February 22, 1994

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An hon. member

Now you want to lock the gate.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Immigration
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REF

Herb Grubel

Reform

Mr. Grubel

This question is in the name of Canadians concerned about the country's financial crisis. Next year Canada will admit 111,000 family reunification immigrants. Many of them will be persons of an age where they will be unable to contribute to Canada's social programs. These individuals are entitled to free medicare.

Would the minister please tell the House what he expects the cost of the medicare services required by these immigrants will be?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Immigration
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LIB

Sergio Marchi

Liberal

Hon. Sergio Marchi (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Mr. Speaker, this party mentioned in its red book and Canadians accepted it democratically by the national election that one of the building blocks of immigration policy is the family class.

There are two reasons. First, we believe Canadians do have a right toward family reunification. Second, the family is also the vehicle to more successfully integrate and settle the newcomer without burdening the state.

The hon. member's party quite often talks about family values. If the hon. member wants to cut the immigration levels he cannot have it both ways. He cannot talk on family values on the one hand and then berate family class immigration on the other.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Immigration
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REF

Herb Grubel

Reform

Mr. Herb Grubel (Capilano-Howe Sound)

Mr. Speaker, may the people of Canada conclude from the minister's answer, or non-answer, that decisions about Canada's immigration levels are made without regard to the costs which the policies impose on the already strained social programs of the country?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Immigration
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LIB

Sergio Marchi

Liberal

Hon. Sergio Marchi (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Mr. Speaker, we said no such thing. In fact in our levels announcement some days ago we said it was very important not only to do levels in isolation but to do levels and have a correlated two-year settlement and integration in dollars. That was a very important distinction the former government did not pay too much attention to.

We are worried about the financial implications to our health system. However we are not prepared to conclude that family class members who are landed should not have access to medical services when independent skills applicants do. Is that what the member is advocating? When people come here and are landed residents we assume they contribute and through their contribution they have a contract with Canada. It is a two-way street.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Immigration
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BQ

René Canuel

Bloc Québécois

Mr. René Canuel (Matapédia-Matane)

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs. We learned in La Presse that federal Liberal members forced 15 members of the European Parliament to cancel a series of meetings with Quebec organizations and replace these visits with an official trip to Ottawa and Vancouver, as part of the business of the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Interparliamentary Exchanges
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The Speaker

Perhaps the hon. member could rephrase his question, because it does not concern the government's administrative responsibility in that it relates to a non-governmental organization.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Interparliamentary Exchanges
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BQ

René Canuel

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Canuel

My question is this: How does the minister explain that his ambassador in Brussels was also involved in convincing these European parliamentarians to act against their will?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Interparliamentary Exchanges
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LIB

André Ouellet

Liberal

Hon. André Ouellet (Minister of Foreign Affairs)

Mr. Speaker, I think that you were right to remind the hon. member that this kind of meeting of parliamentarians is organized by non-governmental organizations. From time to time, parliamentarians come to Canada under these exchange programs.

As part of the visit which took place, it was planned that they would come to Ottawa and go to British Columbia to study the forestry issue which is now the subject of consultations at the highest level.

So the parliamentarians who came here knew very well why they were coming and what their agenda would be. One of these parliamentarians, who probably has dealings with Quebec separatists, made a side trip to Montreal and denigrated this well-established parliamentary procedure of parliamentary exchanges which had been approved in advance. All the others were satisfied, except this black sheep who strayed in Montreal.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Interparliamentary Exchanges
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BQ

René Canuel

Bloc Québécois

Mr. René Canuel (Matapédia-Matane)

Mr. Speaker, several people, parliamentarians from over there, told us the same thing. Did other parliamentarians question the minister when they came to see him?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Interparliamentary Exchanges
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LIB

André Ouellet

Liberal

Hon. André Ouellet (Minister of Foreign Affairs)

Mr. Speaker, no doubt there will be other exchanges between the European Parliament and the Parliament of Canada. No doubt these European parliamentarians are quite welcome in all the provinces of Canada, including Quebec.

Those who came here met the Prime Minister and discussed Canadian issues and questions of interest for the European Parliament.

Those who came here also had the opportunity to meet the Deputy Prime Minister, who invited them to accompany her since she was going to the province of Quebec herself. So those who wanted to take advantage of that offer could have done so.

I repeat that only one parliamentarian found that procedure unacceptable. He should have stayed home, since he knew in advance that the trip would take them here, to Ottawa, and to Vancouver, and he should join us for another visit that will include a trip to the province of Quebec.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Interparliamentary Exchanges
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REF

John Duncan

Reform

Mr. John Duncan (North Island-Powell River)

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Natural Resources.

