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House of Commons Hansard #38 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agreed.

Topics

ReferendumsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the supreme court recognized the legitimacy of the Quebec sovereignist project. However, with its bill, the federal government is attacking that legitimacy.

By introducing its referendum legislation, is the federal government not trying to send to the international community and to the rest of Canada the message that if Ottawa is not the one that sets the rules, the referendum exercise will be a fraud and will not be valid? Is the federal government not trying to tarnish the image of democracy in Quebec, which makes us so proud?

ReferendumsOral Question Period

2:35 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 National Assembly is free to ask any question it wants to voters. There is absolutely nothing in the bill that questions the National Assembly's prerogatives.

But everyone, whether in Quebec, in all of Canada or in the world, would find it unreasonable that the government of a country would be forced to negotiate the breakup of that country on just any question. It will take a clear question on separation to negotiate separation.

If the hon. member wants to travel the world to try to condemn that, she will be told everywhere “but Madam, this is obvious”.

ReferendumsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

Dear colleagues, I remind you that you must always address the Chair.

ReferendumsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, in 1995, the Quebec referendum process was thoroughly examined by the whole world.

Is the federal government not sending to the international community the message that it is not acting in good faith with Quebec, that it does not want to act in good faith, and that regardless of what we do or say, it will find excuses to refuse to negotiate?

ReferendumsOral Question Period

2:35 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 confusing process used in 1995 was indeed thoroughly examined. The hon. member should read the book written by sociologist Maurice Pinard on the confusion that the question generated among voters.

As for the international community, I think this bill will be perceived as something very liberal and open regarding secession, which is not at all a popular concept around the world, so much so in fact that many very respectable democracies have declared themselves indivisible.

PrisonsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Reform Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, an internal Correctional Service Canada survey obtained through access to information proves that the prison drug prevention strategy is a failure. Correctional Service Canada staff confirmed what the Reform Party has been saying for months. Only 31% of them rated the drug strategy as successful. In other words, almost 70% of his own staff think the program is a failure.

When was the solicitor general planning to tell Canadians that his drug strategy plan is an abject failure?

PrisonsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as my hon. colleague is well aware, the drug initiative program by the Correctional Service of Canada has not been a failure. We have been working full time to make sure all the actions taken by the Correctional Service of Canada to address the drug problem are worked on and improved as we go on.

PrisonsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Reform Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, I will tell you what the solicitor general has been working on. It is a $2.5 million building to research drugs placed in his riding in Prince Edward Island where there are no prisons. Meanwhile, just a few miles down the road at the closed base CFB Summerside, there are more than 11 buildings closed.

Is it not true that the solicitor general does not give a damn about drugs in prisons, but is preoccupied about patronage—

PrisonsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. It is probably acceptable in most circumstances but I would ask hon. members to stay away from very strong language today. I will let the hon. solicitor general answer the question.

PrisonsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated a number of times in the House, when I was appointed—

PrisonsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

PrisonsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Liberal Cardigan, PE

Mr. Speaker, they asked the question. Why do they not listen to the answer?

This is a serious problem. Quite simply, when I was appointed Solicitor General of Canada, 70% of the people in our federal institutions were alcoholics or had drug problems. It would make great sense to address the major problem in our federal institutions. That is what this government is going to do. We are going to address the addiction and drug problems in the federal penitentiaries.

ReferendumsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the minister wanted to talk about the international community, let us do that.

For at least ten years now, the federal government has insisted internationally that existing borders be maintained in the recognition of new sovereign states. But its draft bill on the Quebec referendum calls Quebec's borders into question.

What is different today that the federal government has abandoned its traditional position? Might it be because, this time, its own turf is involved?

ReferendumsOral Question Period

2:40 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, borders have been known to shift during secessions. These shifts have been carried out successfully.

The Czech Republic and Slovakia shifted their borders slightly after negotiations. Latvia agreed to review its border with Russia.

This sort of thing happens. It is really not desirable, but it can happen that, in order for a separation agreement to take place in the least unfavourable conditions possible, there must be an agreement to shift borders.

Treasury BoardOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Roger Gallaway Liberal Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the President of the Treasury Board.

A large number of industry and commercial groups state this government's rules concerning cost recovery are not transparent, are usurious, generally unfair and an additional burden on the cost of doing business in this country.

Will the minister lend her support to a parliamentary committee study which would examine all government departments and agencies and how they recover costs?

Treasury BoardOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, cost recovery by the Government of Canada is implemented all the time after large consultations with stakeholders, through economic impact and according to a fair and transparent process. Right now there is a review of the policies which will involve everyone, including parliamentarians, businesses, consumers, NGOs, federal departments and agencies that are concerned by this.

Coast GuardOral Question Period

December 13th, 1999 / 2:40 p.m.

Reform

Myron Thompson Reform Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, according to Saturday's media reports a man lost his life off the coast of Newfoundland while a coast guard rescue ship was preparing for a lavish party for Correctional Service Canada officials.

Why does the coast guard put a higher priority on parties rather than saving lives?

Coast GuardOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the women and men take pride in the work they do and they do an excellent job when it comes to search and rescue.

As I said to the House last week, search and rescue is a priority for the coast guard and our rescue centre. There was a young man who lost his life on the shoreline in Newfoundland. The RCMP, the coast guard, as well as a DND helicopter responded according to the guidelines. They made every effort to respond to the situation.

Coast GuardOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Myron Thompson Reform Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, let me remind the minister of his statement in Hansard last week. He said: “Mr. Speaker, I want to make it very clear to the members that no lives were at risk at any time”. Well, a person drowned.

What I want to know from the minister is why are they using coast guard ships for parties? Where are their priorities?

Coast GuardOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, it is typical of the Reform Party to use such sleazy tactics in a very—

Coast GuardOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Coast GuardOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I ask the hon. minister to withdraw “sleazy”.

Coast GuardOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal Liberal Vancouver South—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, I withdraw it.

As I said last week, no lives were at risk. The coast guard ship Cape Roger attended to this as soon as it was alerted. The RCMP, which has jurisdiction because of the action on the shoreline, responded, and the DND helicopter from Gander also responded. They responded exactly in accordance with the rescue standards which we have established in this country.

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, on Friday the Alberta government replied to the health minister's questions about its move toward a privatized two-tier health care system.

If members have had a chance to look at the reply they will see that it does not allay Canadians' fears one bit that the Alberta plan will erode our public universal health care system. Yet, Alberta sees no problems and still plans to proceed.

Does the health minister find Alberta's answers to his questions satisfactory? If not, what action will the government take to keep Alberta from unilaterally destroying our public health care system?

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we have received the letter from Minister Jonson of Alberta and it is under consideration. We will react to it as soon as we have completed our examination of it.