This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #61 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was english.

Topics

First Ministers ConferenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I repeat to the hon. member that the sole aspect of the Constitution that will be discussed is to fulfil article 49 and it is to discuss the process by which we will have an open discussion among Canadians about the amending formula.

First Ministers ConferenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Stephen Harper Reform Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister admitted to the House yesterday that this condition has already been satisfied at least three times. That still does not answer why we are discussing it at all.

Can the minister make two other commitments, if he is so committed to public consultation, to describe to us the public consultation which has taken place leading up to this first ministers conference and will he commit, as the Liberal Party did in 1992, that no constitutional change will be made unless it is submitted to a national referendum?

First Ministers ConferenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the purpose of this meeting is certainly not to discuss the Constitution except for the specific matter of section 49.

The hon. member mentioned Premier Klein. I quote Premier Klein. He said the agenda of this conference is a good one, that we finally have some meat and potato items on the agenda that affect social policy reform, labour training and governmental harmonization and environmental assessment. It deals with overlap and duplication which exists in a lot of inspection and security services. We are actually addressing some of the issues that go right to the heart of the problem of the rebalancing of federal powers.

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.

Yesterday, in response to a question by the member for Ber-thier-Montcalm, the minister stated, with reference to federal

responsibilities in the area of manpower and provincial ones in the area of education, as follows:

-the provinces are responsible for education, which is rather closely related to occupational training. It is, therefore, all these constitutional responsibilities which the Government of Canada, in conjunction with the provinces, will be better assuming, thank to the reform proposed by the minister.

Can the Minister explain this statement, which suggests that the federal government has not really given up interfering in education, through national standards in particular?

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, in all other federations, federal spending power is exercised without limitation. The division of powers is, substantially, legislative. Where spending power is concerned, in the U.S., the federal government spends money in the various sectors.

Here in Canada we shall go further than all other federations. For the first time in the history of this country, except for constitutional negotiations and acts, the Government of Canada has committed to a more harmonious federation in which the federal spending power will be directed in such as way as to allow us to work in conjunction with the provinces.

This, then, is the Canada the hon. member wants to break up.

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, I gather from that, that all you have to do is believe. Believe, when all of the premiers of Quebec, since 1960 at least, have tried to ensure Quebec of the means for development. We are not speaking of other federations, we are speaking of the people of Quebec in Canada.

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

And it is precisely because they have had no response that we want to get out.

Can the minister guarantee that the federal government will respect Quebec's exclusive jurisdiction in the area of education, that it will not in any way use the amounts allocated to it for this to impose national standards?

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada respects the Constitution of Canada and the official opposition wants to tear up the Constitution of Canada. That is the truth of it.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Jack Ramsay Reform Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, the justice minister is aware that if Bill C-45 does not go through before the summer recess, Clifford Olson can appeal for early release directly to a jury rather than having to jump through the additional hoop of applying to a superior court judge.

I ask the minister why he waited until there were only eight sitting days left before the summer recess to introduce this flawed, half measure of a bill. Why did he not introduce it months ago, providing the House with ample opportunity to deal with it at all stages before the summer recess?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we have just concluded a long and very important consultation process, speaking with victims groups, crown attorneys, judges, defence lawyers, police and others in relation to section 745. The bill is now before the House. I invite the hon. member and his colleagues to support it so we can put it in place and have it available in the law at the earliest possible date.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Jack Ramsay Reform Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister knows that his officials have been in touch with me and other members of our caucus. Every overture that has been made has been met with a clear statement that although we oppose the bill we are not interested in delaying its passage.

Bill C-45 contains a royal recommendation which allows for the expenditure of additional funds for section 745 appeals for early release by first degree murderers. I ask the justice minister, what are the additional expenditures? How much more will his modifications to section 745 cost the Canadian taxpayers?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the royal recommendation is there because there will be additional incarceration costs since fewer people will be released. That is where the extra money is being spent. That is the answer. The hon. member and his colleagues in the Reform Party would repeal section 745 altogether. That would cost even more money.

I am gratified to hear the hon. member say that he and his colleagues in the Reform Party will not stand in the way of speedy adoption of the bill. This bill is going to strengthen criminal law and improve section 745. I look forward to the day when it is law.

