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House of Commons Hansard #151 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was amendment.

Topics

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

An hon. member

I think your melon crop is in.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Reform

Jake Hoeppner Reform Lisgar—Marquette, MB

I always like to hear some real good solid comments that can be recorded in Hansard because they will come in very handy when we get on the platform to debate these issues.

A stepfather in Manitoba took a baseball bat and violated the rights of his five-year old stepdaughter to the point that she died, and still it is only called manslaughter. When I see that I am disgusted and ashamed that this is the type of justice system we have. That is something that really shows what the past governments have been doing. They have been watching out for the rights of the criminals but they have never paid any attention to the rights of the victims. It is unbelievable but those are the facts. That has happened once too often and in the next election we will change the system and we will change the government.

I do not know what else I can say to the government and these hon. friends across the way. I would love to have them back but not the way they have been acting for the past three and a half years. Their constituents will make that decision and not me. When we look at the polls today we know exactly what they are saying.

I will still throw the challenge out to you, Mr. Speaker. If you want to come and be a Liberal candidate in Portage-Lisgar I would welcome that because that would show some quality for the Liberals in my riding.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Milliken)

I thank the hon. member for his kind offer and comments but I think I will be otherwise engaged.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Reform

John Williams Reform St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to debate the amendments that were introduced by the government this morning. As you can see, Mr. Speaker, I do not have a prepared speech because these amendments were brought to me this morning when I thought we would be debating Bill C-17. Now we find that Bill C-17 has been expanded, a very unusual situation. Why? Because the government cannot get its act together.

The government brought in a bill, I believe it was Bill C-41, to give victims certain rights. Then in Bill C-45 the drafting was right out to lunch, it compromised these rights and where are we now? The government is asking for leave to amend Bill C-17 by adding

on these extra changes. We are debating them today to try to get the government's rear end covered for the next election.

This shows the incompetence the country is getting from the government. It has only been three and a half years. We thought we would have a five-year mandate with the huge majority it has but after three and a half years the Liberals are getting a little shaky. They are going down in the polls and they are thinking, "boy we'd better get out there and grab our support before it disappears on us".

Now we find the Liberals are trying to make some last minute corrections to try to save face so they can go tell Canadians they are trying to protect victims when they have through their legislation been protecting criminals for three and a half years.

For three and a half years we have been criticizing the Minister of Justice. Every time he has brought in a bill he has been soft on criminals and ignored victims. What has he done for victims? He has done very very little and what little he did he compromised with Bill C-45. Now he is trying to make some small amends.

This Minister of Justice is a joke. This Minister of Justice has certainly not served the justice system well. He has not served Canadians well. He has not served victims well. He thinks he can sit here and introduce legislation that suits his whims and the whims of the Liberal Party. They will find out in a few short weeks what Canadians think of their ideas on criminal justice.

We may be saying goodbye to quite a few Liberals in the next election. Canadians are fed up to the teeth of this daily ritual of how the Liberals think they are standing up to protect Canadians while at the same time they allow criminals to walk all over them.

We have argued from the day we arrived here that section 745 must go. It is not a big section of the act. It would not take a great deal of effort, just a stroke of the pen by the Minister of Justice, fully supported by everybody in the House I would hope, and section 745 would be gone. Then we would never hear about people like Clifford Olson for a very long time because he would not be in the news, he would be in jail.

Today we have heard about the various things that they have in jail for people like Mr. Olson and others like him, where life does not seem to be that unpleasant.

We know that our society needs to be protected. We know that the government has little or no desire to protect Canadians. We know that it would rather play around with the law. We heard the minister say: "I cannot protect the people of Quebec. I do not know how to write a law that will address these gangs in Quebec who are killing and maiming innocent people". Just think of that young boy who was killed by a bomb in Montreal. The Minister of Justice said: "I do not think I can write a law that deals with gangsters such as these".

I heard today that he is going to bring one in. It must be a sudden conversion. Perhaps an election is in the wind. This type of posturing is not what we want. We are looking for government. We are looking for people who care about the victims.

When I heard that Clifford Olson described to the parents of one of his victims the last moments and how that child died, I cannot think of the horror and tragedy they were forced to relive. Can you imagine, Mr. Speaker? I hope the Minister of Justice will think about it. He has not said publicly what he thinks, but I know that I cannot imagine the horror of being in that situation. If my child had been murdered and I had to listen to the murderer tell me about my child's last moment on this earth, I would be devastated. I am sure that the parents of these victims are absolutely, totally devastated. That is why my colleague from Surrey said we support the amendments. It is a small measure, not because we like it, but it is a minuscule thing.

