November 5, 1979

PC

Charles Joseph Clark (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Right Hon. Joe Clark (Prime Minister):

No, Mr. Speaker.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   INQUIRY WHETHER GOVERNMENT READY TO RETURN CERTAIN TAX FIELDS TO QUEBEC
Permalink

THE CANADIAN CONSTITUTION

LIB

Francis Fox

Liberal

Hon. Francis Fox (Blainville-Deux-Montagnes):

Mr. Speaker, my question was for the Minister of State for Federal-Provincial Relations, but in his absence 1 will direct it to the right hon. Prime Minister. Following the publication of the white paper on sovereignty-association by the government of the Parti Quebecois, and also following the dismantling by the right hon. Prime Minister of a unit within the Federal-Provincial Relations Office known as the Tellier group, could the right hon. Prime Minister tell the House if he now intends to restore that unit and publish a refutation of the white paper which gives out more propaganda than information, which treats confederation as a failure, which gives many misinterpretations of Canadian history and which, surely, should not remain without answer?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CANADIAN CONSTITUTION
Sub-subtopic:   REQUEST FOR RESTORATION OF TELLIER TASK FORCE TO PREPARE ANSWER TO WHITE PAPER ON SOVEREIGNTY-ASSOCIATION
Permalink
PC

Charles Joseph Clark (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Right Hon. Joe Clark (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, it is not my government's intention to publish an answer to the white paper. In the months to come the federal government will take steps and make proposals which will continue to show Quebeckers that there is now in Ottawa a government ready to consider changes.

As for misinterpretations of Canadian history in the Quebec white paper, I do not feel it is essential for the federal government to stress them by its own publication.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CANADIAN CONSTITUTION
Sub-subtopic:   REQUEST FOR RESTORATION OF TELLIER TASK FORCE TO PREPARE ANSWER TO WHITE PAPER ON SOVEREIGNTY-ASSOCIATION
Permalink
LIB

Francis Fox

Liberal

Mr. Fox:

Since the Prime Minister indicated to the House on Friday, and once again today in his answer to me, that attitudes and concrete steps are more important than rhetoric, and that these are to be the hallmark of his government in constitutional reform, and since the Prime Minister has rejected the approach of holding a federal-provincial conference of first ministers to discuss the immediate, anyhow, proposals for constitutional reform, could the Prime Minister indicate to the House what these concrete steps are that they have in mind, and how they are to be brought to the attention of provincial first ministers, to the House of Commons and to the Canadian public in general?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CANADIAN CONSTITUTION
Sub-subtopic:   REQUEST FOR RESTORATION OF TELLIER TASK FORCE TO PREPARE ANSWER TO WHITE PAPER ON SOVEREIGNTY-ASSOCIATION
Permalink
PC

Charles Joseph Clark (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Clark:

Mr. Speaker, we are in the process, now, of discussing important changes with various provincial governments. In many cases they are changes in administrative arrangements which would have, nonetheless, an impact on the way the federal and provincial levels of government work together. In some cases they are changes that would affect

relations between the central government and all of the provinces; in other cases they are changes which would affect relations between the central government and some of the provinces.

I do not think we are at a stage of agreement yet where any of those could usefully be brought before the House of Commons. I would hope that it might be possible for us to reach agreement on some of those matters at the first ministers' meeting. Certainly, I can give the hon. member and the House the undertaking that when we are at a stage where we think we have changes that can significantly advance co-operation between the federal government and provincial governments, we will make them known in this House and elsewhere.

[ Translation]

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CANADIAN CONSTITUTION
Sub-subtopic:   REQUEST FOR RESTORATION OF TELLIER TASK FORCE TO PREPARE ANSWER TO WHITE PAPER ON SOVEREIGNTY-ASSOCIATION
Permalink

NATIONAL UNITY

LIB

Jeanne Sauvé

Liberal

Hon. Jeanne Sauve (Laval-des-Rapides):

Mr. Speaker, as we question the government, their position gets clearer. We now know that this government has no intention of conducting an intensive campaign for the "No" option in the Quebec referendum. I would now put my question to the Prime Minister. If he feels missionary work is not useful in the province of Quebec, will he encourage his ministers to travel across the rest of Canada to inform other Canadians of the constitutional crisis implied by the proposal for separating Quebec from Canada, since the white paper urges other provinces to ask for direct participation in new Quebec-Canada bodies?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   NATIONAL UNITY
Sub-subtopic:   REQUEST CANADIANS BE INFORMED ON CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS BROUGHT ABOUT BY QUEBEC PROPOSALS
Permalink
PC

Charles Joseph Clark (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Right Hon. Joe Clark (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, it is this government's intention to go on travelling across Canada, and this includes Quebec of course, to point out the advantages of federalism and the disadvantages in the proposal put forward by the Quebec government.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   NATIONAL UNITY
Sub-subtopic:   REQUEST CANADIANS BE INFORMED ON CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS BROUGHT ABOUT BY QUEBEC PROPOSALS
Permalink

REQUEST GOVERNMENT EXPLAIN CLEARLY POSITION ON QUEBEC PROPOSALS

LIB

Jeanne Sauvé

Liberal

Hon. Jeanne Sauve (Laval-des-Rapides):

