October 20, 1994

LIB

Jean-Robert Gauthier

Liberal

Mr. Jean-Robert Gauthier (Ottawa-Vanier, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take the opportunity to state on the record my opposition to the decision of the Chinese government to continue the testing of nuclear weapons.

For the third time in the past year China has detonated an explosive nuclear device, an action clearly out of step with the negotiations currently under way in Geneva to reach agreement on a nuclear test ban treaty. Indeed China is the only one of the five nuclear states not to adhere to the moratorium on nuclear testing in effect for the duration of these negotiations.

The Chinese government claims that the devices being tested are limited in scope and to be used for defensive purposes only. Regardless of such claims, I would like to echo the concerns of many of my constituents and I think most members of the House, to tell the Chinese government that we do not appreciate this kind of testing and would like to see it stopped at this time.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Nuclear Weapons
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BQ

Francine Lalonde

Bloc Québécois

Mrs. Francine Lalonde (Mercier, B.Q.)

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has spoken at great length about Canada's generous system of redistributing wealth from one province to another. And yet, in its reform of unemployment insurance in the last budget, the federal government went looking for close to $1.4 billion in the pockets of unemployed workers in Quebec and the Maritimes. Close to 60 per cent of the initial cuts are affecting these regions, which are hard hit by the job crisis.

Now, as a result of social program reform, these regions will again bear the brunt, with cuts in the billions of dollars. Quebecers will not accept a reform whose sole objective is to slash programs. Although opposition to the reform is widespread, Quebec's response to this attack will be quite different. When it attains sovereignty, it will be sure to implement a full employment policy, using its own resources.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Employment
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REF

Cliff Breitkreuz

Reform

Mr. Cliff Breitkreuz (Yellowhead, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, in just 31 days a group of MPs will be swaggering up to the trough and stuffing their snouts into it. Yes, 52 MPs will become eligible to slurp from the insanely rich MP pension fund November 21. Potentially they could suck $53 million out of the pockets of Canadian taxpayers.

Canadians find it absolutely unacceptable when the Prime Minister says he is dedicated to spending cuts and continues to allow this kind of taxpayer abuse.

The national debt is now $534,994,000,000. Canadians demand the Prime Minister act now to stop national trough day before it is too late.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Members Of Parliament Retiring Allowances Act
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LIB

Jag Bhaduria

Liberal

Mr. Jag Bhaduria (Markham-Whitchurch-Stouffville, Ind. Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, once again we have had another Canadian citizen fall victim to a fatal gun shooting.

Last week Stephen Braithwaite lost his life after a parking lot gun battle at an after hours club in North York. According to police reports at least two automatic or semi-automatic weapons were used in this gun fight.

Canadians are wondering what these guns are doing on the streets in a public place and how they were obtained.

This is not an isolated incident. Police have reported that there have been quite a few other gun related incidents at these clubs over the past month. Law-abiding citizens living around these after hour clubs are extremely concerned. They cannot properly raise their families when they are constantly living in fear.

I call on the government to initiate a solution to this problem. Let us work with the provincial governments to clean up our streets.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Gun Control
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LIB

Rey D. Pagtakhan

Liberal

Mr. Rey D. Pagtakhan (Winnipeg North, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, today's launching of the National Forum on Health marks the dawn of an exciting new era in Canada's medicare.

For too long Canadians have been concerned about long waiting lists, rising drug costs, the scarcity of rural physicians, inefficiencies in the system, quality of home care and many more.

At the same time, they know Canada must cope with costs due to new technology, new drugs, our aging population and the emergence of new diseases.

The forum, chaired by the Prime Minister, will bring together Canada's wealth of talent and knowledge in the health care field such as that of Dr. Noralou Roos of Winnipeg. It will engage Canadians in developing solutions to challenges facing medicare, taking into account its five basic principles and all the major determinants of health.

The National Forum on Health will set the framework for Canada's renewed vision of medicare as we approach the 21st century. Let us applaud the government.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   National Forum On Health
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LIB

Murray Calder

Liberal

Mr. Murray Calder (Wellington-Grey-Dufferin-Simcoe, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I want to read you an excerpt from a letter: "I am writing to further offer my strong support for the project because of the significant job creation this project will provide-One of the main objectives of the infrastructure program is to promote public and private sector partnerships that will not only improve the local and regional economic climate but also help Canada as a whole attract corporations by providing prime business opportunity-".

One would logically assume that the Prime Minister or the minister responsible for the program would have made this statement.

The fact is that the member for Simcoe Centre made this statement in support of infrastucture programs in the city of Barrie despite condemning them yesterday.

The national infrastucture program has been a catalyst for job creation. If the Reform Party followed our government's example perhaps the public would not be so cynical of politicians.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Infrastructure Program
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LIB

Guy Arseneault

Liberal

Mr. Guy H. Arseneault (Restigouche-Chaleur, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, social security reform is a very serious issue for all Canadians. It offers alternatives to address the serious challenges we must face.

In Atlantic Canada social security reform left many unanswered questions in relation to seasonal employment. I commend the minister of human resources for responding to these concerns and for creating a special committee to study the question of seasonal workers.

The committee in question is addressing a serious concern of Atlantic Canada. Special attention must be given to seasonal workers. Social program reform is not only important, it is necessary. I encourage all Canadians to become involved in the consultation process and to express their opinion on the future of our social programs.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Social Security Reform
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BQ

Lucien Bouchard

Bloc Québécois

Hon. Lucien Bouchard (Leader of the Opposition, B.Q.)