We have begged the government for three and a half years to eliminate section 745 of the Criminal Code, to protect society from these people, to prevent the parents from having to relive the horror once more.

It goes on. When Olson is denied his parole, we know he is going to be back again on another day. The victims will have to go through it maybe one, two, three or four times. Who can tell?

I sincerely hope that the Minister of Justice will take our comments and the comments of all Canadians under advisement, listen to what we say and make the appropriate amendments.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Speaker

As it is 2 p.m., we will proceed to statements by members.

Huron Park Secondary SchoolStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

John Finlay Liberal Oxford, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate the students of Huron Park Secondary School in Woodstock for working to broaden their horizons.

Students from the grade 9 and 10 enrichment program invited representatives of nine embassies and consulates to present information about their countries as part of the school's international day.

These international visitors toured farms and industries in Oxford county before attending a banquet and student variety program in the evening.

The next day over 600 students had the opportunity to hear these visitors from Italy, France, Brazil, Japan, Germany, South Africa, Sweden, Slovakia and Australia. They learned about these other

cultures and gained an appreciation of the role Canada plays in the international community.

To the students of Huron Park Secondary School I would like to say how proud I am of them for investing so much time and spirit in this initiative.

Sable IslandStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Reform

Dave Chatters Reform Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, the hearings into the Sable Island gas project began in Halifax yesterday with accusations of political interference by the Prime Minister and his government.

The Prime Minister's very public repeated statements of support for routing Sable Island gas through Quebec brings into question the panel's ability to determine the future of the project free of serious political influence. The panel must be allowed to determine the future of the project based on the long term interests of Atlantic Canadians, instead of on the political interests of central Canada.

This blatant interference could jeopardize the entire project and Nova Scotia would be cheated out of $3.5 billion worth of royalty wealth and thousands of well paid jobs.

The Reform Party will continue to speak out against any and all moves by the government to rob Atlantic Canadians of the opportunities for prosperity because of the Liberal shortsighted political agenda.

RailwaysStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Len Taylor NDP The Battlefords—Meadow Lake, SK

Mr. Speaker, the railways on the prairies are preparing to sell off or abandon a number of branchlines. There is already some talk of establishing short line railroads to replace the lost services.

I appreciate the concern being shown to maintain service on these lines. The railways and the local elevator system provide critical economic benefits to a lot of communities and the thought of hundreds of more trucks on rural highways is horrifying.

However, this could not be coming at a more inopportune time. Farmers are facing increased costs every way they look. Many are anxious to find ways to finance new value added facilities. At this time farmers should not have to be concerned about financing or running short line systems all over the prairies.

Therefore we should not forget that recent Liberal policy gave the railways the right to abandon our lines without concern for the public interest. If the Liberals were serious about safe and productive grain movement, they would insist on existing railways maintaining responsibility for rural grain lines.

HockeyStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Roger Gallaway Liberal Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, last Friday at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit we saw the first of a new college hockey tradition. The World University Hockey Championship pitted U.S. born players against Canadian college players. The final result: Team Canada defeated Team U.S.A.

Media on both sides of the border proclaimed that it was a better game than the NHL contest the night before. Canadians who could not attend the game were thrilled by the television coverage of TSN.

We as Canadians congratulate the NCAA in the U.S. and the CIAU in Canada, the governing bodies of university sport in North America; the Toronto based CAP and Gown Productions; the many corporate sponsors; as well as mayors Mike Hurst of Windsor and Dennis Archer of Detroit.

It is hoped that next year it becomes a two-game event with a contest in Toronto as well as Detroit and that in two years time university and colleges from Europe and Asia will make it a truly world class promotion.

Course Destination MondeStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Philippe Paré Bloc Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, Radio-Canada rounded off the Course Destination Monde with prizes for the best productions. The Bloc Quebecois would like to congratulate the eight young people on their perseverance and skill.

Since its inception, the Course Destination Monde has been an interesting forum for bringing major international development issues to the attention of television viewers. The survival of the program is all the more relevant in the context of the abolition of CIDA's public awareness programs.

In particular, I would like to offer my congratulations on the quality of the reporting on international development. Anne-Marie Cadieux, Alexis Turgeon, Pascal Brouard and Antoine Laprise shared the CIDA, IDRC, Développement international Desjardins, International Centre for Human Rights, Union des producteurs agricoles du Québec, ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec and Inter Pares prizes.

Congratulations to all the winners.

National Wildlife WeekStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Rose-Marie Ur Liberal Lambton—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, this year marks the 50th anniversary of National Wildlife Week in Canada. From April 6 to 12 Canadians will make a commitment to safeguard wildlife and celebrate its tremendous significance through various events and activities.

