October 20, 1976

ORAL QUESTION PERIOD

THE CONSTITUTION

PC

Flora Isabel MacDonald

Progressive Conservative

Miss Flora MacDonald (Kingston and the Islands):

Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Acting Prime Minister. In light of this morning's story in the Montreal Gazette relating to constitutional amendments, will the Acting Prime Minister advise the House if any new proposals, information or documents which would have prompted this story have been put forward by the federal government to the provinces since those documents tabled in the House on April 9?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CONSTITUTION
Sub-subtopic:   INQUIRY CONCERNING PROPOSALS FORWARDED TO PROVINCES-MAINTENANCE OF LANGUAGE RIGHTS
Permalink
LIB

Allan Joseph MacEachen (President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Hon. Allan J. MacEachen (Acting Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the importance of the question asked by the hon. member for Kingston and the Islands. I read the story in the Montreal Gazette this morning; obviously, as the hon. member knows, the story is inaccurate. If I may respond directly to the hon. member's question, there has been no further documentation or proposal made since the Prime Minister tabled copies of his letters to the premiers respecting the patriation exercise of April 10, 1976, to which a draft proclamation was appended. This draft proclamation is falsely drawn upon to support the allegation that the draft proclamation itself removes existing guarantees with respect to language rights.

I think Article 30 of the draft proclamation is explicit and states that English and French are the official languages of Canada, that no provision in this part shall derogate from any right, privilege or obligation existing under any other provision of the constitution.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CONSTITUTION
Sub-subtopic:   INQUIRY CONCERNING PROPOSALS FORWARDED TO PROVINCES-MAINTENANCE OF LANGUAGE RIGHTS
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CONSTITUTION
Sub-subtopic:   INQUIRY CONCERNING PROPOSALS FORWARDED TO PROVINCES-MAINTENANCE OF LANGUAGE RIGHTS
Permalink
LIB

Allan Joseph MacEachen (President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MacEachen:

This language in the draft proclamation clarifies the situation perfectly and indicates that the report in the Gazette is false. One can only hope, in view of the anxiety that report will create, that similar publicity will be given to the correction.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CONSTITUTION
Sub-subtopic:   INQUIRY CONCERNING PROPOSALS FORWARDED TO PROVINCES-MAINTENANCE OF LANGUAGE RIGHTS
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CONSTITUTION
Sub-subtopic:   INQUIRY CONCERNING PROPOSALS FORWARDED TO PROVINCES-MAINTENANCE OF LANGUAGE RIGHTS
Permalink
LIB

Daniel Joseph MacDonald (Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Liberal

Miss MacDonald:

Mr. Speaker, I thank the Acting Prime Minister for his explanation, given the many great inaccuracies contained in that story. Nevertheless, having said that, in

view of the confusion and dangerous misunderstandings which this article could create in the minds of many Canadians on the language rights issue, as the minister mentioned, can the government affirm that in the event of patriation of the constitution, however achieved, the existing guarantees in the British North America Act for language rights will not be withdrawn or weakened in any way?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CONSTITUTION
Sub-subtopic:   INQUIRY CONCERNING PROPOSALS FORWARDED TO PROVINCES-MAINTENANCE OF LANGUAGE RIGHTS
Permalink
LIB

Allan Joseph MacEachen (President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MacEachen:

Mr. Speaker, that is clearly the policy of the government. That is the proposal that is contained in the draft proclamation which was tabled by the Prime Minister in the House. Therefore, there is no equivocation in replying positively to the hon. member's question.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CONSTITUTION
Sub-subtopic:   INQUIRY CONCERNING PROPOSALS FORWARDED TO PROVINCES-MAINTENANCE OF LANGUAGE RIGHTS
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CONSTITUTION
Sub-subtopic:   INQUIRY CONCERNING PROPOSALS FORWARDED TO PROVINCES-MAINTENANCE OF LANGUAGE RIGHTS
Permalink

DATE OF CONFERENCE WITH PREMIERS

PC

Flora Isabel MacDonald

Progressive Conservative

Miss Flora MacDonald (Kingston and the Islands):

Can the

Acting Prime Minister advise if any date has been set for further constitutional discussions between the Prime Minister and the premiers as proposed by the premiers following the termination of their meeting in Toronto on October 2?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   DATE OF CONFERENCE WITH PREMIERS
Permalink
LIB

Allan Joseph MacEachen (President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Hon. Allan J. MacEachen (Acting Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, no specific date has been set for a future discussion between the Prime Minister and the premiers of the provinces. I shall be tabling later today copies of correspondence between the Prime Minister and Premier Lougheed of Alberta who acted as chairman of the premiers' meeting on this question. In that correspondence it will be seen that there is an acceptance of a future meeting with the premiers, but no specific date has yet been set.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   DATE OF CONFERENCE WITH PREMIERS
Permalink

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

NDP

John Edward Broadbent

New Democratic Party

Mr. Edward Broadbent (Oshawa-Whitby):

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Acting Prime Minister as well. Considering the message the people of Canada sent the government via two by-elections on Monday can the Acting Prime Minister possibly explain the priorities of the government as indicated in the 11 bills filed yesterday, almost all of which are housekeeping or include such gems as the Historic Sites and Monuments Act amendment and an act respecting diplomatic and consular privileges.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   LEGISLATION LISTED AS INDICATION OF GOVERNMENT PRIORITIES
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   LEGISLATION LISTED AS INDICATION OF GOVERNMENT PRIORITIES
Permalink
NDP

John Edward Broadbent

New Democratic Party

Mr. Broadbent:

Are these the real priorities of the government?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   LEGISLATION LISTED AS INDICATION OF GOVERNMENT PRIORITIES
Permalink
LIB

Allan Joseph MacEachen (President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Hon. Allan J. MacEachen (Acting Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, the priorities of the government have been set forth in the Speech from the Throne.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   LEGISLATION LISTED AS INDICATION OF GOVERNMENT PRIORITIES
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

October 20, 1976

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   LEGISLATION LISTED AS INDICATION OF GOVERNMENT PRIORITIES
Permalink
LIB

Allan Joseph MacEachen (President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MacEachen:

The list of bills of which notice was given yesterday, of course, includes bills that will be brought forward, hopefully in the course of the session. Each of the bills, of course, does not carry the same priority. I hope that the hon. member realizes there are a number of extremely important bills in the group of which notice was given yesterday.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   LEGISLATION LISTED AS INDICATION OF GOVERNMENT PRIORITIES
Permalink

October 20, 1976