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House of Commons Hansard #208 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was crime.

Topics

Law DayStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Eleni Bakopanos Liberal Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw to your attention that today is law day. We in Canada are celebrating the 17th anniversary of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The theme for law day is access to justice, a theme I strongly support.

Public legal information and education activities have been organized across Canada by the Canadian Bar Association involving hundreds of lawyers. The aim is to make the law more accessible to all Canadians and to expand their knowledge of their rights within Canada's justice system.

I offer my encouragement and my support to the Canadian Bar Association as well as to the many community groups here in Ottawa and across Canada in their endeavours on Law Day.

I invite all members to join me in extending best wishes to all involved for a successful law day and especially the members of the Canadian Bar Association who, with their president, Mr. Barry Gorlick, are here in the gallery today.

Victims RightsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Cadman Reform Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, today Canadians, and especially victims of crime, finally receive some legislated form of victims rights. It is unfortunate that we have had to wait so long for these relatively simple reforms to our criminal law. For six years the Reform Party has been pressuring the government.

In response to a Reform motion by the member for Langley—Abbotsford and supported by the majority of the last parliament, the former Minister of Justice and now Minister of Health promised legislation would be introduced in the fall of 1996. It was not.

Last October the justice committee made 17 recommendations toward improvements to victims rights.

Today, at long last, we have finally heard from the Minister of Justice. Six years; why did it take so long? And, still we are only half way there. The government still has much to do in the area of corrections and conditional release.

On behalf of victims, I seriously question the government's priorities in respect of victims rights.

Bloc QuebecoisStatements By Members

April 15th, 1999 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, the separatists have just released a series of documents they call “chantiers” or works in progress. In these new documents they hold doggedly on to their determination to break apart our country of Canada.

Yet some time ago Quebec Premier Lucien Bouchard said that the idea of sovereignty was still at the early stages. It seems to be time this project was shelved.

The Bloc is coming back with the same idea, the separation of Quebec from the rest of Canada. The separatists ought to bear in mind that Quebeckers have twice rejected that option.

Sagkeeng First NationStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Bev Desjarlais NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba has been devastated by a supreme court decision to take a four year old boy away from his biological grandfather and give custody to his adopted grandparents in Connecticut.

The grandfather did not lose custody for neglect. The court based its decision on money. The Sagkeeng man lost custody because he is poor and the American couple is rich.

Discrimination on the basis of money or social condition is unacceptable to Canadians. Incredibly, this kind of discrimination is not illegal in Canada.

Two days ago the Liberal government had a chance to make sure that what happened in Sagkeeng would never happen again. Shockingly, it voted down Bill S-11, a bill that would have outlawed discrimination on the basis of social condition. Instead of standing up for the people of Sagkeeng and aboriginal children everywhere, the minister of Indian affairs and her parliamentary secretary from Manitoba chose to toe the Liberal government's line.

This is yet another betrayal by the Liberal government.

Bloc QuebecoisStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Liberal Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, the sovereignists have most decidedly understood nothing about the choice of Quebeckers. Twice, in 1980 and in 1995, in two referendums, Quebeckers have chosen to remain within Canada.

In the past two days the Bloc Quebecois has made public a series of documents. No doubt in large part inspired by their new researcher and former premier, Jacques Parizeau, they are trying to again stir up trouble among Quebecers.

The sovereignists are willfully deaf. Instead of respecting Quebec's determination to remain within Canada, they are trying to perpetuate political instability by talking of separation.

Municipality Of ClareStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Mark Muise Progressive Conservative West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, today I want to congratulate the residents of the municipality of Clare for their generous efforts.

These people had long awaited the construction of a multi purpose building, which would house only a curling rink and accommodate trade exhibitions, farmers' markets, craft shows and such.

The dream is now a reality through the work of a group of volunteers who generously gave their time and energy to this project. Under the leadership of Charles Surette, these people mobilized the rest of the community and the Yarmouth HDRC and set to work providing 2,000 hours of volunteer labour, so that soon life will be better for the residents of Clare.

It appears that in the municipality of Clare civic pride and the willingness to volunteer are alive and well.

Rosaire MorinStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, Rosaire Morin, senior editor of the magazine l'Action Nationale , died yesterday at the age of 77, after an exceptional life of action, thought, research and writing.

Up to the very last minute, Rosaire Morin was working for his people, to emancipate French Canadians in his youth and to liberate the Quebec people thereafter.