Since Quebec is not isolated in this constitutional crisis, since it is not isolated either in its requests to the Canadian government for changes in the relationships between the federal government and the provinces, does the right hon. Prime Minister not think, despite all his suggestions and the confirmation he only wants to change the attitudes, to show his government will be flexible-on this we agree, because we also are for flexibility-

November 5, 1979

but what the right hon. Prime Minister does not understand now, as the crisis deepens, is that it is important for the federal government to put their position forward publicly, very clearly and very precisely in order the counteract the PQ proposal and their progapanda so that Quebeckers realize a No vote will only plunge them into the status quo?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REQUEST GOVERNMENT EXPLAIN CLEARLY POSITION ON QUEBEC PROPOSALS
Permalink
PC

Charles Joseph Clark (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Right Hon. Joe Clark (Prime Minister):

Mr, Speaker, clearly, of course, it is essential for the Canadian government to demonstrate to Canadians, including Quebeckers, in a public and concrete way, that there has been a change of attitude here in Ottawa at the federal level. I agree that there is now, with the publication of the white paper, another development in the debate on Canada's future. I agree it is essential that the Canadian government continue its efforts and demonstrate to Quebeckers there has been a change here, that it is quite possible to have not only talk of flexibility but concrete actions to show flexibility. This we have been doing since the May 22 election, and this is the course we intend to go on following.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REQUEST GOVERNMENT EXPLAIN CLEARLY POSITION ON QUEBEC PROPOSALS
Permalink

CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM-INQUIRY WHETHER GOVERNMENT INTENDS TO PURSUE POLICY OF PRECEDING GOVERNMENT

LIB

Jean-Luc Pepin

Liberal

Hon. Jean-Luc Pepin (Ottawa-Carleton):

I am trying to understand the innermost thought of the right hon. Prime Minister with respect to the constitution and the referendum. Last Friday, he told the House, "Our government will continue to make concrete proposals." Then, later, "What Quebeckers have with this national government is a national government committed to constitutional reform." The second quotation is clearly much broader than the first one and presupposes the discussion of a certain number of interdependent constitutional matters which would resemble, of course, the efforts made by the previous government in this area. To make concrete proposals, it is still necessary to comprehend the interdependence of every one of the proposals to be made. In that context, could the right hon. Prime Minister tell the House whether he intends to continue the efforts made by the previous government at the more recent federal-provincial conferences?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM-INQUIRY WHETHER GOVERNMENT INTENDS TO PURSUE POLICY OF PRECEDING GOVERNMENT
Permalink
PC

Charles Joseph Clark (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Right Hon. Joe Clark (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, 1 think it is worth while for us to have in the House of Commons someone who can participate in the context of the Pepin-Robarts commission. 1 hope he intends to suggest positive and concrete proposals during the coming months, as he has in the past, and that he can persuade his colleagues to change the position they have taken in the past.

As to the position of this government, 1 say to the hon. member that we intend to continue to analyse the status of possible agreements on constitutional changes with the provinces. There have already been talks between the Government of Canada and some of the provinces on the possibility of

Oral Questions

making amendments, and similar matters. We do not want to start anew the consultations that have already taken place with the provinces. We want to continue the work done by -the former government, but we do not have at this moment a magic formula to present to the House or the people of Canada. We intend to continue the work already started, and 1 hope we can have the positive contribution of the hon. member and his colleagues.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM-INQUIRY WHETHER GOVERNMENT INTENDS TO PURSUE POLICY OF PRECEDING GOVERNMENT
Permalink

INQUIRY OF THE MINISTRY

LIB

André Ouellet

Liberal

Hon. Andre Ouellet (Papineau):

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the right hon. Prime Minister.

The newspaper Le Devoir recently reported that the Prime Minister, on the occasion of a visit he made to Montreal, met Mr. Jacques Desmarais, the Pequjste candidate in the by-election of Montreal-Maisonneuve. Will the Prime minister tell us whether it is true that he met tfiat individual who wants to destroy Canada; and, if so, just what was he doing there?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   INQUIRY OF THE MINISTRY
Sub-subtopic:   INQUIRY WHETHER PRIME MINISTER MET PEQU1STE CANDIDATE
Permalink
PC

Charles Joseph Clark (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Right Hon. Joe Clark (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, that man was probably a member of a group which submitted a brief to me about the strike in the port of Montreal, but it was only as such that he was there.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   INQUIRY OF THE MINISTRY
Sub-subtopic:   INQUIRY WHETHER PRIME MINISTER MET PEQU1STE CANDIDATE
Permalink
LIB

André Ouellet

Liberal

Mr. Ouellet:

Mr. Speaker, it is obvious that the Prime Minister feels embarrassed because of those meetings and because of the friends he has in Quebec.

It is obvious that the government is very embarassed by what is taking place-

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   INQUIRY OF THE MINISTRY
Sub-subtopic:   INQUIRY WHETHER PRIME MINISTER MET PEQU1STE CANDIDATE
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   INQUIRY OF THE MINISTRY
Sub-subtopic:   INQUIRY WHETHER PRIME MINISTER MET PEQU1STE CANDIDATE
Permalink

November 5, 1979