November 22, 1979

?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PROVISIONS OF LEGISLATION
Permalink
PC

Allan Frederick Lawrence (Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs; Solicitor General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Lawrence:

-there is no knowledge on my part of any illegal acts now being carried on by any law enforcement agency. In respect of future activities, I would suggest to the hon. member that obviously he, the public, members of the House and everyone else will be fully apprised of the government's policy when the legislation is presented.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PROVISIONS OF LEGISLATION
Permalink

POST OFFICE

LIB

Robert Mose Patrick Daudlin

Liberal

Mr. Robert Daudlin (Essex-Kent):

Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Postmaster General, but in his absence I will put it to the Acting Prime Minister. Hon. members and the Acting Prime Minister will know that section 43 of the Post Office Act currently provides the following:

Notwithstanding anything in any other act or law, nothing is liable to demand seizure or detention while in the course of post except as provided in this act or the regulations.

Perhaps the Acting Prime Minister could tell us whether or not he is aware of the Postmaster General's declaration outside this House that he, in fact, upheld the sanctity of first-class mail as being his prime responsibility in that role. Perhaps he could assure us that in fact the Postmaster General will continue to be instructed by the government that the sanctity of first-class mail is to be preserved?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   POST OFFICE
Sub-subtopic:   REGULATIONS THEREOF
Permalink
PC

Lincoln MacCauley Alexander (Minister of Labour)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Lincoln M. Alexander (Acting Postmaster General):

Mr. Speaker, 1 have no hesitation in assuring the hon. member, if that is his position-which I think is the position of

everyone-that the sanctity of first-class mail is uppermost in everyone's mind. 1 think the hon. member must have a supplementary question, because he would not ask such an innocent question without having a supplementary.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   POST OFFICE
Sub-subtopic:   REGULATIONS THEREOF
Permalink
LIB

Robert Mose Patrick Daudlin

Liberal

Mr. Daudlin:

Mr. Speaker-

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   POST OFFICE
Sub-subtopic:   REGULATIONS THEREOF
Permalink
?

An hon. Member:

Sock it to him.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   POST OFFICE
Sub-subtopic:   REGULATIONS THEREOF
Permalink
LIB

Robert Mose Patrick Daudlin

Liberal

Mr. Daudlin:

-it is good that the minister anticipates my supplementary. Once again, I would ask the Acting Prime Minister this question: Given the fact that the Postmaster. General declared, outside this House, that he opposed the sanctity of first-class mail and given that, in fact, we have heard the Solicitor General in other places indicating matters quite to the contrary, could the Acting Prime Minister tell us whether or not he supports the legislation as it now exists, whether or not he is moving in other directions, and whether or not the minister who is absent or the minister who is present is speaking for this government?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   POST OFFICE
Sub-subtopic:   REGULATIONS THEREOF
Permalink
PC

Lincoln MacCauley Alexander (Minister of Labour)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Alexander:

Well, 1 know what the hon. member is trying to get at, but he does not have the guts to put the question bluntly and straightforwardly.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   POST OFFICE
Sub-subtopic:   REGULATIONS THEREOF
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   POST OFFICE
Sub-subtopic:   REGULATIONS THEREOF
Permalink
PC

Lincoln MacCauley Alexander (Minister of Labour)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Alexander:

If the minister were here, he would answer your question. I would state, respectfully, that 1 will take the hon. member's hidden question as notice so that I can pass it on to the Postmaster General in order that he will be in a position to answer the question.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   POST OFFICE
Sub-subtopic:   REGULATIONS THEREOF
Permalink

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION

?

Hon. J.-J. Blais@Nipissing

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Acting Prime Minister. It follows the question that was asked by the hon. member for Essex-Kent. We were witnesses of two blatantly and diametrically opposed statements by, on the one hand, the Solicitor General of Canada and, on the other hand, the Postmaster General of Canada dealing with the mail opening bill, on the one hand, one saying it ought to be extended and, on the other hand, the Postmaster General indicating he would defend his position on the sanctity of the mail when it came to cabinet.

In view of the fact that the Prime Minister himself, at his press conference, indicated he favoured the extension of the authority to open mail-and he said that quite categorically- was he speaking for the government at the time when he made that statement?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FREEDOM OF INFORMATION
Sub-subtopic:   OPENING OF MAIL
Permalink
PC

Walter David Baker (Minister of National Revenue; President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Walter Baker (President of Privy Council and Minister of National Revenue):

I want to thank the hon. gentleman for the question. The Prime Minister always speaks for the government. The Prime Minister was indicating at the press conference he was holding that the matter was under

November 22, 1979

review by cabinet as it had been under review by the former government as to the propriety of extending the right of surveillance with respect to the mail. That remains the position.

In the course of that, the Postmaster General was expressing his opinion with respect to it, his opinion on a matter that is still before cabinet. 1 know that the Prime Minister will be delighted to inform the hon. gentleman of the decision of the cabinet with respect to that position once it has been taken.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FREEDOM OF INFORMATION
Sub-subtopic:   OPENING OF MAIL
Permalink
LIB

Jean-Jacques Blais

Liberal

Mr. Blais:

I take it from the reply of the hon. gentleman that the fact that the Postmaster General has taken a diametrically opposed position to that of the Prime Minister is deemed by that government to be completely in order and is to be encouraged.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FREEDOM OF INFORMATION
Sub-subtopic:   OPENING OF MAIL
Permalink
PC

Walter David Baker (Minister of National Revenue; President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Baker (Nepean-Carleton):

The great thing that distinguishes this government from the former government is the ability of members and ministers from time to time to say precisely and correctly what happens to lie on their mind. The Postmaster General has a very strong view with respect to this matter. His view will be taken into consideration, as will be the views of all members on this side of the House with respect to the ultimate government position, and I am not surprised that the hon. gentleman is unused to that, having regard to where he sat for the last five years.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FREEDOM OF INFORMATION
Sub-subtopic:   OPENING OF MAIL
Permalink

CRIMINAL CODE

PC

Robin Mark Richardson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Robin Richardson (Beaches):

Mr. Speaker, my question would normally be addressed to the right hon. Prime Minister, but in his absence 1 will direct it to the Acting Prime Minister and House leader of the party. In view of the almost unanimous support for my motion under Standing Order 43, and also in view of the stated objections of the House leader of the NDP to a much needed reform of private members' legislation, I would ask the Acting Prime Minister if this government would consider bringing in legislation to amend the Criminal Code to protect the unborn child under our law.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CRIMINAL CODE
Sub-subtopic:   SUGGESTED AMENDMENT RESPECTING UNBORN CHILDREN
Permalink
PC

Walter David Baker (Minister of National Revenue; President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Walter Baker (President of Privy Council and Minister of National Revenue):

Mr. Speaker, there has been no discussion in the government with respect to bringing in that kind of legislation. However, I want to inform members of the House that issues such as the one raised by the hon. member-issues which are of great importance to members of this House on all sides-may well have an opportunity to be aired in the House under the proposals for changes in the rules of the House of Commons which will permit greater freedom and greater opportunity for members of the .House to decide which, among their particular private members' motions, should be brought to a vote.

1 want to inform the House that it is my intention to table tomorrow a position paper outlining a proposal to the House

Oral Questions

which would permit the House to make its decisions as to what matters could be brought before the House with much greater precision than they could before. 1 hope that that provision will meet with the approval of members on all sides of the House.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CRIMINAL CODE
Sub-subtopic:   SUGGESTED AMENDMENT RESPECTING UNBORN CHILDREN
Permalink

LOTO CANADA

November 22, 1979