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House of Commons Hansard #145 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was consumers.

Topics

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Jean H. Leroux Bloc Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister has shown his ignorance in this respect.

Is the minister prepared to make a commitment, as of today or at least as soon as possible, to do what is necessary to remedy the situation and provide equal treatment to 20,000 members of the reserve by removing this unfair and inequitable exclusion?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young LiberalMinister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it is unfortunate that a question such as this which is rather technical and concerns a group of people who are very important to us at the Department of National Defence, should be asked without prior notice, because otherwise we could have checked all aspects of the legislation.

As members know, very few members or ministers in this House are in a position to know every detail of every act, however complex it may be.

I can assure the hon. member that the government is doing what it can to encourage people in the public service to participate, if they so wish, in the activities of the reserve or the militia. We want to do everything we can to encourage Canadians who are interested, because we are increasing the membership from 20,000 to 30,000.

I can assure the hon. member, as the Minister of Resources Development just did, that we are doing everything we can to be fair and equitable to everyone who needs employment insurance.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Garry Breitkreuz Reform Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, a week ago today the hon. member for Saskatoon-Dundurn said in this House: "Everybody knows Clifford Olson will not be granted parole".

I would like to ask the Minister of Justice if he agrees with this former chair of the justice committee. If so, why is he allowing Clifford Olson to terrorize his victims over and over again?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the application brought by Clifford Olson will be determined by a jury in a courtroom in British Columbia in the months ahead.

In the last three and a half years that it has been my privilege to be Minister of Justice, I have made it my business to meet as often as I can with those who survive and grieve the loss of victims of crime. One thing I have learned about that process and the victims of crime is that it is terribly important not only to sympathize with them and their terrible grief but to be honest with them. I know the hon. member would want to be honest with the victims of crime.

It should be remembered that it is not the present government that created section 745. Section 745 has been part of the criminal law of this country since 1976. It is this government that introduced

important changes to section 745 so that multiple murderers will never be able to apply in the future, so that juries will have to be unanimous, so that judges will first screen even those applications that can be brought.

My point is let us be honest about what is going on. There was no easy way to roll back Clifford Olson's right to apply under section 745. We have taken care of the section for the future. When we introduced those changes the hon. member and his party voted against them.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Garry Breitkreuz Reform Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, I remind this House that it was Liberals who brought in section 745.

Are the Liberals trying to rehabilitate Clifford Olson by allowing him telephones, fax machines, word processors and early parole? Are you trying to rehabilitate-

JusticeOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

Colleagues, please be sure to address your questions to the Speaker.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the fate of Clifford Olson and his application, as I have already said, will be determined by a jury in the courtroom. That is where such matters should be dealt with.

I want to be clear in response to the hon. member's more general inquiry. This government has on many justice issues stood four square with victims of crime. Victims of crime were in this very building the day that Bill C-68 came up for a vote in the House of Commons, the gun control bill. My hon. colleague and his fellow members of the Reform Party voted against the gun control bill.

Victims of crime were one floor away in tears as they recalled their tragedies. They implored the members of the Reform Party to vote for gun control, and the members of the Reform Party voted against it. This government stood with the victims. The government stood with the victims when it amended the Young Offenders Act to provide for victim impact statements at sentencing, and the Reform Party voted against it.

Let me close by saying that at times there have been differences with victims on matters of principle, but victims know the government stands with them in strengthening the criminal law of the country.

North Atlantic Treaty OrganizationOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Jesse Flis Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

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

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization will meet in Madrid this summer to decide on the entry of new members to the alliance. Could the minister tell the House how the Canadian government will decide its position on NATO enlargement and how he sees NATO enlargement reinforcing European security?

North Atlantic Treaty OrganizationOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for the question and take the opportunity, in light of his recent statement about voluntary retirement, to pay special tribute and to say thanks for the major contribution he has made to Canadian foreign policy over the years.

North Atlantic Treaty OrganizationOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

North Atlantic Treaty OrganizationOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

As parliamentary secretary and chairman of the defence board he has played a major role, particularly in his concern about applying standards of security and democracy in central and eastern Europe.

On the specific question, the Prime Minister has taken a very strong position in relation to the broadest and widest application of membership. That is now being discussed in certain circles.

We have also supported the notion of a special arrangement with Russia. Just a week ago in a meeting with the Prime Minister the Ukrainian foreign minister was given the assurance of a special relationship with Ukraine.

