Francis FOX

FOX, The Hon. Francis, P.C., Q.C., B.A., LL.L., D.E.S., LL.M., M.A.

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Blainville--Deux-Montagnes (Quebec)
Birth Date
December 2, 1939
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Fox
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=8c88b631-34e1-4a75-a603-833894d455c1&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
executive, lawyer

Parliamentary Career

October 30, 1972 - May 9, 1974
LIB
  Argenteuil--Deux-Montagnes (Quebec)
July 8, 1974 - March 26, 1979
LIB
  Argenteuil--Deux-Montagnes (Quebec)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada (October 10, 1975 - September 13, 1976)
  • Solicitor General of Canada (September 14, 1976 - January 27, 1978)
May 22, 1979 - December 14, 1979
LIB
  Blainville--Deux-Montagnes (Quebec)
February 18, 1980 - July 9, 1984
LIB
  Blainville--Deux-Montagnes (Quebec)
  • Minister of Communications (March 3, 1980 - June 29, 1984)
  • Secretary of State of Canada (March 3, 1980 - September 21, 1981)
  • Minister for International Trade (June 30, 1984 - September 16, 1984)
August 29, 2005 - July 9, 1984
LIB
  Blainville--Deux-Montagnes (Quebec)
  • Minister for International Trade (June 30, 1984 - September 16, 1984)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 300 of 306)


February 5, 1976

Mr. Francis Fox (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Justice):

Mr. Speaker, The Law Reform Commission has made one report since its inception, that is, the Report on Evidence which was received by the Minister of Justice on December 18, 1975 and tabled on December 19, 1975. The Commission has also issued fourteen working papers on a variety of subjects for the purpose of obtaining public reaction. Reports containing actual recommendations in a number of these areas are expected in 1976. Since detailed discussion and consultation with Crown attorneys, police, judges, and members of the legal profession will be necessary in relation to the Evidence Report, legislation in this area will not be able to proceed immediately.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS ON THE ORDER PAPER
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January 27, 1976

Mr. Francis Fox (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Justice):

Madam Speaker, Bill C-71 now before us contains a series of amendments to the Criminal Code which constitute the first stage, but a very important one, of the government legislative program. The purpose of this program is, in fact, to assure in Canadian society the mainte-

January 27, 1976

nance of the physical security climate needed for the individual and social development of Canadians. Bill C-71 includes several amendments to the Criminal Code, amendments that have not held the attention of the media until now despite their significance. Some of these concern organized crime, such as the one that makes it illegal to use for legal purposes funds obtained in an illegal manner, as well as the one that makes illegal any conspiracy in Canada to commit offences abroad.

Also to be noted are substantial changes when it comes to bail, particularly in cases of murder charges, relapse into crime or drug trafficking. These changes, Madam Speaker, are meant to ensure greater protection against those who infringe on the basic social contract by attacking the basic right to physical security of any individual living in society.

Though they may not deal with the problem of organized crime, other amendments are nevertheless aimed at improving protection of the civic right to physical integrity. Thus, very stiff penalties will be imposed for impaired driving. I hope that those penalties will be noted, that they will receive wide publicity to reduce the number of impaired driving cases. The corporal as well as material damages specifically described with the support of statistics by the Minister of Justice (Mr. Basford), damages caused by people who have had too much to drink and insist on driving, are really excessive. I hope, Madam Speaker, that these penalties will lead to the consideration of the seriousness of this antisocial behaviour.

Finally, some amendments will protect the rights of the victim. The victim of a rape will no longer have to submit, except with the judge's authorization and in camera, to a thorough cross-examination of her background which often seemed to make her an accused rather than a victim.

Finally, the Criminal Code is amended to make sure that an acquittal by a jury can no longer be changed in a verdict of guilty by an appeal court. Indeed, I should like to mention in passing in this regard that it is obvious that when courts of appeal, whether the Quebec Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court of Canada, have in fact reversed the decision of a jury, they have been acting under an existing provision of the Criminal Code and have been in fact entitled to judge the case in question in view of the situation of the law at that time. It was up to Canadian Parliament to amend the Criminal Code. The situation at that time no longer corresponded to the needs of today's Canadian society.

