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House of Commons Hansard #108 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was students.

Topics

David LevineOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, so now what is happening to Mr. Levine is our fault. Really, I have seen it all.

Today the Prime Minister laid it on a little thick saying that, if the sovereignist question were resolved—

David LevineOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

David LevineOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

Dear colleagues, I am sure all members want to hear the question and the answer. The hon. member for Roberval has the floor.

David LevineOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, I understand that it hurts them to be reminded of their past and of what is currently happening to francophones and to Quebeckers.

Since the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs is waxing eloquent, the Prime Minister said as he did that, if the problem of independence were resolved, there would be no more problem in the Levine matter. In the minister's opinion, will the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms not apply to sovereignists so long as we exist?

David LevineOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I think most Canadians, including Quebeckers, will consider the attempt by the House leader of the Bloc Quebecois to promote separatism by using the Levine affair deplorable. It is totally deplorable.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Jim Hart Reform Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, from day one the Minister of National Defence said that he would not tolerate issues of sexual harassment in the military, but Canadians also recall the government saying that the Somalia inquiry would be allowed to do its work. Instead, what Canadians saw was the delay of documents delivered to the inquiry of commission and the eventual silence of the inquiry by shutting it down early.

Now we see that Justice Létourneau, the chairman of the Somalia inquiry, has accused the government of conspiracy to undermine the inquiry.

Given the government's track record, how can the defence minister expect any member of the Canadian Armed Forces—

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Justice.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I said before, the government had staunchly defended the findings of the commission. We did so in the case referred to here this afternoon. We will continue to defend the Government of Canada which is the client in this case.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Jim Hart Reform Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government's record on investigations in the military is absolutely tragic. The government has shredded documents, lied to military police and undermined the Somalia inquiry.

Canadians cannot rely on the government to investigate the dozens of sexual harassment allegations with its past record. How can the members of the Canadian Armed Forces trust the government when all the minister cares about is cover-ups of the government and not protecting their interests?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, let me remind the hon. member that the Somalia commission got three extensions, went on three times as long as it originally indicated it would.

Lo and behold when it did make its recommendations, 83% of them were fully agreed to by the government and are presently being implemented as is gender integration and our policy of not allowing sexual abuse, getting to the bottom of all these issues and making sure that men and women can work together in a harassment free atmosphere.

Millennium ScholarshipsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphan Tremblay Bloc Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, all political parties in the Quebec National Assembly, and the education coalition headed by Rector Bernard Shapiro of McGill University, are unanimous in calling for the federal government to amend its bill on the millennium scholarships.

Does the Minister of Human Resources Development realize that his refusal to do so until now reveals his true intentions and proves he never had a mandate to negotiate, as well as how obvious it is that he never intended to honour Quebec's request to opt out with compensation?

Millennium ScholarshipsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, first of all, I would like to point out that the Government of Quebec was the one that broke off negotiations 10 days ago. It even cancelled the schedule of the two days of negotiations that were planned.

The hon. opposition member has just confirmed what we have been saying here in the government since the start, which is that their only desire was to have the right to withdraw with full compensation. Quebec has no intention to negotiate. There was no desire whatsoever to commit to anything that could have lead to an arrangement between the two governments.

I believe the hon. member has just given absolutely clear proof of this. He is saying the exact same thing, while the Prime Minister had already stated that this was not open to negotiation.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Nancy Karetak-Lindell Liberal Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Secretary of State for Children and Youth.

One of the challenges facing aboriginal people is access to employment and training opportunities. Could the minister tell the House what action is being taken to address the serious issue of high unemployment among aboriginal people?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Western Arctic Northwest Territories

Liberal

Ethel Blondin-Andrew LiberalSecretary of State (Children and Youth)

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to say that there are many exciting and promising initiatives being undertaken by Human Resources Development Canada.

To begin with, HRDC is developing a five year aboriginal human resources development strategy and is in the process of establishing an aboriginal human resources development sector council to improve aboriginal people's access to training and employment in many different sectors of the Canadian economy.

