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House of Commons Hansard #257 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was mmt.

Topics

Fisheries And OceansOral Question Period

November 8th, 1995 / 2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Paddy Torsney Liberal Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, as the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans is fully aware, women are making a significant contribution to the work carried out by his department. DFO is currently integrating the fleets of scientific research, fisheries patrol and coast guard vessels.

Can the minister tell us what steps he is taking to promote a safe and healthy working environment on board DFO vessels?

Fisheries And OceansOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for her very thoughtful question, which I know my colleagues in the Reform Party are interested in. Her question acknowledged the contribution of women in the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the contribution of women on shipboard platforms in both DFO and the coast guard.

In response to the question about a safe and healthy working environment for women within the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, we have recently taken steps to improve the environment, including the removal of alcohol from research vessels in the maritime region, sensitivity training for DFO vessel crew members, and leadership training for senior officials, promoting a safe and healthy working environment for all our employees. Harassment will not be tolerated in 1995. We are taking steps to ensure that the full contribution of women can be made in a safe, healthy and secure environment.

Canadian Armed ForcesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

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

Members of the former airborne regiment held celebrations in honour of Marc Lépine, who killed 14 young women at the École polytechnique in Montreal. Members of this group were even promoted by the Canadian Forces but, despite our questions on this matter, the minister of defence still refuses to suspend these promotions.

Does the minister not agree that common decency requires him to suspend immediately the promotions given to those involved in the dinners honouring Marc Lépine?

Canadian Armed ForcesOral 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 answered those questions two days ago. This incident has not been confirmed but if it did occur, it is, of course, deplorable and unacceptable. Canadian Forces do not condone such activities. An investigation is under way and I hope that Lieutenant-General Baril, the commander of the army, will submit his report in the near future.

Canadian Armed ForcesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the minister stubbornly refuses to suspend the promotions given to the soldiers involved in the dinners honouring Marc Lépine and shows little sensitivity in this matter, I will put my question to the Deputy Prime Minister.

How can the government tolerate the fact that soldiers who took part in celebrations in honour of someone who killed 14 young women were promoted by the Canadian Forces and that these promotions were not suspended, even after these events were brought to the defence minister's attention?

Canadian Armed ForcesOral 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 find it offensive that people would make judgment on people and convict them without the evidence. Let us wait for General Baril's report before we make any judgment.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

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

Mr. Speaker, yesterday a federal court judge struck down a section of the Immigration Act that was used to keep members of terrorist groups and criminal organizations out of the country. In the court's questionable wisdom, the judge felt that to deny entry to members of terrorist organizations is a violation of their charter of rights and freedoms guarantee to freedom of association.

I ask the minister of immigration to confirm that it is the intention of the government to appeal this decision and to advise the House on what steps it plans on taking in the meantime to keep members of criminal organizations and terrorist groups out of the country.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for her question.

First, it would be advisable to understand this is one section in the Immigration Act, which has probably been used twice in the last 10 years.

Second, the judgment just came down yesterday. It is some 70 pages. Our officials and officials from the justice department and the solicitor general's department are considering an appeal.

Third, it would be unfair to give the impression to Canadians that because there may be a question on section 39 of the act the department and the act are powerless with respect to those who come to this country and are deemed to be undesirable. The power of certificates in section 40 is still there. The power to detain is still there. The power to deport and move to inquiry is still there. The powers obtained under Bill C-44 that allow inquiries to stop refugee claims if there is a threat to Canada are still there.

We are discussing one tool in a toolbox that gives plenty of options to the Government of Canada.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

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

Mr. Speaker, what we are talking about is a court of Canada saying it is okay for criminals and terrorists to enter our country.

Canadians want to know if the government is prepared to use the notwithstanding clause in the charter of rights and freedoms to keep terrorists and criminals out of the country.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the member should stop fearmongering and begin to deal with decisions in a calm, fair, and rational manner. I realize that is a bit much to ask of the Reform Party.

The federal court said no such thing. The federal court made a decision based on section 39 with respect to simple association with various memberships of organizations. It did not say it was okay for terrorists or others to come into the country.

We are saying that this is one section of the Immigration Act. We may indeed appeal this decision. It was only handed down yesterday. Let us reflect on what the court took months to deliberate on and let us do the right thing rather than jump into scare mongering that does no one any good anywhere.

Income TaxOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Dianne Brushett Liberal Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, as we approach the end of the calendar year many Canadians focus their attention on the dreaded task of filing their income tax returns. The Department of National Revenue sends out millions of tax packages to individual Canadians each year.

Given the budget restraints this year, could the Minister of National Revenue tell the House what his department has done to streamline the tax filing operation and to save money?

