House of Commons Hansard #2 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was work.

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Prayers


A message was delivered by the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod as follows:

Mr. Speaker, it is the desire of His Excellency the Governor General of Canada that this honourable House attend him immediately in the Chamber of the honourable the Senate.

Accordingly, the Speaker with the House went up to the Senate Chamber.

And the House being returned to the Commons Chamber:

3:40 p.m.

The Speaker

I have the honour to report that the House having attended on His Excellency the Governor General in the Senate Chamber, I informed His Excellency that the choice of Speaker had fallen upon me. On your behalf, I made the usual claim for your privileges which His Excellency was pleased to confirm to you.

3:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-1, respecting the administration of oaths of office.

(Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.)

3:45 p.m.

The Speaker

I have the honour to inform the House that when this House did attend His Excellency this day in the Senate Chamber, His Excellency was pleased to make a speech to both Houses of Parliament. To prevent mistakes, I have obtained a copy, which is as follows:

Ladies and Gentlemen, Honourable Members of the Senate, Ladies and Gentlemen, Members of the House of Commons.

The two and a half years that have passed since I last had the pleasure of addressing Parliament have brought many changes, to Canada and to the world. Our hopes for global peace have been raised and, in many places, shattered. In some countries today, democracy is under stress, its future uncertain.

Canadians, however, continue their unwavering commitment to democracy. Elections in this country are carried out as peaceful clashes of ideas, not of forces. The very fact that we are gathered in this chamber is, itself, testimony to the durability and wisdom of the process by which we govern ourselves.

Once again, we look forward to welcoming Her Majesty. This year she will travel to Nova Scotia and the Northwest Territories, and to British Columbia, where she will open the 1994 Commonwealth Games.

On October 25, 1993, Canadians chose a new Parliament and a new government. The Government has made a number of commitments to the people of Canada. They will be implemented.

On opening the first session of this Parliament, and on behalf of the Government, I make the following brief statements of government policy, which will be followed by legislation and other proposals by the Prime Minister and Ministers themselves.

The agenda of the Government is based on an integrated approach to economic, social, environmental and foreign policy.

In order to achieve this agenda, integrity and public trust in the institutions of government are essential.

My Ministers will insist upon integrity, honesty and openness on the part of those who exercise power on behalf of Canadians.

Specifically, an ethics counsellor will be appointed to advise Ministers and government officials and to examine the need for legislative change. Legislation will be placed before you to increase the transparency of the relations between lobbyists and the Government.

The Government is committed to enhancing the credibility of Parliament. Changes will be proposed to the rules of the House of Commons to provide Members of Parliament a greater opportunity to contribute to the development of public policy and legislation.

Measures to reform the pension plan of Members of Parliament, including the elimination of double-dipping, will be placed before you.

The Government attaches the highest priority to job creation and economic growth in the short term and the long term. To stimulate economic activity, an agreement has been reached with provincial and territorial governments for a joint federal-provincial-municipal infrastructure program. This program will proceed immediately.

The Government will reintroduce the Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program. The Government will also create a Youth Service Corps to begin putting young Canadians back to work.

For longer-term job creation, the Government will focus on small and medium-sized businesses. The Government will work with Canada's financial institutions to improve access to capital for small business. A Canada Investment Fund will be created to help innovative leading-edge technology firms to obtain the long-term capital they need. To improve the diffusion of technology and innovation, a Canadian technology network will be created. To strengthen research and development, the Government will encourage technology partnerships between Canadian universities, research institutions and the private sector. The Government will also implement a Canadian strategy for an information highway.

The Government will promote better training for the managers of small businesses and greater access to strategic information on new technologies and new marketing opportunities. The Government will also work with the provinces to reduce the regulatory and paper burden on small businesses and to streamline the delivery of programs.

Job creation and economic growth also require Canadian firms, especially small and medium-sized businesses, to adopt an aggressive trading mentality to take advantage of export markets. With the successful conclusion of the Uruguay Round and the implementation of NAFTA, the Government will assist Canadian companies to translate improved market access into greater export sales. The Government will pursue an activist trade policy so that Canadians may have improved access to expanding markets, particularly in the Pacific Rim and in Latin America.

The Government will ensure greater cohesion of federal activity in international business development and welcomes the agreement of the provinces at the First Ministers' meeting of December 21, 1993, to explore opportunities for reduced overlap and duplication in this area.

At the same time the Government will promote greater trade opportunities domestically. The Government is committed to working with all provincial governments to eliminate internal barriers to trade.

