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House of Commons Hansard #219 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was sentencing.

Topics

Indian AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Darrel Stinson Reform Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, the road blockade beside Adams Lake still remains in place today.

Eighty-six days after it was started by the three native bands involved there have been at least two episodes of violence involving criminal charges. Last week a bridge into a provincial park was burned.

Does the minister of Indian affairs still insist he must be specifically invited by the parties involved before he will take action?

Indian AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Sault Ste. Marie Ontario

Liberal

Ron Irwin LiberalMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, as has been indicated in the House on several occasions both by me and by the solicitor general, policing in the province of B.C. is in the jurisdiction of the RCMP under contract to the province of B.C.

On this specific road there are three scenarios. The best case scenario is that it is a public road to the reserve. The second case is that the owners on the other side have the right of way and then they can sue. The worst case scenario which my hon. friend seems to be moving toward is this land is owned totally by the First Nations. If that is the scenario they are entitled to close off the road on their land like any owner in Canada.

I am hoping we can work out an arrangement with them so people can get to their premises. We are prepared to work with the province of B.C. which fortunately we do in many situations. We will help out in the facilitation. Those are the facts and all the rhetoric in the House will not change those facts.

The problem was it was an archaeological dig. The person who did it was supposed to comply with the mandate from the province. That person did not. That person has been written to and still has not complied.

Indian AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Darrel Stinson Reform Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, the problem goes beyond that. The federal government was supposed to have been involved a long time ago on the signing of that road, as the minister knows.

He has also been contacted by the B.C. aboriginal affairs minister, Mr. Cashore. He was informed on April 13 this should be treated as a top priority by this minister. He has also had that request from aboriginals and from the property owners.

I know nothing comes easy to this minister. Unfortunately that is the only thing he is good at. When will he acknowledge his responsibility under the Indian act and get involved?

Indian AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Sault Ste. Marie Ontario

Liberal

Ron Irwin LiberalMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, all that happens is I get the same question and I give the same response. I will respond again.

The province is negotiating with the band. Hopefully a deal will be made but enforcement is a provincial responsibility. Does the hon. member want us to take the RCMP back and go into B.C. and enforce that?

Public ServiceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Brenda Chamberlain Liberal Guelph—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the President of the Treasury Board.

This week has been designated as national public service week, a time to recognize and celebrate the contribution federal public service employees make to the country.

At the same time, however, the government is in the process of cutting 45,000 jobs in the federal public service. How can the government justify having a week to celebrate the accomplishment of its employees while at the same time taking away their jobs?

Public ServiceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, these are challenging times for the public service as we carry out a downsizing brought about by the need to cut government spending in order to meet our deficit reduction promises.

Our employees are dedicated, committed people and I think they deserve recognition. They have carried out a great many innovations. There are many examples of excellence in the work they do and I do not think there is any better time to celebrate the fine work done by the public service.

The public service of Canada is among the best in the world.

Singer EmployeesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Jean H. Leroux Bloc Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Labour.

Former employees of Singer in St. John say that the federal government failed to meet its contractual obligations toward them by paying the surplus that is part of their pension fund to the employer rather than the workers.

Further to the question by the Bloc on June 1, which has yet to be answered, will the Minister of Labour once and for all correct the federal government's error in connection with the Singer employees?

Singer EmployeesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

York North Ontario

Liberal

Maurizio Bevilacqua LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I will look into the matter and report to the hon. member as soon as possible.

Singer EmployeesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Jean H. Leroux Bloc Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, the question was asked over three weeks ago.

My supplementary is also for the Minister of Labour, who was elected to answer questions in this House. How can the Minister of Labour, by refusing to intervene quickly in the matter, allow herself to be an accomplice in this injustice to the former employees of Singer, whose average age is 80 and who are hoping to finally achieve justice after so many years of struggle?

Singer EmployeesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

York North Ontario

Liberal

Maurizio Bevilacqua LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I think it is extremely irresponsible on the part of the hon. member to use occasions like this to play cheap politics.

If the hon. member would review the responsibilities of the Minister of Human Resources Development he would find it is the responsibility of that minister. To attack the Minister of Labour, and I know exactly where you are coming from on this issue-

Singer EmployeesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

I ask hon. members to please address the Chair.

Family IncomeOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Herb Grubel Reform Capilano—Howe Sound, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadian families are right; Statistics Canada has made it official. Family incomes after taxes have fallen 6.5 per cent in real terms since 1989; 2.1 per cent in the last year surveyed. Canadians are fed up with the performance of the economy and rightly blame the federal government.

Will the minister accept the blame for the decline in family income and change the policies responsible?

Family IncomeOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Scarborough East Ontario

Liberal

Doug Peters LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

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

The statistics he refers to ended in 1993. There was an election that year and since that time there have been some half million new jobs created in the country. The statistics for 1994, the first year of our mandate, will show a substantial rise in family incomes in Canada.

Family IncomeOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Herb Grubel Reform Capilano—Howe Sound, BC

Mr. Speaker, since 1981 tax freedom day, the day when people's annual incomes go into their pockets, has advanced 73 days. The Fraser Institute announced that this year it is on July 5. The tragedy is that the ever higher taxes we all pay do not get us more services, they pay interest on our staggering debt.

