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House of Commons Hansard #240 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-64.

Topics

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Mike Scott Reform Skeena, BC

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

When the Liberals announced the Atlantic groundfish strategy in May 1994 they called it a program to end all programs. Significant funding was allocated to reduce industry capacity and for retraining.

The government has already siphoned money away from retraining. Last week the minister announced funding reductions to the $300 million buy back program, the heart of capacity reduction, because TAGS benefits are running unchecked resulting in a massive deficit.

Will the minister admit to the House and to the fishermen in Atlantic Canada that TAGS is in total chaos and will do nothing more than perpetuate income dependency?

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I will make no such admission.

The Reform Party really has to sort itself out. Its members spend most of their time calling for a total cancellation of the TAGS program, cancellation of all forms of unemployment insurance assistance and, if we read between the lines, cancellation of Atlantic Canada on most days.

The Liberal Party announced last week in consultation with my colleague, the Minister of Human Resources Development, the beginning of the early retirement component of that program for fishermen between the ages of 55 and 64, the first round of a licence retirement program. The Minister of Human Resources Development will proceed shortly with details on early retirement programs for plant workers.

We are well on our way to achieving our 50 per cent capacity reduction objective and we are on our way to rebuilding the Atlantic fishery for the long term.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Mike Scott Reform Skeena, BC

Mr. Speaker, this is not our program; this is their program. They are not meeting their own targets.

Fishermen in Atlantic Canada tell me that TAGS has a $400 million projected deficit because, to be frank, just about anybody could qualify for benefits. One fish plant operator told me that one-third of his workforce left their jobs to go on TAGS. Another fisherman told me: "All you need to do to qualify for benefits is show up at a TAGS office wearing a pair of rubber fishing boots".

Will the minister admit that TAGS is an abject failure because it has been totally mismanaged and will now do almost nothing to reduce industry capacity?

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, it is tragic when a member is on the job for a short period of time as a critic and then perpetuates certain rather destructive myths about a region of the country. "All you have to do to qualify for assistance is show up with a pair of rubber boots" is the kind of cruel and twisted humour that does nothing to solve the problems of Atlantic Canada.

The reality of the TAGS program is that 39,000 people qualified, but only 25,000 have actually taken assistance. The others have been able to find new kinds of work in the fishery or in other sectors. Fourteen thousand people who qualify based on the criteria have gone off to find a new start in their lives. Thousands more have entered training programs and many more thousands are now in the process of moving out of this industry and making a new beginning in their lives.

If the member really cared about Atlantic Canada, really cared about the fishery, he would take more than 60 seconds or a one-day visit to write a new prescription for the problems of the region and he would address the House with some sensitivity and with, frankly, some intelligence.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

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

The accelerated processing of citizenship applications during the Quebec referendum, an operation conducted only in Quebec, leaves very little time to carry out the security check required before Canadian citizenship can be granted.

How can the citizenship minister explain that, all of a sudden, during the Quebec referendum, the security checks required before applicants can become Canadian citizens, and eventually Quebec citizens, are four times faster than before?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the deputy premier of Quebec, their soulmate, said:

"We must assume that the federal government is acting in good faith; the right to vote is sacred".

We are not taking shortcuts on the applications. The applications within the system are being processed. There is a view at the lead up of every provincial and federal election, including the referendum this time as well as in 1980, that if there is an ability to speed up the processing with the viewing of granting the franchise of the vote it will be done.

For instance, in the province of Ontario in the lead up to the provincial election in 1994, instead of the 72,000 people that were processed in 1993 there were 107,000 people processed or a 49 per cent increase.

In Manitoba, in New Brunswick and in the other provinces the same thing has happened. We are not questioning how people are likely to vote as a function of whether or not we process. It is a shame that party is doing just that.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister is misrepresenting what Minister Landry said. The right to vote is indeed sacred. It is precisely because it is sacred that all due diligence must be exercised to make sure that only qualified applicants are granted citizenship.

Can the minister give us any assurances that Immigration Canada is not skipping any crucial steps in granting Canadian citizenship to immigrants?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I have tried to tell my hon. friend and the critic for citizenship and immigration that everything is being done according to law and according to tradition; that is what we have been saying.

If she checks with her seatmate, the critic for immigration and citizenship, he criticized us in the past for moving too slowly on the applications. Now they are saying we are moving too fast. Which one is it?

Criminal CodeOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Reform Calgary North, AB

Mr. Speaker, last week in British Columbia two women were killed by their spouses after restraining orders had been issued for their abusive partners. They lived in fear for their lives and turned to the Canadian justice system for help and that system let them down.

Restraining orders are clearly not effective without more teeth to back them up. An electronic bracelet worn by the abusive partner would help alert a victim and police to the approaching danger.

Will the government introduce changes to the Criminal Code which would allow for greater use of electronic monitoring to help enforce restraining orders, peace bonds and protect victims of stalkers?

Criminal CodeOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Cape Breton—The Sydneys Nova Scotia

Liberal

Russell MacLellan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, although tragic events such as the ones the hon. member has referred to do not happen in great numbers, any one event like that is one too many.

The Minister of Justice is looking into the particular situation to see how the Department of Justice can perhaps help.