The 1997 theme for National Wildlife Week is ecological sustainability and the Canadian Wildlife Federation chose "Wild Things Need a Place to Grow" as this year's slogan for all promotional materials.

This reminds us that we must sustain healthy places for wildlife to live and grow if we want our animal life to remain in existence for years to come.

As in past years, National Wildlife Week co-ordinators from each province and territory helped spread the conservation message throughout communities.

For example, what began in Ontario with a few individuals discussing wildlife issues around a table has now grown so that museums, tourist areas, conservation centres, schools, youth groups and municipalities across the province will be spreading the message of the need for sustainability of all our wildlife.

Montfort HospitalStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Réginald Bélair Liberal Cochrane—Superior, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Harris government has announced its intention to close the Montfort hospital in Vanier, the only hospital to provide specialized medical care entirely in French. This hospital is the institution chosen by people who need treatment in French in areas such as psychiatry, orthopaedics, surgery and so on.

There are many communities in my riding that are completely or partially francophone. Many doctors in northern Ontario regularly refer their patients to the Montfort simply because it is the only hospital that can provide service totally in French, that is, in their language. Patients can communicate and be cared for, understand and be understood on the subject of the treatment they have come for.

I could say more about the loss of efficiency, but it has already been said. Needless to say, I strongly protest this closure, which is particularly unfair to francophones throughout Ontario.

We must realize-

Montfort HospitalStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

The Speaker

I am sorry to interrupt the hon. member. The hon. member for Lisgar-Marquette.

Waterhen ReserveStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Jake Hoeppner Reform Lisgar—Marquette, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Waterhen Reserve in Manitoba is dangerously divided. Tensions have been running high between two factions on this reserve for several years.

One faction broke from the chief after claiming it found misappropriation of federal funds in an independent audit of the band's records. It has held several blockades to draw attention to its complaints.

As a result, violence and distress have gripped this community. The latest blockade has resulted in criminal charges being laid. About 300 people had to move from the reserve and leave their homes and livelihood. The Liberal minister of aboriginal affairs promised to do something years ago but has done nothing.

We send troops overseas to protect the rights of people to return to their homes. Yet the government does nothing to protect the rights of 300 Manitobans who are afraid to return to their homes and their livelihoods.

HockeyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Beth Phinney Liberal Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to offer my congratulations to members of the Canadian Women's hockey team who continued their perfect record by winning their fourth consecutive world championship.

This team demonstrated true character, determination and great skill. They were undefeated in the tournament and won the gold medal game against the United States by a score of four to three in overtime on Sunday night.

The World Championships held in Kitchener demonstrated again Canada's outstanding ability to organize such an event and the tremendous emotion and support Canadians have for our hockey teams.

I am sure all members will join with me in congratulating this fine Canadian women's hockey team for this year's victory. We look forward to seeing them next year at the Winter Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan.

QuebecStatements By Members

April 8th, 1997 / 2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, in March, Quebec alone created 27,000 jobs, more than Ontario, British Columbia, Manitoba and New Brunswick combined. What is more, since the beginning of 1997, Quebec has created 18 times more jobs than all of the other provinces in Canada combined.

Just recently, the Minister of Human Resources Development and the Prime Minister were strutting about in Montreal, proclaiming to all and sundry that the sovereignist project was harmful to the Quebec economy.

Yet, the Quebec economy is progressing, despite the ambushes laid for it by federalism and the numerous inequities of which it is a victim: reduced government spending on research and development, harmonization of the GST, I could go on and on.

Imagine, for just one moment, what Quebec would be capable of if it were sovereign.

TourismStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Mitchell Liberal Parry Sound—Muskoka, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week in my riding of Parry Sound-Muskoka small business owners and tourism operators had a chance to meet directly with the Canadian Tourism Commission.

The Liberal government established the CTC in 1995 as a public-private sector partnership to help keep tourism business and tourism jobs in Canada. That is exactly what is happening.

About 90 people took part in the various local workshops we held. On the first day we conducted a panel discussion on access to capital for tourism industry businesses.

On the second day we explored the U.S. and Canadian leisure markets and talked about how the CTC could help rural Canada's smaller operators better access these markets through partnerships.

It was a productive two days. My constituents and I appreciate both our government's commitment to tourism in Canada and the willingness of the CTC to help smaller tourism operators like the ones in my riding.

The AustrumsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Jack Ramsay Reform Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today with a heavy heart on this cold April day. Last night the riding of Crowfoot lost two citizens, one so very young, and two more lay in the hospital.

