March 29, 1993

PC

Gerald R. Ottenheimer (Speaker pro tempore)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

That is certainly a collective question. I hope that the minister will be able to answer it expeditiously.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   ENVIRONMENT
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PC

Jean J. Charest (Minister of the Environment)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Jean J. Charest (Minister of the Environment):

Mr. Speaker, let me address a few of those issues.

As far as toxic substances are concerned we have a priority substance list that includes 44 substances. An agreement was reached after an extensive stakeholder

Oral Questions

period dealing with that. We have dealt with 20 of those substances. We published reports on six.

In the area of climate change we have signed an international convention and ratified it December last. We have also made a commitment to producing by next spring our national report on climate change. We are working on an economic instruments paper concerning tradable permits to be able to put forward the solutions and the tools we need in the area of climate change. We have maintained our commitment to stabilization of 1990 levels.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   ENVIRONMENT
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PC

Gerald R. Ottenheimer (Speaker pro tempore)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

I think we will try another question.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   ENVIRONMENT
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?

Hon. Chas. L. Caccia@Davenport

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the minister may want to answer the following supplementary question.

Why does the finance department review the environmental regulations from a competitive perspective? Why is the government of which he is a member not allowing the environment department to conduct a review from a sustainability perspective as well?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   ENVIRONMENT
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PC

Jean J. Charest (Minister of the Environment)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Jean J. Charest (Minister of the Environment):

Mr. Speaker, I think my friend is referring to a process by which different departments were reviewing the regulations from a competitiveness perspective.

I want to stress that in our department we have worked a lot on the regulatory process. There is a recognition that we have to regulate better. Among the things we have to do for example is complement our regulatory approach with a voluntary approach and also through economic instruments.

We do have a stakeholder process assisting us to develop regulations so that they are presented in the most sustainable way possible for our economy.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   ENVIRONMENT
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IMMIGRATION

NDP

Margaret Anne Mitchell

New Democratic Party

Ms. Margaret Mitchell (Vancouver East):

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the minister of immigration. It concerns procedures for applying the new guidelines for women refugee claimants who face gender discrimination.

The minister is aware that 35 women who fear persecution as a result of their gender are to be deported because they arrived in Canada before the new immigra-

March 29, 1993

Oral Questions

tion rules took effect. Will the minister declare a moratorium on the deportation of these women and their children and allow them to remain in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   IMMIGRATION
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PC

Bernard Valcourt (Minister of Employment and Immigration)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Bernard Valcourt (Minister of Employment and Immigration):

Mr. Speaker, when we review a case all factors are taken into account. That includes the principles behind the guidelines on gender persecution which were issued on March 9, as well as any new information which is available concerning a rejected claimant's current situation and the situation in his or her home country. This is the process that takes place and it ensures fairness to all rejected refugee claimants.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   IMMIGRATION
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NDP

Margaret Anne Mitchell

New Democratic Party

Ms. Margaret Mitchell (Vancouver East):

Mr. Speaker, I would hope that the minister, instead of just rubber stamping the previous opinions of local officials, which is what happened last week, would re-evaluate cases according to these new guidelines.

For Canada to deport women back to countries where they and their children face discrimination, depravation and danger is both cruel and inhumane. Why will the minister not use his ministerial powers and discretion to allow women like Amina Mohamed and these 34 other women who face gender discrimination to remain in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds? Why will he not do this?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   IMMIGRATION
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PC

Bernard Valcourt (Minister of Employment and Immigration)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Bernard Valcourt (Minister of Employment and Immigration):

Mr. Speaker, between myself and my office literally hundreds of immigration cases are reviewed on humanitarian and compassionate grounds each year.

Some of them are accepted and some are refused. I have no intention of listing those cases. For this fiscal year, the policies and decisions of the government have resulted in more than 73,000 cases being approved on humanitarian and compassionate grounds alone.

That is almost equal to the total number of immigrants that the Liberal Party of Canada let into Canada in 1984.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   IMMIGRATION
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FISHERIES

PC

William D. (Bill) Casey

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bill Casey (Cumberland -Colchester):

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the minister of fisheries. It refers to the lobster fishermen in the Northumberland Strait.

For more than two years the lobster fishermen in the Northumberland Strait have voluntarily accepted a larger carapace size for lobsters. During that time they have asked the DFO to also accept that larger carapace size in regulation.

Last week DFO announced that it would not accept the larger carapace size. Would the department reconsider its decision and if not, why not?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FISHERIES
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PC

John Carnell Crosbie (Minister for the purposes of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency Act; Minister of Fisheries and Oceans)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. John C. Crosbie (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency):

Mr. Speaker, the question of lobster carapace size is one of divided opinion in the maritime provinces, particularly between certain lobster fishermen located in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia as compared to lobster fishermen in Prince Edward Island.

About one year ago, with the agreement of the three provincial governments involved, we appointed a firm of consultants to do an in-depth study of the situation, whether this is a step that should be taken. We have the report of that study now but we have not had sufficient time to consult with all interested groups before the season opens on April 30.

While over all the report recommends that we should allow an increase in the carapace size-

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FISHERIES
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LIB
PC

John Carnell Crosbie (Minister for the purposes of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency Act; Minister of Fisheries and Oceans)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Crosbie:

This is an important issue before anybody in the Liberal Party bellows time. Although the report points out that there are positive advantages to proceeding in this way, there would be a short-term decrease in employment in processing.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FISHERIES
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PC

Gerald R. Ottenheimer (Speaker pro tempore)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

I think we really must press on.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FISHERIES
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CHARITIES

PC

David Bjornson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. David Bjornson (Selkirk-Red River):

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance and it deals with the annual minimum disbursement quota of registered foundations where they have to spend 4.5 per cent of their assets.

As everybody knows, for the last two years interest rates have been very quickly dropping, to the point where the income of these charitable foundations is very low. They do not have the resources they normally would have.

March 29, 1993

Is the minister planning on making changes in the way the government directs these foundations to disburse their assets?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CHARITIES
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PC

Donald Frank Mazankowski (Deputy Prime Minister; Minister of Finance; Vice-President)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Don Mazankowski (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance):

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is correct in what he says, the allocation of 4.5 per cent of the value of the assets of charitable organizations are to be devoted to charitable purposes.

I should tell the hon. member that there is no direct relationship between this formula and interest rates. In other words, this formula does not track interest rates. I will take the hon. member's submission as a representation but I am not contemplating any changes at this time.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CHARITIES
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INDIAN AFFAIRS

March 29, 1993