Mr. Sergio Marchi (York West):
Mr. Speaker, the present standstill in the Japanese Canadian redress issue is most regrettable and unacceptable. In an attempt to re-establish a dialogue, the Japanese Canadian Association has been seeking a meeting with the Right Hon. Prime Minister (Mr. Mul-roney). Its search to date has been fruitless, and its deep frustration and disappointment were clearly demonstrated in a February 2 letter addressed to the Right Hon. Prime Minister.
The refusal of the Prime Minister to meet with the Association is difficult to comprehend. This is the same individual who gave this issue great importance during his days as Opposition Leader, and who demonstrated his commitment to redress repeatedly during the recent federal election campaign. Consequently, the Japanese Canadian community rightfully expected a process that would be completely open, genuine, and thorough. Instead it has received government imposed deadlines, unilateral government proposals, and a reversal on the Government's negotiations commitment. Now that process is at a deadlock. An uncomfortable and confusing silence prevails.
The Prime Minister promised emphatically that his office would be open and accessible. I urge him to prove that this promise is fact rather than fiction, by opening his doors to the Japanese Canadian Association. Only in this spirit will the redress issue have any chance of resolving itself.
The Association has met with our Party and with the NDP-
Subtopic: VISIBLE MINORITIES
Sub-subtopic: INTERNMENT OF JAPANESE CANADIANS DURING WORLD WAR II