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House of Commons Hansard #35 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was gasoline.

Topics

Liberal PartyOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister will decide whether this party will have a free vote on that amendment and he will do that when it is appropriate to do so.

In response to the question put by the hon. member, first, the reality is that for a party such as hers which is so interested in taking head counts in polls before deciding how its members will vote, the party opposite should know that as recently as this weekend the Liberal Party of Canada had no difficulty in deciding where it stands on the issue by overwhelmingly voting in favour of the amendment we proposed. Second, an Angus Reid poll which polled the views of Canadians across the country announced that the vast majority of Canadians are behind this amendment.

If that is not good enough for the Reform Party, there is something wrong with it.

Somalia InquiryOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre De Savoye Bloc Portneuf, QC

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

At the meeting of the Quebec branch of the Liberal Party, the Prime Minister waxed eloquent about the integrity of his government. And yet, in the Somalia affair, there are growing signs that information was falsified and concealed. Even the chief of defence staff, General Boyle, who was personally chosen by the minister of defence, appears to be very seriously implicated in this affair.

Does the Deputy Prime Minister realize that the credibility of her government is compromised by the systematic refusal of her defence minister to suspend General Jean Boyle until the inquiry is over?

Somalia InquiryOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this question

has been asked a number of times in recent days and I am compelled to give the same answer.

We have a process in motion. A commission of inquiry is looking into all aspects of the Canadian force deployment to Somalia. Some other issues that are perhaps tangential but which may deal with the documentation issue with respect to Somalia have been raised. The commission has started hearings and those hearings are ongoing.

All people concerned will have the opportunity to give their side of events and their points of view over the next couple of weeks. I would ask the hon. member the basic courtesy to allow all those people to come forward and let the decision be made by the commission in due course.

[Translation]

Somalia InquiryOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre De Savoye Bloc Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am quite prepared to observe the basic courtesies, but normally, when someone is the subject of an inquiry, he is temporarily suspended, precisely in order to get to the bottom of the events at issue. It is a question of credibility.

Since General Boyle was directly implicated by certain witnesses, why is the minister of defence making an exception to this sacrosanct rule by refusing to suspend the general until the inquiry is over?

Somalia InquiryOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I would submit that those lacking credibility are the members of the opposition who will not allow the normal Canadian judicial process to take its normal course and allow people every right to give their side of events in an impartial setting.

It is not we who are out of step, it is the opposition that is out of step with the ideas and values of Canadians.

JusticeOral Question Period

April 29th, 1996 / 2:30 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Reform Fraser Valley West, BC

Mr. Speaker, earlier today the justice minister said he was willing to support the Reform Party's efforts to develop a national victims' bill of rights.

He also he indicated there would be a free vote on that issue today at 6.30 p.m. Could he confirm it?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

I did not know where the question was leading. That is anticipating an order of the day. That question is out of order, but if he has another question he would like to put, I will permit it.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Reform Fraser Valley West, BC

Mr. Speaker, I think I got my point across.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Reform Fraser Valley West, BC

Mr. Speaker, I will go to a supplementary.

If there is a free vote for a victims' bill of rights, why is it that the government will not commit to a free vote on gay rights?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

I think somehow they are intrinsically tied. I am going to give the member the benefit of the doubt. The second part of the question is in order. The minister may answer the question if he likes.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, let me put the hon. member out of his misery.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Allan Rock Liberal Etobicoke Centre, ON

We will be here a long time if we wait until the hon. member finds the right way to ask the question.

The answer of course, is that when there are resolutions, as there are today involving victims' rights, members of this party vote as they see fit. I already told the House this morning that I am going to be voting in favour of the resolution because I share the objectives expressed by the hon. member. I expect that other members of the government side will vote as they see fit.

We are doing that because the resolution before the House today raises issues in which we share the objectives of all members of the House, that victims be treated properly and with dignity throughout the criminal justice system.

Drug PatentsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the pharmaceutical industry is the main sector of biomedical research in Canada, accounting for more than $561 million in R and D investments in 1994. It is, moreover, one of the few healthy sectors of the Montreal economy. According to a number of sources, however, the government appears to be preparing to modify the link regulations under Bill C-91.

Will the Minister of Industry confirm that his government is preparing to modify regulations relating to Bill C-91 on the pharmaceutical industry in such as way as to greatly reduce the protection of drug patents?

Drug PatentsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr.

Speaker, I have indicated to both types of pharmaceutical industries, the generic and the multinationals, that it is important for them to consider the impact of these regulations. Despite their highly complicated nature, it is vital that they work to the benefit of all Canadians.

I would, therefore, ask the hon. member to explain his position on these regulations. I am open to his ideas, because it is important for us to determine the best way of implementing the regulations.