Job creation and sustained economic growth require an investment in people. The Government will work in partnership with the provinces and the private sector to help young people to be better prepared for the transition from school to the workplace. The Government will propose measures to improve job training as well as the literacy skills of Canadians. Funding for the National Literacy Program will be restored to its original level.

Canada's social security system must be responsive to the economic and social realities of the 1990s. The Government will announce an action plan for major reform of the social security system to be completed within two years. The Government will work closely and co-operatively with the provinces and will consult Canadians on the modernization and restructuring of our collective social security. New legislation will then be placed before Parliament.

The Government will pursue the fiscal discipline necessary for sustained economic growth. The budget will be tabled in February and will include measures to bring the federal debt and deficit under control in a manner that is compatible with putting Canadians back to work. The Government will work with the provinces to ensure that our shared fiscal challenge is dealt with co-operatively and creatively.

In collaboration with the provinces and as a result of consultations to be undertaken by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance, the Government will replace the Goods and Services Tax.

It will be the policy of the Government to promote sustainable development as an integral component of decision making at all levels of our society. Special emphasis will be placed on pollution prevention and the development of "green" infrastructures and industries and their associated high-technology jobs. The Canadian Environmental Assessment Act will be proclaimed.

The East Coast fishery, which has provided a livelihood to thousands of families in the Atlantic provinces and Quebec, confronts significant challenges due to the groundfish resource collapse. The Government, working with industry and the provinces, will help those involved to become self supporting. The Government will take the action required to ensure that foreign overfishing of East Coast stocks comes to an end.

The Government will vigorously pursue its commitment to strengthen the fabric of Canadian life. The Government will introduce measures to enhance community safety and crime prevention. There will be measures to combat the high level of violence against women and children. Measures will be proposed to combat racism and hate crime. The Court Challenges Program and the Law Reform Commission will be restored. Amendments will be proposed to the Canadian Human Rights Act ; and the Canadian Race Relations Foundation Act will be proclaimed.

Canada's universal health care system is founded upon the principles of the Canada Health Act . The Government is deeply committed to these principles and rejects any measure which undermines them.

A National Forum on Health chaired by the Prime Minister will be established to foster, in co-operation with the provinces, a national, public dialogue on the renewal of Canada's health system.

A Centre of Excellence for Women's Health will be established to ensure that women's health issues receive the attention they deserve.

Prenatal nutrition programs for low-income pregnant women will be created and expanded.

The Government will forge a new partnership with Aboriginal peoples, particularly in respect of the implementation of the inherent right of self-government. Legislation to further the implementation of northern claims settlements will be put before Parliament.

The Government will allocate additional funds for the support of post-secondary education for First Nations and will develop an Aboriginal head-start program.

Our cultural heritage and our official languages are at the very core of the Canadian identity and are sources of social and economic enrichment. The Government will announce measures to promote Canada's cultural identity.

The Government will ensure that Canada plays an active, internationalist role in the global arena. In light of the radical changes that have occurred in international affairs in the last few years, the Government will ask parliamentary committees to review Canada's foreign and defence policies and priorities.

This year will also mark the 50th anniversary of D-Day, and I look forward, on behalf of the people of Canada, to participating in commemorative ceremonies to mark the valiant efforts of our servicemen and servicewomen who participated in the liberation of Europe.

The Government will work vigorously to fulfil its responsibilities to ensure that federalism meets the needs of Canadians, recognizing that all Canadians share in the responsibility for making Canada work. It will be the policy of the Government to seek to clarify the federal government's responsibilities in relation to those of other orders of government, to eliminate overlap and duplication, and to find better ways to provide services so that they represent the best value for taxpayers' dollars and respond to the real needs of people.

By working co-operatively to create economic opportunity; by restoring common sense to our public finances; by rebuilding a sense of integrity in government; and by pursuing a positive and innovative agenda for our society, my Ministers are convinced that Canadian unity will be preserved and enhanced. They believe that this Parliament can play a historic role in preparing Canada for the new century to come. Members of the House of Commons :

You will be asked to appropriate the funds required to carry out the services and expenditures authorized by Parliament. Honourable Members of the Senate/Members of the House of Commons :

May Divine Providence guide you in your deliberations.

3:45 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

moved:

That the Speech of His Excellency the Governor General, delivered this day from the Throne to the two Houses of Parliament, be taken into consideration later this day.

(Motion agreed to.)

3:45 p.m.

