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House of Commons Hansard #240 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was senate.

Topics

Correctional Service CanadaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased that my hon. colleague has known this for six years. I thought he found out last week.

If I did have all the answers that were needed for the alcohol addiction and drug abuse problem in the prisons, I would not have to do a review, I would just tell them how to do it. We must do a review.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have the impression there is double standard in government.

While the Prime Minister is asking the Minister of Finance not to intervene in transportation matters because he has interests, he boasts about how he intervenes in matters in which he has interests.

Why may the Minister of Finance not intervene in matters that concern him in cabinet, when the Prime Minister must intervene because it is his duty to his constituents?

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as far as interests are concerned, I sold them.

When people in my riding apply for grants available to all ridings with high unemployment, I do my duty as an MP and I hope that the member for Roberval does the same.

I have intervened in cases, but I have never intervened with respect to the interests in a golf club that I do not have and that has never received any sort of grant from the Canadian government.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's defence is that he sold his interests. But nobody has seen hide nor hair of a deed of sale.

What we want the Prime Minister to do, if he wants to be left in peace, is to table the deed of sale.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, all I can say is what I have said. I have nothing to add.

Correctional Service CanadaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Reform Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, indeed there is a drug problem in the prisons. Let us take a look at what happened last Saturday in the Kingston Penitentiary.

After prisoners were observed consuming and possibly concealing drugs during an evening yard exercise, they were penned up and taken back to their cells, but the final group of them would not go. What they did was break everything in sight and cause $10,000 worth of damage.

This is the last event that has taken place. There have been many events that have taken place over a number of years. Why has the minister just suddenly discovered that there is a drug problem?

Correctional Service CanadaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, your hon. colleague is the one who discovered a week ago that there is a drug problem. We have known for years that there is a drug problem. We have indicated that we will address the drug problem, and that is exactly what we will do.

Correctional Service CanadaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I ask hon. members to please address the chair in the question and in the answer.

Correctional Service CanadaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Reform Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, is that not really something? They have known about it for a long time and yet the minister has no plan. He has just started his study. He said that we have to do a study in order to be able to find out what we will do. Dither and dither.

Why does he have no plan? Why will he not tell us about the scope of the study that is supposedly going on?

Correctional Service CanadaOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated previously, there was a review done in 1995. A review was also done a year ago which indicated that there has been about a 300% decrease in drug use in prisons.

As I have indicated, even 12% is too much. We intend to address the problem.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister says he sold his shares in 1993. The Deputy Prime Minister told us yesterday that the alleged buyer returned the shares to the trustee.

This is saying that the trust has the shares belonging to the Prime Minister. He is not the one administering them, we agree, but they are in his trust.

The Prime Minister is therefore in the same situation as the Minister of Finance, who has shares in a trust, but who withdraws from Cabinet discussions on shipping, whereas the Prime Minister boasts of having participated in the awarding of funding in his region to business people.

Can he explain all these about-faces to us? Does he not think it would be clearer to table the bill of sale so we might have something specific rather than acts of faith?

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the member has said exactly the opposite of what the Deputy Prime Minister said yesterday. He said clearly that the shares had never been returned.

I sold and I gave the debt to my trustee, and the shares are not being administered, as far as I know. This is exactly what the ethics counsellor said in his testimony before the committee on May 6.

Grain TransportationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

John Harvard Liberal Charleswood—Assiniboine, MB

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

On May 12 the minister appointed Arthur Kroeger to work with industry stakeholders to implement a framework for grain handling and transportation reform. Farmers and industry have asked for a review of the costs of moving grain by rail as part of the Kroeger process.

Will the minister commit to the House that railway costs will be examined?

Grain TransportationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, as I said when I announced Mr. Kroeger's appointment, a full costing review would delay the whole process by a year. There is no question that for Mr. Kroeger to do a thorough job, he has to get a real handle on the true costs of grain transportation by rail.

I am pleased to announce that Mr. Kroeger has requested the Canadian Transportation Agency to conduct an immediate analysis for him so that he can be assisted in his work and report to me by the end of September.

Prisons And PenitentiariesOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Cadman Reform Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, the solicitor general just said that we had a 300% decrease. A 300% decrease should mean that we have a zero problem, but we now have a massive problem.

In my riding, a convicted armed robber said that when he went into prison decades ago he had no drug problem. When he came out he was addicted to heroin. Nothing has changed.

Where is the solicitor general's plan? Who is doing it? When are we going to get some results?

Prisons And PenitentiariesOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased that the opposition members realize there is a problem. Quite simply, no human could come up with a plan for alcoholism and drug abuse in a couple of months.

Prisons And PenitentiariesOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Cadman Reform Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, before I came here I was on an advisory committee to the deputy commissioner for the Pacific region years ago. We complained about bleach being in the prisons to sterilize needles. We complained about a convicted killer who actually murdered his wife in prison during a conjugal visit by overdosing her with heroin. The problem has been there for years.

I will again ask the solicitor general when we will get a solution to this?

Prisons And PenitentiariesOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated previously, yes, the problem has been there for years. Yes, we did do a survey in 1995 and we did a survey a year ago. There has been a 300% decrease in the use of drugs and alcohol in our penal institutions. It is not enough. We will do more.

The FamilyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Michelle Dockrill NDP Bras D'Or, NS

Mr. Speaker, during the hearings of the subcommittee on taxation and families, witnesses from across the political spectrum spoke of the need to extend and improve maternity and parental benefits.

In view of the widespread agreement that clearly exists in the country, will the Minister of Human Resources Development commit his government today to extending and improving maternity and parental benefits for Canadian families?

The FamilyOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I am looking forward to reading the report of the subcommittee. I always look forward to constructive ideas to improve the social security of our Canadian families and our Canadian workers. I will certainly look into any creative and imaginative solutions and ideas that the parliamentary committee might want to submit to the government.

The FamilyOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Michelle Dockrill NDP Bras D'Or, NS

Mr. Speaker, three months ago the minister realized, several years after everyone else, that this government's 1996 Employment Insurance Act discriminated against women. As usual, he promised to study the problem. The 56% of women who are ineligible for maternity benefits do not need a study to tell them what is wrong.

How much longer must they wait before the minister stops studying and starts acting?

The FamilyOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, we have been very clear on this topic that we are monitoring very closely the impact of our EI reform on families and on women in particular. Indeed, we have identified that the re-entrance requirements might be penalizing women in a particular way. I have been raising this issue with my officials and we are looking into solutions because we want to serve citizens as well as we can.

Indeed, it is important to bring in the right solutions to the right problems and not jump to hasty conclusions, as the member is doing right now.

National DefenceOral Question Period

June 8th, 1999 / 2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, on April 8 the Minister of National Defence testified before the defence committee that the government was a matter of weeks away from initiating the maritime helicopter program to replace the Sea Kings. We have also been told that the statement of requirement has been done for months.

Where is the statement of requirement for the Sea King replacements? Is it at the chief of air staff level, the chief of defence staff level, the armed forces council or gathering dust on the minister's desk?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, it is not gathering dust anywhere. We are putting the final touches on it and hope to be able to bring it forward soon because we want to get on with the replacement of the Sea King helicopter. It has provided yeoman service for the Canadian forces and it continues to be well maintained, but eventually it has to be replaced and we need to get on with doing that and we intend to.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in the province of New Brunswick the people wiped out the Liberals because they got answers like that. They never got a straight one. This Liberal government is going to go too if it does not give me some straight answers.

Where is the statement of requirement for the Sea King replacement? Is it at the chief of air staff level or is the minister waiting until parliament recesses for the summer so he can get out of the heat on this issue?