May 18, 1983

STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S.O. 21

HUMAN RIGHTS

LIB

Roland de Corneille (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Roland de Corneille (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Veterans Affairs):

Madam Speaker, approximately 4,500 Jews live in Syria. Syria is the only Arab country which, since 1948, has never officially permitted its Jewish citizens to leave. Alone among Arab countries, the Syrian Government continues to hold its Jewish community hostage.

The dashing of all hopes for legal emigration, combined with the deteriorating situation in Syria, has prompted Syrian Jews to turn in desperation to illegal avenues of escape. These illegal attempts to escape have led to arrests, harsh interrogation and long imprisonment of those caught by the authorities or suspected of aiding others to leave. Syria certainly would be especially opposed to the emigration of its Jews to Israel.

Even if they could get out, we must ask the awful question, as in the days before the Holocaust, "Where then could such refugees go?" I suggest that this is a subject of humanitarian and urgent concern to which Canada should direct its attention. There are various things we can look to our Government to do in addition to its present efforts. We should intensify our monitoring and surveillance of the situation. We should try to remind Syria of its obligations under the United Nations Charter of Human Rights to allow freedom of emigration. We should let Syria know that we are ready to open our doors in a special way to receive Syrian Jews in Canada, and we should encourage the many Canadian sponsors who are ready and willing to receive and support them to come forth.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S.O. 21
Subtopic:   HUMAN RIGHTS
Sub-subtopic:   SYRIA-DENIAL OF EMIGRATION RIGHTS TO JEWISH CITIZENS
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PENITENTIARIES

PC

Peter Elzinga

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Peter Elzinga (Pembina):

Madam Speaker, it has been well in excess of one year that I have been continuously bringing to the attention of the Solicitor General (Mr. Kaplan) concerns relating to the Edmonton maximum security institution and the security aspects of that institution. Those concerns

were started initially with the escape of Harvey Andre from the Edmonton maximum institution.

My specific concerns relate not only to the prison guards but also to the individuals who live around the institution. The prison guards have consistently asked for an audience with the Solicitor General so that they might relate directly to him their concerns in order that both the security of the prison guards and of the residents will be secured, concerns such as the inadequacy of the electric fence package in place in the maximum institution at Edmonton which cost in excess of $1 million, the lack of arms being granted to those posted at hazardous posts within the institution, and the overcrowding of a number of the bunking facilities whereby two inmates are now housed where there should only be one.

The new duty schedules have not only caused a loss of family time, but have broken up traditional squads that have worked together. Unfortunately these pleas have fallen on deaf ears when they are communicated to the Solicitor General's Department in Ottawa. Local management has been very-

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S.O. 21
Subtopic:   PENITENTIARIES
Sub-subtopic:   EDMONTON INSTITUTION-SECURITY STAFF GRIEVANCES
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LIB

Jeanne Sauvé (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Madam Speaker:

Order, please.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S.O. 21
Subtopic:   PENITENTIARIES
Sub-subtopic:   EDMONTON INSTITUTION-SECURITY STAFF GRIEVANCES
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HUMAN RIGHTS

NDP

Robert Joseph Ogle

New Democratic Party

Mr. Bob Ogle (Saskatoon East):

Madam Speaker, last week in Santiago, Chile, and in many other Chilean cities there were mass arrests of people who have been held without trial. Although some of them have been released, Amnesty International still says there are hundreds who are being held under a special provision of the Pinochet Constitution of 1981 which says that for 20 days they may be detained without charge. During this period of time Amnesty is afraid that there will be torture, as has taken place in that country before.

At this time I call upon the Government of Canada to use every possible method that it can to bring pressure on the Chilean Government to give out a complete list of the detainees to make sure that those who are being held will come before competent courts or be released immediately, and that they all be treated humanely while they are in prison. I also ask the Cabinet to reconsider a decision made by the National Energy Board to send 440,000 barrels of oil to Chile. I ask that that sale be seriously looked at again and stopped until the human rights situation in Chile improves.

May 18, 1983

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S.O. 21
Subtopic:   HUMAN RIGHTS
Sub-subtopic:   CHILE-PLIGHT OF POLITICAL DETAINEES
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USE OF HEROIN MEDICINALLY

LIB

Marcel-Claude Roy

Liberal

Mr. Marcel Roy (Laval):

Madam Speaker, during my three years as Chairman of the Committee on Health, Welfare and Social Affairs, I have received a number of representations, and I would like to draw the attention of my hon. colleagues to a situation in our hospitals, where thousands of chronically ill patients and especially cancer patients, could be helped by alleviating their pain through the controlled administration of heroin. I would like to ask the Minister of National Health and Welfare (Miss Begin) to consider the medical use of heroin for a trial period and as part of a specific policy within specialized hospitals, as it is now being used in about thirty countries, including Great Britain. It is a pain killer that has been proved to be effective, the standards for its use could be determined by the authorities of the Department of National Health and Welfare and its use could be recommended within a relatively short time, particularly since this practice already exists in some thirty countries.