When will the government close the bottomless hole for our tax dollars by cutting the debt and getting Canadian families once more to enjoy increases in after tax incomes as they had for decades before the deficit became out of control?

Family IncomeOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Scarborough East Ontario

Liberal

Doug Peters LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, I really appreciate that question because that is exactly what the government is doing. It is reducing the deficit, bringing it to 3 per cent of GDP in the third year of our mandate, on the way to a balanced budget. That means a falling debtload and lower taxes will follow when the time comes.

CubaOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Audrey McLaughlin NDP Yukon, YT

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

Canada has maintained broken diplomatic relations with Cuba for 50 years and has established very important trade and investment links. In contrast, the United States has maintained an inhumane embargo that has had disastrous implications for the people of Cuba.

Today American politicians are once again threatening Canadian companies with trade links to Cuba with blacklisting. I ask the acting Prime Minister if he can tell this House whether the Prime Minister will be raising this issue at the G-7 meeting this week and condemning the U.S. blockade of Cuba and condemning the bullying of Canadians and Canadian business by the United States.

CubaOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Ottawa Centre Ontario

Liberal

Mac Harb LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, there are two parts to this question.

One part deals with the Helms bill. The minister and the government are on the record as being opposed to this bill. We are encouraged that the U.S. administration so far has clearly indicated that they also have some concerns about that piece of legislation.

On the second part of the hon. member's question, which deals with action that might be taken against Canadian companies doing business in Cuba, we have not received anything officially on this matter. As soon as we receive anything we will take appropriate action in the interest of Canadians and Canadian businesses.

Emergency PreparednessOral Question Period

June 15th, 1995 / 3 p.m.

Liberal

John Loney Liberal Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of National Defence, the minister responsible for the Emergency Preparedness Canada agency.

Southern Alberta has recently suffered the most devastating flood damage in decades. The cost of restoring this part of my home province to a pre-disaster condition will be considerable. Has the Province of Alberta asked the minister for assistance? If so, has the minister directed Emergency Preparedness Canada to offer its help as Alberta tries to recover from this disaster?

Emergency PreparednessOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the federal government does provide assistance through a program called financial assistance arrangements. The province of Alberta this morning did apply for assistance with respect to the very serious problems it has had in that province in the last few days. That application will be considered in the normal way according to the normal formula. I do not anticipate any problems in complying with the government's request.

The financial assistance is usually directed toward the cost of replacing public infrastructure, but also does have application for individuals, farms, and businesses for the essential parts of their homes or businesses that have been destroyed by floods in this particular case.

Emergency PreparednessOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

My colleagues, that would bring to a conclusion the question period.

I have a question of privilege, which will be raised by the hon. member for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke.

PrivilegeOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Len Hopkins Liberal Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of personal privilege dealing with newspaper articles that affect my longtime good relations with and my respect for all colleagues in this House of Commons.

In my nearly 30 years in Parliament I have never met with anything as vicious and low as what I am about to quote to this House from the Toronto Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star . These statements undermine my good relations with all members of this Chamber.

In today's Toronto Star the following quote appeared: ``When Hopkins sat down at lunch at the Liberal table in the parliamentary restaurant yesterday following the caucus meeting, the other MPs sitting there left within minutes''.

Secondly, from the Globe and Mail is the following quote: ``The bitterness among Liberals could be seen even at the parliamentary restaurant when Liberal MPs started moving away from a table after gun-control dissident Leonard Hopkins sat among them''.

The truth is that I did not have lunch in the parliamentary restaurant at all yesterday. I did not sit in a single chair in the parliamentary restaurant yesterday morning, noon, or night. Obviously the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail did not either.

These articles are completely inaccurate and are nothing but fabricated stories with no truth or foundation whatsoever. Not even Frank magazine has treated me like this. These kinds of fabricated stories originating from whatever cheap source are obviously designed for despicable undermining purposes.

I would respectfully request that you review these items, and if you find that I do have a prima facie point of privilege I would be prepared to move the appropriate motion.

I want to thank all members of the House for their attention during my remarks.

PrivilegeOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

PrivilegeOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

My colleagues, our colleague for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke has made his point. I do not know that it needs any elaboration. His reputation in this House has been impeccable for some 30 years. It has not been affected.

Business Of The HouseOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Bloc Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, it being Thursday I would ask the government leader to kindly give us an idea of the business of the House for the week to come.

Business Of The HouseOral 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 provide the weekly business statement.

The first bill we will deal with this afternoon is Bill C-41, the sentencing legislation. After six hours of debate, pursuant to an order of this House we will vote on the motion for third reading of this bill.

Our next priorities are completion of the consideration of the Senate amendments to Bill C-69, concerning redistribution; completion of report stage of Bill C-85, the pension legislation; and the report stage of Bill C-89, the CNR bill.

We are also eager to make progress on Bill C-87, regarding chemical weapons; Bill C-86, concerning the Canadian Dairy Commission; Bill C-82, regarding the mint; Bill C-91, concerning business development loans; Bill C-88, regarding internal trade; and a number of other bills that have been placed on the public record several times over the past week.

I hope this will help hon. members to plan their time between now and tomorrow. Actually I should say between now and June 23. We will be happy to continue our consultations with the opposition parties on the arrangement of House business and the making of progress on legislation in a way the public expects from us.