The Speaker

I have the honour to inform the House that the following members have been appointed as members of the Board of Internal Economy for the purposes and under the provisions of the act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act, Chapter 42 (First Supplement), Revised Statutes of Canada, 1985, namely: the Hon. Herb Gray, the Hon. Fernand Robichaud, Mr. Len Hopkins, Mr. Alfonso Gagliano, Mr. Michel Gauthier, Mr. Gilles Duceppe and Mr. Stephen Harper.

3:45 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Solicitor General of Canada

moved:

That, pursuant to Standing Order 104, the Standing Committee on House Management be appointed to prepare and report lists of members to compose the standing and standing joint committees of this House; and that the committee be composed of: Mrs. Ablonczy, Mrs. Bakopanos, Mr. Boudria, Mr. Duceppe, Mr. Gagliano, Mr. Gauthier (Roberval), Mr. Hermanson, Mr. Langlois, Mr. Lee, Mr. Malhi, Mr. McWhinney, Mr. Milliken, Mr. Patry and Mr. White (Fraser Valley West).

(Motion agreed to.)

3:45 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I move:

That Mr. David Kilgour, member for the electoral district of Edmonton Southeast, be appointed Deputy Speaker of the House and Chairman of committee of the whole House.

(Motion agreed to.)

3:50 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I move:

That Shirley Maheu, member for the electoral district of Saint-Laurent-Cartierville, be appointed Deputy Chairman of committee of the whole House.

(Motion agreed to.)

3:50 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I move:

That Mr. Bob Kilger, member for the electoral district of Stormont-Dundas, be appointed Assistant Deputy Chairman of committee of the whole House.

(Motion agreed to.)

3:50 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, in accordance with Standing Order 81 I move:

That the business of supply be considered at the next sitting of the House.

(Motion agreed to.)

The House proceeded to the consideration of the speech delivered by His Excellency the Governor General at the opening of the session.

3:50 p.m.

Liberal

Ovid Jackson Bruce—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure and humility that I move the motion on the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne.

I would like to pay my respects to His Excellency the Governor General and thank him for delivering the speech to both Houses.

I would also like to pay my respects and congratulate you, Mr. Speaker, on your election as Speaker of this venerable body, the House of Commons. We appreciate the fact that you are going to be guiding us. I know personally you are going to do a good job.

I hail from the riding of Bruce-Grey, home to two important and outstanding Canadian feminists. One was Nellie McClung who was a lecturer, author and defender of women's rights. As well we had another outstanding woman, the Hon. Agnes Macphail, the first woman ever elected to the House of Commons.

My riding is the birthplace of Billy Bishop, the famous world war flying ace. We are immensely proud to be the home of Tom Thomson, a famous Canadian artist who was a member of the Group of Seven.

Walter Harris, who was born in Kimberly and now resides in Markdale, was the finance minister during the session of 1954-57. I want to remind the hon. Minister of Finance that Mr. Harris balanced the budget twice.

The riding of Bruce-Grey is bound by the south and east coast of Georgian Bay. It includes the entire Bruce peninsula which includes Tobermory though to Wiarton, home of Wiarton Willy, the groundhog famous for weather forecasting. The Americans had to invent a groundhog in order to compete with our Wiarton Willy who does such a good job.

In the south of the riding are the towns of Walkerton and Hanover and to the west of the riding is located beautiful Sauble Beach, a destination point and resort area.

The city of Owen Sound, my home town of which I was mayor for the last four terms, is the regional centre for the area. It houses the famous Owen Sound Little Theatre.

On the east is the town of Meaford and in that surrounding area we have our famous Georgian Bay apples. The towns of Durham, Hanover and Chesley have an enviable history for their quality furniture manufacturing.

In my riding there are also two reserves, the reserves of the Saugeen and Cape Croker.

In Bruce-Grey, agriculture is an important economic way of life for many of my constituents. For the most part farming is focused on beef, sheep, poultry and dairy products.

The fact that I am standing here today proposing this motion of acceptance is a very significant event in the national policies of the Canadian government. I say that because somebody once mentioned that Canada was half-sister to the world.

I am from the Caribbean. Many people elected to this House are from that general area. This country of Canada has had great relations with Guyana and many countries around the globe.

Twenty-six years ago, Barbara Ward, environmentalist, thinker and distinguished writer described Canada as possibly the world's first international nation.

Canada more than lived up to that description in the years that followed. Its government and its citizens have shown a mature and sensitive concern for global security in all its aspects-political, strategic, economic, social and environmental.

Our international development assistance programs are evidence of that concern. Canadians have shown compassion for the welfare of the peoples of developing countries with whom they have mutual interests.

