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House of Commons Hansard #115 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was judges.

Topics

Air TransportationOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Notwithstanding the obvious vocal talents of some hon. members, it makes it very difficult for the Chair to hear the questions and answers.

Air TransportationOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, it seems that our friends from the Bloc are always singing the same tune, the tune of being aggrieved.

In this case we have taken a very rational balanced look at the air routes. We have said that it is going to be continually reviewed. Certainly within the year there will be further changes.

In the meantime, new routes and code sharing possibilities have been given to Air Canada. That will all benefit the travelling public not just in Toronto and Vancouver but in Montreal and in other parts of Canada.

National DefenceOral Question Period

June 4th, 1998 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the defence minister claims to support a policy of zero tolerance for sexual wrongdoing, but his actions do not match his words.

In February 1997 the human rights commission directed compensation for one of the victims recently named in Maclean's magazine. Sixteen months later, there has been zero action. Is the minister not sending the message that sexual harassment will indeed be tolerated?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, absolutely not. Provost Marshal Col. Patricia Samson today announced that of the 26 cases covered by the Maclean's magazine article, 2 will be reopened, 6 will require further review, 15 are considered new allegations and will be investigated, and 3 were determined to have been conducted thoroughly and therefore no further action is required.

We are taking action on this. We have put in place the mechanisms. We put in place the training to make sure we show support for our policy of zero tolerance.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is clearly a policy that it will be tolerated unless discovered and brought to the light of day.

We know the military justice system simply has not protected women. Yet the minister wants to keep sexual assault cases in military courts and away from civilian courts.

Under the military system women have been subjected to ongoing reprisals rather than redress. They have been victimized again and again.

Why should women trust a military justice system that has consistently failed them?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the New Democratic Party has it all wrong. Most of the cases I cited, most of the cases in Maclean's , were investigated by civilian police and tried in civilian courts in Canada.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, not one province has signed on to a plan to set up a national tax collection agency, but a bill to set up such an agency was introduced this morning.

Alberta and Ontario want more independence from Ottawa on tax policy but they fear the new agency will rob them of any freedom they now have.

Why is the revenue minister moving ahead with this legislation when the study he commissioned to form this proposed agency was based on the assumption that all provinces would be involved? Is the minister out in his own field of dreams?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, since I have been Minister of National Revenue I have consulted across the country. I can tell all members that Canadians want a single tax administration. Canadians want to reduce overlap and duplication.

Is the member against reducing the compliance cost? Is the member against giving better service to the public, better service to the provinces and better service to Canadian business? She does not know what she is talking about. She should go back and look at how we can become more efficient, more cost effective in serving the Canadian public.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, if what the hon. minister stated is correct, all of the ministers and all of the provinces would have signed in by now.

The government claims that the new tax agency will improve administrative efficiency at Revenue Canada. Revenue Canada comprises one-quarter of the entire public service. If there is an efficiency problem with one-quarter of the public service, then there is a problem with the entire structure of government and the entire public service.

Is this the government's piecemeal solution to that larger problem, carving off the government agency by agency?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, let me quote the Manitoba finance minister. Eric Stefanson, Manitoba's finance minister said “Western provinces have long advocated a national agency. So we support this concept fully”. The member should listen to some of her own cousins out there.

Let me say to the member. Is she against an opportunity to reduce overlap and duplication? Is she in favour of building parallel systems across this country? I do not think so. Canadians want—

TaxationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Calgary Northeast.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Art Hanger Reform Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, on May 25 Maclean's magazine revealed 26 cases of sexual misconduct in the military. Today in committee the chief of the defence staff confirmed that 23 of the 26 cases mentioned are to be reopened. There is something wrong with this picture. In other words the media did what the military police would not do.

My question is for the defence minister. Why were these sexual assault cases not treated seriously in the first place?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, wherever this information has been known it has of course been treated quite seriously. Not all of these cases were known.

As I pointed out before in this House the national investigation service was only established last fall to deal with these kinds of investigations independent of the operational chain of command. We have also put harassment advisers in place. We are about to put an ombudsman in place. We are in fact improving the mechanisms and the training to make sure we can back up our zero tolerance policy and to change the culture which is necessary to do to ensure that this does not happen again.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Art Hanger Reform Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, this week we heard of more allegations of sexual assault coming out of Edmonton and Quebec. Allegations of this nature will continue until the defence minister is really serious about doing something about it. It is not good enough to say that all the safeguards are in place. They will not work on their own.

