House of Commons Hansard #132 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

The Comfort Maple
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

John Maloney Erie, ON

Mr. Speaker, recently the oldest member of my riding underwent surgery to correct damage caused by a lightning strike some 30 years ago.

This well-known character resides in North Pelham and is an 80 foot tall sugar maple tree named the Comfort maple and is reported to be 500 years old. I am pleased to announce that restoration this summer has had excellent results and the Comfort maple is recovering well.

This summer the Comfort maple was host to a stamp launch by Canada Post for its maple tree stamp series. This event was all the more significant because members of the Comfort family of West Lincoln after which the tree is named celebrated their 100th consecutive family reunion.

The Comfort maple reminds us that we have been here for such a short time. Five hundred years ago the exploration of Canada by explorers had only just begun. Yet here stands this tree a witness to all subsequent events.

The history of the Canadian nation and this tree have run a parallel course. The maple leaf is an enduring symbol of our great nation. This magnificent tree has survived stormy times, as has our country. Both will continue to flourish and grow for many, many years to come.

We in Erie are proud of the Comfort maple. We in Erie are proud to be Canadians.

The Economy
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Susan Whelan Essex—Windsor, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada's economic performance in recent months has been very encouraging.

Real growth at 6.4 per cent in the second quarter far outstrips the performance of any other G-7 country. Retail sales are up in the third quarter and up 7.8 per cent over last year. Real exports are up 5.6 per cent in the third quarter. This is a record level and the fastest growth since 1983.

Employment is up by 307,000 jobs since January, all full time jobs. Employment growth in recent months has been the most rapid in almost six years. The unemployment rate has fallen from 11.4 per cent in January to 10 per cent in October. Over April to August the deficit is $4.5 billion lower than in the same period in 1993-94.

It is results like these that lead the IMF to project that Canada will have the strongest growth in output and the highest rate of growth in employment in all the G-7 countries in both 1994 and 1995.

Child Care
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Human Resources Development recently released another discussion paper, this one dealing with daycare and child development. It says that the minister intends to review every funding formula on the basis of the objectives he has set for his social program reform.

Meanwhile, the government is cutting UI and welfare benefits. It is unthinkable that this government can logically make a distinction between the welfare of families and that of children. As if the poverty affecting children in Quebec and Canada could be viewed and analyzed as separate from that of their parents.

Moreover, the government is again encroaching on a provincial jurisdiction, without a hint of hesitation. Such an attitude is simply unacceptable.

Samaritan's Purse Christmas Child Program
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Jim Silye Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased today to offer my congratulations to the children of Calgary for their overwhelming participation in a very special project directed by the Samaritan's Purse Christmas Child Program.

For weeks now elementary students in the city of Calgary have been filling shoe boxes with Christmas gifts to send to children in Bosnia and Rwanda. The project has involved about 200 schools, 500 teachers and many church and community organizations.

The results have been spectacular. They have put together more than 30,000 shoe boxes filled with toys, treats, school supplies, clothes and in many cases personal letters. An additional 15,000 to 20,000 boxes from locations outside of Calgary bring the total to an amazing 50,000. Other donations from Calgarians bought an aeroplane ticket to send an elementary school teacher to help deliver the shoe boxes to Bosnia.

This is an example of a community working together at its best to help others. The children who took part so enthusiastically provided the spark that made this a truly memorable experience for all who were involved. Congratulations to them all.

Environment
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Stan Dromisky Thunder Bay—Atikokan, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to inform the House today that the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment, the hon. member for Hamilton East, has announced that she will chair a meeting of Ministers of the Environment from the G-7 nations. It will take place in Hamilton in April 1995.

The meeting will provide a forum for environment ministers from the world's most industrialized countries to discuss common priorities and to work together to solve common problems. The government is convinced that the twin goals of a healthy environment and economy must be pursued at the same time. By inviting G-7 environment ministers and representatives to come to Hamilton, we want to work toward ensuring that the most industrialized countries in the world are moving their combined gross national product of over $20 trillion toward sustainable development for the future of all our citizens.

Child Poverty
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, according to the National Council on Welfare over 1.2 million children under age 18 live in poverty. From a recent report by the Campaign 2000 coalition we learned that there are over 300,000 more poor children today than five years ago.

Furthermore at the latest Canadian Medical Association conference it was reported that poor children are twice as likely to suffer psychiatric disorders, failing grades and hyperactivity than more affluent children. Evidently poor children are more apt to drop out of school.

For social, moral and economic reasons the government has a responsibility to ensure that all Canadian children have an equal opportunity to fully participate in Canadian life.

I therefore urge the government to implement the resolution on child poverty unanimously passed by this House in 1989.

Mrs. Marie Malavoy
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Assad Gatineau—La Lièvre, QC

Mr. Speaker, the resignation of Quebec's new minister of culture, Marie Malavoy, is indeed regrettable. However, the unacceptable justifications she gave for her illegal actions are even more regrettable.

Ms. Malavoy probably forgot that Canada welcomed her and her parents to one of the best countries in the world, if not the best, where she enjoyed all the advantages of a generous country, even becoming a faculty dean, something which immigrants cannot aspire to in France. Furthermore, did she think about the thousands of Canadians who gave their lives to help liberate her native country?

There is an old saying that gratitude is the highest form of justice. The former minister's comments show a lack of gratitude as well as a poor sense of justice.

