November 28, 1963

DOMINION-PROVINCIAL CONFERENCE ALLEGED CONTRADICTORY STATEMENTS RESPECTING QUEBEC SUBMISSION

RA

Gilles Grégoire

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Gilles Gregoire (Lapointe):

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege concerning the rights of all hon. members in the house to get the truth in answers given by members of the cabinet.

To a question put to him yesterday by the leader of the official opposition, the Acting Prime Minister gave this reply, as reported on page 5156 of Hansard, left hand column:

If hon. members will allow me, I will do my best to answer it. In the next place I should like to say that there is nothing either in the statement made by the premier of the province of Quebec or in the statement I listened to this morning that is in the nature of an ultimatum.

Now, Mr. Speaker, on May 27, 1963, I put a question to the Minister of Justice and Acting Prime Minister (Mr. Chevrier) and here is what he replied as shown in Hansard, at page 282.

Mr. Speaker, I duly received the press releases the hon. member sent me. I even heard the Quebec premier, Mr. Lesage, on television, when he stated that he considered as an ultimatum the claims or proposals of the province of Quebec.

Mr. Speaker, on May 27, 1963, the Minister of Justice admitted that the Quebec proposals were in the nature of an ultimatum and yesterday, November 27, as shown in Hansard, the Minister of Justice stated that there was no ultimatum.

I believe, Mr. Speaker, and this is my point of privilege, that the members of this house are entitled to get the whole truth and not answers where facts are concealed; and members of the cabinet have no right to shirk their responsibilities as the Minister of Justice tried to do yesterday.

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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Justice):

Mr. Speaker, it is clear that the question asked by the Leader of the Opposition yesterday dealt with the federal-provincial conference now under way.

I remember very well the press releases that the hon. member for Lapointe (Mr. Gregoire) sent me, as well as the answer

I gave him, but in my opinion this release is several months old, while the question of the hon. member concerned only what happened yesterday and immediately before. I am in a position to say that there was no question of an ultimatum.

As a matter of fact, my attention is called to the fact that this was confirmed by the premier of Quebec himself.

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RA

Gilles Grégoire

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Gregoire:

Does the Minister of Justice mean that the premier of Quebec changed his mind?

Topic:   DOMINION-PROVINCIAL CONFERENCE ALLEGED CONTRADICTORY STATEMENTS RESPECTING QUEBEC SUBMISSION
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?

Maurice Bourget (Speaker of the Senate)

Mr. Speaker:

Order please.

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INQUIRY AS TO DISCUSSIONS RESPECTING LOTTERIES


On the orders of the day:


PC

Georges-J. Valade

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Georges Valade (St. Mary):

Mr. Speaker, may I put a question to the Acting Prime Minister?

Could he tell the house whether the idea of establishing lotteries has been rejected once and for all this morning at the federal-provincial conference or whether it is still possible that the matter will be further considered during this conference?

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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. Lionel Chevrier (Acting Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, I am not in a position to provide an answer such as my hon. friend is asking. The matter has not been settled one way or the other.

The purpose of this meeting was to hear the representations made by the attorneys general of the various provinces, and this has been done. A frank discussion was held and in due course, I intend to report on it to the government.

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PC

Georges-J. Valade

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Valade:

Mr. Speaker, may I put a supplementary question?

Will the matter of lotteries be discussed again before the end of the conference?

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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

Such a decision rests with the provincial premiers. If they so desire, the federal government is willing to discuss the matter again.

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PC

Georges-J. Valade

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Georges Valade (St. Mary):

Mr. Speaker, I am addressing my question to the Minister

5184 HOUSE OF

Inquiries of the Ministry of Justice. As it seems evident that no agreement will be reached with regard to provincial lotteries during the federal-provincial conference now taking place, can the Minister of Justice tell us whether he intends to introduce in the very near future a bill in the house tending to amend the Criminal Code so as to allow provincial lotteries, as promised by the Liberal party during the last election campaign?

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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Justice):

Mr. Speaker, I do not accept the introductory remarks to the question, which certainly anticipate discussions which might take place during this federal-provincial conference, as well as those which took place this morning between the attorneys general of the provinces and the Minister of Justice.

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PC

Georges-J. Valade

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Valade:

Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. The Minister of Justice implied that I might jeopardize the progress of discussion at the federal-provincial conference. Yet, the Minister of Justice stated himself that there had been no agreement with regard to provincial lotteries, that the issue had been discussed, and that there was no chance of the matter being discussed again at the federal-provincial conference.

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FEDERAL ATTITUDE TOWARD ALLEGED ULTIMATUM FROM QUEBEC


On the orders of the day:


PC

Louis-Joseph Pigeon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. L. J. Pigeon (Jolieite-L'Assomplion-Monicalm):

Mr. Speaker, may I direct a question to the Acting Prime Minister?

In view of the fact that the province of Quebec has a culture and a language which differ from those of the other provinces and that it has, consequently, different needs, can the minister assure us that the federal government will accept the legitimate requests of Quebec?

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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. Lionel Chevrier (Acting Prime Minister):

The brief of the province of Quebec, which has been tabled, will be given careful consideration by the conference and the federal government, as will the briefs submitted by the other provinces.

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PC

Louis-Joseph Pigeon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Pigeon:

Is it the intention of the federal government to capitulate to the requests of British Columbia, which are greater than those of Quebec?

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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

I see that the hon. member must have consulted his chief, as yesterday the latter asked the same question about the province of Quebec.

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November 28, 1963