CANADA

National Notes

July 22 1991
CANADA

National Notes

July 22 1991

National Notes

CANADA

OKA RECALLED

Several hundred Mohawks and their supporters held a powwow that included singing and religious ceremonies at the Kanesatake community near Oka, Que., to mark the anniversary of a clash with Quebec provincial police that led to a 78day standoff last summer over land claims. Meanwhile, in a 200-page report, the Paris-based International Human Rights Federation said that the rights of natives and non-natives alike were breached during the Oka crisis. And the human rights organization Amnesty International said in its annual report that it is still investigating allegations by Mohawks that they were ill-treated by police and denied access to lawyers.

HELP FOR A SHIPBUILDER

The federal and Quebec governments will give the financially troubled MIL-Davie shipyard, located in Lévis-Lauzon, Que., a total of $363 million in aid—$263 million of it from Ottawa—to help the company fulfil a contract to build three navy frigates and refit four destroyers for the navy.

SPENDING CONTROLS

Finance Minister Don Mazankowski proposed a law to limit federal budget increases—with exceptions—to an annual average of three per cent. The proposed limit would not apply to such spending as interest payments on the national debt, emergency expenses, transfers to the provinces for health and education, or subsidies to funds for the unemployed and western grain farmers. Mazankowski denied claims by Reform Party of Canada Leader Preston Manning that the finance minister is pre-empting a Reform promise, but said that “if it does that, it would be a bonus.”

FOR NEW FEDERALISM

Ghislain Dufour, president of Quebec’s Conseil du patronat, which represents 224 of the province’s largest firms, said that if Quebec holds a referendum next year, it should be on a proposal for renewed federalism—not separation.

REFORMS FOR THE MENTALLY ILL

Federal Justice Minister Kim Campbell proposed legislation to prevent the automatic and indefinite incarceration in psychiatric institutions of criminal defendants judged to be mentally ill. The proposals, which could affect up to 1,000 patients now under indefinite detention, follow a Supreme Court of Canada ruling in May that declared the practice unconstitutional.