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House of Commons Hansard #236 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-64.

Topics

Industry CanadaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Maud Debien Bloc Laval East, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister. In a secret document prepared by Industry Canada for the operation unity centre, we learn that Bombardier asked Ottawa for funding, as part of the defence industry productivity program, which, as Industry Canada itself

indicated, would be difficult to provide. The assistance sought concerned the joint Canadair-de Havilland global express airplane project.

How does the Prime Minister justify a request for financial assistance of this magnitude being in a strategy file intended for use in pressuring business in the referendum debate?

Industry CanadaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, I think I am going to have to explain this whole thing all over again. The Department of Industry document sets out clearly the position of the various industrial sectors. It indicates the effect separation would have on these sectors. It also indicates, in some cases, the amount of the financial assistance sought by certain firms.

This is common practice, and one the government is familiar with. Many companies follow this practice each year; that is, they apply for funding. We have to respond to these applications for assistance each year, and it is usual for this type of information to appear in an Industry Canada document.

Industry CanadaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Maud Debien Bloc Laval East, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have the impression we are not talking about the same document and that the minister does not even have access to the document we are talking about. Are we to understand that one of the new criteria Ottawa has established for obtaining federal assistance under DIPP is a favourable recommendation from the operation unity centre for services rendered?

Industry CanadaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, clearly the answer is no. Government funding is provided, once again, according to the contribution a firm or an industry makes to the Quebec economy. It is provided on the basis of job creation. It almost always is public and is therefore subject to the government's public accounts.

This funding must be approved by the members of Parliament and the House and is therefore granted objectively. Once again, the opposition's allegations are unfounded.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, the negotiations on the harmonization of environmental management in Canada have been placed totally on hold. With each day the environment minister's version of events gets even more outlandish. She insists that Alberta scuttled the deal, but Alberta says that the minister's fear of decentralization is to blame. What is more disturbing is that Alberta's environment minister was practically called a racist in the House.

Why has the minister put this deal on hold and when will she apologize to Alberta Minister Ty Lund for her inflammatory comments?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I merely repeated in the House what the minister said at the meeting in Haines Junction when he said that he would be very happy if Canada had environmental jurisdiction in Alberta in the area of parks, that we could have their parks and their Indians. That comment has not been refuted by the minister.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, what is more at issue here is the fact that these talks have been scuttled by the minister, regardless of reason. Whether it is the Irving Whale or whether it is the environmental harmonization agreement, the minister is always looking for new ways to pass the buck, and heaven help those who disagree with her. I am sure the Minister of Natural Resources certainly knows what I am talking about. She is in favour of the provinces and supports their attempts by her sympathies with harmonization.

My supplementary question is for the Minister of Natural Resources or the Deputy Prime Minister. What do they plan to do to get these talks back on track?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the claim of the hon. member that somehow I have misrepresented what Ty Lund said is absolutely false.

She got up on her first question and made a statement and I answered that statement. I said that Mr. Lund has not denied making the comment, which was heard by at least 10 people, to the effect that Canada's role in environment in Alberta should be restricted to national parks and their Indians.

I would suggest that the hon. member, rather than trying to find another red herring, should stand in the House and apologize for her claim that I misrepresented Ty Lund's remarks.

Industry CanadaOral Question Period

October 3rd, 1995 / 2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

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

A secret document prepared by Industry Canada for Operation Unity says that, without the federal defence contract for the manufacture of ammunition, SNC-Lavalin subsidiary SNC-IT will have to close its doors.

Will the Prime Minister admit that linking the survival of a business to the awarding of a federal contract in an effort to put pressure on its leader amounts to blackmail?

Industry CanadaOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, again, the opposition's allegations are very close to being unparliamentary. They do this because they have no arguments to support their views.

Speaking of documents, our document is available under the Access to Information Act. But what about the Le Hir studies, the hidden studies? When the Parti Quebecois and its little brother, the Bloc Quebecois, conduct studies that are inconsistent with their conclusions, what do they do? The same thing they did with the Georges Mathews and Bernier studies: they hide them.

In this case, the information is available. This information helps us determine whether our subsidies can create jobs in Quebec. We have the public interest at heart. But in their case, the question is whether hiding the studies that are inconsistent with their conclusions is in the interest of Quebecers who will vote on October 30.

Industry CanadaOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, could we have answers that come not from an armchair quarterback but from someone who is well briefed on the issue?

How can the Prime Minister let Operation Unity take 680 SNC-IT employees hostage by linking the awarding of a defence contract for the manufacture of ammunition to the referendum position of SNC bosses?

Industry CanadaOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the allegation is totally false, and everyone knows that this industry is dependent on a Canadian government contract. That is the way it is. This industry has been in existence since the end of the second world war, since the war.

Of course, if the Canadian government does not buy ammunition from an ammunition producer, I wonder who will.

It is quite normal for us to know this. If, in analyzing Quebec industries, the minister realizes that a business is completely dependent on the Canadian defence budget, I think it is quite normal for him to know this so that we can find out exactly what role the Canadian government plays in Quebec. In this case, it is fundamental.

Without the Canadian government, without a defence department that buys ammunition from this industry, it would have to close its doors. But, since there is a Canadian government that has Quebecers' interests at heart, we continue to buy ammunition from this business.

Land MinesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Alex Shepherd Liberal Durham, ON

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

The subject of banning land mines was recently discussed at an international conference in Vienna. In view of the fact that land mines that are now being discovered in Bosnia have a similar design and technology as those manufactured here in Canada, will the minister give the House his assurance that no land mines are now manufactured in Canada? More important, will he assure this House that this technology has not been exported outside of our borders?