Drug PatentsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we need to try to decode this. It is my impression that the hon. member is trying to tell us that he will be doing something to Bill C-91, as they tried to last year in response to Ontario lobbying. It was very clear at the time, but now they are trying to do the same thing in secret. We too have met with drug companies, and they do not share the minister's opinion in the least.

Will the minister repeat in this House the commitment made on April 28, 1994 not to touch the Drug Patents Act, either directly or indirectly, before the spring of 1997, or in other words not until the time set for its re-assessment?

Drug PatentsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I want to be perfectly clear on this issue. The member is quite right. A review period was established in Bill C-91 that will come into effect in the spring of 1997.

At the same time, he understands that the NOC link regulations which were enacted pursuant to section 55(2) of that legislation are very complex. In order to determine whether they have the desired effect of appropriately balancing the interests that lie in this area between the rights of patent holders to protect their patents-which I believe is what he is endeavouring in suggesting that these should not be changed-against the interests that consumers have in the legitimate acquisition of generic products when patent rights have expired-to which I am sure he also does not object-I think he understands that the essence of patent protection is that it extends for a period of time after which it ends. That is the law.

The NOC link regulations are intended to establish a mechanism whereby both interests are adequately protected. In order to determine whether that has been achieved we are looking at the litigation that has ensued from those regulations and we will determine what the best result is to follow from that.

Domestic ViolenceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Myron Thompson Reform Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadian women are dying because of a fatal flaw in the way the police are forced to handle domestic violent cases.

The tragic shooting rampage in Vernon, B.C. where a man killed himself after shooting his estranged wife and eight members of her family illustrates what can happen when warning signs are ignored for whatever reason.

Does the the justice minister not agree that it could save lives if we gave police the power to follow through on domestic violence charges after a complaint is made, whether the complainant asks for the charges or not?

Domestic ViolenceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, such discretion is provided for already and is well within the administrative powers of police forces at present.

While I recognize the very genuine concern on the part of the hon. member in his question and the tragedy in Vernon, I must say, before concluding my response, that there is a healthy measure of irony in the hon. member's question.

It was the member and his colleagues who for months stood in the House to oppose the measures we introduced in Bill C-68 to more rationally control access to and use of firearms, to put in place systems and processes that would enable authorities to follow up in cases of domestic abuse and to make sure firearms are removed from persons who represent a danger to themselves or others.

To hear the hon. member today suggesting that further steps should be available in such cases is indeed a very distinct irony.

Domestic ViolenceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Myron Thompson Reform Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, I probably should ask if the justice minister feels any better that these victims were shot with a registered gun. I wonder if that would make any difference.

In the mass murder in Vernon, the estranged wife did not ask for charges to be laid because she was afraid for her life, naturally. However, 10 people are dead because the police were handcuffed.

Contrary to what the minister has said, is he saying today that there is no way we can give the police the tools they are asking for, or the tools victims' rights groups are asking for, or the tools that Canadians are asking for to help prevent more needless deaths in these kinds of tragedies?

Domestic ViolenceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, all the tools or remedies or procedures that the hon. member is suggesting are either already available or well within the grasp of police forces in Canada. It is a

question of the police forces themselves making use of those remedies and those procedures.

With respect to the nature of the gun being responsible for the tragedy in British Columbia, let me observe that the reason we are after the registration of all firearms and the reason the House has now approved that in Bill C-68 is that information available to the police to better enable them to predict such tragedies and take remedial steps to remove firearms will be available to all police across the country. That is what we achieved with Bill C-68.

Algerian NationalsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Osvaldo Nunez Bloc Bourassa, QC

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

A report released on March 14 by the American secretary of state confirms that atrocities and human rights violations are on the rise in Algeria. However, the Government of Canada continues to refuse to suspend the deportation order hanging over the heads of Algerian nationals who have taken refuge in Canada.

Will the minister finally acknowledge that a climate of violence prevails at the moment in Algeria and that Algerian nationals should, like nationals of other countries selected by her department, benefit from a suspension of deportation measures?

Algerian NationalsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Henri—Westmount Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the advisory committee looking at conditions in countries where people are deported meets regularly to assess situations in various countries, because, as you know, when we decide to send someone back to his country, the risks are always evaluated.

Obviously, we will not send someone back to his own country when there may be reprisals or his life is at risk. We are very careful on this. We study each case, each file, when individuals are to be deported. For the time being, we are continuing deportations to Algeria.

Algerian NationalsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Osvaldo Nunez Bloc Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister seems to be totally unaware of the rise of fundamentalism in Algeria, and her advisory committee is meeting behind closed doors.

How does the minister explain that decisions on whether deportation orders are to be suspended for a given country are made in conditions of secrecy, according to criteria known only to her officials? Why is Algeria not among the countries presenting a risk?