Underground Economy
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Landry Lotbinière, QC

Mr. Speaker, in an interview he gave to La Presse on Saturday, the Minister of Finance tries to surprise us with his perceptiveness as a businessman. According to the minister, the underground economy far exceeds the levels reported by his own officials.

However, once the problem has been recognized, the minister's perceptiveness starts fading. He has no information to give us on the size of the underground economy, much less a solution to propose.

With regard to the GST, the government has lost control over its revenue but the minister does not have the courage to undertake a comprehensive review of his fiscal policy. He proposes to act alone in the dark.

Same thing for the debt and the deficit. Although the minister knows that he must cut spending in the public service, he has not made a single proposal. Yet, the minister is already slashing social programs without the necessary studies in hand. History repeats itself: Ottawa has decided to cut but it is the provinces and the unemployed who will pay the price.

Westray Mine Disaster
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

John Duncan North Island—Powell River, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Westray mine in Nova Scotia was the scene of an explosion accident on May 9, 1992. Twenty-six men lost their lives, 11 of whom are still entombed in the mine.

During the five day rescue operation conditions were present for another explosion. Roof falls had to be crossed. Lethal carbon monoxide gas which is an after product of a coal mine explosion was heavy in the mine. Miners put aside their own safety in the hopes of finding their fellow workers.

In an unprecedented presentation 195 individuals of the rescue crew are receiving the Governor General's Medal of Bravery in Stellarton, Nova Scotia, today. Fourteen of these individuals now live in my hometown of Campbell River, B.C., and work at the Quinsam coal mine 25 kilometres out of town.

I know my colleagues will join me in applauding these brave individuals who were involved in a tragedy which affected Canadians from coast to coast.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Simon de Jong Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, according to press reports the government is seriously considering selling off CBC television stations.

Despite the promises made in the Liberal red book to support the CBC and the fact that the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage is presently examining CBC financing, cabinet is debating a plan to radically change public broadcasting in Canada.

The CBC has been and is an essential instrument that allows Canadians to see and hear each other and to develop their own cultural identity. Is what the cabinet is debating the first step to privatize the CBC and to kill public broadcasting? By selling off the CBC TV stations what channel will Canadians be able to tune into to see Canadian programs?

In this age of the 500 channel universe and other rapid technological innovations, there might come the time to deliver public broadcasting through new methods like the telephone companies. However, that time is not now.

I concur with the chairman of the CRTC who stated before the Canadian heritage committee: "Give-

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Ottawa Centre.

Conference On Lifelong Learning
Statements By Members

November 28th, 1994 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Mac Harb Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the first global conference on lifelong learning will be taking place in Rome from November 30 to December 3. The object of this conference is to shed light on the importance of lifelong learning and to create an action agenda that will promote and implement learning initiatives throughout the world.

My constituent, Robbin Frazer, who was key in promoting this conference in Canada, has informed me there will be 500 participants from 50 countries, including 10 delegates from Canada.

I want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to all those attending the conference. I assure them that the government, through the ministry of human resources, is committed to improving the quality of life of its citizens and ensuring access to education and training.

I am confident the global conference on lifelong learning will be a success and that a strategy of lifelong learning will be established to lead us into the 21st century.

Reform Party Of Canada
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Payne St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, last week when the Reform Party of Canada announced its proposed cuts to the federal budget, the most draconian cuts ever proposed in the history of Canada, the leader of the Reform Party had the nerve to claim that these cuts focused on non-social spending.

By calling for a 25 per cent reduction in the budget of CMHC, Reform Party members are calling for the federal government to break hundreds of federal-provincial contracts and agreements as well as thousands of contracts with public and private non-profits and co-operatives across Canada. They are also calling for cuts in social spending in the worst areas, affecting the poorest of the poor.

They are kicking those most in need, the poor, the old, the young, the disabled, single mothers and aboriginals, out into the streets. The Reform Party is saying to people whose annual income is on the average less than $12,000: "Get out of social housing and out on to the street corners".

This would have the effect of reducing the federal share of the shelter by 25 per cent.

Bosnia
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the situation continues to deteriorate in Bosnia, where 55 Canadian peacekeepers are still being kept hostage. In an obvious attempt at intimidation, Serb forces launched rockets yesterday near observation posts manned by Canadian peacekeepers near Visoko. The United States, France, Russia, Germany and Great Britain are asking for an immediate cease-fire at Bihac and in all combat zones in Bosnia Hercegovina, while General Michael Rose, commander-in-chief of the 24,000 peacekeepers in Bosnia, mentioned the possibility of withdrawing the UN peacekeepers in view of the escalation of armed conflict.

Could the Prime Minister confirm that the 55 Canadian peacekeepers being kept hostage are being treated well and that negotiations with the Serb authorities for their release are still deadlocked?

Bosnia
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the 55 Canadian soldiers are not, strictly speaking, being kept hostage. They are being kept in the positions they occupied, and they continue to do the job they were doing

before in the territories concerned. I am also informed they are being treated quite acceptably.

Negotiations are continuing, to try to bring the situation back to normal. Everyone hopes there will soon be an agreement on a new cease-fire. Of course, here in Canada, we should all support our troops, who are going through a very difficult situation on their humanitarian mission to this part of the world. We hope that although our soldiers are experiencing problems at this time, and with them soldiers from other countries, things will get back to normal in a matter of days.