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House of Commons Hansard #228 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was taxes.

Topics

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Preston Manning Reform Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, all we have heard so far in response to these questions has been the traditional approach to managing national unity that has been carried on by often the same people for the last 32 years.

Where has that approach led? It has led to two failed constitutional agreements. It has led to two secession referendums in 15 years. It has led to fostering the development of two full blown separatist parties in the province of Quebec. The traditional approach to national unity has not worked.

That is why we need fresh thinking. The west's contribution is to bring resolution, clarity, toughness and a better vision.

Instead of ignoring these elements or worse yet labelling them as somehow disloyal to Canada, why does the Prime Minister not incorporate them into the federal government's strategy on the referendum?

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I think the hon. member is ill-advised to raise the failure of the Charlottetown accord which he opposed because the Government of Alberta supported it, as did the Government of British Columbia and so on. Don't blame it on us, blame it on you. You are one of those who campaigned against us.

At this moment I think the burden of proof is on those who want to separate Quebec from Canada. The preoccupation of the leader of the third party should be to tell them because when it comes from me they do not like it very much. Perhaps because you have managed to get applause from them once in a while you could at this moment tell them why you believe that what they are trying to sell to Quebecers; that it is going to be easy for them after separation to keep their citizenship, the dollar, the economic union and political union, why in your judgment that is a dream they cannot realize.

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

I know at times hon. members want to speak to each other directly, but I would ask all hon. members to please direct their comments to the Chair.

Criminal CodeOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Bloc Berthier—Montcalm, QC

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

In the wake of the car bomb that killed an innocent 11-year old boy last August, there has been an alarming increase in the number of bombings, with two more people killed in Saint-Luc, in the Montérégie region, last night.

Can the Minister of Justice tell us if his government still thinks that the current provisions of the Criminal Code are sufficient to allow police forces to wage an effective fight against this kind of crime?

Criminal CodeOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we are concerned about the tragedy of little Daniel Desrochers's death a few weeks ago in Montreal. The problem of gang wars and organized crime is a very difficult one and a major challenge for Montreal police forces.

This past summer, I had a meeting with the solicitor general, Mr. Sangollo, Denis Asselin of the CUM, and the Commissioner of the RCMP. We discussed in detail all the various strategies we could use to deal with this problem. We decided to work together and set up a joint committee that will go through the Criminal Code to look for answers.

This is a very serious, very important matter to us. We are now working in a very constructive and positive fashion and I am very confident that we will find a solution to the problem.

Criminal CodeOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Bloc Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the minister that bombs are exploding. There have been thirty of them since the beginning of the year. Casualties are mounting. In Quebec, 25 people have died. Police forces have been calling for amendments to the Criminal Code for a long time, and what is the minister telling us? That he is studying the matter. The time for studying is over, the time has come for action.

When will the minister table in this House amendments to the Criminal Code that would meet police demands?

Criminal CodeOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we are quite aware that there is a problem at this time, just as there was last week and as there will be next week. It is not only in Montreal but also in Toronto and Vancouver. It is the problem of organized crime.

There is no simple solution. When I met with the hon. member a few months ago, I asked him: "What do you suggest?" He had a suggestion, which we discussed, but it is not a real solution.

This is not an easy question of just passing another law.

In fact, the Quebec Minister of Public Security, Mr. Ménard, clearly said: "We do not need new laws. We need the police forces to work on collecting evidence against organized crime". So let us work together to find a solution to this problem, this tragic matter. As I said, I am confident that we will find a solution in the coming weeks.

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

September 21st, 1995 / 2:30 p.m.

Reform

Stephen Harper Reform Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the unity minister.

Reformers had agreed with and supported the government when it said that a yes vote was a one-way ticket to separation and that it

would be respected. Without explanation that strategy was changed on us and we have been wondering why.

We have obtained a letter written by the Liberal member for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. It indicates categorically that the federal government will not honour a yes vote. It states: "The results of the referendum will not be binding and have no legal consequences. The federal government has no obligation to respond".

Does this represent the real position of the federal government?

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

I am having some difficulty with regard to the question because the preamble is making certain suppositions that may or may not be accurate.

I think the question in itself is hypothetical but I will permit the minister, if he so wishes, to address it. If not, I will go to the next question.

On the next question, the hon. member for Calgary West.

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Stephen Harper Reform Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have a supplementary question for the minister.

We still demand that the government show transparency. Did the minister explain to Quebecers that, if the Yes side wins, and especially if it does by a narrow margin, the Government of Quebec, the PQ government, will be negotiating separation from a position where Quebecers will be divided, weakened and isolated?

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Henri—Westmount Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalMinister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, we have always said and we still maintain that the choice the people of Quebec are about to make is a major decision, a serious decision regarding their future. It is not like choosing a political party in an election. This is not the kind of decision about which Quebecers will be able to change their minds four or five years from now and say: "We made a mistake; we want to be a part of Canada again".

This choice is very important, not only for us today but also for generations to come. That is why we care so much about the process currently under way in Quebec. We are going to put all our energies into providing accurate information to the people of Quebec.

Health CareOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. At the federal-provincial conference of health ministers, provincial ministers vigorously denounced the federal government's decision to cut transfers to the provinces for social programs, including health care, by $7 billion over two years. These cuts can only have a disastrous effect on health care provided to the public.

How can the minister claim to be the champion of a universal and accessible health care system, when at the same time her government is cutting $7 billion in transfers to the provinces, thereby forcing them to cut back on the quantity and quality of services?

Health CareOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Sudbury Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, there has not been one health economist, there has not been anyone, who has said that there was not enough money in the system.

We must live within our fiscal means, our financial means. Seven billion dollars are projected to be cut over the next few years. Take, for instance, next year. When we consider the provinces altogether spend $100 billion in health and social programs, the cut for next year will be under 3 per cent. While it will be a difficult challenge we believe it is manageable.

Health CareOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, would the minister at least admit that a $7 billion cut in transfer payments will mean nothing short of scaled-down health care for the public?

Health CareOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Sudbury Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, our health care system is continually changing. While we must keep up with technological changes, we will insist that the Canada Health Act ensure that Canadians receive adequate care based on what they need and not how much money they have in their pockets.

Health CareOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, I had occasion to talk to some of the provincial health ministers who had been at the conference in Victoria. They told me frankly that this health minister was mangling medicare.

The provincial ministers are here. Our federal minister is over there. Her answer to them was no innovation, no to choice, no to new thinking.

We call on the federal Minister of Health to get out of the sixties and old-fashioned thinking and join us in the nineties with new thinking for health care. Will she do that?

Health CareOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Sudbury Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I had occasion to spend considerable time with the provincial ministers of health. I do not know to whom the hon. member was speaking but I can say nonsense.

We have done a lot of work together. We will continue to do a lot of work together. We co-operate and we have moved forward considerably. Obviously we do not all agree. We have said that we

would be flexible. I have been flexible but flexibility does not mean tearing up the Canada Health Act.

Health CareOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is sad. It is almost like talking to a two-by-four sometimes.

Health CareOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Health CareOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

Although we encourage colourful and diverse language sometimes we transcend the boundaries. I would ask hon. members to be careful in their choice of words.

Health CareOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the provinces are asking for very specific changes. What do they say no to? They say no to uncertain funding. They say no to long waiting lines. They say no to "we care so much about medicare".

Health CareOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Health CareOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Health CareOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

We get carried away in the heat of battle. The hon. member probably inadvertently pushed the Chair to what it can accept in the House as acceptable ways of speaking.

I wonder if I might ask the hon. member to withdraw those last few words.

Health CareOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

I would be glad to withdraw any comments that could be misconstrued.