This is an important part of the government's response to a key recommendation of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. This strategy—

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Fraser Valley.

TradeOral Question Period

May 25th, 1998 / 2:40 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Reform Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the tourists are back on Parliament Hill. Of course I am referring to the 15 Liberal backbenchers who returned from their junket to Italy, otherwise known as the taking care of favours tour. Now Canadians would like to ask a few questions about it.

Will the Prime Minister and the MPs have a slide show so that we can all benefit collectively from their experience? Will they be throwing their souvenirs from the gallery right after question period? Did they serve Canadian ice wine from Pillitteri Estates at all the official functions?

Most important, just how much did this taking care of favours tour actually cost taxpayers, or are we even allowed to know?

TradeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Canadians would like to know why the Reform Party does not want Canada to strengthen trade relations with the seventh biggest economy in the world.

Canadians would like to know why the advantages of having 1.5 million fellow citizens of Italian origin should not be used to promote that trade. It just shows how off base the Reform Party is when it comes to recognizing the strengths of Canadian diversity.

TradeOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Reform Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, my, my, my, are we not a bit sensitive about this trip?

I understand that among Liberal MPs there are a few hurt feelings about this. People are upset. I understand that the Liberal MPs who went said they were upset because they were left in Rome while the actual business took place in Milan.

A Canadian diplomat said he was a little upset. He said a junket is a junket. It is a waste of taxpayers' money. Taxpayers are upset. They had to foot the bill for this.

Could the Prime Minister explain why he once criticized Brian Mulroney so much for his travel, but now it is all right for him to take his backbenchers on this taking-care-of-favours tour?

TradeOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member talks about being left behind. The Reform Party, through his words, confirms it was left behind years ago when it comes to recognizing the value of Canadian diversity, especially the contribution of Italian Canadians, the 1.5 million who are represented in this House but not by his party, and they never will be if he keeps talking like that.

Canadian Armed ForcesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Chris Axworthy NDP Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of National Defence. There are now widespread reports of sexual harassment and rape in the armed services and the minister has called this poor behaviour.

Can the minister indicate if there is a policy of zero tolerance in the armed forces? If there is not, why not? If there is, when will he appoint an independent inquiry to find out why this policy has gone so wrong?

Canadian Armed ForcesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, yes there is zero tolerance. We have zero tolerance for this kind of incident of sexual abuse. We do not want those people who are the perpetrators of sexual abuse to be a part of the Canadian forces.

We have, in fact, taken a number of measures to create better training. We have a new program called the SHARP training program on harassment prevention. We have harassment advisers. We have the new national investigation service that operates independently of the operational chain of command, and soon we will appoint an ombudsman. We are taking every measure that is necessary to put that policy into effect.

Canadian Armed ForcesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Chris Axworthy NDP Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, the minister has indicated that his department has no statistics on sexual harassment cases. As I said, he called this behaviour poor performance. How does he expect the armed forces to take anything like this seriously when all he does is call it poor performance? Does he not know it is more than that, that it is appalling performance?

Canadian Armed ForcesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I also used words like disgusting. I used words like unacceptable, in addition to all of those words.

We simply are not going to tolerate it. We are dealing with the matter and will continue to deal with the matter.

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Greg Thompson Progressive Conservative Charlotte, NB

Mr. Speaker, it is understood that the Minister of Health has had trouble with the concept of compensation for all hepatitis C victims.

It is reported, and I stress the word reported, that the health minister has frozen all new funding for breast cancer research and AIDS treatment. He is saying that he is doing this pending the outcome of the hepatitis C compensation package.

I want some clarification. Is this in fact the minister's position? If it is not his position, what is his position?

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, those reports are absolutely false. Health Canada continues to do business as always. Last December 1, for example, we announced the renewal of the AIDS strategy, phase three. We had long planned to announce later this week particulars of the allocation of that money.

Our work continues in preparing the breast cancer initiative.

Health Canada continues to serve the people of Canada properly by putting programs in place for their health.