I would like to come back briefly, Madam Speaker, on two or three aspects of the bill, namely the laundering of illegally obtained funds, bail provisions and drunken driving. First, let us consider the laundering of money obtained through crime: it is a well known fact-and several cases of this nature have been brought to light during the sittings of the CECO and other investigations into organized crime in Canada as well as in the United States-that organized crime is making an increasing use of illegally obtained funds, for instance, money obtained by prostitution networks, by trafficking of narcotics and drugs, by rings of motor vehicle thieves, and by something which is well known in certain areas of the south shore and Montreal, namely the protection industry. It is a well known

Criminal Code

fact that these illegally obtained funds are used to launch honest business ventures.

Under section 312 of the Criminal Code it is an offence to have in your possession an illegally obtained property. Under the amendment proposed in the House today, in future not only will the possession of illegally obtained funds be subject to prosecution under the Criminal Code, but also these funds can now be followed to their ultimate destination. This means for instance that if organized crime starts a business venture with funds obtained through the sale of stolen bonds, these funds will now be subject to the law.

The amendment goes further, and I believe it should be pointed out. It even forbids the use in Canada for legal purposes of funds obtained through underworld operations abroad. These are therefore important amendments, particularly in respect of organized crime when criminals try to lay out their illegal gains to advantage by buying commercial firms and operating legal activities.

I consider, Madam Speaker, that this is an extremely important development in Canadian jurisprudence. This is an additional tool we are giving to police forces, investigators and governments at both levels, provincial and federal, in Canada, and which will allow better control over the underworld and the mafia's sprawling operations and activities.

As to the bail, Madam Speaker, I would like to talk about it for a few moments. If there is an aspect which retains the attention of the public, it is very often indeed that of bail. Mass media do emphasize cases of people charged with an offence and who are let out on bail. We hear of it every day.

Madam Speaker, I think it is with good reason that many such cases are given prominence, particularly when the individuals released on bail commit an offence while out on parole.

In order to ensure better protection for society, Bill C-71 proposes thorough amendments to the Criminal Code as regards bail in certain specific cases.

At this moment, any person charged with a criminal offence must be let out on bail, unless the Crown attorney shows to the satisfaction of the court that the public interest requires he be imprisoned until his trial.

Bill C-71 establishes four exceptions to this principle. In these specific cases, it will be the responsibility of the defendant to show the court why he should be free pending his trial. This is therefore a reversal of the burden of proof which is very important and which should provide the public with additional protection without, however, depriving the defendant of his right to avail himself of the principles in which we all believe and, more particularly, of the principle of presumption of innocence.

In four very specific cases, it is the defendant rather than the Crown who will have to assume the burden of proof. It is the defendant who will have to prove that he is not a public danger and, secondly, that it is to be expected that he will appear before the court at the moment determined for his trial. First, when someone is charged with having committed a criminal offence while on bail, he will have to reverse the burden of proof himself. A citizen of a country other than Canada will have to do the same.

January 27, 1976

Criminal Code

In both latter cases we are dealing with amendments which were brought forward to the committee by the Minister of Justice himself (Mr. Basford). They concern charges of murder, of conspiracy to commit murder or of drug and narcotic importation or, once again, conspiracy and traffic or drug and narcotic importation.

It goes without saying that very often, particularly in the case of drug trafficking, the criminals are freed on bail and shortly after return to the street to continue this traffic of drugs which has proved so disastrous for Canadian youths in particular.

Evidently, as I have said, this does not in any manner affect the principle of our criminal law which presumes any person is innocent until proven guilty. There are nevertheless cases when, for public protection, it is necessary to ensure the presence of the accused in court. We then have to be much stricter and the present Minister of Justice as well as the Crown had no hesitation in adopting a harder line and being very strict towards the accused.

In those cases, as I have already pointed out, it will no longer be incumbent on the Crown, and this bears repeating, to prove why the accused should be held in custody until his trial, but instead, it will be up to the accused to prove why he should be free, to the satisfaction of the judge. The burden will be that much heavier.

Madam Speaker, it should also be noted in passing that the government intends to impose considerably more severe sanctions for drunken driving. Once again, inebriety at the wheel, which plagues our society, is a practice that leads, all in all, to tragedies, as well for the driver as for innocent victims, because of a lack of control or because the wheel was not taken over by someone else when too much alcohol was consumed.

Madam Speaker, I should also like to note how interesting it is that a good part of the population should be aware of the penalties now provided for by the Criminal Code for drunken driving, as a result of having been accused of driving while intoxicated, according to the rate of alcohol stipulated in the Criminal Code.

For a first offence, the maximum penalty is therefore increased. At this time, the law provides for a minimum fine of $500, or three months in prison, to a maximum fine of $2,000 or six months in prison.

