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House of Commons Hansard #250 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-7.

Topics

JusticeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, section 745 has been part of the Criminal Code for almost 20 years. The debates which accompanied its introduction those many years ago disclose a will on the

part of Parliament to provide the possibility after 15 years for persons to go in front of a jury to ask for permission to apply for parole in certain circumstances.

What must be borne in mind is this is not the right to parole. This is simply a provision permitting a prisoner to go before a jury drawn from the community to test the question of whether they should be permitted to apply for parole to the Parole Board.

That was the will of Parliament when that provision was adopted 15 years ago.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Art Hanger Reform Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, murderers Jim Peters and Robert Brown raped, stabbed to death and burned the bodies of their victims Laurie Boyd and Debbie Stevens. The Boyd and Stevens families are outraged to think that Peters could be eligible for a parole or even for parole review after serving only 15 years.

Since the solicitor general says he cannot intervene in the decision making process, will he support the repeal of section 745 of the Criminal Code and ask his party to support it as well?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, over the last two years I have met with dozens of victims of violent crime, women whose husbands have been killed, children left without parents, men and women whose children have been lost to violence.

I have listened to the message those Canadians have expressed. As part of Bill C-41 we changed section 745 to ensure that the courts on application for permission to apply for early parole will be obligated to hear from the families of victims as a factor to be taken into account in making that decision.

There are those who say that is not enough. Let me respond to the hon. member further. When the private members' bill to repeal section 745 came before the House there was in essence a free vote on that subject. That bill has has now gone to committee. I have encouraged the committee to look broadly at the whole subject and make recommendations. We shall pay close attention to those recommendations once they are made.

Social ProgramsOral Question Period

October 30th, 1995 / 2:40 p.m.

NDP

Chris Axworthy NDP Saskatoon—Clark's Crossing, SK

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Deputy Prime Minister. Canadians everywhere well remember the members of the present government's forceful opposition to the previous Conservative government's cutbacks on health care, post-secondary education and social programs when in opposition.

Yet since moving from the opposition benches to the government side there has been a change of heart. This government's cuts to health care, post-secondary and social programs are the deepest in the last 50 years. While implementing an 8 per cent cut across the board, there is a full 25 per cent cut in these three areas.

Does she feel that tearing down the very institutions which define us as Canadians and which we hold dear is the way to build a strong, unified country?

Social ProgramsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment

No, Mr. Speaker. On a day that all Canadians should be rallying to support Canada, on the eve of a very critical vote for all of us, I am rather surprised the NDP has joined the chorus of nay sayers on the Reform side of the House.

I can only hope that between now and the time the polls close tonight in Quebec the message will not be coming out-the one that seems to be coming from the opposition benches-that Canada is in a mess and that it does not work.

The people of Canada have stated loud and clear they want universal health care available to everyone. The government has taken that suggestion against the opposition of certain premiers and certain political parties. We will fight to ensure that every single Canadian has access to health care because that too is part of the Canadian dream.

Irving WhaleOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Guy Arseneault Liberal Restigouche—Chaleur, NB

Mr. Speaker, according to an article in La Presse last Saturday, a large quantity of oil is leaking from the Irving Whale . Could the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment give us some information on the subject and reassure fishermen in the gulf?

Irving WhaleOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I would like to give hon. members my assurances, as I did yesterday when I met with representatives of the RCM in the Magdalen Islands, that Canada will be there to take its responsibilities as soon as possible. It is too bad the Bloc Quebecois is trying to obstruct the refloating of the Irving Whale , but as soon as we can, and in fact this spring, despite the crushing opposition of the Bloc Quebecois, we will refloat the Irving Whale . And the fact that oil is leaking now goes to show how important it is to do this as soon as possible, and we will do it in Canada.

Social ProgramsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, regardless of today's vote Canadians know changes to our social programs are essential. The Department of Health recently spent $2.5 million on public opinion polling. With all that money the minister must know what changes Canadians want. Would she tell us?

Social ProgramsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Sudbury Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, when the hon. member speaks about polling and the money that was spent, the majority of the money was spent on tobacco. It was for a number of surveys including the study on plain packaging.

