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House of Commons Hansard #199 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was liberal.

Topics

Firearms LegislationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, when the Canadian Medical Association first looked at this bill it supported its objectives. When it went through the bill thoroughly, it said it was unconvinced about registration. Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and the Yukon all say the same. It is a nice way of saying the bill will not work.

Will the justice minister admit in the House that Bill C-68 on gun control is unravelling?

Firearms LegislationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, it appears that no one favours this bill except the Canadian people.

Firearms LegislationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Bravo.

Firearms LegislationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Allan Rock Liberal Etobicoke Centre, ON

The hon. member makes reference to the extraordinary position taken by the attorney general of Manitoba. In taking that position, in opposing registration of guns, the attorney general of Manitoba opposes the position taken by the police chief in Winnipeg, the police chief in Brandon, and the Manitoba Police Association. She takes a position that is adverse to the women's groups in Manitoba. This is a person responsible for the status of women in the province of Manitoba who conceded yesterday to the committee that she did not consult with women's groups before taking the extraordinary position that she opposes legislation that they have supported for many years. The record speaks for itself.

Firearms LegislationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Osvaldo Nunez Bloc Bourassa, QC

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

In his last budget, the Minister of Finance announced that immigrants and refugees would have to pay a $975 tax to be able to gain permanent resident status in Canada. We have learned that the Mississauga processing centre alone rejected over 4,000 applications for settlement, between February 27 and April 28, because claimants could not pay that tax.

How can the Minister of Immigration, who pledged that no immigrant or refugee would be adversely affected by this new tax, explain that 4,000 applications processed in Mississauga were rejected for the sole reason that claimants did not have the means to pay that $975?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is basing his question on an article in La Presse . The report is wrong. The reporter was called and a clarification is forthcoming.

Let me outline for the member and the House the real numbers. Since the budget of February, some 18,000 cases have been processed. Of these, some 3,800 were processed without the landing fees attached. Therefore, they were not rejected. They were returned to the applicant for the fees to be attached. Those fees are now being attached and the applicants are reapplying quickly.

On top of it all, of the 18,000 applications since February, only 3 per cent, some 400 cases out of 18,000, have requested a loan. I cannot suggest, based on those facts, that the fee is imposing the kind of hardship the member wants to impress upon the House.

In addition, applications have gone up since the budget, not down.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Osvaldo Nunez Bloc Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, in spite of the minister's denial, which we will look into, the situation is serious and is getting worse.

How can the minister persist in denying the adverse effect of such a tax, given that, in two thirds of the cases, his department rejects loan applications from immigrants and refugees, on the grounds that they are insolvent?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I have just outlined the facts of the case. If the member does not want to accept the facts, that is one thing. If he wants to look at the facts and have a reasonable discussion, that is something else.

He says that the fee will jeopardize refugee cases. Let us look at the situation. A claimant coming to Canada makes a refugee claim to the best system in the world. As a result of the government's action last year, the claimant will also be able to work. If the claimant is accepted, he or she has the most important priority they were seeking-protection, refuge, sanctuary in the best country in the world. And they will get that.

The fee only gets applied after the refugee determination. It is a landing fee with a loan provision if they have a hardship. For what? In order to salvage settlement. The people who use settlement the most are refugee claimants. His proposition would have us do away with settlement and therefore jeopardize refugee claimants even more.

Gun ControlOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Jack Ramsay Reform Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, the James Bay Cree have stated that the justice minister did not consult with them concerning Bill C-68 and by failing to do so has violated section 24.4.26 of the James Bay and Northern Quebec agreement, which forms part of the Constitution of this country.

I ask the Minister of Justice, did he or did he not consult with the coordinating committee of the James Bay Cree on Bill C-68 in the prescribed manner and in accordance with the Constitution of our nation?

Gun ControlOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we complied completely with all legal requirements on the Government of Canada with respect to consultation. In fact we went beyond that. In the preparation of Bill C-68 we had the most intensive, most widespread, and most prolonged consultation conducted personally by a Minister of Justice that this country has seen.

Gun ControlOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Jack Ramsay Reform Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, I wonder why the James Bay Cree are making these statements if that is true.

Yesterday the attorney general of Manitoba stated that the justice minister's consultation with the province of Manitoba on Bill C-68 was "extremely, extremely minimal". I ask the Minister of Justice, did he or did he not engage in continuous consultation with the attorney general of Manitoba on Bill C-68, as he has claimed in the House?

Gun ControlOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the consultation engaged in by the Department of Justice with officials from the provincial and territorial governments across Canada was indeed continuous. They were provided throughout this and last year with particulars of the process as it emerged throughout the drafting and preparation of Bill C-68.

One of the points we relied on, which directly relates to Manitoba, was that in that province accidental firearm deaths are two and a half times the national average. We relied upon the fact that hospitalizations as a result of firearms in Manitoba are more than twice the national average. These appalling statistics, showing the need for further gun control, were very much on our minds as we consulted with Manitoba and the other provinces on these issues.

Hate LiteratureOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Alex Shepherd Liberal Durham, ON

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

I returned to my riding just yesterday to discover the streets strewn with hate literature. The local law enforcement people tell me they are inhibited from laying charges by two aspects of the Criminal Code under section 318: first, they have to get prior consent of the attorney general; and second, only distribution, and not simple possession, is an offence.

What does the minister offer in support of enforcement agencies to ensure that our streets are free from this disgusting activity?

Hate LiteratureOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the features of section 318 to which the hon. member has referred were intended at the time of introduction as an effort to balance on the one hand the need to have in the criminal law a sanction for those who spread hatred and on the other a recognition of the freedom of expression. That difficult balance may not be achieved perfectly in the code and perhaps there is room for improvement.