For a second or third offence, there are minimum prison sentences, the judge not even having the option to impose a fine. He must sentence the person convicted to a period of detention, while for a second offence the maximum sentence is raised from three months detention to one year. And in the case of any subsequent offence, the maximum sentence is increased from one year to two years imprisonment.

Now, this clearly indicates, Madam Speaker, the interest taken by the drafters of this bill in this serious problem, and their decision in conscience to try to put an end to these abuses and emphasize the seriousness of such an act. Those are some of the amendments contained in this legislation. As I said earlier in my remarks, Madam Speaker, this is a first stage which will soon be completed by the peace and security program which the Minister of Justice and the Solicitor General of Canada, I hope, will launch in the near future.

A society which is concerned with the interests of citizens must favour the establishment of a social system which meets the aspirations of its members. Daily facts demonstrate that society must take the necessary measures to isolate those who refuse to abide by the rules and that as long as it is required by public interest.

The Criminal Code is one of the instruments which allow us to settle some situations. We must always remember that that instrument of social control is used when rules are not respected. Moreover it cannot in itself contribute to reducing the derogation rate and the solution in many cases rests with other human disciplines and government programs which ensure to all Canadians a rather high minimum level in the education field and the opportunity to develop themselves and to realize their own destiny.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CRIMINAL CODE, CROWN LIABILITY ACT, IMMIGRATION ACT, PAROLE ACT JURISDICTION GIVEN TO CANADIAN COURTS TO TRY PERSONS FOR CERTAIN OFFENCES COMMITTED OUTSIDE CANADA
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November 20, 1975

Mr. Francis Fox (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Justice):

Madam Speaker, I thank my dear colleague from Calgary. I was thinking about his remarkable comments on the results of a certain game.

Madam Speaker, I now come to the subject of this debate. Points have been raised, arguments have been made during the day by members of the official opposition. I would simply like to say that we had the impression today of witnessing a "de-escalation". On the basis of insinuations which seem serious by themselves, supported by anonymous affidavits which were flourished in the air, all that resulted during the debate in the colleagues of the mover of the motion themselves taking a stance against him. We witnessed a real "de-escalation", as I said. His own colleagues seemed very embarrassed to come back to the subject he had himself raised, and during the afternoon we heard apologies, people almost apologizing for being associated with the kind of things done today by the member in question.

The hon. member for Joliette (Mr. La Salle) for example is maintaining that no accusations are being made. These are the hon. member's words. The hon. member for Qu'Ap-pelle-Moose Mountain (Mr. Hamilton) complains that the motion is incomplete. Well, if he has criticism to make about the incompetence of those who drafted the motion, he only has to turn around and face his own colleagues. Indeed he was really successful in underlining the incompetence of his colleagues who drafted the motion. It was almost an election speech, possibly unveiling his own election campaign and I hope, Madam Speaker, that it will be cleaner than the speech he made this evening.

It looks as if he chose the anniversary of Laurier to start off. He spoke of a slaughter. I have the impression, Madam Speaker, that the blue slaughter of February will be a reality well before his pious wishes for the red slaughter. He criticized my colleague the hon. member for Nipissing (Mr. Blais) because he was not here in 1963 and because he does not know the great debates they may have had in this House at that time.

Madam Speaker, if the spectacle the hon. member for Qu'Appelle-Moose Mountain gave us tonight is typical of the type of debate, of things that went on in the House of Commons at that time, I am very happy to be among the colleagues of the hon. member for Nipissing rather than those of the hon. member for Qu'Appelle-Moose Mountain.

And so, we had a "de-escalation" throughout the day. The hon. member for Central Nova (Mr. MacKay) started off, followed by the hon. member for Yukon (Mr. Nielsen) who felt obliged to excuse him by saying it was the role of

Confidence in Government

the opposition to make that type of accusation. The hon. member for Joliette, as I mentioned before, also said that in fact the accusations were not made against the government, that they were pious wishes because everyone is interested in improving public administration in Canada. The situation is quite embarrassing. The last speaker of the party, the hon. member for Prince George-Peace River (Mr. Oberle) did not even speak to the motion before the House. The only thing he mentioned was a series of "Dear Jim" and "Cher Marc", making allusions to people in the office of the Prime Minister, and more particularly to the current head of Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation. And those very same people, on the back and front benches of that opp party, Madam Speaker, keep saying to the government that more people in private enterprise should take part in government decisions. No sooner does someone leave the ranks of that same enterprise to give the Canadian people, the affairs of state, the benefit of his experience in a certain field, people like the hon. member for Prince George-Peace River rise and with innuendos and insinuations try to prove that there is something wrong somewhere. But he never lays a charge. He only gives innuendos and, frankly speaking, I do not think this is on a level with the kind of parliamentary debates we should hear in the House of Commons.

