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House of Commons Hansard #56 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was safety.

Topics

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Jim Hart Reform Okanagan—Similkameen—Merritt, BC

Mr. Speaker, I do have the proof and I will be more than happy to table it.

Yesterday and today the minister stated that he had no proof that the SIU was still conducting covert operations on Canadian civilians. Access to information documents prove that the operations were ordered by the minister's own chief legal adviser, the judge advocate general. The National Defence Act does not allow the SIU to spy on civilians and it did.

Did the minister know that the SIU was ordered to conduct a covert operation on a private citizen? What is he going to do about it today?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I answered the substance of the hon. member's questions. Let us look at what he is going to table in the House and see if that stands up to his accusations.

SecuritiesOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the federal government made known its intention to invade the securities sector, a sector under provincial jurisdiction, the Bloc Quebecois has strongly opposed Ottawa's centralist ambitions. This morning, the National Assembly unanimously confirmed that it too intends to stop the federal government from going ahead with the Canadian Securities Commission.

My question is for the Minister of Finance. Will the government undertake immediately to respect the unanimous wish of the National Assembly and unconditionally drop its plans for a Canadian Securities Commission?

SecuritiesOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

First of all, Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate all the provinces that would like to go ahead with standardization in this area. But, it must be made very clear that the idea is not to have one, three or four commissions, but that it would be much better than having ten commissions.

This is not a federal government project. In fact, it is being done at the request of a number of provinces. We are there to facilitate matters, if there is anything we can do to help.

SecuritiesOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that the federal government has no business in this sector. That is a fact.

When you have the president of the Quebec Securities Commission, the president of the Montreal Stock Exchange, Quebec's chambers of commerce, and now the National Assembly all agreeing that the federal government should stay out of this sector, it is starting to look like there are very few people in Quebec who are in favour of the plan. When even Daniel Johnson rejects it out of hand, there is something wrong somewhere.

So, I would like to ask the following supplementary: Does the minister realize that the creation of a Canadian Securities Commission, in addition to being completely ineffective and inappropriate, because the provinces can manage on their own, is pure interference in an exclusively provincial area of jurisdiction?

SecuritiesOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, there is no interference, none whatsoever. Furthermore, nothing will be mandatory. If a province does not wish to participate, if it is not necessary for it to participate, that province is entirely free not to take part. That is very clear.

Second, it was the Montreal business community, those who issue shares and belong to this group, le Canadien, who asked us to do this.

Third, I think it would be completely ridiculous, and I am certain it is not within the jurisdiction the member is talking about, that if a critical mass of other provinces wish to have a national commission, Ottawa should refuse to do what the other provinces are asking us to do. Is that what the member is saying should happen? That would be completely ridiculous.

FisheriesOral Question Period

June 4th, 1996 / 2:35 p.m.

Reform

Mike Scott Reform Skeena, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the fisheries minister said it was despicable that we would ask why he is decimating the Pacific salmon fleet and at the same time allocating more fish to the native fishery. Clearly the minister thought it was despicable that we could see through the smoke and mirrors to his real agenda.

I have a very simple question for the minister: Is it true that the size of the commercial fleet in British Columbia is being slashed and at the very same time the size of the native fishery is being expanded? Yes or no?

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Fred Mifflin LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday the priority for salmon fishing is escapement, aboriginal requirement for food, ceremonial and social fisheries and that is being followed. There is an aboriginal fisheries strategy which I think is open to all concerned. There is nothing mysterious about it and that has been followed.

I object very strongly to the suggestion of something being done mysteriously. What is done is in accordance with the published strategy. The government policy on this is being followed and the hon. member knows that.

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Mike Scott Reform Skeena, BC

Mr. Speaker, what is being done is the commercial fleet is being decimated at the same time the native fishery is being increased.

B.C. fishermen will not stand idly by and watch this government do to their industry what successive governments have done to the east coast. We will not stand by and watch the rape of our resource

in the name of politics. We will not let this minister wash his hands of the damage he is doing to our resource that sustains thousands of British Columbians.