Criminal CodeOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Reform Calgary North, AB

Mr. Speaker, I remind the government that incidents where women are being killed by their abusive partners are not isolated.

In Calgary where my riding is located, four women in the last eight weeks have been killed by their estranged partners. Something needs to be done.

Does the government have a study in the works directed toward using modern technology to enhance the protection of citizens in these kinds of circumstances?

Criminal CodeOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Cape Breton—The Sydneys Nova Scotia

Liberal

Russell MacLellan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is absolutely correct that any one incident of this type is one too many. Women killed by abusive partners are an occurrence that happens too frequently.

As I mentioned in my first answer, the Minister of Justice is looking into the situation and are looking into electronic bracelets. We are working with the solicitor general and other departments to find a meaningful way of drastically reducing these types of tragedies.

Atlantic Investment FundOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Public Works and Government Services.

I understand the details of the Atlantic investment fund are near completion and that provinces and banks are showing their support for the fund. Members of the third party may criticize the idea but Atlantic Canadians know the need for small business capital in our region.

Will the minister tell the House that he is going ahead with the Atlantic investment fund?

Atlantic Investment FundOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Cape Breton—East Richmond Nova Scotia

Liberal

David Dingwall LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, I know the hon. member's long interest in the subject matter. He should be aware, as other House members ought to be aware, that Atlantic Canada is the only region of the country that does not have a venture capital fund.

With the co-operation of the four Atlantic premiers and the Government of Canada, the private sector including the chartered banks is in the process of coming together and consummating what will become known as the Atlantic venture capital fund.

For the benefit of the House, the particular fund has as its goal to assist small and medium size business and to increase the human infrastructure in that sector in Atlantic Canada. It will be governed, driven and operated by the private sector which has its roots and resides in Atlantic Canada.

Council For Canadian UnityOral Question Period

October 16th, 1995 / 2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, thanks to a federal grant of at least $4 million, the Council for Canadian Unity is pursuing its massive registration of out of Quebec residents, under false representations. The council encourages these people to say that they intend to move back to Quebec within two years, even if it is not the case. The result is that over 15,000 out of Quebec residents have been registered, which is four times more than for last year's election, and which includes 4,000 duplicate listings.

How can the Prime Minister justify that the Council for Canadian Unity encourages thousands of people living outside Quebec to illegally get their names on the voters' list?

Council For Canadian UnityOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Council is indeed an organization that has received a grant from the government, but it also receives moneys from the private sector and it urges people who have the right to vote to get their names on the list.

It goes without saying that if the No side wins in two weeks, many people who moved out of Quebec will want to go back there. Thanks to its restored political stability, Quebec will become a very interesting place to live, and these people will be very happy to move back to our belle province.

JusticeOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Reform

Myron Thompson Reform Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the justice minister.

In the trial of Royer, the jury decided that Royer could form specific intent, that Royer was not extremely intoxicated and that Royer knew exactly what he was doing when he murdered Sharon Mohamed and attempted to murder Sharon's mother, Shadikan.

The government discussed and decided unanimously that drunkenness is not an excuse. When will it enforce the legislation that makes the final decision of a jury that hears all pertinent evidence final and will not allow an appointed body such as the supreme court to overrule the wishes of the people and the Parliament of Canada?

JusticeOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Cape Breton—The Sydneys Nova Scotia

Liberal

Russell MacLellan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the Royer case, the Supreme Court of Canada has now been asked to look at it. As this case is before the supreme court it would be improper to comment on it.

This case is different from the Daviault case in that this is a crime of specific intent whereas the Daviault case was a crime of general intent.

The Minister of Justice is looking at the possibility of acting as an intervenor in this case if it goes before the Supreme Court of Canada.

Health CareOral Question Period

3 p.m.

NDP

Audrey McLaughlin NDP Yukon, YT

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

In opposition the Prime Minister opposed the Tory vision of health care. He opposed cuts to the transfer payments to the provinces and territories. He opposed Bill C-91 which has sent the prices of prescription drugs sky-rocketing. He said he would protect Canadian health care with more than just rhetoric.

Unfortunately some Canadians believed him but we have seen no changes to Bill C-91. We have seen reduced transfer payments. The real problems with health policy are the Liberal government policies.

Will the Prime Minister stop letting the Minister of Finance set health policy, present a vision to Canadians and ensure stable funding for provinces and territories so we can have a truly national health care system?

Health CareOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I will certainly tell the Minister of Finance the member for Yukon is not very happy with him.

As the hon. member for Yukon has resigned as the leader of the NDP, I take this opportunity to congratulate her on behalf of everyone for having served her party and the House of Commons very well. As the leader of her party, her contributions were always of a very high level and extremely useful to the House of Commons. Of course I did not agree with her all the time and I did not expect her to agree with me all the time.

On behalf of everyone, I congratulate the member on a job well done.

Health CareOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Presence In GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

I wish to draw to your attention the presence in the gallery of His Excellency Jozef Skolc, President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia.

Presence In GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Presence In GalleryOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

We also have present in the gallery a delegation of South African Provincial Speakers and Deputy Speakers.

Presence In GalleryOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.