It has been said that the role of the opposition was to give the kind of show we had before us today. Madam Speaker, I always thought the role of the opposition was to make loyal opposition. In fact, the title of the opposition is "loyal opposition". I always thought it meant intellectually loyal. I was very disappointed about that throughout the day.

Is it really responsible, Madam Speaker, to hold up anonymous affidavits? Is it really responsible to say that there is no difference between allegations, to use the word of the hon. member for Central Nova (Mr. MacKay) when he said this afternoon: True or not?

After all, the Canadian Parliament has become a place where the vilest rumours can be spread and thrown at the people's face without the least evidence. Hon. members opposite have reached the point where they talk about prima facie allegations. I would advise them all to return to their law textbooks or their books on the constitution and political science, and brush up their knowledge. There is no such thing as prima facie allegations but only prima facie evidence. Allegations as such are groundless!

By the way, they are the same members who, on many occasions, have accused reporters of the press gallery of reporting false information at times. I believe they could say in turn: "Have a good look at the members throwing allegations across the House and claiming that those unsubstantiated allegations amount to evidence or point to wrongdoing.

In his brief remarks, the hon. member for Joliette (Mr. La Salle) particularly disagreed with his colleague who put the motion when he said that public confidence in the government was decreasing. He should ask himself what is his own party's responsibility for this situation, because day after day, the only thing opposition parties can do is to criticize thoroughly the government's position without

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November 20, 1975

Confidence in Government

making the least positive suggestion or proposing any alternative. No wonder the public finds that opposition parties do not have much to offer and indeed they do not offer much.

Then, the hon. member for Joliette commented that the RCMP had searched Senator Giguere's offices and home. I think it is difficult to claim that government agencies do not do anything. On the contrary, those situations they hold against us are all to the government's credit and show quite clearly that there is no one in Canada who is not equal before the law, that nobody is above it. We had other examples in recent years, namely the action brought against CMHC officers. So, there was never any attempt to try and hyde anything. When there was some evidence that criminal offences had been committed, the government took its responsibilities. There is proof of that once again in the Hamilton case, the Air Canada and Mirabel cases that the RCMP are now investigating.

The hon. member for Yukon (Mr. Nielsen) suggested this afternoon that all those allegations, all those things were embarrassing for the government. I think this is not so. It is not embarrassing for the government to discover that a Crown official or agent might have committed at a certain time a criminal offence. If such was the case, if the evidence-and I stress evidence, not allegations out of nowhere-was brought before the government, on each occasion the government took its responsibilities, brought the persons involved before the courts which then acted according to the provisions of the Criminal Code.

In spite of what the hon. member for Yukon might have said or thought, nobody questioned the right of the hon. member for Central Nova to raise those matters in this House.

But we should really ask ourselves, Madam Speaker, if it was the best thing to do. The RCMP declared they had started their investigation nine months ago already. Nine months ago, Madam Speaker, and the hon. member for Central Nova (Mr. MacKay) has just made public accusations.

Sensationalism is very tempting. The RCMP commissioner regretted that the member did not proceed otherwise and, besides, the hon. member for Yukon (Mr. Nielsen) did say this afternoon that in 1963 he had lodged a complaint and put his documents in the hands of law officers of the Crown.

To be efficient an inquiry must often be carried on without the knowledge of the suspected parties. The fleeting publicity made around a good part of this case may have given headlines to the hon. member but then it may also have made it easy to get rid of files and evidence that might have helped throw some light on those matters.

Finally, instead of seeking sensationalism by revealing every day some more information an approach which can only be profitable to the member who wants to make the headlines, to the accused or to the person suspected of some illegal action, Madam Speaker, I think that every member should rather give the information to whom it may concern, as suggested by the Minister of Justice, to the officers of the RCMP so that an official inquiry be carried on.

In fact, all the evidence presented to the government has been referred to the RCMP so they can accomplish the work with the great expertise recognized most of the time by hon. members opposite when they are not indulging in childish political partisanship.