The Canadian government recently funded a multimillion dollar model forest in Mexico. Can the minister assure the House that at the upcoming month-end bilateral conference in

Mexico City the government will not commit further forest research or other forestry funding to our new NAFTA partner?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Forestry
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LIB

Anne McLellan

Liberal

Hon. Anne McLellan (Minister of Natural Resources)

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question.

The hon. member may be aware that Canada has pioneered the concept of model forests. It is part of our commitment to manage forestry and sustainable development. We think we are very lucky that we have been able to enter into partnerships and transfer this important technology and skill to partners, be it Mexico or the former Soviet Union. I am going to be encouraging my department, the Department of Natural Resources, to enter into further partnerships to ensure that globally we continue our strong commitment to sustainable development in our forest sector.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Forestry
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REF

John Duncan

Reform

Mr. John Duncan (North Island-Powell River)

I have a supplementary question, Mr. Speaker. Mexico is running a budget surplus while we are struggling with a large deficit. Does the minister agree that this government should not be funding forestry projects outside Canada?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Forestry
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LIB

Anne McLellan

Liberal

Hon. Anne McLellan (Minister of Natural Resources)

Mr. Speaker, I believe as a government we should work in partnership with neighbours around the world to ensure that our commitment to sustainable development is fulfilled wherever possible.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Forestry
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LIB

Shaughnessy Cohen

Liberal

Ms. Shaughnessy Cohen (Windsor-St. Clair)

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Justice.

Over the past few months Canadians have seen several examples of judicial gag orders. These orders have either excluded the media and members of the public entirely from criminal trials or have allowed them to observe but not to report on the proceedings.

Could the minister advise us of any steps which he has planned to review this situation in order to preserve the very important public right to know what is going on in the criminal justice system?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Justice
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LIB

Allan Rock

Liberal

Hon. Allan Rock (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Mr. Speaker, the Criminal Code provides and the general rule in law is that proceedings in court are held in open and the public may watch and see what is going on. The code also provides, and indeed the inherent jurisdiction of the court provides as well, that when the interests of a fair trial for the accused require it, there can be a ban on publication.

As my hon. friend knows from her own many years of distinguished service as counsel in the courts, sometimes these media bans on publication for specific periods of time are very important in the interests of justice, for example in a preliminary inquiry where the evidence is not published, so that the trial itself is not prejudiced or where there is some quarrel about the admissibility of evidence. The court does not want it published so the jury will find out about it before the admissibility of evidence is determined. Obviously there is a balance. The Supreme Court of Canada has two cases under advisement now in which it is considering the balance between the freedom of expression in the charter and media bans. We are going to await those decisions and read them with care. I can assure the hon. member that we will do all things necessary to ensure that the criminal law is administered fairly in this country.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Justice
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BQ

Suzanne Tremblay

Bloc Québécois

Mrs. Suzanne Tremblay (Rimouski-Témiscouata)

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Canadian Heritage.

The government does not seem to be troubled at all about giving $350,000 to the National Arts Centre's director general, after he was fired following a putsch organized by the Mayor of Ottawa. The Minister of Canadian Heritage is washing his hands of the whole affair by invoking the management autonomy of the federal agency.

Does the minister recognize that it is up to the government to determine the working conditions of crown corporation directors, including severance pay, and that in this instance it is the inordinate amount of this severance pay that we find outrageous, just a few hours before a general tax increase for all Canadians?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   National Arts Centre
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LIB

Michel Dupuy

Liberal

Hon. Michel Dupuy (Minister of Canadian Heritage)

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the hon. member that the Minister of Canadian Heritage never washes his hands of anything. It does not mean that his hands are dirty.

There is a point that should be made, because not everyone knows it. The National Arts Centre is the only institution of its kind whose director is elected by the board of directors rather than appointed by the government. This situation is unique and can explain many things.

The government and this institution have an arm's-length relationship that I think the hon. member does not challenge and that the government respects. However, the minister has some authority; he has the power to appoint people to the board of directors, to audit its finances and to amend the law if this is deemed necessary. And the problem that was alluded to will, of course, be considered within the measures that the government can take regarding the NAC.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   National Arts Centre
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BQ

Suzanne Tremblay

Bloc Québécois

Mrs. Suzanne Tremblay (Rimouski-Témiscouata)

Besides the $350,000 severance pay, Mr. Speaker, can the minister tell us whether it is true that the person responsible for the placement agency in the Prime Minister's Office, Mrs. Colle-

nette, is desperately looking for a new job in the federal public service for Mr. DesRochers?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   National Arts Centre
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February 22, 1994