In the course of the debate preceding the selection of the Quebec flag in 1948, he was one of the primary players in the important event known as the States-General of French-Canada.

The flight of Quebeckers' savings was his last issue. In this one as in all other battles, Rosaire Morin was totally professional and committed.

I reiterate the words of the president of the national action league “One of the great artisans of modern Quebec has just died. He followed in the steps of the great leaders. He died on the brink of a country he fought for so hard”.

Canada Export AwardsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Canada Export Award ceremony will be held in Toronto next October.

Since the program was first instituted 16 years ago, more than 300 enterprises have entered their names.

The Canadian government is pleased to take part in this ceremony and pay tribute to the accomplishments of Canadian enterprises in industries as varied as food, technology, telecommunications and transportation.

We wish all entrants the best of luck and every success. I hope that there will be numerous representatives from Quebec among them.

The JunctionStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to thank the city of Toronto, Toronto Hydro and the West Toronto Junction team, who, in partnership with Human Resources Development Canada, are working toward the revival of the area in my riding known as the Junction, which at one time was the heart of the West Toronto village.

In the largest underground project undertaken in its 88 year history, Toronto Hydro will invest $19 million to take down hydro poles, overhead wires and transformers and will replace them with new street lights, underground cable and transformers. Once completed, the West Toronto Junction team and the city of Toronto will undertake a major streetscape improvement program. The federal government has to date contributed $100,000 toward rebuilding the local labour partnerships.

On April 9th, the groundbreaking ceremony took place and we are now one step closer to the dream of restoring this neighbourhood, making it a vibrant, healthy and prosperous place to live and work.

I would congratulate the West Toronto Junction team, the city of Toronto and Toronto Hydro for their initiative in reviving this important historic neighbourhood.

Battle Of Vimy RidgeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Jim Hart Reform Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

I rise on behalf of the people of Okanagan—Coquihalla to commemorate the 82nd anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

After three years of a bloody stalemate on the western front, it took four divisions of Canadians, led for the first time by a Canadian, to advance with a resounding tactical victory.

The key at Vimy was superior planning and troops with a determination to defy the odds. After weeks of practice on a full scale replica of the ridge, the Canadians shelled the well-entrenched Germans for two weeks before risking a frontal assault.

When the time came to remove the remaining Germans from their superior position, the Canadians advanced slowly up the ridge behind a wall of fire provided by the Canadian artillery. After heavy fighting, the Germans were driven off the ridge at a cost of 11,000 Canadian casualties.

To historians, Vimy Ridge is a spectacular tactical victory studied for its own merits. For Canadians, however, it marks the birth of our nation.

Seafreez Foods LimitedStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to express my extreme disappointment and frustration and those of the citizens of Guysborough county with the decision of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans for rejecting an application from Seafreez Foods Incorporated, one that was requesting to harvest 1,000 tonnes of shrimp off the Strait of Canso.

As astonished as I am with the minister's decision, it does not compare to that of the 150 workers who were temporarily laid off only hours after the federal government's decision to reject the Seafreez application.

Seafreez Foods once employed 800 people. Now Seafreez only employs a handful. It is due to the lack of support and understanding that this minister and his government display toward the fisheries in Canso, Nova Scotia. For far too long, the fishermen of Canso have seen fish being caught only kilometres off their peer to be trucked elsewhere by others for processing. It is ludicrous and offensive.

The fishing industry is the lifeblood of Canso. With these fishermen not fishing they are obviously not working, which is precisely the problem. The lack of work in Canso today is primarily due to the minister's illogical decision to reject Seafreez's application for increased stocks last Friday.

Seafreez has exhausted all possible—

Seafreez Foods LimitedStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

Oral questions. The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

KosovoOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning ReformLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Russia today welcomed the German peace plan offering a 24 hour halt to the NATO air strikes if Yugoslav forces would withdraw from Kosovo. Certainly no one wants a repeat of the tragic accident that occurred yesterday.

What specific efforts have Canada and its allies undertaken to impress upon Milosevic the serious consequences of not accepting the latest peace offer?

KosovoOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we are happy that there is more pressure on President Milosevic at this time to accept the withdrawal of his army, which will lead immediately to the stopping of the bombing.

I hope he will understand that it is in the interests of everybody that he withdraw his troops, that they stop doing what they are doing in Kosovo, so the bombing can stop right away. I hope that he listens.

