September 30, 1997

LIB

David Anderson

Liberal

Hon. David Anderson (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member's knowledge of history of the TAGS program is defective. There was a change in it which changed it from a five-year to a four-year program. I should remind him that this was done with the agreement of the individuals concerned.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Fisheries
Permalink
PC

John Herron

Progressive Conservative

Mr. John Herron (Fundy—Royal, PC)

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

Her predecessor, the current Minister of International Trade, committed Canada to the protection of endangered species that crossed international borders. To date, the minister has refused to make the same commitment.

Before she attends tomorrow's meeting with her provincial counterparts, will the minister guarantee to this House that her government will demonstrate federal leadership in protecting endangered species that range or migrate across interprovincial or international borders?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Endangered Species
Permalink
LIB

Christine Stewart

Liberal

Hon. Christine Stewart (Minister of the Environment, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague refers to our government's endangered species protection legislation. We have a commitment to reintroduce that legislation into the House. Our government has a strong commitment to endangered species and is in fact making progress. At my meeting tomorrow with my provincial counterparts, hopefully we will bring this agenda forward. I hope my hon. colleague will help us when that legislation is reintroduced into the House.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Endangered Species
Permalink
PC

John Herron

Progressive Conservative

Mr. John Herron (Fundy—Royal, PC)

Mr. Speaker, this government has already declared it will fail to meet its targets on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. It is now backing away from an earlier promise to protect endangered species that range or migrate across international boundaries, such as the swift fox and the eastern cougar.

In the face of serious backroom pressure from her provincial colleagues on Wednesday in Newfoundland, will the minister now pledge to Canadians that she will safeguard the federal role to protect Canada's precious endangered species?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Endangered Species
Permalink
LIB

Christine Stewart

Liberal

Hon. Christine Stewart (Minister of the Environment, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I believe that the federal government has an important leadership role to play in our country with regard to protecting endangered species. However, we cannot do this alone. I have to work collaboratively with my provincial colleagues and with representatives of other sectors across our country. I have been listening to them and will continue to do so. Hopefully the meeting tomorrow with my provincial colleagues will help us to iron out some of the difficulties around protecting endangered species.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Endangered Species
Permalink
LIB

Elinor Caplan

Liberal

Ms. Elinor Caplan (Thornhill, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the President of the Treasury Board with regard to the concerns raised in the most recent report by the access to information commissioner.

Too often, requests for information are not responded to in a timely manner. Given the government's commitment to openness and transparency, what will the minister do to respond to what the commissioner has called a festering silent scandal?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Access To Information
Permalink
LIB

Marcel Massé

Liberal

Hon. Marcel Massé (President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the government of course remains committed to the principles of openness and accountability that are inherent in the Access to Information Act. We recognize that there is a need for amendments to the act. It is up to the departments to apply the act and we will support these amendments as soon as they come forward.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Access To Information
Permalink
REF

Jim Hart

Reform

Mr. Jim Hart (Okanagan—Coquihalla, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the solicitor general.

Kevin Machell is the prime suspect in a double murder in Summerland, British Columbia. Machell was on day parole at the time of the murders. Officials at the solicitor general's department failed to take action for some 24 hours after Machell did not report to his halfway house even though the minister's own policy is to report within the hour.

Can the minister tell me, does he condone his department's decision to wait some 24 hours to report that Machell did not report to his halfway house?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Justice
Permalink
LIB

Andy Scott

Liberal

Hon. Andy Scott (Solicitor General of Canada, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his question. I am aware of his interest in this and I share his sympathy for the family.

I would like to reiterate as we pointed out in the throne speech that public safety is a priority of the government. In hindsight everybody would like to have seen a different decision given the benefit of the information that the minister has. The fact of the matter is that Canada has the second highest rate of incarceration in the western world. The National Parole Board and Correctional Service Canada—

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Justice
Permalink
BQ

Yves Rocheleau

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Yves Rocheleau (Trois-Rivières, BQ)

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

During the weekend, hundreds of residents of the Magdalen Islands expressed their opposition to the closure of the Magdalen Islands marine radio station, which the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans is about to announce.

