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House of Commons Hansard #144 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was copyright.

Topics

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

Dear colleagues, the hon. member used the word "lied", but he did not say that the minister had lied. Nonetheless, I would prefer that such words not be used.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young LiberalMinister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, obviously it is disappointing for everyone when courses are changed along the way.

I have explained to my hon. colleague that, under the circumstances, where it can be shown that the changes had an effect, the government should look closely at the situation. Each case must be decided on its own merits. I am prepared to review the cases the hon. member would care to put before me and the department.

But I would explain to him that a person who has agreed to take courses in a civilian institution must honour the debts he has incurred or the commitments he has made if he decides to leave the institution because he is dissatisfied or because the courses have changed.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Reform Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, on April 1, 1993, while he was still in opposition, the Prime Minister was quoted as saying: "Canadians have reached the saturation level with respect to taxation". Yet the reality is that since his Liberals have come to power the average Canadian family has suffered a $3,000 pay cut because of the government's tax hikes.

Did the Prime Minister really mean what he said when he was in opposition or was he just pulling a cruel April fool's joke on the Canadian people?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member can stand in this House and spout nonsense all he wants, but it is still going to be nonsense, no matter how much he repeats it.

There has been an increase in the government's revenues. That increase has occurred overwhelmingly as a result of economic activity, which is exactly what anybody should want.

At the same time there has been a tremendous reduction in the cost that consumers have to pay for refrigerators, for houses and for cars. It is estimated by most economists that over $5 billion in additional purchasing power has gone back into the hands of Canadians as a result of the actions of the government. The hon. member ought to recognize that.

There is not much use of me standing in the House and responding to nonsense. What I would really ask is that the Reform Party's researchers go back and come up with the odd question that reflects the economic realities.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Reform Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, if there is anyone in the House spouting nonsense, it is the hon. minister.

We constantly hear about how good low interest rates are. What good are low interest rates to the unemployed? When was the last time the minister heard of a bank manager approving a loan or a mortgage for someone who does not have a job?

There are 1.5 million people out of work in Canada. Unemployment has remained high ever since the Liberal government came to power. Even though in other countries unemployment rates have been decreasing over the last two years, it has become a distinctly Canadian problem.

When will the government members get it through their heads that high taxes cost Canadians jobs?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, this is not a distinctly Canadian problem. There is no doubt that the government is not happy with the level of unemployment. It is for that reason we brought in programs to help youth unemployment, programs to help our exports and programs to help small and medium size businesses.

In terms of the world, and the Prime Minister has said it, outside of the United States, if we look at the G-7, we have stronger job creation than any of those countries. We have done very well.

That does not mean we are happy. That does not mean we will rest as long as there is one Canadian unemployed. This government will work on it.

Where was the Reform Party three years ago, two years ago and one year ago? Every day in the House its members stood and said cut, gouge, slash, burn, ignore health care, ignore unemployment. We on this side said that we would not do that. We will protect the Canadian worker. We will protect the Canadian social fabric. The Reform Party ought to recognize that.

IsraelOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Maud Debien Bloc Laval East, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Deputy Prime Minister.

The Middle East peace process is in crisis. After announcing plans to build a new Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem, an occupied territory since 1967, the Israeli government has just decided that it would return only 9 per cent of the West Bank territories, rather than the 30 per cent expected by Palestinian authorities.

With senseless violence breaking out once again, can the Deputy Prime Minister tell us Canada's position following Israel's an-

nouncement that it would withdraw from only 9 per cent of the West Bank territories, and would continue building settlements.

IsraelOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Northumberland Ontario

Liberal

Christine Stewart LiberalSecretary of State (Latin America and Africa)

Mr. Speaker, Canada continues to be very committed to the peace process in the Middle East and we encourage all parties to the process to remain committed themselves.

We experienced today a very unfortunate incident in the Middle East and we send our condolences through Mr. Netanyahu of Israel to the families of the victims. With him we wish that the rhetoric in the Middle East were diminished to avoid these kinds of unacceptable incidents.

Just to say that Canada does remain committed to the peace process, we are not in a position to demand that Israel take certain actions but we feel that through dialogue and negotiation peace can prevail in that region.

IsraelOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Maud Debien Bloc Laval East, QC

Mr. Speaker, the secretary of state did not exactly answer my question.

