September 26, 1996

REF

Ian McClelland

Reform

Mr. Ian McClelland (Edmonton Southwest, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, Kyle Brown, a private in the airborne regiment in Somalia was jailed for five years and released from the military for his role in the Somalia affair. He was tried, convicted and sentenced appropriately.

By turning over the film of the atrocity Kyle Brown incriminated himself but he prevented a cover-up.

How is it that the lowest ranking member of the military, who prevented a cover-up, did not have military defence counsel while

the chief of the defence staff has the best counsel that money can buy to try to absolve him of his role in the cover-up?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Somalia Inquiry
Permalink
LIB

John Richardson

Liberal

Mr. John Richardson (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I recognize the question from the hon. member. Because of the detail of that question, I will take it under advisement.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Somalia Inquiry
Permalink
REF

Ian McClelland

Reform

Mr. Ian McClelland (Edmonton Southwest, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, if I may, I would advise the parliamentary secretary that Private Kyle Brown is still paying off the bank loan that he had to take out to pay for his defence while he was in Somalia.

Sergeant Mark Boland was arrested, taken from his home by the military police, tried, convicted and sentenced to one year in jail and discharged from the military for his role in the Somalia affair.

Although he was off duty and asleep when the events took place, Sergeant Boland was held accountable because the atrocity took place during his watch. He should have known and he was held accountable.

My question is for the Prime Minister. What kind of leadership example is set for Canadians when the chief of the defence staff is able to pass off responsibility for events that occurred under his watch, yet he continues to enjoy the support of the Prime Minister, the minister of defence and of the government?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Somalia Inquiry
Permalink
LIB

John Richardson

Liberal

Mr. John Richardson (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, because of the nature and the detail required, had I been given advance notice of that question, I would have answered it. I will take it under advisement.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Somalia Inquiry
Permalink
BQ

Pierre De Savoye

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Pierre de Savoye (Portneuf, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, a few moments ago, the Minister of National Revenue hid behind criminal enterprises to say that their books cannot be audited. The oil companies are legitimate businesses whose books must be audited. The minister has no excuse.

Furthermore, while wealthy taxpayers were able to receive services from Revenue Canada on December 23, 1991, the auditor general revealed today that, nine times out of ten, ordinary taxpayers cannot get telephone access to Revenue Canada's services.

How can the minister justify the preferential treatment given to the rich by her department when ordinary taxpayers cannot even reach Revenue Canada by phone?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Revenue Canada
Permalink
LIB

Jane Stewart

Liberal

Hon. Jane Stewart (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member refers to telephone access to my department. It is of concern for us. All members have either anecdotal evidence or personal experience about the difficulties of getting through on the phones.

I would like to point out that one week in July last, we received two million phone calls. It would have taken 4,000 agents to respond so hiring more people does not make sense in this case.

What we are doing, however, is looking at automation. We have had pilot projects in place using automated inquiry systems. They will now be spread nationally and our anticipated implementation date is over the course of 1996. With that program in place, it is my expectation that this issue of access to the department will be relieved.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Revenue Canada
Permalink
BQ

Pierre De Savoye

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Pierre de Savoye (Portneuf, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, I see that, according to the Chief Electoral Officer's report, large corporations make generous contributions to the Liberal Party's coffers.

Can the minister tell us if there is a link between that fact and the fact that Revenue Canada has become a provider of favours and dispensations to the rich and to the big companies?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Revenue Canada
Permalink
?

The Speaker

If I understood the question correctly, it concerns the Liberal Party. If the minister wants to answer, I will allow it. If not, it will be disallowed.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Revenue Canada
Permalink
LIB

Warren Allmand

Liberal

Hon. Warren Allmand (Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs.

This week in a historic event, Canada and 79 other nations signed the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty at the United Nations.

Unfortunately, some of the nuclear threshold states, including India, have stated that they would not sign. Could the minister say what steps Canada is taking to bring India and these other countries on side and to ensure that this important treaty comes into force as soon as possible?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
Permalink
LIB

Pierre Pettigrew

Liberal

Hon. Pierre S. Pettigrew (Minister for International Co-operation and Minister responsible for Francophonie, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, first of all, I want to recognize the excellent work done by

the hon. member for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, who has been an advocate of international disarmament for many years.