Income TaxOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for her continuing interest in government deficiency and saving taxpayers' money. We appreciate it very much.

The department introduced a number of changes to the 1995 income tax packages for individuals. This will save approximately $3 million annually. It translates into an environmental saving of some 320 million pages or, if we want to look at it somewhat differently, 13,600 trees.

This is part of a continuing process in the department on which we have embarked over the last few years and which will with the $3 million save a total $9 million. It has been done through cost efficiencies and savings rather than any cut in service. It is eliminating duplication of information. It is simplifying the tax filing of individuals and, as I mentioned, it is substantially helping the environment.

Nuclear TestingOral Question Period

3 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson NDP Burnaby—Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and follows up on the question of the member for Davenport.

Every party in the House except the Bloc Quebecois has condemned French nuclear tests in the South Pacific. Does the parliamentary secretary not recognize that French nuclear tests in the South Pacific clearly violate the undertaking that France gave at the special conference in May of this year?

Will the parliamentary secretary make it very clear to the House that Canada accepts the undertaking made by France was violated, and will Canada do the right thing and restore its co-sponsorship of this important resolution?

Nuclear TestingOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Parkdale—High Park Ontario

Liberal

Jesse Flis LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the international community and the hon. member should know Canada's position on extending indefinitely the ban on nuclear testing. He heard the explanation of why Canada is supporting the resolution while withdrawing its co-sponsorship.

Canada felt the wording was not strong enough. Canada registered its objections at the time when France was intending to set off another nuclear test. That is well known. The hon. member is trying to score political points over nothing.

Presence In GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

I draw the attention of hon. members to the presence in the gallery of His Excellency Samak Sundaravej, Deputy Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, and his group from Thailand.

Presence In GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Presence In GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

Also I draw attention to the presence in the gallery of the Earl of Lindsay, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and the Environment for the Scottish Office.

Presence In GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Class Of 1965Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

It is not often we in the House of Commons celebrate a day such as today. However it is very special for two members of the House.

The member for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce and the member for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke belong to the class of 1965. They were first elected to this place in a general election held on this day 30 years ago. I should like to salute them in the name of the Parliament of Canada.

Class Of 1965Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Class Of 1965Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

Some members want to make interventions and I recognize the hon. House leader of the government.

Class Of 1965Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to associate myself as do all members of the House with your words of congratulation.

I believe it is time that I personally stopped thinking of the hon. members for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce and Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke as those two new guys around here. Not many members have had the privilege of serving 30 consecutive years in the House. I am happy to note that the active membership in this special club has just tripled. I assure new members and the House that I could not have chosen any better company.

Class Of 1965Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Class Of 1965Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Herb Gray Liberal Windsor West, ON

The hon. member for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce came here as a passionately committed champion of the less fortunate and the dispossessed, a relentless crusader for justice and equity, and a forceful advocate of international understanding. He has served in many capacities, including as a minister of the crown. He has taken on every challenge with energy and persistence.

If there are some newer members who marvel at his vigour, they should take note that there are even hockey players only one third his age who have trouble skating with him for an entire game.

The hon. member for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke has distinguished himself as a real tribune of his people. An educator by profession, he has continually demonstrated the effectiveness of speaking sometimes in soft tones but always in very plain language.

He too has served in many capacities, earning a well justified reputation in matters concerning defence and public administration. When he speaks we all recognize that he is accurately reflecting what his people are saying. He has often proven the value of persistence and honest hard work.

A decade ago he had a close electoral call, being returned by only 38 votes. This earned him the nickname of Landslide Len. He rolled up his sleeves and in the next election proved his nickname well earned. He won the next time by more than 10,000 votes.

To conclude, anyone who has been to the district of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce in Montreal or who has visited the upper Ottawa valley can soon learn how it came about that these areas have returned the same members in nine consecutive elections. In both cases one finds that almost everyone knows their member of Parliament, and even if not a partisan supporter everyone can tell about the personal service that each of these members has provided. Of course these members probably do so as Liberals, as members of our Liberal caucus.

These are two honourable and decent people who have served Canada well for 30 years. May they both serve for many more.

Class Of 1965Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, allow me to join my hon. colleague to convey, on behalf of my caucus, our heartfelt congratulations to our two colleagues, the hon. members for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce and Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke, on 30 years of parliamentary activity. That is unusual and, party politics aside, we all have to respect such tenacity and commitment to serving one's fellow citizens.

All too often, the members of this House have to sacrifice their health or families to uphold democracy, which makes those being honoured today all the more deserving. I would therefore ask them, on behalf of the members of the Bloc Quebecois, to accept our sincerest congratulations.