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House of Commons Hansard #156 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was offenders.

Topics

War CriminalsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Val Meredith Reform Surrey—White Rock—South Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, two months ago when I asked a question about modern war criminals in Canada the parliamentary secretary to the minister of immigration stated: "Action is being taken. These people will be removed. They will not be allowed to stay in this country". We now learn that when Canada generously opened its doors to genuine refugees from the war in Bosnia a number of suspected war criminals were accepted as refugees.

Can the minister inform the House what action is being taken against those suspected war criminals and when they will be removed from Canada?

War CriminalsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Henri—Westmount Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, it should be made very clear that Canada did play a role in resettling refugees from the former Yugoslavia and that, true to Canada's tradition of generosity, we have indeed welcomed refugees who were being persecuted or living in difficult conditions due to conflicts in their country of origin.

Every one of these refugees we have welcomed has been accepted in a spirit of openness. To date, there has been no indication of what the hon. member from the Reform Party raised just today involving any of the more than 19,000 refugees we have welcomed in our country since 1993.

War CriminalsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Val Meredith Reform Surrey—White Rock—South Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, that is very interesting because her department came up with 250 suspected modern day war criminals, and representatives of the Bosnian government have stated that Canadian officials did not consult their list of suspected war criminals before accepting refugee claimants from Bosnia.

Now that some of these individuals have been identified as being in Canada, it does not appear that they will be brought to justice soon because of the lack of an extradition treaty with Bosnia.

Will the minister assure the House that action will be taken immediately by the government, or is the government prepared to repeat the five decades of embarrassment Canada experienced with the handling of Nazi war criminals?

War CriminalsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Saint-Henri—Westmount Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member from the Reform Party should at least have the honesty to say that the prime-

War CriminalsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

War CriminalsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

My colleagues, I would ask the hon. minister to please withdraw the word "honesty" from her answer.

War CriminalsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Liberal Saint-Henri—Westmount, QC

Mr. Speaker, I wish the hon. member from the Reform Party would have the courage to say-

War CriminalsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

War CriminalsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

My colleagues, honesty or courage cannot be called into question. You can answer, but please choose your words carefully.

War CriminalsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Liberal Saint-Henri—Westmount, QC

Mr. Speaker, we hope the members of this Parliament will recognize the actions taken by this government.

This country is a world leader in the fight against modern day war criminals. In many respects, even our court decisions set a precedent worldwide.

It is very clear that we have a plan of action-

War CriminalsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

An hon. member

Oh, really?

War CriminalsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Liberal Saint-Henri—Westmount, QC

We do, and it is to take action against those individuals who may be living in Canada.

Regarding the former Yugoslavia, Canada even helps international courts prosecute anyone who may have committed crimes against humanity.

How can the hon. member from the Reform Party stand in this House and say otherwise?

Tariffs On Agricultural ProductsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Guy Chrétien Bloc Frontenac, QC

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

In spite of a NAFTA ruling supporting Canada's position regarding the tariffs on our eggs, dairy and poultry products, the U.S. trade representative, Charlene Barsketsky, indicated a few weeks ago that this issue was a priority for her country and that she would fight to the end to eliminate these tariffs.

Can the minister assure us that he will be firm and will not start negotiating with his American counterpart to eliminate our tariffs, contrary to what has already been done by the Liberal government in the case of wheat and softwood lumber? The Bloc Quebecois would never accept such a move.

Tariffs On Agricultural ProductsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Regina—Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, we said in 1993 that we would fight very hard to defend the interests of Canadian farmers in the final round of the GATT negotiations, and we did that.

We said following 1993 that if the United States should challenge us under the NAFTA we would defend our supply management system, and we did that.

Farmers in Canada may rest assured that this government stands firmly behind them in every set of trade negotiations.

Krever InquiryOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Krever commission on tainted blood is supposed to be about health but it is tied up again by lawyers.

We want to find out who is in charge on this issue. Is it the Red Cross lawyers, is it the supreme court lawyers or is it our weak health minister lawyer?

Krever InquiryOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Cape Breton—East Richmond Nova Scotia

Liberal

David Dingwall LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, it is the supreme court.

Organization For Economic Development And Co-OperationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister for International Trade.

Apparently the Organization for Economic Development and Co-operation is proposing a multilateral investment agreement which, if signed, would not allow Canada to set job creation targets or set conditions on future foreign investments.

Can the minister confirm that Canada will not sign the proposed agreement unless such restrictions are removed?

Organization For Economic Development And Co-OperationOral Question Period

3 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, negotiations on the multilateral agreement on investment at the OECD are at a very early stage. As I indicated in answer to a previous question, they are not likely to be concluded this year but probably next year.

There is no agreement. Proposals are on the table but no agreement has been reached on the issue. Canada's sovereignty will not be undermined. As in the case of NAFTA, we will look for exemptions for our cultural industries and the right to review sensitive foreign investments.

Furthermore, Canada will not sign an agreement that inhibits its ability to link the granting of investment incentives to job creation. What we do see though as an advantage when eventually we do find the right terms is the greater access of investment for Canadians in foreign markets and a more appealing access into our market for foreign firms.

Organization For Economic Development And Co-OperationOral Question Period

3 p.m.

NDP

Nelson Riis NDP Kamloops, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is a supplementary to that issue. When the minister says that Canada's sovereignty will not be undermined that is exactly what the proponents of NAFTA told Canadians.

Considering the implications of this proposal that are now being carried on in high level secret negotiations, is it not time that Canadians know what is being negotiated? Should they not know what some of the issues are before the election or at least promise to raise it during the election so Canadians can evaluate this and make a judgment call themselves?

Organization For Economic Development And Co-OperationOral Question Period

3 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, what is on the table in the MAI is substantially what is already in the NAFTA agreement and that is very public information.

It is at a very early stage in the discussions. Canada has not agreed to anything and Canada will not agree to anything that is not in its interest. If we can get further access to markets, fine. However, we want to make sure that we can continue to create jobs in this country. That is what Canadians want and we are not going to give that away.

Presence In GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

I draw the attention of hon. members to the presence in the gallery of Mr. Donald David Gay, MLA, my brother Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick.

Presence In GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Presence In GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

I have two points of order which I will entertain.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

April 15th, 1997 / 3 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, my point of order arises from a response I gave yesterday in question period.

I was asked by the hon. member for Fraser Valley West whether I had solicited a letter from CAVEAT that has been referred to in the record. I said I had not, nor had I instructed anybody to do so on my behalf.

I did undertake to check the facts. The hon. member or other members might have concluded from my response that the letter had not been solicited. Last night in discussion with my staff I learned that a member of my staff, in speaking with the president of CAVEAT last Thursday, had asked that the thoughts she had expressed be put in writing and that she communicate by letter. That was done. That is the letter that I read from, freely sent by CAVEAT.

I answered yesterday to the best of my ability and I put on the record today the facts I have discovered in the interim.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Reform

John Williams Reform St. Albert, AB

I rise on a point of order.

Mr. Speaker, as you will recall, during question period you asked the minister of immigration to withdraw certain words. I would like to draw the Speaker's attention to the point that these words were withdrawn conditionally.

As you know, Mr. Speaker, Beauchesne requires that anyone who is asked to withdraw unparliamentary language do so without any conditions whatsoever. I would like to draw to your attention that the minister did attach conditions. I ask that the record be corrected by requesting her to make an unconditional withdrawal now since she is still in the Chamber.