The fact that I am standing here today emphasizes another important Canadian characteristic and that is its ethnic diversity.

If Shakespeare had known Canada as it is now he probably would have written "sweet are the uses of diversity". Now that our country is truly a global village, Canada's multi-ethnic character fully coincides with that reality.

At no other time in human history have the peoples of the world had a greater opportunity to observe each other's values and belief systems as now. In Canada, on a daily basis, our very diversity accommodates meeting and sharing ideas and differing ways of viewing the world. This is an enormous Canadian strength because such dialogue is fundamental to us as Canadians. It is the base of our democratic process.

I entered federal politics because Canada, this wonderful democracy, allowed me to be Canadian. Canada has been good to me, my wife Verona and our two children, Andrew and Sonja. I feel that this country has given me a lot and I hope that in this House I can give back some of what it has given to me.

On October 25, 1993, the Canadian people gave us their trust with a mandate to govern our great country.

What I heard them say in the message to us was that they would like to see honesty and integrity in their national government. Not for one moment, as I look around this room, do I doubt that the men and women established here today are capable of that chore.

I also firmly believe that if we work together to maintain our heritage and cultural diversity, if we manage our resources both human and natural, Canada can continue to be the best country in the world.

I am noted for telling stories. I am reminded of a story of the great Italian Metropolitan conductor Toscanini. He was in New York at the famous Metropolitan Opera House; they were rehearsing for an up and coming performance.

A young soloist was not doing very well so Toscanini thought maybe he could give her some advice. The young woman scoffed at the advice and told Toscanini that she was the star of the show and in fact did not want any advice. Toscanini thought for a little while and then reaffirmed to the young woman that in a symphony there were no solo performances.

In this House one person cannot pass a motion. In this House all 295 of us were elected by the Canadian people to do a job and I hope we work collaboratively, not separately.

As outlined in the throne speech this government has stated its intention to keep its promises, specifically the agenda of the red book. That is why so many of us are on this side of the House.

A commitment to the principles of universal health care, a new apprenticeship program, restoration of literacy funding, the Canadian youth corps, assistance to small and medium sized business and a total redesign of our social programs was stated in the throne speech.

As mayor I handled economic development. I travelled to Europe and to the United States. I want to make a statement to all the members of the House. I believe that small businesses are extremely important to us. We must take the monkey off their backs. We must take away all the red tape from them. We must allow people to imagine, to dream and to get those businesses going. That is from where we will get the jobs and the hope for the Canadians we are talking about.

Since the election our Prime Minister has shown an example of frankness and frugality in our government. We announced a number of cuts the other day. The government whip announced that we were going to try to cut down on some of the perks to save millions of dollars in the coffers for Canadian people.

In conclusion I want to say sincerely to all members of the House, regardless of their political stripes, that I would like it if all of us would not work solo but would work hard for the taxpayers of the country. They are the ones who put us here. They are the ones who voted for us. None of us were elected by solo flights. Each one had a wife, a family, an organization and commitment to doing work for the Canadian people. I hope this Parliament will be the best ever.

Mr. Speaker, you will be glad to know that finally I come to the motion. I move, seconded by the hon. member for Madawaska-Victoria, that the following address be presented to His Excellency the Governor General of Canada:

To His Excellency the Right Honourable Ramon John Hnatyshyn, a Member of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, Chancellor and Principal Companion of the Order of Canada, Chancellor and Commander of the Order of Military Merit, one of Her Majesty's counsel learned in law, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada.

MAY IT PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENCY:

We, Her Majesty's most loyal and dutiful subjects, the House of Commons of Canada, in Parliament assembled, beg leave to offer our humble thanks to Your Excellency for the gracious Speech which Your Excellency has addressed to both Houses of Parliament.

4:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

Pierrette Ringuette-Maltais Madawaska—Victoria, NB

Mr. Speaker, first of all I would like to congratulate you on your election to this office. You will prove yourself to be equal to the task of managing and overseeing the business of this House. On my behalf and on behalf of all the citizens of Madawaska- Victoria, kindly convey my respects to His Excellency the Governor General and Mrs. Hnatyshyn.

Last October 25, the people of Canada sent an enlightened message to the Conservative government. Canadians placed their trust and future in the hands of a leader who, in my estimation, will provide the energetic leadership we need to confront the future with optimism.

As I stated several times during the election campaign, our leader, now our Prime Minister, is a man of substance and not of images. What impresses me most about him are his qualities, the fact that he is a realist as well an honest, respectful and visionary person.