If the B.C. fish population is so threatened as to warrant the downsizing by half of the B.C. commercial fleet, then why is he radically increasing the size of the native fishery at the same time?

FisheriesOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Fred Mifflin LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, there is nothing happening radically. Everything is being done very calmly, very sensibly, very openly and not mysteriously. Everything is being done in accordance with open government policy, a policy that has been negotiated with all concerned.

I have to remind the hon. member that the steps we are taking to revitalize the commercial salmon fishery are well under way and should be in place very soon. This will reassure the hon. member and his caucus colleagues when they meet on the west coast in a couple of days that everything is being done properly. They will find it hard to criticize it when the plan works as guaranteed.

ManpowerOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

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

According to a study carried out by the Société québécoise de développement de la main-d'oeuvre and submitted to a Quebec parliamentary commission in early April, for the 1995-1996 financial year, Quebec received from the federal government $1.1 billion for all its training programs and labour adjustment initiatives. However, the proposal introduced by the minister only provides for $1.95 billion for all of the provinces.

How does the minister explain that the proposal made to the province of Quebec involves payments way below what the federal government invested in 1995-1996 in training and labour adjustment programs?

ManpowerOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, when we address an issue as complex as the one the hon. member just raised, we realize that there will always be discussions about the money involved.

We can talk about the $2 billion announced when the proposal was made to the provinces, but there is also the $500 million paid to passive recipients of employment insurance.

There are also the programs financed by the consolidated fund. There is no doubt that in the weeks and months to come, if agreements are reached with the provinces, the negotiations over the money to be transferred will be quite tricky.

I believe that with some good will and transparency-because we will clearly indicate the money allocated to each program-not to mention that the provinces will insist upon it-we should be able to reach an agreement acceptable to all concerned.

ManpowerOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, I understand that the minister has admitted that the amount of 1.95 billion does not include, for Quebec, all the money spent last year on training and labour adjustment. It does not include, for example, the money coming from the consolidated fund.

I am glad to hear that because it means-and that will lead me to the question I want to ask-that the minister must bring money into the discussions.

Does the minister not realize that, if he does not bring money into the discussions, he will have undertaken an unemployment insurance reform that drastically cuts UI benefits under the pretext of increasing employment benefits, when in fact workers would be doubly penalized because they will have access to fewer labour adjustment initiatives?

ManpowerOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, from the question put by the hon. member, we can see how complex this whole issue is. We will have to work together and co-operate to find ways not only to spend the money allocated for these programs but also to determine how we are going to go about it.

In the commitment made by the Prime Minister and the government and the proposal made to the provinces, our goal is to work in good faith to try and find ways to ensure that the money spent goes to help the clients, which is after all the whole purpose of this exercise.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal Liberal Vancouver South, BC

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

Recently Vancouver proudly hosted a global conference sponsored by the International Centre on the Prevention of Crime. This conference gave rise to many excellent recommendations.

Considering Canadians spend $10 billion on the criminal justice system, could the minister tell the House if he intends to pursue any of the recommendations made at this conference?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the government has a deep commitment to crime prevention. We believe the way to have a

strong and effective justice system is to have tough criminal laws that are enforced carefully and to respect the importance of crime prevention through early intervention.

Some two years ago the solicitor general and I created the National Crime Prevention Council, which has been at work at our request developing a national strategy for crime prevention and preparing a catalogue of best practices in place throughout the country to share with municipalities wishing to start crime prevention programs.

The conference in Vancouver attracted international participants and we learned a great deal from their experience.

Crime prevention means recognizing the connection between social justice and criminal justice. That sometimes means spending money and doing things to intervene to get at the causes of crime to prevent it.

I hope the day is not far off when the government will act on the recommendations of the Horner committee, an all-party committee of the House, which four years ago recommended we devote 1 per cent of our total federal budget for courts, police and corrections for crime prevention. We are working toward that goal. I hope the day will come in the not too distant future when we can announce it.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Myron Thompson Reform Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, in 1984 there were 4,000 youth crimes reported in Canada. In 1994 there were 21,000. This is a 187 per cent increase since the implementation of the Young Offenders Act. Obviously it is not working. Every Canadian knows it is not working. Canadians are tired of hearing the minister is waiting for his committee.