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Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S.O. 21
Subtopic:   USE OF HEROIN MEDICINALLY
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FISHERIES

PC

J. Michael Forrestall

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. M. Forrestall (Dartmouth-Halifax East):

Madam Speaker, I want for a moment to protest the cynical manner in which the Government is playing political games with capital funds allocated under the budget and the recovery program. The budget provided for a special fund of $2.4 billion, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans received $140 million of it. However, it now appears that the Cabinet has instructed that almost all of that money be spent in constituencies represented by Liberals and Liberals alone. In the case of Nova Scotia this means that fishermen who live in ridings such as the one I have the honour to represent are being discriminated against by public taxpayers' dollars even though their needs are the most acute.

On the behalf of those people, I ask the Government why it refuses to allocate a single dollar of that special fund for desperately needed wharves, breakwaters, and other harbour facilities, in Dartmouth-Halifax East, when a $52 million office building in the Minister's riding of Halifax has been announced? Why did the Government allocate to a region which has only 6 per cent of all fishermen in Canada and also provides only 6 per cent of the fish catch, $96.4 million of that $140 million? I think that the answer is obvious to the people of Canada. The way the Government is playing with people's lives and trying to buy support with public money in a feeble attempt to save its own political life makes a mockery of democracy.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S.O. 21
Subtopic:   FISHERIES
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOCATION OF SPECIAL RECOVERY PROJECT FUNDS
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THE FRANCHISE

NDP

Raymond John Skelly

New Democratic Party

Mr. Ray Skelly (Comox-Powell River):

Madam Speaker, through you I wish to call to the attention of the House a rather unfair provision in the Canada Elections Act that disenfranchises tens of thousands of Canadians. It is my hope that the Government, through the Minister responsible, the President of the Privy Council (Mr. Pinard), will call this matter to the attention of the Chief Electoral Officer who would be requested to put in his forthcoming report to Parliament a proposal to provide an absentee balloting process in place of the proxy system that is currently contained in the Elections Act.

The proxy procedure disenfranchises patients in acute care hospitals, loggers, people living outside Canada, miners and fishermen, and in fact it can be demonstrated quite successfully, I think, that the disenfranchisement of many Canadians at election time has in fact altered the outcome a number of elections.

It is noted that the Constitution provides every Canadian the opportunity to vote, and the present provisions of the Elections Act do in fact take that opportunity away from a number of Canadians on a discriminatory basis. It is my hope that the Government, through the responsible Minister, will make this point known to the Chief Electoral Officer so that he will in fact report to us on a proposal for an absentee balloting system in the forthcoming amendments to the Elections Act.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S.O. 21
Subtopic:   THE FRANCHISE
Sub-subtopic:   ABSENTEE BALLOTING
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POLITICAL PARTIES

LIB

David P. Smith (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. David Smith (Parliamentary Secretary to President of the Privy Council):

Madam Speaker, we all smile at the degree of political license taken from time to time by our Conservative colleagues who are in pursuit of the Tory leadership. However, on occasion their utterings exceed well-intentioned enthusiasm and are more properly characterized as distorted attempts to rewrite history. When this happens we must set the record straight.

Such was the case last weekend when, according to Monday's Toronto Star, my good friend and former colleague from Toronto city politics, the Hon. Member for Rosedale (Mr. Crombie), described the Progressive Conservatives as a Party of social justice that brought social programs like medicare to Canadians, and he referred to medicare as the finest program this country has ever seen.

While we on this side of the House welcome the compliment paid to medicare, Madam Speaker, we cannot let the suggestion that the Tories brought Canadians medicare go unchallenged. The facts are that the Medical Care Act was passed in

May 18, 1983

1966 under the leadership of the Right Hon. Lester B. Pearson, and the Bill was actually moved by the current Deputy Prime Minister (Mr. MacEachen). The only opposition in the House to that Bill came from Tory and Social Credit Members. The medicare program has been strengthened during the tenure of the current Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau), and the Tories did not do anything during their sojourn in office. These are the facts, Madam Speaker, and Tory leadership candidates should be advised that their high flights of fantasy will not go unnoticed and unchallenged.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S.O. 21
Subtopic:   POLITICAL PARTIES
Sub-subtopic:   PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE LEADERSHIP CANDIDATE'S STATEMENT ON MEDICARE
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ORAL QUESTION PERIOD

CROWN CORPORATIONS

PC

Sinclair McKnight Stevens

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Sinclair Stevens (York-Peel):

Madam Speaker, in the absence of the Prime Minister perhaps I could put my question to the Minister of National Revenue who, I understand, reports to the House with respect to Canadair. In view of the rather sad saga that continues with respect to Canadair, would the Minister indicate what he can tell the House about the resignation of Mr. Kearns, what severance arrangements have been made concerning Mr. Kearns, and who his replacement will be as chief executive officer of Canadair?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CROWN CORPORATIONS
Sub-subtopic:   RESIGNATION OF PRESIDENT
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LIB

Pierre Bussières (Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Hon. Pierre Bussieres (Minister of National Revenue):

Madam Speaker, as far as Mr. Kearns' resignation is concerned, I have no comments. I feel that any comments would be up to Mr. Kearns himself. As far as the conditions regarding his early retirement are concerned, 1 have no details. I shall, in fact, be informed of these conditions at an information session tomorrow. Regarding his replacement, as soon as that information is available, I shall be pleased to give it to the House and to the Hon. Member.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CROWN CORPORATIONS
Sub-subtopic:   RESIGNATION OF PRESIDENT
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May 18, 1983