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House of Commons Hansard #225 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was development.

Topics

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Liberal Saint-Maurice, QC

I wrote that before, in 1986, and I said at the time that we were going to respect the referendum that was held and we won. Now the opposition keeps saying that there will be no end, that there will be a referendum so long as it fails to win. I have to say that it is very important to respect democracy and that, at the moment, the question put by the Parti Quebecois, by the leader of the Leader of the Opposition, is ambiguous; it will create an ambiguous situation, and Quebecers do not want an ambiguous situation. They decided to remain in Canada, and Canada will be the winner on October 30.

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Stephen Harper Reform Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have to say that I am extremely disturbed and I think Canadians will be disturbed at the answers the Prime Minister gave to the leader of the Reform Party.

We have the separatists in Quebec telling Quebecers that they can vote yes and have this imaginary union. Now we have the Prime Minister saying that a no vote counts and a yes vote may not count. I ask the Prime Minister to reconsider that position carefully. Is he not really telling Quebecers that it is easy and without risk to vote yes when that is not the case?

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I do not know what the real question is the member is asking me. I am always telling Quebecers that they have a chance to vote again on this.

For months and months I have asked the Government of Quebec to ask a clear question. It is asking an ambiguous question. Reading any comment on that from abroad they all say it is terribly confusing. They say we will get divorced and then remarry.

The member is asking me to say yes to the question without any analysis. Even then they say to Quebecers that separation will not come the day after. Therefore, do not tell me to tell them that it will be over on October 31. This country will be together on October 31 of this year and on October 31 of next year. As long as I am alive it will be part of Canada. Therefore, I do not want to spend my time talking about separation.

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Stephen Harper Reform Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, this country is not going to stay together just on the basis of one man's interpretation of a referendum question. It will stay together because the Prime Minister and others are successful in convincing Quebecers to vote no.

I again ask the Prime Minister why he does not simply do what the Leader of the Opposition is unwilling to do and tell Quebecers that their vote counts, yes or no, and that democracy is on the side of the federalists?

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, no one that I know of has talked more about Canada and Quebec. I know they will vote for Canada even with this ambiguous question. Therefore, I do not want to spend my time replying to these hypothetical questions. We will campaign in Quebec and Quebecers will know that it is in their best interests to remain in Canada.

I do not understand why the Reform Party is trying to score political points when it is time for all Canadians to be on the same side in convincing Quebecers to stay in Canada.

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Bloc Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, strangely enough, the Prime Minister did say-although it is not so clear today and I am not too sure any more-that he acknowledged the legitimacy of the referendum process under way in Quebec. Unlike the Minister of Labour and the chairman of the No committee, Daniel Johnson, however, he still refuses to recognize the eventual results of this referendum process through which Quebecers will decide their political future.

How can one logically reconcile acknowledging the legitimacy of a democratic public consultation process, take part in it and at the same time refuse to recognize its eventual results?

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I said several times already, we have asked for a clear question and none was forthcoming. They do not even have the courage to tell Quebecers that they are separatists. They looked for and coined a word to describe themselves, which is not even in the French language. They call themselves "souverainistes". It is nowhere to be found in the dictionary.

They do not have the courage to let Quebecers know that they want to separate. They are trying to disguise their option and they want me to play their game, when I only want them to ask the people, I challenge them to ask them this question because the debate is not over in Quebec: Do you want to separate from the rest of Canada? Period. Then I would be the first one to admit that they were honest enough to put an absolutely unequivocal question to Quebecers.

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Bloc Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, are we to understand from all the answers given by the Prime Minister that, as far as he is concerned, the Quebec referendum will only be valid if the results are what he is hoping for? Is that his idea of democracy?

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is the Leader of the Opposition who says that a No vote does not mean No, but that a Yes vote means Yes. They are the ones who say that. They refuse to respect the people's wishes. They say they will go on and on.

Quebecers have heard as much as they can take about referendums and constitutional issues. They want politicians to deal with job creation, provide sound public administration and give them an honest and competent government. That is exactly what they lack in Quebec and that is why they will be voting for Canada on October 30.

Camp IpperwashOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

John Duncan Reform North Island—Powell River, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian agenda includes a lot more than the Quebec referendum.

Documented lawlessness was occurring at Camp Ipperwash since the native occupation on July 29. The local community is feeling betrayed by the total absence of military policing. This absence culminated tragically and unnecessarily in the death of Dudley George at the adjacent Ipperwash Provincial Park.

Why did the Department of National Defence allow the 2,000-acre military camp to go totally unpoliced after a 16-year old crashed the bus into the camp buildings area?

Camp IpperwashOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, members of the band occupied part of Ipperwash in the fall of 1993.

