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House of Commons Hansard #25 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was decision.

Topics

Closure Of Bc MineOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

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

The minister said this morning that the union did not want POWA in the case of the asbestos mine. In a letter sent yesterday, October 30, the president of the union said, and I quote:

POWA in whatever form—amended, improved, destandardized—to repeat various adjectives used by various people, would no doubt meet our workers' expectations.

Is the minister prepared or is he not to act on what the workers want?

Closure Of Bc MineOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I met workers' representatives on Wednesday afternoon and they told me very clearly in my office, looking me squarely in the eye, that POWA did not interest them.

So do not go asking me to give them something they have said they do not want. I have not yet seen yesterday's letter. I will consider it when I receive it. If the union prefers to deal with the Bloc Quebecois rather than me, that is fine. They will see what sort of service they get.

Customs ActOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Stan Dromisky Liberal Thunder Bay—Atikokan, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the solicitor general tabled a bill that will give customs officers the power to detain and arrest persons for Criminal Code offences.

In light of the fact that we have over 100 million border crossings per year, does the Minister of National Revenue really believe the bill will result in safer Canadian communities? If so, how?

Customs ActOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, yesterday Bill C-18 was introduced in the House. It will provide additional powers to our customs officers.

I am confident the bill will be supported by all members of the House because it provides powers to the customs officers to detain and arrest people who may be involved in criminalities such as impaired driving, child abduction, possession of stolen goods, or people who may have arrests outstanding.

This is another important initiative for the government on improving public safety and building safe homes and safe streets. I am very proud of what the government has done.

Employment Insurance FundOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Jean Charest Progressive Conservative Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Human Resources Development, who the other night came before the Standing Committee on Finance with his colleague, the Minister of Finance.

For the first time, the Minister of Finance admitted before the committee that the government was using the EI fund to reduce the Canadian government deficit. The minister has a responsibility regarding this fund.

I would like to know why he lets his government use the employment insurance money belonging to the workers to reduce the Canadian deficit.

Employment Insurance FundOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, what the Minister of Finance recognized the other day is that we have a very responsible attitude toward the EI fund.

You will recall that, in the government of which the Conservative leader was a member, a $2 billion surplus in the EI fund suddenly turned into a $6 billion deficit. As a result, the government then in power had to raise premiums by 30% at the height of the recession, thus creating more unemployment.

We have a different and much more responsible approach.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

October 31st, 1997 / 11:55 a.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Earlier this week the Chinese government eliminated Hong Kong laws which guaranteed freedom of association for workers. While Wei Jing Sheng remains in prison human rights are trampled in Tibet and elsewhere and China continues its Neanderthal policies on Taiwan.

I have a question for the minister. Especially given Canada's shameful abstention on China at the UN Human Rights Commission, will the minister condemn the recent suppression of workers rights in Hong Kong? Will he ensure the House the Prime Minister will raise with the President of China the appalling human rights situation in China?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, once again the hon. member's information is wrong. We did not abstain. We in fact voted for the resolution on China. He should correct his history.

As I explained earlier in the House, we have established a very distinctive arrangement now with the Chinese to engage in an ongoing dialogue on human rights on a regular basis. Through that mechanism we have now been able to engage them on the question of political prisoners.

We have raised questions on Tibet in Hong Kong. In fact, we are now investing directly in programs in China to improve the legal system to help women and to try to improve the acceptance of the NGOs—

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

Noon

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

On that note, we will bring question period to a close.

Presence In The GalleryOral Question Period

Noon

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

I wish to draw to members' attention the presence in the gallery of Mr. Tom Spencer, member of the European Parliament.

Presence In The GalleryOral Question Period

Noon

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

PrivilegeOral Question Period

Noon

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Bloc Rimouski—Mitis, QC

Mr. Speaker, I seek the unanimous consent of the House to table a letter addressed to the Minister of Human Resources Development, because the minister misled the House.

The Minister of Human Resources Development received a letter from the union, which wants to put in writing the content of the discussions. So as to avoid any misunderstanding, the union put in writing what was discussed when they met with the minister. The two sides did talk about an improved POWA. The letter was addressed to the minister, who misled the House.

I seek the unanimous consent of the House to table the letter addressed to Mr. Pettigrew.

PrivilegeOral Question Period

Noon

Liberal

Bob Kilger Liberal Stormont—Dundas, ON

Mr. Speaker, with all due respect to the hon. member opposite, I think first of all that accusing the minister of misleading the House is unparliamentary—I see that the Minister of Human Resources Development is in the House, so he may want to take part in the debate.

PrivilegeOral Question Period

Noon

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Yes, Mr. Speaker, this is going too far. The member for Rimouski—Mitis may very well have a letter dated October 30 and addressed to me, but I can assure you that I never misled the House when I said I had not yet read that letter.

There is a limit to making such claims. The member claims I misled the House, but I want to make it clear that I did not do so in any way.

The member for Rimouski—Mitis should apologize for what she just said.

PrivilegeOral Question Period

Noon

Progressive Conservative

Jean Charest Progressive Conservative Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, I can perhaps help shed some light on the debate, to move things ahead.

The member, on a question of privilege or a point of order, is asking that a letter sent to the minister be tabled. I am certain the minister has no objection whatsoever to the letter being made public, in the interests of transparency for all members of the House, which will help us to proceed with the debate.

PrivilegeOral Question Period

Noon

An hon. member

That is another matter.

PrivilegeOral Question Period

Noon

Progressive Conservative

Jean Charest Progressive Conservative Sherbrooke, QC

No, it is not. The member is saying that that is another matter, but it is the crux of the matter.

Unanimous consent is being sought. On behalf of the members of my party, I offer that consent. That is the first question asked of the House, the question to which we must reply.

After what the minister has just told us, I can hardly see him objecting to tabling the letter after unanimous consent. That would be a complete contradiction.

PrivilegeOral Question Period

Noon

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

Order. The hon. member for Rimouski—Mitis is requesting unanimous consent to table a letter. Does the member have unanimous consent?

PrivilegeOral Question Period

Noon

Some hon. members

Agreed.

PrivilegeOral Question Period

Noon

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

The hon. member may table the letter.

Criminal CodeRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Reform

Art Hanger Reform Calgary Northeast, AB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-269, an act to amend the Criminal Code (no parole when imprisoned for life).

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to be able to reintroduce this private member's bill. It amends certain provisions of the Criminal Code relating to life imprisonment. It will eliminate any provision for early parole, early release or parole eligibility for a criminal who is sentenced to life.

For the families of victims, knowing that the offender will never walk the streets again as a free person will bring a sense of relief and an element of closure to a sad chapter in their lives.

My bill sends a clear message to murders that if you take the life of another, you will be locked away for the remainder of your natural life. Life will mean life.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Liberal

Peter Adams LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I suggest that all questions be allowed to stand.

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

Is that agreed?

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

The House resumed consideration of the motion: That Bill C-16, an Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Interpretation Act (powers to arrest and enter dwellings), be read the second time and referred to a committee.