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House of Commons Hansard #163 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was federal.

Topics

JusticeOral Question Period

2:50 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 the question.

As he is aware, a decision was recently rendered by the court of appeal. As an appeal could still be possible it would not be appropriate to comment on it.

The record of the government and the minister is very clear. There have been more effective changes to the Criminal Code to toughen it up, changes to toughen up the young offenders law, changes to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, and changes to help victims, than have been made in the history of the nation by any single parliament. That is something we are very proud of.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Jack Ramsay Reform Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, how in the world could the parliamentary secretary claim they are getting tough on crime when they change the law so that it does not really make any difference if a young killer is transferred from young offenders into adult court? It simply does not make sense.

Nevertheless I have a supplementary question. This 17-year old killer was convicted in 1992, two years before Bill C-41 was passed. This offender was granted the benefit of a law passed retroactively. Yet the justice minister claimed Bill C-45 could not be applied to Clifford Olson because of the principle of retroactivity.

Why does retroactivity apply to killers only when it is in their favour?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Prince Albert—Churchill River Saskatchewan

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated, the government has brought forward many effective measures to improve efficiency and effectiveness. It has taken many measures to improve the criminal law. It is far more effective, efficient and legal than that contained in the Reform platform, Operation Crime Spank or whatever it is called.

We have worked with the provinces, victims groups, police organizations, many other groups and individuals across the country to improve the criminal law. When it comes to the criminal law the Reform Party reminds me of proud parents watching 10,000 marching soldiers and noting with pride that their son is the only one in step.

Vedran SmailovicOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Osvaldo Nunez Bloc Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

The Department of Citizenship and Immigration has refused to grant a visitor's visa to Vedran Smailovic, the world renowned cellist from Sarajevo. Immigration officials rejected Mr. Smailovic's request for a visa because he does not have a valid reason to visit Canada, although he has been invited to come by a journalist to co-author a children's book.

Why is Immigration Canada refusing admission to this country to Vedran Smailovich, a man of peace?

Vedran SmailovicOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Henri—Westmount Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, if the member for Bourassa has not yet understood our immigration laws since 1993, we have a serious problem here. He is fully aware that the Privacy Act prohibits any public discussion of a particular case.

Vedran SmailovicOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Osvaldo Nunez Bloc Bourassa, QC

The minister has discretionary powers in this matter, but this is not all. Canadians and Quebecers will judge this government harshly because of its discriminatory policy regarding visas.

Mr. Smailovic has visited several countries and has never sought asylum there. He has undertaken to not do so when he comes to Canada. Will the minister reconsider and grant a visa to Mr. Smailovic?

Vedran SmailovicOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Henri—Westmount Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, again, I will set the member for Bourassa straight. The minister has no discretionary powers to publicly reveal private information. Therefore, I shall not discuss this case in public.

AgricultureOral Question Period

April 24th, 1997 / 2:55 p.m.

Reform

Dale Johnston Reform Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister of agriculture will know that in a rare spirit of co-operation dairy producers, dairy processors and the government agreed that a move to one-price adjustment per year would occur on February 1. This scenario will leave dairy producers in a six-month period where they will be producing milk below their cost of production.

What possible rationale can he give for announcing that the consumer subsidy phase out would start August 1 rather February 1, 1998?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Regina—Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the provision the hon. gentleman is referring to was contained in the 1996 budget. Since the budget has been in the public domain and subject to public discussion, dairy producers and dairy processors have made the argument, which has behind it some considerable force of logic, that it would be more convenient and more economically efficient in our dairy system to consider any appropriate price changes at the beginning of February, not on January 1 but on February 1 as opposed to August 1 which has been the tradition over a number of years.

The recommendation of both the processors and producers is under active consideration by the government. As soon as we are in a position to confirm the appropriate arrangements we will make them public.

Given the tenor and tone of the hon. gentlemen's question, I welcome his very strong endorsement of supply management.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Dale Johnston Reform Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, obviously the minister did not pick up on my tenor and tone very well.

As I am sure he already knows, producers have agreed to forgo a 2.1 per cent increase in the price of milk which amounts to a $40 million saving to Canadian consumers. I am not talking about an endorsement of supply management but about keeping up his end of the deal.

Will the minister agree to do that today? A lot of dairy producers would like to see him keep up his end of the deal.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Regina—Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the arrangements with respect to the phasing down of the dairy subsidy over a number of years is a matter that involves considerable technical consideration. It is not the sort of proposition that is just scribbled down on the back of an envelope.

Accordingly I have had lengthy discussions with the dairy industry. I am scheduled to meet with the dairy farmers of Canada again later this afternoon. There is a good spirit of positive co-operation in trying to find the appropriate mechanism that will accomplish the objective both dairy farmers and dairy processors have in mind.

May I say that I am sorry to hear the hon. member renege on his support for supply management.

Human ResourcesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Sheila Finestone Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have always been of the view that job training for our labour force ought to be designed to meet specific needs closer to the regional grassroots in Quebec, for the reality is very different in Chicoutimi than it would be in Montreal, Sherbrooke or Gaspé.

I am pleased the government signed an agreement with the Government of Quebec to help in active employment measures and programs to help the unemployed re-enter the job market.

My question is for the Minister of Human Resources Development. I need a clarification with respect to the availability and acceptability of these programs for the English speaking community. Just how are they to be protected and access ensured under the provisions of the Quebec-Canada accord and the new management policy?

