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 #35 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was devco.

Topics

Inmate Security RatingOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Bloc Charlesbourg, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Solicitor General.

On October 31, 1997, in a letter to the president of the Conseil des travailleurs et des travailleuses du Québec, Quebec's Solicitor General Jacques Chamberland indicated that a new inmate security rating scale was under development.

Since we know that a process to review security ratings was initiated more than two years ago, can the minister tell us when the new policy will come into effect?

Inmate Security RatingOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, in fact I have met with the president of the union on questions of safety very often. We will be acting on those recommendations shortly.

Inmate Security RatingOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Bloc Charlesbourg, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the same letter, the minister said that there was a level of danger and risk attached to working in Quebec's penal institutions.

How can the Solicitor General justify the fact that, in Donnacona, from December to March, outer towers may be unmanned after 8 p.m., which means there will be no supervision outside?

Inmate Security RatingOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, these are penitentiaries and there is a safety question because they are facilities designed to deal with that. That is the reason we have introduced a number of safety features, very successfully, having to do with ion scanners, detectors, two-way radios. Any number of safety features have been introduced lately and it is very important for the protection of our employees.

Krever InquiryOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Reform

Maurice Vellacott Reform Wanuskewin, SK

Mr. Speaker, today Canada's foremost expert on the tainted blood scandal, Justice Horace Krever, submits his final report on this, the worst public health tragedy in Canadian history.

The current health minister is the very same minister who blocked Krever in the courts, withheld vital documents from Krever and obstructed Krever at every turn.

Given the deplorable record of the Minister of Health in obstructing the Krever commission, how can Canadians have any faith that this minister will heed the recommendations in Krever's report?

Krever InquiryOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is profoundly wrong. The Government of Canada went to the federal court at first instance in order to assert important principles having to do with findings of wrongdoing against former federal officials.

Our position prevailed. We were found to be right. We then dropped out of the litigation and it went to the Federal Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada without our involvement.

The hon. member is wrong.

As to the Krever report, we have been awaiting it a long time and we look forward to receiving it today.

Krever InquiryOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Reform

Maurice Vellacott Reform Wanuskewin, SK

Mr. Speaker, forgive me for my scepticism on this matter. Two days ago on the floor of the House this minister could not even keep a straight face when he postured about keeping commitments with respect to Canadian health.

Randy Conners and a number of others have died. These are precious people who have died while this minister obstructed Justice Krever.

Given this health minister's obstructionist record, how can Canadians have any faith that he will implement Krever's recommendations?

Krever InquiryOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, how will Canadians who are watching this performance have any respect for a political process when a member of Parliament refuses to accept fact and insists on trafficking in fiction? That is nonsense. We did anything but obstruct the Krever commission.

We look forward to the report and as soon as we get it we will continue with his recommendations in our work of ensuring that the blood system is the best blood system in the world.

Krever InquiryOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I remind hon. members that it is useful for the Chair to be able to hear the questions and the answers.

Canada Post CorporationOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the minister responsible for the Canada Post Corporation.

In spite of the minister's untimely statements that special legislation would be passed in case of a strike, it seems that the two sides are still negotiating and might reach a settlement in the next few days.

Can the minister tell us about the progress made and will he reaffirm his commitment not to get involved in the postal conflict and let the two sides negotiate in good faith?

Canada Post CorporationOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to inform the hon. member and the House that negotiations are continuing.

We hope they will continue through the weekend and that a negotiated settlement will be reached, so that by Monday all Canadians will get their mail.

Canada Post CorporationOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, the threat of privatization is hanging over Canada Post like a dark cloud.

If the government has nothing to hide regarding this issue, will the minister tell us when he will release the full report prepared by TD Securities on Canada Post, in April?

Canada Post CorporationOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, on several occasions, my predecessor, myself and other members of the government have clearly said that the government has no intention of privatizing the Canada Post Corporation.

As far as we are concerned, all necessary documents have been made public, as required.

The SenateOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Reform

Darrel Stinson Reform Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, the prime minister has showed that he has finally had enough. He raised the attendance bar for senators to 2.2%, and Senator Thompson tripped over it. Does he have any intention of raising the Senate attendance bar even higher, say to 5%, to 10% or how about a mind boggling 20%?

The SenateOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I see the Reform Party is endorsing the position taken with respect to Senator Thompson. We appreciate its support.

However, the question he has asked deals with matters involving the commission of internal economy of the Senate and I am sure that the senators will take note of his very interesting question.

The SenateOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Reform

Darrel Stinson Reform Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, getting kicked out of the Liberal caucus is more of a reward than a punishment. Now the senator does not need to fight any feelings of guilt for missing the caucus meetings while he is wasting away in Margaritaville.

The prime minister claims the right of appointing senators. Will he do Canadian taxpayers a favour and give senators who collect their salary but do not show up for work a dis-appoint?

The SenateOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, my hon. friend is asking for an amendment to the Constitution. It is a very interesting suggestion. I would say that hopefully if some day we have an elected Senate it will not be, as Reform requests, election for life but will also involve the potential of unelection through the decision of the public.

At least we know now that the hon. member has confirmed the position of another colleague of his when it came to policy. The member for Athabasca said on another matter, and this applies here: “Our position is unimportant”. That is the Reform position on everything.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

11:35 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.

Everyone agrees that EI premium rates are much too high, and that a large percentage of premiums is diverted away from its primary purpose, which is the protection of unemployed workers.

What is the government waiting for to announce a significant reduction in EI premium rates?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I met the Minister of Finance several times this week.

I am very pleased to tell the House that rates will be reduced from $2.90 in 1997 to $2.70 on January 1, 1998, meaning that we are going to accelerate the process in order to introduce on January 1, 1998 the rate we had forecast for 1999.

This is the fourth year in a row that this government has lowered EI premium rates.

EmploymentOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, the economy grew at an annualized rate of 4.9% in the second quarter of this year. Interests rates are at 30 year lows. The economy is creating jobs at twice its normal rate. Yet not all Canadians are participating in this economic recovery. The unemployment rate remains stubbornly high at 9.1%

Would the finance minister tell Canadians why this rate is so high while other parts of the economy are prospering.

EmploymentOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the unemployment rate has come down substantially since we have taken office. There is no doubt that the Canadian economy continues to feel the trauma of the recession of the early 1990s.

Given the kind of news the minister of human resources has just announced, every single year since we have taken office unemployment insurance rates have come down. This represents a tax cut of $1.4 billion.

At the same time the unprecedented clean-up of the ballot sheet has led to a lowering—

EmploymentOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca.

ApecOral Question Period

November 21st, 1997 / 11:40 a.m.

Reform

Keith Martin Reform Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, British Columbia is very happy to host the APEC summit, but Canadians are not happy when trade is done at the expense of human rights.

Some of the worst abusers of human rights are coming to British Columbia. This issue has been swept under the red carpet.

We want to know whether the prime minister is going to publicly bring up the issue of human rights at the APEC Summit.

ApecOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Edmonton Southeast Alberta

Liberal

David Kilgour LiberalSecretary of State (Latin America and Africa)

Mr. Speaker, human rights are very important to this government, as I hope the member knows.

The summit deals with economic issues. We deal on a bilateral issue on human rights issues, as the member knows. The government is helping to sponsor the people's summit which will be dealing with human rights and other issues of concern to the member and all Canadians.

ApecOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Reform

Keith Martin Reform Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, as the member honestly knows, human rights and trade are two halves of the same whole. They cannot be separated.

Canadians are fed up with human rights being chatted with a whisper behind closed doors, as the prime minister has done before. Canadians want this government to stand up to its convictions and talk about human rights publicly.

Again, will the prime minister publicly debate and call for a public discussion on humans rights at the APEC summit?