June 16, 1993

PC

Douglas Grinslade Lewis (Solicitor General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Doug Lewis (Solicitor General of Canada):

Madam Speaker, I am in a position to advise my friend that steps are being taken to supplement the number of customs and RCMP officers on the scene.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   TOBACCO SMUGGLING
Permalink

CHRISTINE LAMONT

PC

Godfrey Stanley (Stan) Wilbee

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stan Wilbee (Delta):

Madam Speaker, I direct my question to the Secretary of State for External Affairs.

Two weeks ago, a home was levelled in Managua by an explosion of a stash of missiles. Investigators of the blast found a stash of documents and fake IDs. Apparently six pieces of the IDs had a picture of Christine Lamont,

some with her name and others with a fictitious Lisa Lynn Walker.

Could the minister tell us what she believes to be the significance and the reality of this information?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CHRISTINE LAMONT
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PC

Barbara Jean McDougall (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Barbara McDougall (Secretary of State for External Affairs):

Madam Speaker, late last week we learned of the article in the Managua newspaper Barrica-da which featured photographs of Christine Lamont's ID cards. The article itself described documents that were found with a large arms cache that was discovered recently in Managua.

The newspaper claimed that the documents concerned plans to kidnap a number of prominent Latin American business and political leaders. At the same time Nicaraguan authorities informed our ambassador that there were 306 foreign passports found with the arms cache, including three Canadian passports. They asked Canada to verify the authenticity of the Canadian passports. The passport office has confirmed the authenticity of two passports issued to Christine Lamont in Ottawa in November and December 1988 and one passport issued to David Spencer at the same time. One of the passports had been altered.

I want to say that this development does not affect our approach to the Lamont-Spencer case. We will continue to be governed by our respect for due process and fairness to all Canadians imprisoned abroad. We will continue to press Brazil to ratify as quickly as possible the transfer of offenders treaty which would allow Miss Lamont and Mr. Spencer to return to Canada to serve their sentences.

That treaty has passed the lower house of the Brazilian congress and is now under consideration in the senate. I also want to assure all hon. members that while we are proceeding with that process, we will provide all possible consular services to Miss Lamont and Mr. Spencer and monitor prison conditions as we do for others who find themselves in this situation abroad.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CHRISTINE LAMONT
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STUDENT LOANS

NDP

Howard Douglas McCurdy

New Democratic Party

Mr. Howard McCurdy (Windsor-St. Clair):

Madam Speaker, my question is directed to the Secretary of State who on June 10 said that she was engaged in

June 16, 1993

extensive consultations about improvements to be made to the student loan program and that the program was to be enhanced to provide students with increased support.

Is it not a fact that the National Advisory Group on Student Financial Assistance had been ignored for a year and finally had to demand a meeting which was granted on June 2? Among other things at that meeting, rather than consultation, they were told that the student loan limits would be unchanged and that the government's promise to remove the 3 per cent tax would not be fulfilled.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   STUDENT LOANS
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PC

Monique Landry (Secretary of State of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Monique Landry (Secretary of State of Canada):

Madam Speaker, the first comment I would make is that the hon. member in a statement in the House yesterday, June 15, claimed that I had already met the advisory group in question, which means that he was not up to date. I do not need to wait for the hon. member's recommendations. I met that group because I thought it was very important to continue the consultations first begun by my predecessor.

The consultations were held when my predecessor occupied the position. I have consulted as well and the government is about to review the student loans project. We are aware of the needs of the program and we have made the commitment. Personally, I am very proud and very pleased with the consultations I held a few weeks ago with the advisory group in question.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   STUDENT LOANS
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NDP

Howard Douglas McCurdy

New Democratic Party

Mr. Howard McCurdy (Windsor-St. Clair):

Madam Speaker, I have a letter in my possession which was widely circulated that constituted a demand for a meeting that was finally held on June 2. The question was why so long and why so little as a result.

Is it not true that the reforms which have been proposed by the government, which have not yet been tabled, are widely opposed by virtually every university sector represented on the advisory group because it neither enhances nor increases student support? In fact it does not do anything more than restrict accessibility still further, especially for part-time students.