I asked her what Canada's position was following Israel's announcement that it would withdraw. We can all say what we would like to see and offer condolences, but this does not sort out the immediate problem.

Because I was unable to get an answer on Canada's specific position regarding Israel's withdrawal, I would like to ask the secretary of state if she can assure us that the government will do everything in its power to bring an end to the cycle of violence and to help salvage the peace process, before it is too late.

IsraelOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Northumberland Ontario

Liberal

Christine Stewart LiberalSecretary of State (Latin America and Africa)

Mr. Speaker, as I said, Canada does remain committed to supporting the peace process in the Middle East.

When the parties to the conflict have negotiated solutions we would hope in the name of peace that they stick to their own commitments.

We with the international community are concerned when there are deviations to the negotiated settlements and we would hope that they will remain at the table to overcome their differences and assure the world community that peace will come to the region.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Myron Thompson Reform Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, in today's Ottawa Sun Gary Rosenfeldt, who is with us today, whose

son Daryn was one of Olson's victims, said: "We don't feel [Reformers] are exploiting us at all. They are the ones standing up for us, speaking out for us. If there is anyone who is exploiting this situation it is the justice minister. He is the one who should be ashamed. We are confident that all Canadians will remember that Clifford Olson's platform was built and maintained by the Liberal Party of Canada".

Being as the Liberals voted not to apologize, just what does the Prime Minister have to say to these victims today?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Prince Albert—Churchill River Saskatchewan

Liberal

Gordon Kirkby LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question.

The Minister of Justice has met with many people who have lost loved ones and friends. It is out of respect to these loved ones and friends and out of respect to the victims that certain changes have been made to section 745 of the Criminal Code.

First, the code was changed to allow for victim impact statements in these hearings. Second, there was a change to prohibit serial or multiple murderers from making use of this application. It was also changed to put in a screening process so that frivolous applications would not be allowed. Third, it was changed to ensure that the jury verdict had to be unanimous in order for an applicant to receive a reduction in parole ineligibility.

Finally, the minister has sent letters to his provincial counterparts requiring that all prosecutors tell people who have lost loved ones exactly what the circumstances of section 745 are at the time of sentencing.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Myron Thompson Reform Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, when we refer to a rinky-dink finance minister we should refer to a Tinkerbell justice minister. Tinkering around with this stuff is not the answer.

Two days ago on "Canada AM" Jana Rosenfeldt, the sister of one of Olson's victims, said: "Actually we met with the justice minister last year. He had a chance to stop this. He basically spit on the graves of all these kids. He had a chance to stop it, he left it to the last day in Parliament and of course it didn't go through. I blame him".

Ms. Rosenfeldt is referring to Bill C-45. Why did this government not move immediately to ensure that Jana Rosenfeldt and the families of other victims did not have to relive their nightmares by listening to Clifford Olson?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Prince Albert—Churchill River Saskatchewan

Liberal

Gordon Kirkby LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, what I view as absolutely appalling about the situation is that the hon. members of the Reform Party indicate to these people who have lost loved ones tragically as a result of crimes that if section

745 could somehow be removed from the Criminal Code in the future they would not have to undergo the trauma of these hearings.

I have news for Reformers. Why do they not tell the victims of crime the truth? If this section were removed from the Criminal Code today all people who are in the system already could still apply up to 25 years in the future. That is the abuse of the victims.

Government ProgramsOral Question Period

March 13th, 1997 / 2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre De Savoye Bloc Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Tuesday March 4, at 4.30 p.m., a company in the process of setting up operations in my riding learned from the mouth of the president of the local Liberal Party of Canada association herself that it would be receiving over $50,000 in grants, and learned this less than an hour after the minister had signed his agreement. The following day, the offices of the Minister of Human Resources Development and the President of Treasury Board released to the press certain confidential information on the business plan of that company.

Can the Minister of Human Resources Development, or the President of Treasury Board, explain in this House how it happens that, on the eve of an election, the Liberal riding president,Mrs. Mathieu, is the one to announce grants to the riding of Portneuf, on behalf of the government?

Government ProgramsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, I am not familiar with the facts referred to. I would ask my hon. colleague to provide them to me.

However, I believe that, if there any accusations to be made about MPs who have revealed infrastructure program projects before all parties have approved them, these would be directed to the party across the way.