Land MinesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Michel Québec

Liberal

André Ouellet LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I can give this assurance to the hon. member. Indeed, I have been informed that no such mines have been manufactured in Canada since 1992. In fact, none have been allowed to be exported since 1987.

I can give the member the assurance, since I am the minister and am looking at all of these export permits, that I have not authorized and will not authorize any of these exports.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Val Meredith Reform Surrey—White Rock—South Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, in 1981 Tejinderpal Singh and four accomplices attacked and hijacked an Indian airlines flight out of Delhi and forced it to land in Pakistan. Tried and convicted for air piracy in Pakistan, they received life sentences. After being paroled, Singh made his way to Canada where he lied about his background when he claimed refugee status. However, his true identity was uncovered and he was arrested but has since been released.

When in opposition the Liberals criticized the previous Tory government for its handling of the Muhammad Issa Muhammad case. I ask the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, will this Liberal government handle the Tejinderpal Singh case differently?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, let me first congratulate my hon. friend, who was recently appointed as the critic for citizenship and immigration. She will no doubt find it a very interesting portfolio. I know we will miss her predecessor very much.

One of the matters before the government is to try to deal with the subject matter in a fair and competent manner. This we will ensure not only in this particular case but throughout the program.

If members look at some of the things we have tried to do in the last year and a half with respect to the IRB, removals, and trying to make the system much fairer and more competent, I think members will agree that there have been improvements. However, that is not

to suggest that this department or any other one is going to speak from perfection.

I look forward to having her comments, her advice, and her counsel along the way.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Val Meredith Reform Surrey—White Rock—South Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, there are nine other terrorists who were convicted of hijacking Air India aeroplanes. All have been released from prison in Pakistan and all are intent on coming to Canada. Two other members of this group are presently in Canada.

With the new powers recently conveyed upon him, will the minister assure this House that these convicted hijackers will be removed from this country as expeditiously as possible?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, we will look to that new law to provide us with any vehicles and tools with which to deal with individuals who are undesirable, and, I might add, the same law this party fought us tooth and nail on.

Operation Unity CentreOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Bloc Rimouski—Témiscouata, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister. In its letter entitled Business and Unity , the Privy Council urges the business community to campaign for the No side. We also know from a document submitted to the Minister of Labour that the Operation Unity center's activities even include writing speeches for politicians and other persons whose names were unfortunately blanked out in the document.

Does the Prime Minister confirm the news that the Operation Unity center is also the organization in charge of preparing speeches for certain members of the business community?

Operation Unity CentreOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, clearly, our referendum strategy calls upon all resources available to us in Quebec to try and convince Quebecers that it is in their interest to vote No.

Now, I also read in La Presse what is happening. The CEQ, a pro-sovereignty union, is sending letters to all its members asking them to send money and to vote Yes. What is the difference between that organization and a business that needs to create jobs in a province and make profits and that realizes that its economic viability is dependent upon Quebec being part of a larger entity, namely Canada? Why should people who think it is in their best interest to do so not fight for federalism, just as the CEQ has no qualms soliciting money from its members and asking them to vote Yes?

Clearly, what we are doing can be justified and is in the best interests of Quebecers.

Operation Unity CentreOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Bloc Rimouski—Témiscouata, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am grateful to the minister for finally admitting something before this House. That is a first.

I would also like him to know that Ms. Pagé writes her own speeches and that, when she writes to her members, she has been given a mandate by the rank and file to do so. Perhaps he is the one who wrote Mr. Garcia's speech. This remains to be confirmed in another question.

What does the Prime Minister call it when a government agency gathers information on business people, identifies ways of pressuring some of them and goes as far as telling them what to say?

Operation Unity CentreOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I find it is quite normal to ask for other people's input when writing a speech. Information can be sought under the Access to Information Act. Any citizen can request information from government departments.

So, when a citizen contacts a department and says: "I have a speech to make. Can you provide me with some information?" and that information is available, it is in keeping with our government's policy of openness to provide as much information as possible to all citizens, and Quebecers in particular at this time when they are about to make a decision that will affect their future for many years to come. In order to make the right choice, they must be fully aware of what the Government of Canada does for Quebec's industries, greatly helping them to develop and break into new markets so that jobs can be created for Quebecers within Canada.

Lac Barriere ReserveOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

John Duncan Reform North Island—Powell River, BC

Mr. Speaker, the investigator looking into allegations of sexual abuse at the Lac Barriere Reserve was expected to present his report by August 31. I have in my possession a work plan to confirm this fact.

Can the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development tell the House if the written report is complete or when it will be completed?

Lac Barriere ReserveOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Sault Ste. Marie Ontario

Liberal

Ron Irwin LiberalMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, earlier this year there was an allegation raised in the House by one of the Reform members of sexual assault at Barriere Lake, which is an Algonquin reserve northwest of Montreal. As a result, a memorandum of agreement dated April 1995 was signed by Health Canada, the Province of

Quebec Youth Protection Directorate, the band, and DIAND was a fourth party but not a signatory.

A consultant came in from Winnipeg with a staff of five or six. Quebec allocated two or three people. Workshops were done, translations, healings. There were 14 to 19 recommendations. The question is whether the report will be made public. The answer is certainly. Certainly it will be made public. There will have to be some protection, as the hon. member knows, because youth are involved here. That was the full intent of the exercise.

Lac Barriere ReserveOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

John Duncan Reform North Island—Powell River, BC

Mr. Speaker, the reserve is near Maniwaki and this study has had $300,000 spent on it. That is my understanding.

The concern is that there be a written report made available to the band members and to the public. Could the minister please confirm that the written report will be made available, and will he tell us when?