In the budget of 1994 the government took the decision that Camp Ipperwash would close. It was surplus to our needs. We then entered into dialogue with the chief of the Kettle Point Band, Mr. Bressette, to talk about transferring ownership as part of the original agreement. Those discussions were rather long and involved questions of compensation about environmental clean up, all of which the government was committed to do.

When the rest of the renegade group, which does not accept the main band and the chief, occupied the camp some time ago-I guess it was in the month of July-the commander on the spot took the correct action. Rather than have confrontation where there would be loss of life, and given the fact that the camp was not being used by the military, the military agreed to withdraw temporarily, pending negotiations.

Those negotiations have borne fruit with the discussions that were held last week by the minister of Indian affairs. Everyone should congratulate him on the job he did in bringing a resolution to this subject.

Camp IpperwashOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

John Duncan Reform North Island—Powell River, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister was begged by the town, by the province, by the Reform Party, and the chief and council of the band to militarily police the camp and instead left a policing vacuum over lands under his jurisdiction.

The minister swore an oath as a cabinet minister and privy councillor to uphold the laws of Canada. When is the minister going to do that?

Camp IpperwashOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, rather than listen to the inflammatory remarks of the hon. member, what we

have seen in the recent events is that only with dialogue and negotiation with Canada's First Nations can we resolve these disputes.

There was division within the aboriginal community on the question of entitlement to that piece of land the federal government wants to give back.

After the negotiations conducted by my colleague, the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, this now appears to be on the way to a satisfactory resolution.

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

September 18th, 1995 / 2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Bloc Rimouski—Témiscouata, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week, the Minister of Labour responsible for the Quebec referendum made the following comment: We always said that Quebecers have the right to express their views on Quebec's future, whether that future is in or out of Canada. We live in a democratic country; consequently, we will respect their wish.

My question is for the Minister of Labour. Does the minister responsible for the Quebec referendum still stand by her statement to the effect that she will recognize the result of the referendum vote?

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Henri—Westmount Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalMinister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, I have said, and I am proud to say it again in the House of Commons, that Canada is a democratic country and this is why I hold it so dear, as a Quebecer as well. Let us never forget that.

Mr. Speaker, we have always said that Quebecers have the right to express themselves in a clear and democratic way regarding their future. Where is the clear question? Where is the clear question from our colleagues? Why are they hiding what is really at stake with this referendum? What are they hiding?

They are hiding studies. What else are they hiding? Why do they not want to tell the truth to Quebecers? The answer will be clear on October 30.

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Bloc Rimouski—Témiscouata, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's reprimand was heard clearly. The fact is that when the minister said she would respect the wish of Quebecers, she knew what the question was.

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Bloc Rimouski—Témiscouata, QC

So, will the minister recognize that, rather than treading on her own principles, she should have had the courage to resign to stand for her beliefs, express her attachment to Canada and preserve her own credibility?

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Henri—Westmount Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalMinister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, I will repeat what I was just told. I do not need any advice on democracy. I was just told, as Yves Duhaime once said: Is she a true Quebecer, since she was elected by the people of Saint-Henri-Westmount? Since English speaking people voted for me? Mr. Speaker, this is what was just said.

You can see the kind of moral standards and ethics we are dealing with. Do we have the courage to tell the truth to Quebecers? They can decide for themselves. If you ask them "Do you want to separate from Canada?", the answer will be no.

World Bank ReportOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Jane Stewart Liberal Brant, ON

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

Yesterday the World Bank made public its report on the wealth of countries. We are all thrilled to see that Canada ranks as the second richest country in the world. I ask the minister to tell us what this means for Canada and for Canadians.

World Bank ReportOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Scarborough East Ontario

Liberal

Doug Peters LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

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

I am glad to share with my colleagues the decisions of the World Bank and the new studies they have done and the new methods they have used. It not only measures the industrial output but the national wealth and the human resources of a country.

I am proud to say that Canada now ranks number two in wealth, complementing the recent statement by the United Nations that said we were number one in the world.

Health CareOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, another issue of importance on the Canadian agenda is health care, even in Quebec.

The Liberals made a promise in the red book to have a national forum on health care chaired by the Prime Minister. Could we have a progress report, please?

Health CareOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Sudbury Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to say that the forum is doing its work. It has released a number of papers. It recently released one in Toronto on the issue of private and public funding. It will commence a series of public hearings some time this fall. Stay tuned, there will be more coming.

Health CareOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the national forum on health is an abject failure, but there is a meeting going on right now that might bear some fruit. The provincial health

ministers are meeting in B.C. Is the government going to listen to constructive suggestions coming from that meeting?