Mr. Brian Austrum, administrator for the country of Camrose, a candidate for the federal Tory nomination and a valuable member of our constituency, was involved in a fatal car accident. The accident claimed the life of his wife Beverly and the life of his 15-year old daughter Melissa. The condition of Mr. Austrum and his 17-year old son Calvin is unknown at this time.

I know all members of the House will join me and my family in extending our most heartfelt condolences to Mr. Austrum, his son Calvin and daughter Elizabeth in their time of enormous grief and sorrow. Our hopes and prayers are with them.

Bloc QuebecoisStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Nick Discepola Liberal Vaudreuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, the home page of the new Internet web site of the Bloc Quebecois bears the unfortunate imprint of the double standard of this party and its leader.

French-speaking surfers are welcome to the site, which offers all kinds of information about the party, its members of Parliament and their ridings.

However, if you happen to be English-speaking, be prepared for a rude awakening. First of all, the word welcome applies only to "Dear friends from Quebec". Anglos from the other provinces will please refrain. Second, the tone is brittle and brutal, to say the least. The emphasis is on the mission of the Bloc Quebecois and its ultimate objective, the separation of Quebec.

The new leader of the Bloc has been quick to instil in his party his new philosophy of provocation. Considering the initial results, we will soon think back with regret to what the Bloc Quebecois used to be before his leadership.

Éric CharrierStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Bloc Rimouski—Témiscouata, QC

Mr. Speaker, on March 28, I witnessed a unique event: a new record for skin diving under ice, set by French diver Éric Charrier.

Mr. Charrier, who is 33 and hails from Porto-Veccha in Corsica, went down to 70 metres in the icy waters of Lake Témiscouata, in one minute and 59 seconds.

This exclusive event has attracted the attention of the international media. This dangerous sport also contributes to the advancement of scientific knowledge in the aerospace sector. As they collect data on Éric Charrier's heart rate, experts may develop new methods for training astronauts.

Mr. Charrier gave us a chance to share a fascinating experience and discover a sport that is strange and mysterious to us North Americans.

My congratulations and best wishes to Mr. Charrier, a man for whom water has no secrets.

Job CreationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, after Bas Iris announced several weeks ago that it was creating

about 3,000 new jobs, it seems Household Canada is also getting involved in creating jobs in Montreal's east end.

The company has just announced that it will hire 592 new employees for its call centre. With these new jobs, the Household call centre will be the largest centre in Quebec, with more than 1,000 employees.

We would like to point out that the bilingual capabilities of the workforce were also a factor in attracting this investment to Montreal. The federal and provincial governments will invest, respectively, $2.8 million and $2 million in this project.

We are delighted with this excellent news for our economy, which again confirms Montreal's leading position in the financial services sector.

Rural CanadaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Cowling Liberal Dauphin—Swan River, MB

Mr. Speaker, small town Canada is on the move. Soon after we took office we took steps to make Canada's rural communities grow and prosper. This has greatly benefited my constituents of Dauphin-Swan River.

We established the rural secretariat. We started the family farm loan plan. We launched the national biomass ethanol program. We have extended the Canada infrastructure works program by one year, recognizing that good infrastructure is vital to rural life and will benefit every region in Canada.

We gave the Farm Credit Corporation a $50 million boost in the 1997 budget. We increased our community access program by $10 million. We are ongoing supporters of the 4-H program and we started the Canadian rural information service.

Our Liberal government is listening to the concerns of small town Canada and coming up with solutions that work.

The ConstitutionOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Laurier—Sainte-Marie Québec

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, in the matter of the linguistic school boards, the Government of Quebec and the Liberal Party of Quebec, both democratically elected by the people of Quebec, jointly call on Ottawa to amend section 93 of the Constitution. Standing in the way of Quebec's clear wish, however, is the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, who has set himself up as the judge of consensus in Quebec and is refusing to make the amendment.

How could the minister say that he would refuse to act on Quebec's demand if, according to him, the anglophone community does not support the Quebec government and the official opposition, which jointly call for an amendment to section 93?

The ConstitutionOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the government has said the same thing since the outset in this. First, a bilateral amendment is possible between the National Assembly and the Parliament of Canada.

Second, a consensus is required and must, obviously, include the linguistic minority in the province. Third, a debate must be held in the National Assembly before it is held in Parliament.

The ConstitutionOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Laurier—Sainte-Marie Québec

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the minister made the following statement to the daily Le Soleil on April 5, and I quote: ``This is not my project; it is not my jurisdiction. I have no authority in educational matters''.

Today, if the debate were held in Parliament, in the National Assembly, is the minister saying that, if the parties, the Liberal Party, the Parti Quebecois and the Action Démocratique, sought an amendment to section 93 he would comply with the request of the National Assembly of Quebec and all the parties represented there? Is that what he is telling us today?