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House of Commons Hansard #85 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was recall.

Topics

PeacekeepingOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Preston Manning Reform Calgary Southwest, AB

And now down to business. On his trip the Prime Minister visited Bosnia. He expressed dissatisfaction with the situation there and threatened to remove Canadian troops. This comes at a time when American proposals to lift sanctions against Bosnian Muslims have caused the Russian foreign minister to threaten that such action might bring the world back to the cold war.

My question to the Prime Minister is what criteria will determine whether or not Canadian peacekeeping troops remain in Bosnia?

PeacekeepingOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I thank the Leader of the Reform Party for his kind words.

I was in Bosnia and found the situation there terrible. I think that everybody there wants peace. I had occasion to meet with the soldiers, who are doing a fantastic job. By the way, they are a regiment from Calgary. I talked with them. In talking with the citizens there, I found that everybody wants peace.

If we were at this time to lift the arms embargo, the war would start again. We believe that we have to be there to maintain peace. I said to the Prime Minister that they have to sit down and negotiate an honourable peace for everybody. Lifting the arms embargo would be conducive to more war.

We have troops there, as do the French and the English. It is easy for the United States Congress to lift the embargo. They do not have soldiers in the field. We do.

I want to make it very clear that we are there to maintain peace, but if the war starts again, we will have to review the decision. We have had two votes on this issue here in this House of Commons and I am grateful that the members sustained the position of the government.

After consultation with my colleagues the President of France, the Prime Minister of Great Britain and others during my visit to England and France, I came to the conclusion that lifting the embargo was the wrong decision. We want peace. The best way to keep peace is not to arm the people but to foster a situation where there will be real disarmament and to have a negotiated settlement between the people who live there and who want to live peacefully.

PeacekeepingOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Preston Manning Reform Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have a supplementary question.

Many Canadians are concerned that Canadian foreign policy in regard to UN peacekeeping operations is either adrift or is being made up on a peace by peace basis. They would like the government to be more precise on the criteria and guiding principles which determine whether Canada supports UN sanctions or peacekeeping operations in particular situations.

The next hot spot in which Canada could find itself enmeshed is Korea. Northern Korea has said it would consider any imposition of UN sanctions as a declaration of war.

Could the Prime Minister tell us what criteria the government is applying to determine what role Canada should be playing to ensure a peaceful and positive outcome on the Korean peninsula?

PeacekeepingOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the criteria are very simple. We come to the House and ask the

views of members of Parliament. The basic approach is common sense. We look at the situation and we decide if it makes sense to carry on.

We are there as peacekeepers. We have to make sure we are there under the umbrella of the United Nations. When the United Nations proposes rules that should apply against some nations we respect them. These are the criteria we respect. It is very simple. The basic criteria is what makes sense. I do not think to carry on with the war in Bosnia makes any sense.

PeacekeepingOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Preston Manning Reform Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am sure it is important for the government to know it has public support for whatever criteria it uses to determine Canada's role in supporting UN sanctions or peacekeeping operations.

Recently Switzerland in its democratic decision making tradition conducted a national referendum on whether or not to play a more active role in United Nations sponsored peacekeeping.

What plans does the government have for securing public understanding and public endorsation of its criteria for determining how Canada will respond to future United Nations peacekeeping requests?

PeacekeepingOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the best way is to consult members of Parliament who have been duly elected by the people of Canada.

Mil DavieOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Antoine Dubé Bloc Lévis, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

According to an analysis by the MIL Davie survival committee, this Quebec shipyard received only 8 per cent of shipbuilding contracts awarded by Ottawa in Eastern Canada since 1986. After submitting a business plan to the government, MIL Davie is still waiting for an answer regarding the project to build a new ferry for the Magdalen Islands.

Given the underrepresentation of MIL Davie in federal contracts since 1986, does the Prime Minister admit that the federal government itself put the shipyard in a difficult position and that one way to correct the situation would be to award the ferry construction contract to this company immediately?

Mil DavieOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member refers to the recovery plan, the business plan for the MIL Davie shipyard.

Last week, I had the opportunity to speak with the company's president and I then explained to him the Canadian government's position, namely that the business plan, the recovery plan proposed by the company's management has not yet been approved by the employees because we know the results and what happened with the vote taken by the employees at management's request.

We are still at that stage and are waiting to see if we can really help maintain jobs at MIL Davie, either by having a ship built to replace the Lucy Maud Montgomery or by other means. We are still waiting for a final plan that has been approved not only by the company's management but also by its employees.

Mil DavieOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Antoine Dubé Bloc Lévis, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is again for the Prime Minister as the MIL Davie workers have been waiting to hear from him since his election campaign visit.

Does the Prime Minister not admit that, while Quebec was rationalizing its shipyards, the federal government itself compounded the Lévis shipyard's difficulties by continuing to support Eastern shipyards and by building from scratch, at a cost of tens of millions of dollars, the new Bull Arm shipyard in Newfoundland, as part of the Hibernia project?

Mil DavieOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, essentially the member is asking about the application of the rationalization of shipbuilding policy which was effected by the previous government and supported of course by the current leader of the Bloc Quebecois.

This policy has seen the rationalization of shipyards not only in Quebec-and I see he is agreeing with that-but also in British Columbia, and in the recent announcement of a closing in Pictou. We are seeing that the rationalization policy has its impact throughout Canada. There is a continuing need for it. It is unfair of the member to suggest that the effect of that policy has fallen on only one province.

It is difficult for Canadian shipbuilders to compete in a very competitive international environment where they face significant subsidy challenges from other countries. It is in dealing with those challenges that we are trying to arrive at the best possible solution for MIL Davie as well as for the Canadian shipbuilding industry.

The FamilyOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Sharon Hayes Reform Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the government admitted to considering alternative definitions for family within government programs. The implications of broadening that definition of family are enormous. Redefinitions such as relationship would cause profound change reaching into every corner of our society.

Can the minister of immigration tell the House how a broader definition of family would affect immigration issues such as family reunification or refugee determination?

The FamilyOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member shares the critic portfolio with her colleague from Calgary. She therefore knows that one of the working groups on the consultations is looking at the definition of family.

There are definitions of the nuclear family. Other peoples, and other cultures of the world have the extended family. Some people are suggesting the dependency age should be changed from where it is at 19. This valuable discussion is ongoing. We await the results of the consultation process to look at how Canadians have dealt with that issue across the country.

The FamilyOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Sharon Hayes Reform Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, I understand the Liberals may be slightly confused with the nature of family because it is really not part of the red book concept.

Although historic and current legal definitions world-wide agree on what a family is, the government seems to be waffling on this vital issue. Given that many statutes and regulations refer to the family, can the Prime Minister tell us if he agrees that the family should be open to redefinition.

The FamilyOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, if there is any confusion, it is clearly in the minds of members of the hon. member's party.

Obviously the member, who is a member of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, is very confused because she does not understand the consultative process. She does not understand there is a working group. She does not understand there are public hearings. She does not understand or will not accept that Canadians have been invited to talk to us about the major issues. This is from a member of a party that always suggests we should listen to the people and that is exactly what we are doing.

Tainted BloodOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. The extension of the tainted blood inquiry will result in additional costs to the government. The inquiry presided by Judge Krever will cost $11 million, or four times the initial budget of $2.5 million.

My question is as follows: Will the Minister of Health confirm that the government has granted a further $8.5 million to the Krever commission to enable it to carry out its mandate adequately?

Tainted BloodOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Sudbury Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we take our responsibilities very seriously. This inquiry is a very serious one. Judge Krever has requested both additional funds and additional time. We have already stated that we were granting him additional time and we did provide him with the money he requested because he deemed it necessary.

Tainted BloodOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

I have a supplemental, Mr. Speaker.

Can the minister tell us whether part of the additional funds provided to the Krever commission are earmarked for the Canadian Hemophilia Society so that it can participate fully in the inquiry and protect the interests of its members who are the principal victims of this situation?

Tainted BloodOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Sudbury Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, representatives from the Canadian Hemophilia Society are scheduled to appear before Judge Krever and it will be up to him to determine how much the organization will receive.

Criminal CodeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Paul Forseth Reform New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

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

Last week the minister confirmed that section 43 of the Criminal Code, which allows parents to use reasonable physical discipline, was being reviewed. The former Minister of Justice stated in May 1993 that the general direction of the departmental review was to investigate the possibility of children receiving the same protection against assault as adults have under the Criminal Code.

Would the minister tell us if the department is still following this direction? Would such protection effectively make it illegal for parents to use reasonable discipline with their children?

Criminal CodeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the review that is now under way in the Department of Justice was undertaken following this country's signing of the UN accord with respect to the rights of children. This international convention committed Canada along with other civilized countries of the world to prohibitions against the use of excessive force toward children in any context.

As a signatory to that UN convention, Canada became obligated to review its own domestic laws to ensure they reflect that international principle of basic decency. That is the reason for the review. That is its purpose and that is its scope.

Criminal CodeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Paul Forseth Reform New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, last week the minister stated that the review of section 43 was merely part of a general review. In June 1991 the former Minister of Justice stated that $7.1 million would be devoted to

a three-year study. The three years is now up. In March the Toronto Star reported that 70 per cent of Canadian parents felt that physical discipline was sometimes needed for effective parenting.

What are the reasons for the government to interfere with the freedom of parents to effectively raise their children by spending significant amounts of taxpayers' money on reviewing legislation which a majority of parents feel should remain the same?

Criminal CodeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I have no intention of elaborating upon objectives that may have been in the mind of the last government or a previous minister.

Instead, I will concentrate on the purpose of the study at the justice department. As I have said, it is linked directly to our international obligations to ensure that our domestic laws reflect the accord among all civilized nations of the world that we prohibit the use of excessive force against children. That is exactly what we are looking at in this study.

Illegal DismissalOral Question Period

June 14th, 1994 / 2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Justice. On April 20, the Federal Court rendered a decision on Ms. Pitawanakwat's case. She was dismissed by the former Department of the Secretary of State in March 1986. The court concluded that her dismissal was illegal and due only to racial discrimination against this native woman. Despite this victory and eight years of legal proceedings, the government still refuses to reach a negotiated settlement on the amount of compensation, among other things.

Can the Minister of Justice tell us if he intends to settle with Mary Pitawanakwat before the deadline of June 17 set by the parties for reaching an agreement?

Illegal DismissalOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I can tell the hon. member that we are very much aware of the need to reach a resolution of this case at the earliest possible time.

I met with Mary Pitawanakwat last Thursday in Regina and yesterday here in Ottawa when she was present for the National Action Committee on the Status of Women meeting. I assured her that through counsel at the Department of Justice and her own lawyer we are committed to the negotiation of the resolution of all outstanding claims as soon as possible. I have satisfied myself that those negotiations are continuing.

Following the court judgment in April we received instructions from the client department, the department of heritage, to enter into negotiations which have resulted already in some measure of agreement. There are still issues outstanding and we are working toward their resolution at the earliest possible time.

Illegal DismissalOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, how can the Minister of Justice explain that a seriously ill woman who has two children and was dismissed illegally must use all her resources and all her energy in court for eight years to obtain justice?