As a result of the Supreme Court decision, before any actions are taken, any pieces of legislation brought forward, we need to have evidence on which to base that legislation. It is necessary to have these surveys. I am a very careful with money but there are times when we have to spend those dollars.

Social ProgramsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister is fond of saying we want a U.S. style health care system.

Social ProgramsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

An hon. member

No she isn't.

Social ProgramsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

An hon. member

Wrong party.

Social ProgramsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

It has very little to recommend it, frankly. Canadians are looking at a system much more like that in Europe. There they have a public system complemented by the private system. The costs go down and the access goes up.

Is the minister polling to improve medicare or simply to protect her legislation?

Social ProgramsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Sudbury Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, medicare in this country is about more than money. It is about more than cheap politics. It is even about more than health care.

Medicare concerns our self-understanding as a people and as a country. It concerns our identity as a fair, just, compassionate, and pragmatic people. It is an identity that was fashioned by our commitment to shared fundamental values. It is an identity that is cherished by every Canadian.

Medicare recognizes the very best of what we are as Canadians. Without the medicare system we have now, Canadians would lose a very important mirror on themselves. We will not allow that.

U.S. Border TaxOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Shaughnessy Cohen Liberal Windsor—St. Clair, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister for International Trade.

Last February an American senator assured us that a plan to impose a fee on Canadians crossing into the States was "as dead as Elvis". Elvis may be dead, but I think he has been appearing in Washington before a Senate committee, because they are talking about moving ahead with this plan.

Will the minister please tell us what the government is doing to persuade the Americans not to tax Canadians entering their fair country?

U.S. Border TaxOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

An hon. member

We want Elvis.

U.S. Border TaxOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke North Ontario

Liberal

Roy MacLaren LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I believe there have been a few sightings recently. In fact the House leader, who is something of an expert in these matters, has reported one such sighting.

The United States Senate judiciary subcommittee did indeed agree to a dollar tax on people entering the United States, but when it goes to full committee it is unlikely to carry. We are quite confident that when the full committee reviews the recommendation it will not go forward.

In any event, I would add that we have consistently pursued our point of view with the United States government, which is that, as the member suggests, such a measure would be in conflict with the United States commitments under NAFTA, a point that my colleague, the Minister of National Revenue, made when he visited Washington recently.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

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

Mr. Speaker, no matter what happens with the vote in Quebec tonight, Canada must proceed with important constructive change.

Four years ago the Canada-Quebec accord was signed, which gave Quebec a significant voice and federal funding for immigration matters in that province. I ask the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration if this government is prepared to sign similar agreements with the other provinces.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, it really does matter what happens tonight.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Right on.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Brian Tobin Liberal Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Bravo. The Reform Party might have to learn to live with a no. That will be tough.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Sergio Marchi Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, our Prime Minister has made it abundantly clear that change has been a defining characteristic of this government.

With respect to immigration, we have not only talked about change, we have actually gone out there and done it. There happen to be seven provincial agreements with the federal government on immigration. We are actively negotiating with the three other provinces that do not have an agreement. British Columbia and Manitoba are already well entrained and Ontario is advancing very nicely.

We also talked to the provinces about renewing the way we integrate, so we will be moving from a position of not only Ottawa knows best, but going local, because if it does not happen locally it does not work nationally.

We have talked to the provinces and we are working with the provinces on promotion and recruitment from abroad and also with respect to giving additional powers to the provinces.

We will have more to say when we announce the levels on Wednesday afternoon.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

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

Mr. Speaker, it is encouraging to hear that the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration is willing to let the provinces have more control in immigration.

I would like to know if the minister, when he announces the immigration projections for the new year on Wednesday, is going to allow the provinces to have input in the immigration levels of their provinces.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, not only will they have input from Wednesday on, I have actually discussed with and written to every one of my provincial counterparts to consult with them as to what the numbers ought to be and, beyond the numbers, what categories there should be in this country and what kind of latitude the provinces should have.

For instance, with Manitoba, along with the Minister of Human Resources Development, we have been discussing very intensely in the last number of days and weeks its need for garment workers. That is not solely an immigration matter, not solely an HRD matter, and not only a matter for the province; it is a matter for governments in general to get their collective acts together.

We are moving in the right direction. We recognize that it is a shared jurisdiction. I would hope the hon. member would stand up and applaud our efforts.