Is the minister aware of the security risks the closure of Radio-Marine VCN on the Magdalen Islands could create?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Radio-Marine Vcn
Permalink
LIB

David Anderson

Liberal

Hon. David Anderson (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, in attempting to use the best technology possible and at the same time achieve a system which is economical to the Canadian taxpayer, changes have been made to the radio system in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

I can assure the hon. member that safety is a primary consideration of the department and no changes will be made if it reduces the safety levels.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Radio-Marine Vcn
Permalink
NDP

Bill Blaikie

New Democratic Party

Mr. Bill Blaikie (Winnipeg—Transcona, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister for International Trade.

We in the NDP find it ironic that while we debate sovereignty in the House, whether it be Quebec sovereignty or Canadian sovereignty, the government may be negotiating away our sovereignty in Paris, as we speak, in the multilateral agreement on investment.

I want to ask the Minister for International Trade, will he commit now to public hearings on the multilateral agreement on investment so that the many Canadians who are concerned about this can have input as to what the government should and should not be doing at those negotiations?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Trade
Permalink
LIB

Sergio Marchi

Liberal

Hon. Sergio Marchi (Minister for International Trade, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, let me first congratulate my hon. friend on being appointed the critic for international trade for the NDP.

Second, we are doing no such thing in terms of undermining Canadian sovereignty. On the contrary if there has ever been a government in the last number of years that has always stood up for Canada, it is this one.

I have written the member and the other trade critics. I have told them that among a number of issues once the foreign affairs and international trade committee is constituted MAI is one of those issues on which I wish to hear the views of that committee. I think he knows that perfectly well.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Trade
Permalink
PC

André Harvey

Progressive Conservative

Mr. André Harvey (Chicoutimi, PC)

Mr. Speaker, while the leader of the official opposition wants to communicate with Quebeckers, poverty is spreading in numerous regions across the country.

In the Speech from the Throne, I saw nothing that could be called a well thought out policy on social infrastructures. Community organizations help the poorest people. The Canadian conference of catholic bishops called those people the new marginals who are abandoned to themselves without any help from the government.

Can the Minister of Finance tell us if his government has provided for precise measures to support these programs, of which only the United Way, with means—

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Community Organizations
Permalink
?

The Speaker

I am sorry to interrupt the hon. member, but the Minister of Human Resources Development has the floor.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Community Organizations
Permalink
LIB

Pierre Pettigrew

Liberal

Hon. Pierre S. Pettigrew (Minister of Human Resources Development, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is quite right to mention the extraordinary work accomplished by hundreds of voluntary agencies throughout Canada. I believe those organizations already rely largely on the support of Canada, in particular the Department of Human Resources Development. They are our partners and we are very proud of that.

Have we changed infrastructures? The hon. member should know that we have made the most important leap forward in the area of social policy with the creation of the national child benefit. We have significantly improved the situation of children living in low income families.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Community Organizations
Permalink
REF

Jim Hart

Reform

Mr. Jim Hart (Okanagan—Coquihalla, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the solicitor general.

Canadians are clearly asking for a parole system that is earned, tightly monitored and limited. Why was the minister's own policy at Correctional Service Canada not followed in the Machell case?

Does the minister agree or disagree that a 24 hour delay in reporting Machell not returning to his halfway house is acceptable? Yes or no.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Justice
Permalink
LIB

Andy Scott

Liberal

Hon. Andy Scott (Solicitor General of Canada, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the National Parole Board and Correctional Services Canada are investigating this incident. They will be doing a report and will be reporting when it is available.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Justice
Permalink
?

The Speaker

I would like to draw to your attention the presence in the gallery of two guests. The first is His Excellency Yevgeny M. Primakov, Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Presence In Gallery
Permalink
?

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Presence In Gallery
Permalink

September 30, 1997