All these initiatives support the initiatives the member has taken over the years to ensure that Canada has an important role to play in the expansion of democracy in eastern Europe.

TransportOral Question Period

3 p.m.

NDP

Vic Althouse NDP Mackenzie, SK

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

In moving grain to the west coast it is obvious the railways have failed to perform. Yet they bear no responsibility. The $65 million of losses due to demurrage and non-performance of contract are borne by farmers. Non-performance is not the fault of farmers, of grain companies or of grain handlers. Only the railways were responsible.

Does the government now realize this and is it prepared to amend the Transport Act to rebalance the relationship between shippers and railways by including the right of shippers to performance guarantees with appropriate penalties for poor rail performance?

TransportOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to report to the House that there have been very dramatic improvements in the shipment of grain to the coast. Rail car unloads for the last week for which I have figures were at 4,500 cars as compared to under 4,000 for the previous week.

Things are improving and I hope we will soon have the backlog dealt with. There is a reduction in the ships waiting on the west coast from 39 to 30.

However I have been requested by the ministers of transportation of three of the four western provinces to look into the issue by way of an inquiry. I am in discussion with them on whether that is

the best approach. Our objective in government is to make sure we come up with new approaches which will prevent the types of delays we had this winter.

This will take the co-operation of all parties. I reject out of hand the suggestion of the New Democratic Party of simply pointing the finger of blame at one of the various parties. We have done that for 110 years and the result is the problem we had this winter.

Presence In GalleryOral Question Period

March 17th, 1997 / 3 p.m.

The Speaker

I bring to the attention of the House the presence in our gallery of His Excellency Ahmed Attaf, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria.

Presence In GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Presence In GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

I also bring to the attention of members the presence in the gallery of Dr. John H. Gibbons, Science and Technology Adviser to the President of the United States.

Presence In GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order.

During question period a Reform member alleged that Clifford Olson had a fax machine, word processor and telephone. I want to inform the House that the hon. member's information, like most of what the Reform members say in this regard, is totally incorrect.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Reform

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

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I would request that the Prime Minister be required to withdraw his slanderous inference that the Reform Party would do away with old age pensions.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, if every time the Reform Party says something about me that is not the way I like it, I would be up on my feet quite often.

I will let the people of Canada decide within 18 months. Get ready.

Government Response To PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Fundy Royal New Brunswick

Liberal

Paul Zed LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to three petitions.

Criminal CodeRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Reform Kootenay East, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-386, an act to amend the Criminal Code (probation order).

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to be able to present the bill to the House of Commons, although I am very sad about the conditions which led to my presentation.

Last summer there was a situation where a father beat up his 28-day old son. The judge recommended that there be changes in legislation that would allow judges to attach probation periods to federal sentences.

When sentences are put by a judge where there is full understanding of the situation, the judge at the time of sentencing should be able to set probation standards so that they are not established at some future point in time by people who are unaware of the absolute horror and tragedy of many of these situations.

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

Cultural Grants Acknowledgement ActRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Reform Kootenay East, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-387, an act to require that in the advertising and at the opening of a cultural project supported by public money a public acknowledgement of the grant be made.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present the bill in light of the amount of discussion at the moment concerning issues like Canada cultural grants and things of that nature.

If there were the ability to be able to understand public involvement in some of the cultural projects with public money, two things would happen. First, the public at large would be able to assess the value it has received from its dollars.

Second, it would give ability to the people of Canada to understand the support for cultural events. This would be particularly applicable in areas where federalism seems to be getting a black eye at the moment.

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

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Mac Harb Liberal Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition signed by constituents in the national capital region.

They want the House of Commons to call on the federal government to establish an infrastructure program that would help with the establishment of a proper national highway system.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Reform

Art Hanger Reform Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have several petitions to present. The first six bear 376 signatures and deal with the following.

The petitioners call upon Parliament to enact two strikes legislation requiring that everyone convicted for the second time of one or more sexual offences against a minor person, as defined under the Criminal Code of Canada, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for life without eligibility for parole or early release whatsoever.

For anyone awaiting trial on the offences mentioned in the petition, the petitioners pray that such a person be held in custody without eligibility for bail or release of any form whatsoever until such time as the matter is fully concluded in a Canadian court of law.