Why can the government not engage in real consultation to produce a program that recognizes the reality of

Oral Questions

students, for example the fact that student loan limits have not been changed since 1984?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   STUDENT LOANS
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PC

Monique Landry (Secretary of State of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Monique Landry (Secretary of State of Canada):

Madam Speaker, I am sorry, but my colleague is very badly informed. I had what I thought was a very good meeting with the advisory group. Of course, I told them about the changes I wanted to make, carefully explaining to them that the changes desired by the government were intended first of all to improve the program for students so that they could have more money every week and to reduce the cost of the program for them.

I think that this government has been very consistent in its student aid. The program has served students very well over the years. We are trying to improve it so as to give them better access to education. I must say that I am very proud of our achievements in the whole area of support for students in recent years.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   STUDENT LOANS
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FISHERIES

LIB

Russell Gregoire MacLellan

Liberal

Mr. Russell MacLellan (Cape Breton-The Sydneys):

Madam Speaker, my question is for the minister of fisheries.

It has been over two months since the minister announced his aid package for east coast fishermen. Fishermen and women in Cape Breton are still waiting for approvals to their applications, the applications themselves and in many cases details concerning the program.

These people are very concerned about how they are going to make their payments on their boats and how they are going to support their families.

Would the minister in order to expedite this program agree to decentralize the administration of this program so authority for approving programs and applications could be given to local officials of Fisheries and Oceans and Employment Canada?

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):

Madam Speaker, there is no delay with reference to the administration of this program. This is a complicated program involving trying to assure assistance goes to certain fishermen of the maritime area.

June 16, 1993

Tributes

We are dealing with an area where there is a mixed stock fishery, where most fishermen are licensed for more than one species and where they are not restricted for the most part just to the catching of groundfish. It is a program to try to compensate those who are primarily dependent on groundfish stocks for their livelihood. It is quite a complicated situation.

As I told the House yesterday we have received 458 applications, I think it is so far, by June 15 of which 161 have been approved. I do not have the information right before me. With respect to the hon. member, these are fishermen I am talking about. We have received another 1,199 applications from fish plant workers; 722 are in process; 397 have been approved; 80 so far have been declined. We have approved 43 fish plants, I think, as being eligible under the program, so everything will proceed much more quickly in the future.

We have to remember the program only becomes operative if plant workers find they cannot get work this year and their UI runs out, or a fisherman discovers that he cannot catch fish in the area where he normally fishes and this is found to be so by the department of fisheries, where he is not going to be able to qualify-

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FISHERIES
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?

Some hon. members:

Time.

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

Mr. Crosbie:

This is a complicated situation and already the NDP members have very little patience. They do not want to hear how anyone applies for the program, how they get assistance-

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FISHERIES
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?

Some hon. members:

Order, order.

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

Mr. Crosbie:

Do not pretend to be interested in this subject at all, if you are not prepared to listen to the answer.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FISHERIES
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PC

Andrée Champagne (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Madam Deputy Speaker:

We may get the end of that answer on a supplementary by the hon. member for Burin-St. George's.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FISHERIES
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LIB

Roger Simmons

Liberal

Hon. Roger C. Simmons (Burin-St. George's):

Madam Speaker, the minister does not get it. This is not the time for bluster. People are hurting out there. Some of them have had no income for months. They would like to go fishing if they could but there are no fish out there.

Why does the minister not recognize just what the problem is? They are looking to the minister for some help. Does he get his jollies out of making them beg some more? Why does he not get a hand on this one, go into the department and straighten it out once and for all? It is going nowhere unless he puts a firm hand on it.

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):

Madam Speaker, if this was a time for bluster the hon. gentleman would be gone with the wind.

Neither is it a time-as somebody just down from me whose name I will not reveal said-for sanctimoniousness. This is the time for trying to give assistance to those who need assistance for the reason that the groundfish fishery is not what it should be. The stocks are not there.

As I just explained to the previous questioner we have a very complicated situation where not all fishermen are going to be eligible; just those who were dependent upon groundfish and cod primarily. This is very difficult.

It is all in place. I hope we will be to handle it and perhaps improve the program if we find this is inadequate. I trust the government will then take steps to improve it but it is a very complicated situation.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FISHERIES
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HON. JOHN FRASER

June 16, 1993