Mr. Speaker, very serious allegations have been made recently about CSIS's infiltration activities. Now come revelations from a former officer of the Communications Security Establishment, another federal agency, who in a book published this week mentions the existence of a special unit called "French Problem" that is responsible for intercepting Quebec government members' telephone calls or having these calls intercepted by foreign services.

For his part, the Prime Minister said yesterday in this House that since he entered politics, he knew nothing about any spying on the sovereignist movement by federal services.

My question is for the Deputy Prime Minister. How can the government pretend, as the Prime Minister did yesterday, not to be aware of federal agents spying on Quebec's pro-sovereignty movement, when the reports of the Keable and MacDonald commissions showed the extent of the RCMP's illegal activities in the 1970s, much activities as planting bombs, burning barns and stealing the Parti Quebecois's membership lists?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Communications Security Establishment
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LIB

Sheila Copps

Liberal

Hon. Sheila Copps (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I want to draw the attention of the House to what the Prime Minister said yesterday, that the activities of the CSE are totally subject to Canadian laws, including the Criminal Code, the Canadian Human Rights Act, the Privacy Act and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and they obey the law.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Communications Security Establishment
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BQ

Lucien Bouchard

Bloc Québécois

Hon. Lucien Bouchard (Leader of the Opposition, B.Q.)

Mr. Speaker, can the Deputy Prime Minister from her seat clearly assure this House that the federal intelligence services, CSIS and the Communications Security Establishment, have not and do not engage in electronic eavesdropping on elected officials and members of the Bloc Quebecois, the Parti Quebecois and the Quebec sovereignty movement and do not have others engage in such activities for them?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Communications Security Establishment
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LIB

Sheila Copps

Liberal

Hon. Sheila Copps (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I repeat, the activities of the CSE are in no way directed against Canadians, including people involved in politics.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Communications Security Establishment
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BQ

Lucien Bouchard

Bloc Québécois

Hon. Lucien Bouchard (Leader of the Opposition, B.Q.)

Mr. Speaker, we note that Mike Frost's revelations report that interception services do each other favours, some spying on the ministers of others, and so on.

We all noted that the Deputy Prime Minister carefully avoided giving the clear, specific assurance which I asked of her. On such a serious subject involving respect for the law and democracy in Canada, a refusal to deny is the same as an admission.

Mr. Speaker, I ask the Deputy Prime Minister to tell us clearly if we must conclude from the evasive answer she just gave that the federal services are now engaged in such electronic eavesdropping?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Communications Security Establishment
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LIB

Sheila Copps

Liberal

Hon. Sheila Copps (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, in no way was I evasive. What I said and I repeat, in French and in English, if the hon. member cannot understand, is that the CSE is subject to Canadian law, including the Criminal Code, and to all Canadian laws. They do not take any action against people in Canada who are in politics.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Communications Security Establishment
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BQ

Michel Bellehumeur

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Michel Bellehumeur (Berthier-Montcalm, B.Q.)

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Deputy Prime Minister.

I wish to remind the Deputy Prime Minister that the Communications Security Establishment is not accountable to any review agency. The disclosures made by a CSE spy, Mike Frost, raise the whole issue of electronic surveillance of the sovereignist movement by federal services.

Why is it that, unlike CSIS, the Communications Security Establishment, whose budget is estimated at $200 million a year-yes, Mr. Speaker, $200 million a year-is not subject to any external parliamentary control whatsoever? Who monitors the spies in this country?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Communications Security Establishment
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LIB

Sheila Copps

Liberal

Hon. Sheila Copps (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I have said it many times and I will repeat it for those who did not understand. The CSE is subject to the Criminal Code of Canada. It does not spy on Canadians or on those who are involved in politics, whether they belong to the Parti Quebecois, the Liberal Party or any other political party. Is that clear enough?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Communications Security Establishment
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BQ

Michel Bellehumeur

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Michel Bellehumeur (Berthier-Montcalm, B.Q.)

Mr. Speaker, does the Deputy Prime Minister not admit that, given the recent and very serious allegations concerning both CSIS and the Communications Security Establishment, the government should set up a royal commission of inquiry, as requested, to shed light once and for all on these allegations?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Communications Security Establishment
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LIB

Sheila Copps

Liberal

Hon. Sheila Copps (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, many books are circulating this week. One is by Claude Morin, one by Joe Clark, and there are others. Are we here to say that all that Claude Morin writes is true? We in the government want to deal in facts.

We want to deal in facts. If the member is interested in slinging the mud, if he believes every word that is written in every book that is flying around town-

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Communications Security Establishment
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?

The Speaker

Order. My colleagues, I would again ask you to please not use any props while you are in the House of Commons. It just leads to bigger and bigger props.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Communications Security Establishment
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REF

Preston Manning

Reform

Mr. Preston Manning (Calgary Southwest, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, a funny thing happened on the way to the health care forum.

The provincial governments which have jurisdiction over health care and pay the bulk of the bills are not being allowed to lead the health care reform process. They are sitting on the sidelines.

The Prime Minister would not even agree to share the chairmanship of the forum with the premier of Saskatchewan, the province that pioneered medicare.

My question to the Prime Minister is when is the federal government going to stop alienating the provinces by pretending to lead the health care reform process and let them lead the reform of social programs for which they are constitutionally responsible?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Health Care
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LIB

Sheila Copps

Liberal

Hon. Sheila Copps (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the federal government spends $16 billion of hard earned Canadian taxpayers' money on the health care system. We have a direct interest and a

direct fiduciary responsibility. I am sure that the Reform Party agrees with that.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Health Care
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October 20, 1994