When is the defence minister going to get really serious about controlling this type of crime and establish an independent unit to investigate and prosecute criminal misconduct?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we have an independent unit, the national investigation service headed by Colonel Patricia Samson which in fact is independent of the operational chain of command. Furthermore an ombudsman will shortly be appointed that is totally outside the chain of command and reports to the Minister of National Defence.

This and many other safeguards in fact are in place or are being put in place to make sure our policy of zero tolerance is implemented. The hon. member of the opposition would rather we get rid of the victims. We would rather get rid of the perpetrators.

Air TransportOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

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

The Minister of Transport refuses to grant Air Canada any direct international links, so as not to have it compete with Canadian. As a result, more and more Canadian passengers must transit through the United States.

By blocking Air Canada's direct access to major international destinations, does the Minister not understand that he is forcing Canadian passengers, more often than not, to use American carriers?

Air TransportOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I understand that it is in the best interests of the travelling public to have two viable airlines in Canada. That is why this government put in place measures a couple of years ago to assist Canadian Airlines with its restructuring plan. That plan is working quite well. Canadian Airlines is now making money, as is Air Canada which incidentally made $427 million last year and is doing very well. It will do very much better as a result of these changes.

Air TransportOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the more the Minister intervenes to keep Canadian alive, on artificial live support more or less, the more Canadians must pass through American airports to get to Europe. This is simple enough and the minister ought to understand it.

Will the minister admit that his policy for saving two Canadian carriers in Canada, which is in some ways hindering the development of Air Canada, is also doing harm to the Montreal airport, which is ending up as a satellite for U.S. airports?

Air TransportOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I fail to see how designating Air Canada as the carrier from Toronto to Hong Kong seven days a week and five code shares of their choice, much of which will benefit the travelling public of Montreal, is somehow putting Air Canada at a disadvantage. To the contrary. The fact is these changes and further changes that are expected within the year will assist Air Canada in becoming more competitive. It will give it more revenues. It will also do the same for Canadian Airlines. That is the balanced approach, which is what this government believes in and we will stand by it.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Werner Schmidt Reform Kelowna, BC

Mr. Speaker, this morning the Canadian Taxpayers Federation released a report that indicates very clearly that Bombardier was one of the worst welfare bums in Canada. It has received $1.2 billion in grants and subsidies over the last 15 years. The Prime Minister gives Bombardier a lot of untendered contracts, 110 untendered contracts. At least these followed the rules of providing public disclosure. So why did the Prime Minister not follow that rule when the government awarded the largest contract valued at $2.85 billion?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in relation to this contract in Cold Lake and so on, I can quote “On May 2 I attended a supper in Grand Centre, Alberta to welcome a NATO delegation. They are studying” and there is a lot of very good text in favour of all of that. “The government-industry team has focused on the military and economic benefits of training there” and so on. The special evening “was an excellent example of western hospitality” and so on. It was a great statement made under Standing Order 31 on May 6, 1996.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Werner Schmidt Reform Kelowna, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister just does not get it when it comes to untendered contracts. Frontec Corporation, part of the Bombardier consortium and part of that $2.85 billion contract, is about to receive another $550 million untendered contract. Our beef is not with Frontec. Our concern is with the Prime Minister not following the rules.

When will the Prime Minister stand up and follow the rule of public disclosure, be fair, have fair competition and put all these massive contracts out for tender?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the contract the member is referring to was tendered. It is an alliance between the Inuit and this company in the north. A renewal of the contract is possible at some point in time.

Any company that wants to make a proposition is welcome to do so.

Perhaps for the edification of the House of Commons I should finish the quote. When the member for Edmonton was lobbying to have this company get the contract she said that the special evening “was an excellent example of western hospitality. School kids decorated the entire area with handmade NATO country flags. The guests were treated to a fabulous supper of Alberta beef. It was a great display of unity and support” for this contract.

Atlantic Groundfish StrategyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Bernier Bloc Bonaventure—Gaspé—Îles-De-La-Madeleine—Pabok, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Human Resources Development.

Fishers and fishery workers have been waiting months to find out what the government is going to do after the TAGS program expires. The minister is refusing to provide clear answers.

Atlantic Groundfish StrategyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.