Human ResourcesOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Kenora—Rainy River Ontario

Liberal

Bob Nault LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, it is with a great deal of honour and pride that I stand here today to report to the hon. member that this government and this party continue in their unwaivering support of the minority language rights of Canadians.

All five agreements we have culminated so far with the provinces in the labour market field have extended the language minority rights of individuals in those provinces.

In the case of Quebec we have the same agreement as we do with other provinces. Those rights will be protected. The English speaking minority in Quebec will be able to get the same services in English as those outside Quebec will get in French.

Patent ProtectionOral Question Period

3 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. He will know, I am sure, that the committee charged with reviewing Bill C-91 has reported and the committee has endorsed the acceptance by Canada of the 20 year patent protection.

Given what I know of what the Minister of Health repeatedly said in previous Parliaments about the undesirability of the 20 year patent protection, I ask him what he is prepared to do about the situation. Is he not disappointed in the committee's report? Is he prepared to say at this time, if the government is not prepared to condemn the committee's conclusions, that the Liberals have finally, clearly, absolutely and truly broken their promise to the Canadian people with respect to Bill C-91?

Patent ProtectionOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Cape Breton—East Richmond Nova Scotia

Liberal

David Dingwall LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, not wanting to concur with the preamble of the hon. member's question, the government has just received a copy of the report on Bill C-91. Ministers will have an opportunity to examine it at a subsequent stage.

Notwithstanding the member's strong intervention, the Minister of Industry and I have given the view of the government as it relates to the 20 year patent and, in particular, our international obligations. I think that is clear to the country. I think it is clear to various health groups. It is certainly clear to provincial governments, notwithstanding whatever political mischief they may wish to engage in on this issue.

Snow GeeseOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

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

The Canadian Wildlife Service just announced, in Montmagny, that it will not issue scaring and hunting permits for snow geese in 1997, even though it did last year, to everyone's satisfaction.

Why does the minister persist in refusing to issue hunting permits, given that this measure considerably reduces damage to farm producers without endangering the species?

Snow GeeseOral Question Period

3 p.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi LiberalMinister of the Environment

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

A hunt under the migratory birds convention is simply illegal because the American Congress has not yet ratified the amendments to that convention. In terms of any hunt, we have to wait, hopefully sooner rather than later, for Congress to ratify the amendments to the convention.

A few days ago we announced that last year there was a limited kill but it was not a successful program. The birds were to be left on the ground to scare the other birds. What happened was the birds were not left on the ground and, therefore, none got scared.

This year we adjusted the arrangements. There are three fields which will hopefully attract those birds as they migrate from the south to the north in the hopes that the farmers' areas will not be afflicted as they have been in the past.

It has the support of the round table of interest. It is the overwhelming consensus. Clearly we should listen to local interests in trying this method because last year the system did not work as well as we would have hoped. Then we can, obviously, at the end of the migration period review the situation for next year.

EmploymentOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Reform Calgary North, AB

Mr. Speaker, in October 1993 when this government took office promising jobs, jobs, jobs, 144,000 Atlantic Canadians were unemployed.

At the end of last month, three and a half years after the Liberals took office, 173,000 Atlantic Canadians were unemployed according to Statistics Canada, an increase of 29,000 unemployed, or 20 per cent.

What does the Prime Minister have to say to these jobless Atlantic Canadians about this dismal record?

EmploymentOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, what we have to say is that there is still a very significant task ahead of this country in providing opportunities for people to work.

The most important way is to ensure the country is strong economically. That has been demonstrated by the way growth is now taking place at 3.5 per cent a year by our predictions, by the fact that we now have very low interest rates, by the fact that we have now restructured government so we can target where the most available growth prospects are.

The reality is we inherited a mess from the previous government. We inherited a substantial and huge problem. We have been working very hard to bring it down and I think Canadians are just now on the verge of getting the benefit of that restructuring and that modernization. We just need another four years to complete the task.

Business Of The HouseOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Bloc Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am not going to take any chance.

In case Aline Chrétien decided to ask her husband to do the spring cleaning at 24 Sussex Drive, instead of calling an election, I will ask the Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House to tell us what is on the agenda for next week.

Business Of The HouseOral Question Period

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, our program for April was generally laid out for us in the business statement of March 20, and we shall continue in the remaining days of April to work on this program in a manner determined by consultation through the usual channels.

It is fair to say that this process has worked very well. It is appropriate to thank the hon. members opposite as well as members on this side of the House for their high level of co-operation which has been forthcoming in managing an extremely busy agenda.

I wish to mention the constructive role that has been played by all members, in particular the members of the Reform and the Bloc and the hon. member for Lethbridge who has demonstrated to all of us that there is a difference between opposing and obstructing.

Perhaps more important, the hon. member for Lethbridge has shown us clearly that being an effective adversary does not make one a personal enemy. He has brought a dignity and a maturity to the proceedings of the House that all of us should take as an example.

Business Of The HouseOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Bloc Terrebonne, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have just received a petition from the clerk of petitions. I know this may well be my last opportunity to table it. Unfortunately, this petition does not quite meet the requirements of this House.

I ask for unanimous consent to table this petition in this House, nonetheless.

Business Of The HouseOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Does the hon. member for Terrebonne have the consent of the House?

Business Of The HouseOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Bloc Terrebonne, QC

Mr. Speaker, the petition is from Suzie Robitaille, whose five children are being held in Egypt, and it is signed by 2,423 people.