We were talking to a lot of people this morning. For example, the Minister of Foreign Affairs spoke with the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Russia to try to advance the case. As any other country who is part of NATO, we are trying to find a peaceful solution to this terrible problem.

KosovoOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning ReformLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Foreign Affairs said that Canada had been involved in the development of this German peace plan for over a week. Obviously, therefore, Canada has a role in promoting this peace proposal.

What efforts has the Prime Minister himself undertaken to advance the German peace proposal, including within NATO where both the United States and the United Kingdom have expressed some reservations?

KosovoOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as the Prime Minister just indicated, on the weekend there was a meeting of G-8 senior officials in which a series of proposals were examined. They emerged, as the member calls it, with the German proposal.

What we are now doing is engaging in a series of discussions among ministers and among capitals to see how we can arrive at an agreement on those proposals. It is one thing to have proposals, the other thing is to get agreement on them.

I had a discussion with the Russian foreign minister this morning to determine how those proposals could be conveyed and communicated to the Serb authorities and to determine whether in fact they are prepared to accept them. That discussion is ongoing and I hope we will have some positive results. In the meantime, we will continue to work actively to secure those results.

KosovoOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning ReformLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, surely we all agree that every effort must be made to bring Milosevic to the peace table. But the Milosevic regime has kept its own people in the dark, both with respect to its ruthless policies of ethnic cleansing and with respect to the peace initiatives that have come from NATO and the west.

What effort is being made by Canada and its allies to communicate to the Yugoslav people, as distinct from the Yugoslav government, the fact that there is a new peace proposal on the table?

KosovoOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, one of the great handicaps in this whole conflict is that the media is totally controlled by state authorities in Serbia. They do not allow any form of communication other than the ones which they dictate. Therefore, it is very difficult to get any independent evaluation. We are in a democracy and we have a wide variety of opinions being expressed.

In the meantime, I think there are very active presentations being made by Radio for Europe and by Voice of America to try to communicate the interests of NATO in finding a peaceful solution. We will get that information through to the Serbian people as much as we can.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Reform Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the Minister of Finance a question about taxes. Before I do, I simply want to say that the alleged tax relief which he has supposedly delivered so far is clearly inadequate. That is why 85% of Canadians are saying in a national poll today that they want to see tax relief as the number one priority.

Instead of telling us how concerned he is about it, how much he would like to give tax relief, when is he actually going to deliver tax relief?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the government has made it very clear time and time again that we want to bring down taxes. In fact, we did bring down taxes substantially in the last budget.

If the hon. member wants to quote polls, surely to heaven he would like to quote the poll of 6% of Ontarians who support the gutting of health care like the Reform Party would do.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Reform Medicine Hat, AB

There we go, Mr. Speaker. The Minister of Finance says “I want to cut taxes, but...” He always has an excuse. “This surplus is not big enough”. “I gave billions to big business”. “Mom wouldn't let me”. “The dog ate my homework”. We hear lame excuse after lame excuse.

Instead of lame excuses, when is the minister going to do something? When is he going to give us substantial tax relief?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the fact is, I simply repeat, that it is $16.5 billion over the next 36 months. That is substantial tax relief.

The Reform Party is now revealing its true colours. What it says is a lame excuse is $11.5 billion going into the health care system. That is not an excuse; that is Canada's priority.

KosovoOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, while reaffirming the need for NATO intervention in Kosovo in order to protect the Kosovar population, we now know that the intensified air strikes have resulted in innocent Kosovar victims.

Could the Prime Minister fill us in on the situation and give us his version of yesterday's sad incident?

KosovoOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, at the NATO briefings this morning the pilot who was involved in this tragic incident described what happened.

He saw a number of villages being set on fire and destroyed. They reacted to that. A convoy with military vehicles was perceived to be responsible and they attacked it to try to stop the destruction. Unfortunately, those military vehicles also contained refugees.

It is a very regrettable accident and NATO authorities are putting in place measures to make sure it does not happen again.

KosovoOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, everyone deplores yesterday's sad incident, the horror of ethnic cleansing and women being raped.

A ray of hope has appeared, however, with Germany's peace plan which, we have learned today, has Russia's backing. Two countries with which Canada has close ties, the United States and Great Britain, are somewhat lukewarm to the plan.

Does the Prime Minister intend to intervene with his British counterpart, the President of the United States and the Premier of China so that they too will support this opportunity to arrive at a peaceful solution to the conflict, and so that Canada can present Germany's peace plan to the UN security council?