In fact, just this week, Canada became one of the first countries to sign the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty. With this treaty, a long-standing objective of our foreign policy has finally been achieved. Canada will continue to play a leading role in implementing the treaty as soon as possible. A binding international standard banning all tests is already in place under the treaty. This standard will provide strong political and moral leverage in the coming years, leverage that will also be brought to bear on non-treaty countries.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
Permalink
REF

Jim Abbott

Reform

Mr. Jim Abbott (Kootenay East, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, outside the House the heritage minister clearly and specifically stated that neither she nor her department lobbied Liberal backbenchers to defeat the bill on banning negative option billing by the cable companies. However, I have the minister's memo in hand which specifically endorses negative option billing and encourages Liberal members to vote against the negative option ban.

Further, I have a document on the minister's letterhead which specifically states that the members should vote no, government position, nay.

With this evidence in hand, how can the minister explain the discrepancy between what she was saying outside the House and the written evidence?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Telecommunications
Permalink
LIB

Sheila Copps

Liberal

Hon. Sheila Copps (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I said last week, I said this week and I will say it again next week that the Liberal government opposes negative option billing. We opposed it last year. We oppose it this year and we will oppose it next year.

The chairman of the CRTC, in assigning the new specialty licences, has also gone on record as opposing negative option billing. Therefore, the issue has been dealt with.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Telecommunications
Permalink
REF

Jim Abbott

Reform

Mr. Jim Abbott (Kootenay East, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, not since the minister's broken GST promise has there ever been as loud a public outcry as there was against against negative option billing on the part of ordinary Canadians. It is clear, on the basis of this documentation, to anyone that the minister and her department are working hand in hand with the cable industry.

How can she deny that her government position was opposed to the negative option bill when I read here: "Government position, no?"

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Telecommunications
Permalink
LIB

Sheila Copps

Liberal

Hon. Sheila Copps (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, you are absolutely right, the government was opposed to the negative option billing.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Telecommunications
Permalink
BQ

René Canuel

Bloc Québécois

Mr. René Canuel (Matapédia-Matane, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

More than three weeks ago, Restigouche Micmacs started fishing lobster illegally, out of season. On Monday, after tolerating the situation for more than three weeks, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans decided to issue the Micmacs a communal fishing licence they never asked for, aggrieving local fishermen.

In light of the fact that the Micmacs have the clearly stated their intention of developing a commercial lobster fishery and do not recognize the authority of Fisheries and Oceans in that area, how does the minister justify issuing this permit?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Lobster Fishery
Permalink
LIB

Ted McWhinney

Liberal

Mr. Ted McWhinney (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, it is a fact that the Listuguj First Nation, in claiming historic rights, as was amply vindicated in the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court of Canada, asked for a permit. It was issued a communal licence by the department. The communal licence established very serious restrictions in the interest of conservation measures, limits as to the number of catch, limits to the type of gear to be employed. Those restrictions are enforceable under the Fisheries Act.

We are aware of complaints of violations and these are being investigated. If necessary the restrictions will be enforced. Obviously it is in the interest of all of us to achieve an amicable settlement. The hon. member will agree with that. The department is examining that with all parties. However, the regulations will be enforced if necessary.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Lobster Fishery
Permalink
BQ

René Canuel

Bloc Québécois

Mr. René Canuel (Matapédia-Matane, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, Fisheries and Oceans Canada just authorized 2,000 members of the community to catch 300 pounds of lobster each. That is 600,000 pounds of lobster in Chaleur Bay. That is a lot of lobster.

How can the minister ensure the conservation of the resource, in concrete terms, in the subarea located between New Richmond and Pointe-à-la-Garde, where the Micmacs are currently fishing?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Lobster Fishery
Permalink
LIB

Ted McWhinney

Liberal

Mr. Ted McWhinney (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, as has been stated, we are aware of the conservation imperative. It is the prime obligation of the department. The issue is under investigation.

If violations occur they will be prosecuted under the Fisheries Act. I can assure the hon. member that we will still try to achieve, allowing for the political facts here, the amicable settlement which we all desire. But if necessary, the regulations will be enforced by prosecution.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Lobster Fishery
Permalink
REF

Diane Ablonczy

Reform

Mrs. Diane Ablonczy (Calgary North, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in the House, the natural resources minister expressed outrage at the very idea that a federal government should interfere in private contracts. Yet that is exactly what the Liberals did with the national energy program.

I ask the minister, are we to understand that her position is that the Liberal national energy program was a huge mistake?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Churchill Falls
Permalink
LIB

Anne McLellan

Liberal

Hon. Anne McLellan (Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I have no intention this afternoon of dwelling on the past.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Churchill Falls
Permalink

September 26, 1996