Government ProgramsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre De Savoye Bloc Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, to set things straight, first of all, the fund involved was the transition job creation fund. Second, the money does not come from the Liberal Party, but from the people. What I am referring to is not a favour from the Liberal Party, but application of a non-partisan government program. You will have understood, what we are talking about here is political morality.

I am asking my question of the minister, who has just opened the door to me. Yes, I will provide the information, and does he commit, in this House, to investigating his own department and that of his colleague in Human Resources Development, to find out how information provided confidentially to a departmental employee ended up in the newspapers?

Government ProgramsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, I will look into the facts once I have them, in order to see if there are any grounds whatsoever for what the opposition member is claiming.

I wish to repeat here that, no matter what the program, if one wants to find examples of the people's money being given out for partisan purposes, these will be found in the party of the opposition.

Grand RapidsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Elijah Harper Liberal Churchill, MB

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

The community of Grand Rapids is located north of the 53rd parallel and is a four hour drive north of Winnipeg. In 1990 the Mulroney government decided that Grand Rapids was a southern community and that taxpayers there did not qualify for the northern tax benefit. The full impact of this Tory decision has been felt for over a year now.

Will the minister listen to the people of Grand Rapids and consider changes to the northern tax zones?

Grand RapidsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Churchill for his question. He has been a very fervent advocate for northern residents on this issue. I have certainly appreciated his efforts and I will continue to listen to him and indeed to the residents.

I should, however, like to provide some history on the topic. The current northern resident reduction was implemented in 1991 following the report of a task force that was set up. It concluded that the original community based approach was unfair and unworkable. It proposed that only residents of broad northern intermediate zones receive tax benefits. These zones were defined using objective criteria relating to both environmental factors and community characteristics.

While I appreciate that members of the community may well be disappointed, they were set up on the basis of an objective system which was regarded to be substantially superior to the old system which was much more subjective.

Somalia InquiryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Jack Frazer Reform Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, previous allegations and recent testimony before the Somalia inquiry leave many serious unanswered questions about decisions made and actions taken at senior levels in the defence department.

Neither the committee of four nor the military justice review can resolve responsibility or culpability of the individuals concerned. With the inquiry terminated, serious issues will be left hanging.

How does the minister intend to overcome the loss of trust that comes with the perception that senior leadership has escaped investigation?

Somalia InquiryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young LiberalMinister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I have indicated in the past to the hon. gentleman who brings a great deal of knowledge to the way the Canadian forces work that obviously I would not be able to comment on the way the commission of inquiry conducted its agenda or relate to the specific testimony of any witnesses.

However, I want to thank the hon. member and his party. I have been looking for input because he asked how we could deal with some of the problems and challenges facing the Canadian forces.

Finally, I have a document that I gather is from the Reform Party called "The Right Balance" by Andrew Davies who I understand is a candidate for the Reform Party. In his article he asks what is wrong with the Canadian forces. I encourage Canadians to read this article because it is input from the Reform Party on what it thinks is wrong with the Canadian forces and what it thinks some of the solutions would be. It is very illuminating and I would be happy to table this document.

Somalia InquiryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Jack Frazer Reform Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I did not hear an answer to my question. I was not talking about the Somalia inquiry. I was asking what the minister intends to do to restore trust in the Canadian forces by completing this investigation. Without full disclosure, these issues will never be resolved. This is far from being in the best interest of the defence department or the Canadian forces.

How do we fix something if we do not know what is broken? The inquiry was following terms of reference laid down by this government. Having disrupted that process, does the minister now intend to let the matter just drop and hope it will go away?

Somalia InquiryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young LiberalMinister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, obviously I think it will be a very long time before the very deep wounds that were inflicted on the Canadian forces and its reputation go away.

However, I do think we have to begin the healing process and put in place the corrective measures that are required to ensure that this kind of situation does not occur again.

With respect to that, we have asked a retired chief justice of the Supreme Court, Brian Dickson, to bring to the government and to the people of Canada specific recommendations, and they are wide ranging, with respect to the reform of the military justice system and the military police and their role.

In addition, we will be submitting to the government and to the Canadian people a wide ranging set of recommendations with respect to how we can deal with problems and challenges facing the Canadian forces. We will do that before the end of March, as I undertook to do on December 31. Then the Canadian people will be able to see what people who are serious about the future of the Canadian forces have done and proposed.