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House of Commons Hansard #19 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was fishery.

Topics

France-Quebec Agreement On Collection Of Support PaymentsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the secretary is very kind, but he must realize the Government of Canada is in the process of changing 20 years of international practice, because other agreements have already been signed and there is a way to approve them.

My question is for the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. I do not want him to dodge the issue, I would like him to answer. How can he base his position on an agreement that does not exist, that is, the one between Canada and France, thus denying women and children in Quebec their child support? How can he do that?

France-Quebec Agreement On Collection Of Support PaymentsOral 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, I have answered this question a number of times, and the answer is that Quebeckers can only have rights that have force in law in France under a treaty signed by two governments.

I would add one thing. The fact that things have dragged on so long is due to the partisanship of the other side.

France-Quebec Agreement On Collection Of Support PaymentsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

France-Quebec Agreement On Collection Of Support PaymentsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Liberal Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

We keep trying to practice empty-chair politics. Between 1994 and 1996, Canada negotiated with France, and the Quebec government refused to take part. Now it has tried to negotiate a parallel agreement, which cannot have force of law in France because of French, Canadian and international provisions.

Correctional ServiceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Myron Thompson Reform Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, we have some prison guards with us today, including Roy Tremblay. Roy recently was asked to relocate an inmate from one cell to another. In the process of moving this inmate and relocating him, he got poked with a needle. This inmate has full blown AIDS.

The guards have been after the system for days and days to provide them with puncture safety gloves, which it has failed to do. Will the solicitor general scrap his idea of a tattoo parlour for the cons and provide these guards with the material they need to do their jobs?

Correctional ServiceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I believe the entire Chamber is aware that I am very concerned for the employees of the Canadian corrections service. I think they do good work. I support them regularly. I will take under consideration the suggestion of the member.

Correctional ServiceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Myron Thompson Reform Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, they have been asking for these things for a long time. Talk is cheap. They had better turn the lights on in the second row as well.

A few days ago we were talking about knives and cleavers in the kitchen. Remember that? They heard the plea and guess what? They got some cord and they attached the knives and cleavers to the tables like we asked. Isn't that neat? The knives can cut the cord.

Will the solicitor general provide us today with some information that will say to the guards who are present that we will chain both of these knives to the tables so they cannot be turned into lethal weapons against the people who work there?

Correctional ServiceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the Union of Solicitor General Employees has brought the issue to the attention of the management of CSC and the knives have been attached to the tables.

Quebec-France Agreement On Support PaymentsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil, QC

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

In his desire to place the Quebec-France agreement on collection of support payments within an umbrella agreement, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs is creating a situation which is extremely prejudicial to the women and children of Quebec.

Will the minister confirm that the umbrella agreement under which he wishes to place the Quebec-France agreement contains no provisions for access to legal aid by Quebec women in the territory of France, as there is in the agreement between Quebec and France he is willfully blocking?

Quebec-France Agreement On Support PaymentsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra B.C.

Liberal

Ted McWhinney LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, there is an umbrella agreement between Canada and France on which there has been practice for 30 years. The juridical force of judgments of Canadian courts in France depends on this umbrella agreement.

Without an agreement between Quebec and France being concluded within the framework of that agreement, no judgments of Canadian courts can be applied in France.

Therefore, it is the single mothers and their children of Canada who cannot receive payments in France because the Quebec government will not conform to the agreement.

Quebec-France Agreement On Support PaymentsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, once again we see clearly that the Liberal government understands nothing, and women will be the ones hurt by this policy.

Can the minister confirm that the umbrella agreement to which he wishes to subordinate the agreement entered into by Quebec and France calls for a period of limitation for collecting support payments which gives women fewer rights than the one negotiated between Quebec and France?

Quebec-France Agreement On Support PaymentsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra B.C.

Liberal

Ted McWhinney LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Government of France in its communication of October 21 made it clear that the preliminary approval of Canada is necessary for any agreement between Quebec and France to have force in international law.

It is the Quebec government that is preventing single mothers and their children from receiving their benefits in France.

National Parole BoardOral Question Period

October 23rd, 1997 / 2:40 p.m.