The hon. member for Central Nova also mentioned things that I consider not too serious, things which did not relate to this debate at all. He started mentioning the PTV, passenger transport vehicles in use at Mirabel Airport. He found with a certain smile great relief in the fact that a certain PTV malfunctioned on the opening day of the airport.

Madam Speaker, he even went to the point of criticizing the operators of those PTV's. Those operators come from my area, they are the guys from home, the guys who were hired by Manpower Centres in three constituencies of the Mirabel and Greater Montreal areas. Those guys met every standard required by the Department of Transport, attended the necessary courses to perform their task, and they are now being childishly accused of not being able to perform their work.

I think it is somewhat disgusting to stress the kind of minor incident which was reported by the hon. member for Central Nova. Besides, he talked about Mirabel before and I guess it will not be the last time he will do so. For instance, he said, as the Minister of Transport stressed today, that some difficulty was experienced with respect to runways, and actually the Minister of Transport thoroughly disproved his statement.

That again is another example of a groundless representation, after what the Minister of Transport mentioned to the House this afternoon. But he is not afraid of those unfounded representations to the House. Not in the least.

I might also stress to him the fact that the development and design of Mirabel are the results, Madam Speaker, of the work of thousands of Quebec people and Canadians who are to us, in my area, a striking example of the genius of our province, and we will not have this kind of slander, this kind of libel which he thinks he is entitled to whether true or not, as he said when he mentioned examples this afternoon.

I shall tell him that the House of Commons is not the place for gossip, rumors, libel through anonymous affidavits. Opposition members dare cry out "shame". In my opinion, when a member rises and holds up to the House of Commons, to the members of this House, anonymous affidavits to tarnish the reputations of some people, I think this cry of "shame" does in fact fit opposition members much better.

Madam Speaker, if the hon. member, instead of wishing to enhance his reputation with gossips and rumours, brought forward some evidence of bad conduct, I would be the first one to support and back him up, because I really believe in an honest and just public administration in this country. That is just what we have and unless the hon. member has specific evidence to give us, I think he should wait until he is in position to do do.

Madam Speaker, some members opposite while they like to criticize government members prove by their protests, as soon as we pay them back in their own coin, that it is unacceptable, that in a certain way, members sitting on

November 20, 1975

this side of the House must bear their criticisms whether they are justified or not. Well, I tell them from this side of the House that each time they want to launch attacks as stupid and ridiculous as the debate this afternoon, we will pay them back in their own coin, argument for argument but not like the hon. member for Qu'Appelle-Moose Mountain (Mr. Hamilton), insult for insult, because we on this side of the House do not believe in the kind of language used by the hon. member for Qu'Appelle-Moose Mountain during this debate, a language which is not to the credit of members opposite. Further, I know very well that a number of them would not support the kind of remarks that were made, the language used this evening by the hon. member for Qu'Appelle-Moose Mountain.

As far as the hon. member opposite is concerned, I shall wait, I will come to him latter on. I will discuss one by one the attitudes of members opposite, if they will wait. I now come to the hon. member for Grenville-Carleton (Mr. Baker). In a style exclusive to him, because nobody on this side would imitate it, he said the current situation is horrible, that we have reached the point where the RCMP are making raids in the offices and homes of parliamentarians. And in the same breath the hon. member goes on to say the government is "stonewalling" opposition charges. There is a clear contradiction there. Such inconsistent logic is hidden behind the hon. member for Grenville-Carleton's customary eloquence. And not fearing anything, he said in conclusion it is important an investigation be made on the matter, implicating no investigation is being made. If the RCMP raided a parliamentarian's office, if they are making raids here and there, how is it possible to suggest the government is doing nothing to clear these charges? I believe the hon. member is neither inconsistent or hard of hearing. He concluded in a certain manner, and I might paraphrase him in his own mother tongue: "If there is nothing to hide, open-up".

Finally, what a novel principle! Let us push aside serious investigations, let us open the door now to large public inquests. Let us open the door to insinuations. Let us open the door to innuendoes, charges they themselves called "prima facie allegations". But where then, may I ask, are our most basic principles?

The hon. member for Yukon (Mr. Nielsen) said that procedures before "law offices of the Crown", before officials of the Department of Justice, may lead to abuse. I presume the idea was that maybe the Minister of Justice or the Solicitor General, after investigation by the RCMP, would shelve the latter's report. Frankly, I wonder how far the hon. member has gone, if he believes that kind of thing would be done on this side. The hon. member said this happened before, and in the context of his own indication, since the matter has been made public, he demonstrates such a situation is now impossible. In order that such a thing be true, three things would be required. First, that the Minister of Justice put the lid on the file. Second, that the Solicitor General put the lid on the file. Third, that the RCMP commissioner put the lid on the file.

