prompt and efficient manner, then perhaps the courts might be the option but they are not mutually exclusive. We have to deal with the aboriginal people to reach just solutions and if we are not just, they can always go to the courts.

Indian AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, does the Minister of Indian Affairs not realize that by interfering in this matter instead of contributing to its resolution, he is in fact inflaming an already tense situation between the Mohawks and the Quebec government? Does he not realize that?

Indian AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Sault Ste. Marie Ontario

Liberal

Ron Irwin LiberalMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

As a matter of fact, Mr. Speaker, the reverse is true. For the first two months that we sat here, we heard continuous Mohawk bashing from the members opposite. I see they have discontinued that, which I am thankful for.

We have tried to work with the Mohawks meeting with them at the round table. Mr. Sirros from Quebec is meeting with them regularly. Ministers from across the country will be meeting with them next week.

I will be discussing with Mr. Sirros not only the problem brought up today, but also the problem of what we are going to do south of highway 344. The Bloc has not only said that should be our concern, it has invited the federal government to go into Quebec to solve it.

Young Offenders ActOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Paul Forseth Reform New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

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

The minister has heard the debate today in this House on behalf of Canadians demanding immediate action on the Young Offenders Act. Although the throne speech did not indicate that the juvenile justice system was a government priority, the minister has said he will make a start in June.

Will the minister take his cue from today's debate and introduce an immediate change-

Young Offenders ActOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

Perhaps the hon. member could rephrase his question. As the matter is before the House at this time it should not be a matter for Question Period. If the member could rephrase the question it would be appreciated.

Young Offenders ActOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Paul Forseth Reform New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, will the justice minister introduce an immediate change to the age parameters of the Young Offenders Act?

Young Offenders ActOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The question deals specifically with the debate we are having today. It is rather pointed. I would permit the hon. minister to answer the question if he so desires, but if not I will go on to the next question.

Young Offenders ActOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, I said as recently as yesterday that we will be introducing legislation in a few weeks dealing with the Young Offenders Act in terms of making changes immediately. Also the statute will be referred in its entirety to the justice committee for a thorough review after 10 years of experience with the act. It is my view the question the hon. member has raised would be best dealt with before the committee during that careful and methodical review.

Young Offenders ActOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Paul Forseth Reform New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, will the minister admit that the law is educative, that general deterrence is important and that the message sent matters? Will the minister assure this House that he will not defer any longer with more studies and consultations but will act and introduce his amendments soon?

Young Offenders ActOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, we are going to be tabling legislation in June to deal with specific changes to the statute. That is our intended course.

Canadian Forces Base ShearwaterOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Ron MacDonald Liberal Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of National Defence.

Yesterday members of the Union of National Defence Employees produced a letter signed by a senior official of the Department of National Defence indicating it was the government's intention to completely shut down CFB Shearwater in Nova Scotia as soon as a replacement was determined for the Sea King helicopter fleet.

This statement is completely contrary to assurances given by both the Minister of National Defence and the Prime Minister on this matter.

I ask the minister today: Was this official relaying current government policy and if not, what is the policy of this government with regard to the future of CFB Shearwater?

Canadian Forces Base ShearwaterOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I was as shocked as the hon. member when this letter came to my attention. Certainly that was the position of the previous government, but as you know we cancelled the EH-101 helicopter contract. Therefore the position as stated in that letter no longer is government policy.

I am sure there is a future for all military installations in Nova Scotia, including the greater Halifax area. However that will have to wait for the defence review which is under way.

My colleague and I visited the repair this week and the work being done at CFB Shearwater especially with the Sea King helicopters is ongoing. It is good work and will serve the Canadian Armed Forces well in the months and years to come.

AlimonyOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Justice. We learned this morning that the government was considering appealing the Federal Court decision in the Thibodeau case regarding alimony. Apparently, the Minister of Justice and Minister of Finance have already informed the Liberal caucus of the grounds for appeal the federal government will set forth.

My question is as follows: Can the Minister of Justice confirm that his government intends to appeal before the Supreme Court and, if so, what are its grounds for appeal?

AlimonyOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the government is considering an appeal of the judgment of the Federal Court of Appeal in the Thibaudeau case primarily for practical reasons.

The government wishes to make it clear and emphasize that we do not repudiate the result in the case in the sense that tax equity particularly for single parents and those providing for children is among our principal priorities. As we made clear in the budget documents and as we have made clear in the policies of this party, the government is committed to ensuring we have tax policies which get the maximum amount of dollars into the hands of parents who are looking after children, which is our ultimate concern.

The judgment last week came at a time when the policy is being developed. We are concerned that the situation at the moment in Canada has been destabilized by this judgment in a sense that those who are paying support and those who are receiving it are not certain of their rights. The judgment was unbalanced in the sense that the result dealt with those who received the money but not those who deduct the payments. We have those practical concerns.

Let me say in closing that we are dedicated to a tax policy and a fiscal approach that will properly provide for children and for single parents who look after them. At the same time we are considering an appeal so that indirectly this judgment does not redound to their detriment by causing confusion about their rights.

AlimonyOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, does the minister realize that by appealing this decision, his government perpetuates tax discrimination affecting mainly women, by continuing to consider as taxable alimony paid to them for child support?

AlimonyOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

As I have said, Mr. Speaker, the government is considering an appeal and no final decision has been made.

On the question of discrimination, this government has made it clear and the Minister of Finance has said on more than one occasion that we are prepared to discuss and consult broadly with those most affected by this tax policy to ensure that we improve it to the point where it gets the dollars into the hands of the people who are looking after children. Our purpose in all of this is to achieve that result.

FisheriesOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Reform

Keith Martin Reform Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

The west coast fishery is on the brink of disaster. The department of fisheries has reduced its number of officers from 153 to 85, with a further 25 per cent reduction over the next three years.

Some have been replaced by native fisheries officers whose only mandate is to monitor the fishing activities of their own reserves. As a result of this and other closures fish stocks are being decimated.

Given these facts why is the minister closing the fisheries office in Sooke, B.C., and decreasing the number of fisheries officers who are on the front lines of the war on poaching in this area?