Reform

Garry Breitkreuz Reform Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, the solicitor general admitted that the parole board is responsible to no one. Here is an example.

In 1986 school teacher Robert Noyes was sentenced to an indefinite term and declared a dangerous offender after pleading guilty to 19 charges of molesting children in British Columbia. Mr. Noyes' victims have learned that this dangerous pedophile has been granted unescorted temporary absences from his Quebec prison.

Can the solicitor general explain why he has placed the community at risk?

National Parole BoardOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I have said a number of times, the National Parole Board is an arm's length organization. Were I to interfere with its decisions, members opposite would be telling me that it was ministerial interference.

The reality is that the National Parole Board is guided by the interests of public safety. Safety is served by a gradual release system and that is what it pursues.

National Parole BoardOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Garry Breitkreuz Reform Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, the lights are still not on in the second row.

During a parole hearing Mr. Noyes confessed to having at least 60 victims and hundreds of incidents of abuse. He has been diagnosed an incurable pedophile by Correctional Service Canada.

How can the solicitor general sleep at night when he knows he is responsible for letting dangerous pedophiles out on the street, or doesn't he think he is responsible?

National Parole BoardOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, it is an important principle to understand that the National Parole Board makes decisions based on public safety issues with the best advice and information it has available at the time. It is very important to recognize that a gradual release program is the most effective way to guarantee public safety.

National Parole BoardOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

I know all hon. members would want to hear the questions as well as the responses.

Airport SecurityOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, recently, when we asked the Minister of Transport why the RCMP was still present at the Dorval and Mirabel airports, his answer was that the situation was a temporary one.

My question is for the Minister of Transport. Can he explain why Ottawa has reversed it decision regarding the RCMP's presence in Montreal, when ADM and the Sûreté du Québec were on the point of reaching an agreement? Why? That is clear.

Airport SecurityOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I explained that renovations are being done at Dorval airport. It is a period of change and we are going to leave the RCMP there for the time being.

Nuclear SafetyOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Liberal Pickering—Ajax—Uxbridge, ON

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

Quite recently residents of Pickering have been very concerned about the lack of safety measures that exist at their nuclear facility.

Although the Government of Ontario has primary responsibility for this facility, could the Minister of Natural Resources assure my constituents that the Atomic Energy Control Board of Canada is on top of these rather troubling developments and will insist on corrective action to ensure the plant's very safe operation?

Nuclear SafetyOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, the primary operational responsibility obviously rests with Ontario Hydro, which is a provincial crown corporation. Regulatory matters in relation to nuclear safety are in the professional hands of the atomic energy control board. I have met with the chair of the board and I have been assured of the board's solid handle on the safety issues pertaining to Ontario Hydro.

The board is closely monitoring the situation with both on site and off site surveillance. That monitoring led to the original wake-up call to Ontario Hydro that has brought the matter to public attention and remedial action and, yes, if further action is warranted the control board will—

Nuclear SafetyOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Blackstrap.

PenitentiariesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Allan Kerpan Reform Blackstrap, SK

Mr. Speaker, here is another example of what guards face every day. Despite spending $50 million to retrofit Kingston Penitentiary, Correctional Service Canada has put guards at further risk by implementing a locking system which effectively gives inmates the keys to their own cells.

In Bowden, Alberta, inmates are given and do hold the keys to their own cells. Is this a mistake or does the solicitor general honestly believe that inmates in a penitentiary can be trusted to lock themselves in?

PenitentiariesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, it is important for everybody to note that Correctional Service Canada, the National Parole Board and the Ministry of the Solicitor General are all driven by the interests of public safety.

All evidence shows that the best way to deal with public safety in a corrections system is a gradual controlled release system, which is what we are engaged in.

PenitentiariesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Allan Kerpan Reform Blackstrap, SK

Mr. Speaker, I can see in the second row that the lights are on but no one is home.

By not having a secure locking system the solicitor general is leaving the door open for trouble, for assaults and for riots at Kingston.

This week the emergency response team was called on four times because surprise, surprise, the inmates refused to lock themselves in. What will the solicitor general do to change this preposterous system?