And finally, the hon. member said that it is precisely what happened. After all, if that had happened, I suppose the file would have been buried, which it has not been.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
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October 23, 1975

Mr. Francis Fox (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Justice):

Mr. Speaker, my predecessor, the hon. member for Lapointe (Mr. Marceau) had contributed to this debate in May last year. At that time, he had briefly stated the government position on the matter. Instead of going over his statement, I will elaborate a little more along the line of argumentation he used at that time.

First of all, I should point out that the hon. member for New Westminster (Mr. Leggatt), with his well known cleverness, has managed to turn this debate on the production of certain papers into a debate on the main issue. I do not intend to discuss the substance of the issue, that is abortion, but to state briefly the grounds which are the basis of the government position in asking the hon. member to withdraw his motion. Perhaps I should point

October 23, 1975

Abortion

out that since the motion has been tabled, the government has set up the Bagel committee which were instructed to investigate look into the application of section 251 of the Criminal Code in all provinces and report at an early date. The facts as reported by that committee will undoubtedly pave the way for a debate to throw more light on that important question, but the main issue on which we have to take a decision now concerns motion No. 15.

In this motion, the hon. member requests that all correspondence between the Ministers of Justice, the Attorneys General and the Ministers of Health of the provinces concerning the enforcement of Criminal Code section 251 be made public.

The question of the duplication of information by ministers of the Crown, as outlined by the hon. member for Chambly (Mr. Loiselle), has been discussed several times in recent years. In March 1973, the President of the Privy Council proposed a set of guidelines on that vast question and, as a matter of fact, the whole matter was discussed later on by a committee of the House whose responsibility was to study statutory instruments.

Now, the motion refers precisely to the correspondence between the federal government and the provinces, which obviously falls under section 4 of the guidelines which deals with the refusal to produce government papers, the release of which might be detrimental to federal-provincial relations.

Mr. Speaker, I am sure all hon. members are fully aware of the particularly complex and ticklish nature of federal-provincial relations. Obviously, in some cases, the prime objective of the government, namely to inform, must give way to other interests, of which the free and open exchange of communications between the federal and provincial governments. It cannot be denied that when information is intended for the people or public debate, its expression often takes a meaning or shading that differs from those that are important to the promotion and preservation of the elements of compromise and understanding, as well as open-mindedness, that are indispensable to a healthy balance in federal-provincial relations.

As pointed out by my hon. colleague for Chambly, Mr. Speaker, with all the perspicacity and intellectual sharpness he is known for, honesty and open-mindedness are truly indispensable requisites for good federal-provincial relations. It is always with an awareness of the difficulties which surround those conditions that we endeavour ceaselessly to give satisfaction to the people. The best way of doing this is not to disclose this kind of information we are talking about today at the risk of jeopardizing the good faith and mutual trust so valuable to ensure a lasting dialogue with the provinces.

On several occasions, Mr. Speaker, reference was made in this House to the Sweedish system of information distribution. The fact is that it provides for exceptions, and rather important ones at that. Which proves that it is not as exhaustive as it looks. Perhaps it would be interesting to quote from or-considering the time limit in this debate-simply refer hon. members to the evidence given by Mr. Donald Rowat, professor at Carleton University, before the Standing Joint Committee on Regulations and Other Statutory Instruments.

It might also be noted, Mr. Speaker, that in the United States under the Freedom of Information Act this kind of paper and information also comes under exceptions to the ruies of disclosure.

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I would like to point out that for the Minister of Justice it is in the interest of hon. members as well as the public to disclose as much information as possible on government activity. But it is obvious that there must be reasonable limits to that rule-and, of course, "reasonable" is the operative word. Reasonable limits are those which allow the government to act with efficiency and in all security. Consequently, the exclusion of all intergovernmental correspondence of the type provided for in the motion is both a motivated and necessary exception. That is why, Mr. Speaker, I would ask the hon. member kindly to withdraw his motion.

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' MOTIONS FOR PAPERS
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July 28, 1975

Mr. Fox:

On a point of order, Mr. Chairman, the hon. member is not at all dealing with the matter under consideration by the House. I am prepared to hear and consider the points of view he is raising, but for the well-being of the House, I think he should limit his remarks to the matter now under consideration by the House.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   EXCISE TAX ACT
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