Student Loans And ScholarshipsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphan Tremblay Bloc Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

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

With the Quebec government's announcement in May of a change in the rules for awarding student loans, the minister said that he intended to examine the scope of Quebec's decision. The

federal government contributes only $98 million of the $472 million in the Quebec program or 20 per cent.

With its 20 per cent contribution to the Quebec loans and bursaries program, would the minister confirm the government's intention to push Quebec to change its policies?

Student Loans And ScholarshipsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, we are neither intending nor in a position to force any province to change its policy on student loans.

However, I think that the vast majority of young people, in Quebec and elsewhere in Canada, would like the opportunity to study in the institution of their choice. This has been an honourable tradition in Canada for a very long time.

The only thing I can say to him is I have suggested and continue to hope that, in Quebec as elsewhere in Canada, men and women wanting to pursue their studies may do so with as much freedom as possible.

Student Loans And ScholarshipsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphan Tremblay Bloc Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, as with the proposed partnership in the area of manpower, will the minister acknowledge that his government is simply meddling further in areas of exclusive provincial jurisdiction?

Student Loans And ScholarshipsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I do not think so. The hon. member's question about student loans has nothing to do with meddling. We respect Quebec's jurisdiction.

However, we suggest, discreetly I hope, that it is for the good of young people-just like people in this House who have studied outside their province-be they young New Brunswickers studying in Quebec or young Quebecers coming here to study in French at the University of Ottawa, or Albertans heading to McGill in Montreal. This is a longstanding practice.

I think, on the whole, that young people in Quebec and elsewhere in Canada want to be able to continue their studies in their home province, in their country or abroad. This freedom and this flexibility are what strengthens young people and Canada.

RefugeesOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Eleni Bakopanos Liberal Saint-Denis, QC

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

The Government of China is demanding the expulsion of all Vietnamese in refugee camps before Hong Kong is transferred to China in 1997.

Since several of these people have relatives in Canada, will the minister take the necessary measures to speed up the processing of the applications made by these Vietnamese so as to reunite them with their families?

RefugeesOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Henri—Westmount Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration and Acting Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I think it is important to note at the outset that these people are not bona fide refugees. As things stand now, all these cases have been examined by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the Hong Kong government. As you very well know, in 1989, several countries made a commitment to act on a global action plan for Vietnamese living in camps. We welcomed in Canada our share of these cases that were considered to be refugees.

As for the others, there was an international agreement providing that these people could go back to Vietnam and the Office of the High Commissioner assures us that it will control the return of these people to Vietnam. By the way, a high proportion of these people are already back in Vietnam.

That being said, I assure the hon. member for Saint-Denis that all the applications made in Vietnam by people who want to come to Canada to reunite with their families will be met with our usual open-minded approach to such cases.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

June 13th, 1996 / 2:45 p.m.

Reform

Bob Mills Reform Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, since Prime Minister Juppé left Ottawa, he has stabbed this government in the back. He has insulted over 50 per cent of Quebecers and most of the rest of Canada. This man is a guest of the Canadian people and we are paying the bill for his trip. The Canadian taxpayers deserve an apology. This House deserves an apology.

My question is for the Prime Minister. Is he willing to stand up for the Canadian people by demanding an apology from Prime Minister Juppé?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has made a whole series of allegations but has not provided the basis upon which he is suggesting apologies be made.

When the Prime Minister was here, he made it very clear that relations with Canada are proceeding well. There are no irritants. He has no interest in interfering in the internal affairs of this country.

Time was spent talking about how we can increase investment, how we can increase jobs, how we can increase cultural relations

and how we can work together in a series of matters dealing with disarmament and international affairs.

It seems to me to be a little ridiculous to be asking for an apology when someone comes to our country and wants to substantiate and expand relations with our country.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

An hon. member

Look at the Bloc. The Bloc members are applauding.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Bob Mills Reform Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is very obvious where the support comes from for what the Prime Minister has done.

What would it be like if our Prime Minister went to France and started talking about how great the Basque separatists were? That is exactly what happened. The Prime Minister of France did one thing in Ottawa and another thing in Quebec City. What he did in Quebec City has insulted Canadians. It stomped on our pride in our country and did nothing for unity. What is the Prime Minister going to do about this?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the only comments I read recently about Basque separatism were made by the hon. member for Red Deer.

Fortunately we are blessed in this country with having a Prime Minister whose prudence and good judgment are well known. He would never say anything quite as stupid as the member for Red Deer said.