The code is under review. Also, our campaign commitment to create a round table on hatred chaired by a member of the cabinet remains outstanding and will be addressed. The features of the code to which the hon. member referred will be considered in that context.

It is the concern of the government for this very kind of expression of hatred that inspired the introduction of Bill C-41 to the extent to which it deals with hate. I urge all members of this House to join with the government in supporting every provision of Bill C-41 so we can show through the criminal law that hatred will not be tolerated in this society.

Employability Of Young PeopleOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Antoine Dubé Bloc Lévis, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Human Resources Development.

After some enquiries, we have discovered that several of the organizations seeking to enchance the employability of young Quebecers are still waiting for an answer from the minister regarding the renewal of their subsidy for the current year, which began on April 1. Moreover, others only got a

three month extension, in spite of the fact that the training they provide usually lasts an average of 16 weeks.

Why is the minister waiting to provide an answer to these organizations, given that the agreements have already expired, or are about to expire?

Employability Of Young PeopleOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development and Minister of Western Economic Diversification

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to note that the hon. member for Lévis is in full agreement with and supports the federal government undertaking action to support employment of youth in the province of Quebec.

It is certainly a good expression of the willingness to work together, federal and provincial governments and the private sector, to help the serious problem of youth employment. If the hon. member has specific concerns I would be glad to look at them.

As I have said in the House previously, we are attempting to allow our local employment centres the discretion and judgment at the local level to make judgments about how the money should be spent. If the hon. member would like to make direct representations about specific projects I will look into them.

Employability Of Young PeopleOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Antoine Dubé Bloc Lévis, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister is trying to make me say a lot of things, but he need not look very far since the files are on his desk.

Does the postponement of these decisions mean that the minister has a hidden agenda, namely to cut even more deeply than the 15 per cent reduction announced last year, or is the minister punishing those Quebec organizations which refused to integrate the youth service corps or the young trainee programs into their activities?

Employability Of Young PeopleOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development and Minister of Western Economic Diversification

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is so pleased with himself that he thinks he got a proper shot. However, he made one fundamental flaw in his logic. He has not recognized that in this fiscal year we have increased funding for youth employment across Canada by $43 million. We have increased it by 15 per cent, not cut it by 15 per cent.

Human RightsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, an Ontario provincial court judge has ruled that laws prohibiting adoption by homosexual couples are contrary to the charter of rights.

The Minister of Justice has frequently insisted that including sexual orientation in the Canadian Human Rights Act is in accordance with the wishes of Canadians. The courts and not the legislatures are now making the laws in this country.

In the face of the Ontario court judgment, how can this minister be so confident about how his legislation will be interpreted?

Human RightsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member's question, if I may say so, demonstrates a lack of grasp of the issue that was before the court in the case that was decided yesterday.

What was at issue yesterday was the constitutional validity of a provincial enactment dealing with the rights of adoption. That is entirely within the provincial sphere. What is intended by this government is to amend the federal human rights act, dealing with discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The judgment yesterday speaks for itself. It may be subject to appeal. I will not comment upon it. I think the distinction between the provincial jurisdiction dealing with adoption and the federal human rights legislation should be borne in mind.

Human RightsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, I well understand the difference between federal and provincial. What I am asking about is how anyone in the courts will interpret the law, whether provincial or federal.

Poll after poll demonstrates conclusively that Canadians disagree with the Ontario court and do not wish to extend adoption rights to homosexual couples. The Ontario legislature itself refused to do that last year. In the same way, Canadians overwhelmingly oppose the minister's plan to amend the human rights act at the federal level.

Will this minister reconsider his promise to add sexual orientation to the human rights act and represent the wishes of Canadians, unlike the Ontario provincial court recently did?

Human RightsOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, coming back to the central point, no, we are committed to the change in the statute. It is a matter of fundamental fairness and we will see it through.

There can be no connection in logic or in law between a federal statute dealing with the prohibition of discrimination and provincial legislation dealing with rights of adoption. One cannot and does not affect the other.

EmploymentOral Question Period

May 11th, 1995 / 3 p.m.

NDP

Len Taylor NDP The Battlefords—Meadow Lake, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance will know that the latest Statistics Canada report on unemployment shows that 56,000 women gave up looking for work in the month of April, sending the labour force participation rate for women over the age of 25 down to its lowest rate in 11 years. He will also note that the participation rate for youth has fallen by 8 per cent since 1990, and the small drop in the unemployment rate last month was due entirely to people leaving the labour market.

Will the minister admit that this is a disgraceful performance by the economy which is supposed to be in a recovery and which needs massive job creation if there is any real hope of meeting the problems of the deficit?

EmploymentOral Question Period

3 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance and Minister responsible for the Federal Office of Regional Development-Quebec

Mr. Speaker, over the course of the last year the Canadian economy, thanks to the competitiveness of Canadians, has produced a large number of jobs. In the the last year it has produced a record number of jobs; over 433,000. In the last quarter the private sector has produced over 100,000 jobs.

As a result of the activities and the greater productivity of Canadians, as well as the investment climate in which the government has certainly played an important role, the job creation capacity of the economy is stronger than it has been for a long time.

That does not mean there are not major problems. The hon. member has identified them in terms of women's participation, in terms of the participation of youth, and the hangover from the terrible recession of 1990 to 1993.

As a result, the very strenuous activities, fundamental reforms and the vision of the Minister of Human Resources Development are so important to the building of the country.