How many more young criminals have to get away scot free, how many more young people have to be terrorized before the minister makes youth pay a price for these terrible crimes?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I know the hon. member feels strongly about this. I respect his concern. I also respect the work he does in the justice committee in this connection.

In terms of the increase in the number of crimes, one should approach those statistics with some caution. Yes, youth crime is up and, most troubling of all, violent youth crime is up. However, three-quarters of the so-called violent youth crime are level one common assaults, pushing and shoving and scuffling in the schoolyard which 15 or 20 years ago would never have come to the attention of police. Because of the change in the system, the reporting practices and zero tolerance they are turning up as statistics.

There is a challenge to face. The hon. member is a hard working and respected member of the very committee at work right now to

find ways to improve the Young Offenders Act so that we can better deal with that challenge. I urge the hon. member to continue in that important work so we can get on with improving the act.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Myron Thompson Reform Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for the butter up but it will not work.

For three years the minister has recognized this as being a problem and he has done nothing. He is hiding behind the standing committee.

On another thing he is hiding behind the standing committee. In August of this year child killer Clifford Olson will be applying for parole under the faint hope clause of section 745. Our last chance to abolish this clause is June 21.

Will the minister continue to hide behind the committee or will he eliminate this clause before Clifford Olson can apply?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as far as buttering up is concerned, I am in trouble on both sides of the House. My colleagues thought I went too far but I courageously stand by my words. I want the hon. member to know that.

Section 745, as the hon. member knows, has been discussed in the House and by the committee. We have taken note of the discussion, we have consulted broadly and we are now preparing proposals to bring forward to address this important question.

Pleasure CraftOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Bernier Bloc Gaspé, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

Last Thursday, the minister argued in this House that registering pleasure craft and charging fees for them would mean greater safety in pleasure boating. The Bloc Quebecois agrees that safety on the waterways is important, but we strongly question the real motives of the minister.

What services will the Coast Guard offer pedal boats, rowboats and canoes that warrant their paying a new tax of up to $35 annually?

Pleasure CraftOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Fred Mifflin LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, in response to the hon. member's question, which I know was serious, I remind him and the House there are 250 recreational boating accidents that end in fatality, 50 per cent of which occur in Ontario and Quebec.

These are issues we should concern ourselves with. It is exactly those issue that have caused the coast guard and my department to enter into a discussion with recreational organizations to make sure that things like life jackets and the material that smaller boats are made of are safetied, in particular in areas where we cannot provide the search and rescue facilities to respond to the well over 10,000 incidents we have in Canada during the year.

I understand where the hon. member is coming from but I have to tell him it is in response to serious business and it is for the protection of Canadians at large.

Pleasure CraftOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Bernier Bloc Gaspé, QC

Mr. Speaker, will the minister not acknowledge that the objective of safety he is hiding behind is nothing more than a pretext, because his real aim is to impose a hidden tax on pleasure boaters in order to bring in $14 million?

Pleasure CraftOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Fred Mifflin LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

No, Mr. Speaker, I am not intending to bring in a disguised tax. There will be some fees which will be negotiated with the organizations that are calling for these increased safety standards.

The name of the game is increased safety for Canadians. If this is the price, I think it is a good price to pay for the safety and the possible reduction in the loss of 250 lives, one being too many.

Canadian International Development AgencyOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Lee Morrison Reform Swift Current—Maple Creek—Assiniboia, SK

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister for International Co-operation.

Of the 20 top suppliers of service contracts to CIDA in 1995, 14, that is 70 per cent, had made donations in 1994 to the Liberal Party compared with less than 1 per cent of Canadian companies overall.

For example, in 1994 SNC Lavalin, Tecsault Inc., Cooper's & Lybrand and a few of their associates and subsidiaries collectively donated $137,000. In 1995 they snagged CIDA contracts with an aggregate value of $22.5 million. Is this a coincidence?